Are you or someone you know struggling with your student loan?

If you’re struggling to pay student loans, you’re not alone. With 45 million total student loan borrowers collectively owing $1.7 trillion of student loan debt, many simply can’t afford this debt. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe your monthly student loan payments are too high. 

 

We may have a solution.  We might be able to help!

 

Living with a student loan is challenging at the best of times. In these unprecedented times many student loan borrowers are struggling more than ever. The current moratorium on student loan payments has been a welcome relief for many. Unfortunately, it will not last forever. 

 

There are several profound reasons a person might deeply resent having to pay their student loan or that of their child. Reasons that go above and beyond the simple fact of disliking debt.

 
  • Some people feel they were misled by their school.
  • Some people struggle so much with their payments that they have to put everything else in their lives on pause just to make ends meet.
  • Some people’s higher education didn’t translate to high income and they’re unsure whether they’ll ever be able to pay down their debt.
  • Some well-intentioned parents are saddled with their child’s debt and feel completely hindered as a result.
 

If you or someone you know can relate to any of these, there is good news.  

 

THD Credit has formed an alliance with an attorney-based student loan contract cancellation and modification service that can help qualified individuals with such hardships.  

 

If you have student loan debt of $30k or more and are interested in having a conversation to see if this is a fit for you, call us at (800) 822-7120 and we’ll make an introduction.

-Erik Kaplan

What is a Credit Freeze and should I use it?

Data breaches expose consumers’ Personally Identifiable Information (PII) at an alarming rate, and continue to place people at risk of identity theft and fraud.

What is a Credit Freeze?

 

A credit freeze (AKA security freeze) is a tool you can use to help protect yourself against credit fraud.
 
When you freeze your credit reports you are restricting access to these reports. This temporarily suspends anyone from accessing this information, which means neither you nor identity thieves can open new lines or credit or loans in your name.

Think of it as locking away a valuable item until you need it again. When that time comes, you can unfreeze your credit report and once again allow lenders access.

 

Should I use a Credit Freeze?

Whether you’re a victim of credit or identity fraud or choosing to be proactive against this type of crime, a freeze is a great option for protecting yourself.

 

This process is quick as once you contact the credit bureaus by phone or online they must put the freeze in place within 1 business day.

 

Here is the contact information for the three credit bureaus:

 

  • Equifax: Call 800-685-1111 or online
  • Experian: Call 888-397-3742 or online
  • TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or online
If you need to ‘thaw’ your credit, you can do this for a specified amount of time or leave it open until you freeze it again.

 

Another added benefit of a credit freeze is that it prevents the bureaus from selling your data, which should stop unsolicited mail / offers.

 

This simple process does not cost anything nor does it affect your credit score. If you want to freeze your credit, you need to do it at each of the three major credit bureaus.

 

Make sure you’re taking the proper steps to secure your information so that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

 

If you have any questions at all please call us at (800) 822-7120.
 
 

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

Are you liable for your spouse’s debt?

Whether you are liable for your spouse’s debts depends on factors such as;  if you live in a common-law state or a community property state and what kind of debt it is. 

Common-Law State or a Community Property State

The IRS says most states operate under what is called common law. If a married couple opens a joint account or gets a shared credit card, they will both be responsible for paying back the debt.

In common law states, you’re usually only liable for credit card debt if the obligation is in your name. So, if the credit card is only in your spouse’s name, you’re typically not liable for that debt. Additionally, assets acquired by one member of a married couple are typically deemed to belong to that person, unless they were put in the names of both.

The laws are very different in America’s nine community property states, where the laws require that any property acquired, debt accumulated, and income earned during the marriage is the property or debt of each spouse.

What Kind of Debt is It?

In most states, you are not legally responsible for bills racked up before getting married. However, if you and your spouse open a joint account or get a shared credit card, you both will be responsible for paying back the debt.  Even if the spending was done solely by your spouse. 

Similarly, If you’re the cosigner on a loan for your spouse, your credit score will be hurt if your partner misses a payment. That’s because when you cosign for a loan, you’re signing on to be equally responsible for the debt. If they miss payments, the debtor could come after you for payments. The same situation applies if you and your spouse use a joint credit card.

In Common law states, property can be individually owned unless both names are on the contract. However, in community property states, assets and liabilities that either person acquires during the marriage become the joint property of both spouses. 

There are some exceptions for necessary joint household expenses. Debt that was racked up for things like child care, housing or food must be shared by both parties, even if a joint account was not created.

If you have any questions at all please call us at (800) 822-7120.

-Erik Kaplan

WHY DEBT COLLECTORS CAN NOW TEXT OR DM YOU!

A recent change in rules by the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) allows debt collectors to contact you by direct message on social networks, email, or text message.

 

No one likes debt collector calls and emails or text messages most certainly will not be welcomed, especially when you have no debts to collect. You could block the number used for text messages, but whether it’s a scam text or a legitimate debt collector, they can always contact you from yet another phone number.

 

There is some good news here… the rules do require debt collectors to provide you a way to opt-out of further messages, whether from email, text message, or direct message. You might have to call or email the debt collector back in order to opt-out as they are not being mandated to have to provide that in text or social networks directly.

 

If you have any questions about this ruling or if THD Credit can be of assistance to you in anyway – call us at 800- 822-7120. We are here to help!

-Erik Kaplan