Other Blog Posts in services category

Medical Debt

The three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – recently agreed to “overhaul” reporting practices regarding medical debt on consumers’ credit reports. These changes include a new six-month waiting period before the agencies can report a consumer’s medical debt on his/her credit report, and they must also remove medical debts from a consumer’s report after the deb......

Mixed/Merged Files

Each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – collects and stores information about you in databases, resulting in three separate credit reports which each contain raw data in what are called “credit files.” A “mixed credit report” occurs when one of these agencies inaccurately merges entire credit files, or credit information in general, belonging to t......

Denied Employment

In some parts of the United States, people with unresolved problems or errors on their credit reports can actually be denied employment due to these issues. In Illinois, applicants are protected by the Employee Credit Privacy Act (ECPA), which took effect in 2011.The ECPA prohibits employers from making employment decisions (hiring, recruiting, discharging, or modifying compensation) based on a......

Credit Rebuilding

When resolving credit report problems, rebuilding your credit can seem like a lengthy and difficult process, but it certainly can be done in less time than you think. Aside from the common strategies, it is essential that you focus on paying your existing debt on-time and keeping your balances low, as on-time payments are arguably the single greatest factor in improving your score. It’s also he......

Credit Score

Your credit score is generally based on your potential and likelihood to repay debt, and you have a score with each of the country’s three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They typically use scoring models from FICO and VantageScore and may also use their own “proprietary models,” so your score can vary slightly depending on which credit bureau provides it.When monitorin......

Outdated Negative Information

Most types of negative credit information must be removed after certain periods of time, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and having this information removed is among the most effective ways to improve your credit profile and even your credit scores.Most outdated negative information must be removed from your report after roughly seven years, such as charge-off accounts, colle......

Rebuilding Your Credit

While rebuilding credit can be a different and much longer process than building credit, the steps are similar in many ways. Here are some helpful guidelines for successfully rebuilding your credit: Pay existing debts on-time – Consistently pay your bills and lines of credit on-time, and remember that on-time payments are arguably the most important factor in improving your credi......

Income-based Repayment

If you are struggling with student loan debt, you may be eligible to enroll in an income-based repayment (IBR) plan. This program can limit your monthly loan payments based on a certain percentage of your monthly income, which can temporarily be as low as 0% in some cases, and family size and income are the primary criteria for eligibility. In some cases, they can also include interest-subsidie......

Credit Report Rights

When it comes to your credit report, you have a number of rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Here are some of the most well-known rights: Limited access to your file – Only people and entities with a “valid need” for your information – usually regarding applications with creditors, employers, or in......

Repossession and Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy can halt and potentially reverse car repossession via the “automatic stay,” a period during bankruptcy in which all collective action against you is put on hold. If your car has been repossessed prior to bankruptcy, you may be able to reobtain it provided that the arrearage (back payments for the vehicle) is part of your repayment plan and you’re able to keep making monthly payments.......

Foreclosure and Bankruptcy

Foreclosure occurs when a homeowner is significantly behind on his/her mortgage payments –typically three or four months – at which point the bank holding the mortgage may begin the foreclosure process. If the bank has begun to attempt foreclosure by auctioning the property, and the homeowner does not have options such as loan forbearance or a “short sale,” you may benefit from filing for bankr......

Settlement

If you are struggling with student debt, you’re not alone. Over 14% of federal loan borrowers go into default within three years of beginning repayment, according to the Department of Education, and student loan debt exceeds $1.3 trillion throughout the United States.If you have exhausted all postponement programs and payment-reductions offered by your lender, a settlement may be an option if y......

Deferment

A “deferment” is a period of time in which repayment of both your principal balance and accrued interest are temporarily delayed. While the government may pay interest on Direct Subsidized Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, or Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans during a deferment, it will not pay interest on unsubsidized or PLUS loans.If you have Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), o......

Creditor Lawsuit

If you have been sued by a creditor in order to collect a debt, you may feel overwhelmed or out of options, but you have a path to recovery. Consider filing for bankruptcy and contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible.At the beginning of bankruptcy, you will be granted an “automatic stay” which will halt the creditor’s lawsuit proceedings and any other debt collection effor......

Defense to Repayment

“Defense to Repayment” is a legal statute which can allow loan-forgiveness for students who have faced “acts or omissions of an institute of higher education,” referring to a range of unlawful practices including lying to students about anticipated annual salaries, job prospects, or other factors which contributed to your decision to attend the school.Approval for a loan discharge via defense t......

Student Loan Debt

In recent years, student loan debt has surpassed credit card debt and auto loan debt to become the second-highest financial burden on Americans (after mortgage debt), and for those who seek bankruptcy for relief from a difficult financial situation, it certainly seems discouraging on the surface when they learn that their student debt can’t be discharged.Having student loan debt discharged in b......

