Especially in this tough economy, you want to protect your credit.
When the economy is in tough shape, lenders and business people and employers are more careful about what is on your credit
history. Businesses of all sorts want to cut their exposure to risk, and they are more likely to check your credit history
first before doing business with you. Employers are more likely to check your credit files now. So, here are some
ways you can maintain and improve your credit scores including legal and debt negotiation services in case you have problems
of your own making.
THE MEDIATOR LAW GROUP WILL NEGOTIATE WITH
BANKS, CREDIT CARD COMPANIES, HOSPITALS
Update April 24, 2014
There are many companies and organizations that will help you deal with your debt. Some will set up payment plans and
some will negotiate with your creditors. Some will offer counseling and some will help your file for bankruptcy if they
determine that bankruptcy is your best option. Many of these organizations charge fees and some will want you to pay
an upfront charge, or monthly fees.
But the Mediator Law Group is differentbecause
it is a consumer protection law firm and because it is a real law firm they not only can negotiate with your creditors, but
they can also represent you in court if necessary. The Mediator Law Group offers a free consultation, and if they take
on your debt case and will charge you nothing -- no fees -- until they get you results. That means they have a "contingency
fee structure" which means you pay nothing up-front.
The Mediator Law Group
will give you a free consultation. Call them if you have credit card debt of $10,000 or more. They can help you
get a fresh start. Sometimes they will help with filing a bankruptcy case and other times they can negotiate payments
with creditors so that you can avoid bankruptcy.
In some cases, the Mediator Law
Group can actually sue your creditors because the creditors violated laws about debt collection (FDCPA). They use
their knowledge to give you additional negotiating power to resolve your debts. Our Best Buys TV Show report is
below and in it you will hear about consumers who did not have to file for bankruptcy to settle their debts.
ASK YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANY ABOUT AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS
Update February 6, 2012 If you are making regular payments on a credit card ask the credit
card company if they have a program for automatic payments direct from your checking account that will also lower your interest
rate. Some credit card companies have programs to help their customers pay down their debt faster. In some of
these programs, you allow the credit card company to set up automatic payments from your checking account for a set amount
each month (usually the minimum payment amount or a bit more) and your interest rate is lowered. This deal gets you
a lower interest rate and a faster pay-down of your balance, and also gives the credit card company some assurance that you
won't default on your debt.
Sometimes a credit card company will contact you about
this option. But you can call and ask them. I've heard of interest rates being reduced as much as 7-percentage
points under these automatic payment plans.
TIPS TO HELP YOU IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE
July 25, 2011 Here are some tips to improve your credit score. You should revisit this page every few months
to be sure you are on track.
Pay your bills on time. If you have missed payments, get current and stay current. The longer
you pay your bills on time, the better your credit score. (Paying off a collection account will not remove it from your credit report and it will stay
on your report for seven years.)
balances low on credit cards and other “revolving credit”.
Pay off debt rather than moving it around. Shuffling debt from
one credit account to another will not help you. Don't close unused credit cards as a short-term strategy to raise your
score-- open but unused credit accounts might actually help your score. Don't open a number of new credit cards that
you don't need, because each new account might hurt your score.
If you have been managing credit for a short time, don't open a lot of new accounts too rapidly because new
accounts will lower your average account age, which can look risky if you are a new credit user.
What You Post On The Web Can Hurt You...
Update July 25, 2011 A couple of years ago, I wrote an article here about
an interesting conversation I had with a software consultant who works for several big financial companies.
His job was to set up software that will "crawl" the Internet looking for information that could affect the
clients of the financial firms. Well, everything he told me a couple of years ago has come true.
The discussion a couple of years ago was about online social sites
such as Facebook and MySpace and YouTube and even Internet newsgroups and discussion groups. He told me that the
financial industry was working on software that will crawl or read through these sites, compile data about the individuals
who use these sites, and then financial companies would be able to use this data to determine if they want to do business
with certain clients who show up in these social networking web sites.
In other words, he told me then,
what you post in MySpace or on YouTube or on Facebook could be read by banks and mortgage companies and stockbrokers and based
on what you post they could decide if you might be a bad risk for a loan or a business relationship.
And why not?
These same companies, he told me several years ago, use your credit file to determine if they want to do business with
you or grant you a loan, or even if they will hire you-- so why not use anything linked to your identify that shows up on
a social networking site such as Facebook or YouTube or MySpace.
And as our conversation evolved back
then, it became clear that these banks and financial services companies might also subscribe to dating web sites
to see what you say to lure the opposite sex: do you brag about high roller trips to Vegas or Atlantic City or do you boast
about your upscale tastes for diamonds and jewelry and furs -- it could all come back to haunt you.
I saw an interesting
public service announcement on TV -- where a bus driver and others were recognizing a young school girl and commenting about
her pictures posted on the web. The message of the public service announce (the PSA) was to be careful about what you
post online because the whole world can see it. Well, the message is not just about photos, it applies to all sorts
of data and information about you as a consumer, as an employee, and as a citizen. It really can all come back to haunt
These kinds of software systems are in place and are now being used by banks and stockbrokers and mortgage
companies so they can search the world wide web for information about you-- about what you like to buy and how you spend your
money, and where you shop, and what your tastes are. Just like they can search your credit files today. And all
of this information can be used to decide just what kind of a "credit risk" or "employment risk" you are.
CONTROL YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
Update June 1, 2011 Everybody asks for
your social security number -- from your bank to the veterinarian you use to treat your pet. Every time you give out
your social security number, you increase your risk of identity theft. This is why Congress and the White House and
the Federal Trade Commission are now considering legislation that will limit who can ask for and who can use your social security
number for their business.
I think that controlling access to consumers'
social security numbers is a good idea. I don't think my dentist or my pet's veterinarian need my social security number.
So, until federal laws are passed restricting the use of social security numbers, I urge you to ask "why?"
You can say to Fido's vet, "really, do you need my social security number? Isn't
my MasterCard account number what you really need?"
comes to banks and mutual funds and stockbrokers there is no question that they need my social security number. But
when everyone is asking for it, you know there must be other businesses who can find another way to keep track of their customers.
What's wrong with a list of customers' last names?
A STRATEGY FOR YOUR CREDIT CARDS NOW
Cuts by the Federal Reserve have lowered rates on home equity loans, personal loans and even plastic.
Your best investment now is to pay down your credit card debt first.
If you are paying 20%, then paying off your plastic will immediately give you a return of 20% on
your money. You can't get those kind of returns anywhere else. Do not close credit lines, as that can lower your
credit score. Banks are cutting credit lines and while there is no way to prevent this from
happening if your credit card account is active and in good standing with on time
payments then you might escape the bank's credit line axe.
Here on our new media website "Moneyman" Alan Mendelson who is the original Best Deals TV Show reporter
on KCAL9 and consumer advocate, shows you the best deals on TV, and the best buys, bargains and where savvy shoppers
go to save, and how to get the most for "your money" with the best of Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County,
Riverside County and San Bernardino County. Some content on www.alanbestbuys.com is paid advertising. The Best Buys TV Show is a paid infomercial program which may also include news and information
which is not sponsored or paid for by advertisers.