The Best Ways To Reduce and Eliminate Personal Debt
Are you struggling with personal debt. Then, please read this article to find the best ways to reduce and eliminate personal debt.
As you know, debt can be tough to deal with on a daily basis. However, there are resources to help you manage your debt.
What are the different sources of debt?
How Debt Arises
You must know where your debt is coming from, and if are paying it off. You may be paying off a student loan, a mortgage, credit card debt, or paying off your automobile note. It could also be some medical bills, or a gambling addiction.
Also, poor money management, a reduction in your salary or even a costly divorce, can contribute to your debt. As you know, it is important to pay back what you borrow, and it is also imperative to make right decisions to ensure your financial well-being.
You must be aware of the negative side effects of being in debt to understand the potential risks. These negative effects include:
· Wage reduction. Your lender may look to have your wages held back, in order for you to start paying back what you owe. Essentially, money will come out directly from your paycheck every month.
· Eviction. If you can’t afford to pay your rent on time every month, your landlord may need to evict you.
· Foreclosure. If you are unable to pay your bills, you may lose your home. Try to avoid this at all costs.
· Rash decisions. Money problems can have negative consequences and even cause even worse problems for you financially. People in desperate situations, unfortunately make rash decisions in an attempt to win/receive money for something that is potentially a high risk action, like gambling. Side effects are not limited to these examples, although they are the most common ones you should beware of today.
Debt Relief Options
The good news is, help is out there. There are many resources you reach out too. Various resources from debt consolidation programes to strategies, uniquely designed for your situation and to help you out. Many companies will recognize that everyone’s situation is different, and that is why they will offer multiple debt relief options. These include:
· Minimum Payments. You make payments to pay off your debt, however you may pay 2-3 times what you originally owed.
· Credit Card Modification. Have someone step in and work on behalf, to negotiate a settlement due to your hardship.
· Credit Counseling. Financial tools to help with budgeting, includes one monthly debt payment.
· Bankruptcy. This remove all your debt relief. But this can destroy your credit rating and your ability to take out a personal loan.
· Debt Negotiation Strategies. Professional negotiators work on your behalf to reduce the amount of debt you owe. In many cases, up to 50% of it will be reduced.
I have been a accountant for over 40 years. Based on my experience with helping numerous clients of mine, I highly recommend
American Debt Enders. Check them out to see if they fit your own needs.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles
As if being in debt isn’t bad enough — then add aggressive debt collectors to the equation, and that can be a pretty scary situation for anyone.
And if it’s happened to you, you aren’t alone.
New report sheds light on ‘abusive’ debt collection industry
According to the report, consumers are not only getting calls way too often, but they also come at odd hours of the day and often involve threats of jail time and other potential consequences of not cooperating with the caller. On top of that, many consumers were contacted about debts they didn’t even owe — and when they asked the collectors to stop calling, that didn’t happen.
The discoveries made in the new report were drawn from the first-ever national survey of consumer experiences with debt collectors — which found that about one-third of consumers, or more than 70 million Americans, were contacted by a creditor or debt collector in the past 12 months.
People are most often contacted about medical and credit card debt, and the CFPB receives more complaints about debt collection than any other financial product or service.
And according to CFPB Director Rich Cordray, what the group found “casts light on troubling problems in the debt collection industry.”
The group also said it is “working to clean up abuses in this industry, and to see that all consumers are treated with fairness, decency, and respect.”
How to protect yourself from abusive debt collectors
Know your protections
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you.
Every collector must also send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much you owe within the first five days after contacting you.
The debt validation letter includes:
- The amount owed.
- The name of the creditor seeking payment.
- A statement that the debt is assumed valid by the collector unless you dispute it within 30 days of first contact.
- A statement that if you write to dispute the debt or request more information within 30 days, the debt collector will verify the debt by mail.
- A statement that if you request information about the original creditor within 30 days, the collector must provide it.
Know your rights
According to the FTC, there are specific guidelines regarding how debt collectors can contact you:
- A debt collector may not contact you at inconvenient times or places, such as before 8 in the morning or after 9 at night, unless you agree to it. And collectors may not contact you at work if they’re told (orally or in writing) that you’re not allowed to get calls there.
- Debt collectors can contact you by phone, letter, email or text message to collect a debt, as long as they follow the rules and disclose that they are debt collectors. No matter how they communicate with you, it’s against the law for a debt collector to pretend to be someone else — like an attorney or government agency — or to harass, threaten or deceive you.
There are also rules concerning practices that are strictly “off limits” for debt collectors under the law:
- Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact. For example, they may not:
- use threats of violence or harm;
- publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts (but they can give this information to the credit reporting companies);
- use obscene or profane language; or
- repeatedly use the phone to annoy someone.
- Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they may not:
- falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives;
- falsely claim that you have committed a crime;
- falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit reporting company;
- misrepresent the amount you owe;
- indicate that papers they send you are legal forms if they aren’t; or
- indicate that papers they send to you aren’t legal forms if they are.
