5 Credit Repair Books YOU NEED TO READ in 2020!

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Veitengruber Law has been finding NJ credit repair solutions for years. We help our clients find customized strategies with our holistic approach to debt relief. We know that knowledge can empower you to return to financial health. The best way to gain knowledge is to hear what the experts have to say. Here we have rounded up some of the best credit repair books you can read. These books won’t give you an instant solution, but they can provide critical information that can help you start rebuilding your financial life.

 

1. How to Repair Your Credit; by Benjamin Harris and John Score (2019)

This book’s cover boasts that it will be able to help you overcome credit card debt forever. Harris and Score detail how to do this and more by using federal laws and existing loopholes to eliminate bad credit and increase your financial freedom. You will learn when to worry about your credit score and what to do about it when it is time to worry. These insider credit bureau secrets will give you an edge in navigating the sometimes confusing world of credit reports and debt.

 

2. An Attempt to Repair America’s Broken Credit System; by Andrew Coakley (2019)

Coakley is a professional credit repair expert and in this book he offers his insider insight into credit repair solutions. He demystifies the complexities of credit reports, scores, and agencies so you can be armed with the knowledge you need to get on top of your debts. He also offers valuable knowledge about managing your credit during marriage and divorce. His 10-day fix for raising your credit score promises quick results that can turn into long-term solutions.

 

3. High Credit Score Secrets: The Smart Raise and Repair Guide to Excellent Credit; by Thomas Herold (2019)

This book offers over fifty different ways you can instantly boost your credit rating and see real change in your credit score in sixty days or less. Herold walks you through how to use credit cards to build good credit and how to guard a good score for life. An expert of the financial world, Thomas Herold breaks down the exact mathematical algorithms used by the three major credit bureaus so you can learn exactly which financial choices will improve or damage your score.

 

4. Hidden Credit Repair Secrets: How I Bounced Back from Bankruptcy; by Mark Clayborne (2019)

Step-by-step instructions for doing your own 6 letter campaign to challenge any inaccurate, unverifiable, and questionable information on your credit report set this publication apart from the others on this list. With letter samples, actionable steps, and up-to-date info regarding current economic conditions, this book offers a comprehensive strategy to work with credit bureaus to repair your credit. The step-by-step nature of the book makes it easy for even the most financially inexperienced consumer to follow.

 

5. Money Management: The Ultimate Guide to Budgeting, Frugal Living, Getting out of Debt, Credit Repair, and Managing Your Personal Finances in a Stress-Free Way; by Scott Wright (2019)

Not only will Scott Wright help you repair your credit, he also aims to help you reshape how you think about money and managing your personal finances. Included are tips like simple ways to save every day, investing for beginners, budgeting for beginners, and how to boost your credit score by paying off debt. A big part of this book is focusing on how to stay stress-free throughout this process by focusing on the things you can do and accepting the time it often takes to restore true financial health.

It’s important to note that there are no overnight solutions to credit repair, but these books can definitely give you the knowledge you need to get moving in the right direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why You Shouldn’t Panic Every Time Your Credit Score Changes

With the internet almost constantly at the tip of your fingers, keeping tracking of your credit score has never been easier. Banks, credit card issuers, and free online credit monitoring companies all offer their services to help you stay virtually right on top of your credit score. But if you find yourself panicking every time you get an email from Credit Karma, it might be time to reevaluate your relationship to credit monitoring. Small month-to-month changes in your credit score don’t really matter*, and here’s why.

The most important thing to understand is that you don’t have just one credit score—you actually have many, and they are all calculated using different formulas. The most well-known credit score is your FICO score, which is calculated and monitored by three different bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. All three institutions have different levels of access to your information at different times and are constantly updating your files with every piece of information they receive.

What’s more, each credit rating category covers a wide range of scores. “Good” credit falls in the 670 to 739 range. Unless you are teetering on the edge between categories, a couple of points difference isn’t going to impact your credit worthiness too greatly. There are a myriad of reasons why your score will go up or down in any given month, and none of them truly reflect your overall credit health. Delayed credit bureau reporting, hard inquiries, balance increases, or opening a new account can all cause temporary, insignificant shifts in your credit score.

