Authorized Users: Credit Rebuilding The Easy Way!

One of the easiest ways to rebuild your credit profile is to become an authorized user on someone else's credit card who has much better credit than yourself and preferably a long credit history to go along with it.

The most common term for this procedure is called “piggybacking,” where the authorized user piggybacks onto the primary account holder’s Visa, MasterCard, department store or gas credit card. The primary account holder has sole responsibility for repayment of the debt.

Conversely, the authorized user bears no responsibility for the debt whatsoever. The primary purpose of becoming an authorized user is to rebuild or even establish ones credit from the sharing of the primary account holder’s good credit history.

Allowing someone to piggyback your credit profile helps them to build credit without the risk of their bad credit history affecting yours in any way. The authorized user will receive their own credit card in the mail without the need to actually use it because the account holder’s credit history for that particular credit card will automatically show up on the users’ credit profile.

If you would like to help a family member or friend to establish or rebuild credit, all you have to do is call the credit card issuer and request that they be added to your account as an authorized user and a card in their name will be mailed directly to you and it is completely up to you as to whether you decide to put the card in their hands or not.


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Do Credit Repair Companies Really Work?

One of the most common questions that I am asked on almost a weekly basis is: “Do credit repair companies really work?” Although I have already addressed this question in a previous post entitled: “The Credit People: Voted #1 For Affordable Credit Repair,” the ongoing questions about credit repair companies warrants me addressing the issue again.

Yes. Credit repair companies do in fact, work. Are there exceptions to this rule? Sure. There are bad companies in every field and the credit repair industry is no different. I know for a fact that there are several companies that will string you along for all eternity and give you very little in return on your investment but “The Credit People” is a different kind of company.

They truly have your best interest in mind. Their services are cheaper than the competition because they have a solid business model that is based on quality and quantity which is very rare in Corporate America. In my experiences with the company, you will always get more than what you pay for.

The bottom line is this… I’ve done the legwork for you. I have risked my own money by trying the service so that you don’t have to risk yours. So when I tell you that you will definitely get your money’s worth and more, I am putting my reputation on the line and I would never do that unless I truly believed in the company. I trust in “The Credit People” because I’ve witnessed firsthand what they have done for me and my credit reports. They will do the same for you!

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Jefferson Capitol "Fresh Start" MasterCard Program

Jefferson Capitol Systems, LLC is a collections agency that takes a new approach to collecting past due debt. Instead of calling and badgering the debtor for all eternity to pay back a debt, they have teamed up with Mid America Bank and Trust to offer you a new “Emblem” MasterCard, even though you defaulted on your old debt!

Here’s how it works. Jefferson Capitol sends you an offer in the mail that looks like your standard collection agency letter, but upon closer review, it’s actually an offer for new credit whereby the debtor is given a simple payment plan to pay off the original debt at a reduced rate and not some overinflated total that is 3 times the original amount owed like you receive from other collection agencies.

After paying just a small portion of the debt, you will be issued a new "unsecured" MasterCard with a credit limit that is equal to the remaining balance on your previously defaulted debt. This way, you can pay off your previous debt and start rebuilding your credit at the same time!

Once you have paid off your debt, Jefferson Capitol will remove the previous negative reporting from your credit reports and will only report your new “Emblem” MasterCard with a positive payment history, assuming that you make all your payments on time. It’s a win – win!

For all the bad news that you hear about collection agencies, it is very refreshing to know that a few of them, such as Jefferson Capitol Systems, LLC is actually willing to give the debtor a fresh start towards reestablishing new credit. 

If more collection agencies took a similar approach, unpaid debts could be greatly reduced in America. Sometimes, all people need is a second chance.

**Are your credit reports a little dinged up? I highly recommend "The Credit People." Read my full review here at: The Credit People: Voted #1 For Affordable Credit Repair.

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Santander: Voted #1 for Bad Credit Auto Loans

Securing a car loan with bad credit is hard enough but add in the current state of the economy and it gets even tougher. For the person with less than stellar credit, this generally means a large down payment or the need for a cosigner in order to get that new or used vehicle you’ve had your eye on.

“Santander Consumer USA” is a company that specializes in financing people with poor credit. They are typically known for buying bad auto loans from some of the larger, more popular finance companies and taking on the risks that come along with them.

