Credit Law Center Christmas

Credit Scores That Are Merry And Bright

 

Credit Scores That Are Merry And Bright

Tis the season for gift giving-which means plenty of shopping! This is also the time when the season can cause a huge strain on your credit if you are not careful.

Here are some tips to avoid the credit blues once the new year arrives.

 

Avoid new credit cards

In the check out line and the cashier asks you if you want to open a store card to save money on your purchase, you’ll want to kindly smile and say no thank you. If you are working on your credit currently, opening a retail store card may not be in your best interest. Opening all these retail store cards for a discount on items you are buying for other folks will hurt your own score, you have to think about yourself this season too.

Don’t rack the cards you do have up

Remember, a good rule of thumb is to continue to pay your cards on time, and pay them down as much as possible. During this time, it is very easy to overuse your cards for purchasing the best gifts for your friends and family members. Set a budget prior to going out to shop and remind yourself what is most important. Is it a new cell phone for your teenager or a new home come Spring? You’ll start to put things in perspective when you keep the end goal in mind.

 

Credit Law Center Christmas Shopping

Keep track of your cards

There is no time like the Holiday season for identity and credit theft. As long as you are taking extra precautions at this time of year, you can feel good about making purchases out and about or,  from the comfort of your home. Keep in mind:

  • Online shopping is great! Ensure the URL address or lock symbol on the page is showing that the site is secure
  • Conceal your cards somewhere safe and don’t carry too much cash when you are out shopping
  • Stay vigilant-if possible, tuck your cell phone away when making a trip back to the car so you can be alert the whole time
  • Use secure ATMs at your bank
  • Put those receipts in your wallet or purse and shred them once your bills arrive. Gift receipts are great incase of the need to make an exchange
  • Monitoring your credit is going to be vital at this time. Report any fraudulent activity once the season is over and take action

If you would like to learn more, please contact Credit Law Center and an analyst will be happy to provide you with additional information.
Article by Breana Washington

Contact:  1-800-994-3070

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Road to good credit

How to fix your Credit

The winds come whipping in, the sky turns black and-BOOM-a tornado blew through all of your life plans! Are you feeling as if Oz himself is behind the curtain pulling random numbers from the debris and  tossing them out one by one? After the dust has settled you see a score that makes no sense, but the damage has been done. So what do you do to pick up the pieces?

Credit Law Center Credit Score

If you are looking to fix your scores but continue to find ways that take longer than the time you have available, don’t quit…there is hope for you yet- your yellow brick road is closer than you think!

Although time doesn’t always seem to be on our side, and the credit bureau’s don’t seem to be either, there is still some good news when it comes to fixing your less than perfect report. A healthy credit report will take time to build, but the wait is worth it.

Oz is not going to improve your scores for you and unfortunately you can’t just tap your shiny red shoes together for a quick fix. It is up to you as the consumer to take some action. Here is what you can do to get started:  1. Pull your report and check your scores. You need to view all three (Transunion, Experian and Equifax) 2. Find out what the issues/negative items are on the report. Are the debts yours? 3. Clean negative items off the report 4. Build and establish positive credit/tradelines.

First: Pull your report

You will want to enroll in a credit monitoring service that allows you to see all three bureau’s. A lot of the credit reports consumer’s can pull on their own show you two reports, the third one is just as important as the other two. Remember: scores will vary as they are only a consumer score and will always be different than what a lender or bank will tell you. Check out : vantage scores vs Fico….. Credit monitoring is also great for identity theft monitoring, among other things. Interested in having a three bureau report pulled for just $1? Click here!

Second: What is negative?

Can you imagine that the bureau’s have incorrect information? Actually, 79% of credit reports contain errors. Not only is it important to verify that the debts on your report are yours, but it is just as important that your addresses, name, DOB, etc. are correct as well. “Oz” uses an algorithm that is hard to crack! What we do know is this:  • Payment history makes up 35%  • Credit utilization makes up 30% • Age of credit accounts 15% • Length of life on card 15%
If you play the game right, you’ll start to see your scores on the rise. Keep pushing.

