Perhaps you don’t feel you have any reason to believe your credit report is anything but clean and shiny. Or, you know for a fact that it’s quite tarnished and have decided ignorance is bliss. Or, maybe you are somewhere in between but just don’t understand why it’s worth checking anyway. Maybe you think, “even if there are mistakes on my credit report, what can I do about it anyway?”
Regardless of which of those scenarios, or any others, you may fall into, there is something you need to know – and believe. A bad credit report can impact you in more ways than you can imagine. You probably figure you won’t be able to get loans easily if you have a bad credit score. However, you also will have trouble getting a job, an apartment and even insurance because almost everyone checks credit reports these days.
Therefore, it’s important you know that your credit report does matter and that you can make corrections if there are mistakes. If your report is tarnished because of your own doing, you can take steps to repair your credit that will make a big difference going forward.
Knowledge is power. Here is some advice to help you avoid costly mistakes.
1. Check your credit reports. You don’t have to pay for an annual credit check. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877.322.8228. If there are errors on the report, you can correct them by visiting the website of the credit agency that is showing the error. The national credit agencies are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
2. If you are being hounded by collection agencies and find out you have been sued, don’t ignore court dates. Failure to appear means the creditor will win the judgment against you. Judgments remain on credit reports for 20 years and the judge can order your wages to be garnished, as well.
Instead, you can appear in court (you can bring a lawyer) and possibly negotiate terms with the creditor. If you truly don’t owe the money and can prove it to the judge, you can get the case thrown out.
3. There are statute of limitations on debts. If the expiration deadline on the debt has expired, you don’t have to pay it. This doesn’t mean the creditor won’t try to collect it. Therefore, be mindful of dates. If someone is asking for a debt you incurred a long time ago, check the dates. If the deadline has passed, don’t make any payments! If you do, the clock restarts.
One last tip, avoid dealing with companies who will charge you to negotiate your debt. Instead, speak with a skilled lawyer who can discuss alternatives to bankruptcy and represent you with creditors to legally settle or negotiate your debt.
Contact Joel R. Spivack Esq. about your personal financial situation. He will discuss your options and guide you through whichever process is most appropriate. If necessary, he will represent you in our personal bankruptcy. Call today or a free consultation about your debt.