Actions you can take
If you do not want a collector contacting you again, you have the right to send what’s called a drop dead letter. This letter will prevent the collector from contacting you again about a debt. Collectors can’t call at work once you say they can’t. (Though you can still be sued against a debt you legitimately owe.)
Remember this: If a collector is harassing you, you can shut down their harassment by certified mail using the drop dead letter. Mainly they want to create intimidation and fear, and if it happens to you, you can report them immediately to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau using this complaint form.
Things to keep in mind when dealing with debt collectors
If you legitimately owe a debt, you have specific rights under federal law. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when dealing with collectors:
- Always record any calls from/to a collector. Both parties must consent to recording in California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
- If your debt is outside the statute of limitations, you are not required to pay up. However, you should honor your obligations when you’re financially able to do so. The statute of limitations is 3 to 4 years on many debts in most states. Yet a negative mark resulting from a delinquent account can hang out on your credit for up to 7 years.
- You have the right to tell a collector never to contact you again. Use a drop dead letter and send it via certified mail. You can still, however, be sued against the debt even after sending this letter.
- If you legitimately owe money and wish to make a deal to pay, never give a collector your checking account number over the phone. Collectors routinely take more money than they say they’ll take. Pay only by money order.
- Never pay one cent until you have an agreement in writing stating your payment(s) will resolve the debt in full.
Bad credit or too much debt can you a feeling of hopelessness? Even though you might be in a bad financial state today, there are ways you can reverse your situation and get back on your feet. Remember, that many people go through tough financial times. Losing a job, getting a divorce or other personal problems can cause a financial setback. But just because you are discouraged and overwhelmed with what’s going on doesn’t mean you should give up! I’m going to show you the best ways to repair, rebuild, and protect your credit.
Remember, you not going to fix your credit in just one day. In fact, using a well-reviewed credit repair company like CreditRepair.com may require several months or even a year to see major improvements. However, you can protect your credit while working to repair it, and consolidate you debt too with a reliable company like Cure-A-Debt by following these best ways.
1. Don’t Miss Any Monthly Payments
Very important. If your credit score is already bad, you can’t afford to miss additional monthly payments. Timely payments make up 35% of your credit score. So even if you have a lot of debt, you can maintain fair or good credit just by paying bills on time every month. This includes credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, student loans and any other loan you might have. With each timely payment, your creditor sends positive activity to the credit bureaus, and it’s this activity that helps repair a low score.
There are several tricks to ensure you never miss a payment. Set up a reminder or pay bills within one or two days of getting the statement. You can submit a payment up to a certain time on the due date without penalty. Some people have had good success with automatic bill pay. You can set up automatic payments between your bank and creditors, and this amount is automatically drafted from your bank account every month. this is what I recommend to my clients.
2. Order Your Credit Reports
Ordering your credit report is the only way to get a clear picture of your credit history. Your credit report includes information about all your accounts, including the dates you opened these accounts, the amounts you owe and whether accounts are in good standing. Also, if there are errors on your report, or evidence of fraud, you can identify these problems early and take steps to remove negative information from your credit report. Errors on your credit report can do significant damage, and until you correct these issues, it might be difficult to get a loan or credit card, or you might qualify for higher rates.
Order your free credit report from CreditSesame at least once a year, or contact the bureaus directly. Review the reports and dispute any unfamiliar activity. Also, you can freeze your credit to prevent identity theft and fraud. This restricts access to your credit reports, making it impossible for thieves to open accounts in your name.
3. Don’t Apply for New Credit
If you’re already struggling with debt, do not apply for new credit or any loans. Not only will this add to your monthly expenses, which can create additional hardship, each credit card or loan application submitted creates a new inquiry on your credit report. Too many inquiries can damage your credit and knock additional points off your score – as much as 2 to 5 points per inquiry. Use cash and only apply for credit when absolutely necessary.
4. Don’t Co-sign for Anyone
Never cosign a loan for anyone. If you have okay credit, but too much debt, co-signing a loan adds additional debt under your name. Although you’re not the primary account holder, you will have a measure a responsibility for this debt. If the primary account holder doesn’t pay, the lender will contact you for repayment. This account will also appear on your credit history. Understandably, you may want to help a friend or relative get credit. But at a time like this, you need to be more focused and concerned with repairing your own credit.
5. Use Credit Repair Services
Even if you dispute a negative item on your credit report, there’s no guarantee the credit bureaus will delete this information in a timely manner. Sometimes, you need professional assistance. A credit repair company can work on your behalf to remove legitimate errors from your credit file. Different types of errors can appear on your report. For example, some negative items should automatically fall off your report after seven years. But in some instances, this information remains longer. Working with a credit repair company can speed the removal of these items, plus help with the removal of other erroneous information, such as late payments, collection accounts, etc.
