After years of flat, negative or minimal movement, income growth has been outpacing the cost of living in recent years. While the cost of living has grown 19% in the past decade, the median household income has gone up 30%. [4] This can give consumers more room in their budgets to save, pay off debt or upgrade their lifestyle. But there is still one spending category that’s outpacing income: medical costs.
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You likely have dozens, if not hundreds, of credit scores. That's because a credit score is calculated by applying a mathematical algorithm to the information in one of your three credit reports, and there is no one uniform algorithm employed by all lenders or other financial companies to compute the scores. (Some credit scoring models are very common, like the FICO® Score☉ , which ranges from 300 to 850.)
You hire these companies with the idea that they will delete any mistakes on your credit report. And unfortunately, such mistakes can be numerous. A congressionally mandated study found that one in five consumers had an error on at least one of their three credit reports. Howard Shelanski, Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Economics, says, “These are eye-opening numbers for American consumers. The results of this first-of-its-kind study make it clear that consumers should check their credit reports regularly. If they don’t, they are potentially putting their pocketbooks at risk.”[1]
Free consultations before you enroll in the program You should be able to talk about your situation with the company before you enroll, and find more the specifics of their debt relief program. Our debt consultants discuss your financial situation with you, tell you about all of your debt management options (not just our program), and go through the specifics of our program to help you figure out if Freedom Debt Relief is right for you.
Lexington Law, a credit repair company that also offers legal counsel, says that the expertise of credit repair companies is what makes the process easier for consumers. Credit repair companies "know what to look for, understand the process needed to fix inaccuracies, and are informed on what clients are legally entitled to request from both credit bureaus and creditors."
It’s no wonder that Floridians are racking up consumer debt at breathtaking speeds. From Miami to Pensacola, Florida’s homeowners and consumers are leveraging themselves at unprecedented rates. If you’re a hard-working Floridian who struggles with credit card bills, business debts and other obligations, you’re probably desperate for a way out of your predicament.
No guarantees. Lenders usually want to work with you, but they can choose not to. This is especially true with debt settlement. You may contribute to the fund used to make a settlement offer for 6-8 months and then find out the lender won’t accept the offer. If you choose this route, be sure to get a written agreement from the lender that they will work with you.
If you’re a homeowner with strong credit and financial discipline, tapping your home equity could be a good debt consolidation option for you. Home equity loans usually offer lower interest rates and larger loan amounts than personal loans or credit cards. Home equity loans have longer repayment periods, which can mean lower monthly payments but also more interest over the life of the loan. There are two types of home equity loans: a fixed-rate, lump-sum option and a home equity line of credit, or HELOC, which acts like a credit card. Learn more about each option and which may be best for your situation.
What do you get? The firm provides the basic services included in the Concord Standard plan as well as score analysis, inquiry assistance, report monitoring and alerts from TransUnion. This service lets you take more personal control of your credit in the future, receiving ongoing alerts when changes are made to your reports. You also get access to a monthly score analysis and assistance in addressing credit-damaging details on your credit report as they crop up.
But that doesn’t mean you have to be sneezed on to contract the virus. You can get these micro-droplets on your hands by touching surfaces an infected person has recently touched and then touching your face. Considering there are studies that say the average person touches their face 23 times an hour, consistently washing your hands and limiting the possibility of coming into contact with the virus at all is important.
We invite readers to respond with questions or comments. Comments may be held for moderation and will be published according to our comment policy. Comments are the opinions of their authors; they do not represent the views or opinions of Money Under 30. Comments have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser, nor are they reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.
Did you know there is a difference between credit repair and credit restoration? If you attempt to repair your credit report, you will be writing letters and begging reporting agencies to remove items you believe are inaccurate. Even if you are successful in having an item removed it will be back again after the dispute period ends and the entire process must be started over. It's a waste of time!
