Making your credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit scores. Some banks offer payment reminders through their online banking portals that can send you an email or text message reminding you when a payment is due. You could also consider enrolling in automatic payments through your credit card and loan providers to have payments automatically debited from your bank account, but this only makes the minimum payment on your credit cards and does not help instill a sense of money management.
TIP: You're entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies, so visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get yours today and review it to ensure the information is accurate and up to date. The copy of your credit report will include information about how to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information.
There are many pros of debt consolidation loans and a few potential cons as well. Thousands of consumers are getting a personal loan to consolidate credit card debt because they often save money on interest over time, improve their credit score, or they solve a financial challenge they currently face. Debt consolidation loans make it easier to manage monthly payments and often help the borrower gain more control over their debt.
You’re entitled to a free credit report if a company takes “adverse action” against you, like denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment. You have to ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. The notice includes the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company. You’re also entitled to one free report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.
The Lifetime Learning Credit is being repealed, which allows a credit offset of 20% on the first $10,000 of your education expenses. This translates into a deduction of up to $2,000, which could be used for many years as you had education expenses. The big difference between the American Opportunity Tax Credit & the Lifetime Learning Credit is that the latter allows for deductions based on vocational expenses. By removing this tax credit it is hurting those who are looking to improve their skill and gain useful hands-on training in a field that may not be available at a traditional university
If you have multiple credit cards and especially if they’re high-interest cards another option would be to make a balance transfer either to a card with a lower interest rate or, better yet, a 0% interest balance transfer card. If you were able to transfer credit card debts that averaged 15% to a new one at 12% you would have a lower monthly payment and this could make easier for you to reduce your credit card debts. An even better deal would be to transfer those debts to a 0% interest balance transfer card, which would give you a timeout of anywhere from six to 18 months during which you would not be required to pay any interest at all. This means all of your payments would go against reducing your balance and if you were able to heavy up on those payments you could actually be debt-free before your promotional period ended. If this sounds like a good option be sure to read the fine print before you sign up for that new card. It could have a high transfer fee that would wipe out some of the savings you would achieve by transferring your debts.
Debt management. Debt management is a service offered by credit counseling companies. Credit counseling services work with customers and creditors to create a plan for managing debt. With this plan, the agency negotiates to make paying down debt easier for the customer, usually by lowering interest rates or forgiving late fees. The credit counseling service will take payments from you and use your payments to pay off your debt according to the new schedule. For every payment you make, the credit counseling service receives a percentage from the creditor.
If you’ve been looking at consolidating your debt, but you think there are some other great options available to you, you might be wondering what the best choice is. While there are plenty of ways you can reduce the amount of interest you’re currently paying, many of them come with downsides that are hard to foresee. Regardless, you might find that one of these options is more suited to you.
Lender preapprovals can help you identify the best loan offering, comparing rates and terms from lenders who are willing to extend you credit. But 59 percent of respondents didn’t get a preapproval from more than one lender, and of those, 37 percent didn’t get any preapprovals at all. Just over 40 percent of respondents got preapprovals from more than one lender, including 18 percent who obtained preapprovals from more than four lenders.