On July 1, paid medical collections will disappear from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports. Previously, these could have remained for up to seven years.
Also, unpaid medical collections will not appear on credit reports unless they’ve been in collections for at least a year (up from six months currently). And beginning next year, medical debts under $500 will no longer appear on credit reports.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says that 43 million Americans have about $88 billion worth of medical debts on their credit reports. The agency adds that medical debt accounts for 58% of bills in collections.
Many people with otherwise sparkling credit records are dragged down by medical debt. Having a debt in collections could easily trim 100 points off a strong credit score. That may not have been fair, says CFPB Director Rohit Chopra.
It’s being treated differently by the credit bureaus, but you’re still responsible for paying debt off (assuming the debt’s statute of limitations has not expired).
The new ways of assessing medical debt should lift tens of millions of Americans’ credit scores. It’s always a good idea to check your credit reports regularly to make sure everything is accurate. Especially if you have one of the types of medical debt that should disappear on July 1, make a note to check your credit reports on or shortly after that date.
For more information or questions regarding your credit, please feel free to call us at 281-631-5461.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a mental and physical drain for Americans. And during this global crisis, many consumers faced the added stress of dealing with financial services companies that didn’t always follow the rules or were slow to move when the federal government suspended certain loan payments during the pandemic.
The CFPB’s annual consumer response report reveals that credit report inaccuracies more than doubled during the pandemic, signaling dissonance between the laws that were introduced to help consumers during the pandemic, and how servicers reported suspended payments to the credit bureaus.
And it sometimes left consumers to deal with the consequences on their own.
How to Fix Errors On Your Credit Reports
Credit relating to pandemic forbearance programs include incorrect recordings of missed payments or deferments, which can be found in each account section of a credit report. Some forbearance programs started as early as March 2020 and are still applicable, including federal student loan forbearance.
Still, get ready to roll up your sleeves Errors can be tough to remove, If you find an error on your credit report. The FCRA gives consumers the right to dispute incorrect or inaccurate information on their credit reports, and requires bureaus to correct it.
The FCRA makes credit reporting companies and information providers responsible for correcting inaccurate or inaccurate information on a credit report. The Federal Trade Commission lists the way consumers can take to correct credit report errors
Write a dispute letter to the credit reporting company. Include the information you suppose is inaccurate on your credit report, similar as a recording of a missed payment during the forbearance period. This information will be found on your credit report under the payments section for the specific loan or credit account. The FTC provides a sample dispute letter template then and advises consumers to include copies of any documents that support your dispute, while also explaining why you dispute the information and explicitly request that it be corrected.
Be sure to send this letter by certified correspondence with a return receipt requested so you know exactly when the credit reporting company received it. All three of the major credit bureaus also have online options to file credit report disputes, and third party credit monitoring apps including Credit Karma occasionally allow you to file disputes directly through their platform.
The credit agency must investigate the details in question, generally within 30 days, unless it considers your dispute to be “ frivolous” — meaning it’s not a serious or real dispute. The credit agency is also needed to further your information about the inaccuracy to the association that provided it, similar as a credit card company or loanservicer.However, it must notify all three agencies so they can fix the information in your credit report, If that association finds the disputed information is in fact incorrect.
Gain results from the credit bureaus investigation. Credit bureaus are required to give you the results of their dispute in writing, as well as a free copy of your credit report (s) if your dispute results in a change.
Request notices ofcorrection.However, you can request the credit reporting company to send notices of any corrections to anyone who received your credit report in the past six months, If your dispute is successful and a change to your credit report is made. You can also request a corrected copy be sent to anyone who received a copy during the past two years for employment purposes.
Request a statement of the dispute be included in your file and futurereport.However, meaning the credit reporting company does n’t resolve the error, also you should request a statement of dispute to be included in your file and future reports, If your dispute is ineffective. This statement will indicate that you don't agree with the recorded information and you made an attempt to have it removed from your report.
