Immediately, go on-line and pull her credit report from all 3! It’s free, do not pay for anything. Look for fraud!

There is one other possibility, most people are unaware that SS numbers are reissued after the death of someone. So if someone had an untimely death at an early age and had really screwed up credit, it could bleed into someone else’s like your daughters.

I have not personally run into this with credit, but I have with security clearances. Can you imagine me looking at a 19 year old in 1991 and tell him he has a rap sheet for armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglaries, etc committed in 1953,54, & 55? Sounds comical , but this has happened numerous times.

So, anyway, the first thing you should do, today, is check all 3 credit reports.

Are Credit Bureaus beyond lawsuits for knowingly publishing erroneous information? I do not believe so. If they cannot prove you lived at a particular address, I think they have to remove it by law. Keep asking for a supervisor until you find someone who cares. Push come to shove, check with a lawyer or the state bar.

If you are going to try to keep your credit rating good. A credit relief company will not achieve that. You have to be at least 3-6 months behind on payments before credit card companies will negotiate and many of the debt relief companies have outragous fees that are hidden in the fine print or they are so disorganized that you end up worse off.

It’s my two cents that if you can, get a second job for a couple months, have a garage sale, sacrifice going to the movies or out to eat for a few months and throw every dime towards your debt.

You will be teaching your kiddos the valuable lesson of when we get into messes, sometimes we have to work extra hard to clean it up. Even better, the lesson that debt hurts.

Good luck to you!

Credit report

Hi everyone, I have a question involving my DD who is almost 19. She is trying to establish a good credit rating with just the very basics but it seems she already has problems before even getting started.

She has had a savings account for many years that we had opened for her. Recently she attempted to open a checking account and was told the information she provided didn’t match what was on file and couldn’t open an account at this time. We both just kind of sat there looking stupid for a minute going ……..”huh”. What exactly does that mean?

Also she applied for a small credit card from Capital One and was approved it seemed like but 3 days after she received her card she got a phone call from them(on a Saturday to boot) asking her about several different addresses (2 which we lived at in the past 20 years, 1 where her grandparents lived- raising her dad, and uncles- for 30 years before retiring and 2 we have never heard of). Now they tell her her account has been suspended pending verification because AGAIN her information doesn’t match what is shown on file ! She has to contact the SSA Monday AND go to any bank and submit her ID for verification for Capital One !!!

What in the world is going on?! She hasn’t even started and she is running into so many problems she is really upset and so am I !!!! What can she do? Thanks for any input and helpful advice.

My sister had this happen to her at 16 when she got her driver’s license.

1) Is your daughter’s name similar to any of your relatives?
2) As in my sister’s case, the driver’s office here recycles driver’s license numbers. So the person who previously had her number wrote hot checks so my sister couldn’t write a check. She had to go to all the credit bureaus to get it straigtened out.

It’s worth checking into… Read your note. That’s the credit reporting bureaus for you. Their word is Law. I have the same problem, them having two additional address for me, that I have never lived at, one state I have never even been to. I phoned them and there was not a thing I could do to get it changed, even after writing a letter to the bureau.

Hope you find an answer for your daughter.

Credit cards Credit score

Earlier we were having a discussion about using debit cards for things like hotels and rented cars. As luck (bad) would have it I had to rent a car from Enterprise and stay in a hotel. Enterprise pulled out $300 “deposit” for a $26 rental and the hotel took out $100 in addition to the price of the hotel room.

This is ridiculous and I wish the government would look into this one. I’m using a card that they can determine immediately whether I can pay it or not whereas someone with a credit card (especially American Express) may never be able to pay the bill.

I just read an article about this very thing today in a Reader’s Digest issue. It is probably at your local library (recent issue) if you want to read it. Article is entitled Debit Card Dirty Tricks or something close to that.

Look what Dave Ramsey says:

It mentions that the HOLD companies, gas stations, car rental places, hotels, etc. put on your debit card can cause you to bounce checks, incur very expensive fees and the way that Debit cards are set up vs. Credit cards, you are SOL re: fees and charges unles the bank / credit unions wants to reverse the fees charged.

You are correct on this matter. I went To Chicago for training and my company put me up in a hotel. My boss used his corporate card to pay for my hotel room and for my train ride but when I checked into the hotel they needed my personal credit card/debit card to put a hold on it for any incidentals. They did make me aware of what they were doing but I was not aware they would do this until I checked in. Luckily they released the hold the day I check out.

I was told it may take 5-7 days for the money to go back into my account. I blame the hotel on this and will be writing a letter soon.

