How can you raise your credit score 100 points overnight

How to Raise Your Credit Score 100 Points Overnight

If you’ve ever been declined for a loan because of a low credit score, you may be scouring the internet for creative ways to raise your credit score 100 points overnight. However, the reality is that’s just not possible.

The truth is, you can definitely raise your credit score; it will just take some time.

Here’s how….

Pay Your Bills on Time

Each time you pay late or skip a payment, your credit score gets dinged. A lot of dings and you’ll end up with a lower credit rating. You can always request that the due date be moved to a more convenient time for you. The company may or may not do it, but it is certainly worth asking.

As soon as you start paying your bills on time, you should start to see small improvements on your credit rating. 

Check Your Credit Report

You can get free copies of each of the big three credit reports (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). They are required to give you one free report every year. You can also visit Annual Credit Report for your free yearly credit report. Go over it very carefully. If you see errors, fraud, wrong address, or other incorrect details, contact the credit reporting agency immediately. You’ll need to do it in writing and you may need to be persistent.

Generally, you should not have anything older than 10 years on your credit report, and most loans have a seven-year age-out. You should also not have tax liens or civil judgments on your credit report.

Reduce Your Balances on Revolving Accounts

Revolving accounts, like credit cards, allow you to constantly borrow and pay back sums up to your credit limit. Make it a point to maintain the revolving loans at 30% or less of available credit.

Use this formula: (Loan amount/ credit limit) x 100

Don’t Apply for New Cards or New Credit

Those opportunities to get new cards and get something off your bill are tempting. The problem is that every card you apply for will end up with a hard credit pull and that hurts your credit score. Try using cash for big purchases instead of getting a loan to go on vacation or buy something smaller than a house (or maybe a car).

Pay It Off

Pay off past-due accounts. Then, if you can, pay off credit cards, car loans, etc as quickly as you can. You’ll see a fast bump upwards as you do that.

Build Credit Fast

If you have no credit or are recovering from a bad credit score, try using a credit card ONLY to pay monthly bills. Pay the balance on time and in full every month. Showing responsible behavior is the fastest way to improve credit scores.

Final Word About Increasing Your Credit Score

If you follow these suggestions, you should see improvements within a couple of months. You may not boost your credit score overnight or raise it 200 points in 30 days, but you should definitely see some changes. Occasionally, you will even see big jumps. The short version is pay on-time, check your credit report annually, and use credit carefully and wisely. You should see improvements quickly and maintain your good credit rating once you get where you want it to be.

Pacific Debt, Inc.If you’d like some information on debt settlement or have more than $10,000 in credit card debt that you can’t pay, contact Pacific Debt, Inc. We may be able to help you become debt free in 2 to 4 years. We have settled over $250 million in debt for our customers since 2002.Pacific Debt, Inc is accredited with the American Fair Credit Council and is an A+ member of the Better Business Bureau. We rate very highly in Top Consumer Reviews, Top Ten Reviews, Consumers Advocate, Consumer Affairs, Trust Pilot, and US News and World Report.

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin
* Other states can be connected to one of our trusted partners

How Long to Keep Credit Card Statements

How Long to Keep Credit Card Statements

At least once a month, you get statements from a wide variety of vendors, either through email or paper mail. Did you know that, by law, you need to keep some of these records for a certain amount of time?

And once you no longer need them, what’s the best way to dispose of them? Those pieces of paper contain a huge amount of personal information.

Also,  what’s the best way to store these records?

If you have a business, you will have additional requirements, but this article will be geared towards consumers rather than businesses.

Call us today and speak to our debt experts for FREE! We can help answer any questions you may have.

How to Organize Your Bills

Get three file boxes or a three-drawer filing cabinet and a stack of file folders. Sort the bills into biller and year. Check through each bill to see if it contains tax related purchases. One is the current year, one is shred by date, one is tax related.

While some of the records only need to be kept for one month, you’ll keep them for slightly longer (unless you really like doing paperwork).

Current Year

In the current year box, you’ll have files for this year’s tax information, credit card statements, insurance policies, bank statements, pay stubs, investment statements, mortgage paperwork, medical bills, financial records, and utility bills. You’ll want to label them clearly!

