Archive for September, 2010
The advantages of taking control of credit card debt are obvious. One of the most important is the peace of mind you’ll have. This of course requires some knowledge of how to take care of the problem.
It could take you awhile to seek the right way to handle your debt. However, in the end it is worth it when you find the solution that is right for your situation.
This is a very simplified guide. It will not necessarily replace professional financial counseling. However, this list of tips will get you started:
- Find a way to rearrange your debts via consolidation or debt repayment program. You will experience a peace of mind if you only have to make just one payment a month.
- Be very leery of the 0% rate introductory balance transfer rates. This can put you in worse trouble later.
- If you have good credit, you benefit by being able to negotiate a lower interest rate. Still, be careful when doing so.
- Take control not only of your credit card debt but also of your spending habits. Ideas to help you in this regard are as follows: Look for a cheaper car, less expensive apartment décor, and thriftier grocery stores.
- Limit the number of credit cards you take out at once. Furthermore, try not to max them all out.
It is advisable that you do all you can to take control of your credit card debt. Depending on how much money you have on a given credit card, the company who issued it may offer you a lower interest rate. No matter what, you will eventually feel a great sense of accomplishment as you do whatever you can to change your situation.
Remember, when you are buried under credit card debt and you cannot make payments, you are hurting both yourself and your creditors. If you cannot make your regular payments and your balance never seems to diminish, you may need to seek help.
Seeking professional guidance from a financial expert will help you take control of your situation. If you are in need of a credit counselor or credit card debt relief agency, do not be ashamed or embarrassed. Just do it.
People who owe credit card debt are often at the mercy of the banks that issued the plastic. For this reason, some very important changes have been made as of 2009.
One thing that can affect your credit the most is how much debt you are carrying on your cards. Thereofre, it may be time for you to finally get rid of some of your credit card debt.
Another factor is how close to the credit limit you are on each card. Any good credit repair company will tell you that it is best to keep your total balance below one fourth of your credit limit. This is for the total of all your cards.
If you want to continue to get rid of credit card debt here are some additional tips and facts:
Reduce the amount of interest paid while buying things with a credit card. You can do this if you pay back the balance within a 25 to 30 day grace period.
Remember that late payments appear on your credit file. Therefore, try to avoid allowing your balances to become past due.
If you are unfortunately already overwhelmed by the debt you have nationwide debt settlement options are available. This is a great place to go for educational advice on what financial options are best for you.
Seek all re-financing options such as consolidations before considering bankruptcy. You may also want to consider budgeting and debt repayment programs.
The devastating economic conditions right now have caused 60% of Americans in financial distress not knowing what to do. They also quite often do not know where to go for help.
Debt settlement is one option. This helps you eliminate unpaid balances by reducing the amount you owe, by as high as 50 to 70% (and in rare cases up to 100%).
However, this solution is not without its consequences. Using debt settlement could have a temporary negative impact on your credit file. Therefore, whenever possible it is in your best interest to do what you can to pay that account.
The idea is to do whatever you can possible to avoid charge offs, because this can also hurt your credit file. Apparently according to some sources debt settlements are like a charge off.
However, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. The key to all this is to help reduce chance of bankruptcy proceedings, as this is often thought of as a last resort.
When credit card accounts are settled, the creditor will notify the 3 credit bureaus within 30-45 days. Even though this may not always be the option that works for everyone, it can improve your debt to income ratio.
A credit report is what the credit bureaus use to calculate your credit score. As you are probably aware, your credit score is what lenders, insurance companies, landlords, and potential and present employers will want to see.
It shows you how creditworthy you really are as a person. However, not everyone has good credit, or they do not know yet the status of their credit. Planning ahead can help you get that loan.
If you are a person who is not sure of your credit, you may need to obtain your report. You also may need to look it over in case of mistakes.
If you see any mistakes on your credit report, make sure that you contact the credit bureau to have them corrected. This process usually is done in writing.
Sometimes it is done with the help of a qualified professional or you can find a way to do it on your own. Sometimes templates are provided as a guide to help you compose your credit report dispute letters.
Realize when doing this that it is not an overnight process. This procedure can take as long as three months. Therefore, make sure you allow ample time for the corrections to be made before applying for a loan or credit.
If you haven’t seen your credit report lately, you may want to request a free copy of it. These papers are available from each credit bureau – Equifax, TransUnion, And Experian. You can get it once a year for free.
However, in order to get it more often than once a year you must pay extra. For this reason, some people may prefer to ask for parts of their credit report at different times throughout the year. The different parts are held by three different bureaus.
Improving your Credit
Once you have had the time to look over your credit report, you may decide that you need to find a way to improve your credit score. This often is the case with most people who need an incentive to improve their financial situation in order to be able to buy a house, car, etc.
Of course, the best way to improve your credit is by starting to pay your bills on time. When you start out on a clean slate with no late or missed payments it will gradually help boost your credit score. This is especially important at least in the 90 day period before you apply for a loan.
Free credit reports are almost as common as bread and peanut butter. The explosion of offers in this regard does not replace the possible need for paid monitoring services.
However, obtaining your free credit report is your right. This is your right as of an amendment of the Free Credit Reporting Act of 2003.
The main reason this new amendment of the FCRA was added by the government to ensure that all Americans have the right to stay informed. This gives people an opportunity to learn what the three credit reporting bureaus are saying about you.
All this is done without you having to pay for it. This has been done to help combat identity theft, since fraud and errors on credit reports are so common today.
The goal of this new government act is to ensure that Americans have the right to stay informed about what these three credit reporting bureaus say about then. Yet, at the same time it gives them the right to do so without having to pay for the information.
Obtaining your Records
You can request a free copy of your credit report within a 12 month period from one of the major financial bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
If you don’t really plan to subscribe to the service, it is important that you cancel the trial subscription, or else it would automatically be billed to your account. In that case, you should remember the termination date of your trial period.
You can also get your files at Annual Credit Report.com. This is one of the safest and most reliable locations to obtain your free documents. This site is actually regulated by the federal government and it also is monitored by the three credit bureaus.
You also can find these documents via other websites. You should make sure that it has the official saying that indicates you are not at the Annual Credit Report.com site.
You should be able to obtain your free credit report without any hassle. You can report a private monitoring service if they try to make you pay for these documents.
Now, you should beware that you do not get a free credit score, but only a free credit report. Therefore, you still have the chance of experiencing hassles in that way.
At the same time, you should make sure you take advantage of what you are entitled to and do not have to pay for up front. The only time you really have to pay is if you seek out additional credit alert and monitoring services other than the free ones provided by law.