The Cost Of Low Credit Scores│How Your Score Is Costing Thousands

How Your Score Is Costing You Thousands

If you walked into a room full of people and asked them “Who would like to save more money this year?” I think each person would raise their hand extremely high. Whether you make great money, were born into money, or have little money to your name, credit still has a large role in your purchasing power.

Low FICO Scores

Your credit scores play a major role in the financial freedoms you have. There seemed to have been a misconception that if someone made great money, the credit scores didn’t really have too much pull. Credit impacts us all, from the moment we start to take on paying bills, buying cars, cell phones etc.

Your employer might even take a look at your credit report and deny you for a job if they are low.

Contrary to popular belief, FICO impacts us all, across all demographics.

So, how does a low credit score cost you more money?

 Higher Interest Rates

If you were to apply for a 60 month car loan with a credit score between 500-589, one could expect to be quoted around 15.2% interest rate. That means that your poor credit is costing you and holding you back from lower interest rates (home and auto) and you are actually seeing your money be used in a way that is not benefiting you or your credit score.

Denied Financing

If you have low credit scores, you may have been denied a bank account, credit cards, a home loan or worse. While you may feel defeated right now, there are several ways to start improving your score. If you are in a tight spot financially and are thinking of completing credit repair on your own, please visit our DIY blog to learn more. If you would like to speak with a credit advisor about how to improve your credit score quickly, please contact Credit Law Center today.

How Do I Make A Change?

It is a good idea to monitor your credit scores. If you have noticed that you have any the below items on your credit report, you might be in need of credit repair.

  • Collections
  • Charge Offs
  • Repos
  • Bankruptcies
  • Foreclosures
  • Tax Liens

If you are thinking about going and paying these items off in hopes that they will increase your credit scores, rethink that option. Your credit report will change, but not in the way you want. If you have a 10 year old medical collection reporting and you decide to pay that collection off, the last date of activity on your report changes to the day you pay it. FICO is looking at your activity and weighing it heavily. Your score may decrease significantly due to the last date of activity being updated. There is less than a 2% difference whether a collection is paid or unpaid, most weight is given to how recent the activity. This does not mean we are advising you to not pay your bills or let things fall into derogatory status.

 

free credit repair consultation

The easiest and quickest way to start seeing a change in your credit scores is to start paying down balances you may have on current credit cards in your possession. This will have a direct/immediate impact on the score. If you are planning to start paying down your cards, try to keep the utilization down below 30%. This will help you start to see a swing in a positive direction.

The largest factor on your credit report is your payment history. Late payments are huge when it comes to dropping the credit scores. At any given time, always try to make at least the minimum payment on your loans.

 

Facts on Fico

 

Saving Money Starts Here

Whether you are looking to get into a new home or buy a new car, your credit scores are vital. If you are hoping to make changes for your financial future, you can start taking small steps now to get back on the right path. If you are in need of assistance today, our credit advisors can help educate you on what you can be doing on your end while we work on derogatory items on the credit report that are hindering you from higher scores.

 

 

 

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

Do you have questions about your credit report? If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys or credit advisors  and complete a free consultation please give us a call at 1-800-994-3070 we would be happy to help.

 

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

credit collection myths infographic

 

Credit Cards With High Balances and Interest Rates│Transfer Options

Credit Card Debt & Balance Transfers

Where is your credit card debt currently at? Are you making minimum payments that don’t make a dent once your interest rates kicked in? It may be time to weigh a different option now that you are hoping to make some headway on your current debts.

Your Balances and Interest Rates

While it is always important to take into consideration the best options for you and your financial situation, we have several people that want to know more on the option to do a balance transfer. Here is how in a few short steps:

  1. Check your current credit card balances
  2. Pick a card to transfer to
  3. Read all information and fine print
  4. Apply for the balance transfer cards
  5. Start paying debts

Below are the steps explained in detail. Before making any quick-second decisions, be sure to educate yourself on all of the pros and cons to the balance transfer.

1. Current Credit

When you are thinking about making a balance transfer it is important to figure out what your interest (APR) is on the current credit card. When looking for a balance transfer card, you’ll want to find one that has low (no) fees and will take the actual amount you would be transferring over.

2. What Cards To Transfer To

Researching what credit cards are best to balance transfer to is very important. Depending on the amount of debt you have, you may not be able to transfer all of the debt to the card you choose. Many balance transfer cards offer a 0% introductory period for an allotted time frame.

