Consumers Should Avoid Credit Repair Organizations

Consumers Should Avoid Credit Repair Organizations Consumers are being bombarded with ads by credit repair organizations (CROs). Consumers are well advised to not contract for their services. Consumers who have inaccurate information on their credit reports should send their own disputes by letter or online to the credit bureaus. Consumers’ own disputes are far more likely to induce the bureaus to correct the inaccurate information than dispute letters generated by a CRO. CROs’ dispute letters are typically computer generated and in one-size fits all in form. Some I’ve seen are not comprehensible. Many CROs do not even send the consumer...

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The Truth About 10 Common Credit Report Myths

The Truth About 10 Common Credit Report Myths Here are some of the most common myths concerning credit reports. 1) I haven’t done anything wrong so my credit reports must be OK. Your credit reports may have errors that affect your credit standing even if you did nothing to cause the errors. By some estimates, 70% of credit reports have errors. The errors may be lowering your credit score, which will mean you may have to pay a higher interest rate on credit. Morale to this story is to periodically download your credit reports and check for errors. If you...

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Credit Monitoring Services Are Not Worth the Cost

Credit monitoring services advertise heavily in the media. For a monthly fee, they promise to alert you of any adverse changes in your credit reports. They are a waste of money for the vast majority of consumers. This is Liz Weston’s conclusion as she reports on the MSNBC Money site. There are many reasons they are not worth the costs. Number One–they lie. They advertise free credit scores, but the credit monitoring they are selling is not free. Consumers often sign up for and only later realize they agreed to make monthly payments when the bills start coming in. Some...

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New Rule Protects Federal Benefit Checks from Seizure by Creditors

A new federal rule effective May 1, 2011, vastly strengthens protections for Social Security, SSI, VA, federal retirement checks, and certain other federal benefits from seizure by creditors. Heretofore, in theory such benefits were protected, but not in practice. Under the current rules, creditors could seize the consumer’s bank funds and it was up to the consumer to hire an attorney to challenge the seizure or garnishment. Needless to say, hardly any consumer successfully challenged the seizures leaving many consumers unable to pay the rent. The new rule requires all banks and credit unions to determine whether exempt federal benefits...

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