Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

What's the Credit Bureau Role

Credit bureaus, also called credit reporting agencies, are big businesses in the credit industry. They play a major role in your financial life, so it’s important that you know who they are and what they do. Credit bureaus collect credit data about consumers and, upon request, compile the information in a document called a credit report. Many companies you do business with send your account details to the credit bureaus periodically. The credit bureau in turn...
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With Creditor Letters, Certified Mail is Best

Letter writing has become a little outdated thanks to email, text messages, and social media. But, writing a letter is sometimes the best way to deal with issues with creditors and other credit businesses. In fact, certain laws require you to communicate problems in writing for the creditor (or credit bureau or debt collector) to be held to their responsibilities. When you’re writing to creditors, debt collectors, or a credit bureau, go beyond a stamped envelope...
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Should You Take a Settlement on an Old Debt

Creditors and debt collectors may never stop trying to collect on old debts, not as long as there’s still an outstanding balance. You might be contacted about debts years after they’ve dropped from their credit report. As an incentive to get you to pay these old debts, some creditors and collectors offer to settle the accounts with you. But before you take the offer, there are a few things you should know. What is Debt Settlement?...
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Why There Are Variations in Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a three-digit number that essentially grades the information in your credit report. It’s the number creditors and lenders use to decide whether to approve your application and at what interest rate. Many people have wisely pulled their credit scores before applying for a loan only to find out the lender has a different, possibly lower credit score. Or, you may check your credit score across all three major bureaus and notice there...
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Six Actions That Won't Hurt Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a mighty number that’s influenced by many of your financial decisions. Fortunately, not everything plays a factor in your credit score. Some negative actions may cost some extra money, but they won’t hurt your credit rating. Bouncing a check or overdrafting your checking account could result in an expensive overdraft fee. But, this type of action isn’t reported to credit bureaus and it won’t hurt your credit score. You can avoid overdraft...
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How to Prevent Bad Credit

Recovering from a bad credit score is tough. It can take several years of hard work to bring your credit score out of the pits and back to a place that makes you an attractive borrower. While your credit score is still in pristine condition, you can take steps to make sure it stays that way. Here’s what you can do to prevent bad credit from happening to you.Pay all your bills on time. The most...
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Your Credit Affects Your Employment Status

Banks and credit card issuers aren’t the only ones who use your credit to make a decision about you. Prospective employers also look at your credit report to decide whether to hire you for a job.You probably don’t want to hear that your credit history could be used against you in your employment search. But, if there’s a bright side it’s that you won’t be blindsided about an adverse credit decision. The Fair Credit Reporting Act...
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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

It’s tough if you’re at a point where you’re considering bankruptcy - it can be really disheartening to realize you’ve been swamped by your debts. And you probably already know that bankruptcy has serious long-term consequences to your credit history. But in certain situations, bankruptcy may be the best way to get that fresh start you desperately need. The U.S. Supreme Court said this about the purpose of bankruptcy law back in 1934, “It gives to...
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Getting Out of Debt

Many financially distressed consumers have found themselves in a bad situation over the past couple of years. It’s the sign of the times.But consumers troubled with debt should know that the only way to get ahead of their finances is to spend less than they make, and pay their bills and credit accounts diligently.“Credit repair” agencies often prey on consumers who are financially distressed and loaded down with debt, promising that an easy enrollment in one...
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Consumer Rights in Debt Collection

It’s an unfortunate situation when one doesn’t answer their own phone because they know it’s a debt collector calling.But if you have found yourself in this predicament, it helps to know your rights as a consumer.Consumer rights are protected under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a set of laws that creditors, collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts regularly, and other debt collectors must abide by when attempting to collect a debt.These laws won’t get...
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