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News: Credit Topics, Scam Alerts, and Top Recommendations
New 2015 Credit Protections
In March 2015, a settlement between the State of New York and the three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and Transunion) provides for new and significant credit protections to consumers. These changes were led by the Credit Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and will affect your rights to credit report access, disputes, and overall account accuracy.
- Access: You now have free access to your credit scores through your credit card company. The scores from each credit bureau will be printed on your monthly statement. These will also be available in your personal account on the company’s website. Additionally, if you dispute any information on your credit report, you are entitled to a second free copy from each agency. This will help ensure that the changes, if any, have been made on your report.
- Disputes: For credit disputes, each credit bureau must have trained staff available to examine all documentation provided by both the consumer and the lender. Their job will be to make a reasoned judgment that considers both sides of the story instead of accepting only the lender’s version of events (a frustrating aspect of the dispute process in the past).
- Medical Debt: Each agency must wait 180 days before adding medical debt to your credit report. Furthermore, they must remove all medical debt from your report when the insurance company pays it off.
➡ You can learn more about these changes in our video below.
Beware of Loan Scams - Protect yourself and your finances from fake lenders and low-life scammers. Make sure to read up on scam techniques, such as their use of legitimate company names and logos, stolen from real loan companies, in order to hide their illegal operation. Educate yourself about foreclosure fraud, advance fee loan scams, and identity theft, so you'll be better able to recognize red flags when you see them. You will be able to fend off the bad guys who take advantage of the desperate and vulnerable. Please report fraud to the Federal Trade Commission.
Lending Options - Before you decide on the type of loan that you'd like to apply for online, it's crucial that you get the facts and research your borrowing options so you can make the best financial decision possible. When shopping for a direct loan, you'll discover quite a plethora, each with varying terms, conditions and interest rates. These factors will cumulatively determine your total expense during the life of the loan. By definition, a loan is considered to be "unsecured" when it is not backed by personal property as collateral; rather, it is extended to you by the lender with just your signature on a promissory note to repay the money according to specific terms, rates, and a payment schedule. For people with bad credit, plenty of convenient programs are available. Keep in mind, when you need a loan quickly, cash advances are certainly convenient and easy to qualify for. However, we caution that these loans come at a high cost with governing laws that vary from state to state. Although they do serve a valid purpose, they should be used sparingly or for emergencies. The small, short-term loans like the ones we've just described, typically range from $100 to $5,000. For larger amounts, lenders may require better credit scores and a proven ability to repay, such as verifiable employment and adequate income. Amounts above $10,000 will inevitably require "good" credit.
Debt Consolidation - Responsible debt management is the first step toward improving your financial health and creating a prosperous future for you and your family. If you own a home, a good way to tackle your debt is by using your home's equity to consolidate high-interest items. By doing this, you will save an enormous amount of money over the long run. If you are not a homeowner, other debt consolidation methods exist, such as settlement, negotiation, and counseling. These can be very helpful if you follow the programs and make a commitment to succeed. Try to create a realistic budget that will help you gain control over your finances and help you to live within your means. Adhere to a cash-only spending philosophy whenever possible, and make it your number one priority to pay down your credit card balances. With strict self discipline, you will begin to see your bank balance and your credit scores rise. With time, you will ultimately get that second chance you deserve. These tips barely scrape the surface, but you'll find a lot more information throughout this website.