Bad Credit Stains

No one can legally remove current, accurate negative information from your credit report, not OxiClean, not Kaboom, not even a credit repair service.  Credit repair services cannot erase bankruptcies, judgments, liens, or bad loans, nor can they create a new identity legally.  So what are you going to do to improve your credit? If you can talk, text, and chew gum, you can fix your credit score on your own.  The basics include: Pay your bills on time every time No new credit – do not open new credit accounts or take out new loans Pay down large balances Make a budget and stick to it – you can use the free online budget provided by the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-1020-make-budget-worksheet.pdf Alternatively, there are local credit counseling programs that will review the problems on your credit report and will help you make a plan to fix those issues.  Visit the St. Johns County Housing and Community Services website at http://www.sjcfl.us (click on “Housing & Community Services”) and the St. Johns Housing Partnership website at http://sjhp.org for more information.     Read More

Your Credit and You

There are a lot of credit repair services “as seen on TV,” but if you can talk, text, and chew gum, you can fix your credit score on your own.  Some of the basics include pay your bills on time, pay down outstanding balances, stay away from new debt, and avoid credit repair scams. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently reported that consumers were scammed for hundreds of dollars each by a company called Southeast Trust, LLC.  Southeast used illegal robocallers to claim they were a non-profit group that could offer credit card interest rates as low as zero percent.  It was too good to be charity, and Southeast Trust was anything but “trustworthy.” Here are some of the red flags of credit repair scams noted by the FTC and others: Charges fees before your debts are settled Guarantees to make your unsecured debt go away Claims to be able to stop all debt collection calls and lawsuits Refuses to send you free information about its services unless you provide personal and financial information, like your credit card and bank account numbers Advises you to stop communicating with your creditors Claims to be a deity with the authority to forgive […] Read More

Tips for Extra Credit on a House

So maybe you did not do so well last semester on your credit report.  Getting good credit is not an easy A, but if you can talk, text, and chew gum, you can fix your credit.  Some of the basics include pay your bills on time, pay down outstanding balances, and stay away from new debt (not to mention avoiding foreclosure and bankruptcy).  For more tips on do-it-yourself credit repair (for free), visit the Federal Trade Commission website at www.ftc.gov. And if you are looking to buy a house (even if you have just lost a house to foreclosure), there are local credit counseling programs available that review the problems on your credit report and will help you make a plan to fix those issues.  Visit the St. Johns County Housing and Community Services website at http://www.sjcfl.us (click on “Housing & Community Services”) and the St. Johns Housing Partnership website at http://sjhp.org for more information. Happy New Year!   Read More

Credit & Christmas

There are seventy-five shopping days left until Christmas.  Is your credit ready?  At this point you do not have a lot of time to fix your credit for the upcoming holidays, but every month counts. The credit crisis becomes personal when all your plastic is maxed and you have more creditors than Facebook friends.  Before you sign yourself up for the latest credit repair company you saw on TV, check out the free tips on do-it-yourself credit repair from the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov. And if you are looking to buy a house (even if you have just lost a house to foreclosure), there are local credit counseling programs available that review the problems on your credit report and will help you make a plan to fix those issues.  Visit the St. Johns County Housing and Community Services website at http://www.sjcfl.us (click on “Housing & Community Services”) and the St. Johns Housing Partnership website at http://sjhp.org for more information. Creditors do not take off for holidays—your debt accrues interest regardless of religious rite or wrong.   However, if you can talk, text, and chew gum, you can fix your credit score.     Read More

Foreclosure Rates Close to Home

Glades County has the lowest foreclosure rate in Florida right now, with only one out of every 6,919 housing units in some form of foreclosure action.  Before you move to Glades County to avoid foreclosure, you may want to consider your other choices. St. Johns County Housing and Community Services offers homeowner assistance for those having trouble paying bills, keeping up with routine maintenance of their property, using payday loans or pawn shops, borrowing money from family and friends, facing loss of employment income, going through divorce, and/or dealing with medical hardship, etc.  Go to their link for more information and an online Homeowner Intervention Form at http://sjcfl.us/ForeclosureHelp/index.aspx. However, if you have already received a foreclosure notice, you time is limited—you only have 20 days—and you may want to seek legal counsel immediately. Not everyone can live in Glades County.  Those living in Flagler County right now enjoy they fourth highest foreclosure rate in Florida, with one in every 228 in foreclosure.  When foreclosure numbers get close to home, the choices can get difficult to make.  Seek competent legal counsel to review your situation and the options available to you. Foreclosure rate data is available through RealtyTrac at http://www.realtytrac.com/.  Other […] Read More

Your Christmas Credit

Christmas comes but once a year…your credit card bill is monthly.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases may accrue interest before the gifts are opened.  Situations happen—medical hardships, job loss, divorce, loss of income, and Christmas—which can affect good bill-paying practices and damage your credit.  The thing is, you can fix it.  If you can talk, text, and chew gum, you can fix your credit score.   For general tips on do-it-yourself credit repair (for free), visit the Federal Trade Commission website at www.ftc.gov.   And if you are looking to buy a house (even if you have just lost a house to foreclosure), there are local credit counseling programs available that review the problems on your credit report and will help you make a plan to fix those issues.  Visit the St. Johns County Housing and Community Services website at http://www.sjcfl.us (click on “Housing & Community Services”) and the St. Johns Housing Partnership website at http://sjhp.org for more information. Read More