Originally posted on CNBC on June 22, 2018 by Megan Leonhardt | @Megan_Leonhardt
If they weren’t so nice, Minnesota residents could boast about having America’s highest average credit scores.
The state’s residents have an average credit score of 709, which falls into the “good” range of scores between 670 to 739, according to Experian. Vermont, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Massachusetts round out the top five states with the highest credit scores.
The pattern of states in the upper Midwest doing well by this measure and the South doing less well has remained “pretty consistent” over the past two decades, credit expert John Ulzheimer tells CNBC Make It.
“Credit scoring systems don’t consider geography when calculating a consumer’s credit score so the difference is going to be solely based on the composition of their credit reports,” he says. And Mississippi, with its score of 647, wins the award for the lowest average credit score seemingly every year for two main reasons, he says: a higher delinquency rate and a higher average credit card utilization ratio.
“Consumers with good credit scores tend to get cards with higher initial limits and larger limit increases. That allows them to have higher balances while also having higher scores,” Ulzheimer says. “Consumers with poor credit scores tend to have lower limits so even modest balances
» Read More
For many people, personal debt, especially when they get in over their heads is overwhelming and often times suffer in silence. Lynn, one of our clients, was gracious enough to participate in an interview to give some insight to her journey. Hopefully from Lynn’s story you can find some tips to help you get your debt under control.
Q: What triggered you to address your unpaid debt and credit status?
A: I started to receive letters in the mail from Collection Agencies and credit card companies like Capitol One stating that I owed money and I would be sued and garnished if I did not make efforts to pay the debt
Q: What kind of debt did you have? What was your credit score?
A: When I first started, my Credit Score was a 540. I was piling on credit card debt, medical bills and old collection accounts I had been ignoring.
Q: What made you seek help from a credit counseling service?
A: The fear of being garnished. I already did not think it was in my budget for me to pay back any of my debts and the thought of losing more money was enough.
Q: What Actions did you take personally to prepare you for entering into a Consolidation with your debts? How did you find an agency to help you, and
» Read More
How can I start building my Credit? June 12, 2018
At a young age, one of the most overlooked topics is credit. Most people in their 20s do not understand credit, nor think it is of any importance. Regardless of age, right now is the best time to start establishing your credit.
People with little or no credit history, have a very hard time obtaining any type of loan, whether it be credit cards, auto loans, or even mortgages. Lenders will not give an unsecured loan to anyone without proof of a good history on payments.
Credit cards and Small loans are two great options to begin establishing your credit. Without a good history of credit, you will almost never be able to obtain a huge loan or a high credit limit unless you can prove you can repay the lender, usually done by income verification. Even with verified income, lenders usually charge high-interest rates to people without a good credit score.
Small loans and credit cards will help you establish credit quickly. Once you can show lenders that you can responsibly pay back debt, you will be more open to larger loans and higher limits on your cards.
Credit cards may be the best way to jump-start your credit history because they are revolving credit. When you have a credit limit of $300,
» Read More
What is a Credit Score ? May 11, 2018 TheHerbalVibe
There once was a time where people went into a bank, applied for a mortgage, and had a banker go over their recent billing statements, checkbooks and financial income. This was to help prospective lenders evaluate what type of funding you would be qualified to receive.
In 1989 Fair, Isaac & Company (FICO) introduced the ” Credit Score “. The model introduced by FICO is based on consumer credit files from the three national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. FICO scores range between 300 and 850.
Although the exact formulas for calculating credit scores are secret, FICO has released the following information on the major factors in determining your credit score, which go as follows :
1) Payment Record 35% of score
Your payment record is the main discretion in determining your score. Creditors like to see a positive payment record, meaning very little or no late payments. This shows that your are not only responsible but, reliable. Lenders and Creditors giving out loans and unsecured debt will almost always likely turn down anyone with any negative payment history. An easy way to maintain a positive payment history is setting up automatic payment withdrawal. One of the best ways to improve or maintain a good score is to make consistent and
» Read More
Wait, your own number is calling? It’s happening here. It’s a scam.
By Charles Elmore
Palm Beach County residents are getting calls that seem to be from their own cell number. Received one of these? A reporter and his son did.
A recorded message that purports to be from AT&T says an account has been compromised and asks people to punch in the last four digits of their social security number.
It’s just confusing and disconcerting enough to throw some folks off balance. They may wonder if only a phone company could call them from their own number, so there might be something to it.
Don’t respond. Hang up. It’s a scam to gather information that could be used to plunder accounts or steal your identity.
“These calls are not from AT&T,” said company spokeswoman Kelly Starling. “If any company calls you and asks for your personal information, that is a red flag. One of our tips on our new Cyber Aware website is never give such information to someone who calls you. Call the company at the number found on your bill. You can read more helpful tips for all consumers at www.att.com/cyberaware.”
