bookmark_borderFix Credit Errors on Reports

To repair credit the first step should be to write to the reporting company and detail what, in your opinion, is inaccurate information.

You should include with the letter, copies of documents that support your claim. Never attach originals. The letter should have your full name, address, details of disputed items on your report, and contain facts and reasons for disputing the information and a request that the information be corrected or removed.

It is a good idea to include a copy of the report with disputed items circled or marked clearly. The letter should be sent “return receipt requested,” by certified mail so that you will have evidence of the company having received the documents. Remember to keep copies of the report and all enclosures.

Reporting companies usually take 30 days to investigate the points in dispute. They will not do so if they deem the items frivolous. They must provide copies of the information you have given them to the company that had provided the information about you. The provider of the information should then investigate the dispute. It then reviews and reports back its investigation results to the reporting company.

If the disputed items were inaccurate, then all nationwide credit-reporting companies are notified so that the necessary corrections are made and the file corrected.

Once complete investigations are conducted, the reporting company provides you with the outcome in writing. A copy of the new report is given free if changes were made. If any change or deletion is made, the disputed item cannot be put in one’s file until it is verified as accurate. The reporting company must also provide you with a notice that gives the phone number, name and address of its information provider.

Upon request, the reporting firm must send written notices of the corrections made to all persons who had received the report at least 6 months before the corrections were made. For employment reasons, a copy of the new report can be sent to such persons who may have gotten a copy in the previous two years.

If the investigation does not resolve the disputed items then you can request that a statement detailing the dispute be incorporated in the file and future reports.

Another option you could take to repair credit is to inform the information provider or creditor in writing about a disputed item. The procedure for enclosures, as with the reporting company, should be followed. If they find the information on the report inaccurate, then it will not be reported again.

Generally, accurate negative information contained in reports is only removed with time. Reporting companies report negative information up to seven years and ten for bankruptcy information. Time limits for reporting certain events do not exist, however. These events include criminal convictions, applications for jobs paying annual incomes of more than $75,000 and applications of credit/life insurance greater than $150,000.

bookmark_borderCredit Card Secrets

This is the same when applying for credit cards as a means of having another source of funds to spend. Most of the time, having credit cards are often associated to financial loss but with the right ways of handling it, you will be able to see how helpful it will be. Below are some tips and tricks you must know if have a credit card:

Check For Annual Fees

Most companies charge a certain amount of annual fee on the cards. However, very few people know that they can easily get rid of such fee, especially if they have a good credit score. For this case, all you need to do is to pick up the phone, call your bank and request for the fee to be removed. Tell them that you are going to dump the card if they don’t remove the fee.

Universal Rules

Say for example, if you are late in making the repayment of one of your cards, you will be charged with a much higher rate of interest on your other cards. So, one of the most important credit card tips for you is to make the payment on or before the due date. This is considered to be part of their universal default rules which is a disadvantage to the subscriber if he has no idea of this.

Try Waiving The Late Fees

If you have never been late before paying your balance and fees, you can call up the credit card company to have them waive the late fees for you. Some representatives may refuse this request but it doesn’t harm to just call them and try. You may call another time and you might just be lucky with the next representative.

bookmark_borderDivorce and Credit

According to Experian, a credit reporting agency, “Many divorcing couples are confused by the role of the divorce decree. A divorce decree may specify who is responsible for accounts opened during the marriage, but it doesn’t break the contracts with the lenders. If the spouse responsible under the divorce decree is unable or unwilling to pay and the contract has not been changed by the lender, the late payments still will appear on both credit reports and will have a negative impact on credit scores for both individuals.”

Getting divorced is never easy, even when both parties agree it is for the best. So, it is understandable that you may not fully understand what is involved in a divorce decree. Simply stated, a divorce decree states who is responsible for which accounts. However, this does not remove the other person from that account. Meaning that if the other party does not pay on his or her debts, you are responsible for them.

While you may be tempted to make rash financial decisions when under duress, perhaps you want to hurt your soon to be ex-spouse, it is critical for you to remember that any impulse decision you decide to make with your joint accounts will also impact you in the long run. Keeping things as level headed and civil as possible is critical.

In the event of a divorce it is also important to understand if you live in a state with community property laws. In the United States these states are Arizona, Washington, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Indiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Wisconsin. Under community property law you may be held responsible for your spouse’s debt, even if you are not listed on the account.

