CreditScoreAide.com Credit Articles http://creditscoretry.us/ en CreditScoreAide.com Copyright 2009 2009-05-19T22:19:02+00:00 5 Great (Free!) Guides to Saving Money http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/bad-credit-news-and-resources/5-great-free-guides-to-saving-money/ http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/bad-credit-news-and-resources/5-great-free-guides-to-saving-money/#When:20:35:34Z If you have bad credit, it is probably because you have been behind on paying bills in the past (or are currently behind).  In order to build credit, you need to get current on your debts.  One of the most important steps you can take is to start saving or managing your money better.  Here are five great (and free!) guides to help you get started.

Bad credit typically starts with too much debt.  It’s a vicious cycle—you borrow money to make ends meet, then you end up not having enough money to repay your debts, and then you fall behind, and so on.  How do you stop this cycle of debt?  One way is to start managing your money more closely, and start saving a bit extra each paycheck.  Use the extra money to pay down debt or to establish an emergency savings fund (so the cycle doesn’t start again!).

Here are five great guides to help you get started managing your finances better.

  1. 66 Ways to Save Money.  This is a classic publication (there have been over two million copies distributed!).  The booklet provides useful and practical ways to cut everyday costs on transportation, insurance, banking, credit, housing, utilities, food, and more.
  2. Get the Facts on Saving and Investing.  This guide is published by the United States Security and Exchange Commission.  It provides a roadmap to help you start on a path to financial security through saving and investing. This guide is packed with helpful tips and easy to use worksheets to help you calculate your net worth, income, and expenses.
  3. Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future.  This book helps you create a personal savings plan and prepare for retirement.
  4. Consumer’s Almanac.  This booklet helps you organize your expenses, create savings for the future and for emergencies, and and manage your credit with monthly calendars and worksheets.
  5. Easy Credit Guide—Our own publication.  Learn how to improve your credit and adopt credit habits that will pay off big in terms of savings and better credit.
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Bad Credit, News and Resources 2008-11-04T20:35:34+00:00
Want to Save Tons of Money? Do a Little Credit Improvement http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/why-improve-credit/want-to-save-tons-of-money-do-a-little-credit-improvement/ http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/why-improve-credit/want-to-save-tons-of-money-do-a-little-credit-improvement/#When:14:47:21Z Have bad credit?  You have some choices.  Either you can continue to take advantage of some of the bad credit financing options available, or you can save money and improve your financial future by improving your credit.  What do you choose?

There are plenty of financing options available to you if you have bad credit.  However, are they really worth it?  Some of these financing options may end up costing you much more money than fixing your credit would.  Independent lending companies that offer bad credit loans often subject their borrowers to predatory lending.  They insist on high interest rates, strict terms and not much room for negotiation.  Payday loans have low limits and must be paid back immediately.  Car title loans and Refund Anticipation Loans are also flawed, mainly because of their high interest rates as well as the high-profit scheme of the lending companies.

In some cases, it really pays off to invest in credit improvement.  How can you work to improve your credit when you’re thousands of dollars in debt?  You may pursue a solution in the way of refinancing, negotiating with creditors or disputing charges on your credit report.  When it comes to debt consolidation, this is a profitable idea that you may want to consider.  However, investigate the company you are working with thoroughly.  The mission of a debt relief agency is to refinance a loan while negotiating with creditors for a lower payoff.  This way, they can consolidate all of the consumer’s bills into one convenient payment.  Without refinancing, this option is useless.  You can try negotiating with creditors on your own.  All that a debt relief company or credit score repair attorney can do, short of taking on your debt, is inform you of any illegal items listed on your credit report.

Some creditors may be willing to reason.  Creditors have been known to drop a consumer’s dated charges just to keep the customer happy.  If you are in major debt, then this may not be an option for you.  However, you can pursue credit improvement by negotiating terms with your creditors as to how much you can send. 

What about the matter of credit disputes?  This is definitely an area of credit improvement that needs attention.  You can contact the creditor directly or the credit bureau for more information.  You will be required to dispute the charges in writing and give the bureau about a month or so to respond.  As per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the bureaus are required to investigate your dispute claim at no charge to you.  Know that the same act also made it illegal for consumers to take advantage of this system and dispute a charge that is obviously valid. 