The call appears to be from your own phone number through a technological trick called “spoofing.” This is how scammers appear to be calling from the IRS
» Read More
One in ten Americans are having their wages garnished according to Automatic Data Process Inc. Originally reported by MSN http://on-msn.com/1vbfT5F
While the MSN story is troubling to say the least. It’s even worse than MSN reported. Wages can be garnished up to a whopping 60% of a person’s disposable earnings. The highest percentage allowed (50-60%) applies to child support. Other types of debt can range from 15%-25% of disposable earnings.
The Federal Wage Garnishment Law, Consumer Credit Protection Act’s Title 3 (CCPA) www.dol.gov/whd/garnishment dictates what percentage can be garnished from an individual’s paycheck. The restrictions of “15%-60%” do not apply in all cases. Certain bankruptcy court orders and Federal or State tax debts have NO RESTRICTIONS!!
Before I go thru the specifics of ‘garnishments”, let me preface this by saying I am not an attorney. I am not giving you legal advice. This article is not intended in anyway to be “in lieu of” obtaining advice from an attorney. If you are being sued, speak with an attorney. If you believe that you are at risk for being garnished or you already have been garnished, my advice is “speak with an attorney” The information you find here is
» Read More
22 States That Will Take Your License For Student Loan Default
It’s not just wage garnishment that hangs over the heads of Americans with student loan defaults. As if garnishment was not bad enough, laws in at least 22 states go much further. You can have your driver’s license and or professional license suspended. There are at least 2 states that have legislators trying to over-turn the law. “It’s the most inappropriate consequence, because you are taking away their ability to eventually pay [their loans] back,” says Moffie Funk, the Montana state representative who sponsored the bill one bill to over-turn the Montana law.
Across the nation thousands of professional license and drivers licenses have been suspended, including teachers and nursing licenses. Montana has suspended 92 drivers’ licenses for defaulting on student loans. Bloomberg reported that Iowa has suspended nearly 1,000 drivers licenses. Collectors are using these laws to motivate borrowers to get loans in default on a payment plan and up-to-date. “It’s more of a deterrent than something that goes all the way to license suspension,” says Cheryl Poelman-Allen, of the Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program. Threatening a license suspension is having some success in getting loans re-paid.
People with professional
» Read More
If you are getting collection calls for any unpaid debt that you owe, the best way to handle them is to speak to the collector and find out everything you can find out about that debt. Make sure the debt is your debt. Make sure the amount is something you remember that you failed to pay. Verify the amount owed is approximately what you thought you owed. If your initial review doesn’t sound like it’s your debt, tell the collector you are disputing the debt. Debt collectors may send a letter to the mailing address that they have on file asking you to validate the debt. Please do not ignore these letters. Review them for accuracy and if the debt is not yours, dispute it by responding to the letter and advise the collector. If it is your debt, be ready for the collection calls to start or be proactive and call the collector yourself.
Remember, if it’s your debt, it’s best to take the call and face it head on. But here are a few rules the collector must follow when contacting you.
- The collector can only call you between 8am and 9pm.
- They are not allowed to call you at work if the policy at your work says you could get in trouble for
» Read More
Types of Loans
There are different variations of consumer personal loans, signature loans and lines of credit. Each loan product may have different features and pay off requirements. The loan rates maybe fixed or variable and loans terms may vary. The personal unsecured loan maybe a useful tool for Debt Consolidation, large purchase, home improvements, car repairs etc.
Personal Loans are funded by your local bank or financial institution, these loans do not require collateral. Your consumer credit history, income and your ability to repay the loan will be the primary factors to be approved for a personal loan.
Your Credit Score
Your Credit Score will be the number one factor that determines if your loan is approved and what your interest will be.
Debt To Income Ratio
You will be asked to give your income on the loan application. They may ask for your weekly, monthly or annual income. To calculate
» Read More
Debt Settlement is a legitimate industry that helps consumer settle their debt for less than they owe. However, there are still ways for unscrupulous companies to scam you. Watch and learn how to avoid getting ripped off by debt settlement scams.
Debt Settlement? The Good the Bad & the Ugly.
You see and hear it everywhere; settle your debt for half of what you owe. What are they talking about? What has just been described is called debt settlement. Marketers are quick to point out the big plus of debt settlement, which is paying your creditors less than you actually owe them. That’s where the good news stops. Debt settlement is an ugly financial solution and should only be considered by those in dire financial hardship. Debt settlement is only appropriate if you have fallen behind or it is inevitable you are going to fall behind on your minimum payments, and you don’t have any assets to draw from to pay off these accounts. There are ethical companies and law firms that provide debt settlement as an option to resolve debt. Debt settlement is a legitimate industry; however debt settlement as a financial solution is not a
» Read More