If you are in the process of a divorce, just remember these few things. First, be up front about your financial situation when in the divorce proceedings. Second, do not make any rash financial decisions out of a desire to hurt your ex-spouse. Third, keep a level head and move through the process as quickly as possible.

bookmark_borderBenefits of Belonging to a Credit Union

As they become more competitive in areas like ATM access and online banking, they may look increasingly like banks from the outside. But from the inside out, credit unions are unique. Instead of operating for the benefit of shareholders, as banks do, credit unions are owned by their members, for their members. When you join and open an account, you become a shareholder.

What this means, in practical terms, is that your membership offers you access to lower interest rates on loans, significantly lower fees on accounts, and higher rates on savings. Because they are not-for-profit organizations, any excess funds collected are returned to you, the shareholders, in the form of dividends.

They have been innovators in bringing the convenience of nationwide banking to their members without sacrificing the spirit of community. For example, they have teamed up with CO-OP Network, one of the nation’s largest ATM networks with over 30,000 locations, to bring you access to surcharge-free ATMs across the country and around the world. You can find a CO-OP Network ATM near you by visiting coopnetwork.org. Or simply drop by a 7-Eleven store: surcharge-free CO-OP Network ATMs are available in over 5,500 7-Eleven stores nationwide.

They pride themselves by giving their members access to financial information. They offer seminars on topics such as preventing identity theft or managing your credit. Their websites contain resources about making smarter financial choices as well as managing money online.

Banks can seem cold, formal and even unreachable. Credit unions can be friendlier in atmosphere as well as tone and can simply be more accessible on every level. Being smaller and local allows them to be very connected to their community and much more adaptable to respond to member feedback.

Credit Unions offer nearly everything else a nationwide bank might offer-online account access, online bill pay, credit and debit cards, insurance on accounts, etc. But they do it within a member-focused philosophy; where the goal is to help the members achieve financial health, not just boost their bottom line. That’s why credit unions also offer a range of services, including free checking, lower interest auto, personal and real estate loans, financial planning, insurance, and member education.

bookmark_borderReach Max Credit Score

If you have ever borrowed money or used credit in the past, you have a credit score that reflects how well you handled the credit extended to you. In general, you score shows how much credit you currently have available to you, how much money you owe on it and whether or not you are making timely payments on your current accounts.

Would be creditors and lenders use your credit score as a predictor of how likely you are to repay any credit extended to you. If you usually make your payments on time, you will surely have a better than average credit history, and it will be easier for you to obtain a loan from a bank or credit union. Those with the best credit scores qualify for the lowest rates.

If you have a poor credit history, you’ll find it difficult to obtain a loan from any lending institution and when someone does extend you credit, you will be subject to higher rates and fees. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s not the end for you. You have the option of taking the necessary steps to reach your max credit score. The following tips will help you succeed.

  • Create a solid plan and follow it. Be willing to implement changes and stick with it. Avoid making unnecessary purchases. Whenever you are making a purchase, ask yourself whether the purchase is affordable and necessary and only buy when the answer to both questions is a definite “yes”.
  • Even if your bad credit has prevented you from obtaining credit cards, you may be able to get a secured credit card. These cards have a high approval rate because you must provide a security deposit to fund your credit limit. Used responsibly, a new credit card can begin to improve your credit score.
  • Pay down credit cards and other forms of revolving accounts you have that are carrying a balance of over 50% of their credit limit. Ideally, you should carry balances of no more than 30%-35% of a revolving account’s limit. Carrying balances of greater than 50% of your limits, negatively affects your credit rating.