Santander will generally finance you when other companies won’t. Be prepared to pay a higher interest rate though because they want to be compensated for taking a chance on a high risk buyer. This is understandable though as they are only trying to protect their interest. No pun intended.

Santander is also your best bet for auto loan refinancing if you would like to lower your current monthly payment by a couple hundred bucks. During the refinance process, most people are generally able to skip one to two payments before your first payment to Santander is due.

Should you decide to go with Santander I do offer a word of advice. Don’t ever be late on your car note because if you are, they will ring your phone off the hook like nobody’s business. If you’re being hounded by bill collectors now, then trust me, those calls will be nothing compared to the collections department from this company!

If for some reason you find it difficult to make a payment, Santander will work with you. If you are running short one month, they will allow you to make a partial payment which is generally one half of your regular car note. They will also defer up to two payments and tack them onto the backend of your loan if needed. If you’re still having trouble paying, they will offer to cut your loan payments in half for six months to allow you to get caught up on other bills.

Although I’ve never personally experienced this, I do know two friends who’ve gone right up to 90 days late without having their cars repossessed. A word of caution, though… Santander gets more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs once you approach 90 days past due, so it’s best to not push your luck!

Finally, a google search on the company will reveal a host of horror stories that make Stephen King novels look like children’s books in comparison but Santander seems to have cleaned up their act over the years and are a great option if you often find yourself living on the financial edge.

Student Loan Rehab Program

In today’s economy when things get a little tight and the bills come due, student loans, if you have one, are the first thing that most of us are willing to let go unpaid. Part of the reason is that our government is very lenient when it comes to paying back student loans.

They can afford to be lenient because they know they are going to get their money back one way or another, but if you should ever default on your student loans, they have this neat little thing called the “Student Loan Rehab Program.”

Once enrolled in the program, you are only required to make 9 consecutive payments without going 20 days past the due date and then you are eligible to have the remaining balance of your loan refinanced by a new lender and bring your loan out of default.

Once you are out of default, you are now entitled to all the same student loan benefits that you were entitled to before you defaulted on your original loan. This benefit is priceless when you consider that upon completion of the program, your credit score will improve in the process!


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Student Loans Never Die…Unless You Do First!

People always ask me if there is any way that they can get out of paying back their student loans and trust me, from having student loans myself, I’ve given it a lot of thought and have come up with 3 ways to get out of paying back a student loan and one of them is “death.” If you die, the loan goes away. Now, if you’re not quite ready to go that far to escape payment, there are two other ways.

The next way to avoid payment is to never work another day in your life. Or at least not for a legitimate company that pays your wages via W2 every year. You could just get paid under the table for the rest of your life. It may sound crazy but I know people who do this just to avoid paying off their debts.

The final way, although I would never recommend it, in theory, should work. Since student loans are one of the few loans that cannot be discharged through bankruptcy and are generally only forgiven by death, the only workaround is to charge all your student loan debt to credit cards and then file bankruptcy. And there’s your loophole!

Again, I would never recommend filing bankruptcy unless it was an absolute last choice with no other options. Having said that, for the many people who are several thousand dollars in standard debt and then owe several thousands more in student loan debt for themselves and or their children, this might be the way to go.


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Fingerhut: The Quickest Road to Credit Repair

Forget what you may have previously thought about Fingerhut. I am here to tell you that I too, used to think of Fingerhut as just another junk creditor that served no purpose other than to sell overpriced merchandise to anyone willing to pay for it… I was wrong.

After conducting several google searches, I found out that Fingerhut not only reports to all 3 major credit bureaus, but they also grant regular credit line increases as long as you pay just a little more than the minimum monthly payment due.

Sure, you pay a little more than you would if you purchased the same product at Target or Walmart, but Target and Walmart are not giving away free credit. Fingerhut will literally grant credit to anyone who asks for it. They will grant credit even if you don’t.

They generally send out free catalogs to just about anyone, much like those disks that AOL used to send out back in the day for cheap Internet access that mostly ended up being coasters for people already signed up for Cable or DSL.

