January 27, 2013 |
Dear Liz: I paid all of my old collection accounts except for two, which now are beyond the statute of limitations. I would like to find the best way to negotiate with the collection agencies without getting sued. Even though the original delinquency was over four years ago, the agencies are reporting these every month as current debt, which is really hurting my credit score. My intent is to offer a lump-sum settlement amount if they will remove the report from my credit file with the bureaus, or alternately in return for a "paid" notation on my report file.
February 24, 2008 |
Why get identity theft protection for free when you can pay for it? That seems to be the attitude of a number of companies, including Lifelock Inc. Known for the TV ads in which its chief executive displays his Social Security number for all to see, Lifelock sells for $10 a month a package of credit fraud alert tools that people can easily set up for themselves at no cost with one of the major credit reporting bureaus, including Experian Information Systems.
October 29, 1998 |
A division of Santa Ana-based First American Financial Corp. agreed Wednesday to settle U.S. Federal Trade Commission allegations that it didn't give consumers a fair chance to dispute inaccurate credit reports. The FTC charged that First American Credco Inc., the largest U.S. provider of specialty credit reports, routinely failed to investigate disputed credit information as federal law requires.
March 30, 2014 |
Dear Liz: How can I get a clear and complete picture of the debts that are hurting my credit score? I have my credit report already. I'm a bit lost and I need to get my credit cleared up to buy a home. Answer: You actually have three credit reports, one at each of the major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Your mortgage lender is likely to request FICO credit scores from each of the three, so you need to check all three reports. You get your reports for free at one site: http://www.annualcreditreport.com.
February 6, 2000 |
If you're among the millions of Americans whose credit histories aren't quite perfect, answer these two questions: * Have you been trying to improve your credit standing by scrupulously paying your mortgage and credit card bills on time every month? * Would you be upset to learn that your solid, on-time payment performance isn't being documented anywhere and therefore won't help you get a lower interest rate the next time you apply for a home mortgage or an equity loan? Get ready to be upset.
July 22, 1991 |
A credit card scam left Bonnie Guiton feeling that she had been victimized twice--first by forgers and then by one of the nation's largest credit bureaus, TRW Credit Data Division. Canceling the forged Visa card and having $5,000 in fraudulent charges erased was simple enough, but she says her anger flared anew when she found that the incident had ruined her TRW credit report. "Why should the consumer have the responsibility of smoking out all the credit bureaus?" Guiton asks.
July 28, 2000 |
Cleaning up your credit report is no easy task. The growing importance of credit scores and the rise in identity thefts, however, mean that reviewing--and, if necessary, fixing--credit files should be an annual ritual for most of us. For those with good credit, the chore is equivalent to checking your home's rain gutters before winter. You may face a little cleaning up, but it could help you avoid major damage. For those with poor credit, the assignment will be more onerous.
July 15, 1998 |
Lance Clem says his credit record once showed a store that no longer existed had closed an account he never had. It took him more than two years to erase that smudge on his credit. His phone calls to credit bureaus ended up where so many phone calls go to die--in some impenetrable answering system. Letters didn't help. "They just weren't paying any attention to me," said Clem, of Denver. Now they must.
April 11, 2010 |
Dear Liz: My husband racked up more than $17,000 in credit card debt and negotiated a settlement for $4,000 last year. We received a 1099-C form for $13,000 of forgiven debt, which we have to claim as income. That puts our modified adjusted gross income over the threshold of being able to claim tuition and college expense deductions for our three kids and myself. We now owe more than $11,000 in taxes and we don't have the cash to pay. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Answer: You may think owing an $11,000 tax bill because you saved $13,000 on a credit bill is bad enough.