Credit improvement is an investment that pays off.  Your negative items are stored for seven years (or ten for bankruptcy) and then wiped clean.  If you make an effort to pay off your most important bills one at a time, you will be returned to a clean slate and be respected by all major credit companies.  This will mean better terms, with lower interest rates, more generous time frames and lower monthly prices.  Having good credit saves you money!

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Bad Credit, Why Improve Credit? 2008-10-04T14:47:21+00:00
Debt Collector Tactics—What to Expect (Dealing With Debt Collectors Tip #2) http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/credit-tips/debt-collector-tactics-what-to-expect-dealing-with-debt-collectors-tip-2/ http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/credit-tips/debt-collector-tactics-what-to-expect-dealing-with-debt-collectors-tip-2/#When:23:18:09Z This is the second in a series of tips about dealing with debt collectors.  In this tip, learn some of the strategies that collection agents use to harass you and to try to get you to agree to a debt settlement.

Are you getting hounded by one or more collection agencies?  It’s stressful, and makes you want to disconnect your phone.  But take a second, and put yourself in the debt collector’s shoes…

Collection agencies hire normal people to do a job.  Their job is very difficult—they need to call people and try to get them to repay their debts (or alleged debts).  To get people to do this kind of job, many collection agencies pay their agents on a commission basis.  The agents get paid more when they collect more. 

If you were paid on this basis, wouldn’t you be motivated to collect more debts?  Maybe even be a bit aggressive and intimidating?  Yep, you probably would, if you were in their shoes.

So let’s think about the different strategies that a collector may use on you.  First, they may try the typical approach of bullying, intimidating, and threatening.  If you end up dealing with this type of collector, get a thick skin, and just listen patiently (and take notes of the collection call, as we mentioned in Tip #1) and don’t be intimidated.  Don’t let their threats of wage garnishment, lawsuits or jail get to you—they can’t use these tactics, and threatening to do so may be illegal in your State. 

Or, you may get a second type of collector—one that understands that a little honey catches more bees.  These collectors come across as being very empathetic, possibly even faking sympathy to get you to think they are on your side.  With these type of collectors, you need to remember who you are dealing with—someone who is trying to get the most money out of you as possible.  Sure, the sympathy may feel good, and they may sound like your friend, but their interests are complete different than yours.  Again, keep control of the situation by listening patiently, and keeping detailed notes.  Make your decision of what to do after you get off the phone, not while you are speaking to the agent.

Good luck, and keep checking back here for more tips and advice on how to deal with debt collectors, as well as other tips on dealing with bad credit.  Remember, everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits of good credit.

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Bad Credit, Credit Tips 2008-09-26T23:18:09+00:00
Debt Collectors Harrassing You?  Dealing With Debt Collectors Tip #1 http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/credit-tips/debt-collectors-harrassing-you-dealing-with-debt-collectors-tip-1/ http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/credit-tips/debt-collectors-harrassing-you-dealing-with-debt-collectors-tip-1/#When:23:06:02Z Folks who are in debt and who have bad credit usually end up having to deal with debt collectors.  If you’ve dealt with a debt collection agency, you know this: it is stressful.  Debt collectors are trained to be aggressive and tenacious.  They are like pit bulls… but not as friendly.  This is the first in a series of tips on how to deal with debt collectors.

When dealing with debt collectors, one of the first things you need to do is to keep notes.  Keep track of all of the conversations you have with a debt collector.  If you get a phone call, write it down.  Keep track of the time of day, the date, the debt collection agency name, and the name of the person who you spoke with.  Keep track of what was discussed, and what type of threats were made, as well as the nature of the alleged debt owed.

By keeping track of all interactions, you will set yourself up to file a better complaint against the collection agency if you need to in the future. It also helps you feel more in control of the situation, as it will force you to calmly take note of the entire communication.  Don’t let the collection agency bully you.  Sure, if you legitimately owe the debt, you need to figure out a way to resolve it—but you don’t need to be harassed or even threatened.

If you are harassed or threatened, by keeping track of the communications, you will be in a better position to talk to a lawyer when you need to.

Check back at CreditScoreAide for more credit tips and tips on dealing with debt collectors.

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Bad Credit, Credit Tips 2008-09-26T23:06:02+00:00
Looking for a New Credit Card? Scores are Important http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/bad-credit-credit-cards/looking-for-a-new-credit-card-scores-are-important/ http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/bad-credit-credit-cards/looking-for-a-new-credit-card-scores-are-important/#When:23:15:39Z Are you looking for a new credit card?  Whether this is your first credit card, a new credit card after so many years, or just another one of the collection, you are probably looking forward to this new level of financial freedom.  Most stores and restaurants accept credit cards with no questions asked.  Just beware that this temporary financial freedom doesn’t become a restricting debt over time!

