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The Millionaire Real Estate Investors Guide to Reducing Your Debt and
Improving Your Credit
Written by Charrissa Cawley
 2009 All rights reserved. Duplicating, reprinting, or distributing this material
without the express written consent is prohibited.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ....................................................................................... 4

Understanding the Power of Credit………………………………………………………..6

Income vs. Credit vs. Debt .................................................................. 11

Understanding Your Credit Report ......................................................... 17

Reduce Your Debt and Create Cash Flow................................................ 25

You Lost it, Now Get It Back: Practical Solutions to Help Build Your Credit Again

....................................................................................................... 32

Establishing a Working Budget for Yourself ............................................ 40

Establishing a New Credit Direction: Goals for the Future ......................... 51

Appendix A: Forms and Letters ............................................................ 59

Appendix B: State by State Resources & Laws ........................................ 97

Appendix C: Budget Chart ................................................................. 131

Appendix D: Credit Resources & Links…………................................134

Appendix E:What Helps and Hurts Your Score ...................................... 135

About the Author…………………………………………………………………………………136

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Introduction

The world of business involves money changing hands on a daily basis. To

build wealth you have to spend money. However, there are times when the scale of

money coming in and money going out do not balance. If you are not careful in your

everyday life and in business you can quickly get in over your head and too deep into

debt. When this happens your credit rating will suffer.

I'm sure you've heard the phrase credit report, credit score or FICO score

before. Maybe you have a good handle on what your credit score is and how you

rank among others where your credit is concerned. Maybe you're like millions of

Americans who have no clue what their credit report says, what their credit rating is,

what it means, and how it affects their every day spending.

Credit and debt affect each and every one of us on a daily basis. Every time

you receive a bill in the mail and pay for that bill, it affects your credit. If you pay

your bills on time, chances are you have a good credit score. Pay your bills late and

you're risking your financial health. When the time comes for you to make even the

simplest purchases, a poor credit rating can have an adverse affect on your

spending.

Think if it, we all drive cars to work. We live in homes that we either rent or

own. We apply for credit cards. All of our past spending will affect the outcome of

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what kind of car we can afford to buy, whether or not we will be able to rent a home

or apartment of our choice or qualify for mortgage to purchase the home of our

dreams. How we spend our money will also affect the terms of any credit card you

may apply for and even if you will be approved or denied a credit card.

In this book you will learn how your every day spending affects your credit

rating, how to view your credit report to reveal negative spending or bill paying

habits, and strategies for fixing your credit so that you can increase your credit score

and have greater buying power.

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Understanding the Power
of Credit

Too often people take their credit for granted and when they do it is to their

own detriment. Without good credit, you are really at the mercy of finance

companies and banks in regards to your buying power. The truth is the better your

credit, the higher your credit rating. The higher your credit rating, the better your

buying power.

That's sounds nice, but what does it really mean? Let's take a look at where

having poor credit or too much debt can go against you. Say you are looking to

purchase a new vehicle. The car you want is luxurious and has a high price tag. But

it's beautiful and you've always wanted to own this type of car. You decide to take

the plunge and buy it. You've been watching the current interest rates for new cars

and even with the high price tag you think that you will be able to afford the new

vehicle.

You go to the dealer and look around the dealer's lot to find the right car and

you find one in that shiny new color that you love. You take it out for a test drive…or

two. You can imagine yourself driving to work with it or taking your family for a spin.

Just when you have your heart set on bringing this new vehicle home, you sit

down to do the paperwork with the salesman and he runs a credit check. While he's

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gone, you're already dreaming about what your family is going to say when they see

this car. You're excited. You can envision the looks on their faces when you roll this

beautiful brand new car into the driveway. You can't wait for the salesman to come

back so you can get all the paperwork done so you can leave.

But instead of the salesman coming back with a big smile on his face and a set

of keys in his hand, he delivers a bombshell.

You might've thought that you were eligible for the current low interest rates

that would make this shiny new vehicle affordable for you but the salesman tells you

that your credit score is too low and you do not qualify for the low interest-rate.

But wait! He goes on to tell you that there is a silver lining. You can still get

the car because you qualify for a different interest-rate... an interest rate that is

double the amount of the original interest rate.

When you catch your breath, the salesman tells you what your new payment

amount will be. Let's use at actual numbers so you can see why this is so important.

$35,000 6% 60 month loan $676.75 per month

$35,000 12% 60 month loan $778.56 per month

Difference $101.81 per month

You may be thinking to yourself that the additional $101.81 per month is

worth it to have this new vehicle. And that may be so. But you'll be paying on this

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loan for 60 months and your poor credit will then cost you an additional $$6,108.60.

That is quite an expensive chunk of change having poor credit has cost you.

What happens when you go to purchase a home? Lenders are wary of

extending loans to people with poor credit. You may have just found the perfect

family home, put a deposit down, and then put in an application at your local bank

only to be declined because your credit is so poor.

If you're lucky enough that the lender is willing to take a chance on you with

one of their "poor credit" programs, you'll get the perfect family home you want, but

it will cost you. Even if you have enough money to put down for a down payment, if

your credit is poor the lender may require you to pay a monthly fee called Private

mortgage insurance or PMI. This PMI insures the bank for additional monies in case

you default on the loan.

Private mortgage insurance is usually a percentage of the amount borrowed,

not a flat fee, although there might be fees the lender applies at closing that are

associated with this type of loan. Again, these fees are costly. The PMI you pay

each month will not count towards the principal or interest on your loan. This is

insurance just like the insurance you pay for your car.

Not only will you have to pay PMI, but you also have to pay a higher interest

rate. While this higher interest rate will not be double the going rate, as it was in the

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example I used for purchasing a car. You may pay a point or so higher than the rate

other borrowers who have good credit are paying.

Let's take a look at the numbers again.

$200,000 30 year fixed mortgage 6.5% $1264.14 per month

$200,000 30 year fixed mortgage 7.5% $1398.43 per month

Difference $ 134.00 per month

Your PMI will add an additional amount on to your mortgage every month as

well. While you will be able to refinance your home during the course of your

mortgage, until you have enough equity in the home, you'll be stuck paying the

higher amount.

You might be thinking that is okay if it means you can get into the house of

your choice. But can you? Lenders use your income and current debt to establish

how much of a mortgage you can afford to pay each month.

Let's continue to use the example above. Say the lender determines that the

most you can afford as a mortgage payment per month is $1264.14. Using a 6.5%

model, you will be able to afford a mortgage that is $200,000. Using the 7.5%

model, you'd be able to afford a mortgage of $180,800. This gives you a difference

of $19,200 that you will have to either come up with as additional down payment or

you will have to choose a home that costs less.

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But the difference doesn't stop there. Over the course of a 30 year fixed

mortgage, the amount of interest you will pay on a 7.5% loan versus a 6.5% loan is

significantly different.

6.5% fixed for 30 years Total Interest = $255,088.98

7.5% fixed for 30 years Total Interest = $303,434.45

Difference $ 48,345.47

Just one point different in your interest rate will end up costing you nearly

$50,000 more than the lower rate. This does not include the PMI you will pay as

well.

As you can see, having good credit is powerful. With good credit, not only can

you afford more, but you'll be paying less for the same purchases.

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Income vs. Credit vs. Debt

The best way to calculate where you stand in the financial buying power ladder

is by understanding your income versus your credit versus your debt.

Income

Income is something that most people understand quite well. You work a job,

you earn a certain income. However, not all our income comes from a job that we

work. We also can establish income through our investments.

For instance, if you've been investing in the stock market and have purchased

stocks that pay dividends on a regular basis, those dividends are considered income.

The same goes for interest that you may earn from your savings account. However,

with interest rates for savings accounts being so low, you would need a considerable

amount of money in the bank to be able to earn enough income from interest to

make a difference in your buying power.

Most people will get the most amount of their income from the job they work.

However, as you invest in real estate and other investments, that could change

significantly.

9 to 5 Job vs. Self Employment

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It's the American dream to have your own business and make your own

money, spend your work day the way you want without having a boss breathing

down your back. But it does make a difference with your income. Making $100,000

in a traditional job does not equal making $100,000 when you are self employed.

When you work in a 9 to 5 job, your employer takes care of certain expenses

that are your responsibility when you are the boss. For instance, when you are self

employed, you pay 15.3% self employment tax. Working a traditional job, you would

not pay self employment tax, you'd pay FICA tax.

The total amount for FICA tax is the same as self employment tax, however,

you're responsible for only 7.65 percent of the tax and your employer is responsible

for paying the other half of the tax. That means you would be ahead of the person

who is self employed by $7,500 if you worked in a traditional job if you both had an

income of $100,000 per year.

Also, many employers pay for things like a portion of your health insurance,

which, when you are self employed, can be a considerable chunk of money out of

your pocket. These things and more affect the bottom line of your income that you

will use to pay debt and be qualified to receive credit.

Credit

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Having good credit is a powerful thing. With it, you have the ability to

purchase goods and services you need without actually having the money on hand.

You can then pay it back in full when the bill comes in, or over time depending on the

agreement you have with the creditor. When you pay back your credit over time,

you'll be paying an interest fee to make up for the creditor not having their money

right away.

Some people don't like taking credit for their purchases. However, to make

money and build wealth, you need to use "other people's money". There is great

value in using your good credit responsibly.

How do you get good credit? That's the tricky part. If you never apply for a

loan or take out a credit card with a bank or with a department store, you won't have

a credit history. When you do apply for a major loan, the lender has no way of

knowing if you are a good credit risk or not because you don't have a credit history.

To establish yourself as a good credit risk with a lender, you need to take out

credit and then pay it off in a timely manner. If you over extend yourself and begin

to make late payments, this will affect your credit rating negatively.

If this has already happened to you, never fear. Just because you have a low

credit rating today, doesn't mean you can't build it back up. It takes work, but it is

worth it.

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Debt

Debt is how much you owe to a lender. It could be to a bank for an auto loan,

mortgage on a house or a credit card. Debt can also be public liens you ignored or

didn't take care of that resulted in legal action.

For instance, if you buy a car for $15,000 and put down $2,000 as a deposit, it

leaves you with a balance of $13,000. You could apply for a car loan for the

$13,000, taking the loan out anywhere from 12 months to 72 months. The longer

the loan payment, the more interest you'll pay, but the payments may be more

affordable because when they are spread out over 72 months, your payments will be

lower.

Regardless of how long you take your loan out for, you will be in debt for

$13,000. If you make your payments on time, regardless of which term you choose

to pay, you will gradually get out of debt for that loan.

As the loan progresses, your credit report will show that you took out a loan

for $13,000 and how much you now owe on the loan. This is your debt to owe ratio

for that loan. For instance, if you have been paying on time for two years and now

owe $9,000, your debt to owe would be 13:9 or 69%.

Your debt to owe ratio is not as important on a fixed loan like a car loan or a

mortgage as long as you have the income that can handle the payments and you pay

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your bills on time. However, with revolving debt like credit cards or equity loans, it

can get a little tricky. Lenders shy away from extending credit to people who are

overextended. The lender will look at all the revolving credit to see what the debt to

owe ratio is before making a decision to extend more credit.

To explain this a little more, lets look at 2 different scenarios. If you have a

credit card with a $5,000 credit limit and you owe $4,000 on it, your debt to owe

ratio is 80%. But if you have a second credit card with a $3,000 credit limit and a

zero balance, your debt to owe ratio is now 50%. A debt to owe ratio of 50% or less

is more favorable when applying for a loan or credit.

Beware of falling into the credit trap. Sometimes you really can have too

much of a good thing. While you'll want to keep your options open, and having more

than one credit card with a high balance gives you more flexibility and buying power,

you don't want to go crazy with credit card applications. A lender might wonder why

you need all those credit cards and be leery of giving out another credit card if you

have too many revolving lines of credit.

If you need more credit for a project or big expense that is coming up, call the

bank that issued your current credit card first and ask for a credit line increase. It is

much easier to handle your debt if you have to pay one or two banks than if you

have to pay ten.

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Understanding Your Credit Report

To some people, a credit report might as well be written in Greek for all they

are concerned. Very often, when a person calls for a copy of their credit report, they

don’t expect it to be as long as it is or as detailed. Shouldn't it simply state that you

pay your bills on time and list whatever your current debt is?

It's not as simple as that. A credit report is not a quick day-in-the-life of your

current financial situation. It's more of a saga, a history of what your credit has been

since the time you established credit or going back 10 years.

One of the things that trips people up the most is that they don't understand

what is actually on their credit report. There may be data on the credit report that is

incorrect. If so, you'll need to know how to identify inaccuracies and how to correct

them. You also need to be able to identify any black marks you have and ways you

can clear them from your report.

The first thing you need to understand is that the credit report you receive is

not absolute. There are three major credit reporting agencies in United States and

not all the information on each of those reports will be identical. To fully understand

your credit history, you need to get a copy of your credit report from each of these

credit reporting agencies.

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 Experian

 TransUnion

 Equifax

By law, you can request a copy of your credit report from these three agencies

once per year for free. Any more than that and you will need to pay a fee for the

credit report.

Why is it so important to get a copy of your credit report from all three

agencies? Each of these agencies is independent of each other and the creditors that

report to them do it on a voluntary basis.

Not all creditors will send information to credit bureaus, and some will only

send to one or two, not all three. Because of this, you may get the reports from one

credit bureau that your creditor does not report to and think that everything is fine,

only to find out that your credit score is low because a delinquency appeared on a

different credit bureau report.

