Month: March 2016

How Will I Know When Credit Repair is Successful?


Credit repair is a common goal with many benefits: lower interest rates and insurance premiums, the ability to save, borrow and even find employment.

If you have been pursuing creditworthiness, you may wonder, “How will I know when my goals are achieved?” While there is no obvious alert to credit improvement, there are plenty of ways to determine whether your efforts have succeeded. Begin by:

  1. Pulling your credit reports. Inaccurate and negative information can reduce your credit score by hundreds of points. As you and your credit repair team address these issues, deletions should help your score improve. The best way to verify progress is to order free copies of your TransUnion, Experian and Equifax reports. Review each report and highlight errors that are still present, then compare your list to the original. With any luck, you’ll see that negative items have disappeared.
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How Does Your Spouse’s Debt Affect Your Credit Score?


Marriage merges two lives into one. However, when it comes to credit histories, each spouse retains their own personal credit profile when they get married. Marriage does not merge two credit profiles into one. By the same token, if a spouse incurs debt during a marriage or otherwise wreaks havoc on their credit, the other spouse’s credit does not necessarily suffer as a result.

While being married does not merge your credit with your spouse’s, being joint account holders can certainly cause one spouse’s actions to affect the other spouse’s credit. Many married couples decide to have joint accounts — for example, bank accounts, utility accounts, or credit card accounts, to name a few. On a joint account, typically all account holders are liable for the actions of one of the account holders. For example, if a husband and wife are joint account holders on a credit card and the husband is 30 days late paying the bill one month, a 30-day late negative item will most likely appear on the credit reports of both the husband and the wife.

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Will A Credit Freeze Hurt Your Score?


Freezing your credit is a serious task, usually in response to identity theft, stolen information or unlawful credit damage. For a small fee, the three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax — will prevent third parties from accessing and using your credit information for things like opening new accounts in your name. For all intents and purposes, a freeze is intended to protect your score, but could it actually hurt? Review the items below before pursuing a credit freeze. A few considerations include:

  1. It won’t prevent identity theft. True, a credit freeze prevents fraudsters from viewing your credit reports and opening new accounts, but it won’t stop them from hacking into open accounts and accessing sensitive information. Lender employees may also access your account without notification, regardless of whether a freeze is active.
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Five Mistakes That Can Harm Your Credit


Our blog is committed to education, and we cover all the mistakes associated with bad credit, including the ones that cause it. You may be wondering about the latter group. Which mistakes should you avoid on the road to credit health? The items below represent credit blunders with long-term consequences. Avoid these roadblocks as you focus on credit repair.

  1. Cosigning. Exposing your credit to the habits of others is a risky move. When vouching for others, few cosigners realize the gravity and danger posed to their own credit score. The fact is, cosigning for a friend’s loan or credit account means you are responsible for paying the debt if they fail to honor the terms. The consequences of non-payment affect your credit just as severely as the primary borrower’s.
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Three Ways to Protect Your Credit While Traveling


Traveling is a necessity for some and a passion for others. The ability to hop on a plane and explore new places is a luxury, one that can hurt your credit without caution. Adopt a few best practices on your journey to ensure safety and avoid credit damage.

  1. Carry necessary items only. Carrying sensitive information while traveling puts you at greater risk for identity theft and financial woes.
    • Identification. While you need a driver’s license and/or passport to board a plane, leave your birth certificate and Social Security card at home, or better yet, in a safety deposit box at the bank.
    • Funds. Likewise, it’s a good idea to ditch debit cards in favor of credit during your travels. While a stolen debit card can wipe out your savings, fraudulent credit charges are usually voided by lenders and will not affect your financial safety.
    • Computers. If you plan to tote a computer or tablet, bring it as a carry-on item. Checked gadgets are subject to TSA searches and employee handling. Although TSA strives to employ honest workers, don’t bet your financial stability on their hiring practices.
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