Fix your Credit today and Protect your Financial Freedom!

The truth is, your credit can negatively affect every aspect of your life.

 

 

It can keep you from getting a house, renting an apartment, or even getting a vehicle. It can also make it impossible to get a competitive loan, mortgage and insurance premiums – to name a few.

 

If you’re struggling with poor credit, THD Credit can make the credit repair process simple for you! We will conduct a full analysis of your credit history. We know what to look for, understand the process of fixing inaccuracies and can guide you on what you are legally entitled to from both creditors and the credit bureaus.

 

THD Credit’s Credit repair process includes the following steps:

 

 
  • Review your credit report (or will produce a copy of your report)
  • Analyze the details
  • Develop a strategy with actionable steps to improve your score
  • Provide the guidance you need to rebuild your credit
 

If you are ready to work together to challenge credit report errors and optimize your scores,  call 1-800-822-7120 and let me know you’re ready to get started!

 

-Erik Kaplan

How to Deal with Debt Collectors

Dealing with collection agencies can be an unpleasant experience with annoying tactics at best — and predatory, or even illegal, at worst.

The FTC enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which makes it illegal for debt collectors to use abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices when they collect debts.

The most important thing for you is to know what debt collectors (and attorneys) cannot do:

  • Contact other people such as your neighbors, relatives, or employers about the debt except to get your address and phone number.
  • Contact you before 8:00 A.M. or after 9:00 P.M.
  • Contact you at work if you tell the collector your employer does not allow this.
  • Contact you directly if you have an attorney.
  • Continue to try to collect the debt if you dispute the debt in writing.
  • Lie to you about the debt or threaten or harass you.

If debt collectors are calling you, consider talking to them at least once, even if you don’t think you owe the debt or can’t repay it immediately. This will help you gather information about the debt and confirm whether it’s really yours.  

If you do talk to them, be sure they can provide  “validation information” as follows:

  • How much money you owe
  • How to get the name of the original creditor
  • How old is the debt and when was the last payment made in the account. It may be past the statute of limitations to be sued on this debt.

If a  debt collector is hounding you, seeking payment on a consumer debt you owe – whatever the situation is, we can help. 

THD Credit can help settle debt and stop all the harassing phone calls. Just call us at 800-822-7120 today.

-Erik Kaplan

Comparing Debt Consolidation vs. Debt Settlement

Debt consolidation and debt settlement are both options for resolving debt.  However, each method has a different strategy and timeline before you are free of debt. They each can affect your credit score differently.

 Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation is a debt management strategy in which you combine multiple debts into a single payment, with a lower interest rate.  You can use a balance-transfer credit card, debt consolidation loan, home-equity loan or 401(k) loan. 

Why You Might Choose It:  

  • To get a lower interest rate than you’re currently paying, which saves you money and can help you pay off your debt sooner.
  • To reduce the number of creditors you owe and therefore the number of payments you’re juggling. 
  • Debt consolidation loans may allow you to use assets like your home or car as collateral.

What You Need To Know:

  • Debt consolidation can lead to a small dip in your credit score typically by a few points when a lender performs a hard inquiry on your credit. 
  • You’ll have a longer period of time before you’re debt free.

Debt Settlement

Debt settlement is the process of negotiating with creditors (usually credit card issuers) to reduce the amount you owe in exchange for a one-time lump sum payment to settle the account.

Why You Might Choose It: 

  • Your income is stable enough that you can continue to pay your mortgage or rent and other essential bills in addition to the payments required under a debt settlement.
  • To avoid court-mandated controls of bankruptcy while still lowering the amount of debt you have to pay.
  • Creditors know you can always file for bankruptcy, which could eliminate their ability to collect anything from you which is why they might be willing to accept less.

What You Need To Know:

  • Typically, only unsecured debts can be settled. Unsecured debts include medical bills and credit card debt; but not public student loans, or secured debt (i.e. auto loans or mortgages). 
  • The process of debt settlement requires you to stop making payments on the accounts you want to settle which can damage your credit score.  Typically from 75 – 100 points.
  • Debt settlement will be on your credit report for seven years and can impact your ability to get a loan and the interest rate you pay, if you are approved.

Tackling debt can be an important financial and personal goal. If you have any questions about either of these debt relief methods call me at (800) 822-7120.  I can help!

-Erik Kaplan

Steps to Take if You Have Been a Victim of Identity Theft

Identity thieves are opportunistic and exploit vulnerabilities in individuals’ personal information security practices.  Identity theft is more than a simple inconvenience. It’s a crime that can seriously complicate your life—potentially costing you time, money and opportunities.

 

 

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the number of reported cases of identity fraud in 2020 doubled in the United States. Each piece of information or account they gain access to can help them steal more. Unfortunately, signs of fraud can take weeks or months to reveal themselves, leaving us even more vulnerable.

 

 

Here are the best steps you can take if you have become a victim of identity theft:

 
  • Check for inaccuracies from Your credit reports and make a list of any suspicious information you discover. You will need these details later when you work on fixing your credit later.
  • Change all your account PINs and passwords.
  • Review your mail & credit card statements to confirm none of your accounts have been hijacked.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report. When a fraud alert is on your credit report, lenders must confirm your identity (usually via phone) before they can open new accounts in your name.
  • Freeze your credit report.  When you freeze your credit report, you take it out of circulation. So, if someone applies for credit your name, the lender will not be able to access your credit report. As a result, the application for credit will be denied.
  • Contact your creditors and ask them to freeze the compromised accounts and to dispute fraudulent charges.  Federal laws like the Fair Credit Billing Act and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act can limit your liability for bogus charges on your credit cards or debit cards. The trick is to report the theft in a timely manner. Otherwise, you could be responsible for some or perhaps all of the unauthorized purchases.
  • The final step in this process is to fix your credit. Start with filing an identity theft report.  The easiest way to create an identity theft report is to visit IdentityTheft.gov.  Once you have this report you will need to contact the 3 credit reporting agencies and ask them to block the account(s) from your credit report within four business days.  They should suppress any fraudulent accounts.
 

If your case of identity theft has not been resolved to your satisfaction or you need help in this process, email us at erik@thdcreditconsulting.com or call us at 1-800-822-7120.  THD Credit can help.

 

-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