  • Credit card statements and receipts
  • Car insurance policy
  • Home insurance policy
  • Bank statements and slips
  • Pay stubs
  • Investment statements
  • Mortgage statements
  • Home improvement receipts
  • Medical bills
  • Utility bills
  • Retirement plan statements
  • Personal records (these should be kept in fireproof box)
  • Marriage, divorce, adoption, birth, wills, paid mortgages, keep until death
  • Loan receipt payoffs, keep 7 years
  • Shopping receipts
    • Cash receipts – shred as desired
    • Credit card receipts – match to bills and shred
    • Large ticket items – attach receipts to user manual or warranty information

As you sort through those piles of bills and shoe boxes of receipts, place them in the correct file.

Shred Box

In the shred box, you will have roughly the same files with a label along the lines of “Name of Credit Card Statement, 2019, shred 2021” etc.

  • Credit card statement, 2019, shred 2021
  • Insurance policies, shred as desired
  • Bank Statements, 2019, shred 2021
  • Pay stubs, shred as desired
  • Investment statements, 2019, shred 2021
  • Medical Bills, 2019, shred 2021 unless planning to deduct
  • Utility Bills, 2019, shred 2021 (if you have a home business, you will keep these)
  • Retirement plan quarterly statements, 2019, shred 2021
  • Paid Loans, 2019, shred 2027

Unless you own a serious shredder, you’ll probably find it easier to shred all your documents once a year. Do not throw away these items. They contain enough personal information for a thief to steal your identity.

Taxes Box

In the Taxes box, you will place your filed tax returns and all paperwork associated with it. You’ll also need a file titled W2s and others for past tax filing and related paperwork.

  • Tax receipts, 2019, shred 2027
  • Bank statements related to taxes
  • Credit card related to taxes
  • W2s (remove each year and place into W2 save file)
  • Medical bills if planning to deduct
  • W2 file, do not shred
  • Investment annual statements, shred after sale of investment
  • Mortgage paperwork, shred seven years after sale of house
  • Home Improvement receipts, shred seven years after sale of house
  • Mortgage statements, shred after sale of house
  • Annual Summaries, shred after retirement
  • Roth IRA contributions, keep to prove tax status

Now that you have everything set up and you are sorting through your receipts, let’s take a look at how to handle each file individually.

How Long to Keep Credit Card Statements

Technically, you only need to keep most credit card statements for 60 days, that’s according to Investopedia. If you are incredibly organized, shred them after 60 days. If your statements have tax related purchases on them, you will keep for 7 years.

Each month match your monthly statements against your receipts and for accuracy. Separate the statements and receipts into three categories. One is statements and receipts that are tax related; the second are receipts for miscellaneous items, and the third are all other statements.

Place the first pile into the labeled file in the tax box. Place the second into the shred file in the shred box. Place the third into a labeled file in the current year box. When the current year ends, place that file in the shred box.

How Long to Keep Tax Returns and Tax Receipts

Keep your tax returns for seven years. The IRS can audit for good faith errors up to three years, and six years if they think you have underreported your income, or unlimited if investigating fraud.

Keep your W-2s until you begin earning Social Security.

Place the tax returns in the tax box. Shred then in 7 years, so tax records from 2019 are shredded in 2027.

How Long to Keep House and Car Insurance Policies 

Shred the old policies when you receive new policies.

Place in the current year box. Move to the shred box when you get a new policy.

How Long to Keep Bank Statements

Keep your paper bank statements for 1 year unless they contain tax related information, then 7 years.

Keep your paperless statements for 7 years – they don’t take up space, except on your hard drive, and you may want them for a quick reference.

You can shred ATM receipts, deposit and withdrawal slips after reconciling.

On a monthly basis, reconcile the slips against the bank statements, then shred the slips. Separate paper statements into non-tax related and tax related. Place the tax related ones into a labeled file in the tax box.

Place the rest of the statements in the shred box and shred in one year (2019, shred 2021).

How Long to Keep Pay Stubs

Keep your pay stubs for a year. Match them to W-2 and then shred.

Keep the pay stubs in a file in the current year box. When you receive the W-2, match them and then shred the pay stubs. Place the W2 in the tax box. Keep W2s until you begin collecting Social Security.

How Long to Keep Investment Statements

Keep the yearly summaries for as long as you own the security, plus 7 years. This provides you with capital gain or loss for your tax returns.

