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Help Repairing Credit Doesn’t Have to Cost a Thing: 3 Free Places to Turn

December 6th, 2016 · Credit Repair

Help Repairing Credit Doesn’t Have to Cost a Thing 3 Free Places to Turn

One of the main reasons to go with DIY credit repair is because you can do it yourself for free. Of course, that’s not to say you won’t need help. But as long as you know where to look for help repairing credit, at least you won’t have to pay for it. Here are three free places to turn.

1) Our free DIY credit repair guide

We walk you through the process every step of the way:

  • Where to order your credit reports
  • How to analyze your credit reports
  • How to prepare your dispute letters
  • How to send your dispute letters
  • Documenting and organizing the process
  • And a whole lot more

Check out our free DIY credit repair guide.

2) Our free, friendly credit repair forum

At any point throughout the credit repair process, you may have questions you cannot find the answers to anywhere else. In that case, ask about it in our free credit repair forum. As you’ll quickly discover, it’s filled with friendly people who have been there, done that, so they know what they’re talking about and how to help. If you have a question, just ask.

3) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

If you find a mistake on your credit reports, you have the legal right to file a credit dispute. What you cannot control is the response. Fortunately, if the credit repair process does not resolve a listing on your credit reports that you believe to be inaccurate, you can submit a complaint to the CFPB.

One note of caution.

Before complaining to the CFPB, make sure you have exhausted every possibility for resolving the situation through the credit bureaus, the original creditor, or the debt collector. The CFPB can be an invaluable free credit repair resource, but only if you use them as a last resort.

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3 To-Do’s This National Tax Security Awareness Week [Dec 5-9, 2016]

December 5th, 2016 · Taxes

3 To-Do’s This National Tax Security Awareness Week [Dec 5-9, 2016]At a time when you need to be particularly protective of your personal information, the busy holiday and tax seasons can easily distract. So before you buy another gift online or get started on your 2016 taxes, make sure you’re protected across the board.

To that end, the IRS and its Security Summit partners urge you to participate in National Tax Security Awareness Week, December 5 through 9, 2016.

What can you do this week to better protect yourself?

1) Make sure you have good, up-to-date security software on your computer

If you’re not sure whether you already have updated antivirus protection on your computer, you probably don’t. Fortunately, it’s easy to get and you have plenty of options. In fact, you’ll be overwhelmed by all the options. So make it easier on yourself with PC Magazine’s picks for the best antivirus protection of the year – paid here, free here.

While free might be tempting, when it comes to protecting your computer from viruses, it’s probably worth an investment. I pay forty bucks a year for Webroot’s paid service and am happier with it than any other antivirus software I’ve ever used, in either the paid or free categories.

2) Make sure you’re using strong passwords

If you want to go old school with it, create your own using this guide to smart password creation. But if you want to make it easier on yourself, let a password manager do the work for you. They not only generate strong passwords for you, but store them and log you into your accounts automatically.

You’ll find both paid and free versions of password managers, too. In this case, I go with the Dashlane’s free option, which I’m pretty happy with. I also hear good things about LastPass.

3) Sign up for year-round credit monitoring

The closer an eye you keep on your credit reports, the sooner you may be able to detect identity theft. So as helpful as it is getting free reports once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com, you really do need to be monitoring things year-round.

Credit monitoring is another area in which you have both free and paid options. In this case, I recommend free across the board. Specifically, try Credit Karma and Credit.com, as together these two sites monitor your credit from all three of the major credit reporting bureaus, including your credit reports and scores. Read up on these and other free credit monitoring sites.

For more tips this National Tax Security Awareness Week, check out the IRS one-page reference guide, Security Awareness for Taxpayers.

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Year-End Credit Repair Checklist: 5 Things that Take 15 Minutes or Less

December 2nd, 2016 · Credit Repair

Year-End Credit Repair Checklist: 5 Things That Take 15 Minutes or LessIf you’re planning on repairing your credit in the New Year, you’ll thank yourself for getting a jumpstart on things today. Sure, December is a busy month, but nothing on this year-end credit repair checklist should take you more than 15 minutes. You’ll feel well ahead of the game come January 1st. Plus, focusing on improving your credit now serves as a good reminder for keeping excess holiday spending in check.

Year-End Credit Repair Checklist

1) Request your free credit reports from AnnualCreditReport.com

By law, you are entitled to see your credit reports for free every 12 months. So if it’s been more than a year since you’ve requested them, go to AnnualCreditReport.com. Be sure to request them from all three credit reporting bureaus. Learn more about AnnualCreditReport.com.

2) Sign up for free credit monitoring year-round

Once you start the credit repair process, it’s important to keep an eye on how your efforts are affecting your reports and scores. Since you can only see your reports for free through AnnualCreditReport.com once a year, you’ll need to find another source. You can pay for your reports (and scores) through the credit bureaus and myFICO.com, or you can sign up for free credit monitoring through sites like Credit Karma, Credit.com, Credit Sesame, and Quizzle.

3) Make an extra payment

If you carry a credit card balance from month to month, paying that down will go a long way toward improving your credit. Because the higher your balances, the more it’s hurting your credit score. Making extra payments here and there is a great way of chipping away at this debt. So instead of spending an extra $10 here or $20 there this holiday season, why not make an extra credit card payment instead?

4) Find out the statute of limitations on debt in your state

If you have collection agencies coming after you for old debt, make sure you’re still legally obligated to pay it. The statute of limitations varies by state, so look into it out before paying them a dime.

5) Check out our guide on DIY credit repair

There is nothing a credit repair company can do for you that you cannot do for yourself. Here’s how.

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