bookmark_borderWays to Avoid Inheritance Conflicts

  • Understanding the Personality of other Heirs: It is very important that you try and understand what kind of people the other heirs who are also involved in the settlement issue are. Analyse their basic traits and find out the way to communicate with these heirs. This approach often resolves most complications even before they arise and clears off lot of misunderstandings. Personality difference is often the main cause behind a conflict concerning settlements. It will become more and more difficult to avoid conflict or maintain peace without understanding the differences.
  • Keep the Home Untouched before Formal Division: It is very important that you don’t claim your right on something that logically belongs to other heirs. It can also mess with their emotional sentiments and can further complicate the case for you. This is why it is important that the house remains untouched or undisturbed till a legal division is announced. An in-depth scrutiny of the property is important before there is any legal division and you can contribute to the process by not disturbing anything. Without the consent of other beneficiaries or heirs if you remove items from an estate or a home it is very much possible that the issue will get complicated. Very often we see people making this mistake of just going into a property and picking what they want without any consent with the concerned people and such actions are often justified by them through some facts or instances of the past. That being said, legally it will only complicate the case.
  • Only Beneficiaries or Immediate Heirs should be Part of the Property Division: Property division is a sensitive case and hence it should not be made a mass trial. Only immediate heirs or beneficiaries should become part of the process and other outside influences like children of heirs, grandchildren, in-laws, spouses etc should be kept away from the process. This is particularly more important at the beginning of the division process.

 

bookmark_borderCredit Score Works

Simply put, having a good credit score will save you money. If you have a good credit score, you’ll be able to negotiate the best rates on loans. This may include car loans, mortgages, student loans, or any other type of loan. Someone with a high interest rate on a loan will have to pay more money during the life of the loan. Someone who has a low interest rate will end up paying less money over the life of the loan.

According to FICO, there are 5 metrics that comprise your credit score:

35% Payment History – If you pay your bills on time, your score improves. If you pay them late, your score drops.

30% Credit Utilization – You should aim to use about 10 percent of your credit limit every month, but no more than 25 percent. This will keep your credit utilization ratio in good standing. Also, do not close your credit card accounts unnecessarily because this will adversely affect your utilization ratio.

15% Length of Credit History – The longer you have a credit history, the better your score. It’s important to constantly use your credit cards from month to month to keep them revolving. If you don’t use them, your account will be shut down and your history will be impacted.

10% Types of Credit – Lenders want to see that you have a well rounded borrowing history, so it makes sense that 10 percent of your score is affected by having different types of loans.

10% Recent Searches for Credit – A hard inquiry affects your score. A hard inquiry is when you apply for credit through a lender. If you shop for a car and are trying to get an auto loan, don’t worry about shopping around for a rate. FICO has an electronic algorithm in place that detects this, and you will not be penalized for rate-shopping within a 2-4 week period.

Bottom line, no. You cannot hurt your credit score by inquiring about it. However, your credit score will fall if you apply for credit too much. For example, your score is affected if a lender checks your score when you’re applying for a loan.

You can obtain a free copy of your credit report every year from AnnualCreditReport.com. It’s important to check up on the health of your credit every year. You should check to see if it’s improving. You’ll also be able to find out if you’re a victim of identity theft.

Having healthy credit takes discipline, but it can be done. Practice the tips outlined in this post and you’ll be well on your way to financial independence.

bookmark_borderCredit Card Reward Points

In fact, using these points and offers will help you save money and a significant amount of it as well! But, in order to save some, you will have to spend first. So, how does the whole thing work?

For starters, the number of reward points you can collect depends on the type of card you avail. For instance, your reward points will vary if you have a gold or a platinum card and it’s different for a co-branded card. For instance, for every x amount you spend, you will earn a certain number of reward points. The value of x will across banks and also depend on the type of card you own.

These points will accumulate from the time you start using your credit card. The longer you save these points, the more will be their value. And, yes you needn’t worry about these having a validity date. You can make use of them, until the time your card expires.

The types of credit card rewards mainly includes; cash or points.

For some of us, it wouldn’t be saving if it wasn’t in the form of cash. This is precisely why a cash back offer makes perfect sense. Now, to avail these offers easily, you must first have used your card for sometime now (at least 6 months) so that you may be eligible for such offers. Also, ensure that you are prompt in paying your bills, some banks tend to cancel your rewards if your bill remains unpaid. How much you can get back depends on how much you have spent and you will find the same as part of your monthly bill statement. It will give a summary of how much you have accumulated till date.

If saving is not your only aim of earning credit card rewards, then take a look at the reward points you have earned till date. Most banks offer reward point facility to either purchase a gift of your choice from their very own catalogue or if they have partnerships with various merchant outlets, you can very will have the option of using your points there. For instance, if you have shopped for Rs.2000, and you have earned points worth Rs.500 you sometimes have the choice of using these points to get some discounts on your bill. You can avail some attractive offers when you shop online.

Or, if you have a co-branded card, wherein your bank has issued a card for exclusively one bank such as petrol cards or air mile cards and so on. This means that you can get the offers and points only for that particular brand of petrol or from a particular airline company only. Miles are usually calculated for every air mile travelled. These are indeed popular forms of saving up on air travel.