Also, just because you have a department store credit card and you are 31

days late with your payment, it doesn't mean that the department store will

automatically send a report to one or all of the credit bureaus. Many department

stores do have an automated system for reporting, but some have grace periods. It

is best not to risk sending payments late because you think the creditor is slow in

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sending reports of delinquencies. Paying your bills on time is the best way to prevent

inaccuracies or black marks on any credit report.

As you can see, when cleaning up your credit, you need to have information

from all three of the major credit bureaus. That is the only way to ensure you are

finding any inconsistencies or inaccuracies that may adversely affect your ability to

get a loan. To get a rented copy of your credit report from any of these three

agencies visits www.annualcreditreport.com.

So what is actually in a credit report? There are four sections to a credit

report. The first part of a credit report will give identifying information about you.

The next part will have your credit history going back at least 10 years or to the

point where you started getting credit. The third part will list public records. And the

last part will give a list of any inquiries that were made to your credit report.

Let's break them down one by one. A lot of people take a quick look at their

identifying information and don't bother to look at the rest. This is a mistake. You

may have applied for a credit card using your middle initial one time and not another

time. You may have gotten married and changed her name, or gotten divorced and

changed your name. You may be named after your father or mother, in which case

there are two people who lived at the same address at one point, with the same

name.

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Not only that, how many Mary Smiths do you think lived in New York City?

While social security numbers will help distinguish you from someone else with the

same name, there are times when wires get crossed and information gets jumbled

and you might get someone else's information on your report.

Check their identifying information very carefully. If it lists that you live or

have lived at a particular address and you have never lived there, you will need to

have that information corrected. Make sure that the spelling of your name or any

other name that you have gone by is correct. The wrong spelling could present a

problem. You don't necessarily need to change the spelling because sometimes the

information has just been keyed in incorrectly and by making a change it couldn't

further complicate the problem. However, you do need to check out each entry to

make sure that the name that they are referring to and the account actually belongs

to you and not someone else.

Check all the addresses that are listed. If you have never lived on 55

Blueberry Lane, something on your report may not be yours. In addition to

addresses, check to make sure that your telephone number, driver's license number,

your birth date, and the name of your spouse, if you have one, are all correct.

The next part of the report will be a listing of all the loans that you have taken

out, whether they be for actual loans or credit cards. These are called trade lines.

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It can be a bit confusing looking at this section because the information goes

back for at least 10 years. For instance if you purchased a home and took out a

mortgage with one bank and three years later that banks sells your mortgage to

another bank, both banks will be listed on the credit report, even if you have been

paying the new bank for five or six years.

Any credit cards that you might've taken out and paid off will also be listed on

your credit report. If you purchased furniture eight years ago and had store credit,

that might be on there as well. It may seem a little overwhelming at first to go

through each line, but it is vitally important that you do to make sure the reporting

information is really about you and your credit history, not someone else.

The Type of Trade Line Information on the Report

 The date you opened to the account

 Type of credit. Is it revolving or an installment loan?

 Cosigner/joint account

 Total amount of the loan

 Credit limit

 Highest balance

 Current balance

 Monthly payment

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 Status of the account. Is the account open, closed, paid in full,

inactive?

 Your payment history. If you have been 30 days late, 60 days late,

etc.., it will show by month.

Some credit bureaus list your payment history as a statement. For instance,

"Never Pays Late". There may be other comments as well that indicate if the creditor

has tried to collect a pass due debt and has written it off. Other credit bureaus may

have a ranking system to reflect a good or bad payment history.

The third part is the section that will list any public liens or judgments that

have been reported. If you have anything listed in the public section of the report,

this is not good news. Public reportings on a credit report are weighted very heavily

with creditors. If you have a financial judgment against you such as a bankruptcy or

tax lien, it will be listed there.

This is not to say that if you have a reporting in the public section that you will

not be able to get a loan. It just means that you need to work harder to build your

credit back.

The last part is the area where any inquiries into your credit report will be

listed. These inquiries are broken into two sections. The first part will list any hard

inquiries. Hard inquiries are reportings where you have filled out a loan, credit card

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or other application for credit and the creditor has contacted the credit bureau to get

your credit history. Soft inquiries will be in the next section and will list any company

that has contacted the credit bureau for information to prequalify you for credit.

Each inquiry can lower your credit score, which is called the FICO score.

For the purpose of establishing a FICO score, any inquiries that are made

within 30 days of getting a mortgage or car loan are ignored. Likewise, any hard

inquiries that are made within a 14 day span are treated as one inquiry. That means

that if you are searching for the best car loan and apply to several different banks

within a 14 day period, your credit score won't go down because of all those

inquiries.

Keep in mind that when you apply for credit, you need to be aware of how

often you do it. While getting the best deal won't adversely affect your credit score,

haphazardly applying for credit cards will if you are applying for credit every month.

It can sometimes be hard to look at your credit report and see your financial

missteps glaring back at you in black and white. But it is necessary if you want to

get out of debt and increase your credit rating. Once you know what it is that is

keeping you from improving your credit, you'll have the roadmap that will lead you to

fixing it.

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Reduce Your Debt and Create Cash Flow

You got yourself into debt and now you're finally admitting that you have to do

something about it. Congratulations. Admitting that there is a problem with your

debt and cash flow is the first step towards repairing any damage debt has done to

your finances.

Just because you got yourself into debt to the point where you're paying

minimum payments on your credit cards and you're living week to week with your

paycheck doesn't mean you have to continue to live that way. By using the following

strategies, you will be able to get out of debt and have money left over at the end of

the month to either put into a savings account or invest.

Stop Spending Recklessly

One of the main reasons why people find themselves in debt is because they

are spending money and they have no idea where their money is going. Stopping by

the donut shop to get a bagel and a cup of coffee on your way to work may only

costs you six dollars. But if you multiply it by five days a week and 4.3 weeks per

month you can see how that six dollar cup of coffee and bagel can turn into nearly

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$130 out of your budget every month. That had better be really great cup of coffee

for the price tag you pay.

Now, I'm not saying that you can never stop for a cup of coffee and a bagel.

But when you're trying to get out of debt you need to scrutinize every expense you

have to see if it's really necessary. You may find that making an extra cup of coffee

in the morning at home and putting it in a travel mug is all you need. It will save

you a lot of money at the end of the month too.

Wait 24 Hours before Making a Purchase

You are going to hear me repeat this phrase many times throughout this book.

Most people spend recklessly because they are impulse shoppers. That means they

see an item that appeals to them and they buy it only because it has been put in

front of them.

Impulse purchases are the purchases that you did not go to the store to buy in

the first place. We all know them when we see them. They are the magazines at the

checkout aisle, the really expensive cookies right in front of the checkout aisle, or

any other item that is positioned in the store near necessities that you will just

happen to see when you are there to pick up something else.

Resist the urge to impulse shopping by making a list before you go to the

store. Only by what is on your list and nothing more. If you do happen to see

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something at the store and think you might want to buy it, wait 24 hours before

making the purchase. If you really want the item, you'll make the extra trip to go

back for it on another day.

Create a Budget

In a later chapter in this book I will show you how to create a workable budget

for yourself. When you have a workable budget in place and you stick to it you are

less likely to overspend.

For instance, if you don't have money in your budget to purchase a new dress,

don't do it. If you really want to buy a new dress because you have an occasion

coming up, set aside a certain amount of money every week until you have enough

money to make the purchase. This will keep you within your budget while allowing

you to indulge in that special something that you want to buy.

Create a Plan

You wouldn't take a road trip across country unless you charted out a course.

If you did, you'd end up in Montana instead of Texas or vice versa.

The same is true for your finances. If you write it down and the numbers

work, you're more likely to reach your goal of getting out of debt than if you are

simply aimlessly wandering through trying to fix your financial problems.

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Call Your Creditors

Most people make that mistake of running from their creditors when they

make a collection call because they're embarrassed or because they don't have the

money to pay. This is one of the biggest mistakes you could make if you are trying

to get out of debt. How can you fix the problem if you don't talk to the source?

The first thing you should do when you are in debt is talk to your creditors and

ask them to reduce your interest rate. Tell them about the problem you're having in

making your payments and ask them if they have a lower interest rate program you

can switch your card to or if they have a consolidation program where you can

transfers several cards to a lower rate. If so, you can take one or two of your other

credit cards or loans and consolidate them into one loan with a lower interest rate

and pay less interest per month. You'll be paying off your debt quicker that if you

merely pay the minimum payment on all your cards.

And speaking of making minimum payments, you need to change that habit as

well. As hard as it may be to increase the amount you're paying each month, if you

don't do it, you will continue to be in debt when you reach retirement and pay an

enormous amount of interest on items you bought years earlier. Retirement is not a

time in your life you want to have the burden of debt.

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If you can't afford to pay more than the minimum payment on all of your cards

and loans, then choose the loan or credit card with the highest interest rate. Pay the

minimum balance on the lower interest rate cards and put all your reserve cash into

the higher card. When that card is paid off, choose the next card with the highest

interest rate and so on so forth until all of your credit cards are paid off.

Don't make a mistake of paying off one credit card and then thinking your

monthly payment you used to use for that card can now be used for spending. Any

reserve cash you have used to put towards credit cards should be added to the next

card until all your credit cards are paid off.

Keep Your Credit Cards Home

The urge to spend is sometimes so powerful only because your credit cards are

so easily available in your wallet. Remove the temptation, and you no longer have

the option of spending money recklessly.

Keep your credit cards home in a safe place. Only take one of them out when

you have to make a purchase. For instance, if you need new brakes on your car and

you have to charge the work because you don't have the money to pay cash, pull out

the credit card with the lowest interest rate and use that for the purchase. As soon

as you have made your purchase, put the credit card back so you won’t be tempted

to use it on other things.

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Make Your Payments on Time

When you're in debts, the worst thing you can do is have late payments. Not

only will a creditor add late fees, they will be less likely to work with you towards

lowering your interest rate if you have black marks against you.

Not only that, you will then be paying finance charges on late fees, further

putting you in debt. Who wants to pay $35 for a late fee and get nothing out of it

and then have to pay interest on that same $35?

If you are unsure of the due dates on your credit cards, make a chart and keep

it handy on the refrigerator. Check it each week when you get your paycheck. If

you have a payment coming due, make sure you send it out 7-10 days before the

due date. This ensures it will be posted to your account in time and you will not have

to pay a delinquency fee.

Online Banking

In a later chapter I will talk about the benefits of online banking. If your bank

has this feature available to use, sign up and get acquainted with how it works.

People who use online banking are less likely to be late with their bills simply

because the ease of getting through their bills each month. Think of it, if you are one

of those people who dreads sitting down for two hours each month to make out a bill,

you'll be surprised and relieved to know that you can get through an entire month's

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worth of bills in a matter of minutes when you use online banking because all the

information is already in the file. All you have to do is choose a date to have the

payment sent.

If you continue to use these strategies to get yourself out of debt you will be

amazed at how much money you have left over at the end of the month. But don't

run right out and spend that money. In a later chapter we will talk about ways to

use your reserve money to stay out of debt and to use for investments.

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You Lost it, Now Get it Back:
Practical Solutions to Help Build Your Credit Again

Now that you know how to read your credit report, what are you going to do

about it? The most logical step is to plot out a course to fix what you can and

improve the rest so that your credit rating goes up.

First Step

Experts say that up to 80% of all credit reports contain entries that don't

belong. The first thing you need to do is identify which items, if any, on the report

do not belong to you. If there are any accounts that are listed under your name that

really belong to someone else, whether it be a family member, or someone you don't

know you need to dispute the entry. To do this, fill out a form that comes with the

report and follow the instructions the credit bureau gives you on the explanation

sheet.

It can take up to 30 days to hear back on a dispute. You may be in a hurry to

fix any discrepancies that are on your report so that you can increase your credit.

But remember, you didn't build your current credit rating overnight, you're not the fix

it overnight either.

Don't expect that the disputed charge will be erased immediately. The credit

bureau will contact the creditor and ask for more information regarding their

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reporting. After 30 days you will get a response from the credit bureau as to

whether or not the disputed charge will be removed.

If it is found that the reporting is not yours, it will be removed from your

report. However, some people are surprised to find that an entry they thought was

not valid is actually an account that they forgot about. If that is the case, it will

remain on the report.

Building your Credit

How bad your debt and credit history is will determine how aggressive you

need to be to build back your credit. For instance, if you have reviewed your credit

report and find only a few blemishes because you've made several late payments,

paying all of your bills on time will help you build your credit back immediately. If

you have declared bankruptcy because your past spending habits were out of control,

you have a little more work ahead you to build back your credit.

To show that you are credit worthy, start out by asking a local bank or credit

union how you can open a secure credit card. Even if your credit is really bad, you

should be able to open up a secure credit card because you are paying for your credit

in advance by making a deposit up to the amount of your credit limit.

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There is no risk to the bank, as you can only charge up to the amount you

actually have prepaid on the card. It will help you change your spending habits while

you slowly rebuild your credit.

See if you can get a cosigner for a small loan or credit account. If your credit

isn't the best but the cosigner has good credit, a lender will be more likely to extend

the loan knowing that there is a backup in place in case you default. But remember,

if you do not make the payments on time, the bank will then go to your cosigner to

get the money owed. Consider this before asking someone to cosign a loan for you.

When your credit is really bad, start small. Instead of trying to get that high

credit limit on a Visa or MasterCard account, try applying for a department store

credit card. The credit limit will probably start out low as the lender will be unsure

about how you will be able to pay back the credit card if your credit history is shot.

But as you make purchases with your credit card, and pay them off in full and

on time at the end of the month, the credit department will increase the amount you

can purchase. This will show up on your credit report and show that you are being

responsible with this credit.

After six months or so you can try to apply for more credit with any reputable

bank. Again, the bank that issues you a Visa may not give you that $5,000 credit

limit you want. You may have to start off with a credit limit of $500.