  • Check the promotional period
  • Check how long the low APR will last

3. Terms and Conditions

The most important part of this transfer is understanding what the fine print states. Although the balance transfer could help you out, many of the cards have balance transfer fees associated with them, and every time you transfer balances over.

Make sure that the transfer is really going to be financially beneficial to you before moving money around. Figure out what the balance transfer fees is and then you will want to calculate the transfer fee cost, how much you could potentially save on interest and go from there.

Some balance transfer cards won’t let you transfer within the same bank, such as Citibank. If your balance is already on one Citibank card, you cannot move it to a balance transfer card.

It is also possible that when the creditor runs your credit and is deciding if you are approved, you may not become approved for the amount you are trying to switch over.

 

free credit repair consultation

4. Application Process

As with any other credit card, you must become approved first. If you have completed the above steps and are ready to make the switch, go ahead and apply for the balance transfer card.

More than likely you can complete a balance transfer online or by phone. You will be giving your account information and the amount of the balances you wish to transfer over to them.

On average, the process takes 7 to 10 business days. Most importantly, it is important to continue to make your payments until you have been given confirmation that the transfer successfully went through.

 

The Pros Of A Balance Transfer
  • Streamlining all credit payments onto one card
  • Start fresh with low APR
  • Get ahead on paying debt
  • Lower interest than previous credit card
The Cons Of A Balance Transfer
  • If you do not conduct research, you may end up with higher interest rates
  • Transfers can be expensive
  • Could drop your credit scores (due to opening a new line of credit)
  • Risk of more debt-likely that your credit limit increases and more credit is available to you if you can’t control spending habits

Your Final Decision

We understand that life happens and the average consumer does own credit cards. In an effort to set our clients up for success, we want them to understand and become more educated about the way the credit world works. As always, continue to educate yourself and always read the fine print! If you are using the balance transfer card for what it is, and in an effort to pay off your debt, not get into more, you will eventually get there. Keep chipping away at the payments you are making and always try to keep your balances low and payments on time.

 

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

Do you have questions about your credit report? If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys or credit advisors  and complete a free consultation please give us a call at 1-800-994-3070 we would be happy to help.

 

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

credit collection myths infographic

 

Constant Calls From Debt Collectors│Illegal Practices vs Scam Callers

How To Deal With Debt Collectors

I have recently been receiving strange calls from someone trying to collect money from me, what do I do? As a consumer, it is important to be educated about the process by which an actual collection agency attempts to collect debts as opposed to scam callers asking you to meet them at the nearest CVS with no real explanation and for a large sum of money. It is not uncommon that if you are receiving phone calls, it will continue to happen until you can do something to make them quit.

 

Your Rights Under the FDCPA

The FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) has been put into place for the consumers protection. Though they don’t always follow the rules, harassment is illegal and will not be tolerated. There are many avenues as far a legal actions you can engage in should a debt collector call and harass you. While it is legal for a debt collector to call you and attempt to collect a debt, it is not legal for them to harass or threaten a consumer such as many scam callers and a few debt collectors do. There is a major difference and it is hard to track scam calls down. Many legitimate debt collectors take correct steps when making their phones calls however, should you continue to receive calls this is what you should look for:

They must

  • Identify themselves in every form of communication
  • Address what the call is in regards to “This is an attempt to collect a debt”
  • Verify the name and address of the original collector
  • Advise that you have the right to dispute the debt

If you receive a phone call and the company calling you does not do provide the information above, do not pay them or agree to met them to provide any money. You will want to contact an attorney to see if there are any steps that can be taken.

Taking Legal Action

The FDCPA has set rules in place for the way communication is to be handled by the debt collectors. Should a debt collector or agency not abide by those regulations, you may be able to take legal action moving forward.

  • Collector cannot call outside of the hours of 8am and 9pm on your local timezone
  • Auto dialing or numerous calls in the effort to annoy, abuse or harass the consumer is not prohibited
  • Profane or abusive language is not allowed
  • Calls to family, friends, or place of employment is not allowed
  • A Collector cannot call and threaten to report falsely to credit reporting agencies
  • Once a consumer discloses they are working and represented by an attorney, communication must stop

A few examples of harassing phone calls are on our website, you can access them here.

free credit repair consultation

Suing the Debt Collector

If you feel you have been dealing with harassing collectors, please contact Credit Law Center so we can help you build your case. We have sued all three of the credit bureaus and are constantly helping consumers become more educated about their credit as well as their rights under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). This can be a fairly lengthy process, but in the grand scheme of things, having those calls come to an end are worth moving forward and pursuing legal action.

