We hope you are safe and well.

The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to devastate Americans in many ways, including financially. 

Losing a job or reduced hours can cause serious stress. However, applying for unemployment doesn’t mean your credit score will automatically drop unless you aren’t able to pay your bills. 

Even if COVID-19 related unemployment does not affect you, now is still a good time to consistently check your credit report. 

With increased purchase volume moving into online sales channels because of store closures, you share more personal information online and become more exposed to the possibility of fraud.  With scammers looking for new victims during the crisis accessing your credit report is imperative.

The three credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are offering free weekly online reports through April 2021. Reviewing and understanding your credit report is a key part of being financially responsible. Credit reports show, in detail, all credit usage and payment activity related to an individual. If you see any fraudulent accounts or incorrect info this needs to be addressed immediately. 

If you need help filing a dispute, protecting your accounts or have any questions at all, THD Credit is here to help! Just email erik@thdcreditconsulting.com or call us at 800- 822-7120.

We know that staying safe, healthy and keeping your spirits high during this time can be a challenge and we hope we can bring a little comfort and peace of mind to you during this time. 

If you or someone you know is in need of Protective Face Masks to keep yourself and others safe during this time, THD has secured a friends and family discount at www.sasomei.com

Enter code: THDCREDIT at checkout to receive 10% off your order.  

Orders ship out of Los Angeles within 1 business day. For additional information contact my long time friend jackie@sasomei.com directly. 

We are all in this together and we will get through this together.

-Erik Kaplan

Tips to Ease the Strain of the the Coronavirus Pandemic

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to affect our communities, including in particular our families, friends and businesses,  the THD team is very sympathetic to the stresses and burdens created for all of us.

I want to share some tips that could help ease the strain on your personal finances. 

  • If you are unable to make any of your bill payments on time, contact your lender (bank, credit card, auto loan, student loan etc.) and let them know of your hardship. Ask them to waive late fees and forgo interest charges at this time.
  • As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, hackers may be leveraging your vulnerability to steal your personal data, including your credit card information. Put a credit freeze or an alert on your credit or sign up for a credit monitoring service to track your credit. Credit karma and Experian are both options for this service. 
  • The IRS is not calling you or leaving you messages. Rest assured these are fake so don’t call back or provide any information at all.  
  • If your child is over the age of 18 be sure either you or they put a freeze or alert on their credit.  

We’re thinking of everyone who is being affected, either directly or indirectly. This moment reminds us that we’re all connected like never before, and we hope to do our part to support you, our community during this time.  

Please reach out if you have any questions at all.

-Erik Kaplan

Should You Cancel Unused Credit Cards or Keep Them?

 

Generally speaking, I recommend clients keep unused credit cards open so they can benefit from having a large amount of available credit. This also shows they are only using a small portion of their credit limit. There are exceptions, to this rule. 

 

Here is what you should know before you make a decision:

  • You might want to close unused credit cards if it has an abundance of fees.
  • Consider closing an account that has active fees, if it will prevent you from using it and racking up more debt. 
  • Always keep some accounts open allowing your credit utilization (the ratio of your credit card debt to your total credit card limits) to be lower.  Always aim to keep your overall credit utilization below 30%, it typically shows lenders that you’re using credit, but not dependent on it.
  • Don’t close the oldest credit card account on your credit report.  This card often serves as a marker and shows the longevity for your credit history.
  • If you want to close credit card accounts, don’t close multiple accounts at once. It can come across suspicious to creditors.
  • Always check your credit reports for updates and errors after you close an account.  While the closed account and payment history may stay on your reports for seven or more years, the status should be updated to reflect that they are closed.

If you want more information about closing an account or want to review your credit report, give me a call or email me today.

-Erik Kaplan

What does your and your company’s online reputation say about you?

A good credit score offers you as an individual more purchasing power, stronger interest rates, and more attractive rental agreements and job opportunities. A good credit score is often seen as an indicator of your personal financial health.
 
Similarly, what people say online about your company, services, or products will affect the financial health of your company and/or the business you work for.
 
  • 97% of all consumers research products and services online prior to making a buying decision.
  • 83% of consumers trust what they read online about a business… good or bad!
  • 72% won’t buy if there’s a negative review
  • Only 53% of consumers would consider using a business with a rating less than four-stars
Whether you are a business professional or the owner of a business, your online reputation can make or break you. Therefore, the importance of your online personal and professional reputation is and will always be important.
 
  • Do your Google results reflect the reputation you’ve worked hard to build?
  • Do you have a past court case or settlement that continues to imprint itself on you or your business’s digital identity?
  • Does your business have poor reviews (Google, Facebook and Yelp etc.)
A negative online reputation discourages people from building or deepening a relationship with you and prevents them from considering you for new opportunities.
 
I encourage you all to take a closer look at your digital footprint. If you are not completely happy with what you see email me at erik@thdcreditconsulting.com so I can introduce you to a vetted and trustworthy online reputation management company.
 
I will get you a free consultation so you will understand how they can ensure you and your company have a solid online reputation… which is key to your success.
 

-Erik Kaplan

Credit Check for Renters: What landlords look for

Are you or someone you know looking to rent a new home or apartment?

 

Did you know that potential landlords can request a “tenant credit report” using only an applicant’s name and email address?

 

Many landlords do in fact check a prospective tenant’s credit history with at least one credit reporting agency to see how responsible the applicant is with managing money.

 

Here is what they looking for?

 

A credit report contains a gold mine of information for a prospective landlord. Here are some of the things they can find out:

 

  • Has the person ever filed for bankruptcy
  • Are they late or delinquent in paying rent or bills, including student loans or car loans
  • Have they been convicted of a crime, or even arrested
  • Have they been evicted (legal rights to get information on evictions varies among states)
  • Are they involved in a lawsuit such as a personal injury claim
  • Are they financially active enough to establish a credit history
Information in credit reports covers the past seven to ten years and all 3 of the credit bureaus offer landlord tenant screening services. So, it is a simple process for any prospective landlord to screen potential tenants.

 

As a result of viewing these reports, landlords can either not rent to you because of negative information in a credit report or they can charge a higher rent because of such information.

 

How can THD Help?

 

THD can pull a rental credit report for you to see if there are any mistakes or discrepancies so you can be prepared before you apply for your next home or apartment rental.  It’s simple, just email us at asktheexpert@thdcreditconsulting.com and we can get started!

 

-Erik Kaplan