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If that's the case, show that you are responsible by making a purchase and

paying it off in full and on time each month. After six months, you can request a

small credit increase. But this is not a license to start spending recklessly again. You

need to remember what got to into your credit troubles in the first place and make

sure that you do not repeat the same mistake.

Tips to Get Out of Debt

 Take your credit cards out of your wallet. If you don't have your credit cards

with you, you can't use them.

 Wait 24 hours before making purchases you don't need. Obviously if you need

gas for your car to get home, you need to make a purchase. But do you really

need to stop at the department store because they're having a 25% off sale?

If you don't need it, don't buy it. By waiting 24 hours before making a

purchase, you have time to think about whether or not you actually need the

item without giving in to your impulse to want to spend money.

 Create a budget and stick to it. It does no good to chart a course and then

take a different one. If you keep to a working budget, you won't overspend.

More importantly, you'll be able to reduce your debt.

 Pay off the credit card with the highest interest rate first. You are losing more

money per month in finance charges with a high interest credit card. By

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paying the minimum balance on your lower interest credit cards and putting

extra money on the high interest credit cards, you'll reduce your debt quicker.

 Have your paycheck deposited directly into your bank account. If you don't

have to make a special trip to the bank to deposit your check, you're more

likely to pay your bills on time. Also, you can't use the fact that there aren't

funds in your account as a reason why you didn't pay a bill on time. Another

thing to consider is if you can't physically cash your check, there is less risk

that you will take out more money than you need to have on hand and end up

spending it instead of paying bills.

 Cut down on your discretionary expenses. This one tends to hurt people the

most but can have a huge impact on how much money you have available to

you to pay off outstanding debts. Do you really need to go out to eat every

Friday night? No. Instead of going out to eat and paying a high price tag at a

fancy restaurant, consider doing take out if you really don't want to cook or

purchase quick prepare meals. They are a lot cheaper and you will save a lot

of money over the course of the month just by cutting out that one thing. If

you shave off the amount of money you use for discretionary spending, you'll

be amazed at how much money you have left at the end of the month.

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 Consider your living expenses. You may love the apartment that you're living

in because it is close to all the fun spots in town, but can you really afford it?

Make sure you aren't spending any more than 33% of your income on housing

costs. If you can't afford to live in that fancy apartment, consider moving to

an area that is just as nice but a little more affordable.

 Avoid taking out a loan to get out of debt. If your credit is bad, then chances

are the only loan you could afford is a consolidation loan. Consolidation loans

are just a way to combine all of your debt into one loan. While a consolidation

loan may seem attractive in some ways, unless you're actually changing your

spending habits, you'll fall back into the same trap. Plus, not all consolidation

loans are given at a low interest-rate. You may end up paying a higher

interest-rate that what you were paying for some of your credit cards.

 Call your creditor to lower your interest-rate. This is one strategy that most

people don't even consider. However, it should be the first. Before you look

anywhere else, call your bank and see if you can have the interest rate

reduced. If you've been late on payments, chances are you've racked up

some fees and a higher interest rate as a penalty. Some lenders will consider

how you have paid over the last few months. If you have kept up-to-date with

your payment over the last few months, they may agree to lower your rate or

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they will give you a date that they will consider lowering it if you continue to

pay on time. This can make a huge difference over the course of paying off

your debt.

 Be a bargain shopper. Have you ever seen someone who was walking around

with an expensive pair of shoes or designer clothes and wondered how they

can afford those things on their salary? They may not make a fortune, but

they may be a savvy shopper. To get the bargains you need to hunt out the

deals. Instead of paying full price for an item, shop around on the Internet to

see if you can find the same item at a lower price. Consider asking yourself if

you'd be just as happy with last year's handbag at a discount as you would if

you paid full price for this year's handbag? When you're trying to get out of

debt, and want to still enjoy some of the things you used to, being a bargain

hunter is worth it.

 Make more money. Most people get into debt because they're spending

beyond their means. If you don't want to make drastic lifestyle changes,

consider getting a second job or working overtime at your current job to

increase your cash flow. More money coming in doesn't give you a license to

spend more. It will give you more cash on hand to pay off your debt.

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Remember, you didn't get into debt overnight. You won't get out of debt

overnight. But if you follow these strategies consistently, you will get out of debt

quicker so that you can begin to build your credit back.

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Establishing a Working Budget for Yourself

Most people have found themselves overextended because they don't have a

clear picture of how their money is being spent. Every time you go to a store, money

flies out of your wallet without you having any kind of checks and balances as to how

your spending will affect the bottom line.

Maybe you do very well keeping your spending at stores in check. But perhaps

you are surfing the web and using your credit cards to pay for purchases without

keeping track of how much you are spending. When that bill or bills come in the

mail, you suddenly get sticker shock and scratch your head wondering how you spent

that much money without realizing it.

It's a common tale and one that gets a lot of people in trouble. Applying for

many credit cards, and then using all of them when one gets maxed out, purchasing

every service available on cable, buying the fancy sports car with the convertible top,

etc., is only okay if you have the ability to pay for it all at the end of the month. If

you don't know how much are spending, then you don't know if what you are

spending is within your budget.

That brings us to the dreaded "B" word. Budget. Let's face it, part of the fun

of spending is doing it with wild abandon. Very few people can enjoy those high

moments of spending without crashing down at the end of the month when they

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realize that the bills they have to pay are far higher than the amount of money they

have in the bank to pay those bills.

This is where the charging cycle becomes dangerous. To counter the need to

spend, many people turn to their credit cards with the idea that they can always be

paid off later. After all, that is the principle of using credit cards.

However, even with your credit cards, paying a minimum balance, which many

people who have credit problems do, only puts you further into debt. Let's take a

look at a simple purchase of a television set costing $300. Most people would look at

that $300 TV and not bat an eye at putting it on their charge card. If you have the

ability to pay off that TV in one or two pay cycles, then there is no problem.

However if you don't, that $300 TV will end up costing you a whole lot more.

Let's look at the actual numbers. If you purchase that TV with cash you have

in the bank, the total cost of the TV is $300 plus tax. For the sake of this example I

will use a 5% sales tax. So the total cost of the television is $315.

Now, if you put that television on your credit card, which has an interest rate

of 19.9%, and pay it off in full in two pay periods, the total cost of the television set

is $322.86. If you put that television on your credit card and pay just the minimum

payment each month, it will take you nearly 3 years to pay it off at a price tag of

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$460. Even if you pay more than the minimum, say $30 per month, it will still take

you 12 months to pay off the television and it will cost you $360.00.

Remember, your payment on your credit card will not be fixed as you will

probably be charging other items throughout the year as well, putting yourself in

further debt.

Establishing a workable budget can help you keep your finances on track and

prevent you from having to overpay for items that you want to purchase. In the last

chapter I talked about ways to decrease your debt. In this chapter I'll talk about

ways that you can establish a working budget that will give you some wiggle room to

make purchases with cash instead of automatically pulling out your credit card and

charging. And if you do charge, I'll show you how you can pay off your charge cards

quickly so that you don't end up paying more interested on item than you need to.

If you don't know where your money is going, you can't plan ahead for

purchases. You can't rely on what your mother or brother or best friend does to stay

on track. Every budget is different because each person's circumstances are

different. You may have expenses that someone else does not have. Where your

neighbor budgets $20 per week to spend on gas to get to and from work, your

budget may need to be $50 because you have an SUV and drive 30 miles each way

and she has a compact car and works right up the street from home.

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Your budget will consist of fixed items as well as non-fixed items that need to

be paid each month. A fixed item is something that is paid each month and the

payment remains the same. An example of a fixed item would be rent, or a car

payment. A non-fixed item would be something like a utility bill or paying a co-pay

for a doctor's appointment.

Let's start with the fixed items. If it helps, you can use the budget chart

located in Appendix C at the back of this e-book. Make a list of every bill that you

pay each month that never changes and enter the amount you pay. (Do not include

your credit cards in this list. Credit cards or revolving debt will have its own list.)

Then make a list of all the things that you pay every month that are not fixed.

You want to include your grocery bill, utilities, and any bill that you periodically pay

that is not due on a monthly basis.

There are ways to make some non-fixed items, like utility bills, a fixed item.

Depending on where you are living in the country, you may have fluctuations

throughout the year that will determine how much you pay each month for your

utilities. If you live in an area with harsh winters, you may have a high utility bill

during the winter months but not in the summer months. If so, figure out how much

it will cost for the full year and then divide that amount by 12.

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Or, if you go visit a doctor every two or three month and are responsible for

paying a co-pay for your doctor's visit, include the total amount that you pay per

year divided by 12. Put that number in the monthly column. If you pay your car

insurance in six installments, take the amount you pay per year and divided by 12.

Keep doing this for all your periodic non-fixed bills.

Once you have all of your monthly obligations listed in either the fixed or non-

fixed columns, take any credit cards you have and choose the one with the best

interest and a moderate credit limit and list that in a column all by itself.

Remember, these credit cards should be all paid off after using the

strategies we talked about in the last chapter. While you can certainly use this

budget model to get yourself out of debt, the goal once you are out of debt is to use

this budget to stay out of debt.

Take the rest of the credit cards with zero balances and put them away where

you can't get at them when you are shopping. Do not use them or cancel them.

To keep your credit in good standing you need to show lenders that your debt

to owe ratio is good. This means that the amount of credit available to you is at

least 50% higher than what you owe. The lower the amount that you owe, the more

appealing you look to a lender when you apply for a major loan. To achieve this, you

must be disciplined with your spending. Make sure that if you have to make a

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purchase with a credit card, that you are only using one and that you pay it off

quickly.

After you have all your monthly expenses laid out for you in a list, and you

have tabulated your monthly income from all sources, enter all the data into the

budget chart located in Appendix C. This chart will help you get a snapshot view of

your monthly income and expenses at a glance.

In the first column, you want to list what your actual income is using your base

pay. There may be times when you might work overtime or receive money from

another source. That extra money is not going to be part of your budget unless it is

money that you receive on a consistent basis. If you normally work five hours

overtime every week, you can include that in the budget. However, if you only work

overtime every other week or a different number of hours each week, do not include

that in your budget.

Continue entering in all the fixed item expenses and the average per month for

the non-fixed expenses until you have completed the column. You'll notice that there

is a section toward the bottom of the budget chart for investments and savings. You

may not have been able to save in the past, but we are going to include that in your

new budget plan.

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Because you so diligently worked at reducing your debt by using the strategies

in the last chapter you should notice that your income for the month is now higher

than your debt for the month. Using a calculator, figure out how much money you

have left at the end of the month after you have taken into consideration your fixed

and non-fixed bills. Remember, we haven't added in "extras" at this point. We will

do that next.

To bring in cash flow or extra money at the end of the month, you need to be

aware of all the extras you spend throughout the month. These extras will be things

like entertainment, such as going out to the movies or to dinner. It'll also be things

like the cost for haircuts and new clothes.

Obviously there are times when you need to buy new clothes for work or to

get a haircut. But when you're budgeting, you need to make a decision as to

whether or not you can really afford a $90 pair of jeans or if you can live with a $25

pair of jeans. You also need to decide if going out to dinner every Friday night or

making a nice meal at home is a better choice for your budget. Oh, and those

highlights you wanted to have put in your hair. Are they really worth it? You may be

just as happy with the professional cut and color as you would if you were to have

the more expensive beauty treatment.

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Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer when you're taking a hard

look at your expenses for all these extras. But they will impact your goals. If you

choose to purchase the $25 pair of jeans and put the extra $65 you save in the bank,

you will be in a better position to make a larger purchase down the road without

having to use your credit card.

That is our goal. Before now, you may have been living week to week on

your paycheck, borrowing from Paul to pay Peter, or so the saying goes. But you

won't be doing that anymore. To improve your credit and to stay out of debt you

need to establish a nest egg for yourself for those times when you do need to make a

major purchase.

I'm not just talking about buying a television set, as I illustrated in the prior

example. I'm talking about major expenses like when the brakes go on your car or

the furnace in your house suddenly needs to be fixed. Expenses like these that are

not part of your daily living expenses can end up crippling you financially if you have

not planned for them ahead of time.

To plan for these types of the expenses, you need to put aside a certain

amount of money in a miscellaneous fund. You won't use the miscellaneous fund

every month. But if you plan for it correctly by putting aside a small amount, when

you do suddenly have a major car or house repair, you will have some cash on hand

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to help with the expenses. You will also have planned for additional money every

month to put on a credit card if you do need to make a credit card purchase to cover

the repair.

Once you have established your entire budget, you need to stick to it. I can't

stress that enough. If you don't have enough money in your budget to stop at the

donut shop for coffee every morning before work, don't do it. Instead, try

purchasing a travel mug and making a little extra coffee in the morning to take with

you to work. It will cost a whole lot less and it won't eat into your budget. Small

deviations from your budget, if done often enough, can make a big difference when

you are trying to stay on track.

As you receive your income and pay for your expenses each month, log them

into your budget planner. The first column will remain the same each month so you

can fill that out and make copies of it for the future. The second column is where

you will enter the actual figures for each month. Make sure you also enter the

difference between what you budgeted and what was actually spent.

If you have a financial software program, you can use that instead of the chart

in the back. The choice is yours. Some people like using a paper and pencil, and

some people are computer savvy. It doesn't matter either way as long as you take

the steps to do it.

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At the end of the month take a look at the last column which is marked

"difference". You'll want to have more plusses than minuses in that column. In fact,

if you've figured your budget correctly, it should be all plusses. You have reason to

cheer if it is.

