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Not all forms of credit are actively bad, and many folks are able to use debt as a responsible means of augmenting their purchasing power. When you're dealing with a million competing priorities, however, it can be tough to keep your finances straight. If your expenses are rising faster than your income, you can only keep up this dance for so long.
It's important to note that repairing bad credit is a bit like losing weight: It takes time and there is no quick way to fix a credit score. In fact, out of all of the ways to improve a credit score, quick-fix efforts are the most likely to backfire, so beware of any advice that claims to improve your credit score fast. The best advice for rebuilding credit is to manage it responsibly over time. If you haven't done that, then you need to repair your credit history before you see credit score improvement. The following tips will help you with that. They are divided into categories based on the data used to calculate your credit score.
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A credit card could very well be the source of your credit-score sorrow. But it’s also your score’s best chance at recovery. You can’t remove negative records that are accurate from your credit reports. So the best you can hope for is to devalue them with a steady flow of positive information. And credit cards are perfect for the job because anyone can get them, they can be free to use, and they don’t force you to go into debt. Plus, they report information to the major credit bureaus on a monthly basis.
The repair companies' targeting of home loan applicants and refinancers came as no surprise to mortgage lenders like Joe Petrowsky, president of Right Trac Financial Group. in Manchester, Conn. "People see those cockamamie advertisements" saying they can wipe their credit problems away "and they get hooked," he said. "We run into the damage they do every week." Would-be homebuyers pay hundreds of dollars to credit repair companies to dispute debts in their credit reports only to discover that not only have their credit scores not increased but they can't qualify for a mortgage at all.
Beyond that is creditor information, which makes up most of your reports. This includes different accounts you have—loans, credit cards, etc.—and their status (open/closed, in collection), balances, credit limits and payment details. It can also include dates of missed payments or late payments and when the accounts were sent to collections. It’s this information that’s used to determine your credit scores, which are broken down into five major areas:
You should expect your credit score to be lower while you’re working to get out of debt; after all, important credit score factors such as your payment history and credit utilization are likely key reasons why you’re working to get out of debt in the first place. While you should be concerned about your credit score, and monitor it at all times, a lower credit score is not a reason to panic. Remember, you’re considering a debt consolidation plan to help you manage your debts more effectively, which should help your credit score in the end.
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3 Special Rate Advance: The special advance rate is variable for twelve (12) months and is applicable only for an initial advance of $25,000 or more taken under the variable rate option at the closing of the line of credit, to be disbursed immediately upon expiration of any applicable rescission period, and is valid for applications received by 4/30/2019 and that close by 6/14/2019. An initial advance of $25,000 or more taken at closing under this option shall accrue interest at the Special Rate for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of disbursement of the advance. Special Rate Advance may not be used to pay off or pay down any SunTrust debt. Advances under this option subsequent to the Special Rate Advance, as well as any promotional balance remaining upon expiration of the Special Rate, shall accrue interest at the standard rate(s) and margin(s) as described below and in your Equity Line Agreement. Offer subject to change without notice at any time.
If you’re thinking about filing for bankruptcy, be aware that bankruptcy laws require that you get credit counseling from a government-approved organization within six months before you file for bankruptcy relief. You can find a state-by-state list of government-approved organizations at www.usdoj.gov/ust, the website of the U.S. Trustee Program. That’s the organization within the U.S. Department of Justice that supervises bankruptcy cases and trustees. Be wary of credit counseling organizations that say they are government-approved, but don’t appear on the list of approved organizations.
Many people choose to consolidate their debt because they have several different accounts with debt on each and are having trouble keeping up with the monthly payments - either with the amount that's due or the confusing nature of different payments and due dates each month. Others choose this route because they can negotiate a better interest rate or minimum monthly amount.
4 Minimum required line amount for this interest rate is $100,000 and is based on a maximum Combined Loan-To-Value (CLTV) of 70% or less. As low as rates vary by state/geographic region. The lowest rate listed includes an optional 0.25% interest rate reduction obtained if the payment is automatically deducted from a SunTrust checking, savings or money market account using SurePaySM. For the SunTrust Equity Line, this interest rate reduction does not apply to promotional rate advances, Fixed Rate/Fixed Term Advances or during the Repayment Period. All loan and line discount offers are subject to change. Offer is available for new and refinanced consumer home equity lines as well as for home equity credit line increases. Relationship pricing discounts are not available on existing consumer loans or lines of credit. The Prime Rate means the highest per annum “Prime Rate” of interest published from time to time by The Wall Street Journal in its “Money Rates” listings, which was 5.50% on 3/1/2019. Standard APRs are variable; are based on your collateral property location, credit line amount, Combined Loan-To-Value (CLTV) ratio and other factors; and can range from Prime + 0% (currently 5.50% APR) to Prime + 8.54% (currently 14.04% APR) (during the 20-year repayment period for this option, the APR will continue to be calculated at a variable rate and your minimum monthly payment will be 1/240th of the total balance at the end of the draw period, plus interest and any applicable fees/charges). The maximum APR is 18% for properties located in FL, GA, TN, AL, SC, VA, MD, DC, AR, WV and MS. The maximum APR is 16% for properties located in NC. Offer and rates subject to change without notice. Offer is only available for owner-occupied, single-family, primary residences and condominiums located in FL, GA, TN, AL, SC, VA, NC, MD, DC, AR, WV or MS, and is not valid on manufactured homes or cooperatives. SunTrust must be in a valid first- or second-lien position. Exclusions and limitations apply. Property insurance is required and, if applicable, flood insurance will be required. For each advance taken under the Fixed Rate/Fixed Term option, there will be a $15 processing fee (except in MD and NC). Preliminary line decisions are usually made within 24 hours on applications received during normal banking hours.
In your essay make sure you address the fact that there is no one size fits all program that will work for every consumer's situation. Each consumer's financial situation is unique so no program can possibly work for all consumers. That is why it is important to learn about all options including debt consolidation loans, credit counseling, bankruptcy and debt negotiation. Keep in mind there are also review sites that can help make the job of finding a reputable company easier.
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.

You can choose between a fixed- or variable-rate loan with SoFi. There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. SoFi offers loans of up to $100,000 with loan periods of up to seven years, which is one of the highest amounts and longest loan periods available for a debt consolidation loan. Unemployment protection is available to qualifying members. If you lose your job involuntarily, you will be allowed to temporarily pause payments in three-month increments for up to 12 months over the life of the loan if you work with the SoFi career team to look for new employment.
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