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Ask an Expert: What is a Judgment?

Q. What is a judgment?   Dear Reader, Dealing with a judgment can be a terrifying ordeal. As it relates to credit, it means that a creditor or debt collector has taken you to court to collect your unpaid debt and they have won the lawsuit.   Like any legal matter, a judgment is a process. It’s the debt collector’s last recourse to legally collect the debt after all other …Read More

Ask an Expert: What is a Charged Off Account?

Q. What is a charged off account on my credit report? Dear Reader, Seeing a charged off account on your credit report can be a bit confusing because the term is not self-explanatory. It doesn’t help that “charged off” is used interchangeable with “written off,” which in many scenarios means that the account has been paid off. In this context, charged off refers to an account that has become so …Read More

Ask an Expert: What is a credit report and why is it important?

Q. What is a credit report? Dear reader, A credit report is a very important document used by lenders and financial institutions to make their lending decisions and to set the terms and conditions of any credit they give you. To take control of your finances, it is recommended to review and understand your credit report thoroughly. So, let’s start by discussing the kind of information you will find on …Read More

Debt Consolidation vs. Debt Settlement vs. Debt Management Program

What is Debt Consolidation? Debt consolidation typically involves getting a lower interest loan to pay off multiple high interest secured or unsecured debts, such as credit cards or payday loans. The consolidation loan is generally secured against the borrower’s assets such as a home or a car.  Because credit card debts have such high interest rates, even an unsecured consolidation loan can significantly reduce the borrower’s monthly payment. For some this …Read More

Ask An Expert: What is a credit report and how do I read it?

Dear reader, we all know that credit reports are important. But not many people know what reports look like or how to read the information on them. Understanding a credit report is easier than it seems if you know what to expect when you review your report. Your credit reports are generated by the credit bureaus or consumer reporting agencies, each containing detailed data about your credit behavior. This data …Read More

Graduating This Year? Now’s the Time to Take Control of Your Financial Health

By Bruce McClary The average 2016 graduate has more than $37,000 in student debt- up 6% from last year and levels of delinquencies and defaults are alarming. For many borrowers, managing student loan repayment is one more financial burden they have to consider on top of housing costs, credit card payments, car loans and more. Many don’t know where to turn for help or are not paying attention to the …Read More

Will Your Kids Inherit Your Debt?

By Jason Alderman Many people finally get around to writing a will in order to safeguard their assets for their heirs. But what if you’ve got the opposite problem: Your nest egg was decimated by the recession, bad investments, or simply living longer than expected and now you’ve got a mountain of bills you can’t pay off. Will your kids inherit your debts after you die? The short answer is, …Read More

Tips to Settle Credit Card Debt

By Melinda Opperman Settling debts is not easy. Many individuals ask us for tips to settle credit card debt. Settling your debts may be possible when a verifiable hardship exists, such as medical problems, unemployment, underemployment, divorce, or death of a family member. Recent credit card debt is more difficult to settle than other kinds of debt (medical debts in particular are generally a good candidate for settlement). The customer …Read More

How to Get Out of Debt

By Lauralynn Schueckler The recent recession affected the financial lives of people all over the country. The recession led to much higher rates of unemployment and underemployment. Because of this, many people needed to rely on credit cards to meet all of their financial obligations and pay for emergencies that arose. While this may have been a good short-term solution, many now find that they have an insurmountable amount of personal …Read More

Elderly Mom Destitute With Credit Card Debt

By Erica Sandberg Erica, My mom is 77 years old. She lives in a one-bedroom apartment and has no assets (no car in her name, no IRA, no stocks, no retirement income, absolutely nothing). She lives entirely off her Social Security check each month. However, she managed to rack up about $15,000 on a credit card that she can no longer pay. She has no savings left. I consulted a …Read More