Low Credit Scores – Renting │ Not The Ideal Situation

Less Than Perfect Credit Scores and Living Situations.

Many families deal with tough situations when it comes to rentals and the landlords that come with them. According to the Business Insider, more Americans are renting than at any time in the last 50 years.  I can recall a time when I rented a home that had mice so big, that even the neighborhood cats didn’t try to catch them. My roommate and I had to put our fear and phobias aside and get rid of all the mice on our own. Maybe this is your current situation now, and your credit scores are forcing you to rent.

Are you currently living a rental nightmare?

We understand that this is not the ideal living situation.

At some point I lost track of the number of mice we ended up finding and shortly after, we were able to end our lease. Such is not always the case. Breaking a lease can be extremely difficult and some landlords are not as understanding. After many times of reaching out to our landlord with little to no help, we figured out a few things:

  1. Slumlords, as we call them, are only interested in the rent being turned in on time. (No, not all landlords are this ruthless, but you find while renting that few really care about the tenants residing in them).
  2. Quick fixes and patch jobs are ways they are able to make temporary fixes at little to no cost to them.
  3. With the demand and price being very high for a place to live, the quality of homes can be very, very low.
  4. Whether you are renting in a college town or a nice area in the suburbs, you meet less than perfect landlords. It is bound to happen!

 

So why are people renting more now, than they ever have?

These are just a few of the pain points that have been expressed:

  1. Poor/Bad credit-The inability to get approved for a home loan/mortgage.
  2. Lack of excess funds-Unable to make the down payment or fix things in the house once it is purchased.
  3. Lower expenses-Included in rent such as water or electric in most cases.

 

free credit repair consultation

These are just a few reasons why more people are currently renting. If you are in a position where renting is your only option, here are three things to take into consideration in an effort to make a change:

  1. Look into your state laws and know your rights as a tenant. Is your landlord hard to get in touch with? Do they fail to repair things in a timely manor? Each state has their own requirements when it comes to repairs on a rental. There is such thing as ‘repair and deduct’ which just means if you as the tenant pay for a repair, it can be documented and deducted from the rent. The landlord must know about the problem and it must be proven that the landlord failed to repair it within a reasonable time. If you are dealing with a lazy landlord or one that is hard to get in touch with, this may be something you deal with. Continue to reach out and attempt to communicate with them via email/phone. Document everything that happens and try to keep everything in text and email so there is written communication.
  2. Credit Repair with a Law Firm: A bad rental situation may have you interested in looking into buying a home. With a poor credit score, you may be far off from moving if you don’t take action now. With attorney-based credit repair, you can expect to see results between 30-180 days.  If you are unsure of what your current credit score is, you can pull a credit report here. Talk to a Credit Advisor today about what you can do to get out of your current rental and into your own home soon.

If low credit scores are keeping you from improving your living situation, please contact us today for a free credit consultation. We have helped over 30,000 clients improve their scores. Let us get you back on the path toward financial freedom.

Check out Credit Law Center’s infographic on 4 myths of collections reporting on credit reports.
credit collection myths infographic

credit collection myths infographic

 

Ballparks On A Budget

Ballparks On A Budget

Salvy

For once, feeling blue is good! (Royal blue that is) and dare I say it, but baseball season is finally here again! If you have looked at the ticket prices at Kauffman Stadium lately you’ll notice they have not gone down. In 2018, the average ticket price for a Cubs game at the highest end of the spectrum is nearly $60 while the KC Royals average about $34 a ticket. If you were hoping to spend a day at the K, you may be looking at a few hundred dollars between parking, tickets, and those fan food favorites. I fully believe that once in a while an experience at the stadium is worth it (wherever you call home) but there are a few other options in Kansas City that may have slid passed you.

Here are a few (alternate ways) to enjoy my favorite pastime, without striking out on all the fun:

Watch the game at one of the local bars

Power and Light, Chicken N Pickle, Westport or your local Johnny’s Tavern are just a few favorite spots of mine to enjoy a good game. With a great patio, some fun outdoor games, and a cold beer you’ll still be able to enjoy time out in the sun with your friends.

Buy tickets in the top section

Chances are, you will end up wandering around the stadium in-between innings and can hang out in the bar out in left or right field. At some point you may ask yourself “Why did I come to this game, and pay for those seats?” It was for the Dippin’ Dots or maybe that is just me! But, if you are adamant about going into the game, purchasing a ticket for $19.99 in the nosebleeds won’t break the bank.