Fingerhut will approve anyone and everyone and if you are responsible with your newly granted credit, Fingerhut will reward you handsomely for your loyalty. If for some strange reason you don’t receive a Fingerhut pre-approved credit offer in the mail, all you have to do is visit www.fingerhut.com and apply directly online.

The best part is that once you are a Fingerhut customer in good standing, you will then start to receive pre-approved offers from similar lesser known companies that also report to TransUnion, Equifax and Experian credit bureaus. When you’re trying to rebuild your credit, any creditor that reports to the 3 major credit bureaus will certainly help with that effort.

Wouldn’t you pay a tad bit more for merchandise if you knew it would lead to pre-approved credit offers from other companies that will help you to rebuild your credit? I know I would and I’m sure that you would to.

Fingerhut and other companies like it are small credit offerings but the value that they bring to your overall credit profile can be a huge factor towards getting approved for Visa, Mastercard, and department store cards down the line. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!


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The Credit People: Voted #1 For Affordable Credit Repair!

We’ve all heard stories from the media and businesses with an agenda that would like nothing more than to convince you that credit repair companies are a waste of time and money and do not work.  

They’ll tell you that credit repair is something that you can easily do yourself without spending tons of money hiring someone else to do it for you. You hear it so much from the media, credit bureaus and the like, that you become brainwashed into believing it just by sheer repetition. Now I'm going to tell you the truth.

Credit repair companies "DO" work!

The Credit People deleted 50% of the derogatory items from my Equifax credit report within the first 6 months. Items started falling off within the first 45 days. My TransUnion and Experian credit reports were also improved but not to the extent of my Equifax report. This is not a bad thing once you realize that each credit bureau is addressed separately and have their own criteria as to what they remove and when.  

The Credit People are so sure that they can help clean up your credit that they offer a 100%, no questions asked, money back guarantee if you do not see considerable improvement within the first 6 months of using their services! I promise you that you won’t find a better deal. 

Lastly, the link in this paragraph is an affiliate link, meaning that I get paid a referral fee for each new sign up. I do not charge for the information that I provide here but the money I make from referrals lets me know that my readers are appreciative of the hard work that I put into my weekly blog posts. If you decide to call "The Credit People" rather than signing up directly through the affiliate link in this paragraph, please supply them with this Affiliate ID: 12764. Thank you for your continued support!

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Mr. Number: Your 1st Line of Defense against Bill Collector Harassment

Over the past two weeks I did product reviews on Google Voice and Magic Jack. Two of my favorite services when it comes to taking back control of your phone and stopping bill collector harassment. Now I want to tell you about a neat and easy to operate Android app called Mr. Number.

Mr. Number has a simple interface but its features are very robust. This free app allows you to block both phone and text messages. When a call comes through that you have identified as someone you do not want to speak to, Mr. Number will automatically answer and hang up on the caller or send the caller straight to voicemail, depending on which option you choose.

I have tried just about every free call filter in the Google Play store and even a couple of paid ones, but Mr. Number beats them all hands down and it’s not even close! So if you’re tired of being harassed by unwanted callers, download Mr. Number today and watch your worries disappear.


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Magic Jack: The Best “As Seen on TV” Product That Money Can Buy!

Magic Jack is the best “As Seen on TV” product that money can buy. I’ve tried most of them but they’ve all failed me in some way, shape or fashion. Magic Jack was my last attempt to find something that actually lived up to its name and boy, did it!

Last week I blogged about how I used my Sprint cell phone service with Google Voice integration along with Magic Jack’s Internet phone service (VOIP) in order to assist me with screening incoming calls from bill collectors. The two products / services combined equals some of the strongest defense you could ever muster against stopping bill collector harassment while saving money at the same time.

Now, I must admit that I am a sucker for most "As Seen on TV" products that I later find out don’t work as good as advertised, but for some reason, after all the cheesy commercials, testimonials and hundreds of customer reviews for Magic Jack online, I felt it was worth giving it a go. I had a need, plus the price was right.

I opted for “Magic Jack Plus” because after the initial setup, there is no need to have a computer to make the device functional, plus I didn’t like the idea of the regular Magic Jack’s need to have the device plugged into my laptops side USB port 24/7. For a desktop PC this is not as big a deal as you can just plug Magic Jack into an available USB port on the back of your computer for out of sight, out of mind operation. Please note that a "Router" is required for usage without a computer. Otherwise, Magic Jack must be plugged into a computer at all times in order to function.

