Smart Debt Tips for 2012

It is a new year and a good time to make a fresh start. The past
few years have been a financial strain for most Americans. Let’s
start the new year on a positive note.  Here are a few smart
tips for avoiding financial stress, improving your credit, and protecting yourself against abusive debt
collectors
.

First, pull your credit report.  You are allowed a free
credit report from each of the three credit bureaus every 12
months.  Look at Experian, Equifax and Transunion reports
carefully.  If there is an error or errors, dispute
your credit report errors
by writing a letter to the bureau
reporting the error.  This letter must be sent certified mail
with receipt.  To see step-by-step disputing instructions, check out our website or call
888-822-1777.  Speak to an attorney today!

Second, do not co-sign on a loan that is not yours.  When
you co-sign on a loan, the bill becomes your debt.  Lenders
will count this debt as yours and go after you if the other
co-signer can no longer pay. 

Third, educate yourself on your rights as a consumer.  If
you have debt collectors calling you,
learn what debt collectors can and cannot do
.   
Some simple things you can do to protect yourself:
 • Save all voicemails from collectors or creditors;
 • Keep a log of the calls from creditors or collectors that
detail the date, time and identity of the caller;
 • If you dispute the debt,
send a letter in response to the to the collection agency’s
collection letters
, mail the letter certified mail and keep
copies for yourself;
 • Unsure what is legal and what is not? Check out our website for a free case
review
or call one of our attorneys today at 888-822-1777!

Fourth, if you get sued for a debt, do not ignore the
lawsuit.  Do not miss the court date.  By missing a court
date, you are digging a deeper hole for yourself.  Show up to
court, be prepared and try to settle your case.  If you are
interested in having legal representation in that lawsuit, contact our website or call us for a
free case review at 888-822-1777. 

Fifth, think twice before making a big purchase.  Applying
for a car loan or a department store credit card permits the lender
to pull your credit report.  This might cause your credit
score to drop a few points.  Then, once you make that purchase
and it is financed, the account becomes a new trade line on your
credit report.  You must be mindful to make those payments on
time.

Sixth, think three times before buying a used car.  
Used cars are typically purchased “as is.”  There is no
guarantee that a used car will not incur repair bills.  The
older the car gets, the more it is susceptible to breaking
down.   With a used car being sold “as-is,” you never
know what you will get.  You can check the vehicles repair
history by pulling a car fax report, but that is no guarantee that
your newly used car will run repair -free.  Be smart and
careful when buying an older vehicle.