Bad Credit Repair-- Solving The Problem
It is possible to fix your bad credit, with time, patience and determination. The first step in repairing poor credit is fixing any problems you may have with money.
1) Get a credit reports on yourself and check out what is on them. To get yours free go to www.annualcreditreport.com. You are allowed by U.S. law to get a free copy from each of the three major credit companies once every 12 months.
2) Once you have your credit reports, check them for accuracy. If there are any errors or things you disagree with, you are entiltled by the Fair Credit Reporting Act law to dispute anything in the report that is not accurate. Write to the credit reporting company and explain what the problems are. They will then investigate the matter and let you know what happens. If they find the information is not accurate, they will fix that on your credit report.
Unfortunately you can’t remove anything negative that is accurate information about you. Only time can do that. But adding more good information does help.
3) If your credit needs repair, start work on it now. Start paying off old unpaid debts and loans, starting with the smallest ones.
4) Start paying more than the minimum payment on your current credit card payments.
5) Do not get into any new debt. This is essential. Make it a priority to get out of debt. Cut up (or lock up) the credit cards, if they are a problem for you. Make it a commitment to become debt free.
6) Live within your means. Make a budget and live by it.
7) Start saving money. If you have poor credit, it is much easier to buy a home or a car with a cash down payment, than without one.
There are many sources of help available. Consumer Credit Counseling Service is one of the best for help repairing credit and getting debt under control. Their website is located at http://www.cccsintl.org. Consumer Credit Counseling Service provides budget counseling, educational programs, debt management assistance and housing counseling. There are also many local branches of this nonprofit organization, so check for one near your location.
There are many “for profit” organizations that will help you with debt consolidation loans, but beware! They often are very expensive. You can get free reliable help that you can trust from a non-profit organization like Consumer Credit Counseling Service instead of paying hundreds of dollars to one of them. Or, you can educate yourself and do it for free.
Some other good places to go online for more credit and financial advice are listed on my website at http://i-can-buy.com/resources.html.
Balance Transfer Disasters
There has been a rapid growth in the availability of zero per cent rates in the credit card industry. These have been caused by the combination of very low national interest rates, and the injection of fierce competition from American lenders such as Capital One. The UK credit card industry is now recognised as one of the most sophisticated and competitive credit card markets in the world.
One of the most popular innovations in the past number of years has been the introduction of the zero per cent balance transfer. This has revolutionised the finances for many indebted customers. How it works is if you have very high interest charges on one of you’re out standing credit card balances, then you can transfer it to a new credit card. In exchange for getting your business in this way, the new credit card provider will give you a zero per cent interest rate on the sum transferred for a period of usually, six to nine months.
While taking advantage of these zero per cent offers is highly advisable, as it can save you literally hundreds on interest charges, there are still precautions that you should take if you wish to avoid some costly mistakes. The first thing to realise is that there are different types of zero percent. What you will most likely come into contact with is zero per cent on balance transfers or zero per cent on purchases. You must not confuse the two.
If you have zero per cent on balance transfers then that will not mean you have zero per cent on purchases, so any purchases you make during your zero per cent period will not be at zero per cent but at your standard rate. This can be very important if we look at the situation using an example.
Supposing you have five thousand pounds on a credit card a 15%. If you transfer this to a card that gives you 0% on balance transfers for nine months you will save hundreds on interest. However, supposing the new card has a standard rate of 15% also. Now, if you have your five thousand on it safely at 0%, but suppose you make one hundred pounds worth of purchases. And then you pay back one hundred pounds; the one hundred you pay back will be applied to the first one hundred of the five thousand-balance transfers. This will leave you with 4,900 left at zero per cent on the balance transfer, and 100 as a purchase that attracts the standard 15%.
In this way you can quickly see how a zero per cent balance transfer can become a 15% purchases balance.