Write a dispute letter to the information provider. In addition to the steps listed above, be sure to inform the information provider ( similar as a credit card company or loan servicer) that you ’re disputing incorrect information on your credit report. Use the same sample letter as the one used to inform the credit reporting companies. The process of investigation will be the same, and the information provider will have to inform the credit reporting company of your dispute if it’s found to be correct, and it'll also be required to tell the credit reporting company to update or delete the inaccurate item.
If your credit score isn't what you'd like it to be, don't worry. You can take steps to raise it and improve your financial situation.
A high credit score can lead to lower interest rates on credit cards, personal loans, student loans, and even mortgages. As a result, you'll have lower monthly payments, which allows you to put more towards other goals, such as paying off debt, beefing up your emergency fund, or contributing more to college or retirement.
However, a good credit score has more benefits than just low interest rates. It may sometimes affect whether you qualify for a job or a new apartment.
Increasing your credit score takes time, patience, and determination, but the results are well worth the effort. The hardest part is getting started. Use these tips to get started.
1. Pay your bills on time
Payment history is the most important factor for your FICO and VantageScore, according to Experian. From a lender's perspective, a history of timely payments indicates that you'll stay on top of your debts.
2. Keep your credit utilization rate low
Compare your balances to your credit limit to ensure you're not using too much credit, a risky practice.
As a rule of thumb, it's recommended to maintain a 10% utilization rate. Your utilization rate may also be affected by the date on which your credit card provider reports to the credit bureaus.
With high balances and mounting interest payments on your cards, consider consolidating with a 0% introductory rate balance transfer credit card, but make sure you understand when and by how much the rate will increase.
3. Leave old accounts open
Closing your credit card account can actually lower your credit score since you will now have a lower credit limit. Keeping balances on other credit cards or loans will increase your utilization rate.Therefore, keep the card with a balance of $0 instead.
4. Only apply for credit you need
Each time you apply for a new line of credit, a hard inquiry is made on your credit report. This lowers your credit score temporarily. Do not apply just to see if you are approved or because you have been prequalified.
5. Be patient
You won't see a dramatic improvement in your credit score overnight. The best way to achieve a high credit score is to develop good long-term credit habits.
Establish good habits, such as paying your balances on time, keeping a low utilization rate, and only applying for credit when you need it, and you will see the impact on your score over time.
6. Monitor your credit
Monitoring your score’s fluctuations every many months can help you understand how well you’re managing your credit and whether you should make any changes. Still, you shouldn’t make any final decision you make solely on your credit score.
7. Consult with a credit expert
If you're unsure if there is a mistake on your report or you're having trouble getting the mistakes fixed, call for help.
Clover Credit Solutions will know how to identify and correct erroneous information on your report and help increase your scores.
If you'd like your free consultation give us a call!
The last few weeks I have received emails and data regard the theft of Social Security numbers that belong to children.
It is estimated that as many as 3.5 million kids are suffering from this sort of fraud, consistent with the Federal Trade Commission. Parents, as most know, apply for a Social Security number after a baby is born because you use it for filing your taxes.
Well, our criminals are making good use of these numbers. Children are the new surprising target for identity thieves. They are an excellent target because it will be years before it'll be detected, which can create serious consequences down the road when that child becomes older.
Readers, this is often an enormous issue. First, you need to ensure sure your child’s Social Security number has not been stolen. Parents, you need to begin taking action now even though you only have a newborn. Identity Theft could affect your child’s future credit and employment history if the thieves obtain credit accounts or get jobs with your child’s identity.
How does one know if your child’s identity has been stolen?
First, you would need to check with the Social Security Administration once a year to ensure sure nobody is using your child’s SSN. Secondly, you would need to check your child’s credit report (free — Equifax -1-800-525-6285; Experian-1-888-397-3742; TransUnion-1-800-680-7289.) You'll also report fraud to them. By law, you're entitled to a free report once a year. Third, if your child starts getting pre-approved credit cards and other financial offers normally sent to adults, pay attention.
Other ways you'll find out: If you are trying to open an account for your child, and it already exists, or if you apply for financial assistance because he/she goes to school, and you're turned down due to a poor credit rating in their name, again that's an enormous red flag for you to see. In fact when your child is older and is prepared to buy that long awaited car, well he/she will determine if someone stole their identity years before.