I ordered it online for $39.95 and when you consider that normal home phone service through the phone company costs anywhere from $27 to $45 a month for basic service, depending on the service provider and the city and state you live in, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this amounts to huge savings per year.

However, as I stated in last week’s article entitled: “Google Voice: Take Back Control of your Phone,” I have very poor cell service in my area and by very poor I mean “none” unless you count walking outside, standing in the backyard about 10 feet in front of the detached garage which is the only way I can get any type of cell service on the property. That is, as long as I stand in one spot, facing one direction while holding one leg up in the air! Not so bad in the summer but it’s definitely not the ideal situation for subzero temperatures during the winter.

Magic Jack is a “set it and forget it device.” Yep, I said it! Once I configure Google Voice, I then forward all incoming calls from my cell phone to my Vtech cordless home phone with Magic Jack and this allows me to make and receive calls from inside my house with my home phone, thereby bypassing my cell phones poor reception in my service area. My Sprint cell number stayed the same while incoming callers had no idea that I was not speaking on my cell.

Now, I must tell you that Magic Jack does have its occasional service hiccups. The calls are for the most part crystal clear but there are the occasional drops in service that seem to come from nowhere but this is very rare. When it happens, I just call the person back. No big deal. There is also a built in timer that will automatically disconnect the call after exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes with no warning whatsoever. Again, I just call the person right back and it’s no harm, no foul. Can this be annoying at times? Sure, but for the yearly savings it’s worth the occasional inconvenience.

Other than the initial purchase price of $39.95, the only other expense is a yearly fee of $29.95 at the time of this writing, which is considerably less than you’d pay for a full year of standard phone service through your local phone company. I don’t know about you but that’s a no brainer in my mind.

My “Magic Jack Plus” device is plugged into the wall behind the sofa and no one knows I’m using it unless I tell them. It comes with free caller ID, call waiting, voicemail, plus many more features including the ability to change your Magic Jack phone number at any time for just $10. This could come in handy should a bill collector ever get a hold of your phone number. You can choose any area code you like but for me it just made sense to use a local area code and number so that friends and family can reach me without having to dial long distance.

Magic Jack also has a cell phone app but I haven’t had much luck getting it to work as reliably as the PC version so I uninstalled it from my android device. Several reviews indicate that others have had better luck, so I know that it works for some. Magic Jack also has plans for a newer, wireless version but as of this writing it is not currently available.

So there you have it. If you’ve ever seen Magic Jack commercials and wondered if it really worked like they advertise on television, trust me, it works and you’d be hard pressed to find another device that gives you more bang for your buck in this economy or any other for that matter!


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Google Voice: Take Back Control Of Your Phone!

Are you tired of telemarketers and bill collectors ringing your phone at all hours of the day and night? Well, if you have a smartphone with Sprint as your cell phone service you’re in luck because they have united with Google to bring you Sprint with Google Voice integration. Just download the Google Voice software to your computer and smartphone, choose preferences to fit your needs and now you’re in complete control of all incoming calls.

Note: You don’t have to have Sprint to use Google Voice... it just simplifies things if you do.

Google Voice is loaded with great features such as the ability to have your cell phone number forwarded to an unlimited number of home, cell or business phones and have them all ring at the same time! This works great if you are in an area that has limited or no cell phone service such as in my home, where my cell will ring inside my home but if I answer I won’t be able to hear the caller, nor will the caller be able to hear me.

By having Google Voice forward calls from my cell to my Vtech wireless home phone that I use with "Magic Jack," whenever my cell rings, my home phone rings and I can pick up the phone and carry on a normal conversation just as if I were on my cell phone and the caller never knows the difference. An added benefit is that talking on my home phone is much more comfortable than talking on my cell for long conversations.

Google Voice offers all kinds of neat features such as the ability to screen callers by pressing 1 on your phone to listen to the caller’s name to decide if you want to answer or not. You can press 2 and send the caller straight to voicemail. Press 4 to record the call. Press * to answer the call on the fly while screening your voicemail. All of this is done behind the scenes while all the caller hears is the phone ringing just like any other outgoing call.

