Buying a Used Car

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You should know what the fair market price of a used car is before you buy the car.  The fair market price is based on several factors, including mileage, options and the condition of the car.  To find out a car’s fair market price, try these websites:

www.edmunds.com

www.nadaguides.com

www.kelleybluebook.com


Getting Rid of Debt From Your Credit Report

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You can try to dispute items on your credit report.  The dispute process can be time consuming, and you may not get any results even after months of trying.  Sometimes the only way to get rid of debt is to file a bankruptcy.  For many people, filing bankruptcy is the fastest and cheapest way to clean up their credit report.


Want to Buy a House? Starting Point

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If you want to buy a condominium or a house, one of the first steps is to look at your credit report and your credit score.  These are two different things.  Your credit report is an actual report that is a few pages long.  Your credit score is a number, usually a 3 digit number.  It is a good idea to check your credit every 4 months.  Checking your credit report does not hurt your credit score.


Student Loan Payments

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One of your best chances for getting affordable payments on your federal student loans is to apply for an income based repayment plan.  Your monthly payment could be as low as $0 per month if your income is low enough.  Remember: this only applies to federal student loans, not private student loans.  Go to this website for more information:

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-driven


Payday Loans

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Payday loans are usually given in amounts from $100 to $1,000.  You may pay $30 to borrow $100.  With interest rates and finance charges, you may be paying 300% to 750% in annual interest.  The loan will typically be due on your next payday.  If the payday loan is loaded onto a debit card, there could be more fees.


Debt Settlement Companies

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Beware of debt settlement companies that do any of the following:

  • They say there is a “new government program” to wipe out debts
  • They guarantee your debts will go away
  • They tell you they can stop all lawsuits

Where to Get Some Advice

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Where to Get Some Advice

 

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is a non-profit organization that offers counseling in the following areas:

  • Housing
  • Reverse Mortgages
  • Bankruptcy
  • Student Loans
  • Credit Reports

 

Their website is https://www.nfcc.org


Summons and Complaint

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If you get served with a Summons and another court document, such as a Complaint, take the matter seriously.  Generally, you only have 20 days to file something with the court.  If you get a Summons served on you, you should contact a lawyer to see what the case is about and what you need to file.


Employment Credit Checks

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An employer could run a credit check on you when you apply for a job.  Usually, this is done for jobs that handle money, like banking or accounting.  Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the employer has to notify you in writing and get your written authorization before they can run your credit report.  Your credit score is not affected when an employer runs your credit.


Credit Card Fraud Alerts

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You can ask your credit card company to set up a fraud alert so that you can be notified by e-mail or text when there is a charge over a certain amount.  But some fraudulent charges are made in small amounts.  The criminal could buy $5 worth of snacks just to see if your credit card works.  It may be a good idea to set your alert to zero, and then you will be notified any time a transaction is made to your credit card.


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