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More News on FreeCreditReport.com…

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OK, OK, I really need to stop beating this dead horse, but in case you needed another reason to not use credit monitoring agencies, here’s another:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/08/your-money/credit-scores/08credit.html

Not only has freecreditreport.com had to pay two hefty legal settlements over the last five years, they are now dancing around new FTC regulations.

The FTC wrote new rules for companies that offered ‘free credit reports’. Websites are required to include a prominent notice across the top of the screen that directs consumers to annualcreditreport.com for truly free credit reports.

Not surprisingly, FreeCreditReport.com decided to start charging $1 for the report to avoid the requirement to put the disclaimer across the top and explained the new charge by saying, ‘due to federally imposed restrictions, it is no longer feasible for us to provide you with a free Experian credit report.’

Really?

Dear FreeCreditReport.com,

How stupid do you think we are?


New Credit Card Regulations? No Reason to Rejoice.

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I was excited to hear about the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. I thought it would finally give people trying to reduce debt, a real chance at making headway.

Silly optimistic me.

NBC reports new ways credit card companies can sneakily get around the rules and find ways to make paying off debt more difficult.

It’s up to us to keep up with the game.

Read the article here: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/business/ConsumerMan__Have_a_credit_card__Read_this-85107382.html


Time to check that credit report…

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Every four months, I check my credit report from one of the three credit reporting agencies. Consumers are entitled to one free report from each agency per year – and I’m not one to let ‘free’ go to waste.

This month: Experian

I discovered the credit reporting agencies are getting a little sneaky. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to navigate these sites to find the free reports. Be careful where you click!


Year in Review…

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I like to spend a little time on the last day of each year and reflect on what I’ve learned.

1. When you pay off credit cards and car loans, banks turn into the very worst version of your mother. They write sappy love notes telling you how much you are missed and wouldn’t it be nice if you’d care to spend the holidays with them?

2. It’s never too early to start teaching children about the perils of debt – but constantly singing ‘If you’re happy and debt free clap your hands’ to your six month old nephew may annoy his mother.

3. It was somehow possible to lower my already sub-par vacationing standards. I went from ‘Motel 4 type establishments’ to ‘tents with 25 cent showers’ – and it wasn’t bad!

4. Marrying my best friend and celebrating five years of wedded bliss was the best decision I ever made – well…other than the decision to wear clean underwear in case of an emergency.

5. Blog readers are awesome, supportive, and helpful. Thanks for helping me grow.

6. I’ve had more than my fair share of laughter and joy. Regardless of the numbers on my bank statement, the interest rate of my mortgage, or drama of life, my family and friends are unchanging. I am a very lucky girl.

Please be safe tonight. Save money, stay home.


Great News for Credit Card Borrowers…

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Over the weekend, you may have received a letter from your credit card company about the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Fact-Sheet-Reforms-to-Protect-American-Credit-Card-Holders/). My bank sent me a list of the changes and included the effective date – February 2010. This Act was signed by the Obama Administration in May of this year, but I forgot about it until now.

This change to policy will be helpful to borrowers who struggle to make payments on time and suffer rising interest rates. It also forces credit card companies to apply payments to the debt with the higher interest rate first rather than pay off the teaser rate. I am hoping this will finally give those who find themselves continually stuck in the cycle of debt, a real chance to get ahead.

One of the changes, my favorite of all, is the restriction on issuing cards to those under 21. My first card was peddled to me on my college campus at the ripe old age of 19. I got in the habit of spending more than I made and by 21, I was more than $2,500 in debt.

Of course there is still a down side to this – I read an interesting article about how the changes will affect those who are careful with payments and are ‘good’ borrowers. It doesn’t look good! Check out the article at: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1791592/us_credit_card_issuers_must_prepare_pg2.html?cat=3

Regardless, I think this change will be good for those seeking to become debt free.