 

free creidt repair consultation

 

Pack a snack

Unopened plastic water bottles (limited to 1 per person) are acceptable as well as small bags (16×16) of snacks. These can be taken into the stadium with no trouble. For more information on what you are allowed to take into the stadium, check out the Royals website here. Tailgating is another great option to feed your friends and kids before going in and to avoid the high cost of the concession snacks.

 

Catch a T-Bones game

With free parking and fireworks every Saturday, this is a great alternative option for families that are wanting to take their kids out for a fun baseball experience. Select seats are $11 and there is entertainment just about every inning.

What I didn’t talk about is the one way I prefer to catch all of my baseball games-by radio. Although it may be old school (millennial’s cant be old school, or so I’ve heard) there is something fun about relaxing on the patio at home and listening to the announcer describe the scene. If you are a true fan of the game, it’s fun to imagine what the field looks like and the sound of my favorite guy walking through the isles of Kauffman Stadium yelling “Lemony, Lemony, Lemonade!” That is what this time of year is all about.

Whether you choose to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kauffman this year or decide to do something totally different, Kansas City offers many outdoor activities  for families on all budgets!

A note from the Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

5 Big Factors Facing New Graduates

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2018!  Whether you are the first one in the family or have come from a long line of alumni, the stress and excitement of what comes next is no different.

First, relish in your accomplishments and celebrate! There is something to be said about your tenacity and drive to set and achieve a goal such as graduating from college. Once the excitement has died down, you can really nail down what that next step looks like. In order to prepare for future endeavors, it is vital to break down what success looks like for you! Here’s a list of 5 things you may have to deal with as you transition from college life, into adulthood.

Your First Big Kid Job

Are you looking for a fun culture? The highest pay? Something that allows you to work from home? Making a mental note of what kind of job you are searching for may be the best place to begin. If you walk into a job interview and you dislike everything but the pay is great, are you willing to take it? You may not know exactly what you are looking for, until you walk right into it. Go through a few interviews and ask questions. Learn more about the company before you make a decision.

Maybe you majored in something that you know you may not want for a career (sorry mom and dad). That is okay too! On average, a person will switch careers four or five times over the span of their life. Just because you have the degree doesn’t mean you are tied to it for good.

Furthering your education

In some instances, graduate school and beyond is a great path to follow. If you have your heart set on furthering your education, job hunting may not be something you are pursuing yet. Many jobs now require both work experience and a degree. Weigh the options of taking a few years off of school when you have a better idea of what you want to do, or that solidifies the field and path you want to follow and then head back. In the mean time you may find your dream job, or save money for the program you want to enroll in.

Good things come to those that wait.

Let’s Be Roommates (Again)

Where are you planning to live post-graduation? The freedom you have had for the last several years may come to an abrupt halt if you move back home but the pros may outweigh the cons! Did you enjoy having roommates that sometimes couldn’t pay rent or left dishes in the sink? There are some definite advantages of living at home such as home cooked meals, utilities paid for and possibly free rent which all sound great! Again, evaluating what is most important to you will cut down the headache of figuring everything out all at once. What are your goals and aspirations? If you have buckled down and found a job and have some friends moving to the same area as you, maybe renting is your best choice. Did you want to save more? Moving back home again may be a wise choice for you for now.

free creidt repair consultation

Hit the Road

Before you take off to chase your dreams, you’ll need to check a few things off your list.

First-Changing your address and having your mail forwarded is important. Your credit card company, student loan provider and any other subscriptions you have you’ll want to follow you where you go.

Second- If you are moving to an unfamiliar area, you’ll probably want to do your research on your surroundings. Are you going to have a vehicle? Are there places within walking distance if you do not? Check out the local transportation, grocery store, mall movies, church, gas stations, etc.

Third- Check out the local community engagement activities! Hop on Facebook and find the local community center or parks and recreation and find a group or club activity to get involved in.

Final- Start thinking about your budget. Check out the cost of living in your area (prior to moving) and start to prioritize and take into account all the outstanding bills you have that are a must.

Save or Spend

Retirement may seem way far off but saving for things that may come short term are important too. At some point you may want to purchase a car or a home. Talk to your employer about their investment and retirement options. Do they have a 401K?

Nothing good ever came to people making quick, drastic decisions. Think everything through and go with your gut (and some of the advice your parents left you too). A round of applause for your current success and good luck in your future endeavors! This is the beginning of anything you want.

 

GET-STARTED-CLC-BLOG-BUTTON-REDGET-STARTED-CLC-BLOG-BUTTON-GREEN

 

For more information about your credit score, please give Credit Law Center a call at 1-800-994-3070.

A note from the author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

When To Make These 6 Big Purchases!

