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Credit / Debt Management: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Got Bad Credit? Here's How to Rent an Apartment
Renting with bad credit can be easy or hard depending on where you're looking. Find out how to get around the credit check and rent an apartment even with bad credit.
Need to Send a Pay for Delete Letter? Use This...
Use this sample pay for delete letter to negotiate removal of negative collection accounts and charge-offs from your credit report. Customize the letter to fit your situation.
4 Ways to Get Your First Credit Card
Getting your first credit card is a big step, that's not as easy as you'd think. Here are some tips on how and where to get your very first credit card.
How to Remove a Charge-Off from Your Credit...
A credit card charge-offs is one of the worst things that can happen to your credit. When you're working on credit repair, taking care of charged-off accounts helps improve your credit score.
Ducking Debt? Here's the Statute of Limitations...
Each state has its own statute of limitations on debt - the amount of time you can be sued for a debt. Verify your state's statute of limitations on debt before you make a payment or arrangement with a debt collector.
Why You Should Visit CreditKarma.com for Free...
I've been using Credit Karma for years to get my free credit score. I've never given my credit card number and never paid for the free credit score. Learn how you can get yours.
How Do You Remove Debt Collections from Your...
Technically, debt collections are supposed to stay on your credit report for seven years. But, there are a few ways to remove debt collections before that time comes.
What's the Statute of Limitations on Debt?
The statute of limitations on a debt keeps debt collectors from winning a lawsuit. The limit varies by state and depends on the account's last date of activity.
Using Goodwill Letters in Credit Repair
You can use a goodwill letter in credit repair to request a creditor make a courtesy update to your credit report. Learn how to create your own goodwill letter.
Got Bad Credit? You Can Still Get a Credit Card
If you're suffering with bad credit, you're not alone. Many people with bad credit have a hard time finding a credit card. Here's how you can get a credit card even if you have bad credit.
5 Ways to Pay Off Debt Collections
Before you pay off a collection account, first negotiate with the debt collector to have your credit report updated to something that works in your favor. As you work with debt collectors to negotiate a payment, keep in mind what you and the collector want from the deal.
Are You Familiar with the 7 Types of Loans?
There are many different types of loans. When you're shopping for a loan, it's important to know the types of loans that are out there.
Tips for Removing Negative Credit Report...
Being able to rid your credit report of negative credit report information can help improve your credit score by dozens of points or more. Here are some techniques for removing negative information from your credit report.
A Quick Guide to Repairing Your Credit
After repairing bad credit, you need to rebuild it, prove to your creditors that you can pay your bills on time. Learn what it takes to rebuild bad credit and improve your credit score.
10 Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your...
Bad credit isn't permanent. There are things you can do right now to improve your credit score. Get tips to raise your credit score from bad to good.
8 Questions to Answer Before You Pay a Debt...
Debt collectors don't always follow the rules. Here's some information that will help you deal, or not deal, with collection agencies.
15 Things that Could Be Hurting Your Credit Score
Any of these things will hurt your credit score.
How to Dispute Credit Report Errors
You can remove credit report errors by submitting a a credit report dispute to the credit bureaus. Find out how to submit a credit report dispute to clean up your credit report.
How To Calculate Your Debt To Income Ratio
Your debt to income ratio indicates your level of debt. Learn how to calculate and analyze your debt to income ratio.
10 Dos and Don'ts of Using Your Credit Card
Guidelines for using credit cards the right way. Learn the way to use - and not to use - your credit card.
10 Things That Don't Affect Your Credit Score
Making late credit card and loan payments will definitely hurt your credit score, but there are some late payments that will never see your credit report. Learn what things won't hurt your credit score.
Debt Validation Requires Collectors to Prove...
Debt validation is your right question the validity of a debt collection. If the collector can't validate the debt, they can't collect from you.
Need to Write a Cease and Desist Letter to...
To stop debt collection calls, you must send a cease and desist letter. Use this cease and desist letter template to stop debt collection calls.
9 Tips to Get a Credit Card With No Credit...
Getting a credit card with no credit history is tough, but not impossible. Find out how to get approved for a credit card when you have no credit.
How to Remove Your Name From a Cosigned Loan
Find out how to remove your name from a cosigned loan, even if your name was forged on the loan.
What Happens If You Don't Pay a Collection
Collectors hassling you for payment? There are consequences to ignoring their attempts to collect. Learn what happens if you don't pay a collection.
How Can I Find Out Which Collection Agency I Owe?
There are a few ways you can find out which collection agency you owe. If you can't find them, they'll eventually find you.