Fixating on small credit fluctuations is stressful and unnecessary. As long as you are not currently in the process of applying for a new loan or a new line of credit, a less than stellar score will have little impact on your every day life. The good news is that even if your credit score has recently taken a small dip, most lenders will look at the big picture, taking your credit history into consideration, not just your current three-digit score. It’s the big swings that you need to watch out for.

A major change in your credit score can alert you to unauthorized activity on your accounts or tip you off to the long-term impact of carrying high balances and paying your bills late. It is important to pay attention to these changes to make sure they reflect your financial activity. If your monitoring service reports a change you don’t recognize or understand, look into it. Whether it is the result of fraudulent activity or just poor financial habits, it is important to investigate why your credit score is changing so dramatically.

If you are concerned about your credit score and it isn’t exactly where you want it to be, don’t panic. At Veitengruber Law, we can give you real facts about credit and debt. Our legal team can provide real life solutions to improving your credit and your overall financial health. With patience, time, and dedication, it is possible to repair your credit. Using credit monitoring services is a great first step in the right direction. Just remember not to take every small monthly fluctuation to heart and stay focused on your overall credit goals.

*If your score takes a significant plunge, drops into a lower category, or is on a consistently downward trend, reach out to us. If something is amiss, it IS better to address it sooner rather than later.

5 Credit Repair Hacks that Actually Work!

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People often don’t realize the value of good credit until they really need it. Typically, it’s when they attempt to buy a house or open a new line of credit that people realize their credit score isn’t quite up to par. When that happens, the gut reaction is to race to fix their credit quickly. The good news is that raising your credit score is possible, regardless of your financial situation. However, this is a process that often takes time. Rebuilding a poor credit score can take months or even years.

Use these hacks to repair your credit score:

1. Pay Down Your Balance(s)

One of the best ways to raise your credit score quickly is to pay off a significant amount of your debts. Don’t just throw money at credit cards blindly, but be strategic about how you pay off your debts. A good way to do this is to look at your credit utilization ratio. This is the amount of credit you have used against the amount of credit you have available.

Example: if you have a $2,000.00 balance on a card with a limit of $5,000.00, your utilization ratio is 40%. Most experts suggest keeping your credit utilization ratio under 30%. If you are trying to increase your credit score quickly, you will want to pay off the cards where your credit utilization ratio is above 30% first. One of the best ways to do this is to make two payments a month. If you can swing it financially, making one extra payment a month can quickly reduce your overall debt and your credit utilization ratio.

2. Raise Your Credit Limit

Since we know your credit score is partly based on your overall credit utilization ratio, a quick way to lower that ratio without reducing debt is to see if you can increase your credit limit. In using the example above, if you have a $2,000.00 balance on a card with a limit of $5,000.00 (40% utilization ratio) and your creditor increases that limit to $6,500.00, your new utilization ratio will be at a more desirable 30%.

There are some important caveats when using method. You know yourself best: if you have trouble with overspending, this might not be the best choice for you. Also, if you have missed payments or have seen a steady decrease in your credit score lately, this will likely not work for you. In these instances, your credit card issuer may see the request for more credit as a sign that you are having a financial crisis. If you are a good customer with on time payments and your score is steady, this could be a good strategy to instantly boost your credit score.

3. Become an Authorized User

When rebuilding your credit, it is difficult if not impossible to get approved for a new line of credit. One way to get around this issue is to enlist the help of a trusted friend or loved one. If this person has good credit, they can add you as an authorized user on their current credit card account. This authorized status will show up on your credit report and boost your score.

IMPORTANT: When tying your credit to another person, you MUST make sure they are responsible first. The ideal candidate is someone who makes timely payments and keeps their balance low. If you tie your credit to someone who makes late payments and carries a high balance, you could end up lowering your credit score.

4. Consolidate Your Debt

There are two different kinds of debt: revolving debt and installment debt. Credit card debt is revolving debt, where the balance changes with each new purchase and payment. The FICO formula that determines your credit score favors installment debt, like loans, because this kind of debt tends to be more stable. Thus, consolidating your credit card debt into a personal loan can really give your score a boost. Personal loans also tend to have a much lower interest rate than credit cards, so you will end up paying less money in the long run.

