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 →


It looks like the government is finally getting serious about identity theft. A new law that goes into effect in September will make credit freezes free. A credit freeze effectively locks your credit file making it virtually impossible for your identity to be stolen. Historically, credit freezes carried a cost of $5 to $10, and another fee each time the report was 'thawed' (the process of unlocking the file when applying for a loan). The new law not only makes credit freezes and thaws free, it also requires that they be completed within one business day. Due to the cost... Read more →


If you have ever had a tax lien or civil judgment on your credit report you are among the millions of Americans that could see a significant jump in your credit score. Over the past several months the credit bureaus have been acting on a recommendation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to remove tax liens from credit reports. It is now being reported that the change has officially taken place and all tax liens have been removed from consumer credit files. Along with this change was also the decision to remove civil judgments. Another significant advancement involves medical bills.... Read more →


Many people use the first of the year to set goals for the coming year. Just like the ritual of changing your smoke alarm batteries when we change the clocks twice a year, the beginning of a new year is a great time to review your credit reports (by the way, there is no penalty or negative effect on your credit for checking your own report). Many people do not know that there is actually a federal law mandating that the credit bureaus provide a free copy of their credit file once per year. This does not involve a trial... Read more →


According to an article over at USA Today, a lot of American car buyers are doing it wrong. Car buying, that is. Specifically, the article, reflecting information gleaned from the popular automotive resource site Edmunds.com, points out that with the number of individuals financing their new rides for many years, but trading them in after just a couple, are doing themselves a distinct financial disservice. Perhaps the best reason to finance a car, rather than lease, is so that, at some point, you can drive a car that no longer has a financial obligation attached to it. You’ve heard those... 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... Read more →


* Trending - FREE Survival Gear (recommended By Jim Paris) - Click Here I am very excited about the evolution of the process involved with a consumer obtaining their credit reports and scores. It seems like just yesterday when the routine was to send off a letter making a request from each bureau directly, and then waiting two weeks or longer for the credit reports to arrive in the mail. Today, you can access your credit reports and scores through a wide variety of services, and you can do so online in just minutes. No, I am not making reference... Read more →


How To Rapidly Pay Off Student Loans And Reduce Payments

On this episode, student loan terminator Jan Miller joins Jim to discuss a wide variety of topics related to student loans. How to substantially reduce student loan payments and even qualify for student loan forgiveness. How to lock in your student loan interest rates, and even how to rehabilitate a loan that is in default. Practical ideas and solutions for anyone with a student loan debt (even co-signers). Read more →


By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large What you likely don’t consider is the possibility of your kids or grandkids becoming victims of ID theft. Why would they? They don’t really own anything, and they certainly don’t own the kinds of financial tools and assets…like credit cards and bank accounts…that are ripe for capture by nefarious people. Given that, you might be surprised to learn that children are over 50 times likelier to become victims of ID theft than adults, according to a Carnegie Mellon study. What makes kids such big targets for identity thieves is that they do... 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 →


Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large Credit monitoring and identity theft services are very popular, but the significant amount of marketing that goes into promoting them tends to give customers a false sense of security. Experts in the field roundly dismiss the utility of credit monitoring as a means by which to protect oneself from identity thieves with any real vigor, but the services remain exceedingly popular. This is not to say they are devoid of any value, but the problem is that because they lack the aforementioned vigor in protecting someone from having his credit breached by an... Read more →


What They Won't Tell You About Fixing Bad Credit

by Robert G. Yetman, Jr., Managing Editor, The James L. Paris Report One of the biggest mistakes people make when seeking to improve their credit scores is to focus on “fixing” the negative entries that stick out like sore thumbs on a credit report. At an intuitive level, it makes sense to try to mitigate the impact of such items by focusing on them directly…to try to settle old items in collections, or to even challenge the items repeatedly in hopes that they will eventually drop off the report. However, the reality is that negative items are not a good... Read more →


There is one topic that this blog can always rely on for a huge response from readers: Credit Repair. Major reforms have just taken place in the world of credit scoring, and it is about time. Let me make clear that all of this was the result of a settlement between the credit bureaus and regulators, chief among them the state of New York. Also brewing was federal legislation that would have contained some of the most sweeping reforms since the Fair Credit Reporting Act (1970). This was not (as it might appear to be) a purely magnanimous move on... Read more →