Credit Education Month on March, 2023: credit education?
March, 2023 is Credit Education Month 2023. Offutt Air Force Base - Media Gallery Credit Education Month
Everybody can usually benefit from keeping on the top of the finances and making certain their matters have been in working order. For Credit Education Month, a good the chance to provide your money redesign!Credit Education Month was initially produced to help remind customers and firms alike of the significance of good financial management. It may appear just a little daunting to undergo all of your incomings and expenses, but it’s incredibly advantageous and can save you money.A good option to begin is as simple as creating a spreadsheet together with your earnings and expenses, take a look each and every consequently. For instance, would you cut costs by varying your charge card to a new provider? If you are having to pay just the minimum on the loan, would you pay a little many repay it faster? Many of these small changes can enhance your financial health.
How to Make Sense of your Credit Card Statement
A credit card statement can be extremely confusing, so we’ve created this guide to help you along.
ACCOUNT NUMBER: Ensure that the account number on the credit card statement matches the number on your credit card.
CLOSING DATE: This is the end of the billing cycle. In this example, this statement represents all spending from December 28 through January 28.
PAYMENT DUE DATE: This is the date that your payment needs to be received by the credit card company. In this example, the payment must be received no later than February 10. It is best to send your payments as soon as you receive the bill to avoid late payments.
TOTAL CREDIT LINE: This is the amount of credit that has been extended to you. In this example, John Doe is permitted to spend $6000 on his credit card. If you spend more than your credit line permits, you will be charged over the limit fees.
AVAILABLE CREDIT: This is amount of credit available as of the closing date. It is calculated by subtracting the New Balance from the Total Credit Line. In this example, John Doe spent $452.69. So, he has $5547.31 in available credit.
NEW BALANCE: The entire amount you spent in the billing cycle plus any finance charges and fees and if you carried a balance from the previous billing cycle. In this example, John Doe did not carry a balance – he paid in full, on time and avoided finance charges.
MINIMUM PAYMENT DUE: You owe the credit card company at least this amount per month. It is best to pay more than the minimum each month if you cannot pay in full. Otherwise, most of your money goes to paying off interest.
PREVIOUS BALANCE: The credit card balance from the previous billing cycle. In this example, John Doe had paid in full.
PAYMENTS & CREDITS: The total number of payments made plus any credits you received from refunds, etc.
PURCHASES & DEBITS: The total cost of items bought during the statement’s billing cycle.
PAYMENTS: The amount you paid the previous month. In this example, John Doe paid his balance in full ($1000) the previous month.
CACH ADVANCES: This is when you are given a PIN for your credit card so you can use it to get cash from an ATM. This is listed separately from purchases & debits, because you are charged a higher APR for cash advances as shown at the bottom of the statement.
Periodic FINANCE CHARGE: This is the fee you pay for carrying a balance from the previous billing cycle.
ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (APR): A fee charged for the privilege and convenience of using credit. This generally refers to your interest rate, but also includes fees charged for cash advances. APR refers to the interest charged over the year if you carry a balance from month to month. In this example, the APR is 18%, so you will be charged a monthly interest rate of 1.5% (18% APR ÷ 12 Months). The lower your APR, the less money you will be charged in fees. AVOID THESE CHARGES by paying your credit card bill in full and on time each month.
Carefully examine your credit card statement each month. Ensure that your records of what you spent are identical to the statement. If they are not correct, contact the credit card company immediately. Remember to mail your payments well in advance of the due date to ensure that it is received on time. Even if you pay by phone or over the internet, it may still take 3-5 business days to process the transaction. Regardless of how you pay, make sure you send at least the required minimum monthly payment due or you will begin to incur fees. If you have multiple credit cards, they may all have different due dates, so make sure you are aware of the different dates. When you mail your payment, don’t forget to insert the perforated top portion of the credit card statement, enclose your check with your account number on it and put a US stamp on the envelope.
Want to learn more: Call us for a no-cost consultation about this and other financial topics.
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United Credit Education Services.Can this company repair a person credit?