5. Mix Up Your Credit Portfolio

Having a wide array of different kinds of credit is a good way to boost your score.  If you find you only have credit card debt, taking out a personal loan or a car loan isn’t a bad idea. While your credit mix is only 10% of your total score, diversifying your credit can give your score that extra boost it needs to go from “fair” to GOOD. It should be noted that this is a long term approach to better credit and should not be used by those who need an instant boost for an impending big purchase or financial change.

These tips and tricks can give you the boost you need to finally achieve excellent credit. If you are struggling to manage your debts or get your credit score where it needs to be, the team at Veitengruber Law can help. We offer personalized credit repair options to fit your financial needs.

 

6 Steps to Repairing Your Credit

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In today’s economy, it is imperative to maintain a decent credit score. There are many reasons why you simply must work to repair your credit if it is currently less than fair (below 560-580.) A higher credit score will allow you to obtain a higher credit line. Also, if you have an excellent credit score, you will receive offers for credit balances with lower interest. A better credit score will also empower you with more buying power, so you can purchase a house, car, or make other large purchases. There are a multitude of things you can do to improve a low credit score. Six of the most important steps are detailed below.

 

  1. Pay your bills on time. While this may seem like an obvious course of action, it is extremely beneficial to improving your credit score. Conversely, if you do not pay your bills on time, your credit score will take a significant hit. Some people falsely believe that making late payments will not affect their credit score as long as they aren’t MISSING payments. It’s important to realize that late payments will incrementally drop your score.

 

  1. Maintain an appropriate debt-to-credit ratio. This is a way for creditors and lenders to see that you are able to use your credit responsibly. Your debt-to-credit ratio is essentially how much money you owe creditors compared with your overall available credit. For example: If your overall debt (money you owe creditors) is $10,000, and your total available credit is $20,000, your debt-to-credit ratio is 50%. A low debt-to-credit ratio indicates that you are not overspending. It also shows that you are closer to being able to pay off your debt than if you owed a higher percentage of your available credit line.

 

  1. Pay more than the minimum balance due each month. This shows that your income is steady and you have more purchasing power. Plus, when you make more than the minimum payment each month, you will be able to pay more on the principle amount due as opposed to simply paying off interest.

 

  1. Avoid opening too many accounts in a short amount of time. The rationale for this step is that more inquiries indicates to creditors that you may be in serious financial trouble. Even if you aren’t approved for every account you apply for, there will be credit inquiries made each time you apply that will ding your credit report.

 

  1. Pay off your balance instead of transferring debt to other credit cards. Not only do most balance transfers typically involve a fee, but this can lead creditors to view you as a volatile debtor who simply shifts debt around rather than actually paying it down.

 

  1. Keep a keen eye on your credit report. If you discover any errors, you should immediately report the issues to the reporting agencies and have them rectified right away. This should be completed at least once per year. If you find errors on your credit report that the agency(ies) refuse to remove, take legal action in order to prevent false information from dragging your score down unnecessarily.

 

Following these steps to repairing your credit score are excellent ways to start planning for the future. Knowing that you have financial security will improve your overall health and well-being. While there are many other steps you can take to improve your credit score, this list is a basic overview of the most trusted ways to achieve your goals.

How to Get a Handle on Your Budget Using the Envelope System

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Do you have difficulty staying within your financial budget each month? Does it seem as though, no matter how many raises or yearly bonuses come your way, you still manage to spend more money than you earn?

Many people measure their wealth by how much income they can generate. A better, more effective way to measure your wealth is by how much money you can keep each month.

The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.” ~Frank Hubbard

A good way to end up with money left over each month is to allot funds from each paycheck you receive to each financial responsibility that you have, preventing you from spending money frivolously on things you don’t need. Working from a detailed budget each month will allow you to see all of your “Money In” and “Money Out,” leaving you much less room for error.

Your first step is to set up a basic budget that works for your lifestyle and your income. Begin setting up your budget with how much money you bring home every month. You’re going to want to make a written chart or typed spreadsheet that will include all of your expenses and extras – basically everything you “owe” each month. Once you have a basic budget created, you will know how much money you need to allot to each expense every month or every paycheck, depending on how often you get paid.