Setting Goals

You should be thrilled to see extra money at the end of the month after you've

paid all your bills. But your work doesn't stop there. To give yourself a good nest

egg for the future, you need to consider investing in a retirement account, CD

program, savings account or in other investments that will make your money work

for you.

Instead of letting all that extra money sit in your account, establish a goal to

invest a certain amount of money in a 401(k) program, a savings account, and an

investment account. It is much easier to work these things into your monthly budget

than it is to suddenly come up with $2000 for a major repair when something goes

wrong or when you want to buy a high ticket item.

Once you have established how much you can put into these accounts, make

sure you do it. To avoid the temptation to take that money out and use it, pay

yourself first before you pay any of your other creditors. Remember, you have

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worked towards getting yourself out of debt. Now you want to work towards building

your net worth and establishing some security for the future.

The best time to establish these funds are when you are in your early 20s.

Financial models show that when a person right out of college starts investing in

savings and other investments, they have the ability to create incredible wealth.

Don't despair if you're in your late 40s and you haven't spent the last 20 years

saving. There are many people who don't even begin saving until later in life, and

while you do need to be more aggressive, it doesn't mean you can't achieve your

financial goals.

One thing is for certain. If you don't start, you won't reap the benefits. You'll

find that whatever money you are putting away is money that you don't miss. In the

long run, you'll be glad that you took the steps to save for the future.

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Establishing a New Credit Direction:
Goals for the Future

Congratulations. Not only have you reduced your debt and repaired your

credit, you have established yourself as credit worthy in the financial community. If

you're not quite there, that's okay. Using these strategies you can stay on the right

path to keeping your newfound credit rating great and further repair a poor credit

history.

Too often, someone who has struggled with their debt so that it has affected

their credit rating in a negative way ends up falling back into old habits that lead to

bringing them right back to where they started. With bad debts and poor credit. You

don't want that to happen to you!

Budget, Budget, Budget

It may be the dreaded "B" word that everyone hates, but establishing a

workable budget and sticking to it is the best way to keep you from slipping back into

old habits. After all, if those old habits were so great you would not have gotten into

the financial trouble you did.

You may be thinking to yourself that you have all this extra money now that

you've paid down all your debts. That may be so, but that doesn't mean that you

can now start spending recklessly.

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Instead of going out on a shopping spree every week, work flexible spending

into your budget. This flexible spending can be used in any way you choose. If you

want to allot $50 a week so that you have the freedom to buy that new dress or new

pair of shoes, that is fine. As long as you don't go over the amount that you have

allotted for the week, you won't run into trouble. You can even skip a week and save

that money for the next week so you have more to spend when you do go shopping.

Resist the urge to make these purchases on a credit card. If you have the

money in the bank to purchase with cash, do it. Unless you know for sure that you

can put a purchase on the credit card and pay it in full at the end of the month,

further showing your creditworthiness, do not make the purchase.

Wait a Day

Most of us make what is known as impulse purchases. These are purchases

that we make because we just happened to "see" them when we are out shopping for

something else.

You know what they are. They are usually stacked up along the aisles near

the cash register. When lines are long, you have nothing better to do than look at

the magazine's or books or little electronics that are nice, but that you don't

necessarily need.

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While it might be hard to resist dropping a small $.99 candy bar into your

shopping cart because you know it won't make that big a difference, buying a new

$100 coffee maker because you just happened to see it may blow your budget. The

best thing to do is to wait a day so that you can decide whether you really need this

new coffee maker or not.

Chances are, you probably won't make a special trip just to buy this

coffeemaker and you'll realize that you probably don't need it. But if you do, you can

always go back to the store and purchase it after you've had a little bit of time to

think about whether that $100 purchase will impact your budget. .

Take Charge of Your Credit Cards

Always remember that you are in charge of your finances. You decide whether

or not you need to purchase something just like you can decide whether or not you

are going to keep your credit cards on hand at all times.

For instance, if you see a widescreen television that you know would look

awesome in your living room, but you don't have the money in your budget to buy it,

you are less likely to take it home anyway when you do not have a credit card that

you can simply pull out of your wallet and hand the cashier.

By leaving your credit cards at home and only taking them out when you know

that you need to make a large purchase for a specific reason, you're less likely to use

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your credit cards impulsively for things that you don't really need. This will ensure

that you're thinking about your purchases and not regretting them after you make

them.

Let's face it, even if you don't regret buying that awesome widescreen TV that

you and your friends love to enjoy when you're watching Monday Night Football, you

may be living with the decision of charging it for a long time to come if you don't

have the money to pay for and it eats into your budget. So keep the credit cards at

home and in a safe place. Only take them out when you have thought about your

purchases and know how it is going to affect your finances.

Sign up for Online Banking

One of the reasons people run into trouble with their bills is because they find

it daunting to sit down with their checkbook and write them out. There are 101

excuses why they put off their bills until tomorrow night. Maybe you lost the

envelope with the address. Maybe you ran out of stamps. Maybe your favorite blue

pen is out of ink. Maybe the dog ate your checkbook.

The reasons can be as serious as you were suddenly called away on an

emergency or as ridiculous as you can find your calculator. Don't allow this to

happen to you. One night turns into two nights and before you know it, your bills are

late.

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While you can't help being called away on an emergency every now and then,

you can fight off the crazy excuses we sometimes use to get out of doing our bills.

One of the ways that you can take away the stress involved in doing your monthly

bills is by signing up for an online banking account with your bank.

Online banking accounts allow you to not only view a history of your

transactions with the bank to date, but it also allows you to set up online bill

payment. If your bank does not have this feature, you may want to consider finding

a bank in your local area that does have this feature.

Here are some of the benefits to online banking.

◊ All of your monthly obligations will be located in one place making it

easier for you to keep track of what is due and when.

◊ Instead of handwriting out every check, you will simply be able to click

on a bill, and insert the dollar amount and date that it will be paid. You

can preset bills to be sent out on a recurring basis for things like your

mortgage or rent payment. Or you can set up a one-time payment for

bills that have different amounts due or for bills that are not paid on a

regular basis, such as a doctor bill.

◊ You can write out your bills for the entire month in a matter of minutes

rather than hours. For instance, if you have $2000 worth of payments

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to consistently make every month, you can set them up to be paid out

on the date you want and then forget about them. As long as you

leave enough time for the payment to be processed with the bank, your

bills will be sent on time.

◊ You can make electronic payments without additional fees. How many

times have you forgotten about a bill only to have to call up the 800-

number, pay the bill over the phone and be assessed a fee, just so your

payment will not be late? With online banking you'll know which bills

your bank can pay electronically, which will give you a direct transfer

from your bank account to your creditor. Your bank can still make

payments by mail to people who do not have electronic access, for

instance your doctor's office. You will need to make sure you post the

bill to be paid within the allotted time the bank gives you to make sure

that it gets sent out in time. Many monthly bills, such as your utility

bills or your mortgage, can be made electronically.

◊ You can automatically connect a savings account to a checking account

so that you can transfer money as you need it. If for some reason your

checking account runs low and you think you might bounce a check,

you can go online on any computer and transfer funds so that you don't

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bounce a check. The bank does not need to be open for you to do this.

This is especially convenient for people who can't get to the bank

during normal banking hours.

As you can see, the benefits of having online banking are many.

Direct Deposit

If your employer gives you the option of having your paycheck automatically

deposited into your checking account, make sure you sign up for this benefit. A lot of

people put off making payments because they can't get to the bank to make a

deposit. They then want their check to clear before they send out a payment for a

bill to avoid having that payment bounce.

When you have your paycheck automatically deposited into your checking

account you'll know that on that day you can set your payments to automatically go

out. If for some reason you don't have enough money to make a payment, you can

adjust the amount of bills that are going out on that day based on the amount of

money being deposited into your account.

This gives you a safeguard against bouncing a check while keeping you on

track with your bills. It also keeps you from spending portions of your paycheck that

are slated to be used to pay for bills. If the transactions are all done on the same

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day, you know that what is left over is the money that you can spend on other

things.

Use Financial Software

When you can see exactly how you are spending your money, you are less

likely to increase your debt and spend in a way that will affect your credit negatively.

There are many financial software programs available that can help you keep track of

your spending and even help you see exactly how you're spending your money.

You don't need to spend a lot of money on this software. Buy only what you

need. Some software programs are included when you buy a computer. Check to

see if your computer already has a financial software program like Microsoft Money

or Quicken. If not, don't feel like you need to buy the most expensive one with all

the bells and whistles for a home business. You can purchase a basic budgeting

program that will handle a simple home budget.

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Appendix A: Forms and Letters

Remove Inquiry– Creditor– Example#1


Dispute Items – Credit Bureau – Example #1
Dispute Item– Creditor or Credit Bureau – Example#2
Validate Debt Item– Collector – Temporarily Stops Collection by Law - Example#1
Validate Debt Item– Creditor or Credit Bureau – Followup 30 days - Example#1
Validate Debt Item– Creditor or Credit Bureau – Followup after 60 days Example#1
Dispute Item “Not Mine” – Example #1
Request to Describe Investigation Procedures– Credit Bureau – Example#1
Validate Debt Item– Creditor or Credit Bureau – Example#1
Validate Debt Item– Creditor or Credit Bureau – Follow up after 60 days--Example#1
Dispute Items – Credit Bureau – Reader Submitted Example#1
Dispute Items – Credit Bureau – Reader Submitted Example#2
Dispute Items – Credit Bureau – Reader Submitted Example#3
Dispute Items – Credit Bureau – Reader Submitted Example#4
Intention to File Complaint with FTC– Credit Bureau – Example#1
Intention to File a Complaint with the FTC– Follow up after 30 days - Example#1
Notice of Intent to File Complaint to FTC - Credit Bureau – Followup after 60 days–
Example#1

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Remove Inquiry– Creditor– Example#1

<Creditor Name Here>


Credit Bureau Dispute
Department Fax #: <Fax
Number Here>

3/12/2003

RE: Unauthorized Credit Inquiry

According to my most recent credit report, your company is currently reporting to the
three credit bureaus that I applied for credit with your organization. I did not granting
you authorization to review my credit report.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that a creditor be able to verify the written
authorization of the consumer giving the creditor permission to review their credit. If you
can provide a copy of a credit application authorizing the disclosure of my credit files with
my signature, I will accept the inquiry. If a signed authorization cannot be found please
remove the inquiry from the three main credit bureaus.

The presence of this inquiry is adversely affecting my credit report and is impeding my
ability to obtain necessary credit. Time is of the essence so I would greatly appreciate a
response from you within thirty (30) days.

Please mail me the copy of the signed application or a letter indicating your intention to
delete the inquiry.

Thank you,

<Your Name
Here> <Your SSN
Here>

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Dispute Items – Credit Bureau – Example #1

<Your Name and Address

Here> <Addressee Name

Here> Date

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am writing to dispute the validity of the above referenced item pursuant to the Fair
Credit Reporting Act. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires you to verify the validity of
the item within 30 days. If the validity can not be verified, you are obligated by law to
remove the item.

In the event that you can not verify the item pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and
you continue to list the disputed item on my credit report I will find it necessary to sue you
for actual damages and declaratory relief under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Because the
Fair Credit Reporting Act provides concurrent jurisdiction in federal and state courts, I
shall elect to use the <insert jurisdiction in which you reside, e.g. San Diego County
(OR) Superior Court> to bring appropriate action against you.

While I prefer not to litigate, I will use the courts as needed to enforce my rights under the
Fair Credit Reporting Act.

I look forward to an uneventful resolution of this

matter. Sincerely,

Signature

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<Your Name
Here> <Your SSN
Here>

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Dispute Item- Creditor or Credit Bureau - Example#2

<Your Name and Address Here>

<Addressee Name Here>

Date

RE: Account # _______ /Original Creditor's Name

Dear Sir/Madam:

This letter is a formal complaint that you are reporting inaccurate and
incomplete credit information.

I am distressed that you have included the information below in my credit profıle and
that you have failed to maintain reasonable procedures in your operations to assure
maximum possible accuracy in the credit reports you publish.

Credit reporting laws ensure that bureaus report only 100% accurate credit
information. Every step must be taken to assure the information reported is
completely accurate and correct.

The following information therefore needs to be re-investigated. I respectfully


request to be provided proof of this alleged item, specifıcally the contract, note or
other instrument bearing my signature. Failing that, the item must be deleted from
the report as soon as possible:

Name of Creditor/Agency, Account #

The listed item is entirely inaccurate and incomplete, and as such represents a very
serıous error in your reporting. Please delete this misleading information and supply a
corrected credit profıle to all creditors who have received a copy within the last
six months, or the last two years for employment purposes.

Additionally, please provide the name, address, and telephone number of each credit
grantor or other subscriber.

Under federal law, you have thirty (30) days to complete your re-investigation. Be
advised that the description of the procedure used to determine the accuracy and
completeness of the information is hereby requested as well, to be provided within
fıfteen (15) days of the completion of your re-investigation.

Sincerely,

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Signature
<Your Name
Here> <Your
SSN Here>

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Validate Debt Item- Collector - Temporarily Stops Collection by

Law - Example#1
<Your Name and Address Here>

<Addressee Name Here>

Date

RE: Account # ________/Original Creditor's Name

Dear Sir/Madam:

Thank you for your recent ınquiry. This is not a refusal to pay, but a notice that
your claim is being disputed. This is a request for validation made pursuant to the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Please complete and return the attached
disclosure request form.

Be advised that I am not requesting "verifıcation" that you have my mailing address, I
am requesting a "validation;" that is, competent evidence that I have some contractual
obligation to pay you.

