You can argue this issue yourself, without hiring an attorney, if you wish to. My point in suggesting hiring a lawyer is that your opponent is operating in violation of your contract. The FTC receives thousands of complaints a year, and it acts on a wholesale level against law-breakers who break the law or defraud a large number of consumers. It is unlikely an FTC lawyer will have the time to help you individually.
Credit scores are reflective of a scale that represents poor to excellent. The FICO scoring system is the most commonly used and scores range from 300 to 850, with higher scores reflecting better credit. There are a number of factors that contribute to your credit score, and these are reflective of the information that can be found in your credit report, a detailed history of your relationship with credit that is reported to the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian).

SoFi's application process is straightforward: enter your personal information, such as your name and address, current employer and annual wages/salary, and post-secondary education information, and if SoFi is able to confirm your information you'll be able to see the loan and terms for which you qualify. (If they are not able to confirm your data, you will be asked to enter your Social Security Number.)


Your payment history is the single biggest factor that impacts your credit score, contributing to 35% of your score. As such, the best thing that you can do for your credit score is to make your payments on time, each and every month. Late or missed payments will remain on your credit report for 7 years, dragging your score down. Making your payments on time will go a long way toward improving your credit score.
People often think that bad credit is a curse that will follow them forever. But the truth is that you can solve most consumer credit problems within six months to a year. Even better? You don’t need professional credit help to do it. You can complete the repair process and rebuild your score without incurring any additional costs to make it happen.
Business Description: Solve a real life problem! Medical billing mistakes cause unnecessary stress and cost to nearly all Americans. Medical Debt Solutions are very passionate for patients who are already overwhelmed with their medical issues, now having to struggle with huge medical debt, which is often full of errors. By auditing your health insurance companies for mistakes, we make a difference. With over 20 years of medical billing, collections and auditing experience we work for patients with concerns about their medical bills. HIPAA Compliant
This is another last resort method you can use to consolidate debt. Most retirement plans allow you to borrow against them, but there are some drawbacks to consolidating with a 401k loan. For starters, the loan has to be repaid in five years or it will be considered an early withdrawal and will be subject to a penalty and income tax. Not only that, if you leave your job the loan will be due within 60 days or you’ll face early withdrawal penalties. Think long and hard before borrowing from your retirement and do it only when the other option is withdrawing from retirement.
Talk to your credit card companies. While it’s not the ideal situation for a credit card company, in some cases it may be better for them to come to a payment arrangement with you rather than have you not pay the debt at all. If you’re dealing with a mound of credit card debt, it could be well worth your time to pick up the phone and try to obtain credit card debt relief by negotiating with your credit card company. While you may or may not be able to work out an arrangement with them, whether it’s to negotiate a lower interest rate, a repayment schedule that fits your budget or some kind of debt settlement which lets you pay less than the balance you owe, sometimes a credit card company may be more flexible than you expected.

Our program may affect your credit initially, but many of our clients find that by the time they graduate, their credit scores have returned to the same rate if not higher as when they started. Keep in mind that the purpose of National Debt Relief's program is to help you to address out-of-control debt and become financially independent, which ultimately should help improve your credit. If you're already behind on your bills, your credit score is probably already being affected, in which case the effects of our program may not be as severe.


Eric Bank has been covering business and financial topics since 1985, specializing in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences. Eric's writing regularly appears on Credible.com, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Get.com, Zacks, Chron, and dozens of other outlets. A former software engineer, Eric holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University.
Why this credit card is one of the best: The Citi Prestige Credit Card earns five points per dollar on air travel and dining, three points per dollar on cruise lines and hotels and one point per dollar on all other purchases. Cardholders access valuable travel benefits including up to a $250 annual travel credit, up to a $100 fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, a complimentary fourth night stay at a hotel of your choice with a minimum four-night consecutive night stay when booking through Citi Prestige Concierge, and Priority Pass airport lounge access. You'll pay a $495 annual card fee.
Creditsweeps are done by companies or individuals who want hundreds to thousands of dollars upfront directly deposited in their bank account. (which is 100% illegal and against the credit services organizations act) Once they get you to pay they have you give them a power of attorney. they then use that power of attorney to file a FAKE police report saying your identity was stolen. In a very few cases this will work “permanently”. These are cases where its hard to determine there was a legitimate account. (ie. identity thieves don’t make payments on your accounts for months or years and then stop paying. Real identity theft involves someone getting a credit card, maxing it out and NEVER making a payment. If you have ever made a payment on your credit cards the creditsweep won’t work. What you are likely to see is 1 credit bureau remove all the items and then over a 4-5 month time period all the items come back one by one. (the other bureaus are notified but put off removing items until after the 1st bureau reviews it.
You can also get your free Experian credit score and a credit report card that are updated every 14 days on Credit.com. Your credit report card shows where you stand in the five key areas that make up your score—payment history, credit utilization, account mix, credit age and inquiries. Your report card also gives you tips on how to improve your standing in each area if needed. And checking your report card and score doesn’t hurt your credit in any way.
If your last few months of card statements show numerous trips to five-star restaurants or designer-boutique shopping sprees, your lender will be unlikely to view you as being in need or worthy of sympathy. To raise your chances of success, cut your spending on that card down to zero for a three- to six-month period prior to requesting a settlement.
Prepayment penalties on your old debt: Some lenders include prepayment penalties in their terms to ensure you pay a certain amount of interest before paying off your loan. This prepayment penalty is usually a percentage of your remaining balance. Read through the fine print in your loan agreement to determine whether you have to pay a prepayment agreement.
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Finally, if some of your current debts are secured loans, debt consolidation might be worth considering because they are typically unsecured loans. With secured loans, you use an asset like your home or your car to guarantee your loan. If something happens and you cannot repay the loan, then the bank can seize the asset you put forward as collateral. Since debt consolidation loans are often unsecured, you can ensure that your assets are better protected.

