Most people have at one time or another gotten that phone call from a collection agency seeking payment on a past due account. The call may or may not have been preceded by collection letters. Tactics used by debt collectors run the gamut. Some are legitimate businesses following the law, and at the other end of the spectrum you have complete scammers. If you are in the unfortunate circumstance of owing a debt that you can't pay, you don't have to accept harassment. A cease communication letter may be a temporary solution until you have the necessary funds to pursue... Read more →


Former mortgage brokers James L. Paris and Robert G. Yetman, Jr. detail exactly how credit scores are calculated and how a consumer can quickly raise their score. The book is based on years of working with individual clients with credit situations as difficult as recent bankruptcies, foreclosures, and even IRS tax liens. Includes letters that can be used to dispute inaccurate information from a credit bureau report. Step by step information on what you need to do if you are currently attempting to get approved for a credit card, auto loan, or mortgage. Includes sources of no qualifying credit accounts... Read more →


Credit Sesame is a fantastic and free online service that provides consumers with a host of tools to manage and improve their finances. Unlike many similar sites, they do not offer a free trial which is followed up by a $10 per month charge - it is free and continues to be free without any strings attached. There is one feature, in particular, that I want draw your attention to, their credit scoring module. Not only do you gain access to your credit score, but they provide a great amount of detail which explains your score, and offers suggestions on... Read more →


Most tend to think of the problems with having poor credit in terms of the higher interest rates charged, or even the inability to be approved at all for a home or auto loan. As you may have heard, many employers nowadays make a review of your credit a standard feature of the screening process, as credit history has come to be seen…fairly or unfairly…as a measure of your personal integrity. This means that your checkered history can not only stand in the way between you and a competitive, money-saving interest rate, or approval to buy a “big ticket” item... Read more →


By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large Whenever we at Christian Money.com talk about credit cards, it’s typically in terms of the basics: what’s the interest rate, what are the fees, that kind of stuff. Also, we will often discuss credit cards as lines of credit that may or may not help your credit score, depending on how you’re using them. All of that said, there’s a good reminder out from Consumer Reports that using credit cards for retail purchases, as a matter of course, can provide you with extra benefits, in the form of various purchase protections not... Read more →


Will Greece Ignite A Worldwide Financial Collapse?

On this episode Jim digests and comments on the defeated Greek referendum and what it may mean to word financial markets. Also discussed is the financial collapse of Puerto Rico and the stock market in China. Is the rise in the value of Bitcoin connected to the situation in Greece? Jim also comments on a new smartphone app that can be used to steal your credit cards, and how bankruptcy courts are dealing with social media account. Read more →


$150 Roundtrip Flights - Jim Shares His Experience On Recent Travel Deal

Jim shares his experience flying on Allegiant Airlines this past week (roundtrip from Florida to Ohio for $150). New app monitors your credit cards for fraud, the dangers of writing a postdated check, Chicago school system considering bankruptcy, New York prisoner manhunt costing $1 million dollars per day, and Jim's recommendation on a great coupon website. Read more →


With the many protections in place today for cardholders, most people today don't worry all that much about a credit card falling into the wrong hands. The reality is, however, that being the victim of a credit card theft can represent much more than just an inconvenience. 7 Ways To Protect Yourself 1. Understand The Law - Never Share Your PIN Federal law limits your loss on a stolen credit card to a maximum of $50. Things get much more murky on debit cards, however. If you don't report the loss of a debit card within two business days you... Read more →


What To Do When You Can't Pay Your Bills It may be one of life's scariest moments. You realize that there are significantly more bills than you have money to pay them with. It might be the result of overspending for months or even years, on the other hand it could simply be the loss of a job and no emergency savings to fall back on. We don't seem to have much to offer people in such predicaments within the Christian community. Consider it tantamount to offering an exercise program or a cholesterol pill to someone having a heart attack.... Read more →


It may be one of life's scariest moments. You realize that there are significantly more bills than you have money to pay them with. It might be the result of overspending for months or even years, on the other hand it could simply be the loss of a job and no emergency savings to fall back on. The Next Six Week Christian Budget Workshop Is No Answer We don't seem to have much to offer people in such predicaments within the Christian community. Consider it tantamount to offering an exercise program or a cholesterol pill to someone having a heart... Read more →


Hackers recently infiltrated the computer network of Sony Pictures and posted online the Social Security numbers of Sylester Stallone, Conan O'Brien, and tens of thousands of current and former employees. We don't know if Rocky cried out, 'Adrian, Adrian, my identity has been stolen,' but it is likely that he uttered a few choice words. While some speculated that North Korea was behind the security breach, they have denied it (but can we believe them?). The working theory on the involvment of North Korea was that the breach was in retaliation for an upcoming comedy about Kim Jon Un. An... Read more →


These days, it’s hardly out of the ordinary for people to carry significant credit card balances. It’s not necessarily due to self-indulgent, carefree living or anything like that, but, rather, because of just how difficult it is to get by these days, in a world still characterized by economic malaise, to include rampant underemployment, which, in many respects, is worse than the outright unemployment problem plaguing the nation. One such person recently asked for my thoughts on just how to get out from under his burdensome credit card debt. His situation is not unusual: he’s a fellow with three cards,... Read more →


According to a study recently conducted by the Urban Institute, just over one-third of adult Americans with a credit file have a debt in collections. For purposes of this study, “debt in collections” refers to a non-mortgage debt/bill, like a credit card or utility bill, that is more than six months past due. Perhaps just as shockingly, according to this study, is that just over five percent of all Americans with a credit file has a credit report that reflects past due debt, which means they are between 30 and 180 days late on a non-mortgage payment. This data is... Read more →


I shared a graphic the other night on my live workshop on credit repair that I just had to make part of a blog post. If you understand what I am about to share with you, you will be in a position to very quickly raise your credit score. The chart above could not make it more clear that the real credit game is in the two largest slices of the credit scoring pie. 30% Debt Utilization Ratio Fancy term, right? But the idea is simple. On revolving accounts, points are added to your score by comparing the amount of... Read more →