Hotels, gas stations, etc. are well known for placing a block or HOLD on your amount debited. They are notorious for doing it. You get shafted when they do it and you have other things that you need to buy.

I am working on figuring out how much cash I need from one pay to the next, so I can visit our local bank/credit union and get it out on payday and eliminate the need for using the DEBIT card. We got socked with several fees and it really ate up a lot of money really, really fast.

I was reading in the same publication that you should use a credit card (not a debit) when you are traveling, renting a car, booking a hotel because of this HOLD thing going on. Then, use CASH for your meals and gas, to avoid dings to your account.

Credit cards

I have a mortgage with $115,000 due at 6.3 percent. I can pay it off but do not know if i should. what is the rule of thumb in doing that and what are the tax implications. i am new here and not astute financially. thanks.

How are you financially with everything else? How are you paying this off? Do you have an emergency fund set up? Just curious. You must have discipline to pay this off. If you can pay it off and take your mortgage payment and invest it. I would set it up to automatically be taken out and put into an IRA or ROTH IRA, then I would pay it off immediately.

Remember, now that you won’t have the write off, you will have to pay taxes at the end of the year, so prepare for that. The amount of taxes that you will pay will be a lot less than the interest you were paying on the loan, so you will still be ahead of the game! Great going! I have a mortgage with $115,000 due at 6.3 percent. I can pay it off but do not know if i should. what is the rule of thumb in doing that and what are the tax implications.

You must have some idea of what you’re doing. I’d love to be able to pay off my mortgage (about $140K). If I had that money, I’d pay it off today.

Hi! I do believe the interest on a mortgage can be claimed on taxes. [(Disclaimer: I am not a tax expert. Consult your tax preparer for more details.) I put that in there because I got yelled at once about “false information” yatta yatta.] It also helps build credit. I would keep the mortgage and just pay a little extra off each month.

Especially if you are planning for retirement. Just have it paid off by then is what I’d do. Also maybe put some improvements into the house instead. Just in case you decide to move when you are in retirement. It would be like banking the money. Anyway, those are mainly just my thoughts.

Depending on the terms left in the mortgage, he could be paying twice the mortgage (or more) by the time it’s paid off. Instead, pay off the mortgage and put the money earmarked for payments in a tax-free interest fund. I thought the point of this group is to reduce debt.

I agree paying off debt is important…but if you dont have things in place before that you could be like alot of retirees who have paid for houses with no money..Thats why reverse mortgages are so popular with older folks..And reverse mortgages are a rip off.. You have to be smart in everything you do. Also thats’ why Dave Ramsey doesnt have the house being paid off until step #6. read more here –

Paying OFF your mortgage is always better than taking the tax benefit. All you have to do to see this is figure out how much you are actually writing off at tax time, subtract that from what you’ve paid over the course of the year in mortgage payments and you’ll see that you are paying a bank money just to have some tax benefit.

I would suggest paying it off and if you are concerned about tax benefits, put more money into your 401K or IRA. Or, you could always use that extra money to buy yourself a rental home and increase your income. Just make sure that you can cover mortgage, taxes, and insurance on that next home.

I stick with my original response. If I could get rid of $140K in debt by paying off my mortgage this afternoon, I would do it. Dave Ramsey can afford to give any advice he wishes. He’s worth millions.

Loans Mortgage Taxes

Hello everyone, I joined in hopes of some advice, I am 50,000 dollars in debt for various reasons and I have really good credit. The problem is I can no longer carry this burden around. Not getting the balance down because as soon as extra money comes in something else happens. I am thinking of joining Freedom Debt Relief they supposed to settle debts. or bankruptcy. I just don’t know what to do. As of right now my bills are current but I have been off from work for the last six weeks for surgery and exhausted my vacation time. Just can’t deal with it over my head. I have three children and I want to be better for them and teach them but how can I start over?

Most bankruptcy lawyers will give you a free consultation. Why not check into that and explain your situation. Sometimes the fresh start one can get from bankruptcy protection is the best solution. You must put yourself and your family first. Once you are back on your feet you can repay creditors if you choose, but you under no legal obligation to once your case is discharged. Everyone can start over again… one day at a time!

I know how you feel. My husband and I have been carrying around the same amount of debt as you are and we were keeping current on things and had really good credit, but this past winter my husband’s job slowed extremely down where he took almost a 50% paycut and we just couldn’t keep up with the minimum payments. Our good credit went down the tubes rather fast and we are now filing bankruptcy. Honestly even if my husband’s job wouldn’t have slowed down, I wish we would have looked into bankruptcy along time ago.