Tips to use:
Keep all documents that show a child’s personal information safely locked up. What's personal? At a minimum, it includes a child’s date of birth, Social Security number and certificate. DON’T carry your child’s Social Security card with you. Share your child’s Social Security number only with who you know and trust. Ask why they need it, how they're going to safeguard it and how long they're going to keep it and the way they're going to eliminate it. If you're not satisfied with the answers, don’t share the number and ask them to use another identifier.
For more information visit: www.ftc.gov/idtheft
Spending Habits by Zodiac SignYou can learn a lot about other people’s spending habits by looking at their star sign.
Each of the twelve zodiac signs has a different approach to retail therapy. Next time you go shopping with your friends see their spending characteristics at play. Check out each sign’s buying instincts below and see if you recognize yourself.
Aries Sun Sign
Aries rushes in where angels fear to tread, and in their hurry Rams want to be in and out of the shop. They buy with cash and online so as to grab the new stuff and be wearing the latest colors of the season. This sign likes the challenge of hunting for a bargain and may easily tackle you to the ground at a fire sale.
Taurus Sun Sign
Taurus takes their time deciding on what to spend their hard earned cash. Bulls prefer to shop in stores, and not online, because they want to touch and feel the goods before buying. After a day of trawling the shops they are just as likely to bank the money and go home empty handed. Sometimes parting with the cash is the quandary.
Gemini Sun Sign
Gemini likes buying on eBay and sniping the auction at the end. They order books and magazines, apps, games and puzzles. Twins are the best traders in the zodiac and will happily barter for stuff as the real fun is the actual deal. You are more likely to see Gemini selling to you, than buying for themselves.
Cancer Sun Sign
Cancers like to feather their nest and will splurge on home furnishings and tableware. They like pretty cutlery and plates to match the occasion, whether for a barbecue outside or a Sunday lunch. Every meal is important and this means the props as well. Crabs like home shopping and will spend on friends, family and will remember to take the office a box of chocolates.
Leo Sun Sign
Leos buy the best they can afford and that goes for luxury items as well. Lions take pride in their purchases and will enthrall anyone who will listen about what they bought to adoring oohs and aahs. They will shop in groups and make sure each person has a little something to take home. Leo’s are generous and may spring for lunch as well.
Virgo Sun Sign
Virgo spends in small increments and can driver the shop girl wild with their bag of small change for a fifty dollar purchase. They like to collect and will slowly attain the things they want. Virgo likes things in patchwork, marquetry and paisley patterns. Virgins are more likely to go to the stores several times a day than do one big shop all at once.
Libra Sun Sign
Libra spends on themselves as much as their partner because there has to be a fiscal balance in their relationship. Libra men may only buy one big item a year, like a car, but it’s cost will be equal to what their wife spent over the years. Shopping can be agony for Libra as they are not good at deciding and every transaction choice needs to be called.
Scorpio Sun Sign
Scorpio pays cash so there is no paper trail. They like acquiring things and surround themselves with items that mean something. Scorpions will to remove price tags and hoard some attractive items of value. They like to buy things that others desire and may become a collector of rare books or surgical instruments. .
Sagittarius Sun Sign
Sagittarius likes to buy when away from home. They are the ones for whom the souvenir shops were made. Archers seek out things that are difficult to find like a seed pod from a baobab tree or exotic spices from Asia. This sign arrives home and flings the bags in a corner not even opening them, already planning their next excursion to the mall.
Capricorn Sun Sign
Capricorn invests. When the Sea Goat goes shopping the items they buy have to earn their place. Not for them trivial trinkets. Capricorn likes quality and will pay whatever it takes to get items perceived as status pieces. Expensive handbags for the women and watches for men. Over the years they can amass a very respectable wardrobe or collection of goodies.
Aquarius Sun Sign
Aquarius like to buy a variety of goods. They love snapping up music and books online and gadgets. They get bored with their stuff and will move on to the next fad as soon as it takes their fancy. Water Bearers have basements full of old things and should invite Scorpio around to rummage through it all.