6. Don’t Give Anyone Your Credit Card Information
As you repair your credit, must keep your credit card information safe. If your personal data falls into the wrong hands, a dishonest person can do further damage to your credit score. Learn how to recognize phishing techniques, which is when someone sends an email asking for your credit card number and expiration date. Understand that your credit card company – or any company for that matter – will never request this information through email. Also, you can sign up for credit monitoring services like Identity Force to receive alerts anytime someone attempts to open an account in your name. Additionally, monitor your accounts on a daily basis to check for fraudulent activity.
The consequences of a low credit score and too much debt can be long-term. It’s harder to buy a house and car, and a bad credit rating can result in higher insurance premiums and stop certain job opportunities. Recognizing a problem is the first step to recovery. You won’t see dramatic improvements within the first couple of weeks or months, but if you continue to progress, you’ll eventually achieve a top-rated score.
Do you have poor credit that needs improving? Get your free credit score now!
What is Fast Credit Repair?
Find Out Why You Should Always Beware of Fast Credit Repair. How fast is fast? According to a recent poll performed by the Associated Press, Americans do not like to wait for anything. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the consumer should be skeptic of any credit report repair services which offer fast credit repair.
Most credit report repair services offer to assist individuals in getting certain information removed from the files maintained at the various credit bureaus. Consumers are allowed to dispute information that they believe is inaccurate. The credit bureaus are allowed to take 30 days to investigate. Ideally “fast credit repair” would take at least 30 days plus the amount of time it takes to send the letter and get a corrected report. So, be very skeptic of credit report repair services which advertise that they “may” be able to improve your credit score in less than 30 days.
American’s distaste for waiting is what created the interest in credit report repair services in the first place. People who are patient would simply wait for negative items to be removed from their credit reports. But, anyone who cannot wait in line for 15 minutes without becoming angry is not going to be happy waiting five to seven years for an item to be removed from their credit history. So, anyone with a less than perfect credit score seeks fast credit repair.
No credit report repair services can guarantee results in a specific amount of time. No reputable credit report repair services make such claims. If they have been in business for quite some time, they may be able to provide examples of what they have been able to accomplish for other people. No company can honestly promise fast credit repair to everyone. Therefore, always beware of fast credit repair.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, credit report repair takes time and patience. This is true if all the information included on your credit report is correct. A quick look at your credit reports will help you determine if any of the credit report repair services can help you. If credit report repair services suggest “file segregation”, changing social security numbers, using or changing employer idea numbers, then you have selected fast credit repair that is illegal. Legal credit report repair services simply correct information, at your request, that is misleading, inaccurate, unverifiable or incorrect. Making false statements on a credit application is illegal.
Legal credit report repair is simple. You can do it on your own if you have the patience, but as we know, most Americans do not have the patience. If you do choose to get help from one of the many credit report repair services, choose one that is reputable and has been in business for many years. When you’re dealing with something as important as your credit, you don’t just want someone good on your side. You want the best. That’s what CreditRepair.com offers. It’s a process that has been developed, refined and proven over many years and thousands of customers. It’s people who are not only experts in the credit repair field but also experts at helping individuals meet their credit goals. I highly recommend them. And please let me know how your experience was with them.
Find Out Why You Should Always Beware of Fast Credit Repair
Get The Best Pointers And Tips For Marketing Your Financial Services Business Here
It may take upwards of a few months to get your first paying customers, so stay patient if your web financial consulting business is new. Financial services business owners must dedicate enormous amounts of effort to growing their financial services consulting company and work diligently toward its success. Patience is the essential element to building a successful company; focus on your long-term goals and give your business an opportunity to grow. Do not let inattention to growth opportunities derail your business strategy.
It takes specific skills to be successful in the world of financial consulting business, and most experts believe that the best way to acquire them is by personal experience. Being well-versed in the business world requires actually participating in the day to day operations in order to truly learn what it means to be a businessman. Everything you pick up along the way will certainly help you establish yourself as a great professional. By gaining workplace experience, you’ll develop skills that may take your business management abilities to the next level, while business books certainly are a more detached method of learning that doesn’t necessarily provide a solid education.
A following of faithful customers is exactly what every successful financial consulting business needs to have. Multi-generational businesses cater to their customers and treat them like family; that is really the secret to their success. Effective businesses will do whatever it takes to protect and develop their online reputation at every chance. In order to minimize the negative impact of a low review on your business, there are a number of online character management tools available for access.
If you do want to apply for a consolidation loan and still think you can qualify for a personal loan, here’s a list of your best options for applying for a consolidation loan.
Here are the best options to consider:
- Your existing bank or credit union is the first place you can start. If you feel like you have a good relationship with them, and you think they might be willing to overlook your recent credit history, then give it a shot.
- Next, you have the companies specialize in bad credit debt consolidation. A company like CurADebt. A whole host of online lenders claim to offer these types of loans. This is the company that I recommend. See if they fit your personal needs.