You should also be aware that sending unsubstantiated demands for payment
through the United States Mail System might constitute mail fraud under federal
and state law. You may wish to consult with a competent legal advisor before
your next communication with me.

Your failure to satisfy this request within the requirements of the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act will be construed as your absolute waiver of any and all
claims against me, and your tacit agreement to compensate me for costs and
attorney fees.

Sincerely,

Signature

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<Your Name
Here> <Your
SSN Here>

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Validate Debt Item– Creditor or Credit Bureau – Followup 30 days -
Example#1

<Your Name and Address

Here> <Addressee Name

Here> Date

RE: Dispute Letter of <insert

date> Dear Sir/Madam:

This letter is formal notice that you have failed to respond in a timely manner to my
dispute letter of <insert date>, deposited by registered mail with the U.S. Postal Service
on that date.

Federal law requires you to respond within thirty (30) days, yet you have failed to
respond. Failure to comply with these federal regulations by credit reporting agencies are
investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (see 15 USC 41, et seq.). I am maintaining a
careful record of my communications with you for the purpose of filing a complaint with the
FTC should you continue in your non-compliance. I further remind you that, as in Wenger
v. Trans Union Corp., No. 95-6445 (C.D.Cal. Nov. 14, 1995), you may be liable for your
willful non-compliance.

Be aware that I am making a final goodwill attempt to have you clear up this matter. You
have 15 days to cure.

For your benefit, and as a gesture of my goodwill, I will restate my dispute. The following
information needs to be verified and, following failure to verify, deleted from the report as
soon as possible:

Name of Creditor/Agency, Account #

The listed item is entirely inaccurate and incomplete, and represents a very serious error in
your reporting. Please delete this misleading information and supply a corrected credit
profile to all creditors who have received a copy within the last six months, or the last two
years for employment purposes.

Additionally, please provide the name, address, and telephone number of each credit
grantor or other subscriber.

Under federal law you had thirty (30) days to complete your re-investigation, yet you
have failed to respond. Do not delay any further.

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Be advised that the description of the procedure used to determine the accuracy and
completeness of the information is hereby requested as well, to be provided within
fifteen (15) days of the completion of your re-investigation.

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Sincerely,

Signature
Your Name and Address Here

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storReviews.com
Validate Debt Item– Creditor or Credit Bureau – Followup after 60 days
Example#1

<Your Name and Address

Here> <Addressee Name

Here> Date

RE: Dispute Letter of <insert

date> Dear Sir/Madam:

As I have not heard back from you in over 60 days regarding my notice of dispute dated
<insert date>, and you have not supplied the demanded proof of the alleged debt, under
the doctrine of estoppel by silence, Engelhardt v Gravens (Mo) 281 SW 715, 719, I
may presume that no proof of the alleged debt, nor therefore any such debt, in fact
exists.

In a good faith effort to resolve this matter amicably, I restate my demand for proof of
the debt, specifically the alleged contract or other instrument bearing my signature, as well
as proof of your authority in this matter. Absent such proof, you must terminate this
collection action and correct any erroneous reports of this debt as mine.

For the record, I state again that as I have no account with you, nor am I your customer,
nor have I entered into a contract with you, I must ask for the following information:

1. Please evidence your authorization under 15 USC 1692 (e) and 15 USC 1692 (f)
in this alleged matter.
2. What is your authorization of law for your collection of information?
3. What is your authorization of law for your collection of this alleged debt?
4. Please evidence your authorization to do business or operate in the state of Florida.
5. Please evidence proof of the alleged debt, including specifically the alleged
contract or
other instrument bearing my signature.

You have fifteen (15) days from receipt of this notice to respond. Your failure to respond,
on point, in writing, hand signed, and in a timely manner, will work as a waiver to any and
all of your claims in this matter, and will entitle me to presume that you sent your
letter(s) in error, and that this matter is permanently closed.

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Your continued silence is unacceptable. Either provide the proof or correct the record to
remove the invalid debt from my credit files with the three primary credit-reporting
agencies. You are

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currently in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Act.

Failure to respond within 15 days of receipt of this registered letter will result in a small
claims action against your company. I will be seeking $5,000 in damages for the
following:

1. Defamation
2. Negligent Enablement of Identity
Fraud 3. Violation of the Fair Credit
Reporting Act

After obtaining the judgment against your company, I will obtain a Writ of Execution
from the Sheriff’s office in your county and I will begin the process of attaching property
or funds to satisfy the judgment.

For the purposes of 15 USC 1692 et seq., this Notice has the same effect as a dispute to
the validity of the alleged debt and a dispute to the validity of your claims. This Notice is
an attempt to correct your records, and any information received from you will be collected
as evidence should any further action be necessary. This is a request for information only,
and is not a statement, election, or waiver of status.

I affirm under penalty of perjury under the Laws of the Land for the United States of
America, that the foregoing is true and correct, to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Sincerely,

Signature
<Your Name Here>

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D i s p u t e I t e m " N o t M i n e " - Example #1

<Your Name and Address

Here> <Addressee Name

Here> Date

RE: Account # _____

Dear Credit Card

Company

I have recently received a copy of my credit report. The Equifax report had an
account listed from your company as a credit card. I disputed the account with the
credit bureau as "not mine" but it recently came back as verifıed.

I am writing this letter to you in an effort to get this removed. Please delete your
information from my credit reports. I have never had an account with your
company. If someone has opened an account in my name, please close it
immediately before further harm is done.

I am requesting that you notify all of credit bureaus that this account is "disputed"
or that you delete this account until this matter is resolved. This is required by the
Fair Credit Reporting Act.

If there is any paperwork that I need to sign to confirm that this account is not
mine, please send me the required documents.

This is a written dispute of the this account per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Billing Act. Please be aware
that I am exercising all of my rights per these laws and all other applicable laws
protecting me.

Sincerely,

Signature

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<Your Name
Here> <Your SSN
Here>

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Re q ue s t to De s c ri be I n v e s ti ga ti o n Pro c e d ure s- Cr e di t

B ure a u - E x am p l e # 1

<Your Name and Address

Here> <Addressee Name

Here> Date

Dear Sir/Madam:

This letter is a formal request for the description of the procedures used to determine
the accuracy and completeness of the disputed information, including the business
name, address, and telephone number of any furnisher of information contacted in
connection with this reinvestigation.

I am disappointed that you have failed to maintain reasonable procedures to assure


complete accuracy in the information you publish, and insist you comply with the
law by providing the requested information within the 15 days allowed.

For your benefıt, and as a gesture of my goodwill, I will restate the relevant

dispute: Name of Creditor/Agency, Account #

As already stated, the listed item is inaccurate and incomplete, and is a very
serious error in reporting. Please supply a corrected credit profıle to all creditors
who have received a copy within the last 6 months, or the last 2 years for
employment purposes.

Additionally, please provide the name, address, and telephone number of each credit
grantor or other subscriber.

Sincerely,

Signature
<Your Name and Address
Here> Your SSN

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Validate Debt Item- Creditor or Credit Bureau - Example#1

<Your Name and Address Here>

<Addressee Name Here>

Date

RE: Account # ________/Original Creditor's Name

Dear Sir/Madam:

This letter is a formal complaint that you are reporting inaccurate and
incomplete credit information.

I am distressed that you have included the information below in my credit profıle and
that you have failed to maintain reasonable procedures in your operations to assure
maximum possible accuracy in the credit reports you publish.

Credit reporting laws ensure that bureaus report only 100% accurate credit
information. Every step must be taken to assure the information reported is
completely accurate and correct.

The following information therefore needs to be re-investigated. I respectfully


request to be provided proof of this alleged item, specifıcally the contract, note or
other instrument bearing my signature. Failing that, the item must be deleted from
the report as soon as possible:

Name of Creditor/Agency, Account #

The listed item is entirely inaccurate and incomplete, and as such represents a very
serious error in your reporting. Please delete this misleading information and supply a
corrected credit profıle to all creditors who have received a copy within the last
six months, or the last two years for employment purposes.

Additionally, please provide the name, address, and telephone number of each credit
grantor or other subscriber.

Under federal law, you have thirty (30) days to complete your re-investigation. Be
advised that the description of the procedure used to determine the accuracy and
completeness of the information is hereby requested as well, to be provided within
fıfteen (15) days of the completion of your re-investigation.

Sincerely,

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Signature
<Your Name
Here> <Your
SSN>

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Validate Debt Item– Creditor or Credit Bureau – Follow up after 60 days-
-Example#1

<Your Name and Address

Here> <Addressee Name

Here> Date

RE: Dispute Letter of <insert

date> Dear Sir/Madam:

As I have not heard back from you in over 60 days regarding my notice of dispute dated
<insert date>, and you have not supplied the demanded proof of the alleged debt, under
the doctrine of estoppel by silence, Engelhardt v Gravens (Mo) 281 SW 715, 719, I
may presume that no proof of the alleged debt, nor therefore any such debt, in fact
exists.

In a good faith effort to resolve this matter amicably, I restate my demand for proof of
the debt, specifically the alleged contract or other instrument bearing my signature, as well
as proof of your authority in this matter. Absent such proof, you must terminate this
collection action and correct any erroneous reports of this debt as mine.

For the record, I state again that as I have no account with you, nor am I your customer,
nor have I entered into a contract with you, I must ask for the following information:

1. Please evidence your authorization under 15 USC 1692 (e) and 15 USC 1692 (f)
in this alleged matter.
2. What is your authorization of law for your collection of information?
3. What is your authorization of law for your collection of this alleged debt?
4. Please evidence your authorization to do business or operate in the state of Florida.
5. Please evidence proof of the alleged debt, including specifically the alleged
contract or
other instrument bearing my signature.

You have fifteen (15) days from receipt of this notice to respond. Your failure to respond,
on point, in writing, hand signed, and in a timely manner, will work as a waiver to any and
all of your claims in this matter, and will entitle me to presume that you sent your
letter(s) in error, and that this matter is permanently closed.

Your continued silence is unacceptable. Either provide the proof or correct the record to
remove the invalid debt from my credit files with the three primary credit-reporting

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agencies. You are currently in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt
Collection Act.

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Failure to respond within 15 days of receipt of this registered letter will result in a small
claims action against your company. I will be seeking $5,000 in damages for the
following:

1. Defamation
2. Negligent Enablement of Identity
Fraud 3. Violation of the Fair Credit
Reporting Act

After obtaining the judgment against your company, I will obtain a Writ of Execution
from the Sheriff’s office in your county and I will begin the process of attaching property
or funds to satisfy the judgment.

For the purposes of 15 USC 1692 et seq., this Notice has the same effect as a dispute to
the validity of the alleged debt and a dispute to the validity of your claims. This Notice is
an attempt to correct your records, and any information received from you will be collected
as evidence should any further action be necessary. This is a request for information only,
and is not a statement, election, or waiver of status.

I affirm under penalty of perjury under the Laws of the Land for the United States of
America, that the foregoing is true and correct, to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Sincerely,

Signature
<Your Name and Address Here>

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Dispute Items – Credit Bureau – Reader Submitted Example#1

<Your Name and Address

Here> <Addressee Name

Here>

Dear Credit Reporting Agency Name

I recently purchased a credit report from you that appears to have some serious errors. I
know that I haven’t always been perfectly on-time with my bills, but I also know that you
have some serious mistakes that make me look much worse than I actually am.

For one thing, you seem to have listed several things that just shouldn’t go on my
report. These are highlighted on my report (attached) in yellow highlighter.

Also, I noticed that you show some late payments that are wrong, based on my
recollection. Please correct the following:

Ames Home Loan

#264513456 Gardener

Finance #23456165

First USA M/C #54621114564343453

I appreciate your attention to this. Heaven knows, my own, real credit mistakes are
bad enough. I don’t need any mistakes making it even harder.

Please get back with me very soon to confirm that you have deleted the listings
noted (or corrected the erroneous lates.)

Regards,
JohnDoe

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555-345-
4444

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Dispute Items – Credit Bureau – Reader Submitted Example#2
<Your Name and Address

Here> <Addressee Name

Here> Dear Sir/Madam,

I am very upset over the credit report I recently received! This is totally out of control. I
am amazed that the government allows you to make such obvious errors that damage
people so badly. I am willing to do whatever it takes to make you responsible for poor
reporting practices if you do not respond quickly and accurately to this letter.

I don’t know where you got the following accounts. They shouldn’t even be appearing
on my file, from what I know (and I keep good track of my bills!) GMC #256465121,
USWest #23151421, Acme Collections #25412345345122, and Utopia Funding
#2675176542.

Please remove these with all haste.

Also, I noticed on some of the accounts that DO belong to me that you have some
very questionable information. I’ve looked back on my own records and I can’t
substantiate a number of your entries. In particular, the late notations on the
following appear to be downright wrong: Cobble Bank #52346, First Federal #2368
and MBNA Visa #4447826782094765. Please check it out and remove those late
notes, as well.

Thank you for your attention. I apologize for being so angry. These oversights on your
part are causing me a lot of trouble financially.

Thank you,

John Doe

000-00-0000
123 Main St.
Anytown, MT
55555

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Dispute Items – Credit Bureau – Reader Submitted Example#3
<Your Name and Address

Here> <Addressee Name

Here> Dear Sir/Madam,

This letter is a formal complaint that you are reporting inaccurate and incomplete
credit information on my Credit Report.

I understand that mistakes happen but your inaccurate information could cost me in
higher interest rates and I have enough expenses as it is.

Can you please investigate the following information and either remove it or at the
least send me the information that you used to add it to my report.

Include each item you are disputing here.