If those features are not enough to keep bill collectors off your back, how about the ability to block unwanted callers so that the next time someone calls from the same number they will hear: “The number you have reached is no longer in service…please check the number and try your call again.” For companies that use auto-dialers, sometimes this message will trigger an automatic removal of your phone number from their computer’s database!

I should also mention that as a Sprint smartphone customer there is no need to change your cell number. For those who don’t have Sprint as a carrier service, no worries. Google Voice is available to you too. In this case, you will need to get a separate Google Voice number but you will still be able to enjoy most of the same features that you would have if you had Sprint.

I can go on and on about what Google Voice has to offer but I think you get the picture. Below is a list of just a few of the features offered but the best one of all is that Google Voice is free!
  • Block Unwanted Callers
  • Conference Calls
  • Do Not Disturb Feature
  • FREE Google Voice Number
  • International Calling
  • Free Voice-mail
  • Port Your Number
  • Call Screening
  • SMS to email notification
  • Transfer Calls Between Phones
  • Visual Voice-mail
  • And So Much More!!
 Related Topic: Collections Most Wanted

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The Surprising Reason Why Debt Collectors Sue

You might be surprised to find out that with all the threats of lawsuits by debt collectors that the majority of lawsuits for unpaid debts under $2000 never come to fruition. The primary reason for this is cost.

Lawyers suing on behalf of the original creditor or a collection agency is in business to make money just like everyone else. They generally will not sue for amounts under $2000 because of the time and money involved in filing a case on a debt that is generally by this time, either barred by the statute of limitations (SOL) or is shaky at best.

The statute of limitations for debt is determined by the type of debt and also by the state where the debt was originated. In California for example, the SOL on credit card debt is 4 years after the last payment was made before delinquency. This means that once this time has passed, the debtor is no longer legally obligated to ever pay back the debt.

With that being said, there is no law against a lawyer suing over the debt anyway. Now, he or she will never win a judgment in the case as long as you respond, but they will sometimes file it with the courts in an attempt to scare you into settling on the debt to keep you from going to court knowing full well that the case would be immediately dismissed by the judge if they actually presented it.

Scandalous, right? Lawyers even have a nickname for it. It’s called “sue for settlement.” It’s just another form of scare tactics they use because they count on people not knowing their rights and they exploit that fact. The whole purpose of suing you is to get you to settle and pay something on a debt that you otherwise would legally have no obligation to pay.

If you simply answer the summons, more times than not, the lawsuit will be dismissed. If you do not answer the summons, the suing attorney can be granted a default judgment based on the fact that you never bothered to respond. Let me repeat. You MUST answer the summons even though the debt is beyond the statute of limitations. If you do not answer, the attorney suing on behalf of the plaintiff WILL be granted a default judgment and then it’s bye-bye money!

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Prepaid Legal Insurance: Your Best Defense Against Bill Collector Harassment

By now it should be of no surprise that some collection agencies are armed with legal representation. I suggest that you be armed and ready as well in order to mount a counter attack should debt collector harassment ever become so overwhelming that it pushes you towards your breaking point.

If debt collectors are a constant annoyance in your life, I highly recommend that you seek out the assistance of a prepaid legal service so you’ll be ready to fight back for little or no cost at all to initiate things like “cease and desist” letters to legally put debt collectors on notice that they are not to contact you other than to inform you of their intent to sue. However, most times, they just cease collection of the debt and sell it to the next collection agency.

There are several types of prepaid legal services available but I personally only know of two. There is ARAG which is the company that I currently subscribe to and then there is the more common known company called Legal Shield. Currently, ARAG® only offers legal and financial solutions through employers, organizations or associations. Legal Shield is open to everyone.

I have used ARAG on no less than 4 occasions including when I was recently sued and I have yet to be charged for 3 cease and desist letters to bill collectors and one defense of a summons I was served for non-payment of an old debt. In the case of the summons, I was given instructions on what form to file with the courts, along with a fully detailed outline of what to include in my answer to the summons. Oh, and did I mention that I won the case?

Legal Shield and others like it, is a nationwide network of attorneys that provide services for people in need of an on-call attorney for a variety of miscellaneous legal issues at a reduced legal network rate. In some cases, they provide 1 hour free services and often times there is no charge.