Before you fill out your application there are a few things you should know.  Your ability to get credit will depend on your credit card score (or, more accurately, your “credit score”).  All of your financial history is stored by the creditors you work with and are reported to credit bureaus.  Your borrowing history will let retail companies know how reliable you are in paying back a loan on time.  Along with detailed histories, the retail company will also review your credit card score.  This score may also be known as a FICO score or may be an independent score as created by the credit bureaus.  The credit card score is a numerical expression representing your “creditworthiness.”

Banks and credit companies are the ones that you will be working with in order to receive and use a new credit card.  These institutions pay close attention to the credit card score.  If your credit is low, about the range of 300-600, then they will be careful about lending credit to you.  Lenders may impose credit limits, higher interest rates or deny an application altogether because of poor credit.  600-850 is considered average to very good credit, and may open up many more possibilities.  In business, having no credit card credit score at all is just the same as having poor credit.  Therefore, expect your first credit card to be limited in spending limit, unless of course you have other satisfied creditors in your past.  Mobile phone companies, utilities, banks and other commercial lenders could count as creditors. 

If you are interested in applying for a new credit card it is wise to check your credit rating and score online before starting the process.  That way you will see the same information that your potential lenders are going to review.  Having done so, you may want to report any disputes to the credit bureaus or pay off any outstanding balances.  You can look at your credit report for free when you search online.  This is a provision guaranteed by the Federal Trade Commission under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 

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Bad Credit, Bad Credit Credit Cards 2008-09-24T23:15:39+00:00
Considering a Reverse Mortgage? Here are a Few Things to Consider http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/bad-credit-loans/considering-a-reverse-mortgage-here-are-a-few-things-to-consider/ http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/bad-credit-loans/considering-a-reverse-mortgage-here-are-a-few-things-to-consider/#When:19:35:41Z Seniors who have bad credit, and who own a home may be able to get cash by taking out a reverse mortgage.  If you are considering a reverse mortgage, here are a few things you need to consider.  Make sure to read this article before borrowing.

Reverse mortgages are more expensive and complex than regular loan (such as a home equity loan or other “standard” loan). Before you apply for a reverse mortgage, you need to know a few things.

Reverse mortgages can be expensive

Reverse mortgages have lots of fees, just for the application and approval process.  You may even need to pay some of these fees in cash (upfront).  Make sure to find out if your lender will let you pay some (or all) of the fees as part of the loan balance.  Also, be aware that interest, insurance and service charges will be added monthly to the loan balance. This raises the amount you need to pay the lender.

Evaluate your options before borrowing 
Make sure to consider all your options before signing the loan agreement for a reverse mortgage.  Do you have any options?  Are there any cheaper ways to get the money you need?  Can you take on a part time job?  Can you reduce your expenses?  Can you qualify for a home equity loan?  Check all the options.  If the answer is “no”, then a reverse mortgage is probably a great option for you.

Make sure the loan amount is big enough for your future needs

Read the loan agreement carefully to see exactly what you will receive.  Will it be enough for your full retirement expenses, or will you run out of money again in a few years?    And remember to factor in property taxes and insurance—with a reverse mortgage, you are still responsible for paying property taxes, insurances and maintenance of the home. 

Did you plan on leaving your home to your kids?

A reverse mortgage may not be right for you if you want to leave your home, free and clear, to your children or others who will inherit from you. Your relatives will not be able to inherit from you unless they pay off the loan after you have passed away.
 
Finally, watch out for scams!

Watch out for reverse mortgage scams.  Some senior homeowners have been contacted by firms offering to assist them in finding a lender that does reverse mortgages, in exchange for a “small percentage” of the loan. You don’t need their help.  You can get the information directly (and for free) from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by calling toll-free, 1-888-466-3487.  Don’t pay for something you can get for free!