Pisces Sun Sign
Pisces enjoy art and soft and beautiful things. They are happy to tag along the other signs on an outing to the shops. Fish like to buy only what is needed and can be frugal to the extent that they will “do without” when they should be buying things. Fish don’t like the crush of the malls and will shop late in the evening to miss the crowds.
Original Post: http://astrologyclub.org/spending-habits-zodiac-sign/?fbclid=IwAR02bke7Uwpj3R58qkolSENc2Pv9zNTVGz6QHBTFujGYyOPtg-dvnxQIEZM
In this fluid situation, we want people to focus on three issues initially for maintaining financial health:
"Industry professionals know which creditors have extended deadlines and are offering extended terms. They know existing rules and laws that allow you to juggle limited resources until the emergency has passed. They can advise you when and if to borrow against retirement accounts or secure home equity lines of credit," says Howard Dvorkin.
Americans are struggling with their finances and those who are having trouble paying their debts should consult financial experts.
We are here to help in any way we can. If you have questions about your financial impact please reach out to us!
1. Credit Reports Are Different from Credit Scores
While your credit score is definitely tied to your credit report, it’s technically a separate thing. Your credit report is a thorough record of your credit history, including your credit accounts, how often you apply for credit, debt collection accounts and some public records, including judgements, liens and bankruptcies.
Think of your credit score as a numerical summary of all these factors. If you have delinquent accounts on your report, that brings your credit score down. If you have a strong on-time payment history, that brings your credit score up. Most lenders only look at your score, and this is why it’s important to check your credit report regularly and ensure everything is accurate. Both your credit score and credit report are kept by the three credit bureaus.
2. Your Scores Are Based on Five Core Factors
While your credit score is one number, it actually is influenced by five separate factors:
You’re legally entitled to a free copy of your annual credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. That means you can check your credit report every four months if you cycle through the credit bureaus. This can help you catch any inaccuracies in a timely manner so you can dispute them and ensures you have an accurate overall picture of your financial situation.
You can also get your credit score for free from various places. Many major credit card companies offer access to FICO scores as part of their customer perks, and you can also get a score from Credit.com.
4. Checking Your Own Score Won’t Hurt It
While it’s true that too many hard inquiries have a negative impact on your score, the effect is small and temporary. There’s also an exception made if you’re applying for the same type of loan in a short period of time, so you can shop around for the best deal on a car loan without worry about your credit taking a hit. If you’re checking your own score, however, there’s no penalty, and it doesn’t show up on your credit report as an inquiry at all.
5. There Are Different Scores and Score Ranges
Each of the three major credit bureaus, as well as the newer VantageScore, has their own scoring model with differing ranges. Your score changes depending on which one you’re looking at. It’s important to know what the range is for the score you’re looking at and not to rely too heavily on just one bureau’s score.
If you’re keeping an eye on your credit score and pulling your free credit report every four months, you’ll be much more likely to spot problems that indicate you could be the victim of identity theft. For example, if you get a notification that your credit score has dropped and see that there’s a new account you didn’t open or a credit card you haven’t used in months suddenly has a huge balance, you’ll be able to take action immediately.
7. Your Credit Score Can Cost You Thousands Over a Lifetime
Having a less-than-great credit score means you’re also getting less-than-great terms on credit cards and loans. The biggest factor in this is interest. As a general rule, the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate, and that can add up to paying thousands more over your lifetime for access to credit than you would with a better score. Even raising your score 100 points or so can save you a lot of money in the long run.
8. There’s No Such Thing as a Joint Credit Score
If you’re married, have joint accounts or are just sharing credit with an authorized user, you may be concerned about how it can affect your credit. Credit scores are individual, so even if the other person has poor credit and you add them to your credit card, your score won’t go down.
However, if the person doesn’t make a payment as agreed or racks up a big balance, it can affect your score because it’s still technically your account. Whenever you share credit, make sure you’re aware of who will be responsible and who will be affected if a payment is missed.