- Peer lending networks like PersonalLoans.com are yet another option at your disposal. This is where you attempt to get a loan from your fellow Americans. You sign up for the service and post what your loan needs are. Everyday Americans will decide if they want to risk their money by lending it to you. But keep in mind that they will also have access to your credit score. Check them out.
- Equity Loans are a solution you can look at if you currently own a home and have enough equity in it to ask for this loan type. Keep in mind that this is the riskiest option available to you because you can lose your home if you’re unable to pay the loan back. Only use this option if none mentioned in this article are available.
- Get a loan from someone you know through a peer-to-peer lending site. If you know of a family member or friend who might be willing to lend you all or some of the money you need, then this might be a good option.
The person giving you the money will want some type of contract, so if you both sign up with a peer lending network, all of the legal stuff is mostly taken care of for you. The peer lending network’s site serves as a legally binding agreement.
Lastly, you can try calling all of the companies you owe money to and negotiate with them yourself. However, this can be difficult to do if you’re not comfortable as a negotiator. Educate yourself first about how to approach your companies.
Now is the time to Put the Car In Drive and Get Going…
Whether you decide to use the solutions listed on this page, or some other strategy, taking action is usually the most difficult part. The longer you put it off, and the longer you procrastinate, the more debt you are going to accumulate. It only gets worse.
Months from now you could still be struggling – and worrying – and wishing you had taken action today. Or you could be enjoying a better, happier life… a life you promised you’d give yourself and your family.
Reducing your debt and strengthening your finances may seem hard now, but once you get serious and take steps to actually start the process, it will get easier and easier.
As you put the wheels in motion, day-by-day you start feeling more and more confident.
So get going now, and try these Best Options for Applying for a Consolidation Loan. Best of luck in your journey back to financial freedom.
Understanding Your Credit Score and Obtaining Your Credit Report
A credit score is an important part of your credit history and overall is essential for many purchases, loans and other important financial decisions or transactions. It can help determine a lot of things, such as interest rates that you’ll receive. That’s why understanding your credit score and obtaining your credit report is so important.
Wondering how to obtain a credit report and what your credit score really is?
Check out these tips and advice:
1. Your credit score is based on five different and important categories. These include different types of credit (mix it up), new accounts and credit requests, records of paying bills on time or not, total indebtedness, and the time frame of your credit history. The better you are in each category, the better your total credit score will be.
2. There are different ranges in credit scores, and these ranges will help you know if your score is excellent, good, fair or bad. The best score you can get is around 760-850. The lowest you can get is 300-549. Lenders use your FICO credit score to determine if they’re willing to give you credit. The median and average score is typically 699-720, and the “risks” are usually 600 and below.
3. There are many different ways of improving your score. You can do this by improving your payment history, meaning paying your bills on time and paying off any missing payments. Try to keep your balances low, pay off your debts and do not close unused credit cards. Also, check your credit report often, and manage your credit card with responsibility. You can get your free credit report from Creditsesame.com
4. There are a few other things that can possibly hurt your credit score. This includes any unpaid medical bills or parking tickets that you may have received. Heavy use of credit can also lower your score, and if you sign up for a department store card in order to get a discount your score will possibly drop as well.
5. A good mix of different types of credit (revolving accounts like credit cards as well as installment accounts, like mortgages, student loans, or car loans). Keep your credit utilization on revolving accounts low (no more than 30% of your total credit limit, but ideally under 10%).
6. The older the accounts, the better! If you have an old credit card you hate, don’t cancel it. Keep it open and use it occasionally since that account may be helpful for your score given its age.
For some people, having a good credit score may be hard to understand . But if you are trying to qualify for a loan, get a job and save some money in the long run, a good credit score is essential. A bad score can prevent you from purchasing things like a home or a vehicle, and overall makes life much more stressful.
Understanding your credit score is as simple as knowing the different ranges, what is good and what is bad, and where your score falls on the chart. Be sure to check your credit report and score often and work on improving it each chance you get.
Go to CreditSesame today!
Debt Consolidation Loans a Better Idea Than Home Refinancing
Debt Consolidation Loans offer a host of benefits over Home Refinancing, including lower interest rates, and making your financial status more secure.
(Newswire.net — July 11, 2016) — When it comes to consolidating debt, there are quite a few options that people can choose from today in order to get their finances back in order. Those who are dealing with out-of-control mortgage debt, in particular, may be tempted to pursue a home refinancing plan that will make it easier to make their monthly payments. However, it turns out that debt consolidation loans are actually a better option than home refinancing. Continue reading to learn why.
The Benefits of Getting Debt Consolidation Loans
Those who apply for debt consolidation loans can expect to receive a host of benefits. These include a lower interest rate, particularly if you have a good credit score and credit history. You can also take advantage of the fact that you’ve been smart with your money and the fact that you don’t have credit card debt in order to get a great rate on your debt consolidation loan so that you can afford the repayments, especially if you opt for secured loans. Ultimately, this means that your monthly payments will be lower and, therefore, a lot more affordable than they are now, and that will lower the financial burden that you face each month substantially.