What are Open-Ended Credit Accounts?
an open-ended account is an account that has a varying, revolving balance
What Is a Written Contract?
a written contract is an agreement made on a printed document that has been signed by both the lender and the borrower
How do I remove a debt when the statute of...
Some debts may still appear on your credit report even after the statute of limitations has expired. You may be able to remove them if the credit reporting time limit has also passed.
5 Credit Cards You Should Never Close
Closing a credit card might seem like a solution for a problem with your creditor or the card itself. But closing the wrong card could hurt your credit score.
How long does negative information stay on my...
How long does negative information stay on my credit report? The credit reporting time limit keeps negative information on your credit report for a minimum of seven years, with some exceptions.
Should You Pay an Old Debt Collection?
Whether to pay an old debt is a common dilemma. If it's still on your credit report, there are more reasons to pay the old debt than there are to not pay it.
Credit One Bank Visa Platinum Card Review
The Credit One Bank Visa Platinum Card charges high fees and high interest rates. It is aimed at people with poor credit or limited credit history.
Statute of Limitations FAQ
Answers to some of the most important questions about the statute of limitations on debt and how long certain debts can be collected.
FDCPA Violations - 15 Things Debt Collectors...
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, FDCPA, dictates how debt collectors can act when collecting a debt from you. Find out what debt collectors can and cannot do.
7 Helpful Credit Card Debt Calculators
There are hundreds of credit card pay off calculators on the internet. Here is a list of the best.
The 12 Real Reasons Your Credit Card Applicatio...
There are many possible reasons a credit card application could be denied. Your credit card application could be denied because of your credit or because of something that's not even on your credit report. Here are some possible explanations for your credit card application being denied.
What Can Restart the Debt Statute of Limitations?
Be careful about taking certain actions on a dormant account. You could restart the statute of limitations and give creditors more time to sue you.
Will a Bank Overdraft Hurt My Credit Score?
Payment history is 35% of your credit score, but does that include bank overdrafts? Learn whether overdrafting your bank account will hurt your credit score.
7 Ways To Build Good Credit
Your credit history affects everything from buying a home to financing your education and even getting a job. Learn how to build good credit starting with your first credit card.
Stop Debt Collector Calls
Debt collection calls are usually unwanted and can border harrassment. The FDCPA, a federal law, give you rights that help you stop debt collector calls.
Simple Tips for Repairing Bad Credit
Credit repair isn't a secret skill or process only available to credit repair companies. You have the power and the right to repair your own credit.
8 Explanations for a Credit Score Decrease
Trying to figure out why your credit score dropped? These are some possible explanations for a drop in your credit score.
How do Collection Accounts Affect You and Your...
How worried do you have to be about a call or letter from a debt collector or a debt collection on your credit report?
Sample Goodwill Letter to Remove Negative...
Customize this sample goodwill letter to ask creditors to remove negative information to from your credit report.
How Much Will Bankruptcy Hurt Your Credit Score
Bankruptcy is notorious for being one of the worst things for your credit, but just how far will your credit score drop if you file bankruptcy?
Why You Should Avoid a Credit Card Cash Advance
Your credit card comes with the ability to take out a cash advance, but this type of transaction might be the worst of all. Learn why you should avoid a credit card cash advance.
Debt to Income Ratio Calculator - Calculate...
Use this free debt-to-income ratio calculator to tell whether you have too much debt.
How Opening a New Credit Card Affects Your...
Opening a new credit card account may have a negative effect on your credit score. However, the point loss may be temporary.
Four Consequences of a Late Credit Card Payment
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Missing credit
5 Reasons a Maxed-Out Credit Card is Bad
Maxing out your credit card happens when your credit balance is very near, at, or above your credit limit. Here's why a maxed-out credit card is such a bad thing.
The Florida Statute of Limitations on Debt
The statute of limitations on debt in Florida limits the amount of time a consumer can be sued for a debt.
Rebuild Your Credit After a Collection or...
Work to rebuild your credit after a serious delinquency like a collection or charge-off.
Know the Dangers of Debt Settlement
Even though debt settlement may promise to reduce your debt, they can't promise to keep your credit in tact at the same time. Find out how debt settlement works and why it may not be the best solution.
What Is a Credit Card Charge-Off?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >If you're wondering
How to Avoid Paying Interest
There are generally two ways to avoid paying interest on your credit card. You can avoid paying interest if you pay the balance in full at the end of the month or if you have a zero percent interest rate promotion.
Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
Student loans are a heavy burden for many college graduates. There are many student loan forgiveness programs that might eliminate some or all of your student loan debt.