Offering both financial outreach events at their four locations, and online courses, DebtHelper.com seeks to education anyone seeking financial advice, and education, covering a wide range of finance topics including budgeting, bankruptcy, credit card consolidation, and housing counseling, at an affordable rate ranging from free to no more than $25 per course.
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Before I left for college, my dad added me as an authorized user on his 20+ year old United℠ Explorer Card so that I’d have it in case of emergencies. I put it in the back of my (mostly empty) wallet, not thinking much of it, and sort of forgot about it until my sophomore year, when I went to apply for my first credit card. I went to go check my credit score, not even sure if I’d have one at this stage of my life, and was shocked to see that Credit Karma was showing 20+ years of on time payments for me, and a score in the 740s.
If your financial problems stem from too much debt or your inability to repay your debts, a credit counseling agency may recommend that you enroll in a debt management plan (DMP). A DMP alone is not credit counseling, and DMPs are not for everyone. Don’t sign up for one of these plans unless and until a certified credit counselor has spent time thoroughly reviewing your financial situation, and has offered you customized advice on managing your money. Even if a DMP is appropriate for you, a reputable credit counseling organization still can help you create a budget and teach you money management skills.

The best companies review all three reports from each of the three bureaus because they might not all contain the same information. Each credit reporting agency has its own “data furnishers.” That’s what industry experts call banks, credit unions, savings and loan institutions, mortgage lenders, and credit card issuers. Not all furnishers report to all three bureaus. If the company does not review all three reports, errors could be missed.
Secured debt consolidation loans are secured by an asset or property, such as your house when taking out a home equity loan for debt consolidation. Secured personal loans can be easier to get than unsecured loans, but they’re riskier because your property may be seized if you default on the loan. Only apply for one if you’re confident you can make consistent monthly payments.

We’ll be with you every single step of the way. In fact, we want to walk with you until the day you can confidently say “I’m an everyday millionaire.” Check out Ramsey+. It’s the all-access membership that gives you our bestselling money products . . . all in one place.  Sign up for your free trial and see just how easy it will be to say goodbye to debt (for good) and hello to financial peace. Ready to do this?
Keep in mind that if you have no history at all, it will take an estimated three to six months from the beginning date to see any kind of activity being reported on your credit reports. If you have recently acquired a credit card, you should make small purchases you will be able to pay off by the due date to begin to establish credit and show that you can manage a monthly payment.
The first step and tip that we can offer anyone interest in fast credit repair is to look at their credit report. This single document contains so much information that it’s quite easy for there to be minor mistakes, and even major mistakes. With that being said, take the time to receive your annual free copy of your credit report and analyze the entire document. Look at your address, previous loans, and even inquiries to see if everything is truthful. When it comes to inquiries, they should not be posted for more than two years. If there are any inquiries longer than this, they should be removed. In any case, if there are any discrepancies, credit holders have the power to file a claim to remove the falsified information. In many cases, through doing this, it can significantly improve your credit score.
To find out more about this process, contact a debt settlement company such as NationalDebtRelief.com. We can explain how debtors progress through the system and also help you distinguish this approach to debt relief from methods involving consolidation loans and declarations of bankruptcy. One of the most important pieces of information which we can share with you regards which loans qualify for debt negotiation.
You shouldn’t be charged up-front fees. The Telemarketing Sales Rule for Debt Relief Companies stipulates that no debt relief company can charge up-front fees before offering a service. Nonprofits have minimum set-up charge and monthly fees for their debt management program, but those typically are much less expensive than the fees for debt settlement. Beware of any company that has high fees, vague fees or insists upon voluntary fees beyond your means. Those are red flags.
But before you say, “sign me up,” get to know the different methods of debt consolidation, and how they may — or may not — help you with your financial and credit goals. Here, we provide a rundown of several approaches that may be the best way to consolidate credit card debt, including consolidation loans, balance transfer credit cards, home equity loans, and more.
The relative benefits of a loan for debt consolidation depend on your individual circumstances and your actual debt payments. You will realize interest payment savings when you make monthly payments towards the new, lower interest rate loan in an amount equal to or greater than what you previously paid towards the higher rate debt(s) being consolidated. Keep in mind, though, while your monthly payments will be lower, in the long term you may pay more interest if the debt is extended over a longer period of time. Note: No Discover loans may be paid off with this debt consolidation.