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Bad Credit, Bad Credit Loans 2008-09-11T19:35:41+00:00
How is Your Credit Reputation? http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/understanding-credit/how-is-your-credit-reputation/ http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/understanding-credit/how-is-your-credit-reputation/#When:13:14:40Z If you are like most people, your personal reputation is important to you.  Maybe you want people to think of you as honest, or reliable.  Or maybe you have worked on creating a reputation of being fearless or smart.  How do you develop these reputations?  You do it through your actions.  You can’t just tell your friends: “I’m reliable”. You may have a great personal reputation, but how is your credit reputation?

If you are like most people, your personal reputation is important to you.  Maybe you want people to think of you as honest, or reliable.  Or maybe you have worked on creating a reputation of being fearless or smart.  How do you develop these reputations?  You do it through your actions.  You can’t just tell your friends: “I’m reliable”.  You need to do things – like show up on time, help friends when they are in a bind… Your actions cause people to view you in a certain way. 

Well, like it or not, you also have a credit reputation.  And your reputation is based on your actions (otherwise known as your “credit history”).
People who have a good credit reputation have access to credit.  That is, bankers and other companies will happily do business with folks with a good credit reputation, whether it is by giving a loan with good interest rates, providing lower insurance rates, or renting a house or apartment.
Your credit reputation is known as your “credit history”.  You (and potential lenders and other businesses you want to get services from) can see your credit history by getting a “credit report” from one of the major credit bureaus.

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Bad Credit, Understanding Credit 2008-09-04T13:14:40+00:00
Let’s Face It: Bad Credit Is Expensive! http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/why-improve-credit/lets-face-it-bad-credit-is-expensive1/ http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/why-improve-credit/lets-face-it-bad-credit-is-expensive1/#When:13:07:47Z Having bad credit is difficult as it is.  Unfortunately, having bad credit makes life more expensive.  When you have a poor credit score, lots of things are more expensive.  Learn why it is so important to improve your credit score.

Remember how everyone used to worry about your grades in school? (or maybe you are still in school, and are worrying about them right now!).  There was lots of pressure to get good grades so you could enjoy whatever objective you were shooting for…  Maybe you were hoping to graduate, or make the honor roll, or get into college, or get a scholarship, or get a great job.  At some point in your life, you were measured based on how well you did in school.

Well, here’s the bad news: You are not done being scored or graded. 

Now, your credit behavior is being scored, and the stakes may even be higher than when you were watching your grade point average in school.  As we will discuss further below, the difference between a good credit score and a bad credit score is worth tens of thousands of dollars to you.  Sure, when you were in school, the difference between an “F” and a “B” or an “A” was pretty important… but it didn’t directly affect how much money was in your bank account each month. (unless maybe your dad paid you to get “A’s”… ours sure didn’t!)

Here at CreditScoreAide we want to help everyone get a great credit score, and enjoy the amazing financial benefits that come with having a great credit score.

The truth is that life is expensive, and unless you are Bill Gates (or maybe a Google billionaire), you will have to borrow money to pay for large expenses such as buying a home and car. Even if you wish to live simply, a good credit rating can help you live a better and cheaper life. How so?
Yeah, yeah, there are the obvious reasons why good credit is important.  Good credit enables you to buy a house.  Get a car. Take a vacation. Pay for school. Cover medical expenses. Sometimes you need credit to pay for food and clothing for your family when times are tough.  Good credit makes borrowing money cheaper and easier.

But here’s something you may not know – good credit also helps you get better (and cheaper) car insurance.  It helps you qualify for a new job.  It let’s you hook up your cable and mobile phone service without paying an extra “bad credit” deposit.  That’s right – even though you aren’t “borrowing money” for these things, your credit directly impacts the price (and availability) of these items.

Life without good credit is just hard. But it doesn’t have to be hard. That’s why we’ve created this website—to help you improve your credit and your ability to provide for your family.

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Bad Credit, Why Improve Credit? 2008-09-04T13:07:47+00:00
Let’s Face It: Bad Credit Is Expensive! http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/understanding-credit/lets-face-it-bad-credit-is-expensive/ http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/understanding-credit/lets-face-it-bad-credit-is-expensive/#When:09:47:47Z Your credit score can cost you millions over your life (or it can save you millions).  Learn the difference between a bad credit score and a good credit score, and why you should spend a little time making sure you have a good one.

Remember how everyone used to worry about your grades in school? (or maybe you are still in school, and are worrying about them right now!).  There was lots of pressure to get good grades so you could enjoy whatever objective you were shooting for…  Maybe you were hoping to graduate, or make the honor roll, or get into college, or get a scholarship, or get a great job.  At some point in your life, you were measured based on how well you did in school.