Pete - no stay away from them and any other so-called credit repair company...they can't do anything you can't do yourself! Since so many users ask this question I have a step by step guide on what to do....choose what's applicable to your situation.
1 - If you haven't already get current copies of your credit reports from the 3 major bureaus (Equifax, Experian and Transunion)
2 - Take a photocopy of each and put the originals in a binder
3 - Get a highlighter and highlight any account that is negative (collections, written off, older than 7 yrs, etc...)
4 - Any inactive account that is older than 7 yrs should not be deleted from your report. Download a dispute letter from the credit bureaus website(s) and fill in the details
5 - For collection/overdue items, if they are greater than 7 yrs dispute them as well
6- If there are still valid debts, you need to contact the creditor and negotiate a 'pay for delete' in addition to a payment plan if you cannot pay in full. If they start hounding you send them a 'cease and dessist' letter stating they may only contact you in writing.
7 - Do not apply for any credit while you are doing this or for the next year (ideally 2)
8 - If you currently have any credit card or loan balances, pay them off or at least pay them down to bring them current
9 - If you need a credit card, get a secured card from Capital One for $500 (or more if you can)....use it sparingly for like only $25-50 and pay in full and on time every other month or so to establish good re-payment history.
A little patience and 2-3 months, you'll be on your way.
I need a detailed summary of how to get my credit back together?
In order to improve your credit score, it's important to know where you stand currently. Despite all the media attention given to free credit reports, you still have to pay to find out your credit score, the three-digit number ranging from 300 to 850 that is the key to your borrowing costs. You can obtain your FICO credit scores, the ones lenders use, from MyFico.com. Or you can get Experian's "consumer education" version here.
Now you're ready to take the seven steps to speedy credit repair:
1) Pay down your credit cards. Paying off your installment loans (mortgage, auto, student, etc.) can help your score, but typically not as dramatically as paying down -- or paying off -- revolving accounts like credit cards.
The credit-scoring formulas like to see a nice, big gap between the amount of credit you're using and your available credit limits. Getting your balances below 30% of the credit limit on each card can really help.
While most debt gurus recommend paying off the highest-rate card first, a better strategy here is to pay down the cards that are closest to their limits.
2) Use your cards lightly. Racking up big balances can hurt your score, regardless of whether you pay your bill in full each month.
What's typically reported to the credit bureaus, and thus calculated into your score, is the balance reported on your last statement. (That doesn't mean paying off your balances each month isn't financially smart -- it is -- just that the credit score doesn't care.)
You typically can increase your score by limiting your charges to 30% or less of a card's limit. If you're having trouble keeping track, consider using a check register to track your spending, logging into your account frequently at the issuer's Web site, or using personal finance software like Microsoft Money or Quicken, which can download your transactions and balances automatically.
3) Check your limits. Your score might be artificially depressed if your lender is showing a lower limit than you've actually got. Most credit-card issuers will quickly update this information if you ask.
If your issuer makes it a policy not to report consumers' limits, however -- as is the usual case with American Express cards and those issued by Capital One -- the bureaus typically use your highest balance as a proxy for your credit limit.
You may see the problem here: If you consistently charge the same amount each month -- say $2,000 to $2,500 -- it may look to the credit-scoring formula like you're regularly maxing out that card.
You could go on a wild spending spree to raise the limit, but a more sober solution would simply be to pay your balance down or off before your statement period closes. Check your last statement to see which day of the month that typically is, then go to the issuer's Web site about a week in advance of closing and pay off what you owe. It won't raise your reported limit, but it will widen the gap between that limit and your closing balance, which should boost your score.
4) Dust off an old card. The older your credit history, the better. But if you stop using your oldest cards, the issuers may stop updating those accounts at the credit bureaus. The accounts will still appear, but they won't be given as much weight in the credit-scoring formula as your active accounts, said Craig Watts, an executive at Fair Isaac & Co., one of the leading credit scorers. That's why Ferguson often recommends to her clients that they use their oldest cards every few months to charge a small amount, paying it off in full when the statement arrives. 5) Get some goodwill. If you've been a good customer, a lender might agree to simply erase that one late payment from your credit history. You usually have to make the request in writing, and your chances for a "goodwill adjustment" improve the better your record with the company (and the better your credit in general). But it can't hurt to ask.
