No matter who you are, what type of business you’re in, or how long you’ve been around – we all at one time or another have visited the “land of credit”. It is vital to the reputation of your business that we learn some tips about credit and how to not let it ruin us. It’s a smart move, especially in today’s political and business climate, when credit laws are changing at what seems like minutes and not months.
“Old-school” business mentors have fostered the idea that a man’s word was his bond, but in today’s business world the majority of people are always assuming – and assuming the worst. Creditors, debtors or anyone that base their theories on assumptions are headed for failure, and yet it’s done everyday. When people fail to pay their bills on time, many creditors assume the debtor doesn’t have the means to pay the debt. These creditors will often set up an arrangement or lower the amount so that you can repay the debt. This is a step to credit repair, however it takes you to contact the creditor and apprise him or her of your situation.
Staying in contact with your payments each month can help you avoid bad credit and getting into such a situation. If you have several bills on hand and all the bills are pressing, it makes sense to pay off the debt that benefits you the most. After this is paid then you can set aside an amount toward the next debt. Once you follow this strategy it allows you to work your bills down gradually thus repairing your credit standing.
If you don’t have the funds to pay the entire bill, at least pay the minimum amount due so that you can continue using the service. Many debtors assume they are in debt and there’s nothing that they can do to resolve their problems, and this is the process of giving up on life. When we give up, it leads to stress and the answer is often right in front of our nose. Creditors are business people too, and if approached properly will usually try to work with you.
Of course making the wise decision ahead of the game is the ultimate solution to maintaining good credit. If you research the marketplace before coming to a purchasing decision, you’re well on your way to avoiding bad credit and credit repair hassles.
Many people when taking out a home mortgage loan are not aware of the options available to them. They’ll walk in the bank door, fill out the application, and accept the terms & conditions when offered to them. There are many families and individuals who filed bankruptcy because they couldn’t afford their homes anymore, and primarily because they didn’t take the time to check the marketplace first and search the options available to them.
Being informed and educated are two of the best tools offered to us. There are mortgage loans that offer overpayments and underpayments, and these loans include vacation packages and lump sum payments to the borrowers. There are also other loans available that offer low mortgage monthly installments and low interest rates with insurance policies attached that will pay your mortgage if you are sick, unemployed, or in an accident.
On the other hand, there are mortgage loans that have high interest rates, high mortgages and balloon payments attached. When balloon payments are attached to home mortgages it is almost guaranteed that in a few years you’ll be searching for a solution to repair your credit. There are many home lenders who will not tell you the truth about the variety of home loans available because they are making money and you’re a source of income. It’s important to scope the terms & agreements carefully, as well as reading all fine print on any loan contract before you sign. If you’re applying for a home loan and want to avoid bad credit, it makes sense to learn what the fees include and how much those fees are.
There are some home loans that offer an “acceleration clause”, which covers you if you miss mortgage payments. The lender will apply the clause by allowing you leniency providing you make payments the following month on time. This type of loan is great for avoiding bad credit, foreclosures, and repossessions. The marketplace is swarming with realtors and other sources that will help you get a mortgage loan affordable to you with benefits included, make sure to do some checking before you choose one.
Here are some tips about loans that we’ll all take out during our life:
1. Car Loans – When applying for a car loan it’s also important to research the marketplace before agreeing to any terms & conditions. Make sure you find the best deals affordable to you. In college I learned the secret golden rule of car dealers, and that is that most dealers up the fees on cars by 15%. This means that if you negotiate wisely with the dealer you can get a reduction on the vehicle up to 15%.
2. Credit Cards – A word of advice when applying for credit cards, stay away from cards that have fees attached and high interest rates. Avoid credit card offers that have upfront fees or offer a high line of credit for a fee.
3. College Loans – Always consider investigating student loans before committing your self to a personal loan agreement. You may be qualified for a student grant from the government if you take the time to research the opportunities.
In my next column we’ll delve deeper into this question of keeping a good credit reputation and solutions for repairing bad credit.
KNOW THE SCORE
by Maureen Stephenson
Building Credit History
Building your credit history is important in today’s time, especially since the laws are changing. We are moving into a system that is making it difficult for us to get ahead unless we have excellent, or at most good credit history.
Credit is important to rent, obtain student loans, and apply for loans or credit cards, as well as getting jobs and especially for entrepreneurs wanting their own business. Nowadays if you do not have a major credit card, it is nearly impossible to make purchases at some areas.
Bad credit only leads to frustration and headaches we want to avoid. If you have bad scores on your credit report, it takes seven long years before the credit is cleared and ten years for bankruptcies to be removed from your files. Therefore, if you want to save yourself some headaches it is time to get started building your credit history.
To do this you have to keep constant watch of the activities on your credit report. To obtain copies of your credit report contact the three B’s. TransUnion, Equifax and Experian have updated copies of your reports. To find out more information go online to get the information needed to get your copies. After you review, your credit reports make sure there are no false claims against you on the report before you proceed to clear up your accounts. If you notice, any false claims make sure to file a dispute immediately with each credit bureau. You are protected under law and it is the credit bureaus obligations to investigate the claims and clear up any mishaps.
After your have cleared up any allegations made against you, your next step is knocking down the accounts on your credit report. It is time to save money, and start building a credit history. Building credit is essential for your future survival. You might want to start by applying for a personal loan or else a credit card. If you are turned down, ask a family member or friend to co-sign with you to get the loan or credit card. Make sure your family member or friend has established credit and their history is not delinquent.
Once you get the card or loan, make sure you meet each month’s installments. If you miss any payments the co-signers are responsible to pick up the tab. do not make enemies, pay your dues on time. After about six months of using your credit card or else paying on the loan you will have notoriety and able to apply for credit cards or loans in your own name.
After about one year, you will have built your credit if you continue this procedure and can then apply for a home mortgage loan or car loan. It depends on your income and age when bank lenders investigate your case to determine if you qualify for a loan. Therefore, if you are in your forties and just getting started building credit your applications will take longer for consideration. Getting started early is the trick to building a stable credit history. Now if you have a credit history already you want to maintain payments to avoid complications.
Once you establish a bad credit history, it is harder to get back on your feet again. The best solution for maintaining, building, or else reestablishing credit history is to keep a close monitoring system on your financial tabs. Remember, credit history is important to your future and nowadays everyone judges you by your credit.