 

Timing really is everything! Who knew making large purchases had a “right time” too? If you tend to be organized and can set aside and plan out when your big purchases will be made, this guide is for you. For most, appliances and must-haves tend to give out at the most inconvenient times. In an effort to maintain the trend,  start planning ahead! With all of this in mind, here are the top 6 best times for major purchases that may make an appearance in your future:

1.Mattress Sales-Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day
The three day weekends have been a huge hit for mattress sales! In an effort to attract customers with a lot of time on their hands, many stores go out of their way to advertise for huge blow out sales on mattresses. Good rule of thumb is to replace your mattress every 5-10 years. Are you due for a replacement? There are only a few short weeks left before Memorial Day!

2. New Pool-Fall
Although you may not want to wait until Fall, it will end up being a great saving for you in the long run. By no means are home pools cheap but getting one built late in the season has the potential to really cut cost. Contracting builders during the end of the busy season and summer months can be a huge savings. Materials are cheaper and discounted prices and sales start. Peak season on pools means the cost of labor is high. Plan ahead and spend the final months of summer planning your dream oasis. You’ll be glad you did!

3. Major Appliances-May, September, October
Home ownership means getting excited about deals like when refrigerators go on sale! May is ideal for those new refrigerators. Apparently, Mother’s Day is a big day for large appliances although I doubt that is what she really wants as her gift. Other large appliances like washers, dryers, and dishwashers are marked down September-October. Old appliances on the floor will be marked down during those months to make room for new models on the show room floors.

4. Furniture Deals-January
In an effort to turn a new home into the home of your dreams, furniture pieces are a must. Many outlets will lower their prices by up to 50% on the original prices of the pieces. In an effort to make room for new products again in February for new furniture they will host New Year deals and close out sales. This is a great time to take advantage of the big-ticket items you may have had on your wish list.

5. Engagement Rings-Summer
It may seem that social media tends to be blown up with weddings and engagements during the summer months. And rightfully so! To maintain the movement of rings through the stores, many jewelers lower the prices through the summer months and into August. Rings are especially expensive around peak holiday seasons like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. If you’re significant other is expecting a fancy stone, you may want to do research and plan accordingly. Your wallet and soon-to-be spouse will thank you!

6. Plane Tickets-Early December, Late January, Early February
The only way to catch most of these deals is planning and patience. For plane tickets, the best time to travel is to prepare and plan for “dead times” when crowds are small, and season is slow. A few weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a great time for travel. Many families plan and spend more than necessary in an effort to travel to see family for the Holiday’s. If you can, plan your trips before the actual holiday falls. In the end, the hectic traveling and sometimes delays may not even be worth the stress and cost when it is all said and done.

We are all about educating our consumers and saving them money! We hope these few tips will help you when you are thinking about making your next big purchase this year.

 

GET-STARTED-CLC-BLOG-BUTTON-REDGET-STARTED-CLC-BLOG-BUTTON-GREEN

For more information about your credit score, please give Credit Law Center a call at 1-800-994-3070.

A note from the author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

Why We Love Debt Negotiation (And You Should, Too!)

 

 

We love assisting consumers every day and educating them on how they can save money, impact their scores in a positive way, and take action for themselves! Debt negotiation is something most consumers think they could never do! You may be surprised to know that many creditors/collectors will allow a consumer to negotiate with them on bills such as medical debts.

Job loss, medical emergencies, or unexpected expenses can make it hard to make ends meet! If you find yourself in a tight spot financially, and still have unpaid debt piling up it may seem like a nightmare to continue to get calls from those debt collectors.  Although sometimes difficult,  it is possible to negotiate on your own with collectors. To stay organized and run through the process as quickly as possible, these few steps are important.

free credit repair consultation

Locate Documentation

Locate your current statements and payments you are making. Make sure your payment history and late payment notices are documented. Determine payment arrangements-Look over your finances, bills and money coming in. Come up with a manageable amount that you know you could make. This will help you when you speak with a representative. Knowing what you will hear prior to the phone call will allow you to avoid them pressuring you into payments you cannot handle. The representative is not aware of your other financial obligations so be very honest and outright about what you can handle. Explain to the representative the current situation that you are in isn’t working and try to come to an agreement that you can afford. They may be able to lower the interest rate or accept a lump sum for less than originally documented. If for some reason they are giving you a hard time and you cannot get them to budge, call back and speak to a new rep.

Gather information-
You will want to make sure you are taking notes and keeping names of the people you speak to as well as the date and time the call took place. Anything at this point needs to be documented and kept in writing. If at any point an agreement is made, ask to have it documented in an email or written. This is the most important piece of the puzzle. Agreeing to a payment that hasn’t been documented could mean they do not correctly remove it from a credit report or the information is misplaced, and you are stuck in payments you did not commit to. You will want an outline of the payments you agreed to.