Unlike rewards, which are what you receive for using a credit card, perks are benefits you get just for carrying a card. With some cards, particularly travel credit cards, it may be the perks that provide the bulk of the value. Premium credit cards, which have annual fees of $450 and up, tend to offer the cushiest perks. Airline credit cards and hotel credit cards can easily pay for their annual fee with their perks. A full list of potential perks would be too long to include here, but common examples include:
For-profit Debt settlement is a risky option that involves involves paying a for-profit company to negotiate on your behalf for the forgiveness of a portion of your total debt balance. If a negotiation is reached, the debt settlement organization will charge you a fee and you’ll still have to pay income taxes on any amount $600 or larger, which can leave you owing more money when it’s time to file your taxes.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act lets you get one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, which are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If you rotate through the bureaus, that means you can get a free credit report once every four months, ensuring you’re aware of any issues or problems that need to be dealt with in a timely manner.
*For complete information, see the offer terms and conditions on the issuer or partner's website. Once you click apply you will be directed to the issuer or partner's website where you may review the terms and conditions of the offer before applying. We show a summary, not the full legal terms – and before applying you should understand the full terms of the offer as stated by the issuer or partner itself. While Experian Consumer Services uses reasonable efforts to present the most accurate information, all offer information is presented without warranty.
The best way to know what factors are affecting your credit scores is to look over them often - and you can check your credit score from Experian. You'll get a list of the credit score factors that are impacting this score the most. If you're trying to improve your credit scores, you should consider tackling these factors first. Also monitor your credit regularly, which you can do for free through Experian, to keep a close eye on your score, the information in your credit report and your progress over time.
For example, let’s say you want to use a credit card balance transfer to consolidate. Almost any balance transfer credit card you choose will have a fee that’s applied for each balance transferred. Some have a $3 fee per transfer, while others are 3% of the balance you move. That’s a big difference. If you transfer $25,000, then the 3% card will increase the cost of debt elimination by $750.
Your credit utilization ratio is the ratio of how much credit you’re using to how much you have available. In general, the lower this ratio, the better. Using up too much of your available credit indicates that you may be relying too heavily on credit cards for daily living expenses, which makes you a bigger credit risk and lowers your credit score. Lower your credit utilization ratio by paying off big balances and not adding any additional debt.
So, if you’re facing credit issue which are harming your finances and making it difficult to secure loans, then it is time to start repairing your credit score. It is a good idea to do your research and look around for the best credit repair company that can understand and identify your credit issues and the things that are causing problems and work with you to resolve these issues efficiently.
Tier 1 Credit Repair‘s knowledgeable and friendly staff is well educated in all matters that concern credit as well as all the laws and nuances that come with battling unjust accountability. Their network of lawyers and other finance professionals guide their work, providing them with the ins and outs of credit law. Everyone deserves an accurate, fair depiction of their credit score, and they are here to provide you with one. Many scores are plagued by inaccuracies, questionable claims, and outright lies. With their help you can learn which of the lines on your credit score represent untruths and watch as they correct them, line-by-line.
Ultimately, you will only achieve freedom from debt if you learn how to manage your finances. You need to come up with a budget plan so you know just how much you can afford to spend every month. This is where a credit counselor or a debt professional can be of assistance. They should be able to provide you with a great advise to help you understand the do’s and don’ts of wise spending.
Dealing with student loans. If student loans are causing you problems, talk to your lender to see what options you may have. You may, for example, be able to arrange for a better payment plan that works within your budget. The options available to you will depend on the type of loan you have. You can find more information on student loan forgiveness online.
Unsecured debt -- what you owe on credit cards, personal loans and student loans – doesn’t use collateral so there is nothing for the lender to take back. They might, however, sue and try to garnish your wages if you default. The downside of unsecured debt is the interest rate. A loan without collateral represents a bigger risk to lenders than one with collateral, so the interest rate is almost always higher.