Credit Report Disputes

It’s important to review your credit report on a periodic basis for a number of reasons, including: its information can determine whether or not you can obtain a loan and how much it may cost; you must ensure that the information is complete, accurate, and up-to-date before applying for major loans; and to protect against identity theft by identifying any information that is suspicious, false, ......

Credit Report Errors

According to a 2012 report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as many as one in four Americans have had at least one “potentially significant” error on one or more of their credit reports. In fact, credit report errors are surprisingly common, but the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the right to dispute and remove these errors to improve your credit profile and score.Common typ......

Wage Garnishment

Both the federal government and private lenders are capable of garnishing a student loan borrower’s wages to repay a debt. For federal student debt, a legal judgment against you is not necessary for wage garnishment, while private lenders can take you to court and obtain permission to do so.Also, parents who take out loans for their children and anyone else who co-signs on a student loan may be......

Medical Bills

Rising health care costs can and do contribute significantly to bankruptcy filings, as the American Journal of Medicine estimates that about 62% of all bankruptcy cases are due to medical expenses, and in one particular study, 92% of those who filed bankruptcy for medical reasons had more than $5,000 in medical expenses. If you’re in a difficult financial situation due to overwhelming medical b......

Co-Signer Release

A 2012 report from the Department of Education and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) estimated that as many as 9 in 10 private student loans were co-signed by borrowers’ parents. Over time, a co-signer may no longer be necessary and you can request to release him/her from the loan, but this can sometimes become complicated, as rules and regulations can vary greatly among different len......

Denied Credit

If you have had a credit application denied by a lender due to your credit report, the lender has a few responsibilities under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the first of which is to provide you the specific reasons for your application’s rejection, or inform you of your right to obtain these reasons, within sixty (60) days.A lender which rejects your credit application is also legall......

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you’re struggling with significant debt and considering a new start via bankruptcy, you may be eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is available to those who pass the “means test,” meaning that your income is lower than your state’s median monthly income; there are also numerous exceptions to this rule.Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires that you sell all your assets and pay ......

Denied Housing

Credit report problems have become much more prevalent in the U.S. since the start of the “Great Recession,” and finding housing has become a more difficult and complicated process for many. However, “tenant standards” among landlords and large-scale property managers have also changed in recent years, and if you’ve been denied housing due a credit report-related issue, other options and strate......

Bankruptcy

If you are struggling with student loan debt and considering filing for bankruptcy, it may provide you with a fresh start and a chance to regain control of your finances. It’s important to understand, however, that discharging a student loan via bankruptcy is extremely rare and almost non-existent, and is only granted in cases of “extreme” and “undue” hardship.M......

Background Checks

Employers which conduct background checks for personnel-related decisions must ensure that these checks comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as well as all applicable discrimination laws.Employers conduct background checks for potential employees for a variety of reasons, such as to learn about professional/financial history, criminal history, or education, and anytime an employer a......

Robocalls

The number-one consumer complaint to the FCC is unwanted calls and texts from collectors. The YouMail National Robocall Index estimated that somewhere around 2.3 billion robocalls were made in the U.S. in the month of January alone -- that comes out to 51,523 calls made every minute. If you have loans serviced by Navient, you have likely been through the robocall drill. From morning until night......

Creditor Harassment

Even if you are struggling with debt or behind on bills, you are still protected under federal law against illegal debt collection practices, which include false and deceptive means of collecting debt.You are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) from the unlawful behavior of debt-collectors, which are usually hired by your creditor to collect your debt. For example, these......

Employment Screening

Because your credit history is a general reflection of your ability and likelihood to repay debt, some employers may wish to review your credit report before hiring you for a position, and this is more common than many of us realize. One survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in 2012 found that 47% of employers check the credit reports of potential employees as a standard ......

Lawsuits

When a student loan servicer or academic institution violates state or federal regulations, such as by placing unlawful robocalls to collect debt or misleading prospective students about graduation rates or job placements, students may be eligible to file suit against these companies with the help of an experienced student loan attorney.Navient, the nation’s largest student loan servicer, is th......

Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is a widespread problem in the United States. The Federal Reserve estimates that Americans carry over $800 billion in credit card debt, and there may be up to 4.5 million delinquent credit card accounts. If you feel stressed or overwhelmed with debt, remember that you are not alone and help is available.Financial stress can have significant negative impacts on everyday life. Ba......

Inaccurate Information

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have a legal right to dispute and remove inaccurate information from your credit report. These inaccuracies come in three common forms: Wrong information – Untrue information such as accounts you did not open, judgments for lawsuits which didn’t involve you, or debts you did not incur can be permanently removed from your c......