What can I do if I don’t want to negotiate for myself?
In an effort to save time and resources, another option would be to hire a credit repair or credit counseling service. The primary concern would be to learn what kind of work they will do for you upfront and what you will be paying for during the process. At Credit Law Center we use the law as leverage to gain deletions from the credit report. Ideally, this process is one that consumers want to get done quickly whether it is due to wanting to buy a new home, get a new car etc. At Credit Law Center you only pay for the items that we successfully remove so you can expect we want to make sure we are removing items as quick as we can. We go after all of the items on the entire report and our consumers know what they could end up paying in the end. Should you go through credit repair or credit counseling, it is a good idea to continue to monitor your credit report.

Debt Negotiation Options – Another great option is try to negotiate to pay a smaller amount on the debt owed. If you are uncomfortable or the task seems to difficult, we suggest hiring an attorney for this step!

As a law firm we have the ability and power to negotiate judgments, repossessions, charge off, or any sort of debt that is still reporting on a report. We use the power of the law and our attorneys to negotiate these items in a way that’s favorable to you. While not Debt Consolidation or Bankruptcy, we do have significant tools available to us that help negotiate these debts and save you significant amounts of money! We have four attorneys in house that you can lean on for advice and guidance while working on negotiation. Their extensive negotiating experience with banks, collection companies, and collection attorneys has helped our clients save thousands. Our goal is to negotiate the debt as low as possible out of court and get your case dismissed.

If you are in the process of trying to negotiate and come to an agreement with a creditor and have any further questions, our Credit Advisors would be happy to help you. Should you need the expertise and legal advice of on of our attorney’s, please call and they would be happy to answer any questions!

For more information about your credit score, please give Credit Law Center a call at 1-800-994-3070.

A note from the author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

4 Ways To Not Break The Bank This Mother’s Day!

Mother nature has finally found her stride! The sun has been gracing us with its presence and the smell of the first cut of the season is blowing through the windows. May has quickly made its way here and with that comes the plans for Mother’s Day. Our amazing moms are there for us and it’s that time again to show them how much we appreciate everything they do for our families. The cost of Mother’s Day can add up quickly so we are sharing some tips and tricks for some budget friendly, yet still fun ideas to show how much we care for Mom’s on their special day!

1.) Thrifty Flowers
The traditional ways of telling someone you love them are to send beautiful, vibrant flowers. Although this is a nice gesture, it can really add up.
In order to cut back on cost a little, bring your own vase or pick out a beautiful vase at a craft store or thrift store. Consider visiting your local grocery store and arrange your own flowers or a small bouquet for as little as $10-$15.

If you are going through a florist, find out when the flowers are delivered so you get a fresh pick so you get the best bang for your buck.

2.) Creative Piece
This is great especially for those moms who are also grandmothers! Something they will treasure longer than a bouquet of flowers is a unique, handmade gift from you or their grand kids!
Our go to are always new and updated photos or frames with a memorable moment of the kids and grandma together.

If you are not crafty, shop online early so you aren’t having to rush and end up spending more money than need be.

Groupon and places like RetailMeNot are great if you are looking for cool, local ideas for Mother’s Day!

3.) Good Eats
Restaurants usually become overcrowded and expensive when trying to find a place to take Mom out. If the weather provides for a beautiful day, sometimes the best option is to stay home and grill out or cook a meal together.

Family BBQ’s are often the most memorable. Grab some outside games, a beer and invite some other families by to celebrate with you! Sometimes simple is more enjoyable for her. If Mom still wants to make it out for dinner, take her a few days ahead or after Mother’s Day to avoid the long waits. Often, families have reserved ahead of time and if you are last minute, you may need to go on a day other than Sunday.

4.) Acts of Service
For many mother’s the kind gestures of helping with things around the house that need to be done are a great idea!

Yard work or trimming shrubs for her so the house is in tip top shape for the start of summer is a wonderful thought.

Maybe her car could really use a nice deep clean due to carting multiple kiddos to and from events each week. Recruit those kids and load up and head to the car wash to give her car a fresh start!

Does she like gifts, dinner or help? The best thing you can do for her this Mother’s Day is ask her what she needs. Throughout the year our Mothers are working hard for our families. Whether she is a working mother, a stay at home mother, a single mother, she deserves a day to be recognized. To make this Mother’s Day meaningful, remember that it isn’t about the gifts but the thought behind it all. A grateful heart goes a long way and she wants to be appreciated every day, not just Mother’s Day.

From the Credit Law Center family  to all those special ladies on Mother’s Day, we appreciate all you do!