The Additional Costs That Are Associated with Home Refinancing
Even though home refinancing may seem like a tempting and smart option that can help you better manage your existing debt, the truth is that there are several problems associated with it. First off, the cost of home refinancing could actually end up offsetting any savings that you would receive from a lowered monthly payment with a new loan. Also, fees could be in the thousands, and that does not even include private mortgage insurance, loan discount points, and the loan origination fee, which could be up to 1.5 per cent of your loan principal. So when searching for a home refinancing plan, homeowners need to be diligent with reading the fine print.
It Is Harder Than Ever to Get Home Refinancing
Ever since the housing crash, banks and lenders are being much more selective when it comes to allowing people to refinance their homes. Individuals who have average credit could begin a refinancing process and then end up being rejected, or they could end up paying a higher rate once the bank or lender ends up checking credit scores. In fact, many people simply will not qualify for the lowest interest rates that are advertised because you often need a credit score of at least 720 or more to qualify. Therefore, individuals who have been rejected for home refinancing may be able to find new hope by opting for a debt consolidation loan instead.
As you can see, there are many things that you need to consider when it comes to lowering your debt, and one of the best ways to make your financial status more secure is by opting for a debt consolidation loan instead of opting for home refinancing. As more people find it difficult to afford their monthly payments, debt consolidation is a solution that is clearly a viable option. Please visit National Debt Relief now for more information.
If you have any questions about Debt Consolidation Loans a Better Idea Than Home Refinancing, please do not hesitate to contact me.
How to Fix Your Bad Credit Score Quickly. Having a good credit score is more difficult today than it is to keep the economy’s inflation rates low, and that is because there are innumerable new debt generating options available to people now. Yet, having good scores is absolutely essential if you are to take on any more debt in the future at reasonably competitive rates. Bad scores only mean refused loan applications, for either they refuse you for being a high credit risk, or you refuse them for quoting horrendous interest rates. If you wish to spare yourself all that, here are a few steps on how to fix your bad credit score quickly.
The Need for Good Credit Scores
Good scores make you eligible for loans, like car loans or home loans, but they also give you better interest rates, as you pose of lesser risk to the lenders. Apart from this, the bonus is that, as they are a reflection of how you handle financial responsibility. They increase your probability of getting good jobs. Many companies today check applicants’ credit histories to gauge whether the candidates are responsible enough. To be on the ‘A-class’ list, all you need to know are a few repair tricks.
Ways to Fix Bad Credit Fast
Do not expect overnight results, and if anyone is promising them to you, you should know that they are lying. Just follow some of the steps given below.
Lower your debts. Paying off your loan installments does not work as fast on your score, as paying off revolving accounts does. So, you must shell out some money, and pay down your debt. Ideally, if you keep your debts below 30% of your limits, you will doing your scores a world of good.
Start up a Budget. Disciplining yourself where spending is concerned, and curbing your spending habits with a tight budget is actually the best long-term way. It will help you from not creating newer debts.
Check Your Scores. If your lender shows lower credit limits than actually are on your card, your scores may get adversely affected. So it is always good to check on them periodically, and also ascertain if your lender has appropriately shown the right figures on your cards.
Older credit history like aged wine, will help increase your credit score. If you have an old card lying around, you must start using it again; for this way, you keep updating those old accounts with the credit bureau. Old accounts show consistency of performance.
Credit Score Errors. The first step is to identify and correct errors and any negative information that the credit bureaus have on you. For example, if you had paid a bill on time, but the lender failed to report it as so, there will be a late payment mark adversely affecting your report. If these simple mistakes are corrected, your score automatically improves.
Small Negatives. If you have any small unpaid bill marks for example, you can contact the credit bureaus and contest the charge either as ‘not mine’, or as ‘incorrectly stated as a late payment’. With old and small negatives, the bureaus usually do not take the time and effort to verify your requests, and therefore it is very likely that these contested marks will be deleted from your credit report.
Generating Good Will. Nothing works better than generating goodwill. If you have consistently shown yourself to be a good borrower, you will probably be let off the hook for one delayed payment. A lender may choose not to report you as a late payment, given your past good record, and this will certainly help you.
Bank Accounts. Opening a bank account and maintaining a healthy amount of funds in them, helps improve your score, as banks usually report this to the bureaus.
Retaining Paid Accounts. It is wise to let already paid accounts stay open, as this helps improve the credit to debt ratio. Improving this ratio is usually the fastest way to fix bad credit.
These are some of the most effective ways to fix bad credit fast. By implementing these different ways, I know your credit score will improve quickly! Good luck!
Disclaimer: This article is for reference purposes only and does not directly recommend any specific financial course of action.