Third: Clean up negative items

Just like the lion, tin man and the scarecrow, you’re going to need someone to help guide you down the path. Recruit well, and do your research! Credit Law Center, attorney based credit repair can assist you in cleaning up your negative items on your report such as:  • Collections/Repossessions • Public Records • Late Pays • Bankruptcies/Foreclosures  • Tax Liens/Judgments
This team not only assists you in removing derogatory items from your report, but coaches through the process on how to build on the positive side of your report as well. An unbelievable team for you to depend on, Credit Law Center is a combination of all of Dorothy’s confidants into one company.
The tin man: a heart that cares about the future of the consumer’s, and what happens next
The scarecrow: a brain full of knowledge about credit and the resources to aid clients
The lion: courage/legal prowess to take action
Ready to get to work on your report? www.creditlawcenter.com

Fourth: Build and establish

You might have been denied credit cards previously, but that are a few other ways around establishing that you don’t know. Secured credit cards are one route you can take. They require a deposit that will serve as your credit limit. Making on time payments and keeping an eye on your utilization is vital. Keep those balances as low as possible. Your limit is $1,000? Keep that card under $300 if possible! A few more things to do to start building:  • Pay balances down as low as possible while holding off on making new purchases • Credit builder loans with a bank can be a good start • DO NOT close old credit card accounts when you have them in good standing, the longer the life on the card, the better • Increase your credit limit so your balances seem to be back down under that 30% utilization (See, this game can be won!)  • Become an authorized user on an account of a TRUSTED family member or friend. Don’t worry, you never have to even see/use their card, you will benefit from their positive history (make sure they pay their bills) Again, the longer the life, the better! Their shiny scores won’t be hurt by your scores, the only one taking a risk is you. Choose wisely!
Now, that the clouds have cleared and the sun is peaking through, you can take on Oz with the right team behind you. We are excited to help you so you too can tap your shoes together and exclaim “There’s no place like home!”

If you would like to learn more, please contact Credit Law Center and an analyst will be happy to provide you with additional information.
Article by Breana Washington

Contact:  1-800-994-3070

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developmentally Disabled and Finances

How to Protect Those With a Developmental Disability When Handling Finances

Managing money can be challenging for most Americans, even in the best situations. For the 6.5 million people in the United States living with a developmental disability money, credit and debt create a unique concern.

Developmental disability is a term used when a person has a specific limitation in cognitive functioning and skills, including communication, social and self-care skills. Examples of developmental disabilities include autism, attention deficit disorders, and intellectual disabilities.

Developmental disabilities vary greatly, so do the abilities of the disabled to handle their finances. Some individuals with developmental disabilities may be able to make sound financial decisions and for others receiving a credit card solicitation may lead them to overspend and put them at significant risk for a financial uproar.

How Can I Help My Family Member Make Sound Money Decisions

For many family members caring for an individual with a developmental disability we often question how much do we help, or what do we do to protect their finances. The ultimate goal is to achieve as much independence and still be there for them when they need our help.

Here are a few tips on how to help a developmentally disabled loved one with their finances.

1.Don’t Overstep

Intellectual disabilities vary in degrees, and for some individuals, they may be perfectly capable of handling their finances. If you are helping that individual in other activities of their daily living, it may be very natural for you to want to help them with this area. Many individuals with disabilities want to be as independent as possible. It is important to remember that they may see this as you overstepping or you trying to control their life. Keep in mind what their strong points are and offer advice as you would to any other.

Set up Accounts with Limitations

You may be tempted to set up joint checking accounts, or a credit card with an authorized user so you can easily track their spending behaviors.It is also important to remember that setting up these types of accounts opens you up to financial liability for any checks written or any credit card charges they have made. You may consider opening a Secured credit card for them, a prepaid card.

Put Credit Safeguards in Place

Reduce the number of credit offers sent to your developmentally disabled family member by opting out of receiving prescreened offers of credit at OptOutPreScreen.Com or by calling 888-5-OPT-OUT.

You may also want to look into putting a credit freeze on your loved one’s credit report. Having a freeze placed will make it difficult to obtain credit, but could also prevent your loved one from impulsive credit card applications.

Monitoring your loved ones credit report for any unauthorized activity or any credit errors is a good rule of thumb. Consumers are allowed one free credit report from all three major credit reporting bureaus; this can be obtained at www.annualcreditreport.com. 

Depending on the level of developmental disability you may also look into either guardianship or become power of attorney for your loved one.