Well, here’s the bad news: You are not done being scored or graded. 

Now, your credit behavior is being scored, and the stakes may even be higher than when you were watching your grade point average in school.  As we will discuss further below, the difference between a good credit score and a bad credit score is worth tens of thousands of dollars to you.  Sure, when you were in school, the difference between an “F” and a “B” or an “A” was pretty important… but it didn’t directly affect how much money was in your bank account each month. (unless maybe your dad paid you to get “A’s”… ours sure didn’t!)

At CreditScoreAide.com, we want to help everyone get a great credit score, and enjoy the amazing financial benefits that come with having a great credit score.

The truth is that life is expensive, and unless you are Bill Gates (or maybe a Google billionaire), you will have to borrow money to pay for large expenses such as buying a home and car. Even if you wish to live simply, a good credit rating can help you live a better and cheaper life.

How so?

First, let’s look at the obvious reasons. A high credit score means that you will be approved more readily for loans. This means that you can buy a nice home, buy a couple of expensive toys and go on vacation every once in a while. Living paycheck to paycheck without the occasional boost of credit can be drudgery. You will be forced to rent, drive unreliable cars and struggle with the fact that you cannot do more to provide for your family.

And talking about school again, what if you want to go back to school to improve your chances at a better job?  Did you ever consider that your chances of going back to school are affected by having a good credit score?  A good credit score will let you get cheaper financial aide. 

And how could you possibly find the time to go school when you work at a full-time job that doesn’t pay the bills? If you’ve ever had to choose between turning down overtime and buying groceries, you know what I’m talking about.

Life without good credit is just hard. But it doesn’t have to be hard. That’s why we’ve created this website, to help you improve your credit and your ability to provide for your family.

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Bad Credit, Understanding Credit 2008-08-19T09:47:47+00:00
Have Bad Credit? Approval For Loans Can Be Difficult http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/bad-credit-loans/have-bad-credit-approval-for-loans-can-be-difficult/ http://creditscoretry.us/bad-credit/bad-credit-loans/have-bad-credit-approval-for-loans-can-be-difficult/#When:00:15:39Z Have bad credit? As you know, your life can change when you have bad credit.  You may be denied housing, an apartment or the car that you really want.  You may still be able to get the basic necessities of life, but you will notice a change in the quality of your life.  You will also be disqualified from owning credit cards or qualifying for business loans.  Some people in debt have even been denied a bank account!  What is involved at the heart of a bad credit approval loan? 

Your life can change when you have bad credit.  You may be denied housing, an apartment or the car that you really want.  You may still be able to get the basic necessities of life, but you will notice a change in the quality of your life.  You will also be disqualified from owning credit cards or qualifying for business loans.  Some people in debt have even been denied a bank account!  What is involved at the heart of a bad credit approval loan? 

Bad credit comes from a negative score on a credit report, which summarizes all of the recorded history of a consumer’s spending habits.  Some of the factors that will lower a credit rating include: the payment record and any notices of late payments; the control of debt, which refers to borrowers living beyond their means; signs of poor stability as regards home and employment; maximizing the credit limit; and even a lack of credit or closed accounts.  All of these factors contribute to a bad credit score, usually hovering from 300-550 on the FICO score range.

If you are placed in an “adverse credit” category then you will not be able to qualify for traditional loans, even with collateral to offer up front.  This is not to state that you will have no options—there will still be plenty of options available, and you may actually encounter the term “bad credit approval loan” from these alternative lending companies.  What is the difference between traditional loans and bad credit approval loans?  The latter is taking a greater chance on its consumers, so in order to make money they will raise interest rates and enforce stricter finance terms.  Some of these companies have been described as predatory lenders. 

This does not mean that all bad credit approval loans are scams; in fact, the majority that you see advertised online are not dishonest.  They are merely lending companies that offer less than average rates to high-risk consumers.  What many consumers have found, however, is that by fixing their credit, they are able to qualify for traditional loans and receive much more favorable terms.  If this sounds reasonable to you then start the process by ordering a free credit report online and then taking steps to pay off your debt.  A bad credit loan approval may sound like a good opportunity, but its terms may be unreasonable compared to what most consumers pay.  The financial freedom and good name that a clean credit record gives you will be well worth the effort.

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Bad Credit, Bad Credit Loans 2008-08-14T00:15:39+00:00