Even though we were staying current on the bills, we were never getting ahead. We were making the minimum payments only to turn around and use the credit card and quick cash loans (from trusted and well-known websites like ErgLoans) to buy food, gas, etc… Because all of the money was spent on the payments. It was a vicious cycle and we were never going to get anywhere at that rate. With how far we got in the hole, I feel that 20 years from now if we would have kept the way we were going we would have probably been living the same exact way that we were because I just never could see an end to the debt.

At least this way with filing for bankruptcy we are getting a fresh start. Granted we will have a harder time buying a larger home down the road and purchasing cars with decent interest rates, but to me I’m willing to deal with that in order to get out from this heavy amount of debt that we have been carrying for so many years. The debt was consuming me and my life and it was just time to move forward. I can’t really advise you on what route is best for you. Just know you’re not alone Good luck with your decision.

Bankruptcy Big debt

Paying the lower interest rate and paying the card off sooner sounds great. What’s the catch though? CC companies do not do such things out of kindness. What’s in it for them? If you are late what happens? Do you go back to the 32% or penalty rates/fees/etc.?

I ask because life happens. You could lose hours or something else could come up and you not make the payments.

Also, in order for it to work, you should keep making the larger payments that you are currently making, even with a new lower interst rate, so your debt goes away faster.

Look with eyes wide open before jumping on this.

you may also want to be sure there is no annual fee, or introductory fee? etc…

Credit cards

I’m Jane and I joined this blog just a bit ago. I’ve read a lot of the messages and am pleased with how helpful members seem to be. Here’s a little about my situation, my story if you will.

My husband and I don’t have any current debt right now – no house payments as we lost our house in foreclosure very recently, no car payments, and no credit cards. However, we both have old debt on our credit reports totaling about $15,000. Some of that is debts that have been charged off.

This summer I’ll have a few thousand dollars that I could put toward those debts but I don’t know the best way to handle it. The money won’t be enough to pay ALL the old stuff but it could make a dent in it. But we also need to save some of the money.

Keep in mind that we only have about $1100 saved right now, DH owns a 6 month old business with a wildly varying income, and I work retail for slightly above minimum wage, with hours being cut. And soon we will have to find another place to live.

One of the things that stumps me is that I’ve read that once I pay one or two of the creditors I’ll be contacted by the others wanting their money, too. But I simply can’t pay them all at one time, not even if they were willing to take payments.

Should I wait until I have the money later this year then contact a few of the creditors and pay them in full? Should I disregard them and save the money? If I pay off a few will the others come after me?

What would YOU do?

Hi Jane, welcome to the group,. I think if your in a position where you have to find a place to live soon, I wouldn’t be paying any of that outstanding debt yet. When you get comfortable and move and living arrangements are all set, your income coming in is going fine and your paying your bills..

then I would continue to pay some of the debt.

Just curious how much debt total do you have and how many creditors do you have to pay? What I would do then is call each creditor and offer them half of what you owe and tell them this is all you have but you would be willing to pay it to settle with them. If it’s been a while since they have received any money, I bet they take it. Now the key is if they accept it you need to have it in writing and have them send you the debt settlement letter accepting the terms. Don’t give them any electronic access or personal information. All you need is to have it in writing and make a copy of it. CC companies will settle with people if they know at least they get paid something.

I think you have some leverage in this situation.

And if they don’t accept it, tell them thanks for their time and maybe call them back again a couple months later and try again. Just try to save up about half of what you owe and then start trying to settle with them. You’ll be surprised at what they will take. Thats what I would do…Its worth a shot to see what will happen and take care of the debt. Good luck!!!

I appreciate your input!

Our total debt is about $15,000 and nothing has been paid on any of it in several years. Again, part of that $15,000 is charge offs. As for how many creditors, hmmm, maybe 20 or 25. Most of the debts are small – there are just a lot of them.

You’re probably right that we need to concern ourselves with first things first then worry about the debt. Thanks for the information!

I can give a little input, this is what I’d do; once you are in a position to start paying on your debt.

  • Create a table or spreadsheet
  • list all your debtors/creditors accounts
  • list the date of first delinquency reported on each account
  • if you haven’t paid on some of the bills in close to 6-7 years, leave them alone. You don’t want to wake them up.

