Out of the many impacts that come with unpaid medical bills, damage to your credit score is one of the most consequential. Technically, a medical bill can not be included in your credit report, but once your account remains unresolved after 180 days, the owner of the debt–typically, a hospital or a doctor’s office–can sell the outstanding amount to a debt collector. At that point, the debt collector can (and probably will) report your debt as delinquent to all three credit agencies, thereby harming your credit score.
If you’ve noticed something awry in your credit report, there’s a lot you can do to take action and fix the problem. A well-composed credit dispute, first and foremost, should help you get back on your feet in no time.
If you’re in the process of paying off a credit card debt but feel like your interest rate is too high, you have the option of negotiating your Annual Percentage Rate (APR) with your credit issuer. When you feel ready to talk to your credit card company, dial the customer service number on the back of your credit card, then choose the options that will route you to speak with a representative. When the representative picks up, here are some tips that can help you negotiate.
When people find themselves in a lot of credit card debt, they tend to think it’s best to financially prioritize those debts and pay them off as quickly as possible. Credit card customers will put all of their extra income toward their balances in the hopes that, with enough hard work, they can climb out of their financial hole in the next few months.
If you don’t have citizenship, permanent residence, or a worker’s visa in the US, then you’ve probably found yourself in a difficult position when asked to present a Social Security number. Not having a Social Security number can be a major obstacle when applying for jobs, loans and credit cards, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a dealbreaker for your finances.
There’s so much advice out there about figuring out how to pay off your debts, but two specific methods are endorsed by financial experts: the debt snowball and the debt avalanche. Which debt you focus on, though, depends on whether you’d prefer to gain a sense of satisfaction in the immediate future (the debt snowball) or save money over the long-term (the debt avalanche). Here’s our explanation of both payment methods.
A loan payoff letter is a document you can acquire at any stage of a loan, whether you’ve yet to make your first payment or just finished making your last. It includes all of the information you need related to how much you owe to your lender and the options you have for paying off your debt. There are payoff letters for practically every kind of loan — mortgages, student loans and auto loans, to name a few — and there are several reasons you might need one.
If you’d like to raise your current credit limit on a card, contact your credit card company by calling the number on the back of your card or using the Secure Messaging feature on their website. You have nothing to lose by asking, and if the account has been open for over a year, chances are good that your request will be granted. Here’s a quick series of tips on how to address the situation.
If you’re trying to save money on travel in the next year, chances are good that getting a travel rewards card is on your mind. When used with enough frequency and foresight, these cards can be used to save hundreds of dollars on airfare, hotels and ground transportation. But getting a travel rewards card isn’t always the right idea, and when it is, there are so many to choose from.
Your credit score is a three-digit number that potential lenders use to determine your creditworthiness. It’s designed to indicate how likely you are to repay a loan in a timely fashion. A higher score reflects a lower risk of delinquency and gives lenders the confidence they need to offer mortgages, car loans, lower interest rates and higher credit limits.