Friday, April 25, 2008

Pre-retirement calculator

Retirement is another crucial or happiest moment of one's life. Money is a major factor while planning for your retirement days. If you are well organized and have planned for your retirement, then you can live tension-free through out the rest of your life. I have found a calculator in Yahoo Finance which helps to estimate and improve your retirement outlook. Just give it a try by clicking on the retirement calculator image below......

pre-retirement calculator,financial calculators

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dealing with debt collectors

Debt Collectors
If you take money from creditors and can not reimburse in time, then the creditors would convey your repayment case file to the debt collection agency or debt collectors. In exchange they would be rewarded with a good percentage of commission from your total debts by pushing you to repay. More often they would not comply with the law and cause the debtors a lot of hassles. Thus, it is important that the debt-victims should note the following points-

Debt collectors are not supposed to do the following:
- Contact you between 8am & 8pm
- Imply filing a lawsuit against you (excepting your creditors)
- Threaten to communicate with your boss
- Try contacting you while you are at work
- Try to impose a penalty on your wages
- Attempt any corrupt or unjust techniques

If they are not in compliance with the above points, then what should be your next course of action?

1) Respond to their calls, make them aware that they are disturbing the personal lives and ask them to quit calling. Also let them know that you are capable of setting it out with your creditors alone. Most probably they would stop calling after this.

2) You may offer a detailed account of everything and let them know about your hassles and also request them to cancel all your contacts. Don't forget to furnish your account number for which they would try to collect the debt. Explain how you would settle the matter directly with the creditors, and warn them of the dire consequences once you report the matter with the Federal Trade Commission following their failure to comply. The moment your letter reaches to debt collectors, they would be forced to stop harassing you.

Charles Phelan's Debt Settlement Success Seminar

3) While you are in deep trouble you can hire a lawyer, since it would ensure your peace of mind. Settlements are generally worth a thousand dollars (excluding the expenses), except when you can show that you are jobless or had gone through a severe mental trauma due to the debt collector's practices then you may gain more.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Credit Repair - just a few steps!

credit repair

Blemishes on your credit reports can harm your credit worthiness. But don't worry you can remove it and get back your credit worthiness again. How? Just read out the following few important steps:

1) Request your credit reports:
Yes, this would be your first step in credit repair mission. First and foremost you have to request your credit reports from the top 3 credit bureaus - Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. They will provide you the statement in just $9. In some states the costs may vary. You may find the statement little different because creditors do not report to all of those 3 bureaus. They only report for which they have subscribed.

2) Check your credit reports carefully:
Now you have got your credit reports from all 3 major bureaus in hand. Give a careful examine from outdated and incomplete details, typing errors to inaccurate account histories. Make a lists or just put a circle in the dispute items on your statement. There are some items which remains on your report for some period like late payments and charged-off accounts for 7 years, bankruptcies for 10 years.

3) Dispute the report and document properly:
Mind it, a bad credit report can harm your credit worthiness. So, it pays, if you are thorough! "You can either complete the dispute form provided with your credit report or write a letter." Clearly identify each dispute and state why it's wrong. Also its better to send a xerox copy of your credit report with the disputes circled to the reporting credit bureau with xerox copies of all supporting documents.

Now you organize the document with all the correspondence and supporting xerox copies with date sent properly. The credit bureau start investigation any relevant dispute within 30 days of receiving your letter. If any of the items are found inaccurate, they would be removed. As soon as the credit bureaus make any changes in your credit file, they will send you updated report in free of cost. Once your credit report is clear from the dispute then the credit bureau cannot put back the old dispute on your report again unless a creditor verifies its accuracy and completeness and sends you written notice.

4) Pay off your debt:
Now prepare a plan that will help you to reduce all your dues and set you up free. Also make it a habit to pay the dues in time. If you are facing any kind of difficulties in paying-off your dues, then you have to talk with your creditors and request them to keep your accounts current and from being reported as 'bad-debt' or 'delinquent'. Even you can request them to reduce your monthly payments, or ask them to change the due dates in order to balance your monthly bills.

The above strategy can be implemented for your fixed-loan payments as well, but keep this in mind that this is just for a short term strategy. To keep your credit alive,
you have to pay more interests with an extended repayment schedule. This will not only help your credit to be alive, but also save your credit-rating as well.

Try to pay-off your debts one at a time, by adding extra bucks & gradually increasing payments to your other debts. You might seek a pay-off settlement which lowers your bill & also ask to get rid of the negative remarks from your credit report, unless it is assumed as fully paid. Make sure that the verbal agreements are conveyed to you in writing prior to your payment disbursements.

It is better to transact through 2 to 4 major cards, while you handover the rest. But, be careful while canceling, because it can have a negative impact on your credit score, usually called a FICO score. The ratio of total debts to the sum of available credits is more important for FICO. A revolving debt worth 50% of your current credit should be maintained to be on the safer side.