Month: July 2012

Habits of The 800 Club — The Path to Perfect Credit

The credit score elite are known as The 800 Club, a group of Americans whose financial prowess ranks among the top 18 percent in the nation. For consumers who boast a credit score of 800 or greater, the financial rewards are abundant. Low interest rates are offered, doors are opened, and each member of the club can expect to save more money than their average counterparts. So, what are some of the go-to habits of the credit-savvy? Read on to learn more.

1. Zero balances.

Compounding debt is among the top reasons for credit repair. On the other hand, The 800 Club knows that credit cards are an asset, not a liability. Allow consumer credit to raise your score by adhering to proper usage. Keep your credit utilization ration below 25 percent and pay off balances at the end of each month. A zero balance means zero interest and complete debt control.

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Credit Repair and Consumer Protection: The CFPB Debuts New Database

Good news for the slighted consumer: Your grievances are about to be heard. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency centered on consumer advocacy, launched an online database allowing consumers to submit complaints related to credit cards. This decision came on the heels of heated opposition from banks that are concerned about the legitimacy of claims and the potential damage the database poses to their reputations. The Bureau responded by stating that while it does not verify the accuracy of each complaint, it does verify an established relationship between the consumer and the business before posting a citation on its site. They also provide businesses with 15 days to respond to each complaint and 60 days to resolve them. In addition to consumer credit, the CFPB database is slated to include information about mortgage and student loan financiers as well. This development houses an abundance of potential change for the American market, including:

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Foreclosure or Bankruptcy — Which Option is Worse?

Foreclosure and bankruptcy are both daunting—often the last straw after a long financial struggle. When considering your options, it is important to compare the eventualities and weigh the effects carefully. While both will cause undoubted credit score damage, minimizing the fallout is critical. Despite your current situation, avoid giving in to complacency. Include long-term credit repair as a factor in your decision. In addition, consider:

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Child Identity Theft: Warning Signs and Action

Identity theft is a common problem in our tech-driven society. Despite consumer awareness, one group of victims is often overlooked: Children. A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University polled a data group of 42,000 children, finding that 10 percent suffered from suspicious Social Security Number activity. “Child ID theft is a particularly troubling crime because it often goes undetected for years,” said David Vladeck, the Federal Trade Commission’s Director of Bureau of Consumer Protection. The reason? The red flags presented to adults are usually non-existent with children. Without credit monitoring, these underage victims may face a challenging road of credit repair in the future. To minimize your kids’ risk, practice vigilance to spot the warning signs, including:

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College or Credit Repair? Working Adults Face Tough Decisions

The rat race isn’t getting any easier for working professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 2.5 million more jobs will require graduate degrees by 2018, an 18 percent increase since 2008. When a bachelor’s degree is no longer good enough, it is important to anticipate the climate shift and respond assertively. Yet, this mounting certainty leaves one factor out of its consideration: money. Graduate school tuition can range from $30,000 to over $100,000 depending on the university and discipline. Unlike the average undergrad, working adults must balance the cost of living, family expenses, mortgage payments, credit cards, and other debt in their everyday lives. For those saving for a home or focusing on debt reduction, the idea of financing a second degree can seem impossible. Don’t give up too quickly, however. Job security and financial stability go hand-in-hand. Read on to learn how you can have both.

• Determine the value of education

Graduate degrees are not created equal. While each may prove intellectually rewarding, impact in the workplace may be a different story. Consider the following example:

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