Frequently Asked Questions
Consumer Debt Relief Frequently Asked Questions
Consumer Credit Basics
Convenience – Credit cards are a widely accepted form of payment and relatively safe versus cash or checks.
Leverage – If you are not satisfied with a product purchase using a credit card, you normally have the option of canceling and refusing payment.
Interest free loan – Most credit cards have about a 25 day period where no interest is paid on the balance.
Emergency Spending – Credit cards provide a ready source of credit for unexpected expenses.
Expense Tracking – Your credit card purchase are monthly summarized for your review and budgeting.
A secured credit card means that a security deposit has been set up to guarantee payments using the credit card. The amount of your security deposit is the credit limit for the secured credit card. This type of card is used by those that need to establish a credit history of consistent, on-time account credit payments.
When you default on a loan to fail to make timely payments or follow other terms of the loan. When a borrower fails to make any payments due, it is referred to as a monetary default. When a borrower fails to follow through on any other terms of the debt, it is referred to as a covenant default.
Bankruptcy is the term that describes the legal court process a person must go through to relieve the debts they are unable to pay their creditors.
Credit bureaus do no approve loans. Your perspective loan lender can request from the credit bureau your credit report to review as part of the application process. Credit bureaus do not make lending decisions. They collect consumer credit data to produce credit reports.
A lien holder is an institution, like a bank, that has the right to take and hold or sell the property of a debtor as security or payment on a debt or loan borrowed from them.
Debt consolidation is the process of combining multiple debts into one larger debt that can often lower payments and interest rates.
APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate, a term normally used with consumer loans. An APR includes the costs associated with obtaining the loan: interest rate, points, origination fee that you will be paying annually. The APR is used a means of comparison with like loan products.
Consumer Credit is simply the ability for a consumer to be able to borrow money in order to purchase a product or service. Borrowed money can take many forms, such as credit cards for product purchases. a student loan, a personal loan, car loan or home mortgage.
Most likely your credit report has errors.
The Federal Trade Commission reported in a study conducted in 2012 that 26% of the credit reports they analyzed had errors. Of those with errors, 5% who disputed these errors increased their credit scores at least 25 points. That is a significant change in a credit score.
You should not assume that your credit reports are completely accurate.
No. Your credit report is independent of your spouse. The same is true of your credit scores. However…
A lender will likely take into consideration both of your credit reports when deciding on a home mortgage, for example. If your credit report is bad and your spouse’s good you may find that the loan, if approved, has a higher interest rate than if both were good.
It certainly can. Many employers will do a credit check of a potential employee to determine the stability of the job candidate. For job positions that entail financial responsibility, it is most likely you would experience a credit report check.
This means that the issuer of the credit card has verified with a credit bureau that you meet its credit criteria and has pre-approved you as a quality candidate for its product.
However you will still need to apply in order to actually receive a new credit card. You may or may not be accepted once you have formally applied.
There is a saying: “Everything in life is negotiable.” That also applies to your credit card interest rate.
If you have been consistently making on-time payments on your credit card for a period of time, it is worth a call to your credit card issuer to see if they can reduce the interest rate. It is a competitive market and it might be worth your card issuer to reduce the APR to not lose your business. If not, you might want to take advantage of an offer from another card issuer, since it is a competitive market.
Also you can consider opening a balance transfer credit card, with a lower interest rate, to move your existing credit card balance to the new card. You need to make sure that the balance transfer card, after the customary promotional period, offer you a competitive APR.
Credit cards offer much more protection against theft and fraud for online purchases. In case of a buyer dispute, the funds have already left your bank account. That is not the case if you use a credit card.
Keep your debit card for local purchases, when it is more convenient than carrying lots of cash. Use your credit card for online electronic payments.