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Should You Open a Store Credit Card for Holiday Shopping?

Whether you’re tackling your holiday shopping in-store or online, chances are good you’ll be offered at least a few store credit cards this season. And those offers can be extremely tempting, full of alluring words like “20% off,” “free shipping,” and, perhaps the most appealing of all, “0% financing.”   But, as attractive as these offers can be, store credit cards aren’t always the innocent beacons of savings that their …Read More

#AskanExpert: Should I Use a Credit Repair Company to Fix My Credit?

Q. I filed for bankruptcy, but my case was dismissed. It’s been 16 months since the dismissal. While I was protected during the bankruptcy process, all accounts were closed and not sold to collection agencies. Should I hire a credit repair company to help clean up the mess or should I leave it alone? Right now, I only have one account in collections and maybe 10–12 that have late payments.   …Read More

#AskanExpert: I Can’t Afford My Credit Card Payment. What Should I Do?

Q. I can’t pay my credit debts. My job got eliminated and my husband had a stroke and  is permanently disabled. Interest rates are horrible and I’m over my limit on all my cards because of them. I can’t afford the full payment, so I have been sending them half. What should I do?   Dear reader, Sometimes difficult situations beyond your control can land in you in tough financial …Read More

#AskanExpert: What Happens If You Pay All But One Credit Card?

Q. What will happen if I do not pay off one American Express credit card? I have three other credit cards that I am currently paying off, but American Express wants $5,000 paid all at once. Dear Reader, It is hard to adequately predict what will happen if you do not pay your American Express card. However, I can tell you what to expect in general terms. If your American …Read More

5 FAQs on How to Improve Your Credit Score

A common question people often ask is, “How can I improve my credit?” Since credit can impact many things, including: employment, down payments, interest rates, utility deposits, and even car insurance, improving your credit can help you in a lot of ways. With all of the information floating around out there, we want to make sure you have all the correct answers to the questions below!   5 Frequently Asked …Read More

Ask an Expert: Is a Debt Management Plan Right for Me?

Q. What types of situations are recommended for Debt Management Plans? How much debt do I have to have? Dear reader, A Debt Management Plan (DMP) is a service offered by credit counseling agencies, where they will work with your creditors and establish a payment plan that will help you repay your debt in full. It may be a debt repayment option, if you have considerable credit card debt and you …Read More

Ask an Expert: Is it ok for the Collection Agency to do this?

Q. Is it ok for the collection agency to do this? My husband and I are trying to get out of roughly $50k worth of credit card debt. We are considering refinancing our home and using the equity to pay the debt. However, three years ago my husband moved out of his apartment in Seattle to the Midwest with me. He gave his notice to the apartment complex and paid the …Read More

The Benefits of Credit Counseling

NFCC-certified consumer credit counselors are experts that can tailor confidential programs to meet the specific financial needs that you may be facing. They are equipped to help you with an array of financial issues,whether you need help paying off debt, managing your student loans or help understanding your specific financial situation. They are here to help so you can get on the road to financial freedom. Services available at our …Read More

“Spring Cleaning” Your Wallet

From the birds tidying up their nests to the gardeners preparing their land, spring is the time that we clean away the cobwebs of winter and get ready for the year ahead. But while many of us take part in an annual spring cleaning of our homes, few of us extend that same principle to one of our messiest places: our finances.   Cleaning Up Your Finances The idea of …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