Most reputable credit counselors are non-profits and offer services through local offices, online, or on the phone. If possible, find an organization that offers in-person counseling. Many universities, military bases, credit unions, housing authorities, and branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service operate non-profit credit counseling programs. Credit card issuers must include a toll-free number on their statements that gives cardholders information about finding non-profit counseling organizations. The U.S. Trustee Program — the organization within the U.S. Department of Justice that supervises bankruptcy cases and trustees — also maintains a list of government-approved organizations. If a credit counseling organization says it's government-approved, check the U.S. Trustee's list of approved organizations to be sure. Your financial institution, local consumer protection agency, and friends and family also may be good sources of information and referrals.
The effects of negative information on your credit scores will lessen over time, and as you wait for your credit score to rebound, the best way to get a fresh start on your credit score is to focus on establishing smart spending habits. Payoff and keep down high credit card balances, and review your budget to look for extra dollars that could potentially be put towards paying down your debts. You can also look into taking out a secured credit card or credit-builder loan to reestablish a good payment history.
A personal loan is an unsecured, lump-sum loan that is repaid at a fixed rate over a specific period of time. It is a flexible loan because it can be used to consolidate debt, pay off higher-interest credit cards, make home improvements, pay for a wedding or a vacation, buy a boat, RV or make some other big purchase. The personal loan calculator lets you estimate your monthly payments based on how much you want to borrow, the interest rate, how much time you have to pay it back, your credit score and income.
However, don’t believe a collector if they say they have ways of ruining your credit game forever. That’s just not true. Nothing you do can get you kicked out of the credit game forever. Any penalty you encounter will only set you back. But you can offset these setbacks by taking positive actions that help you move forward. So even if your period of financial distress puts you back at Square One, you can start again and get right back in the game.
i waited the 30 days for collectors to validate my debt. Only received 2 letters in response. So I called Transunion and opened a dispute. They asked me when I sent the letters and copy of the letters received. I sent them by mail as requested and waited for them to complete the process. They deleted 5 of the 6 remaining derogatory marks on my credit report and sent me a letter with the findings. My credit score jumped from 591 in May to 636 in July. Now its a matter to manage my credit cards responsibly and pay on time so it continue increasing. 
To see any major or fast credit repair, try to balance your credit utilization. In the credit industry, there is something known as the sweet spot, which we covered above. The goal with this tip is to get your credit utilization into this category, or 25%-45%. So, we highly suggest creating a game plan by setting aside all your debt and categorizing in terms of priorities. Ask yourself the following questions:
It’s important to shop various lenders to find the best loan terms and interest rate. But when you do, note that each lender will probably “pull your credit” to determine what rate to offer you. This means they will examine your FICO score, which could impact your score. However, FICO ignores multiple mortgage, auto, and student loan inquiries made in the 30 days prior to scoring. So, if you find a loan within 30 days, the inquiries won’t affect your scores while you’re still shopping for the best rate.
In addition to draining your retirement funds, you can face early withdrawal penalties if you take out money before the age of 59½ on a 401(k) or traditional IRA. The penalties for early withdrawal are 10% of the money you withdraw. In addition, you may also be required to pay taxes on the money you withdraw, since it’s considered taxable income. These penalties and taxes do not apply to a Roth IRA.
In general, you can borrow up to 50% of the vested account balance in a 401(k) plan, for a maximum of $50,000, as long as you pay the loan back within five years and make payments, including both principal and interest, at least every quarter (some plans may have a different payment schedule). For those with a vested balance of less than $10,000, you can borrow against the full amount, up to $10,000. Interest rates and fees vary, but may include a setup fee and a quarterly maintenance fee.