John Doe

000-00-0000
123 Main St.
Anytown,MT
55555

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Dispute Items – Credit Bureau – Reader Submitted Example#4

<Creditor Name Here>


Credit Bureau Dispute
Department Fax #: <Fax
Number Here>

3/12/2003

RE: Account # <Account Number

Here> Dear Credit Department,

Your company is currently reporting a negative listing to the three major credit bureaus
(Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax) regarding the above referenced account. Based on
my recollection and my records, I can find no reason for you reporting such a history. If
you'll review your records I think that you will find your reported notations are
inaccurate.

The erroneous status of your credit reporting agency records is unacceptable and is
preventing me from obtaining necessary financing. Pursuant to Title 15, Section 1666 of
the United States Code, I formally request the following documentary evidence pertaining
to my account:

1. A copy of the original credit application showing the terms of the agreement.

2. A summary of all account activities, including all payments made, late charges,
interest, date of payments received, date of payments posted, charges made, and
date of charges posted.

2. Copies of all documents and financial instruments used to pay the


disputed late payments.

4. Copies of all charge slips, invoices, promissory notes, and all other documents
proving indebtedness.

5. Copies of all documents sent to me regarding my account.

This information and documentation is critical and time is of the essence. Within less
than thirty (30) days, I will be damaged partially because of the discrepancy with your
reported records. The above noted code requires your response within thirty (30) days.
Your prompt attention will be greatly appreciated. I hereby request that your response
be mailed to the address listed below.

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If you find that your information and documentation does not support the negative history
reported to the three credit bureaus, I invite you to submit a completed Universal Data
Form to said bureaus in order to remove the negative notations. Upon removal of the
negative

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notations, I agree to hold your company harmless from any and all inconvenience
and/or damage related thereto.

I appreciate your prompt response and cooperation.

Sincerely,
Joe Doe
123 Main St.
Anytown, USA
55555

SSN: 000-00-0000

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Intention to File Complaint with FTC– Credit Bureau – Example#1

<Your Name and Address Here>

<Addressee Name Here>

Date

RE: Dispute Letter of <insert date>, Follow-up Letter of <insert

date> NOTICE OF INTENT TO FILE COMPLAINT

Dear Sir/Madam:

This letter shall serve as formal notice of my intent to file a complaint with the FTC, due to
your blatant and objectionable disregard of the law.

As indicated by the attached copies of letters and mailing receipts, you have received and
accepted through registered mail my dispute letter dated <insert date>, as well as my
followup letter dated <insert date>. To date you have not done your duty as mandated by
law. Your non-compliance with federal law is unacceptable, your disregard for it
contemptible. Rest assured I shall hold you accountable.

Federal law requires you to respond within 30 days, yet you have failed to respond.
Failure to comply with these federal regulations by credit reporting agencies are
investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (see 15 USC 41, et seq.). I am maintaining
a careful record of my communications with you on this matter, for the purpose of filing a
complaint with the FTC should you continue in your non-compliance. I further remind you
that, as in Wenger v. Trans Union Corp., No. 95-6445 (C.D.Cal. Nov. 14, 1995), you may
be liable for your willful noncompliance.

For the record, the following information is being erroneously included on my credit report,
as I have advised you on two separate occasions, more than 75 days and again 40 days
ago:

Name of Creditor/Agency, Account #

If you do not immediately remove this inaccurate and incomplete information, I will file a
formal complaint with the FTC. Should you continue to operate with complete disregard
for the law, I intend to seek redress in civil action for recovery of damages, costs, and
attorneys fees. For this purpose I am carefully documenting these events, including the
lack of response REQUIRED under law from you.

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You are further directed to supply a corrected credit profile to all creditors who have
received a

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copy within the last 6 months, or the last 2 years for employment purposes.

Additionally, please provide the name, address, and telephone number of each credit
grantor or other subscriber.

Under federal law, you had 30 days to complete your re-investigation, yet you have
failed to respond. Further delays are inexcusable.

Be advised that the description of the procedure used to determine the accuracy and
completeness of the information is hereby requested as well, to be provided within 15
days of the completion of your re-investigation.

Sincerely,

Signature
<Your Name and Address
Here> <Your SSN>

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Intention to File a Complaint with the FTC- Follow up after 30 days
- Example#1

<Your Name and Address

Here> <Addressee Name

Here> Date

RE: Dispute Letter of <insert

date> Dear Sir/Madam:

This letter is formal notice that you have failed to respond in a timely manner to my
dispute letter of <insert date>, deposited by registered mail with the U.S. Postal
Service on that date.

Federal law requires you to respond within thirty (30) days, yet you have failed to
respond. Failure to comply with these federal regulations by credit reporting agencies
are investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (see 15 USC 41, et seq.). I am
maintaining a careful record of my communications with you for the purpose of fıling a
complaint with the FTC should you continue in your non-compliance. I further remind
you that, as in Wenger v. Trans Union Corp., No. 95-6445 (C.D.CaI. Nov. 14, 1995),
you may be liable for your willful non-compliance.

Be aware that I am making a fınal goodwill attempt to have you clear up this
matter. You have 15 days to cure.

For your benefıt, and as a gesture of my goodwill, I will restate my dispute. The
following information needs to be verifıed and, following failure to verify, deleted from
the report as soon as possible:

Name of Creditor/Agency, Account #

The listed item is entirely inaccurate and incomplete, and represents a very serıous
error ın your reporting. Please delete this misleading information and supply a
corrected credit profıle to all creditors who have received a copy within the last six
months, or the last two years for employment purposes.

Additionally, please provide the name, address, and telephone number of each credit
grantor or other subscriber.

Under federal law you had thirty (30) days to complete your re-investigation, yet
you have failed to respond. Do not delay any further.

Be advised that the description of the procedure used to determine the accuracy and

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completeness of the information is hereby requested as well, to be provided within
fıfteen (15)

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days of the completion of your re-

investigation. Sincerely,

Signature
<Your Name
Here> <Your
SSN>

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ws.com
Notice of Intent to File Complaint to FTC - Credit Bureau -
Followup after 60 days- Example#1

<Your Name and Address Here>

<Addressee Name Here>

Date

RE: Dispute Letter of <insert date>, Follow-up Letter of <insert date>

NOTICE OF INTENT TO FILE COMPLAINT

Dear Sir/Madam:

This letter shall serve as formal Notice of my Intent to fıle a Complaint with
the FTC, due to your blatant disregard of the law.

As indicated by the attached copies of letters and mailing receipts, you have been
delivered by registered mail both a dispute letter, dated 2/10/1999, as well as a
follow-up letter, dated 3/20/1999. As of this moment, you have not done your duty
mandated under the law. Your inaction in this matter is inexcusable, and your
disregard for the law is contemptible. Rest assured, I will hold you to account.

As you are well aware, federal law requires you to respond within 30 days, yet you
have failed to respond. Failure to comply with these federal regulations by credit
reporting agencies are investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (see 15 USC 41,
et seq.). I am maintaining a careful record of my communications with you on this
matter, for the purpose of fıling a complaint with the FTC should you continue in
your non-compliance. I further remind you that, as in Wenger v. Trans Union
Corp., No. 95-6445 (C.D.CaI. Nov. 14, 1995), you may be liable for your willful
non-compliance.

For the record, the following information is being erroneously included on my credit
report, as I have advised you on two separate occasions, more than 75 days and
again 40 days ago:

Name of Creditor/Agency, Account #

If you do not immediately remove this inaccurate and incomplete information, I will
fıle a formal complaint with the FTC. Furthermore, I intend to seek redress in civil
action, for recover of both damages, costs, and attorneys fees, should you continue

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in your deliberate obstruction of the law. For this purpose, I am carefully
documenting these events, including the lack of response REQUIRED under law
from you.

You are further directed to supply a corrected credit profıle to all creditors who have
received a

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copy within the last 6 months, or the last 2 years for employment purposes.

Additionally, please provide the name, address, and telephone number of each
credit grantor or other subscriber.

Under federal law, you had 30 days to complete your re-investigation, yet you
have failed to respond. Your continued delays are inexcusable.

Be advised that the description of the procedure used to determine the accuracy
and completeness of the information is hereby requested as well, to be provided
within 15 days of the completion of your re-investigation.

Sincerely,

Signature
Your Name and Address Here
Your SSN
Reduce Your Debt and Improve Your Credit

Appendix B: State by State Resources & Laws

This appendix contains a state-by-state listing of banking authorities and


consumer protection agencies and attorney general offices who can answer
your questions and provide assistance for problems involving discrimination,
credit concerns and housing problems.

Alabama

Attorney General
11 South Union Street
3rd Floor
Montgomery, AL 36103
Banking Authority
Superintendent of Banks
Center for Commerce
401 Adams Avenue, #680
Montgomery, AL 36130-1201
334-242-3452
www.legislature.state.al.us
Consumer Protection Agency
Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Affairs Section
11 South Union Street
3rd Floor
Montgomery, AL 36130
334-242-7335
www.ago.state.al.us

Alaska
Attorney General
State Capitol
P.O. Box 110300
Juneau, AK 99811-0300
Banking Authority
Director of Banking
Securities and Corporations
Department of Commerce
150 Third Street Room 217
Juneau, AK 99801
907-465-2521
www.dced.state.ak.us

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Consumer Protection Agency


Consumer Protection Unit
Office of the Attorney General
1031 West 4'" Avenue
Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99501-5903
907-269-5100
www.law.state.ak.us

Arizona
Attorney General
1275 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Banking Authority
Superintendent of Banks
Arizona State Banking Department
2910 North 44th Street
Suite 310
Phoenix, AZ 85018
602-255-4421
www.azbanking.com

Consumer Protection Agency


Chief Counsel
Consumer Protection and Advocacy Section
Office of the Attorney General
1275 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
602-542-5763
www.ag.state.az.us
Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection
400 West Congress South Building
Suite 315
Tucson, AZ 85701-1367
520-628-6504
www.ag.state.az.us

Arkansas
Attorney General
Tower Building
323 Center Street
Suite 200
Little Rock, AR 72201-2610

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Banking Authority
Bank Commissioner
Arkansas State Bank Department
Sedgwick Center
400 Hardin Road
Little Rock, AR 72211
501-324-9019
www.state.ar.us/bank
Consumer Protection Agency
Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General
323 Center Street
Suite 200
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-682-2007
www.ag.state.ar.us

California
Attorney General
1515 K Street
Suite 511
Sacramento, CA 95814
Banking Authority
Commissioner
Department of Financial Institutions
State of California
111 Pine Street
Suite 1100
San Francisco, CA 94111-5613
415-263-8500
www.dfi.ca.gov
Consumer Protection Agency
Acting Chief
Bureau of Automotive Repair
California Department of Consumer Affairs
10240 Systems Parkway
Sacramento, CA 95827
916-255-4300
www.autorepair.ca.gov

Director
California Department of Consumer Affairs
400 R Street
Suite 3000
Sacramento, CA 95814

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916-445-1254
www.dca.ca.gov
Office of the Attorney General
Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550 916-322-3360
www.caag.state.ca.us

Colorado
Attorney General
Department of Law
1525 Sherman Street
5th Floor
Denver, CO 80203
Banking Authority
State Bank Commissioner
Department of Regulatory Agencies
Division of Banking
1560 Broadway
Suite 1175
Denver, CO 80202
303-894-7575
www.dora.state.co.us/banking
Consumer Protection Agency
Consumer Protection Division
Colorado Attorney General's Office
1525 Sherman Street
5th Floor
Denver, CO 80203-1760
303-866-5079

Connecticut
Attorney General
P.O. Box 120
Hartford, CT 06141-0120
Banking Authority
Banking Commissioner
Connecticut Department of Banking
260 Constitution Plaza
Hartford, CT 06103
860-240-8299
www.state.ct.us/dob

Consumer Protection Agency


Commissioner
100
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Department of Consumer Protection


165 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106-1630
860-713-6050
www.state.ct.us/dcp

Delaware
Attorney General
Carvel State Office Building
820 North French Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

Banking Authority
State Bank Commissioner
555 East Loockerman Street
Suite 210
Dover, DE 19901
302-739-4235
www.state.de.us/bank
Consumer Protection Agency
Director
Consumer Protection Unit
Office of Attorney General
820 North French Street
5th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801
302-577-8600
Director
Fraud and Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General
820 North French Street
5th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801
302-577-8600
District of Columbia
Office of the Corporation Counsel
441 4th Street, NW
Suite 450-N
Washington, D.C. 20001
Banking Authority
Commissioner of
Banking and Financial Institutions
Office of Banking & Finance
1400 L Street, NW

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Washington, D.C. 20005


202-727-1563
www.obfl.dcgov.org
Consumer Protection Agency
Senior Counsel
Office of the Corporation Counsel
441 4th Street, NW
Suite 450-N
Washington, D.C. 20001
202-442-9828

Florida
Attorney General
The Capitol, PL 01 Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
Banking Authority
State Comptroller
Department of Banking and Finance
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3000
850-413-3100
www.dbf.state.fl.us
Consumer Protection Agency
Economic Crimes Division
Office of the Attorney General
HOSE 6th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-5000
954-712-4600
Fax: 954-712-4706
wivw.myfloridalegal.com

Chief of Multi-State Litigation


Consumer Litigation Section
110 SE 6th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
954-712-4600
Economic Crimes Division
Office of the Attorney General
135 West Central Boulevard
Century Plaza
Suite 1000
Orlando, FL 32801
407-999-5588
Economic Crimes Division
Office of the Attorney General

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The Capitol, PL-01


Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
850-414-3600
Director of Division Consumer Services
Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Terry L. Rhoads Building
2005 Apalachee
Tallahassee, FL 32399-6500
850-922-2966
www.800helpfla.com

