Some collection companies may be more effective simply by using the letterhead from local courts. Learn what you can do to protect your rights with debt collectors.
Posted on Jul 29, 2014
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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