9. Negative Information Eventually Ages Off
We all make mistakes, and if you have some not-so-great moments in your credit history, you may be relieved to hear that they will eventually drop off your credit report. As long as you keep your credit in good standing moving forward, eventually any past mistakes won’t be a factor.
10. Credit Scores Aren’t the Only Things That Matter for Lending Decisions
While your credit score can impact a lot of your ability to access credit, it isn’t the only thing lenders consider. If you have no credit or poor credit, you may be able to secure a loan through an alternative lender. In some situations, making a personal appeal or giving a lender more context to your credit report can help you access financial products. This is usually most effective at smaller institutions such as local banks or credit unions, where you’re more likely to be able to talk to the decision-maker and have someone look at your entire financial picture instead of just your score.
Whether you're a one-person consulting business or a 250-person manufacturing operation, you've spent years developing the knowledge that made your company a success. Why not maximize the return on your knowledge by leveraging it gain authority, or even celebrity status in your marketplace?
Once you are seen as an authority, or expert, in your particular field, it can open up the door for higher paying jobs and other business opportunities like speaking engagement that can grow your business and fuel your success even more.
Below are seven simple ways for you to do just that.
1. Become an advocate and educator for your customers.
Part of having authority status is being both an educator and an advocate for your clients. As an educator, you work hard at communicating with your customers on a regular basis. For example, financial expert Dave Ramsey has a site on which he posts various tips and articles for his customers.
In addition, he offers seminars that help his customers learn more about money management. He even offers free printable resources. All these elements, and many more, are examples of how he educates his clients.
Instead of trying to please everyone, focus your efforts on a small amount of possible clients. This approach will help understand the niche better and be able to cater your marketing better. You’ll perfect the art of appealing to and pleasing that smaller scope of customers.
An example of micro-specialization in the design field could include designers who only do corporate CEO’s offices or those who choose to only work with local real-estate companies to stage private homes for sale.
3. Write articles for news sites and profession publications.
Make a concerted effort to write articles pertaining to your area of expertise. Send them in to newspapers and trade journals along with other professional publications.
If you can manage to do this, you will have content to back up your authority status in your field. Don’t simply write a few articles here and there, but instead commit to regular content creation for a variety of outlets, as it helps build up your personal brand faster.
4. Write a book using problem-solution format
Another tip to becoming an expert is to take what has been your most read, or best received articles, and delve deeper into the subject broached in those pieces.
Keep in mind, the book doesn’t have to be long. In fact, in terms of today’s readers, shorter is often better.
However, the book format does give you the benefit of the space to really explore a problem and offer up your solution, which will give you instant authority status.
5. Start speaking.
Speaking in public is scary for many people. However, giving speeches or participating in seminars or panels is a great way to present yourself as an authority in your field.
One way to obtain a few speaking gigs is to align yourself with other successful speakers. If given the opportunity to speak alongside someone who is already well known, you will have a good-sized audience, and you can offer a different perspective on whatever the topic. Hone your speaking skills, study voice projection and observe other engaging speakers, ensuring you will be ready to give an interesting, stimulating speech an opportunity comes along.
6. Get interviewed on radio shows and podcast.
Podcasts are typically a niche driven industry, making them an ideal way to get your message across to a large amount of people. To get on a radio show or podcast, contact the host. You can usually find contact information, such as email addresses, on the show’s website. Tell the host why you would be a great fit for the show.
Don’t forget about Twitter, Facebook and other social-media outlets, as you can often contact a radio show host through these means. If those ideas don’t work, try contacting past guests who have been on the show to find out how they went about achieving an invite.
7. Use trust triggers.
After you have been a guest on a radio show, spoken alongside a reputable speaker or had your worked published by a trusted outlet, you can begin sharing that experience as a way to build trust. For example, if you are an expert on dog grooming and you have been a guest on It's a Doggy Dog World podcast, putting on your site that you were on that podcast is a great way to trigger trust.
If customers trust that podcast as an expert on the subject, and you were featured, customers will feel you are worthy of trust as well.
However, it is always a good idea to ask permission before using someone‘s name to build trust.