Continued Harassment and Next Steps

The best thing you can do to help yourself in a scenario like this is document and never throw anything away that may help an attorney out. We advise our clients to document everything such as the time and date you spoke, who you spoke with and what company they work for and any of the phone call details that you may be able to remember. Some other things that will help in this process are:

  1. Collection Letters you received
  2. Any voicemails left, save them to a storage device
  3. Telephone Bills
  4. Notes and contact info taken during call
  5. Take screenshots of your caller ID info

 

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

Do you have questions about your credit report? If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys or credit advisors  and complete a free consultation please give us a call at 1-800-994-3070 we would be happy to help.

If you are hoping to dispute and work on your credit report on your own, here is a link that provides you with a few ideas on how to go about DIY Credit Repair.

 

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

credit collection myths infographic

 

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!

We Want Financial Freedom For You

Everyone is in search of financial freedom and what steps they need to take to be set for life. As a Credit Repair company we put realistic plans in place for clients that are trying to get back on the right track.  The number one question our credit advisors are asked is:

“How long will it take?”

You want financial freedom yesterday, and we want that for you, too!  The hardest part is when life happens and there is no “secret step” we have hidden in our line of work that will make you rich.

Financial Freeedom

So how do you become financially sound while living a life that you can enjoy?

At a seminar once, the speaker discussed the four step process she found that increased her revenue and sales for herself and her company. She reached a million dollars in sales in just one  year so one would think she found what works, right?  The take away from her entire spiel was her discipline and the sacrifices she made for her success. She didn’t have a secret sauce at all, just the drive and the determination. If that isn’t you, this article may still be the kick in the pants you need!

Ask yourself, “What am I willing to sacrifice now, for financial freedom later?”

There’s not one trick or answer that will blow your mind that you’ll find online or at a seminar that will make you a master money manager other than the will power.

Here’s a good starting point though:

1. Write your goals for financial freedom-put those on a vision board and hang it in your office, your home, wherever you spend a significant amount of time.

2. Slow and steady wins the race. Working over time? Put those funds straight to savings.

3. Save immediately from your paycheck. Increase the rate by 1% every six months.

4. Outstanding debts-pay the one with the lowest balance off first!

5. Rewire your thinking about saving money- think pleasure in saving not pain.

6. Plan for each day in advance-this allows for tracking and limiting unnecessary spending.

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

Are you in debt? 5 Warning Signs- Credit Law Center

Do you hesitate to open your credit card statements each month, afraid of the debt you may be in? Are your credit cards allowing you to go further and further in debt? It is true paying cash gives a clearer picture of what we have and what we can spend. With credit cards being such a crucial part of building a credit history, it is important to remember you must still live within your means and not fall into this financial mess. Here are some signs you may already have a problem.

 

1.Are You Making the Minimum Payments

Making minimum payments to your credit card companies can be a sign you are in debt. Paying the minimum payments on even a minimal debt could mean you will be paying on it for years and years.

2.Large Minimum Monthly Payments.

If you add up all the minimum payments on all revolving debts,(credit cards, not home or auto loans), and the minimum payments of all debts equal 20% of your income or larger, you have too much debt. Exceeding 20% of your income risks you not being able to cover housing, food, or transportation.

3.Are Collectors Calling You?

Are Collectors or creditors calling threatening to garnish your wages or demanding payment? Not paying your credit obligations on time can be a sign you are in over your head. Even if you are just late on a bill, being organized and knowing what is due and when it is due can save you a late charge. Before you pay a debt collector, it is important that you know that this debt is, in fact, yours and you do owe it.

4.Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

If you are transferring money from one card to another or refinancing your house to pay off existing credit cards, this may be a sign that you are in over your head.

5.Being denied a loan

If you have been turned down for a loan or credit card, it is time to re-examine your situation. If high debt levels lead a lender to deny you the credit you probably have a debt problem. Anytime you are denied credit you are allowed a free credit report. According to the FTC, 79 percent of all credit reports contain errors, be sure to examine your credit report for errors.

These are just a few signs that may indicate you have a debt problem. It is important to stay engaged in your financial situation.

