I am sure that by now you have heard about the Equifax data breach. If you haven’t already thought about it, you need to be asking yourself right now, what am I doing to protect myself and my family from having my identity stolen?!!? Every year more than 10 million Americans have their identity stolen. We have seen massive data breaches over the last couple of years, with Target, Home Depot and Anthem being at the top of the list. Now we add Equifax to this list.
Credit repair isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do. So, when you have taken the time to dispute an incorrect item on your credit report, and it suddenly re-appears, needless to say it can get really frustrating. As consumers, we are needing to monitor our credit reports on a regular basis in cast the creditor re-inserts the negative item. The credit repair process is only the beginning of the process, you must monitor and keep a close eye on that report.
Debt Collectors. I think it is pretty safe to say that nobody loves receiving calls from debt collectors. One thing to understand about debt collectors, they are in business to do one thing, collect money. They can be aggressive and make your life incredibly stressful. Knowing what your rights are when it comes to these special people, can relieve some of that stress and help you get your accounts settled or removed.
Recovering from a job loss can be incredibly draining; mentally, emotionally and of course financially. In last weeks post I spoke about losing a couple of jobs in a short period of time and the toll it took on me and my family. This past week a client who had been unemployed for several months found a new job. During his unemployment his family had accumulated a large amount of debt, maxing out two of three credit cards. He asked me for advice on what I had done or wish I had done to recover from losing my jobs. Here are the six things that I shared with him:
- Request Your Credit Report
You may ask why requesting your credit report is important. Sometimes we don’t have all of our accounts/debts on our budget. It is critical when you are in this stage to know exactly what you are up against. By requesting a copy of your credit report, you know where you stand credit-wise. Be sure to examine your report for any mistakes and negative information. If you find a mistake, you can dispute them yourself. Be sure to make a note of all the negative information so you know where you need to focus some of your time. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows for you to get a copy of your credit report once a year from all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). You can obtain your report by going to AnnualCreditReport.com or Credit Karma.