Georgia
Attorney General
40 Capitol Square SW
Atlanta, GA 30334-1300
Banking Authority
Legal 8c Consumer Affairs Specialist
State of Georgia
(Department of Banking and Finance)
2990 Brandywine Road
Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30341-5565
770-986-1633
Consumer Protection Agency
Administrator
Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
Suite 356
Atlanta, GA 30334-4600
404-656-3790
www2.state.ga.us/gaoca

Hawaii
Attorney General
425 Queen Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Banking Authority
Commissioner
Financial Institutions
State of Hawaii
1010 Richards Street
Room 602A
Honolulu, HI 96813

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808-586-2820

Consumer Protection Agency


Investigator
Office of Consumer Protection
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
345 Kekuanaoa Street
Suite 12
Hilo, HI 96720
808-933-0910

Acting Executive Director


Office of Consumer Protection
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
235 South Beretania Street
Suite 801
Honolulu, HI 96813
808-586-2630

Investigator
Office of Consumer Protection
Dept of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
1063 L Main Street
Suite C-216
Wailuku, HI 96793
808-984-8244
www.state.hi.us/dcca/

Idaho
Attorney General
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0010
Banking Authority
Director
State of Idaho Department of Finance
700 West State Street
2nd Floor
Boise, ID 83702
208-332-8000
http://finance.idaho.gov
Consumer Protection Agency
Consumer Protection Unit
Idaho Attorney General's Office
700 West Jefferson Street
Boise, ID 83720-0010

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208-334-2424
www.state.id.us/ag

Illinois
Attorney General
J.R. Thompson Center
100 West Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601

Banking Authority
Commissioner of Banks and Real Estate
Illinois Office of Banks and Real Estate
310 South Michigan Avenue
Suite 2130
Chicago, IL 60604-4278
312-793-3000
www.idfpr.com
Illinois Office of Banks and Real Estate
Springfield Office
500 East Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62701-1509
217-782-3000
www.idfpr.com

Consumer Protection Agency


Office of the Attorney General
1001 East Main Street
Carbondale, IL 62901
618-529-6400
Bureau Chief
Consumer Fraud Bureau
100 West Randolph
Chicago, IL 60601
312-814-3580
www.ag.state.il.us
Chief
Consumer Protection Division
of the Attorney General Office
100 West Randolph
Chicago, IL 60601
312-814-3000S
Governor's Office of Citizens Assistance
222 West College
Floor 1
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-0244
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Indiana
Attorney General
302 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Banking Authority
Director
Department of Financial Institutions
30 South Meridian Street
Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2759
317-232-3955
www.in.gov/dfi
Consumer Protection Agency
Chief Counsel and Director
Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General
Indiana Government Center South
302 West Washington Street
5th Floor
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-232-6201
www.in.gov/attorneygeneral

Iowa
Attorney General
1305 East Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
Banking Authority
Superintendent of Banking
Iowa Division of Banking
200 East Grand Avenue
Suite 300
Des Moines, IA 50309-1827
515-281-4014
www.idob.state.ia.us
Consumer Protection Agency Consumer
Protection Division Office of the Attorney
General Director of Consumer Protection Division
1305 East Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-281-5926
www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.org
Kansas
Attorney General
120 SW 10th Avenue
106
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2nd Floor
Topeka, KS 66612-1597
Banking Authority
State Bank Commissioner
Office of the State Bank Commissioner
700 Jackson Street
Suite 300
Topeka, KS 66603-3714
785-296-2266
www.osbckansas.org
Consumer Protection Agency
Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General
120 SW 10THAvenue 2ND Floor
Topeka, KS 66612-1597
785-296-3751
www.accesskansas.org/ksag
Kentucky
Attorney General
State Capitol
Suite 118
Frankfort, KY 40601-3449
Banking Authority
Commissioner
Department of Financial Institutions
1025 Capitol Center Drive
Suite 200
Frankfort, KY 40601
502-573-3390
www.dfi.state.ky.us

Consumer Protection Agency


Director
Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General
1024 Capita] Center Drive
Suite 200
Frankfort, KY 40601
502-696-5389
www.ag.ky.gov/cp

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Consumer Protection Division


Office of the Attorney General
9001 Shelbyville Road
Suite 3
Louisville, KY 40222-8003
502-595-3262

Louisiana
Attorney General
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 94005
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Banking Authority
Acting Commissioner
LA Office of Financial Institutions
P.O. Box 94095
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9095
225-925-4660
www.ofi.state.la.us
Consumer Protection Agency
Chief
Consumer Protection Section
Office of the Attorney General
1885 North 3rdStreet
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
800-351-4889
www.ag.state.la.us

Maine
Attorney General
State House Station Augusta, ME 04333
Banking Authority
Superintendent of Banking 36 State House Station Augusta, ME
04333-0036 207-624-8570 www.mainebankingreg.org
Consumer Protection Agency
Director
Office of Consumer Credit Regulation
35 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0035
207-624-8527
www.mainecreditreg.org

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Maine Attorney General's


Consumer Mediation Service
6 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-626-8849
www.state.me.us/ag

Division Chief
Public Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General
6 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-626-8800

Maryland
Attorney General
200 Saint Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
Banking Authority
Commissioner of Financial Regulation Division
500 North Calvert Street
Suite 402
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-230-6100
www.dllr.state.md.us/finance
Consumer Protection Agency
Chief
Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General
200 Saint Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202-2021
410-528-8662
www.oag.state.md.us/consumer
Manager
Business Licensing & Consumer Service
Motor Vehicle Administration
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062
410-768-7248

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Massachusetts
Attorney General
1 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108-1698
Banking Authority
Commissioner of Banks
MA Division of Banks
One South Station
Boston, MA 02110
617-956-1500
www.state.ma.us/dob
Consumer Protection Agency
Director
Executive Office of Consumer Affairs
and Business Regulation
10 Park Plaza
Suite 5170
Boston, MA 02116
617-973-8787
www.state.ma.us/consumer
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division
Office of the Attorney General
200 Portland Street
Boston, MA 02114
617-727-2200
www.ago.state.ma.us

Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division


Office of the Attorney General—Springfield
1350 Main Street
4th Floor
Springfield, MA 01103-1629
413-784-1240

Michigan
Attorney General
525 West Ottawa Street
Lansing, MI 48909-0212

110
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Banking Authority
Commissioner
Office of Financial and Insurance Services
Office of the Commissioner
P.O. Box 30220
Lansing, MI 48909
517-373-0220
www.michigan.gov/cis
Consumer Protection Agency
Director
Bureau of Automotive Regulation
Michigan Department of State
Lansing, MI 48918-1200
517-322-1460
Assistant in Charge
Consumer Protection Division
Office of Attorney General
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
517-373-1140

Minnesota
Attorney General
1400 NCL Tower 445
Minnesota Street St.
Paul, MN 55101
Banking Authority
Assistant Commissioner
Minnesota Department of Commerce
Financial Exams
133 East Seventh Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
651-296-2751
www.commerce.state.mn.us
Consumer Protection Agency
Manager
Consumer Services Division
Minnesota Attorney General's Office
1400 NCL Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
651-296-3353
www.ag.state.mn.us/consumer

111
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Mississippi
Attorney General
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 220
Jackson, MS 39205-0220

Banking Authority
Director Consumer Finance Division
Department of Banking and Consumer Finance
Consumer Finance
Walter Sillers Building
55G High Street
Suite 304
Jackson, MS 39205-3729
601-359-1031
www.dbcf.state.ms.us
Consumer Protection Agency Director
Consumer Protection Division of the
Mississippi Attorney General's Office
P.O. Box 22947
Jackson, MS 39225-2947
601-359-4230
www.ago.state.ms.us
Director
Bureau of Regulatory Services
Department of Agriculture and Commerce
121 North Jefferson Street
Jackson, MS 39201
601-359-1111
www.mdac.state.ms.us

Missouri
Attorney General
Supreme Court Building
207 West High Street
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Banking Authority
Acting Commissioner of Finance
Department of Finance
301 East High Street
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-751-3242
www.ecodev.state.mo.us

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Consumer Protection Agency


Deputy Chief Counsel
Consumer Protection and Trade Offense Division
1530 Rax Court
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-751-6887
www.ago.state.mo.us

Montana
Attorney General
Justice Building
215 North Sanders
3rd Floor
Helena, MT 59620-1401
Banking Authority
Commissioner
Division of Banking & Financial Institutions
301 South Park Avenue
Helena, MT 59620-0501
406-841-2700
www.commerce.state.mt.us/finance/index.htral

Consumer Protection Agency


Chief Legal Counsel
Consumer Affairs Unit
Department of Administration
1424 Ninth Avenue
Box 200501
Helena, MT 59620-0501
406-444-4312

Nebraska
Attorney General
2115 State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
Banking Authority
Director
Department of Banking & Finance
Commerce Court
1230 "O" Street
Suite 400
Lincoln, NE 68509-5006
402-471-2171
www.ndbf.org
Consumer Protection Agency
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Department of Justice
2115 State Capitol
Lincoln, NE 68509
402-471-2682
www.nol.org/home/ago

Nevada
Attorney General
100 North Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701-4717
Banking Authority
Commissioner
Department of Business & Industry
Financial Institutions Division
406 East Second Street
Suite 3
Carson City, NV 89701-4758
775-684-1830
http://fid.state.nv.us
Consumer Protection Agency
Commissioner
Nevada Consumer Affairs Division
1850 East Sahara
Suite 101
Las Vegas, NV 89104
702-486-7355
www.fyiconsumer.org
Bureau of Consumer Protection
555 East Washington Avenue
Suite 3900
Las Vegas, NV 89101
702-486-3420

Deputy Chief Investigator


Consumer Affairs Division
Department of Business and Industry
4600 Kietzke Lane, Building B
Suite 113
Reno, NV 89502
775-688-1800

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New Hampshire
Attorney General
State House Annex 33
Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301-6397
Banking Authority
State of New Hampshire Banking Department
Consumer Credit
64B Old Suncook Road
Concord, NH 03301
603-271-3561
www.state.nh.us/banking
Consumer Protection Agency
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau
New Hampshire Attorney General's Office
33 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301
603-271-3641
www.state.iih.us/nhdoj/consumer

New Jersey
Attorney General
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
25 Market Street CN 080
Trenton, NJ 08625
Banking Authority
Acting Commissioner
Department of Banking and Insurance
20 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
609-292-3420
http://states.naic.org
Consumer Protection Agency
Department of Law and Public Safety
Division of Consumer Affairs
124 Halsey Street
Newark, NJ 07102
973-504-6200
www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/home.htm

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New Mexico
Attorney General
P.O. Drawer 1508
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1508
Banking Authority
Financial Institutions Division
Regulation and Licensing Department
725 St. Michaels Drive
Santa Fe, NM 87501
505-827-7100
www.state.nm.us

Consumer Protection Agency


Director
Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General
407 Galisteo
Room 260
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1508
505-827-6000
www.ago.state.nm.us

New York
Attorney General
120 Broadway
New York, NY 10271
Banking Authority
Acting Superintendent of Banking
New York State Banking Department
One State Street
New York, NY 10004-1417
212-618-6553
www.banking.state.ny.us

Consumer Protection Agency


Bureau Chief
Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection
Office of the Attorney General
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341
518-474-7330
www.oag.state.ny.us
Chairwoman and Executive Director
New York State Consumer Protection Board

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5 Empire State Plaza


Suite 2101
Albany, NY 12223-1556
518-474-3514
www.consumer.state.ny.us
Deputy Bureau Chief
Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau
Office of the Attorney General
120 Broadway
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10271
212-416-8300
Assistant Attorney General in Charge
Consumer Fraud and Protection Bureau, New York State
Office of the Attorney General
Harlem Regional Office
163 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027-8201
212-961-4475
Assistant Attorney General in Charge
Plattsburgh Regional Office
Office of Attorney General
70 Clinton Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2818
518-562-3282

Assistant Attorney General in Charge


Consumer Fraud and Protection Bureau, New York State
Office of the Attorney General
Westchester Regional Office
101 East Post Road
White Plains, NY 10601-5008
914-422-8755

North Carolina
Attorney General
Department of Justice
9001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
Banking Authority
North Carolina Commissioner of Banks
316 West Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
919-733-3016
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www.banking.state.nc.us
Consumer Protection Agency
Senior Deputy Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General
9001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699
919-716-6000
www.ncdoj.com/consumerprotection

North Dakota
Attorney General
State Capitol
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Department 125
Bismarck, ND 58505-0040
Banking Authority
Commissioner
ND Department of Financial Institutions
2000 Schafer Street
Suite G
Bismarck, ND 58501-1204
701-328-9933
www.discovernd.com
Consumer Protection Agency
Director
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division
Office of the Attorney General
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Department 125
Bismarck, ND 58505-0040
701-328-3404
www.ag.state.nd.us
Office of the Attorney General
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Department 125
Bismarck, ND 58505-0040
701-328-2210
www.ag.state.nd.us

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Ohio
Attorney General
State Office Tower
30 East Broad Street
17 th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-3428
Banking Authority
Training and Communications Manager
Department of Commerce - State of Ohio
Financial Institutions Division
77 South High Street
21st Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6120
614-728-8400
www.com.state.oh.us/dfi
Consumer Protection Agency
Ohio Consumers' Counsel
10 West Broad Street
Suite 1800
Columbus, OH 43215-3485
614-466-8574
www.pickocc.org
Ohio Attorney General's Office
30 East Broad Street
17 th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-3428
614-466-8831
www.ag.state.oh.us

Oklahoma
Attorney General
State Capitol
2300 North Lincoln Boulevard
Room 112
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Banking Authority
Bank Commissioner
OK State Banking Department
4545 North Lincoln Boulevard
Suite 164
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
405-521-2782
www.state.ok.us/~osbd