LifeLock Review
LifeLock's identity theft protection service is an alternative to credit monitoring and costs $10 a month or $110 a year. Is it worth the money?
Seven Things to Do If Your Credit Card...
Having a credit card application denied is discouraging, to say the least. If your credit card application is denied, here are some things you can do to improve your chances at getting a new credit card.
Steps to Remove Old Debts After the Credit...
Follow these steps to remove old, outdated information from your credit report after the 7- or 10-year credit reporting time limit has expired.
How to Get Credit For the First Time
How to apply for credit for the first time. The steps you should take and what to watch out for.
Basic Types of Personal Bankruptcy
The two major types of personal bankruptcy for consumers are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 allows you to discharge debt after some assets have been liquidated. Chapter 13 allows you to discharge debt after completing a payment plan.
Average Daily Balance Finance Charge Calculation
The average daily balance method is one of the ways your creditor might calculate your finance charge. Find out how the calculation works.
How to Cancel Your FreeCreditReport.com Account
If you want to avoid credit card charges from FreeCreditReport.com, you have to cancel your account before the trial period ends.
Time-Sensitive Steps to Follow After a Lost or...
Missing credit cards should be reported as quickly as possible to reduce your liability. Find out what steps you should take when your credidt card has been lost or stolen.
9 Things That Boost Your Credit Score
If you don't like your current credit standing, check out this list of things that can boost your credit score.
Credit Cards for Rebuilding Bad Credit
Finding the right credit cards for rebuilding bad credit is key to improving your credit score.
What Happens During a Credit Card Billing Cycle
Get a better understanding of how the credit card billing process works from making purchases to making payments.
How to Qualify for a Credit Card
Credit card issuers have criteria they use to decide which applicants qualify for a credit card.
Sample Credit Letters for Creditors and Debt...
Here are a variety of sample credit letters you can tailor and send to credit card companies, debt collectors, and other credit bureaus.
Tax Form 1099-C For Reporting Cancelled Debt
When a lender cancels your debt, you may have to report this as taxable income on your federal income taxes, unless there is an exception. If you're required to report the cancelled debt, the lender will send IRS Form 1099-C to you.
Sample Debt Validation Letter For Debt Collectors
Debt validation requests should be made in writing. Here is a sample debt validation letter you can send to collectors.
What Will Happen If I Stop Paying My Credit Card?
Several things will happen if you stop paying your credit card and, in the long run, none of them will be good. Before you stop paying your credit card, look at some alternatives.
10 Side Effects of Bad Credit
Since so many businesses now judge you based on your credit score, having bad credit can make life extremely difficult from getting a job to getting a place to live. Here are some of the most common side-effects of bad credit.
promissory note
A promissory note is a written contract that includes a specific promise to pay.
7 Ways to Maintain a Good Credit Score
Once you make your way to a good credit score, keep it is important. Here are seven ways to maintain a good credit score.
The Difference Between Secured and Unsecured...
Debts can fall into one of two categories: secured and unsecured. It's important to know the difference before you borrow.
Tactics to Deal With Medical Debt
You have several options to deal with medical debt that you can't afford to pay in full. Explore your options to avoid filing bankruptcy.
When Can Debt Collectors Call?
The FDCPA is a Federal law that dictates when debt collectors can legally call you.
When Balances Go Up, Credit Scores Go Down
Your credit card balance has a big impact on your credit score. Learn what happens when you have a big balance and find out the ideal credit card balance for a good credit score.
L.L. Bean Visa Card Review
The no-fee L.L. Bean Visa Card from Barclays Bank lets you earn 3% back on your purchases at the retailer and get free shipping on your orders.
When Does the Statute of Limitations Clock Start?
The crucial factor in figuring out whether the statute of limitations has expired is to determine when the clock started ticking.
billing cycle
The period of time between your credit card billing statements is called a billing cycle. Billing cycles may not necessarily line up with calendar months.
How Wage Garnishment is Used to Collect Your...
Wage garnishment is when your employer withholds part of your paycheck to satisfy a court order requiring you to repay a debt. The Consumer Credit Protection Act regulates wage garnishment and limits the amount you can be garnished.
How Marriage Affects Your Credit
Whether you're engaged, already married, or just thinking about marriage, you should know how marriage affects your credit and the credit of your partner.
7 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud can a be time consuming to get over. You can avoid credit card fraud by following steps to keep your credit card information safe.
What is the Maximum Wage Garnishment?
Federal law limits the amount your wages can be garnished. Make sure your wage garnishment doesn't exceed the maximum allowed limit.
Types of Credit Cards
Don't be confused by all the different credit cards. Get familiar with the different types of credit cards to choose the right one for you.