Victims of Identity Theft Are Robbed of $16 billion in 2016

If you haven’t heard the term “identity theft” before you may have been living under a rock. A recent Identity Fraud Study was released this year by Javelin Strategy & Research; this study revealed that 15.4 million Americans were victims of identity theft. These crooks were successfully able to rob two million more victims and stole $16 billion dollars.

What is Identity Theft?

According to the Federal Trade Commission,(FTC), theft of an individual’s  identity occurs when someone uses your information, like your name, Social Security number to commit fraud or other crimes. Thieves are very talented when attempting to commit these types of crimes, and they look for obvious ways to obtain your information.

Ways Thieves obtain your Identity:

  • Stolen Credit Cards
  • Documents or receipts from the trash
  • Phone or email scams
  • Hacking unsecured and wireless networks

Types of Identity Theft?

Once a thief has gained access to your personal information they can obtain access to your existing credit cards, open new accounts, file fraudulent tax returns and more. Below we have named a few:

  1. Financial Theft
  2. Medical Theft
  3. Insurance Theft
  4. Criminal Theft
  5. Driver’s License Fraud
  6. Social Security
  7. Phishing Scams

Ways to Protect Yourself

1.Be Careful of What You Share. With social media and technology on the rise, these pesky crooks can find out a lot of personal information about just by doing a simple search. The information you share on Facebook, Linkedin and all the other media sites these criminals may be able to use the information you have shared to validate your identity. When you are sharing be careful of the information you share.

2.Keep Financial and Personal Information Secure. Here is another example of where technology can come back to bite us if we are not careful. Many Americans use their computers to pay bills, keep bank statements, financial planning and much more. If you do this the important thing to remember is to make sure your computer has a firewall installed; you should use anti-virus and anti-spyware software and secure your wireless network. Another important reminder is when you do have the actual hard copy of any financial or personal information dispose of it properly, and always keep them in a safe place.

3. Keep Your Cellphone Protected. Cell phones apps allow us to track our bank accounts, track your budget and finances, store credit card information, and just about anything else your heart desires. When downloading these apps make sure you are using a trusted and reputable company. Always check the ratings and reviews of any app you are downloading. Make sure you secure your device with a strong password, in case you lose it.

4. Make Sure Your Passwords Are Strong and Secure.  Create strong passwords, not easy to guess. Using passwords that contain, kids names, birth dates, maiden names or anything that may be guessed.

Are You a Victim?

If you believe your identity has been stolen, it is necessary to immediately contact any financial institutions we have accounts with and place a hold on them. You will also want to contact the FTC to file a formal complaint. Make sure to provide them with any and all questionable activity so they can thoroughly build a case.

Debt Collectors Are Required to Follow the Rules

 

Carrying outstanding debt is stressful enough, but when you add aggressive debt collectors to the equation, it can be a bit overwhelming. Have you ever sat back and wondered if what they are doing is legal? Debt collectors do have limits, and they are required by law to follow certain guidelines.

Debt collectors must comply with the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act, FDCPA; this act prohibits abusive, deceptive and unfair debt practices

 

Debt Collectors

The FDCPA defines a debt collector as a company or agency that is in the business of recovering outstanding money that is owed on a delinquent account. Debtors will hire debt collectors to collect money that owed to them, and in return give them a percentage of the portion that is collected.

 

Typical Debt Collector Violations

  1. Calling Before 8 AM
  2. Calling After 9 PM
  3. Using abusive or vulgar language
  4. Calling third parties, (debt collectors may contact your spouse)
  5. Communicate to anyone else that the collector is trying to collect
  6. Contacting you after you have submitted a written request to cease contact
  7. Continuously call you
  8. Use or threaten violence
  9. Threaten action they cannot take
  10. Failing to send a written statement validating the debt
  11. Continues to Collect before sending validation letter
  12. Contacting your employer if your employer prohibits it
  13. Debt collectors may often use false statements.
  14. Threatening to have you arrested or that you are being sued when no action has been taken
  15. Giving false information to the credit reporting agencies.
  16. Sending a letter that looks like an official court document if it isn’t
  17. Collecting interest, fees, or other charges on top of what you owe, unless it is in the contract
  18. Contacting by using a postcard.
  19. Repeatedly call you to harras you.