What to do when your identity is stolen.…Millions of people have their identities stolen each year.
It can cost hundreds of dollars and countless hours to resolve an identity theft crime.
While I’ve never found myself a victim of identity theft personally, a close relative of mine had their identity stolen a few years back.
It’s a stressful position to be in and it can definitely feel unfair.
If you recently found out someone has been using your identity or applying for credit in your name, there are a few initial steps you should take immediately.
Contact the Credit Bureaus
One of the first things you’ll want to do, aside from checking your credit report to assess any damage, is to contact all of the three major credit bureaus to make them aware of your situation and request that they issue a fraud alert to your credit report.
This should help cease any fraudulent activity from continuing. Fraud alerts typically remain on your credit for 90 days, but you can extend the alert as needed.
Write Everything Down
It’s important to keep specific records regarding your situation from the moment the issue is brought to your attention until it is completely resolved.
As you make phone calls, send emails, and mail letters out, keep a detailed list either on your computer or in a notepad of who you talked to and when to stay organized in case you get the run-around in any way.
You should also keep track of how much time it takes you to get the issue solved and if any expenses arise as a result. You can deduct theft-related expenses from your tax return.
Fill out a Police Report and File Legal Paperwork
It may be a good idea to file a report at your local police station to document the theft. Come prepared with any paperwork or proof you can gather up and take a copy of the report home.
Another document that you can ask for at your local police station or pull up online is the Identity Theft Victim’s Complaint and Affidavit.
You can offer this form to creditors to help support the fact that you are not responsible for transactions and activity on accounts that were not opened or used by you, and allow them the ability to investigate the account further.
Has your identity been stolen? You can prepare yourself by taking these steps to resolve it
Change Your Pin and Close Accounts
It’s important to change all your pin numbers for debit and credit cards along with your bank login information.
You should also make sure your accounts are closed for good and order new cards just to be safe.
Call and Write any Lenders or Debt Collectors
One of the final steps will include contacting lenders and debt collectors to get negative records removed from your credit report and resolve the issue.
Make sure you make copies of the letters you send along with any emails. The debt collector should be understanding when you tell them that you are a victim of identity theft.
If they end up asking you to pay for the debt anyway, involve the actual lender and prepare all your defensive documents to dispute it. Do not sign anything and don’t agree to anything without having it in writing in case the creditor is determined to make you pay.
It may take some time and effort, but as long you follow all of the steps above and stay organized regarding your paperwork, you’ll have the issue resolved and be able to setting back into your normal routine.
How to Prevent your Identity from Being Stolen
Whether you’ve experienced identity theft or not, most people are at risk of becoming the next victim, even your kids. Luckily, there are several ways you can try and prevent identity theft from affecting you.
Check your Credit Report: Checking your credit report regularly for changes or inaccuracies is a great active way to prevent identity theft. You can check your complete report from all credit bureaus by signing up for a free service like Credit Sesame that will monitor your credit from two of the three main bureaus.
Protect your Computer: Install spyware programs and update your firewall to protect your personal information from thieves who use software and viruses to hack the information stored on your computer. Also, make sure you use secure wireless networks when you are away from home.
Be Mindful of What You Carry With You: Don’t carry personal information around like your pin or account numbers or your social security card. If you ever lose your wallet or have it stolen, a lot could be at risk if you carry around personal information like that. Only consider carrying information on you like your passport, blank checks, etc. if you plan to use it that day and be mindful of how you maintain your privacy when out in public.
Shred Important Documents: If you’re decluttering or need to get rid of certain documents, make sure you shred them safety and throw the pieces in separate garbage bags to avoid allowing anyone to gain access to personal information like your account numbers and social security number.
Be Careful When Shopping Online: Make sure you shop on safe and secured websites if you need to make any online purchases. Unfortunately, even well-known and trusted companies (like Target and Home Depot) have gotten hacked before. This has put customers’ information at risk, so it’s best to be safe and check out with PayPal as often as you can if the website uses that form of payment.
Sign up with an Identity Protection Company: An identity protection company will help you do all of the above and more when it comes to protecting you from becoming the next victim of identity theft. Most companies possess cutting edge programs and encryption software to monitor your credit and identity 24/7, scan the internet to remove any public information that you want private, and alert you and the credit bureaus when any fraudulent activity is suspected quickly.
These companies require paid memberships that run anywhere from $10 to $30 per month, but for some people, it’s worth the investment. Another great benefit about these companies is that they often offer lost wallet protection and insurance in the event that your identity is stolen while you’re a member.
As a result, you wouldn’t have to spend any money out of pocket or go through the tedious process of trying to restore your identity on your own. I highly recommend Identity Force.
Posted on Monday, June 23rd, 2014 by Edwin C
Your credit history is your biggest asset. It can help you score a job, a car and a house. It takes years of responsible fiscal behavior to build up a score you can be proud of. But if you get your identity stolen it can wreak havoc on your score. Just one incident of a compromised identity can erase years of hard work. To ensure that you don’t become the next victim of identity theft, follow these 9 ways to keep you safe from identity theft.
