Reader Question: “I have fallen way behind on my credit card payments over the last few years, due to a job loss and generally a ‘perfect storm’ of financial problems. I don’t think I’ll ever get caught up. At least not for a long while. I own my house and I’m current on my mortgage […]
Your credit report includes a variety of information relating to your financial history. Specifically, it shows how you have borrowed and repaid money in the past. This article provides an in-depth look at the data contained in your file, and how it affects you.
A reader who suffered the loss of a job (and reduced income) wanted to know which bills to pay first when money is tight. While circumstances can vary from one person to the next, there are certain priorities that most financial experts agree on. Housing, phone, utilities and transportation usually top the list.
This article explains what you can do to stop harassment coming from debt collectors and creditors. For the most part, it’s as simple as providing a written request that they stop contacting you. This is usually enough to end all communications. Read the article for more information on this subject, or refer to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
It’s hard to say how a debt consolidation could affect your credit score, because there are so many variables involved. Generally speaking, if you reduce your utilization ratio without shortening your credit history in the process, it could have a positive effect over the long term.
How, when, and where does your credit history begin? And how does it end up as a three-digit score? In most cases, it dates back to your first loan, your first Visa card, etc. This article explains how the process works.
Paying off one or more of your outstanding debts could have a positive effect on your credit score going forward. It could also have a negative impact. The difference lies within your utilization ratio, and the length of your history. So tread carefully. Read the article for a more detailed explanation.
If your credit card company lowers your available limit, it will likely result in a higher utilization ratio (if all other things remain equal). This in turn could hurt your score over time. You also have to consider the reason why they decided to reduce your limit. Start by calling and asking them.
Can you get sued for an unpaid credit card debt? Yes, you can. And if the creditor wins a legal judgment against you, they could garnish your wages to recover some or all of their loss. But the law also provides certain protections to you, as a consumer. So let’s talk about those.
In the past, credit card companies were notorious for changing the due dates for payments. This would allow them to charge penalty fees on their customers. It became a new profit center. But there are now laws that prohibit this kind of shuffling.