Although the credit bureaus would like to have you think otherwise, there is absolutely nothing illegal about disputing questionable items on your credit report. In fact, it is your explicit right by law to do so. Moreover, the federal Fair Credit Billing Act affords consumers the right to request extensive information regarding billing and account history. The Truth in Lending Act stipulates conditions for establishing credit accounts. And, finally, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allocates specific rights to citizens regarding accounts that have passed into collection status. Using a variety of strategies, we will advocate for your consumer rights.
Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS) Contact Information for Borrowers: Phone 1-800-848-0979 Website www.dl.ed.gov Contact Information for Schools Phone 1-888-877-7658 Website www.dl.ed.gov/schools FedLoan Servicing Contact Information for Borrowers: Phone 1-800-699-2908 Website www.MyFedLoan.org Contact Information for Schools Phone 1-800-655-3813 Website www.MyFedLoan.org/schools Great Lakes Contact Information for Borrowers: Phone 1-800-236-4300 Website www.mygreatlakes.org Contact Information for Schools Phone 1-888-686-6919 Website www.mygreatlakes.org Nelnet Contact Information for Borrowers: Phone 1-888-486-4722 Website www.nelnet.com Contact Information for Schools Phone 1-866-463-5638 Website www.nelnet.com Sallie Mae Contact Information for Borrowers: Phone 1-800-722-1300 Website www.salliemae.com Contact Information for Schools 1-888-272-4665 Website www.opennet.salliemae.com
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Spending less helps you save money, which can be used to pay down credit card debt. To accomplish this, create a monthly budget. Get copies of credit card and checking account statements for the past year to see where you’ve been spending your money. For example, a couple that goes to the movies once each month at $40 per date spends more than $500 per year if they put those tickets, drinks and popcorn on a credit card and carry the balance. It may sound like a stretch, but cutting one cup of coffee and one casual dining lunch per week can save you another $800 or more. And, buying generics and waiting for grocery sales can help you save another $1,400 each year. Now switch to the selling side of things. Go through your garage, basement and closets, and look for items you can sell in a yard sale or on Craigslist to bring in some extra cash to put toward your credit cards.
One way to pay off credit card debt is to use other forms of credit, such as low-interest or interest-free balance transfers to reduce the interest you’re paying. The better your creditworthiness and higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you’ll get. So, you should make sure there is no incorrect information on your credit report that can damage your creditworthiness. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to get your free credit report. In addition, you can get one free report from the three credit reporting agencies — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax — once a year.
Secured credit cards may be great tools for building or rebuilding your credit, but they aren’t without their downsides. The cons you should consider include: Some secured cards have high fees, so check carefully for what you have to pay. The best cards have no or low annual fees. There may be additional fees for things like withdrawing cash from an ATM. You may be charged for a credit limit increase. Imagine if you arrange with your issuer to change your limit from $500 to $750 and send the additional $250 to cover the difference. The issuer still might hit you with a processing fee for increasing the limit. It’s possible to underestimate how interest impacts your balance and subsequently you charge over your limit. There are rarely perks, like cash back or travel rewards You’ll have to wait on those until you can qualify for an unsecured card.
If you’ve ever needed a credit card to rent a car or hotel room, you understand the importance of having one. Secured credit cards may be the only option for those with poor credit. By giving money to a credit card issuer to “hold,” borrowers with poor credit are ensuring that their lenders are paid back if the borrowers don’t make their payments. Indeed, secured credit cards can be used by borrowers to establish a credit history. For example, consider the case of a young woman who graduated from college with no student loan debt but also never had a credit card or any other loans, and therefore had no credit history. She may have trouble leasing apartments that require a credit check as part of the approval process, since she has no credit history for landlords to review.
You should work with creditors to pay any old debts. This includes delinquent debt that your creditors have sold to a collection agency. Not only can settling old debt get rid of the collection calls, but it also can improve your credit score. You also can attempt to negotiate with creditors, offering to pay off old debt in return for reporting that the account has been paid. Be sure to get the agreement in writing before making payments.
Utilizing your credit cards properly also plays a significant factor in determining your credit score. Your credit utilization ratio compares your credit card debt to your available credit. For example, carrying a ratio of 70 percent means that you have a greater risk of not paying off your debt. While you want to keep your credit utilization ratio under 30 percent, zero percent utilization could hurt your credit score. Most financial experts recommend you keep a ratio of 10 percent to 30 percent.
Most widely used version Experian FICO® Score 8 Equifax FICO® Score 8 TransUnion FICO® Score 8 Versions used in auto lending Experian FICO® Auto Score 8, FICO® Auto Score 2 Equifax FICO® Auto Score 8, FICO® Auto Score 5 TransUnion FICO® Auto Score 8, FICO® Auto Score 4 Versions used in credit card decisions Experian FICO® Bankcard Score 8, FICO® Score 3, FICO® Bankcard Score 2 Equifax FICO® Bankcard Score 8, FICO® Bankcard Score 5 TransUnion FICO® Bankcard Score 8, FICO® Bankcard Score 4 Versions used in mortgage lending Experian FICO® Score 2 Equifax FICO® Score 5 TransUnion FICO® Score 4