What to Do If You Believe A Debt Collector is in Violation of the FDCPA

If you feel a debt collector has violated the FDCPA you have the right to take action.
You may report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney Generals Office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You may also reach out to an attorney that practices law in these areas, you have the right to sue a collector within in one year from the date the law was violated. If you win, the judge can require the collector to pay you for any damages you can prove you suffered. The judge may also grant you up to $1000 even if you can’t prove that you suffered any damages.

If you feel you have been violated in the last year, Credit Law Center isn’t just a credit repair company. We have five attorneys on staff that handle situations like this every day. These laws are here for to help protect you.

Top 10 Causes of Debt – Credit Law Center

Debt is the amount of money borrowed by one party from another. Consumers typically borrow money from credit card companies or private loans for purchases that they may not be able to afford upfront. Debts are acquired from a car loan, credit card, personal loan or even student loans. In June 2017, U.S. consumer debt rose 3.9 percent to $3.856 trillion. That surpassed last month’s record of $3.843 trillion. The key to debt is being able to pay it off without damaging your credit score.

Top Ten Causes of Debt

  1. Reduced Income With The Current Amount of Expenses
  2. Divorce
  3. Poor Money Management Skills
  4. Medical Expenses
  5. Gambling and Addictions
  6. Underemployment/Not Earning Enough
  7. Spending before you get Paid
  8. Not Saving Enough
  9. Inflation
  10. Financial Literacy

 

Examples of the top 10 causes of debt

1. Reduced Income with the current amount of expenses: Earning a lesser amount per year could be due to a job change. Outstanding bills don’t just go away with a job change. Your current bills will likely stay the same and possibly could increase. You may feel like you are unable to keep up with your monthly bills and wind up deeper and deeper in debt.

2.Divorce: As divorce continues to become more common and couples are spending a significant amount of money beating each other up in the court rooms. One thing is valid divorce, and family lawyers are not cheap, and the more time you spend battling it out in courts, the more you will spend on legal fees.

3. Poor Money Management Skills: Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and one little mishap can cause you to snowball. Keeping a monthly budget is essential when you have a debt to pay off. If you are not keeping track of your monthly income and the amount you are putting out in bills, you will wind up in financial trouble.

4. Medical Expenses: Medical services are often necessary to remain healthy, and depending on your situation can be extremely harmful to your pocket book. Many doctors, dentists, and hospitals require the payments at the time of service. A significant portion of specialists and dentists accept credit cards and offer to finance. Essentially this means more debt for you, not them.

5. Gambling and Addictions: Gambling and any other addictions can be downright dangerous financially! Gambling may seem exciting at the time, but dealing with the financial strain after you have spent your house payment, car payment and possibly drained your savings you may feel devastated. If you have a gambling problem or any other addiction that is draining your pocket book, reach out to a professional for help.

6. Underemployment/Not Earning Enough: This is very similar to #1. If you are underemployed, you may feel it is a temporary situation, and in a matter of time, it will work it’s way out. This can lead to a false sense of financial relief especially when you are collecting unemployment. Taking a break is great, but you will want to make sure you are making more money than your monthly bills and ending up in a financial hole.

7. Spending before you get paid: Counting your chickens before they hatch is never a good thing. Buying something today depending on tomorrow is never a good thing. Life can change in a matter of minutes, buying something in hopes of an upcoming bonus could leave you in a financial bind, if something unexpected happens and you don’t receive that bonus. Don’t spend until the money is physically in your hand.

8. Not Saving Enough: Putting aside money every month can significantly impact your financial health. It doesn’t matter how much you make monthly you will want to save something every month. Building a nest egg for emergencies is crucial. Ideally, you will want to try and save up to six months of living expenses in case of something bad happens, such as a layoff, you become ill or a divorce. Remember to “Pay yourself first

9. Inflation:  is often overlooked when it comes to debt. You may not realize how much the cost of living goes up every year. In recent times companies and administrations have struggled to stay afloat and are unable to give annual raises. With the price of housing, food, gas and other expenses increasing annually, this leaves the employees finding ways to supplement the cost increase. Look at the type of savings account you have your nest egg in, find ways to cut back on food and other expenses.

10. Financial Literacy: Many consumers do not quite understand how many works, how money grows, how interest rates function or how to invest in your futures. I am sure there is someone in your immediate circle who doesn’t even know how to balance a checkbook. Think back to when you were in school, were you taught this information? You are responsible for your own life and future, therefore taking charge is your responsibility. If you feel you are inadequate in these areas, take charge and educate yourself. Financial mistakes can be very costly and take you years to recover from being uneducated.