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I agree that Christians should pay the debts that they owe, if they can. Can we all accept the reality that collection agencies and old debt are not quite so clear cut? I just love the Christian financial seminars that quote the appropriate Scriptures (the wicked borrow and do not pay back) and tell you to cower in fear and pay exactly what a debt collector tells you to (if you are a real Christian after all...). No, that is not the advice of Jim Paris. I believe that the debt collection industry is one of the most evil of... Read more →

Many of you know that I love Credit Karma and have written about their service in this blog in the past. Not only does the site provide your credit score for free, they also provide free credit monitoring. Most people don't fully grasp what I mean by free when referencing this service. NO, this is not a free trial that begins charging you after 30 days. It is actually free on an ongoing basis. My wife and I have both signed up for Credit Karma and it works just as advertised. In fact, I got a notification just the other... Read more →

Did you know that there is no mechanism within the credit reporting industry to link a credit report to a person's age? That was just one of the major lessons I learned while researching this article. What this means is that a Social Security number of a child can be just as valuable as that of an adult to an identity thief. I was also shocked to learn that one in ten children in the United States are victims of identity theft. Many States Are Now Enacting Laws To Deal With Child ID Theft There are a wide array of... Read more →

Does It Ever Make Sense To Hire A Credit Repair Firm?

Let's face it, credit repair is complicated and it also takes time. Most other tasks that include these two components are regularly hired out to professionals, but why not credit repair? Well, it all has to do with a conspiracy (yep, another conspiracy theory) between the three major credit bureaus and our federal government. Back in the 1990's one of the businesses I owned was a credit repair service and we did a lot of good for people. I can remember that at any one point time we would have at least 20 to 30 active files we were working... Read more →

Medical Credit Cards - A Bad Idea Gets Worse

A new kind of credit card is making its debut and at an unlikely place; your medical provider's office. They are called medical credit cards and are offered through the offices of doctors, dentists, and other niche medical providers. The idea is that if a patient is short on cash, the provider can arrange for financing through a third party. This way the provider is paid, the patient receives the treatment they need, and payments can be made over time. It all sounds good, right? Many of these medical finance programs also offer a zero percent interest for a short... Read more →

How Corporate America Tracks Your Medical and Banking History

The Medical Information Bureau and ChexSystems are two entities you have likely never heard of. These organizations are tracking your banking and medical history, and it is more important than ever that you gain access to your files. The Medical Information Bureau Think of the MIB as sort of a credit bureau for your medical history. The MIB also falls under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and this means that they have the same responsibility as a credit bureau for maintaining accurate information in your file. The MIB claims to only maintain a file on about 15 to 20 percent... Read more →

Most people have become thoroughly annoyed with so called 'free credit' report offers. Virtually all of these offers require your credit card number and enrollment in a 'trial membership.' If you don't remember to cancel, you end up taking on yet another monthly obligation (about $10 to $15 monthly). A couple of years ago I wrote an article on how to get your credit report for free without a trial membership. Today I am going to take things a step further and share with you a couple of ways to get your credit score and credit monitoring for free (again... Read more →

If you are trying to live on a budget (and we all should be), the process may be easier today than ever due to technology. Yes, I am sure there are those that swear by the old fashioned budget on a yellow pad and keeping cash in categorical envelopes, but your budget can enter the 21st century with today's new tools. I was surprised to find several absolutely free online budgeting systems and thought this would be a great topic for an article. One fact to consider, however, is that for most people the combination of car payments and mortgage... Read more →

You may consider it odd, but Dave Ramsey and I have both been writing and speaking on the topic of Christian finance for more than twenty years, but until ten days ago we had never met. I received a personal e mail from Dave a few weeks ago inviting me to visit his offices in Nashville and get an inside look at his operation. There is a very funny backstory here that I must share to give context to our meeting. Dave had become aware of some negative blog posts about him and the blogger had a very similar website... Read more →

New Fee For Credit Card Users Begins Nationwide Rollout

As part of a settlement reached this past summer between merchants and Visa/MasterCard, consumers may now be charged more when paying with a credit card. The change went into effect this week and will only apply in cases where a credit card is used. Those using debit cards will not be affected. States That Still Prohibit Checkout Fees For Credit Card Users California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Texas How Much Will It Cost You? The amount that can be added to your bill can not be more than what the merchant is actually paying for... Read more →

Peer To Peer Lending - Providing New Options To Borrowers And Investors

Peer To Peer Lending (P2P) is a new and unique way for individuals to borrow money and for investors to earn superior returns to CD's, savings accounts, and government bonds. An individual seeking a loan fills out an application at a P2P lending site such as Lending Club, Prosper, or Peerform. If their credit is approved, the loan is then funded by a group of investors. Based on the credit profile of the borrower, the interest rate will then be determined. Investors can receive returns from 5 -13 percent. Although the concept has been around for at least six years,... Read more →

Jim discusses the release of his new book, How To Pray For A Financial Miracle. What should you do when you are facing a financial crisis? Jim shares his own story of becoming a millionaire by age thirty and bankrupt by age forty. Read first hand the prayer method that Jim used to not only resolve his financial problems, but also what he believe saved his life. The paperback and Kindle version are both available for purchase through Read more →

Secured Credit Cards - The Magic Bullet For Raising Your Credit Score

Many Americans have had a very bumpy financial ride through what is now being called, "The Great Recession." One of the casualties many have faced is a bruised credit score. Whether you actually had a foreclosure, or simply went through a loan modification, chances are your credit score was affected. Even a few late credit card payments can destroy years of good credit management. There is a great tool that I have recommended for years that can be used to quickly rebuild damaged credit. This is how I restored my own credit after bankruptcy. I learned very quickly, that even... Read more →