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  • The Balanced Approach to Credit Repair

    The following is a post from Jenna Smith. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this post.

    There are two basic camps when it comes to credit repair: those who insist that it can be done relatively quickly if you just follow specific steps and those who insist that it can take months or even years to truly improve your score and history. They are both right. Confused about how two opposing ideas can both be right?

    Fast and Slow at the Same Time? What?

    Here is the truth about your credit: a variety of criteria are used to evaluate your credit worthiness. Some of those things can be changed relatively quickly (within thirty days or so) and others take more time. For example: fixing mistakes can be done in a few minutes and those changes are applied to your report within a month. Disputing debts on your report takes a little longer. Building up a lengthy history of steady debt management can take years.

    So where does that leave you?

    “Just keep in mind that there are no magic fixes in the credit world,” Lexington Law reminds us. “Credit repair done right takes patience, persistence, and an understanding of how your credit score is calculated.”

    So if you are like most busy parents, the first thing you need to do is figure out where to start. That sounds redundant but you would be surprised at how many people decide that the first thing they need to do, when they want to get their credit under control, is start calling their credit card companies and begging for lower interest rates or raised limits. This is not your starting point.

    Your starting point is getting a copy of your credit report and seeing exactly what is on it.

    To do this, you need to officially request your report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. You’re allowed to get one free copy of your report every twelve months. It’s possible to make these requests to each agency individually, but you’ll save time if you use AnnualCreditReport.com. It’s linked to all three agencies and makes it easy for you to toggle between them as you request, download and examine your reports.

    Understand that you are not going to be given your current credit score along with these reports. The major agencies charge for that. Typically the fee is relatively low, but make sure you understand what you’re buying before you click “pay now.” You don’t want to accidentally sign up for a year of credit monitoring.

    That’s a lot of information! What do I do once I have it?

    There are two courses you can take once you are ready to get serious about your credit repair. You can make time to work on your reports every night—time for reporting errors, sending verification letters, etc. Or, if like most busy parents, you’re already operating on a time deficit each day, you can hire someone to work on your credit repair for you.

    Finding someone to take on this duty is going to be difficult. There are dozens of companies that promise you a quick or even an overnight fix. It is important not to be taken in by these “too good to be true” offers. A good credit repair agency can help you fix errors, reduce debt and improve your credit report over time, not overnight.

    There are, of course, other details that demand your attention. For example: should you settle some debts? Should you consolidate debts? For now, though, focus on what you can do and then take each next step as it comes. You can set up your next bill payments today (even minimum due payments are better than skipping). You can start putting together a household budget. You can research bill payment services so that you don’t have to worry about forgetting due dates. Once you start looking, you’ll be amazed at how much work you can do right now to help get your credit history in better shape for the future.

    Recalled: Youth Bicycles

    If you think you have the following item(s), click through to the CPSC press release for more details:

    Dynacraft Recalls Avigo Youth Bicycles Due to Fall Hazard – Click through for additional photos.

    recalled bike

    Stay on top of recalls by signing up for recall notifications by email at the CPSC web site.

    Evening Roundup: Recyclebank points, $3/$35 Ralphs coupon & More

    Evening Roundup includes the best of the latest coupons, deals, and info I think you may find interesting. Prices and deals can change at any time so be sure to verify them before making your purchase. Please note this post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for using them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    Recyclebank: Get 25 points each when you complete the Just Chillin’ and See the Forest for the Trees activities

    Ralphs Facebook page: Digital coupon for $3 off a $35 purchase

    Totally Target: How to merge Facebook and email Target Cartwheel accounts

    Printable Coupons: Coupon for $1 off a sandwich at Togo’s

    For the Mommas: Free Five Star folders at Rite Aid

    Hip2Save: Cheap highlighters at Staples

    The Kitchn: 10 foods you shouldn’t throw away


    Banner ad via Escalate Media Network

    Morning Coffee: 54% off Cuisinart blender/chopper, Free soda at Target & More

    Morning Coffee is published daily and includes the best of the latest coupons, deals, and info I think you may find interesting. Prices and deals can change at any time so be sure to verify them before making your purchase. Please note this post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for using them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    ~ Amazon: Cuisinart SmartPower 15-Piece Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System for just $59.95 when you clip the $10 off coupon located right under the pricing info {list price $130; 4 stars in 963 reviews}

    ~ New Coupons.com printables:

    ~ New SavingStar offer for $0.50/1 Little Debbie product

    ~ Macys: $10 off $25+ purchase coupon

    ~ Passion for Savings: Cheap school supplies from Staples

    ~ Hip2Save: Possible free Zevia soda at Target after Ibotta rebate

    ~ Wild for Wags: Plum Organics baby pouches for $0.83 each


    Banner ad via Escalate Media Network

    Morning Coffee: 40%+ off Nerf, 126 new coupons & More

    Morning Coffee is published daily and includes the best of the latest coupons, deals, and info I think you may find interesting. Prices and deals can change at any time so be sure to verify them before making your purchase. Please note this post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for using them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    ~ Today’s Gold Box Deal of the Day: 40% or more off select Nerf Blasters, Super Soakers, and Sports Toys {prices start at $6.99}

    ~ 126 NEW Coupons.com printables, including:

    ~ SavingStar: Lots of new offers, including 20% back WYB loose bananas

    ~ Hip2Save: Free sample of Crest 3D White Strips available again

    ~ Parent Hacks: New way to sanitize wooden toys


    Banner ad via Escalate Media Network

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