Shred Your Documents
I hate when companies send mail with my personal information on it. My credit card used to send me a statement with my full credit card number on it. The IRS always makes sure to include my SSN on every page of correspondence. Countless others include more personal information than just your name and address.
When your personally identifiable information is on documents, shred it. Don’t just rip it in half, but really shred it good. Get a cross cut paper shredder that will completely eradicate all traces of your private information on any paperwork.
Be Careful Who You Share Your Information With
If you’re doing to tell someone enough information that they can steal your identity, you’ve got to be able to trust them. So never give out your info to anyone who initiates contact with you because you never know who they truly are. If you get an email or a phone call where they need to “verify” your information, delete the email or hang up on them.
When ordering something online, only shop from trusted sources. Make sure the page you’re inputting your credit card information says https in the address bar, so you know your information is being sent encrypted. If you find a really good deal at an unknown website that may seem fishy to you, use your PayPal account to pay. That way, you’re not sharing your credit card information and you’re also protected in case the item never arrives, as PayPal will refund you the money if you file a claim.
Keep Your Social Security Number A Secret
Identity thieves can do major damage if they have your social security number. They can open credit cards in your name, run up charges and never pay the bill. Then months (or years) later you’ll apply for credit and be denied because of these delinquent accounts.
To avoid being another statistic keep your SSN under wraps. Nobody legally is required to obtain your SSN. A company may ask you for it, but that’s just their company policy, not the law. If a business asks you for your SSN to do a credit check and you don’t want to furnish it, you can instead choose to place a deposit on your account.
Keep Your Cards At Home
Purses and wallets are stolen all the time. Frequently, thieves are not after your cash, but after your documents. Sure they’ll take your cash and buy a few beers. Sure they might use your credit card to make a few unauthorized charges. But it’s your social security card or passport they want. They can sell these on the black market for a pretty penny.
You don’t ever need to carry your social security card with you and unless you’re traveling you don’t need to carry your passport around either. As for your credit cards, you can carry just the one card you plan on using. You can also use Google Wallet so you can pay at many retailers using your smartphone. This way you can truly be safe and keep all your cards at home.
Check Your Credit Report
Due to the rash of identity theft crimes, the government now allows you to check your credit report for free every twelve months. You can make it a habit to check it every year after the new year or after you file your taxes.
Go to CreditSesame to review your free credit report. If you notice anything untoward take action immediately before the situation gets worse.
Freeze Your Credit
To truly protect your credit score, you can “lock” your credit with Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. When your account is frozen, nobody (not even you) can apply for credit. If you haven’t already been a victim of identity theft, there is a small charge for this. Depending on the state you live in, the fees range from free to $10 per agency.
This is a good idea if you already have a car and a house, don’t plan on opening a new credit card and have no plans to ask for a loan anytime soon. If you are, not to worry, you can un-freeze it for a period of time or for a particular bank/company.
Hide Your Important Documents
When a thief breaks into your house, they may not be looking to steal your Xbox or laptop. When they rummage through your drawers they may not be looking for jewelry. They want your documents. For thieves, it’s easier to sell your information than it is to sell or pawn your goods.
It is imperative that you hide (or lock up) your social security card, tax forms and travel documents. If you put your items in a safe that isn’t bolted down, they’ll simply take the whole safe. So hiding them in your top secret hiding spot is a better option.
Protect Your Information Online
Thieves love the anonymity the online world gives them because it reduces the chances of being caught stealing. To reduce the chances of being a victim of online identity theft, be careful who you share your information with. Here are a few savvy tips:
- Don’t click on links in emails. If you get a message from your bank, type the url of your bank directly in the address bar to ensure you won’t become the victim of a “phishing” scam.
- Add a password to your wireless connection. Not only do you prevent neighbors from leeching off your internet but hackers can get into your network and steal your valuable data.
- Use complex passwords. There are programs hackers use that will attempt to break into your accounts. Once they know your username or email, their program will attempt to guess your password. It will go through a list of all names, cities, words, numbers and more. To thwart them, use a password that includes at least 3 of the following: uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. This will make it exponentially more difficult for the program to guess your password.
Erase Your Hard Drive
Before you sell your tablet, smartphone, computer or an old hard drive, completely wipe it clean. You don’t need to be an expert on computing to be able to do it. Just Google “how to erase data on a [name of product]”. This goes for selling it on eBay, gifting it to a friend or donating it. You never know whose hands your data will end up in.
I highly recommend Identity Force to protect you and your family.
4 Signs You’re In Financial Trouble..by
Almost everyone at some point carries a credit card balance or misses a bill payment. But how do you know when the sum of those lapses has left you on financial thin ice. Here are 4 signs you’re in financial trouble.