Monthly statements, you can shred them monthly or after one year.

Place monthly statements in the current box. After the year has ended, place them in the shred box labels “Investment statements 2019, shred 2021.”

How Long to Keep Mortgage Statements

Keep all your paperwork regarding the purchase of your home until you sell the house plus 7 years.

Keep all your home improvement paperwork and receipts until you sell the house plus 7 years.

Keep any of the mortgage statements until you sell the house, then shred them.

How Long to Keep Medical Bills

Keep your medical bills for one year unless you plan to deduct them.

Start in the current box, move them to the shred box at the end of the current year, then shred them at the end of the next year. If you plan to deduct them, place them into the tax file.

How Long to Keep Financial Records

Keep your retirement plan quarterly statements for one year.

Keep the annual summaries until retirement.

Keep your Roth IRA contributions until retirement to prove tax status.

Store them in shred on the schedule.

How Long to Keep Utility Bills

Hold onto your utility bills for a maximum of one year unless you have a home business. If you have a home business, store them in the tax file for that tax year.

How Long to Keep Personal Records

Safely store any of your personal records like wills, marriage and divorce certificates, birth and death certificates, automobile titles, security ownership documentation, mortgage and loan paperwork, passports, etc. in a fireproof box (hard earned hint: place some desiccants from pill bottles or frozen items in the file box! The box can retain moisture and mold really likes passport paper.)

Keep these these documents until you die. Your heirs will either shred or use them to prove a will.

How Long Should You Keep Receipts

Keep your tax related receipts for seven years.

Keep all the home improvement receipts like sale of house.

Keep your large ticket items until returned or you need for the warranty.

Shred all other documents after reconciling with bank statement or credit card.

What Is the Safest Way to Dispose of Old Bank Account Statements?

The single safest way to dispose of old documents is to cross-shred them. Cross shredding not only cuts the documents into strips but then cuts then into miniscule pieces of paper.

It is also sometimes worth the extra expense of hiring a service to turn your personal information into confetti.

Banks and credit unions may offer an annual document shredding service.

Hard drives and other computer related storages devices can also be shredded. Even if you erase a hard drive, a knowledgeable thief may be able to resurrect the data.  

Pacific Debt, Inc.

If you’d like more information on debt settlement or have more than $10,000 in credit card debt that you can’t pay, contact Pacific Debt, Inc. We may be able to help you become debt free in 2 to 4 years. We have settled over $250 million in debt for our customers since 2002.Pacific Debt, Inc is accredited with the American Fair Credit Council and is an A+ member of the Better Business Bureau. We rate very highly in Top Consumer Reviews, Top Ten Reviews, Consumers Advocate, Consumer Affairs, Trust Pilot, and US News and World Report.

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin
* Other states can be connected to one of our trusted partners

How to build your credit after debt settlement

How To Build Your Credit After Debt Settlement

Debt settlement can be great for debt relief, but your credit score is likely to suffer. Once you have completed a debt settlement program, you can then focus on rebuilding your credit score. With care and following the steps outlined below, you can have your credit score repaired in as little as twenty-four months.

How Debt Settlement Affects Your Credit Score

When you decide to settle your debt, there are a couple factors that will negatively affect your credit score. First, your bills are probably being paid late, or they might not be getting paid at all, so those late or missing payments are reported to the credit agencies, affecting your score.

Second, your debts are often reported as “settled” and that typically lowers your credit rating a bit. If you do not pay your debts, they may be charged off (sold to a third party), and that affects your rating as well.

Don’t despair. There are a number of steps you can take to repair your credit rating. We’ll look at each one in no particular order. In fact, you can do most of these simultaneously.

Credit Repair

Credit repair involves getting copies of every credit report and fixing any errors they may include. There are three main agencies: Transunion, Equifax, and Experian and several smaller companies. Start with the big three.

As you receive copies of your credit report, check to see how your settled debts are labeled. The hit to your credit is worse if they are ‘charged off’ instead of ‘settled charge off.’ It will take some time, effort and letters to get this changed, but it can be done. Once your debts are correctly labeled, you may be able to request that settled accounts are removed from your credit report.

If there are errors, dispute them. Occasionally, old accounts are not removed from your credit score. For instance, if you had a foreclosure more than seven years ago, it should be removed. Correcting small errors can help improve your scores fairly quickly.