CCA is the oldest and has the largest membership. They have a very affordable annual fee and take complaints from consumers, certify individuals rather than companies, and go undercover to check and weed out bad credit repair companies. They require individuals to pass an exam and vow to follow ethical guidelines.  Because they address individual business owners, the CCA is launching a criminal/civil background check system for credit repair consultants and company owners. This system will also check education and other certification credentials. This will fully go online in the fourth quarter of 2020. According to officials, they believe that bad business actors are good at disguising themselves and their intentions, and they are usually adept at having their documents in order. However, one can’t run away from a quality background and credentials check. The association is expanding to address more local level issues where credit repair companies are located.
If you simply don't have a credit score because you have little experience or history with credit, you likely have a thin credit file. That means you have few (if any) credit accounts listed on your credit reports, typically one to four. Generally, a thin file means a bank or lender is unable to calculate a credit score because there is not enough information in a user's credit history to do so.
Businesses can find themselves buried under too much debt just as individual consumers can. A company's debt, however, is likely to be much larger than an individual's, and often carries stricter repayment terms. Your company's credit reputation is a valuable asset that can determine the amount of credit available to your company from banks and other lenders. Credit availability can directly influence your company's ability to expand its operations and make investments in such things as buildings, equipment and marketing campaigns.
Once you get your debt consolidation vehicle in place, you should consider who you'll pay off first. In a lot of cases, this may be decided by your lender, who may choose the order in which creditors are repaid. If not, pay off your highest-interest debt first. However, if you have a lower-interest loan that is causing you more emotional and mental stress than the higher-interest ones (such a personal loan that has strained family relations), you may want to start with that one instead.
Consolation loans and balance transfer cards: When you apply for these credit products, a hard inquiry will be placed on your credit reports and factored into your scores. That can shave a few points off. However, you are also expanding your credit utilization ratio, and that’s positive for your scores. If your credit card debt is close to or at your available credit limit, you’re using up too much of your credit line.
3. Risk of scams. Not all credit repair services are reputable. Some of these companies operate scams in hopes of making a quick profit. If you end up working with one of these companies, you will be losing money without gaining any benefits. In some cases, your credit may even decline because of a credit repair scam, leaving you in a worse position than when you started.
There is one drawback to the debt relief assistance programs described above. None of them can reduce your debt. They are simply ways to either move your debts from one set of creditors to another or pay down your debt faster. In comparison, we could probably settle your debts for somewhere around 50% of what you owe and provide you with an affordable payment plan that could get you out of debt in 24 to 48 months – depending, of course, on how heavily you are in debt. Start a chat with us or call us today to get more information on debt settlement and why it could be your best alternative for debt relief assistance.
Typically, the better collateral you can offer for a loan (banks call this security), the better interest rate you will get. If you use your home as security, you’ll likely qualify for the very best interest rate. If you can offer a newer vehicle as security, then you may also qualify, but the interest rate won’t be as low as if you offered real estate.
Debt settlement program – This option requires negotiating with card companies to get them to accept less than what is owed on a debt. The goal is to have the card company accept 50% of what is owed. The drawback is this will put a stain on your credit report for seven years and you could have problems getting any other type of credit during that time.
In reality, a credit card consolidation loan is simply a personal loan that is provided to you with the intention that you use it to consolidate your debt. For this reason, most major lenders provide these types of loans to their clients. There are plenty of traditional lenders and online lenders that have the ability to provide you with a consolidation loan. This section will explore what to look for when you want work with the best credit card consolidation company.
The sign-up bonus or welcome offer is a sum of cash (say, $150 or $200) or a batch of points or miles (say, 40,000 points or 50,000 miles) that you can earn by spending a certain amount of money in your first few months with a card. The purpose is to get you in the habit of using the card. The bonuses on many travel cards are often big enough to cover the card's annual fee for the first few years. See our best credit card sign-up bonuses.
If you’re struggling to keep up with credit card bills, consolidation can give you the breathing room you need to pay down debt. It can lower your payments, reduce interest costs and help you reduce debt quicker. Ideally, the rate you receive on the loan is lower than the combined interest rate on your credit cards. You’ll need good to excellent credit (690 to 850 on the FICO scale) to qualify for the lowest rates.
While there’s no hard-and-fast rule as to how many credit cards you should have, it’s a good idea to hold onto at least two cards – each from a different card issuer and each offering a different type of rewards (cash back, travel rewards, etc.). This should make it easier to tailor your earning to your spending patterns and enjoy greater variety and flexibility in how you redeem rewards.
Minimizing the potential damage to your credit score when negotiating a settlement takes skill. But it’s possible to avoid at least some of the negative information in your credit report that settlement can cause. In some cases, you may need to agree to paying your creditors a higher percentage of the balance owed in order to get more favorable terms for your credit.
If you do decide to get a credit card consolidation loan, a credit card consolidation calculator is often a good option that can help you assess the type of benefit that you’ll receive. If you want to make sure that you’re getting a solid deal, you can use a debt consolidation calculator to get a rough estimate of how much you could save. Many calculators will allow you to input debt amount, interest rate, fees, charges, and other important information. You’ll want to make sure that you use a calculator that includes as many components as possible. Try a few to get a better idea of the real value of the loan.
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