The newer ones you can write them a debt validation (or investigation) letter if they validate send them a payment plan letter, you can offer to pay as little as $5-10 per debt, whatever your budget allows.

others can tell you additional rules such as which ones to pay extra on by the amount of percentage, etc…

Getting out of debt

Hi everyone. I am a married mother of one, I work full time and I also receive some disabilty from the military. I am in tons of debt (credit cards, auto loans, personal loans, car loans, tax debt, medical bills, store credit, etc, ect). Almost everything is in collections and I’m so afraid to answer my phone, it’s making me physically ill. I am seriously considering bankruptcy because I don’t see how I can ever pay off the debt I have AND pay my bills and household expenses. Any advise? I have the only income in the house (about $51000.00 before taxes). I hope I’m not giving too much info and I hope I’ve given enough. I am SO in need of guidance that it is rediculous. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Any help or advise is appreciated and wanted. Thank you in advance.

Can you do me a favor and give me a break down of your budget, just to see where you are at every month? You have great income for the month, so just curious where it is all going for each bill?

Maybe we can give you some advice and head you in the right direction… Let us know ASAP!!! That’s what we’re here for. Just list the balance and minimum payment for each bill, including your fixed bills like mortgage/rent, utilities, car ins…etc… Would love to help you and see what best options you have ok???

I cant remember if I responded to you before or not…One thing Ive realized is that it probably took years to get in the predicament that you are in, and it will take you years to get out of it. You said you are married? Sit down with one another and lay all your bills out and see where you are at with money coming in and money going out! Begin to plan a budget….Look at paying the most important things, electricity, gas, necessities first…

Getting out of debt

I joined the blog after the initial part of this discussion. We have a ARM that matures in May. Can ya explain what my options are for reducing debt? I.e.: refinance with fixed rate (will do if I have to, hate the appraisal process- ill and house needs cleaning and fixing up, would have to hire someone- will do it if necess- but wondered what my other options are). What steps would I need to Take? Thanks for any help.

mortgage loanFYI, when you refinance, the cleanliness of a house is not an issue in the appraisal.. They are taking the location value, structural value into account. They are assuming that you will clean if you sell. So don’t worry about the appraisal.

If you are planning to stay in your home, I would Re-fi to a fixed rate mortgage. I would contact your current lender about your intentions and see if they have a reasonable low fee re-fi option. You may want to check how often your loan will adjust. With the lowering of interest rates by the Fed, it may not be a huge hardship when it does adjust. Is there a reason you went with an adjustable rate to begin with? Are you in a home you can’t afford? If that is the case, you may need to do those repairs needed and get out of the house.

As for the appraisal process, unless you have a huge hole in your roof, sagging gutters or a green swimming pool, I would not be too concerned about the appraisal. If your home is generally in the same condition it was when you purchased, it should appraise out fine. Appraisals are based on comparable home sales in your area, size of your home and upgrades lastly into the equation. I would clean up and fix up for your own satisfaction and piece of mind, not because you are having your house appraised. A lot of times on re-fis, lenders may only do a “drive by” appraisal and may not even come inside your home.

Your house should be suitably clean. Otherwise the appraiser might think you’ve ignored the needed repairs of your house that aren’t visible. As long as it doesn’t look like you’re the proud owner of a garbage dump, you should do just fine. Because housing prices are going way down, there is a possibility of your house appraising for less than you owe. I’m not sure of your situation, but if this is the case, you won’t be able to refinance, without putting up the difference. You can always call your bank and tell them your situation and maybe they will work with you. I have heard of some bank programs helping get people into more traditional loans in cases like these. So I would suggest just calling or meeting someone at your bank.

Also, I am a licensed Realtor and even though I don’t do appraisals, I am familiar with the process. They do not give your house a value based on any repairs that you need to make. Now if your house is falling apart and it’s very noticable, it may have an ill effect on the way they appraise it. But it is usually based on location, square footage, year built and size of lot.

I missed the original question here, but I am a RE Appraiser. And will offer any information I can. Right now the way most mortgage companies I am working with require appraisers to list any necessary repairs at the time of the inspection. Most maintenance items, minor items do not count. If there is damage (rotten wood, peeling paint, missing flooring, etc) these items are supposed to be listed with a cost to cure. From what I have seen, if the cost to cure is under 5% of the total value of the home, no adjustments are made and the mortgage company does not ‘require’ these things to be done – I’m sure each bank/lender has their own method.

The market I am working in is good, still increasing for the most part, but I work with some national companies and know the market is not the same else where. Yes appraisals are based on location/lot, price per square foot, age, amenities, etc. Also most mortgage companies require the comparables to be closed sales with the past 6 months (12 max) and under one mile in proximity (and that changes based on how populated the area is).