You can get one copy free once a year from annualcreditreport.com

Pay Bills On-time

Pay your bills in full and on time. This simple and very important action is worth roughly 35% of your credit score! Timely payments mean that you are using credit responsibly and that makes credit agencies very happy. Set reminders, ask to have due dates changed to more financially advantageous dates, maintain a budget – do whatever you need to show that you are being responsible.

Secured Credit Cards

If you’ve gotten in the habit of overusing your credit card, take out a secured credit card. These cards have a credit limit backed by an upfront cash deposit you make before receiving the credit card. If you miss a payment, it comes out of the cash reserve. If you make the payments in full, it improves your credit report. Plus, the discipline will help you maintain a budget.

Calculate Your Debt to Income Ratio

The Debt to Income Ratio (DTI) is figured by dividing your monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income. The math is relatively simple.

Front-End DTI: Take your mortgage (principal, interest, insurance, property tax) or rent costs and divide by your gross monthly income – the entire amount you make before taxes are taken out. Multiply that number by 100 to get a percentage. Your front-end DTI should be less than 31%.

Front-End DTI Example
$1000 mortgage/ $1500 income = .66 x 100 = 66%

Back-End DTI: Add all your monthly debt payments including rent/mortgage (property taxes, and insurance payments), car loan/lease, revolving and installment credit (credit cards), and legal liability payments like child support, alimony, and tax payments. Divide this sum by your gross monthly income and multiply by 100. Your back-end DTI should be less than 44%.

Savings to Income Ratio: Add together all your monthly savings such as retirement, investment, and regular savings plans by your gross income. Multiply by 100. Your STI should be 10%.

Monthly Cash Flow: add together all monthly expenses, divide that by your gross income, multiply by 100. This number should be 100% or less. If it is more, you are spending more than you are bringing in.

Once you have these four numbers, you can see where you need to make adjustments to live within your means. This fairly simple math will help you to improve your credit rating indirectly.

How Long Does It Take to Rebuild Credit?

How long it takes to rebuild credit and improve your credit score after debt settlement depends on how your credit was before you started the debt settlement program. If you credit was thin (not much on it) or poor, it may take two years to see improvements, if you use your credit wisely and pay your debts on time.

Should I Settle or Pay Debts in Full?

If you can, always pay your debts in full. If you are in debt for more than $10,000 of unsecured debt and you are having trouble making even minimum payments, settlement may be your best possible option.

How Pacific Debt Can Help

Pacific Debt Inc is one of the leading debt settlement companies in the US. We can help you understand your options and whether or not debt settlement is your best option. If it is not, we will refer you to a trusted partner who may be more appropriate for your specific situation.

If you’d like more information on debt settlement or have more than $10,000 in credit card debt that you can’t pay, contact Pacific Debt, Inc. We may be able to help you become debt free in 2 to 4 years. We have settled over $250 million in debt for our customers since 2002.

Once you’ve completed our debt settlement program, your financial situation should start to improve. You’ll then be able to take the money you once had to pay towards your debt, and be able to use it for other purposes like saving it, investing, retirement, down payments, etc.

Pacific Debt, Inc is accredited with the American Fair Credit Council and is an A+ member of the Better Business Bureau. We rate very highly in Top Consumer Reviews, Top Ten Reviews, Consumers Advocate, Consumer Affairs, Trust Pilot, and US News and World Report.

Pacific Debt is currently providing debt relief coverage in the following states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin
* Other states can be connected to one of our trusted partners

For more information, contact one of our debt specialists today. The initial consultation is free, and our debt experts will explain to you all your options.

Can You Pay Your Mortgage with Credit Card

Can You Pay Your Mortgage with a Credit Card?

The short answer to ‘can you pay your mortgage with a credit card’ is probably. It depends on the terms of your credit card and your mortgage holder. Since these are considered debt-for-debt transactions, credit card companies are wary of them. The more appropriate question is SHOULD you pay your mortgage with credit cards? Well, lets answer that question in a few paragraphs.

Why Would You Use a Credit Card to Pay Your Mortgage?

You might choose to use your credit card to pay your mortgage for several reasons. One is the rewards you accrue for using your card. Another is if you are temporarily short of cash. However both situations can definitely put you in a financial bind.

Can I Use a Credit Card to Pay My Mortgage?

