Why Is Co-Signing Dangerous?

Good intentions can ruin you financially.

People who are looking for someone to co-sign a loan for them often look for the nicest, sweetest, and gentlest person they know well.  If you have been asked to co-sign for a loan, congratulations on being one of the nicest people in the world.  But, now it is time to do the right thing.

No matter how long and tragic story their story is, you need to remember that co-signing a loan is dangerous.

Why Is Co-Signing Dangerous?

  • The lending conditions are a high risk: If someone is trying to get you to co-sign with them, it is because they could not get a loan from a bank or other financial institution.  This means that those organizations consider this person too high of a borrowing risk.  When someone cannot get out of debt they are a credit risk.  If you look at how much money credit card companies are willing to extend to people, I take it as a very bad sign when a bank says someone is not lender worthy.  I would not lend to someone who is not eligible for a bank loan.  Best case scenario, I might point them in the direction of Lending Club, but depending on the situation, that could cause more damage than help. › Continue reading
Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 Credit No Comments

The Credit Card Act

The Credit Card Act which stands for the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 went into effect yesterday Monday, February 22, 2010, one year after its enactment.

Here are the highlights of the credit card law:

Limited interest rate hikes: Interest rate hikes on existing balances would be allowed only under limited conditions, such as when a promotional rate ends, there is a variable rate or if the cardholder makes a late payment. Interest rates on new transactions can increase only after the first year. Significant changes in terms on accounts cannot occur without 45 days’ advance notice of the change.

Limited universal default: “Universal default,” the practice of raising interest rates on customers based on their payment records with other unrelated credit issuers (such as utility companies and other creditors), would end for existing credit card balances. Card issuers would still be allowed to use universal default on future credit card balances if they give at least 45 days’ advance notice of the change. › Continue reading

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 Credit No Comments

How to Improve Your Credit Score

If you are like most American consumers, you think about your credit score every time you need to open a credit card, or make a major purchase such as a home or vehicle. However, you may also be of the mindset that you are better off not knowing what your credit score is, just in case the news is bad.

 No News Is Bad News

As far as your credit score is concerned, staying in the dark is always the worst option. In fact, the more you know about your credit, the better off you will be. In many cases, consumers find mistakes on their credit reports, due to the huge amount of information that is sent to credit reporting agencies from a wide variety of providers, there are bound to be a few glitches in the system – and you would not want that happening to you. There have even been cases of mistaken identities, as in another name and credit history pops up instead of your own! This is something you absolutely want to avoid and get cleared up as soon as possible. So, remember, step one to improving your score is knowing your score. › Continue reading

Thursday, February 11th, 2010 Credit No Comments

More consumers just say no to credit cards

Emily Maddox, 24, of Knoxville, Tenn., is the kind of customer credit card companies covet. She has a good job as an Internet marketing coordinator, and she lives within her means. But she’s never had a credit card, and she has no plans to apply for one.

Credit cards, she says, “make me really nervous, and I’ve never felt comfortable having one.”

In a country where the average consumer owns five credit cards, Maddox may seem somewhat quaint, like an Amish farmer who drives a horse-drawn buggy. But proponents of a no-credit-card lifestyle say there’s nothing old-fashioned about their choices. And they’re convinced that their numbers will grow as consumers become increasingly disenchanted with credit card industry practices.

Credit card usage is slowing. Revolving credit — largely made up of credit card debt — fell by nearly 20% in November, the largest drop on record, according to the Federal Reserve, reflecting less borrowing by consumers and banks’ tighter lending standards. Through October, the number of new credit card accounts was down 46% from the same period in 2008, according to Equifax.

CREDIT CARDS: helps you find the one that fits you best › Continue reading

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 Credit No Comments

Credit repair agencies (the good and the bad)

If you are in the difficult position of having a less than desirable credit score, some of the commercials and ads for credit repair agencies may have piqued your interest. You may think a credit repair agency is the only option, especially if you have gone through a bankruptcy or feel that your spending habits are out of control and you do not know how to get a handle on them. If that is the case, you may feel going to a third party for help may be the best option. But is it always the right choice? It really depends on where you go for help.

 Who Needs a Credit Repair Agency and Why?

 The first thing to be aware of is that even if you have bad credit, you do not need a credit repair agency to begin the process of improving your score. It is something you can do all on your own as long as you have the right information. This is because the Fair Credit Reporting Act ensures that citizens have the right to know their credit score and be able to see what kind of information is being used to arrive at the score. For example, you may find that there is inaccurate information contained in your credit report, which you are then allowed to have corrected by notifying the appropriate reporting agency. › Continue reading

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 Credit No Comments