Credit card debt can spiral out of control. Here are some ways to protect yourself from getting in over your head.
Do not use credit cards to finance an unaffordable lifestyle. If you are constantly using credit cards and are unable to pay the resulting bill each month, then consider whether you are using your cards to make an unreasonable budget work.
Avoid using credit cards if you’re already in financial trouble. Finance charges and other fees will add to your debt burden. However, using your credit card in a time of financial difficulty is better than taking out a home equity loan, where your home is put on the line.
Don’t get hooked on minimum payments. Some credit card issuers have set their minimum payments as low as 2% of the balance. Others may set it to 4%. If you pay only the minimum, it will take a long time to pay off your debt. For example, if you owe $5,000.00 on an account with 18% APR, making 2% payments will take over 44 years to pay off. Also, you will have paid $12,431.00 in interest.
Don’t run up the balance in reliance on a temporary “teaser” interest rate. Money borrowed during a temporary or promotional rate is likely to be paid back at a much higher permanent rate.
Make your credit card payments on time. Avoid late payment charges and penalty rates if you can. Bad problems get worse fast when you have late fees and higher rates to pay during financial difficulty. It’s worth calling to ask for a fee to be waived if you were accidentally late, or have a good excuse.
Avoid the special services, programs, and goods that credit card lenders offer to bill to their cards. Most of these extras – fraud protection plans, credit record protection, travel clubs, life insurance, etc – are often bad deals.
Beware of unsolicited increases to your credit limit. Don’t assume that this means that your lender thinks you can afford more credit. Lenders generally increase limits for consumers that they think will carry a bigger balance and pay more interest.
Don’t max out your cards. It’s easy to get hit with over-limit fees. Also, a credit card account close to its limit will cause a big drop in your credit score. Be aware of whether or not your account allows you to spend over your limit, as this is optional.
Here are some of the Credit topics we will teach you:
1. What’s in a Credit Report?
2. Who Looks at Credit reports?
3. How to Get a Credit Report
4. When to Request a Credit Report
5. Hard Pulls vs. Soft Pulls
6. Credit Report vs. Credit Score
Your Consumer Rights
As a public service, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has prepared the following complete text of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. Although staff generally followed the format of the U.S. Code as published by the Government Printing Office, the format of this text does differ in minor ways from the Code (and from West’s U.S. Code Annotated). For example, this version uses FCRA section numbers (§§ 601-625) in the headings. (The relevant U.S. Code citation is included with each section heading and each reference to the FCRA in the text.) Although the staff has made every effort to transcribe the statutory material accurately, this compendium is intended only as a convenience for the public and not a substitute for the text in the U. S. Code. The Commission’s website (www.ftc.gov) posted this document on October 20, 2006. This version of the FCRA includes the amendments to the FCRA set forth in the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-208, the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1997, Title II, Subtitle D, Chapter 1), Section 311 of the Intelligence Authorization for Fiscal Year 1998 (Public Law 105-107), the Consumer Reporting Employment Clarification Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-347), Section 506 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (Public Law 106-102), Sections 358(G) and 505(C) of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) (Public Law 107-56), the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act) (Public Law 108-159), and Section 719 of the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-351).
The provisions added to the FCRA by the FACT Act became effective at different times. In some cases, the provision includes its own effective date. In other cases, the FACT Act provides that the effective dates be prescribed by the FTC and Federal Reserve Board. See 16 CFR Part 602. (69 Fed. Reg. 6526; February 11, 2004) (69 Fed. Reg. 29061; May 20, 2004).
Tools and info to help you make the most of your credit
The first thing to do is to Sign-up online or by giving us a call. It is that easy and only takes a few minutes. Once you engage CreditMonsters.com, we will help you obtain your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. We will collect information that relates to particular situation for respective items in question, we understand that each client’s case is unique and as such should be treated separately. After the collection, we will organize the details in a way that will help our client identify items they may want to change or challenge. This will help us streamline the areas to focus our efforts so as to help our clients achieve their personal needs and goals.
Call us for a FREE credit consultation (877) 629-1703
Our clients can reach us any time of the day via our customer care support services and not just by email alone. We will interact with you to design the right program that will fit your needs and goals.
At Credit Monsters, we offer an exceptional and reliable level of service. One of the most comforting feelings you have is when the chains that bind you are loosened - if not completely removed! You will feel an increased sense of well-being and security as you watch your credit score improve. Over 20 Year Law Firm to support you.
We assist and in the document processing. Our clients have had great success with bankruptcies, foreclosures, collections, charge-offs, repossessions, medical bills, credit card debt, inquiries, late payments, old addresses, judgments, tax liens and student loans.