It depends on your credit card network, credit card issuer and mortgage lender. In general, Wells Fargo credit cards can be used as long as the mortgage holder accepts credit card payments. American Express does not allow mortgage payments on their credit cards. Visa allows you to use debit or prepaid credit cards to pay your mortgage. Mastercard allows you to use either debit or credit card to pay your mortgage. However, these are NOT cut in stone. Always check with both your credit card network and your credit card issuer

The mortgage lender is the next hurdle. The lender may be willing to accept credit card payments that are processed through a third-party payment service provider. These third-person providers charge fees, often of 2.5% of the mortgage payment, every time you use the service. Those fees can offset any rewards that you might earn for using your credit card.

The other issue is if you don’t pay off your card in full each month. The interest rates and credit card fees will eat up any reward you might get. See our sample below for more details.

Monthly Mortgage Due: $1000
Typical Reward (2%): + $20
Third Party Processing Fee (2.5%): – $25
Average Monthly Interest Rate (1.16%): – $11.16

Using a third-party payment processor, if you don’t pay off your card in full, the $20 in rewards will be eaten up the first month by the processing fee and monthly interest rate.

Before you pay a mortgage using your credit card, contact the card network, the card issuer and the mortgage lender to make certain that the payment will go through. Otherwise, you’ll end up with late fees and other consequences for late or missing payments.

Should You Pay Your Mortgage with Credit Cards?

The answer, as you’ve probably realized, is no. Except for very specific and well thought out reasons, using a credit card to pay your mortgage is generally a bad idea. You stand the risk of running up some very high interest charges.

Another issue is something called credit utilization ratio. This is the ratio between debt and credit limit. The higher the ratio, the lower your credit limit and the lower your credit score. This can have a significant impact on your creditworthiness and ability to purchase a car or get a loan. Carrying a large credit card balance from a mortgage payment can hurt your credit score.

My Credit Card Mortgage Debt is Killing Me

If you have gotten yourself in financial difficulties using your credit card to pay your mortgage and you are drowning in debt, Pacific Debt, Inc may be able to help you. We are a professional debt settlement company that works with people with significant amounts (over $10,000) in credit card debt to help settle their debt.

Pacific Debt Inc

Pacific Debt, Inc is one of the leading debt settlement companies in the United States with a national debt relief program. We can help you settle your debt, often for far less than you owe.

To be eligible for the Pacific Debt settlement program, you must have more than $10,000 in unsecured debt, and it takes roughly 2 to 4 years to complete our debt relief program.

Pacific Debt, Inc is accredited with the American Fair Credit Counsel and is an A+ member of the Better Business Bureau. We rate very highly in Top Consumer Reviews, Top Ten Reviews, Consumers Advocate, Consumer Affairs, Trust Pilot, and US News and World Report.

For more information, contact one of our debt specialists today. The initial consultation is completely free, and a debt expert will explain to you all your options so you can clearly understand them.

Find out how credit card interest works.

How Does Credit Card Interest Work?

That piece of plastic in your wallet is very convenient, easy to use, and a fast way to get into financial difficulties. A large part of financial trouble is directly related to interest rates (and fees). Let’s discuss how credit cards and credit card interest works. Once you understand, it’s easier to control your spending.

How Do Credit Cards Work?

A credit card is a form of a revolving loan, called a line of credit. The company assigns a credit limit (how much you can borrow in total). The amount you can charge to your credit card is called your credit limit. Every time you use the card, that amount is subtracted from your credit limit.

When you pay back your debt, your credit limit goes back up. You’ll also maintain a good credit score from all the major credit bureaus paying back your debt on time each month.

Your credit limit is:       $5,000

You charge:                     $1,000

You can charge:             $4,000   until you pay off the $1,000

You pay off:                     $500

You can now charge:    $4,500

A secured credit card has a set limit paid by you and placed in a secured account. You can only charge up to that amount. Secured credit cards are a great way to build or rebuild credit scores.

You can use a credit card for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. In exchange for using this line of credit, you are charged an interest rate, called an Annual Percentage Rate (APR).

If you would like to talk to a debt expert for more information, click the link below to get started. It’s totally free!

How Does APR Work?

APR is fairly complicated and is the reason that most people get into financial trouble. The credit card company assigns an interest rate to you based on your credit worthiness, the Federal Reserve, and other factors. The average ARP as of January 2019 was 15.96%.