Now you need to figure out how to make sure you have enough money each month to fulfill all of your obligations that you have just acknowledged in the monthly budget that you’ve created.

The old-school cash and envelopes system used to be pretty popular when most people were still using cash to pay for most things. The envelope system entailed making enough paper envelopes for every line item in your budget – ranging from rent/mortgage payments to entertainment funds and pet expenses.

With each paycheck, you would simply fill each envelope with the money for each monthly obligation. When the bill came due, you would take that amount out of the envelope in order to make a payment.

Luckily, this system can also be copied electronically in many modern banks. Because online banking is so popular and simple today, it’s preferable to most people to create an e-version of the envelope system. Find a bank that will allow you to set up a checking account where your paychecks can be deposited electronically. Next, look for a bank that gives you the ability to open unlimited (or at least enough to cover all of your different budget categories) savings accounts so that you can deposit portions of each paycheck into each monthly bill category.

Then, either manually or electronically (if your bank supports it), you can transfer the necessary funds for, say, your mortgage payment, when it comes due, right out of the mortgage savings account and into your checking account, and – VOILA! Pay the bill with the allotted funds!

Do you have interesting tips to share regarding budgeting and keeping on track financially? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments! If you’re interested in more ways to improve your finances, give Veitengruber Law a call so we can sit down with you to come up with a plan to raise your credit score.

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Improve Your Finances by Taking a Step-by-Step Approach

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As you are making your way along the path to financial freedom in 2013, Veitengruber Law has solutions to any complicated financial situation that you may be dealing with whether you are having trouble paying your mortgage, are dealing with steep credit card debt, or have a plethora of overdue utility bills. We can also help you collect on a debt that is owed to you or your business.

On the other hand, if your financial situation is relatively stable, in all probability you still have financial goals that you would like to meet. The advice we give our clients who are in a similar position is to make small changes to your everyday routine that can really make a significant difference by the end of the year. Put as many of the following tasks into action as possible, and be persistent about them. You won’t see a big difference right away, but if you persevere, a successful financial outlook is definitely on your horizon.

  1. Eliminate. Take a good inventory of everything that is currently cluttering up your home, garage and attic. Have a yard sale to make some profits from the things you simply no longer have a use for, or start up a small eBay side business.
  2. Create your own gifts. You can learn how to make all kinds of interesting consumable gifts like candles, bread, soap, etc. You’ll save money and since they are consumable, they won’t end up re-gifted or cluttering up someone’s home.
  3. Use coupons! Shop only one time per week to eliminate impulse buys and always check store sales to coordinate them with weekly coupons. Always take a list with you to the grocery store.
  4. Cut your own hair. This is actually a lot easier than it sounds. There are a lot of helpful YouTube videos on this topic, and you can even learn how to cut all of your family members’ hair for additional savings!
  5. Shop vintage. If you haven’t checked out vintage shops lately, put it on your priority list. Not only will shopping vintage save you a staggering amount of money, but vintage wear is actually in style right now.
  6. Start packing. Pack your lunch at least one time per week if you work outside of the home. Packing even more than once is ideal.
  7. Start a ‘no spending week’ experiment. This is a great way to put a little bit more money in your savings account. Pick one week every few months and don’t spend any money that week at all. This is aside from the cost of gas to get to and from work and any daycare expenses. Use up all of the food in your pantry and refrigerator. Entertain yourselves with books and movies you already own. Visit the library to stock up on books if you need more entertainment. You can intensify this experiment by even cutting out the cost of gas by biking to work or carpooling.
  8. Shop around for deals on car and home insurance.
  9. Get familiar with your library. Instead of renting a movie or stopping by Redbox on a Friday night, pick up a few movies from the library on your way home from work. Not only do they have a huge selection of awesome books, but you would be surprised at the movie selection available at most libraries these days.
  10. Stop and think. Never make an expensive purchase (unless it is absolutely necessary for your survival) without thinking about it for at least a month. Usually what happens is you will have forgotten about the unnecessary purchase by the end of the thinking period.

Look for more helpful money saving ideas right here at the Veitengruber Law blog next week. Please feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!