In order to make the most of these benefits, you will first have to sign up a redemption form available from each bank. These are simple, online forms. Once that’s done all you have to do is keep a track of your points that get accrued till the time you want to redeem them.

Credit card reward points are definitely a good idea, but does that mean you will need to use your credit card more often? That is definitely one thing you need to keep in mind, because at the end of it all, you will be paying your bills and not to forget those high interest rates that come with it.

bookmark_borderWays to Destroy Your Credit

  • Live a lavish lifestyle – Maybe you pay way too much for your rent or mortgage. Perhaps leasing that fancy car was not the best plan. It feels good to have new things to wear each week, but is it practical? Your living expenses are supposed to fit under the umbrella of your income. This includes basic living needs and all the bills to support it. Do your monthly expenses fit under this umbrella or do you live on credit cards to make it happen?
  • Ignore your debt – Not sure how much you owe on all your credit cards? How many cash advance online loans have you used in the last year? Did you push your student loans into forbearance for another year? You can live to ignore your debt, but eventually it is going to show its face to you. It won’t be pretty. Credit limits will be gone. Interest rates will soar. Student loans will grow bigger each day with added interest. How long can you not pay off your cash advance before it eats up every paycheck? Pretty soon, even a direct lender would not service your need for cash. Then what?
  • Home Equity Spent – You took a loan out against your home. Your child had a marvelous wedding or to pay for college. The added bill payment each month has become a struggle with everything else under your income umbrella. You know that your house is at risk if you don’t pay this bill, right?
  • Borrow from Retirement – The money came in handy. Hopefully it was used for something necessary like property taxes or to pay bills between jobs. Early withdrawals could hit you with increased tax liabilities. How are you going to pay for that?
  • Student Loans – Can you afford to take out a PLUS loan for your child’s education? Will you still be able to put funds into your retirement account? You are responsible for this payment now. No one wants to see their child drowning in debt, but you don’t have to kill your finances either. Let them take out the loans and then help them with the payments without hurting your own finances… unless of course you do want your money problems to compound.
  • Delay Delay Delay – This plan of action works best as a soccer defenseman; with your finances, not so much. Haven’t started a savings account yet? Never even thought about retirement? The more time it takes to begin, the less time your money will have to work for you in your favor.

bookmark_borderCredit Cards in Singapore

  • POSB Everyday Card – It is a card that has been designed to offer people in meeting their everyday shopping needs and comes with various deals, promotions and discounts for grocery shopping, taxi booking, paying utility bills etc. The offers the users with cash rebates for all of their transactions and helps them to save a lot of money in the process. People aged 21 and above can apply for this card and they will not have to pay a lot of annual fee for using the services offered with it.
  • Citibank Rewards – It is the ideal card for those who want to enjoy a comprehensive rewards program and earn a decent amount of reward points every time they use their card for any transaction. The best about this card is that, it will offer the cardholders with discounts at some of the most popular stores in Reebonz, Luxola etc. The reward points accumulated can be redeemed for discount vouchers, gifts and lucrative deals from popular shopping outlets in Singapore and abroad.
  • UOB One Card – Being one of the top banks in Singapore, United Overseas Bank (UOB) offers multiple credit cards that are very popular with Singaporeans. UOB One Card is one such popular credit card available to eligible customers in residing in the island. It offers higher cash rebates and allows the cardholders to save money every time they use the card for shopping, travelling, dining and all other transactions. It can offer the customers with good discounts at more than 800 merchant outlets in Singapore.
  • OCBC 365 Credit Card – It is one of the most popular products offered by the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) in Singapore. With an annual fee under S$200, it can be ideal for those who are looking for a card that offers numerous beneficial features but does not come with a very high annual fee. However, they will need to have a high annual income to apply for this card. They will enjoy great deals and discounts when they use this card to pay for fuel, groceries, dining etc.
  • HSBC Revolution – Arguably, it is the best card for earning reward points in Singapore. Every time the cardholders spend a dollar with this card for different types of transactions, they will earn minimum 1 reward point. They can even earn higher reward points when they use this card to pay for dining and entertainment related expenses. It also comes with fuel benefits and will help the customers to save money every time they use it to pay for their fuel expenses.