APR is calculated or compounded either monthly or daily. For monthly compounding, the interest rate is basically divided by 12. For daily compounding, the APR is divided by either 360 or 365, over 12 billing cycles. However, it’s more complicated and your interest rate is actually higher than your stated interest rate, regardless of how it is compounded.

Let’s say you are charged a regular APR of 12.99%. With monthly compounding, your actual interest rate is 13.79%. With daily compounding, your APR is actually 13.87%.

You can also have a nominal APR and effective APR. A nominal APR is the true interest rate, based on compounding. Your effective APR includes all the fees that you’ll get charged. We’ll go over fees later.

How Does Credit Card Interest Work?

If you pay off your entire balance before the end of the billing cycle, there is no interest charged. If you don’t, the credit card company charges you for the average/actual daily balance times the monthly/daily interest rate and then times the number of days in the billing cycle if compounding daily. Clear as mud, right? Don’t worry, we’ll go over the actual math under the next heading.

The credit card company then adds in fees. The total amount of interest and fees plus a percentage of your purchases is your minimum payment. The credit card company pays itself first out of your payment. Anything left over is applied to your principal. This is why it is so hard, if not impossible, to pay off a credit card through minimum payments.  

Fees and Variable APRs

Every credit card is different, so you may or may not have these fees.

  • Annual fees – charged for the privilege of using the card. Ranges from $19 to $500 per year.
  • Balance transfer fees – if you move a balance from one card to another. READ THE FINE PRINT.
  • Cash advance fees – if you borrow money against your credit card, or use overdraft protections and convenience checks
  • Expedited payment fee – charged for making phone payment
  • Finance charge – monthly charge for carrying a balance
  • Foreign Transaction fee – charged if you use the card to make a purchase in non-US dollars. This includes purchases over the internet
  • Over-the-limit fees – if you charge more than your credit limit
  • Late fees – charged for paying late
  • Returned check fee – charged if your payment check bounces
  • Application fees – a one-time charge for applying for a card
  • Limit increase fee – charged when you ask for a higher credit limit
  • Replacement fee – if you lose your credit card

Variable APRs

All of these can increase your credit card’s APR.

  • Purchase APR – the interest charge on purchases
  • Introductory purchase APR – to attract new customers, a low APR for a limited time
  • Promotional APR – special rates offered for a short period of time or on certain balances
  • Balance transfer APR – lower APR on transferred balances, often short-term APR
  • Introductory balance transfer APR –   0% intro APR rates on balances transfer
  • Cash advance APR – charged on cash borrowed against your card
  • Penalty APR – often incurred after multiple late payments or exceeding your credit limit

As you can see, having a credit card can be really expensive! Examine your credit statement carefully so you know what you are being charged.

How To Calculate Interest Rate

Now comes the fun stuff! Math! We’ll break this down as simply as possible.

You’ll need to know

  • Your average daily balance
    • add together all the charges for your billing cycle
    • divide by the number of days in billing cycle – usually 30
  • Number of days in your billing cycle (on your credit card statement)
  • APR – let’s do just the purchase APR to make calculations simple

Now for some numbers…

Your card has an average daily purchase balance of $1,500 and your APR is 15.99%

Now, to figure your daily periodic rate, divide your APR by number of days in the year

0.1599 / 365 = 0.00044

Multiply the daily periodic rate by your average daily balance to find daily interest charge

0.00044 x $1,500 = $0.66

Next, multiply your daily interest charge by the number of days (30) in your billing cycle. This gives you’re your monthly interest charge

$0.66 x 30 = $19.80

Then you need to add in all the fees that your card charges to find the total amount you owe each month

Or you can use our online interest rate calculator!

Just remember that the credit card companies set up terms to benefit themselves, not you.

Pacific Debt, Inc

If you’ve found yourself in extreme credit card debt and can’t make the minimum payments. Pacific Debt, Inc can help you. To be eligible for the Pacific Debt settlement program, you must have more than $10,000 in unsecured debt, and it takes roughly 2 to 4 years to complete.

We are a debt relief company that can handle all types of debt, such as credit card debt, medical debt, and any other unsecured debt. If you’re tired of carrying around a heavy debt load, contact Pacific Debt today to help settle your debt.