Credit Card Annual Fee Explained
Not every credit card issuer charges an annual fee and some let you get the fee waived. Don't automatically walk away from a credit card with an annual fee - the cost may be worth it.
10 Things That Appear on Your Credit Report
Ever wondered what all types of information appear on your credit report. Here’s a list of ten things that are on your credit report.
Can a Creditor or Collector Sue Me After the...
The statute of limitations limits the amount of time you can be sued for a debt, but it's up to you to prove the SOL has actually expired.
Should You Pay Your Taxes With a Credit Card?
The IRS gives you the convenience of paying your income taxes with your credit card. Is the extra credit card debt worth it?
Sample Credit Report Dispute Letter
A sample credit report dispute letter you can use to dispute information from your credit report with the credit bureaus.
secured credit card
A secured credit card is a alternative for people who can't get approved for a regular credit card. That includes those with bad credit and brand new credit.
Two Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt
Stumped on how to pay back your credit card debt? Here are two methods that will work.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Credit Card?
The minimum age to get a credit card is an important thing to know. Technically, you can get a credit card at 18, but you may have to wait a little longer than that.
How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Living paycheck to paycheck is an uneasy feeling since you're often worried about how you're going to make ends meet. Learn how you can stop living paycheck to paycheck.
Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card
The Wells Fargo Secured Card is for people who don’t have a credit history, have been turned down for credit card or are rebuilding their credit history.
5 Reasons to Pay More Than the Minimum
The minimum payment is a convenience credit card issuers give, but it can come at a high cost. Paying more than the minimum is always better.
Before You Apply for a Mortgage
The credit crisis has made it more difficult to get approved for a mortgage loan. So it’s more important than ever to prepare your credit for a mortgage application. Cleaning up your credit report and increasing your credit score will improve your chances of getting approved. If your credit’s already good, maintaining it will be key in locking in a low interest rate.
Understanding Credit Utilization
Credit utilization is the ratio of your credit card debt to credit limits. It has the second biggest factor influencing your FICO score.
How to Use Credit the Right Way
Whether you're building or rebuilding your credit, knowing the right way to make charges and payments will help raise your credit score.
Sample Expired Statute of Limitations Letter...
Debt collectors might continue to contact you after the statute of limitations has passed on a debt. However, you can stop them from calling by sending a letter. Be careful not to acknowledge ownership of the debt as that can restart the clock on the statute of limitations.
How to Handle Unauthorized Credit Card Charges
Report any unauthorized credit card charges to your credit card issuer as soon as you spot them, regardless of the amount.
Your Credit Card Account Could Be Closed Due to...
If you haven't used your credit card in awhile, here's why your credit card issuer might close your account and what you can do about it.
APR
APR stands for annual percentage rate. It's the annual cost of borrowing money on a credit card or loan.
5 Tips For Starting Out With Credit
Here are some tips to get you started with your first credit card.
Avoid a Bad Credit Loan Scam
Many loans offered to people with bad credit are actually scams that can leave you out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fees. Some bad credit loans actually never come through.
The Six Worst Things For Your Credit Report
Certain things you never want to appear on your credit report because they damage your chances of getting applications approved. Find out six of the worst credit report entries.
Do I Still Owe After the Statute of Limitations...
Even though the statute of limitations has expired on a debt, you are still legally responsible for paying the debt. However, the creditor or collector no longer has the liberty of using the court to force you to pay.
How to Read Your Credit Score
Many credit score ranges from 300 to 850, but what does your credit score mean? Learn how to read your credit score.
How To Freeze Your Credit Report at Each Credit...
You can prevent identity theft by freezing your credit report. You must freeze your credit report at each credit bureau as there’s no centralized way to freeze all three credit reports.
Three Things to Do After You Pay a Debt...
Once you pay a debt collection take a few extra steps to make sure the collection account is completely satisfied.
Basics of Personal Loans
Personal loans are unsecured loans that have a fixed amount, interest rate, and repayment period.
What Your Credit Score Is Made Of
Understanding your credit score calculation can help you use credit wisely. Find out what goes into calculating your credit score.
How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many
Depending on who you ask, the best number of credit cards ranges from none to a wallet full of them. How do you know how many credit cards is too many?
Who are the three major credit bureaus?
There are three major credit bureaus that compile your credit report information.
oral agreement
an oral contract is an agreement that was made verbally
How to Calculate Your Own Finance Charge
Here are detailed instructions to calculate your own finance charge. You just need to know the balance, interest rate, and billing cycle (if it's shorter than one month).
How a Secured Credit Card Can Help Rebuild Bad...