On one recent occasion I was quoted $450 for legal services from a non-network attorney until I remembered that I belonged to the ARAG prepaid legal plan. I called up ARAG and explained what I needed and I received 1 hour free legal services and the only thing I had to pay out of pocket was a $60 court filing fee! Now that’s some kind of savings!

ARAG charges single members just $9.95 a month for their services and I can happily say that it’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent. If debt collectors are going to be armed with legal representation, it would behoove you to arm yourself as well. I don’t use their services near as much as I should because I rarely let debt collectors get under my skin, but I still feel that I’ve gotten my money’s worth.

Legal Shield’s services start at around $17.00 a month depending on what state you live in. Not near the bargain as ARAG but in my opinion still worth it. You always have the option to shop around for similar prepaid legal plans from other companies where you may be able to find a better bargain.
 
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The Dirty Truth about the National Do Not Call Registry!

The National Do Not Call Registry (NDNCR) was established by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in June 2003. It is enforced by the FTC, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and state law enforcement officials.

The NDNCR was created to stop telemarketers from interrupting family dinners and annoying consumers who did not opt in to communication from telemarketers trying to pitch their products and services. Once you register your home or cell phone number with the NDNCR, telemarketers have 31 days from the day you register to stop calling you.

Now, here’s the rub… It doesn’t work. Although I have no personal experience with the NDNCR, I’ve heard nothing but complaints from numerous consumers over the years about how the NDNCR had failed them miserably. Not only did the calls from telemarketers not stop, they didn’t even slow down. Furthermore, debt collectors do not fall under the NDNCR… not that it would matter if they did!

The idea for this article was prompted by a recent Facebook post from a good friend and former co-worker when he posted about being awaken by a telemarketer despite being on the NDNCR. Now, my friend normally doesn’t complain very much but on this day he was hotter than cayenne peppers and he let all his friends know about it!

In short, if you find yourself being harassed by annoying telemarketers, don’t count on the National Do Not Call Registry to save the day. You’d be better off following the advice from a previous post entitled: Blow the whistle on Debt Collector Harassment!


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Blow the whistle on Debt Collector Harassment!

Debt collectors can be a pain in the ass. We all know that. In my early dealings with debt collectors I’d do like most people and ignore the calls, choosing to let them go straight to voicemail because it was just easier to avoid confrontation. It wasn’t until later that I decided that enough was enough. I would no longer fear answering my own phone.

I decided to face debt collectors head on and if I didn’t answer the phone when they initially called, I’d listen to the message to gauge their tone and then call them back for the details. I learned very quickly that I could use this information to mount my counter attack. The calls would start out civil enough but would inevitably take a turn for the worse the moment I told them the debt didn't belong to me. 

Even if I knew the debt was mine, the answer was always: “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” The reason for denial is because you never want to admit to the debt unless doing so will benefit you in some way. Otherwise, any admission of ownership can reset the clock on the statute of limitation for the debt if it is nearing or already expired.

If during your conversation you find that you’re being bombarded with idle threats and demands for immediate payment, don't fret. Just keep a brass whistle at the ready in order to blast their eardrums each time they speak. The calls will soon stop.

**Are your credit reports a little dinged up? I highly recommend "The Credit People." Read my full review here at: The Credit People: Voted #1 For Affordable Credit Repair.

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666: The Mark of the Debt Collector

I don’t know any debt collectors personally, but if you were to shave their heads I wouldn’t be surprised if you found three six’s hidden there. Collection agencies will use any means necessary to harass, bully and intimidate if they think they can shake a penny out of you.

Banished from elitist society, debt collectors are damned to roam the earth and torture debtors throughout all eternity. They have no concept of reasoning because they have no soul. Save your excuses for not paying up, because they will fall upon deaf ears.

If you answer your phone, they’ll terrorize you. There’s no escaping. You can try to hold them off as long as you can but eventually, they’ll start contacting your family and friends. They are relentless in their pursuit…Like modern day terminators. They will not stop until they get their hands on your money.

