How Can You Protect Yourself from Identity Theft?

First, protect your sensitive personal information as much as possible. Also, regularly obtain your credit report and check it for any accounts you did not open. You can obtain your free credit report every twelve months at: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/. You can also purchase credit monitoring or “freeze” your credit through various services but make sure you…

Are Student Loans Different in How They Are Legally Treated?

Yes, in some noteworthy ways. Generally, student loans CANNOT be discharged in bankruptcy, unlike most other forms of credit, with some exceptions in disability. Therefore, you should be particularly careful when taking out student loans, whether they are from the federal government or from private banks. If your student loans are federally provided, various payment…

What Is Collateral?

Collateral is anything of value that can be taken by the lender if you do not pay back the loan. Loans that are granted based upon collateral are called “secured loans” (i.e., a home mortgage or car note). The lender wants to identify property owned by the borrower which has a value at least equal…

How Long Does It Take To Clear A Bad Credit Report?

It depends on the seriousness of the past problems and the accuracy of the consumer report. If you believe there is inaccurate information on your credit report, you must follow the proper procedures to dispute the errors in accordance with the Fair Credit Billing Act. If the negative information is accurate, the Fair Credit Reporting…

What are the Major Laws that Regulate Credit?

The fundamental federal laws that regulate credit are the Fair Credit Reporting Act[1], Equal Credit Opportunity Act[2], Fair Credit Billing Act[3], and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act[4]. The Fair Credit Reporting Act values the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies.  It also controls the use of credit reports…

Why is Maintaining Good Credit Important?

Credit is precious. The value of how much credit you have and how you use it goes far beyond shopping. Whether you have good or poor credit can likely affect where you live and even where you work, because your credit history may be considered by prospective employers. It is important to understand how credit…