Posts Categorized: Credit and Debt

At first, the idea of not paying off your credit card debt can seem strange. Isn’t paying them off a good thing? There’s never a good reason to leave them unpaid, right?  However, this line of thinking may only be a good idea for current or very recent debts. In fact, there are several reasons…

Read More

Credit scores change over time; this is usually a very gradual process. Sometimes, a credit score will drop quickly, or even jump up by an unexpected amount. It’s easy to figure out what might drop one’s credit score quickly—bankruptcy, foreclosure, a charged-off account, etc. But sometimes one’s credit score will jump up without any obvious…

Read More

For 40 years, we’ve been presenting financial literacy education to our clients and to the community free of charge. Our budgeting classes and other personal finance education offerings are available everywhere via the internet. We regularly add new courses and revise old ones on our online FIT Academy (Financial Instructional Training). These courses are available…

Read More

It’s important to know what various consumer credit act provisions and laws exist to protect consumers. Too many people who don’t know their rights don’t take advantage of the laws that protect them. We routinely talk to consumers about how to ensure that they aren’t being victimized by debt collectors and other financial predators. There…

Read More

One tactic that many consumers use to ensure that their credit reports are accurate and up-to-date is to add a 100-word statement to the report. We routinely recommend this action as part of our debt counseling advice. Some critics warn against the 100-word statement. They think consumers who write a statement are handing collectors the…

Read More

No-interest credit card offers are increasingly common these days, and while they may seem incredibly attractive, here are a few things to consider before rushing into one of these deals. While you may get 0% interest for a few months, maybe even a year, do you have to pay any fees during this period? Read…

Read More

The best debt help we can offer is to teach consumers to manage their credit effectively. One key to this end is to review every statement you get. Too often, we pay the bill and file it away without taking a few extra minutes to review it fully. Credit card companies do occasionally make errors,…

Read More

People seeking credit counseling advice are often curious about cancelling credit cards. We’ve written frequently about how closing accounts isn’t necessarily good for your credit score, but once an account is closed it can’t be used to accumulate more debt, making credit counseling that much easier to achieve. Whether cancelling credit cards is or isn’t…

Read More

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are required to identify themselves in any communication with a debtor. This rule prevents collection agents from tricking consumers into returning calls or other communications without knowing the nature of the communication. There are also privacy protections built into the FDCPA that prohibit collectors from disclosing…

Read More

It’s not uncommon to receive a phone call or notice in the mail from a collection agency looking for payments. When a debt collector contacts you about an unpaid debt, your first order of business should be to obtain a debt validation (DV) letter. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), collection agencies are…

Read More