With this program, you make a lower monthly payment into a separate insured account that will eventually be used to pay off a lower debt amount negotiated with creditors on your behalf. There are quite a few risks associated with this type of program. The company you work with will likely advise you to avoid making payments on your debts instead of putting that money into your account.
I was approved for the first seven cards in a row I applied for. It wasn’t until I overreached and started applying for premium cards such as the Citi Prestige and Ritz Carlton Rewards card that I ran into trouble. I learned a lot from those rejections and patiently waited until I’d had a full year of credit history with Chase specifically before applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve shortly after it launched.
Get everything in writing. Before enrolling in a plan, make sure you get a contract. Get all verbal promises in writing, and read the contract very carefully to make sure the terms are the same as those you discussed. Watch very carefully for hidden fees. If a company won't send you a contract before you make your first monthly payment, don't pay them and go elsewhere for help.

Unsecured debt is the money that most people owe on credit cards, student loans, and personal loans. They do not use collateral so there is nothing for the creditor to repossess or take back. The biggest disadvantage of using unsecured debt is the high-interest rate. Most creditors seek to minimize their risk when giving out loans. The lower their risk, the lower the interest rate. But in the case of unsecured debt, the risk is really high since they don’t have collateral, hence the relatively large increase in the interest rate.  
I decided to work on my credit report because my goal is to buy a house. I was on YouTube and saw a video of Brandon Weaver discussing on how to remove the negative reports from my credit report. He sounded so convincing I decided to place an order. I received samples of the letters within 10 mins from purchasing it. I had 7 negative items on my report but when I sent out those letters the credit bureaus delete 4. I'm currently working on getting the other 3 removed with letter #2. This section 609 really works. Can't wait til the other 3 are removed so I can work on finally buying my house and refinancing my car. And take those dream vacations like Brandon. Thank you!!
Because of how credit repair companies operated in the past, now most states have enacted laws that heavily regulate credit repair companies. These laws generally provide more protections for you, and impose additional obligations on credit repair companies than what is laid out under the FCRA. We can help advise you if seeking the help of a credit repair company fits your situations and if the provider you are contemplating is acting legally within the FCRA and Florida laws. Many of these companies in Florida raise credit scores by doing things that you can do yourself or with assistance by us.
Another avenue to pursue to improve your credit score as quickly as possible is to negotiate with your creditor and credit bureaus to see if they are will to make adjustments. This can be especially effective if you have established a current strong payment record. In that case, a creditor can often be persuaded to remove previously reported late payments as a “goodwill” gesture based on your current payment history, and to encourage you to maintain the course.

Balance transfers don’t work for everyone. Sometimes, your balance is just too large to transfer and pay off before the 0% APR introductory rate on the card expires. Maybe you don’t want to deal with the fees associated with transferring your balance, which can be up to 3% of each balance transferred. Or perhaps you just don’t trust yourself not to spend even more and make your debt worse.
Are you the type of credit-holder who likes to open multiple credit lines at the same time, like store credit cards during the holiday season? This type of financial behavior will impact the fourth factor used to calculate your credit score: new credit lines. With this category, it’s not so much about opening many new credit lines, it’s about how many new credit lines you are opening. In other words, you do NOT want to open 3 to 4 new credit cards at the same time – this will be counter productive to your credit score.
Tally will ensure that you never miss a payment or receive late fees again – as long as you pay Tally on time, then Tally will pay down your credit card balances on time each month. Service is currently available in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. The Tally line of credit is required to use the app. Interest rates are between 7.9% and 19.9% per year depending on your credit history (varies based on the Prime Rate). This information is accurate as of November 2018.
Information and interactive calculators are made available to you as self-help tools for your independent use and are not intended to provide investment advice. We cannot and do not guarantee their applicability or accuracy in regards to your individual circumstances. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.

While debt consolidation can be a great option to pay off debt, it is certainly not for everyone. Before you make a decision on how to pay off your debt, look at your overall financial picture to determine what option is best for you. Make sure you do your research on any company, whether it is a debt consolidation company or a credit counseling agency, before you decide to work with them.


A: This process is legal in all 50 states. The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects the right of every consumer to ensure the accuracy of the information shown in their consumer profiles. That doesn’t mean all repair companies are legitimate. Legitimate companies only charge for services if they successfully make disputes on your behalf. If a company asks for fees upfront or makes outrageous promises, the company is most likely a scam.
Before you can enroll in a debt management program, you must qualify based on your income. If have enough money to handle your monthly expenses, you qualify. If your debts are too much for you pay down with your income, debt settlement or bankruptcy may be recommended by a credit counselor. If you do qualify based on your debt balances and income, your creditors still must accept proposals made by the credit counseling agency.
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