I would refinance to a fixed rate if you can. An arm that matures can double or go even higher in most cases. Its either that or have your payment skyrocket up…Can you afford a payment double the amount of what your paying now? Pretty much the only option you have is get a fixed loan or pay off the loan in cash.

which I doubt you can do. My suggestion if you pick a fixed rate and you can afford it is get a 15 year fixed if you can.. Good luck!! MIke

Loans Mortgage

I did a google search on the terms you used in your post, “Debit Card Dirty Tricks”. And found some interesting reading. The first post comes from the UK and give free information to become aware of credit card company tricks. The next post comes from the US and offers to give the same information, in exchange for purchasing a book that gives you information you can get free from the internet. The third post writes about things to watch out for when using cards at the gas pump.

debit cardsIt is amazing that debit cards do these things. It does not surprise me. Banks are constantly AGAINST the consumer, but all the while encourage us to use the DEBIT cards, use CREDIT cards, get paid via DIRECT DEPOSIT, then don’t let you have your money right away. They set up loans so they get paid first, no matter what else is happening in your life. Make it a paperwork hassle to stop a direct deposit if something comes up. And it goes on and on and on.

We are going back to CASH. No DEBIT cards (banks made over $1 Billion “With a B”) in fees from “courtesy” overdraft fees last year alone encouraging people to use these things. We don’t use CREDIT cards either. Doing our best to rid them from our lives.

Thanks for the info. Everyone should be aware.

Another thing – the way that banks do withdrawls before deposits, causing your account to run up additional fees. Or clearing checks in the highest amounts first, then the lowest, so you incur additional fees. Even if you are $0.01 over, it can cost you a fee of $20-40 depending on your bank/credit union. More credit unions operate like banks these days anyhow. Much less “consumer oriented” if you ask me.

My response to this is to fight back! I am in a very tight financial situation right now and expect to have some NSF fees. I am going to ask my banks to WAIVE them! It costs NOTHING to try. And go to the banks executive offices or file complaints with bbb’s too. I find this strategy quite effective.

Нou know, it actually costs me more to extract cash out of my bank than to use debit cards- they charge nothing for debit card use, not sure what these “tricks” are people are talking about, but to get cash you either have to pay an ATM fee or a “teller” fee.

Good luck everyone! Not all banks charge a fee to get your money out. Mine does not as long as I use their atms or their tellers.

This is really a matter of knowing what you are doing and knowing how much you have in your account, and not going over that.

Credit cards


My question is how will paying charge offs that are on my credit report affect my credit score? Some of these charge offs are as old as four years. I would like to know if paying them off or settling worth it at this point, since it has been so long. If paying them off will increase my credit score, how long after making the payment before I will see the increase in my score? Thanks for all response in advance.

Depends on the age of the debt also don’t pay it completely off without an agreement with the company that they will delete the account from your credit reports. If you pay off the accounts without an agreement it will reflect negatively on your credit report for up to 7 years.

my sister made the mistake of doing that through consumer credit counseling. All her accounts have 0 balance but her FICO is still low because the accounts show that #1 – she was in a debt management program which is a RED FLAG, and #2 – they are updated as account settled or something like that. So it’s still a negative account. You need the accounts either REMOVED or shown as “Paid as Agreed”ю

you can also send the creditors on the credit report a letter basically saying, this is X number of years old, would you please remove? And usually if it is 4 years or older, they will remove it, because they don’t have the info on it any longer.

Credit score

I was wondering if any of you ever heard of the “credit repair” people that says they can help repair your credit for x amount of dollars. Is that a scam or is it possible?

It’s possible, but it’s nothing you can’t do yourself. So, it’s a scam!! The only thing that can help repair credit is start paying on time, reduce your debt, debt to income ratio, etc… There is no magic cure for improving debt trust me…

Another thing that may help your credit depending on your situation is filing for bankruptcy. Most people don’t realize it, but filing for bankruptcy can actually help your credit, especially over time. It gives a lot of people a fresh start.

it only works if the bill is paid off, but you can do it your self. Go to google and they will give you work sheets to send to the creditor and the credit bureau disputing the problem. It’s cheaper to do it your self

Therefore, don’t waste your money. if you have money to pay them, put it on your bills. i had a mortgage broker advise me to use one and it is a waste of time and money. you can contest information yourself with the credit bureau or spend that money on your own bills to reduce them. please don’t fall into the trap and waste that i did all for nothing, it did NOT improve my credit scores.

Credit score

I don’t know why but I haven’t been using coupons and decided it was about time I start again! I thought I had heard of a website that keeps track of the deals at different stores and tells you when to use your coupons to get the best deal. Does anyone know what I’m talking about or did I just make this up in my head??

couponIt could be which is a paid site.

There’s also groceryguide (not active now) and

There are probably others out there but those are three you might look into.

Website you pay to join:

Actually I think there are several that do this. Some cost money (