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Consumer Protection Agency


Administrator
Department of Consumer Credit
4545 North Lincoln Boulevard #104
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
405-521-3653
Oklahoma Attorney General
Consumer Protection Unit
4545 North Lincoln Avenue
Suite 260
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
405-521-2029
www.oag.state.ok.us

Consumer Protection Division


Office of the Attorney General
2300 North Lincoln Boulevard
#112
Tulsa, OK 74127-8913
918-581-2885
www.oag.state.ok.us

Oregon
Attorney General
Justice Building
1162 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-4096
Banking Authority
Administrator
Department of Consumer & Business Services
Division of Finance & Corporate Securities
350 Winter Street NE
Room 410
Salem, OR 97310-3881
503-378-4140
www.cbs.state.or.us/external/dfcs
Consumer Protection Agency
Attorney in Charge
Financial Fraud/Consumer Protection Section
Department of Justice
1162 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97310
503-378-4320
www.doj.state.or.us

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Pennsylvania
Attorney General
Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Banking Authority
Secretary of Banking Department
333 Market Street
16th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101-2290
717-214-8343
www.banking.state.pa.us
Consumer Protection Agency Director
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Office of Attorney General
14lh Floor
Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
717-787-9707
www.attorneygeneral.gov
Senior Deputy Attorney General
Health Care Unit
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Office of the Attorney General
14th Floor
Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
717-705-6938

Consumer Advocate
Office of the Consumer Advocate
Office of the Attorney General
555 Walnut Street
Forum Place
5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101-1921
717-783-5048
www.oca.state.pa.us

Rhode Island
Attorney General
150 South Main Street
Providence, RI 02903
Banking Authority
Associate Director and Superintendent of Banking
233 Richmond Street
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Suite 231
Providence, RI 02903-4231
401-222-2405
Consumer Protection Agency
Director
Consumer Unit
Consumer Protection Unit
Department of Attorney General
150 South Main Street
Providence, RI 02903
401-274-4400
Consumer Credit Counseling Services
535 Centerville Road
Suite 103
Warwick, RI 02886
www.creditcounseling.org

South Carolina
Attorney General
Rembert C. Dennis Office Building
P.O. Box 11549
Columbia, SC 29211-1549
Banking Authority
Commissioner of Banking
State Board of Financial Institutions
1015 Sumter Street
Room 309
Columbia, SC 29201
803-734-2001
Consumer Protection Agency
Senior Assistant Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 11549
Columbia, SC 29211
803-734-3970
www.scattorneygeneral.org
Administrator/Consumer Advocate
SC Department of Consumer Affairs
3600 Forest Drive
3rd Floor
Columbia, SC 29250
803-734-4200
www.state.sc.us/consumer
State Ombudsman

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Office of Executive Policy and Program


1205 Pendleton Street
Room 308
Columbia, SC 29201
803-734-0x457
www.myscgov.com

South Dakota
Attorney General
500 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Banking Authority
Director
SD Division of Banking
217 ½ West Missouri
Pierre, SD 57501-4590
605-773-3421
www.state.sd.us/drr2/reg/bank/BANK-HOM.htm
Consumer Protection Agency
Director of Consumer Affairs
Office of the Attorney General
500 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
605-773-4400

Tennessee
Attorney General
P.O. Box 20207
Nashville, TN 37202-0207
Banking Authority
Commissioner
511 Union Street, Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219
615-741-2236
www.state.tn.us/fmancialinst
Consumer Protection Agency
Director
Division of Consumer Affairs
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, IN 37243-0600
615-741-4737
www.state.tn.us/consumer
Deputy Attorney General

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Division of Consumer Protection


Consumer Advocate and Protection Tennessee
Attorney General's Office
P.O. Box 20207
Nashville, TN 37243-0491
615-741-1671
Fax: 615-532-2910

Texas
Attorney General
Capitol Station
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548

Banking Authority
Banking Commissioner
Texas Department of Banking
2601 North Lamar
Austin, TX 78705
512-475-1300
www.banking.state.tx.us
Consumer Protection Agency
Consumer Protection/Austin Regional Office
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548
512-463-2185
Fax: 512-463-8301
www.oag.state.tx.us
Public Counsel
Office of Public Insurance Counsel
333 Guadalupe
Suite 3-120
Austin, TX 78701
512-322-4143
www.opic.state.tx..us
Consumer Protection/Houston Regional Office
Office of the Attorney General
808 Travis
Suite 300
Houston, TX 77002-1702
713-223-5886, ext. 118

Utah

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Attorney General
Utah State Capitol Complex
East Office Building Suite 320
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Banking Authority
Commissioner
Department of Financial Institutions
P.O. Box 89
Salt Lake City, UT 84110-0089
801-538-8854
www.dfi.state.ut.us
Consumer Protection Agency
Director
Division of Consumer Protection
Department of Commerce
160 East 300 South
Box 146704
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6704
801-530-6601
www.commerce.state.ut.us

Vermont
Attorney General
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1001

Banking Authority
Information Policy & Program Chief
State of Vermont
Banking, Insurance, Securities and
Health Care Administration
89 Main Street
Drawer 20
Montpelier, VT 05620-3101
802-828-4872
www.state.vt.us/bis
Consumer Protection Agency
Consumer Assistance Program
for Consumer Complaints & Questions 104 Morrill Hall
UVM
Burlington, VT 05405
800-549-2424
www.state.vt.us/atg
Chief
Public Protection Division
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Office of the Attorney General


109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1001
802-828-5507
www.state.vt.us/atg
Supervisor
Consumer Assurance Section
Food and Market
Department of Agriculture
116 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
802-828-3456

Virginia
Attorney General
Supreme Court Building 900 East Main Street Richmond, VA
23219
Banking Authority
Commissioner
Bureau of Financial Institutions
1300 East Main Street
Suite 800
P.O. Box 640
Richmond, VA 23218-0640
804-371-9657
www.state.va.us/scc
Consumer Protection Agency
Senior Assistant Attorney General and Chief
Office of the Attorney General
Antitrust and Consumer Litigation Section
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
804-786-2116
www.oag.state.va.us

Program Manager
Office of Consumer Affairs
Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services
Washington Building, Suite 100
P.O. Box 1163 Richmond, VA 23219
804-786-2042
www.vdacs.state.va.us

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Washington
Attorney General
1125 Washington Street, S.E.
P.O. Box 40100
O1ympia,WA 98504-0100
Banking Authority
Director
Department of Financial Institutions
P.O. Box 41200
Olympia, WA 98504-1200
360-902-8707
www.wa.gov/dfi
Consumer Protection Agency
Consumer Resource Center
Office of the Attorney General
103 East Holly Street
Suite 308
Bellingham, WA 98225-4728
360-738-6185
Consumer Resource Center
Office of the Attorney General
500 North Morain Street
Suite 1250
Kennewick, WA 99336-2607
509-734-7140
Consumer Resource Center
Office of the Attorney General
905 Plum Street
Building 3
Olympia, WA 98504-0118
360-753-6210
Consumer Resource Center
Office of the Attorney General
900 Fourth Avenue
Suite 2000
Seattle, WA 98164-1012
206-464-6684
www.wa.gov/ago

Consumer Resource Center


Office of the Attorney General
1116 West Riverside Avenue
Spokane, WA 99201-1194
509-456-3123

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Program Manager
Consumer Resource Center
Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 2317
Tacoma, WA 98401-2317
253-593-2904
www.wa.gov/ago
Consumer Resource Center
Office of the Attorney General
1220 Main Street
Suite 549
Vancouver, WA 98660-2964
360-759-2150

West Virginia
Attorney General
State Capitol
Charleston, WV 25305-0070
Banking Authority
Commissioner
State Capitol Complex
Division of Banking
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Building 3
Room 311
Charleston, WV 25305-0240
304-558-2294
www.wvdob.org
Consumer Protection Agency
Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Room 26E
Charleston, WV 25305-9924
304-558-8986
www.wvs.state.wv.us/wvag
Director
Division of Weights and Measures
Section 570
MacCorkle Avenue
St. Albans, WV 25177
304-722-0602

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Wisconsin
Attorney General
State Capitol
P.O. Box 7857
Madison, WI 53707-7857
Banking Authority
Secretary
Department of Financial Institutions
345 West Washington Avenue
5th Floor
P.O. Box 7876
Madison, WI 53708-8861
608-261-1622
www.wdfi.org

Consumer Protection Agency


Regional Supervisor
Division of Trade and Consumer Protection
Department of Agriculture
Trade and Consumer Protection
3610 Oakwood Hills Parkway
Eau Claire, WI 54701-7754
715-839-3848
Regional Supervisor
Department of Agriculture Trade & Consumer
Protection
Division of Trade and Consumer Protection
200 North Jefferson Street
Suite 146A
Green Bay, WI 54301
920-448-5110
www.datcp.state.wi.us
Administrator
Division of Trade and Consumer Protection
Department of Agriculture
2811 Agriculture Drive
P.O. Box 8911
Madison, WI 53718
608-224-4953
www.datcp.state.wi.us

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Wyoming
Attorney General
State Capitol
Building Cheyenne, WY 82002
Banking Authority
Commissioner
Division of Banking
Herschler Building
3rd Floor, East
122 West 25th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002
307-777-7797
audit.state.wy.us/banking/default.htm
Consumer Protection Agency
Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Unit
123 State Capitol Building
Cheyenne, WY 82002
307-777-7874
attorneygeneral.state.wy.us

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Appendix C

MONTHLY MONTHLY
CATEGORY BUDGET ACTUAL DIFFERENCE
AMOUNT AMOUNT
INCOME:
Wages and Bonuses
Interest Income
Investment Income
Miscellaneous Income
Income Subtotal
INCOME TAXES WITHHELD:
Federal Income Tax
State and Local Income Tax
Social Security/Medicare Tax
Income Taxes Subtotal
Spendable Income
EXPENSES:
HOME:
Mortgage or Rent
Homeowners/Renters Insurance
Property Taxes
Home Repairs/Maintenance/HOA
Dues
Home Improvements
UTILITIES:
Electricity
Water and Sewer
Natural Gas or Oil
Telephone (Land Line, Cell)
FOOD:
Groceries
Eating Out, Lunches, Snacks
FAMILY OBLIGATIONS:
Child Support
Alimony

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Day Care, Babysitting


HEALTH AND MEDICAL:
Insurance (medical,dental,vision)
Unreimbursed Medical Expenses,
Copays
Fitness (Yoga,Massage,Gym)
TRANSPORTATION:
Car Payments
Gasoline/Oil
Auto Repairs/Maintenance/Fees
Auto Insurance
Other Transportation (tolls, bus,
subway, taxis)
DEBT PAYMENTS:
Credit Cards
Student Loans
Other Loans
ENTERTAINMENT/RECREATION:
Cable TV/Videos/Movies
Computer Expense
Hobbies
Subscriptions and Dues
Vacations
PETS:
Food
Grooming, Boarding, Vet
CLOTHING:
INVESTMENTS AND SAVINGS:
401(K)or IRA
Stocks/Bonds/Mutual Funds
College Fund
Savings
Emergency Fund
MISCELLANEOUS:
Toiletries, Household Products

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Gifts/Donations
Grooming (Hair, Make-up, Other)
Miscellaneous Expense
Total Investments and
Expenses
Surplus or Shortage (Spendable
income minus total expenses
and investments)

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Appendix D: Credit Resources & Links

CREDIT BUREAUS

www.experian.com – Experian Credit Bureau

www.transunion.com –Transunion Credit Bureau

www.equifax.com – Equifax Credit Bureau

FREE ANNUAL CREDIT REPORT

www.annualcreditreport.com

CREDIT REPAIR

CREDIT CARDS COMPARISON

www.creditcards.com

www.cardweb.com

MISCELLANEOUS CREDIT INFORMATION

www.creditresources.com- Financial Literacy Resource Center

www.nationalscoreindex.com –Improving and Maintaining your Credit

www.smartaboutmoney.org –Credit and Financial Resources

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Appendix E: What Helps and Hurts Your Score Overview

WHAT IMMEDIATELY HELPS A CREDIT SCORE


1. Pay down all credit card balances below 30% of their high credit. For
example, if someone has a credit card with a $1,000 limit, they need
to keep that card balance at or below $300. Paying that balance down
from $900 to $300 will immediately add points to their credit score.
2. Getting negative items deleted
3. Adding themselves as a joint-applicant on someone’s card (The credit
laws are changing soon and this my not be the case in the near
future).
4. Consolidating their student loans into one payment. This shows all of
the small accounts as being paid.
5. Bankruptcy. Yes, bankruptcy! Thirty Percent (30%) of a credit score is
based on the amount of debt you have and a bankruptcy takes that
number to $0 in many cases. But, it will be 2 years before they can
buy a home with a solid rate, but it does help the actual credit score
greatly. Another reason while someone might file bankruptcy is if the
debts are large enough to warrant potential judgments. If the amount
is $4,000+, it is possible that company might want to get a judgment
against them. Bankruptcy prevents that from happening. However, if
that debt is more than 1 year old, it is probably that they are not in
danger of getting a judgment, as sufficient time has passed to allow
for such action.

WHAT IMMEDIATELY HURTS A CREDIT SCORE


1. Buying a new vehicle, house, getting a credit card. After time, these
will help them, but not for at least 6 months or so.
2. Inquiries hurt a credit score 3-4 points each time their credit is pulled.
The negative affect decreases over time. Inquiries remain on your
credit for 2 years.
3. Recent late payments, especially 60 or 90 day lates.

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About The Author

Charrissa Cawley began her career in the pharmaceutical arena of corporate


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