Number 1, you have no emergency savings. Having no cash stashed for a medical emergency or a car accident may force you to borrow just to cover your basic financial obligations, like rent and food. Research has shown 24% of Americans have more credit card debt than emergency savings, and 28% have no savings at all. Put away at least six months of living expenses, just in case.
2, You took out a payday loan. These short-term loans are a bad idea. If you annualize the interest and fees that come with such loans, the annual rate can range from 400 to 500%. Bank or credit card loans are better options.
3, You’re only making the minimum monthly payments on your debts. Lenders keep minimum monthly requirements low in the hopes your balance will pile up interest. For example, consider a credit card with a $1,000 balance, an 18% annual interest rate, and a minimum monthly payment of interest plus 1% of the balance. If you just pay the minimum, it will take you 113 months and $923 in interest to pay it off.
And 4, You stopped saving for retirement. After meeting your daily obligations, put what you can in your retirement fund. That gives your money time to grow so you can enjoy your golden years.
For more information and resources, please check out my other blog posts and pages.
The Must Read Guide To Basic Financial Services Business Marketing
People open a financial consulting business with the goal of earning a consistent and continual profit. If this applies to you, don’t forget to make use of essential principles of business. It’s easy to learn the fundamentals of owning and operating a business, once you put your mind to it. Here is some information that will help you get started on your journey to owning and operating a profitable business.
Potential ruin is really the reason you should carry out a meticulous risk assessment before you make a critical financial consulting business decision; you do not want to put the future of your business at risk. Always avoid huge risks as they could seriously impair your hard earned business. Whenever the risk is large, the more likely it will eventually ruin your business, thus, it’s best to minimize your overall risk when possible. If you conduct a methodical risk assessment each time you are faced with major decisions, you could keep your financial consulting business lucrative.
Businesses should only offer the very best products to their customers if they desire success and reputation. By continually providing such products and services, you will see a significant increase in sales and reserve resources. With this influx of customers, you’ll see much more prospective consumers as they refer their friends to your amazing financial services consulting company. As long as you make an effort to consistently be the very best in your industry, success will follow.
The quality of customer service shoppers receive is almost always a deciding factor when they’re selecting which companies will earn repeat financial consulting business. Customers come to expect a certain level of service; if they get less at any time, they’re likely to give the competition a chance to serve them better. By maintaining your high standards at all times, especially when introducing new services, you could develop a loyal customer base. The competitors who’ll give you the most trouble are the ones who keep their focus on providing excellent quality products and services.
Nobody ever claimed that starting a new financial consulting business was a cakewalk. Do a lot of learning and research prior to picking a certain field. The very best way to create a successful financial services consulting company is to make certain you lay out the groundwork. The cyberspace has many resources to give you if you take the time to make use of them.
Taking a job and learning the essentials of financial credit repair consulting business management as you climb the ladder is typically what the experts advise; it’s by far the most effective way to acquire the knowledge you need. Even experts agree that the most knowledgeable and successful businesspersons are definitely the ones who learned their craft through personal experience. Any and all related experience will help you go far when you start your own financial services consulting company in your chosen industry. Reading books on business operation may benefit, but not as much as getting out there gaining the experience first hand.
Posted in Accounting News
There may be other reasons for pursuing a loan, but you should never go into debt to pay down other debt in the following circumstances:
- When the interest rate on the new debt is higher than the interest rate on the loan that you are paying down.
- When you already know you cannot afford to pay back the loan.
- When your home is in foreclosure.
- To buy luxury items, go on an expensive vacation, or buy a new car. A used car is almost always the most financially savvy decision
- If you have so much debt you don’t know where to begin. Bankruptcy could be the best option, but always talk to a financial planner before making this decision.
- When taking out the loan will not enable you to pay off the full balance of the other debts
This is the best book I have read. I highly recommend reading this book by Dave Ramsey!
How Does Credit Monitoring Really Work? A credit monitoring service will continually monitor your credit files for any changes. When a significant change does occur, you’ll be alerted via email or text. By knowing what’s happening on your credit reports you’ll be able to help prevent identity theft. In fact, the FTC recommends close monitoring of your credit reports as one of the best methods to detect identity theft. Most credit monitoring services, like myFico, also give you free credit scores and credit reports, plus explanations of what factors are helping or hurting your creditworthiness.
There are a number of companies offering comprehensive credit report monitoring service, but myFICO is one of the very few to monitor your actual three-bureau FICO credit scores, which is used in about 90% of credit inquiries related to applying for a loan or new line of credit. Although more expensive than most of its competition, myFICO will send you updates anytime your credit scores change. This is a great feature, as it allows you to keep a constant pulse on your financial health.
myFICO also includes a wide variety of tools to monitor your credit reports, such as financial calculators. With three-bureau monitoring and ongoing score updates, myFICO offers a rarity with your actual FICO scores, which is a huge plus. I highly recommend myFICO as do many of my clients who have used their services.