Dealing With Debt
For better or worse, we live in a society that thrives on credit. Almost any product can be purchased through installments. Credit cards and credit applications come through the mail on a regular basis. Unfortunately, some consumers become overwhelmed by their credit obligations. Because of a variety of reasons, overspending, illness, the loss of a job, it becomes impossible for them to pay all their bills. If you cannot resolve your credit problems alone or need additional assistance, you may wish to contact an agency like the Consumer Credit Counseling Service or another credit counseling organization.
These nonprofit organizations counsel consumers who are in debt. A counselor will try to arrange a repayment plan between the consumer and their creditors, and will help set up a realistic budget and plan expenditures. These services, are generally offered at little to no cost. If you have a problematic credit report, there are no quick, "magic" fixes. The only way to fix your credit history is through sound management of your money.
Then, continued management your finances for a long enough period of time so that your history reflects responsible spending habits. Some consumers turn to companies, which claim to be able to fix credit problems. These companies, sometimes called "credit repair clinics," often make misleading promises to consumers, such as promising to remove a bankruptcy from their credit report and charge high fees for doing the same things consumers can do on their own. You need not pay someone else to learn what is in your file or to correct inaccurate information. See the Credit Reports section for more information about how to get and correct information in your credit file. Your Credit Report will contain information about your Identity: includes your name, address, marital status, and your date of birth, number of dependents, previous address, and Social Security number. Employment: includes your present position, length of employment, income and previous job. Credit History: consists of your credit experiences with specific credit grantors. Public Record: includes civil suits and judgments, bankruptcy records, or other legal proceedings recorded by a court. Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act , consumer-reporting agencies may keep correct and verifiable information in your file for seven years, and ten years in the case of bankruptcy.
There are a few exceptions: - if you apply for a job which pays more than $75,000 per year, the reporting agency may provide all the information it has, including items over seven years old. - information reported because of an application for more than $50,000 worth of credit or life insurance has no time limitation; - information concerning lawsuits or judgments against you can be retained in your file for seven years or until the statute of limitations expires, whichever is longer. Others Who Can Obtain Your Credit Report Any business, individual, or government agency may request a credit report for its legitimate business needs involving a transaction with the consumer. These include: credit granting considerations; review or collection of an account; employment considerations; insurance underwriting; a potential partnership; security clearance; or lease. Reports may also be issued at the written request of the consumer or a court. Reviewing Your Credit File You have to right to know the contents of your credit history. Upon request a consumer reporting agency must disclose to you all of its information about you and its sources for that information. This includes the names of all those who requested credit reports or other information about you in the last six months as well as anyone who obtained reports for employment purposes in the past two years. You may either make an appointment to review your file or request the information over the phone. The credit-reporting agency must provide you with a free copy of your file if you have been denied credit within the last 30 days.
Otherwise, the agency may charge you a reasonable fee not to exceed $8.
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