A secured credit card can help you re-establish your credit history if you have bad credit and you find it hard to get approved for a credit card.
Why is a Debt On My Credit Report After the...
An account may still appear on your credit report even though the statute of limitations has expired for that debt.
Sample Letter For Closing Your Credit Card
You can use this letter to close your credit card.
Three Best Secured Credit Cards
The best secured credit cards has low fees and interest rates. The ones that made our best list come from Navy Federal Credit Union, Orchard Bank and Wells Fargo.
Capital One Classic Platinum Credit Card Review
The Capital One Classic Platinum Credit Card is for people with weak credit. It charges relatively low interest rates but a high annual fee.
Making Your Child an Authorized User on Your...
Making your child an authorized user on one of your credit cards can help boost their credit score. Consider these things before you call your card issuer to change your account.
Six Worst Credit Cards for People with Bad Credit
The First Premier Bank Gold MasterCard, Centennial Gold MasterCard, Aventium Gold MasterCard, Applied Bank Gold Visa Card, Applied Bank Gold Match Plus Visa Card, and Credit One Bank Visa Platinum Card charge high interest rates and fees to people with bad or poor credit.
What to Fix On a Bad Credit Report
Your credit report dictates the steps you take to repair your credit. Here are some of the most common credit blemishes and information on fixing them.
How Does a Prepaid Card Work?
Prepaid credit cards are simply Visa, MasterCard, or American Express branded gift cards that are loaded with money and used as credit cards where credit cards are accepted.
What to Do When a Debt Collector Calls
When a debt collector calls, it's not the time to get angry or defensive. Stay calm, get ready to take notes, and only talk when it's convenient for you.
What You Need To Know About Credit Inquiries
Not all credit report inquiries have an effect on your credit score. Learn the different inquiries and what they mean for your credit.
Debt Validation FAQ
Debt validation is how you get debt collectors to prove you owe them the debt. Get answers to common questions about how debt validation works.
10 Ways to Get Out of Debt
It’s amazing that it’s so easy (and often fun) to get into debt, but painfully difficult to get back out. Here are some strategies to get out of debt.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Overview
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal law that governs the actions of parties acting as debt collectors for personal debts.
How Closing Credit Cards Affect Your Credit Score
Before you call your credit card company, learn what will happen to your credit score if you close the card.
Can Debt Collectors Contact Your Employer?
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is specific about whether debt collectors can contact your employers and what they're allowed to say.
finance charge
cost of credit calculated using the APR and the balance
Why You Have Different Credit Scores
Your credit scores at the different bureaus can vary dramatically. Don't be alarmed; it's normal to have different credit scores even when you check them on the same day.
What to Expect With Your First Credit Card
Getting your very first credit card may be the best thing to happen since getting your driver’s license and turning 18. But, a lot of responsibility comes with having a credit card.
How to Know If Your Credit Card Still Active
If you haven't used your credit card in a long time, you may wonder if your credit card is still active. Here's how you can find out whether your card issuer has deactivated your credit card.
California Statute of Limitations on Debt
The California statute of limitations on debt limits the amount of time you can be sued for an overdue debt
Here's what to do if you accidentally miss your...
Just one accidentally missed credit card payment isn't the end of the world. Find out the best way to handle the situation.
How To Read Your Credit Report
Credit reports aren't very easy to understand. Use this sample credit report to help you learn how to read a credit report.
Time-Barred Debts
Time-barred debts are those that are no longer collectible through the court because the statute of limitations on these debts has passed. Creditors and debt collectors can still try to collect time-barred debts.
What To Do When You Can't Make Your Minimum...
There may come a month when you don't have enough money to make your credit card minimum payment. Find out what you can do to maintain your credit score, interest rate, and relationship with your creditor.
How to Prepare for a Credit Card
There are certain things you need to know before you start using credit cards. Here are some tips to prepare for a credit card.
Capital One Secured MasterCard Credit Card Review
The Capital One Secured MasterCard has a high annual fee and a high APR. You might choose the Capital One Secured MasterCard if you have bad credit or no credit that keeps you from getting a standard credit card
How to Lower Your Debt-to-Income Ratio
As your debt-to-income ratio rises above 36%, you risk becoming overloaded with debt. Find out how you can lower your debt to income ratio and ease your financial burden.
How a Balance Transfer Could Affect Your Credit...
A balance transfer can come in handy when you want to pay a lower interest rate on your credit card balance. However, a balance transfer could affect your credit score. Here's how.
What is the Statute of Limitations for My Debt?
The statute of limitations for a specific debt depends on the state where the debt was created and the type of debt.

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