Credit rights

Another Data Breach This Time a Hotel, How to Protect Yourself

When you check into a hotel or rent a car you are required to present a credit card as security. This reality is troubling in light of the news that a single hotel in Houston reported it had been the victim of a data breach that potentially affected about 10,000 customers.

Posted on Jul 16, 2014

Credit Report Obstacles, Why We Have to Fight

Improving your credit score is one benefit to undergoing a financial makeover, but for many people it may not be the primary reason. This becomes especially obvious when you learn that you, the consumer, are not a credit reporting agency’s prime customer.

Posted on Jun 23, 2014

Debt Relief, How to Tell the Good Guys from the Bad Guys

Recent news that a payment processing company agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint is a reminder to all of us to be careful when considering companies or organizations that say they will help you reduce your debt. There are legitimate organizations that will help you, but it can be difficult to tell the difference between a legitimate service and a scam without gathering some information up front.

Posted on Jun 13, 2014

You Earn the Points, but Credit Card Companies Score the Most

If you are watching television at all these days, you have probably seen the ads that make credit card points look like a real score. In truth they can be. If you use a credit card correctly you can get some real deals by taking advantage of credit card incentives.

Posted on May 29, 2014

Five Tips For Asking a Creditor for a Break

Sometimes the key to reducing fees and interest on an account is simply asking the creditor. Here are some tips on how to pose that question.

Posted on May 27, 2014

Resist the quick credit fixes

Despite several years’ worth of warning and repeated advice from officials of all stripes, companies offering “credit repair” continue to abound. There are steps you can take if you are in financial trouble that can one day help you improve your profile to potential creditors. But a credit score is part of your financial picture, not the entire picture. An improved credit score should be the effect of you meeting your goal of creating a financially responsible and secure life, not the goal itself.  It’s understandable why someone would be tempted to buy into a quick-fix program. Credit scores not only affect your ability to borrow, they can have a negative impact on insurance rates and can influence utility companies to ask...

Posted on Feb 21, 2014

Protect Your Finances from the Target Data Breach

The data breach at Target stores is a nightmare of a Christmas present to up to 40 million store customers. Shoppers at the store between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 might have had their account data taken, including names, credit and debit card numbers and the expiration dates. The three-digit security codes on the back of the cards might also have been taken in the breach. Those who possibly were affected should take steps to make sure there is no impact. The first and most important step anyone should take with news of the breach is to determine whether you might have shopped at Target during those times. If you did you should monitor your accounts closely, making sure you are...

Posted on Dec 20, 2013

A New Year, a New Chance to Review Your Credit

Many people change batteries in smoke alarms when the clocks move forward or back. Perhaps you might try the New Year’s holiday to spark a new tradition, checking your credit report. The process is free, simple and could be an easy way for you to accomplish an easily achievable New Year’s resolution. If you have ever had a credit card or a loan, or especially if you have ever been turned down for one, then you probably know the impact a credit report can have on your finances. Each creditor provides information about your credit standing, whether you have any late payments and how delinquent they were, and whether you have had any accounts closed by you or your creditor. There...

Posted on Dec 18, 2013

Sample Dispute Letter

Below is a sample dispute letter you can use when contacting the credit bureaus to dispute errors on your credit report. Please feel free to make adjustments to the letter as necessary.   Date Your Name Your Address, City, State, Zip Code Credit Reporting Agency Company Address City, State, Zip Code To Whom It May Concern: I am writing to dispute the following information in my credit report. I have circled the items I dispute on the attached copy of the report I received. This item (identify item(s) disputed by name of source, such as creditors or tax court, and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.) is (inaccurate or incomplete) because (describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why). I am requesting that the item be removed (or request another specific change) to correct...

Posted on Dec 09, 2013

How Freezing Your Credit Report Protects You From Identity Thieves

According to the March 5th, 2013 release by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft was the #1 consumer complaint in 2012.  In addition, the FTC’s February report states that nearly one in four Americans have an error on their credit reports that is significant enough to prevent them from obtaining a loan or certain types of employment. The best method for combating identity theft is to check your credit report at least, once a year. It is free through and you can view all three reports, every twelve months. Another option for safeguarding your identity is to place a credit freeze on your credit reports. A credit freeze prevents the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) from releasing...

Posted on Mar 18, 2013

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