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Accurate Negative Information And Controlling Your Debt


Accurate Negative Information And Controlling Your Debt

When negative information in your report is accurate, only the passage of time can assure its removal. A consumer reporting company can report most accurate negative information for seven years and bankruptcy information for 10 years. Information about an unpaid judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer. There is no time limit on reporting information about criminal convictions; information reported in response to your application for a job that pays more than $75,000 a year; and information reported because you've applied for more than $150,000 worth of credit or life insurance. There is a standard method for calculating the seven-year reporting period. Generally, the period runs from the date that the event took place.

Your credit file may not reflect all your credit accounts. Most national department store and all-purpose bank credit card accounts are included in your file, but not all. Some travel, entertainment, gasoline card companies, local retailers, and credit unions are among those that usually aren't included.

If you've been told that you were denied credit because of an "insufficient credit file" or "no credit file" and you have accounts with creditors that don't appear in your credit file, ask the consumer reporting companies to add this information to future reports. Although they are not required to do so, many consumer reporting companies will add verifiable accounts for a fee. However, if these creditors do not generally report to the consumer reporting company, the added items will not be updated in your file.

Having trouble paying your bills? Getting dunning notices from creditors? Are your accounts being turned over to debt collectors? Are you worried about losing your home or your car?

You're not alone. Many people face financial crises at some time in their lives. Whether the crisis is caused by personal or family illness, the loss of a job, or simple overspending, it can seem overwhelming. But often, it can be overcome. The fact is that your financial situation doesn't have to go from bad to worse.

If you or someone you know is in financial hot water, consider these options: realistic budgeting, credit counseling from a reputable organization, debt consolidation, or bankruptcy. How do you know which will work best for you? It depends on your level of debt, your level of discipline, and your prospects for the future.

The first step toward taking control of your financial situation is to do a realistic assessment of how much money you take in and how much money you spend. Start by listing your income from all sources. Then, list your "fixed" expenses — those that are the same each month — like mortgage payments or rent, car payments, and insurance premiums. Next, list the expenses that vary — like entertainment, recreation, and clothing. Writing down all your expenses, even those that seem insignificant, is a helpful way to track your spending patterns, identify necessary expenses, and prioritize the rest. The goal is to make sure you can make ends meet on the basics: housing, food, health care, insurance, and education.

Your public library and bookstores have information about budgeting and money management techniques. In addition, computer software programs can be useful tools for developing and maintaining a budget, balancing your checkbook, and creating plans to save money and pay down your debt.

Contact your creditors immediately if you're having trouble making ends meet. Tell them why it's difficult for you, and try to work out a modified payment plan that reduces your payments to a more manageable level. Don't wait until your accounts have been turned over to a debt collector. At that point, your creditors have given up on you.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is the federal law that dictates how and when a debt collector may contact you. A debt collector may not call you before 8 a.m., after 9 p.m., or while you're at work if the collector knows that your employer doesn't approve of the calls. Collectors may not harass you, lie, or use unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. And they must honor a written request from you to stop further contact.

Credit Counseling

If you're not disciplined enough to create a workable budget and stick to it, can't work out a repayment plan with your creditors, or can't keep track of mounting bills, consider contacting a credit counseling organization. Many credit counseling organizations are nonprofit and work with you to solve your financial problems. But be aware that just because an organization says it's "nonprofit," there's no guarantee that its services are free, affordable, or even legitimate. In fact, some credit counseling organizations charge high fees, which may be hidden, or pressure consumers to make large "voluntary" contributions that can cause more debt.

Most credit counselors offer services through local offices, the Internet, or on the telephone. 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 nonprofit credit counseling programs. Your financial institution, local consumer protection agency, and friends and family also may be good sources of information and referrals.

Reputable credit counseling organizations can advise you on managing your money and debts, help you develop a budget, and offer free educational materials and workshops. Their counselors are certified and trained in the areas of consumer credit, money and debt management, and budgeting. Counselors discuss your entire financial situation with you, and help you develop a personalized plan to solve your money problems. An initial counseling session typically lasts an hour, with an offer of follow-up sessions.

Airline Card To Own or Not to Own


Airline Card - To Own or Not to Own?

Everyone's needs are different depending on their various lifestyles and living patterns. Therefore choosing an airline card from the various airline cards available will depend entirely on your personal circumstances and financial profile. Eventually, it's up to you as to how hard your airlines credit card will work for you. But by reading these simple tips, and asking these questions, you can definitely wedge out a few more benefits out of your airlines credit card.

What is an Airlines Credit Card?

On an airlines credit card, one can earn credits or points whenever one uses the airlines credit card. After a certain number of "points" have been accumulated from purchases made on the airlines credit card, cardholders can redeem points for airline travel, just the way one might utilize frequent flyer miles. Be sure to know how many points you need to accumulate on your airlines credit card so as to qualify for free air travel. It's also vital to know when these points will expire if not put to use within a certain amount of time. Since most of the top airlines credit card reward programs are quite expensive for credit card companies, any airlines credit card will usually come with an annual fee and will also have higher corresponding interest rates than other credit cards.

How to Select the Best Airline Card for Yourself?

The first step in determining which airline card to select is to know which airline you frequent the most. If you have an airline preference for most of your trips, find out if the same airline has an airline card.

Another thing to analyze would be the frequency of your flying. If you fly once every few years or so, you are least likely to benefit from an airline card. If, however, you fly often, you might want to consider owning an airline card. However, there is a catch involved in this as well. Many airline cards place restrictions on the number of points that can be earned in a year. So, if you are not able to avail the benefit of redeeming these points in the year, owning an airline card would be futile.

As we've already mentioned, most airlines credit card offers will have annual fees attached in addition to having higher corresponding interest rates than non-airline traditional credit cards, so watch out for that as well.

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