A longer-term solution for more-troubled accounts is to ask that they be "re-aged." If the account is still open, the lender might erase previous delinquencies if you make a series of 12 or so on-time payments.
6) Dispute old negatives. Say that fight with your phone company over an unfair bill a few years ago resulted in a collections account. You can continue protesting that the charge was unjust, or you can try disputing the account with the credit bureaus as "not mine." The older and smaller a collection account, the more likely the collection agency won't bother to verify it when the credit bureau investigates your dispute.
Some consumers also have had luck disputing old items with a lender that has merged with another company, which can leave lender records a real mess.
7) Blitz significant errors. Your credit score is calculated based on the information in your credit report, so certain errors there can really cost you. But not everything that's reported in your file matters to your score.
Here's the stuff that's usually worth the effort of correcting with the bureaus:
Late payments, charge-offs, collections or other negative items that aren't yours.
Credit limits reported as lower than they actually are.
Accounts listed as "settled," "paid derogatory," "paid charge-off" or anything other than "current" or "paid as agreed" if you paid on time and in full.
Accounts that are still listed as unpaid that were included in a bankruptcy.
Negative items older than seven years (10 in the case of bankruptcy) that should have automatically fallen off your report.
You actually have to be a bit careful with this last one, because sometimes scores actually go down when bad items fall off your report. It's a quirk in the FICO credit-scoring software, and the potential effect of eliminating old negative items is difficult to predict in advance.
Some of the stuff that you typically shouldn't worry about includes:
Various misspellings of your name.
Outdated or incorrect address information.
An old employer listed as current.
If the misspelled name or incorrect address is because of identity theft or because your file has been mixed with someone else's, that should be obvious when you look at your accounts. You'll see delinquencies or accounts that aren't yours and should report that immediately. However, if it's just a goof by the credit bureau or one of the companies reporting to it, it's usually not much to sweat about.
Two more items you don't need to correct:
Accounts you closed listed as being open.
Accounts you closed that don't say "closed by consumer."
Closing accounts can't help your score, and may hurt it. If your goal is boosting your score, leave these alone. Once an account has been closed, though, it doesn't matter to the scoring formulas who did it -- you or the lender. If you messed up the account, it will be obvious from the late payments and other derogatory information included in the file.
4 other credit mistakes
Other actions to beware when you're trying to improve your score:
Asking a creditor to lower your credit limits. This will reduce that all-important gap between your balances and your available credit, which could hurt your score. If a lender asks you to close an account or get a limit lowered as a condition for getting a loan, you might have to do it -- but don't do so without being asked.
Making a late payment. The irony here is that a late or missed payment will hurt a good score more than a bad one, dropping a 700-plus score by 100 points or more. If you've already got a string of negative items on your credit report, one more won't have a big impact, but it's still something you want to avoid if you're trying to improve your score.
Consolidating your accounts. Applying for a new account can ding your score. So, too, can transferring balances from a high-limit card to a lower-limit one, or concentrating all or most of your credit-card balances onto a single card. In general, it's better to have smaller balances on a few cards than a big balance on one.
Applying for new credit if you've already got plenty. On the other hand, applying for and getting an installment loan can help your score if you don't have any installment accounts, or you're trying to recover from a credit disaster like bankruptcy.
By the way, all these suggestions work best if you have poor or mediocre scores to begin with. Once you've hit the 700 mark, any tweaking you do will tend to have less of a positive impact.
And if your scores are in the "excellent" category, 760 or above, you'll probably be able to eke out only a few extra points despite your best efforts. There's really no point, anyway, since you're already qualified for the best rates and terms. Here's one area where it's really OK to rest on your laurels and worry about something else.