Only the most experienced debtors have any chance of defeating the beast. There are ways to mount a counter attack but they do not come without risks; however, if you are willing to seek guidance and serve faithfully, you can bring the beast to its knees. You need only call out his name and your savior will appear.


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Good Bill Collector, Bad Bill Collector!

You’ve seen it on prime time police dramas before where one cop comes into the interrogation room and lays into the suspect like a windmill in a tornado in order to shake a confession out of the suspect. When that fails, they send in the other cop who takes an approach of caring and concern for the suspect in order to gain their trust only to coax them into confessing to the crime. Yep. The ol’ good cop, bad cop, routine.

Well, you might be surprised to know that bill collectors use the same technique to loosen the pockets of unsuspecting debtors. First, they have the tough, hard-nosed bill collector speak to you who does everything in his power to break you down and shake you up. When that doesn’t work, they put the nice guy on the phone to calm your nerves and settle you down and hopefully make you feel comfortable enough to pay the debt you owe.

The point I’m trying to make is to stand your ground and don’t let any bill collector talk you into paying a dime unless it benefits you in some way. Remember, you have what they want and therefore hold all the cards. Their idle threats and scare tactics are just that…scare tactics. They get paid on commission and earn bonuses for collecting the most money. There are documented incidents of some collection agencies holding contests between themselves to see who can make a customer cry first!!!

I’ve heard every threat you can imagine but I didn’t budge. When I did decide to pay them it was on my terms and I made sure I got something out of it by having them agree “in writing” to remove the negative reporting from all 3 credit bureau profiles in exchange for me paying off the debt. This technique is called “Pay For Delete” or “PFD”, which I will explain in more detail in a future post. If you can’t wait that long, just send me a message and I will forward you a sample “PFD” letter that I have used in the past to successfully negotiate a payment on my terms, not theirs!

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The Payday Loan Shuffle!

Payday loans are the financial equivalent of a death trap! Before you know it, they’ve multiplied around town like jackrabbits! Multiple payday loans are a lot of work. By the time you get finished running around town paying them off and then borrowing again, you find yourself taking a lunch break between them because it takes up half your damn day! My buddies and I came up with a term for this phenomenon. We call it “The Shuffle.”

The term “Shuffle” came about from the fact that a person has to shuffle all over town every 2 weeks to payback and re-borrow payday loans. The reality is that once you get your first payday loan you’ll most likely end up with 3 or more before too long. Payday loans are easy enough to get into but hard as hell to get out of.

The shuffle does not come without at least some self-perception of embarrassment or shame. Every time you leave your house to start the shuffle, you find yourself hoping you don’t run into any of your friends or co-workers as you enter or exit the shuffle location. It’s not uncommon to park your car around the corner and walk half a block to the shuffle as to not have your car seen parked right outside the shuffle. Either real or imagined, the shame of having been caught up in the shuffle is still there.

On some days you’ll see a person ahead of you in line at one location and then by the time you get to your next shuffle, you’ll see that same person as they are trying to wrap up their own damn shuffles. Sometimes you’ll acknowledge each other but most times you just go in and try to keep your head down.

Multiple shuffles will eventually turn into a financial nightmare and the only way you’ll be able to wake up from it is to “burn” them all at once by closing your bank account so they can’t collect their money via electronic funds transfer (EFT) when payday rolls around. Now you’re forced to open another checking account at a new bank before the shuffle place reports you to “Check Systems.”

Oh, and don’t forget about the cute girl that works in the shuffle location that you’d love to ask out if not for the fact that you’re in there shuffling every other damn week and it just wouldn’t feel right asking her on a date. But let’s play it out…

Me: Hello Kathy…I was wondering if I could take you out to lunch sometime?

Kathy: Well, I would but I’m always working and with me studying for my masters I really don’t have a lot of free time to hangout, but thank you though.

Translation: Dude, you’re here borrowing money every other damn week. How in the hell can you afford to take me out?

You can see how this probably wouldn’t go over too well.

Part of the problem is that payday loans are everywhere you turn these days. Where I live there must be at least 15 of them within about a 2 mile stretch of road on either side of the street, so the temptation is there. Luckily for me, I’ve managed to break the cycle and get out the shuffle but it was not easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Take it from me. Avoid the shuffle at all costs. It’s too much work and it’s just not worth it.

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