Once you complete our debt relief program, your financial situation should be improved, except your FICO score. However, your FICO would most likely have a negative impact regardless because you’d only other option would be a bankruptcy, unless of course you can get approved for a loan, but that would only a temporary fix. You can obtain your free annual credit report once per year absolutely free.

Pacific Debt, Inc is accredited with the American Fair Credit Counsel and is an A+ member of the Better Business Bureau. We rate very highly in Top Consumer Reviews, Top Ten Reviews, Consumers Advocate, Consumer Affairs, Trust Pilot, and US News and World Report.

For more information, contact one of our debt specialists today. The initial consultation is free and our debt specialists will give you all your options. Stop making payments today you can’t afford and contact Pacific Debt to negotiate with your creditors for a debt settlement.


Click here to find out what types of credit cards you should have.

Why Your Equifax Credit Score Is Lower Than TransUnion

Why Your Equifax Credit Score Is Lower Than TransUnion

Your credit score allows you to get credit, buy large ticket items, rent an apartment, get certain jobs, and is viewed as a window into your financial trustworthiness. The higher your credit score, the better the loan terms.  But just what is your credit score and who is behind it? And why are your scores different from each reporting agency?

Who are the Credit Bureaus?

There are three different major credit bureaus; Transunion, Equifax, and Experian. Each one collects financial data from creditors. They then analyze this data and issue credit reports to anyone who has permission to obtain the report – potential employers, lenders, landlords, etc.

Each credit bureau collects slightly different data and since creditors are not required to report your data, each one may have slightly different information. For instance, Transunion includes extensive data on your employment while Equifax and Experian report only your employer’s name. In addition, each one uses a unique algorithm.

There are also “niche” credit bureaus. If someone wants to check your credit, ask which company they intend to use. You can then request a report from that company to verify all your information is correct.

Trustpilot Pacific Debt Inc Reviews customer review

FICO vs VantageScore

Your credit report will use one of two scores – FICO or Vantagescore. FICO is the most common one. It stands for Fair Isaac Corporation. Each credit bureau creates a FICO score based on what is reported to them. This may account for a difference in FICO scores among credit bureaus. One problem with FICO is that every time someone does a “hard pull” of your credit report, your credit score drops temporarily.

VantageScore is an algorithm developed by the credit bureaus based on the consumer credit information on file. It assigns different weights to different parts of a credit profile. Initially, the VantageScore used its own score ranges, but now uses the same scoring as FICO. VantageScore is especially helpful for people with a thin credit history or who are just starting out.

Regardless of which scoring systems is used, the credit score chart is as follows:

  • Excellent = 750 and above
  • Good = 700-749
  • Fair = 650-699
  • Poor = 550-649
  • Bad = Below 550

Equifax Vs Experian Vs Transunion

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit reports once a year. You can view these for free through AnnualCreditReport.com.

Equifax

  • charges for reports ordered through website
  • dispute button on website
  • paid credit monitoring subscription called Equifax Complete™
  • will notify the other credit bureau if you notify them of a fraud
  • credit freeze fraud alerts available, but must notify all three yourself
  • Equifax credit score – 300 – 850

Experian

  • charges for reports ordered through website
  • dispute button on website
  • paid credit monitoring subscription called Experian Credit Tracker℠
  • will notify the other credit bureau if you notify them of a fraud
  • credit freeze fraud alerts available, but must notify all three yourself
  • Experian credit score – 300 – 850

TransUnion

  • charges for reports ordered through website
  • dispute button on website
  • paid credit monitoring subscription through TransUnion credit monitoring service
  • will notify the other credit bureau if you notify them of a fraud
  • credit freeze fraud alerts available, but must notify all three yourself
  • TransUnion credit score – 300 – 850

What is the Difference between TransUnion and Equifax and Experian?

There is no difference between the three major credit bureaus. They will have different scores because of what is voluntarily reported to them. So why do they have different scores? Equifax, Experian and Transunion use different algorithms, there is different information reported to each company, and TransUnion places more weight on your employment history or personal information.

How Do I Know If My Credit Report Is Correct?

You should check your credit report once a year. It is free and simple. You can purchase a report from each credit bureau or go to AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also look into websites like Creditsesame or CreditKarma.

When you get your report, look for any errors with your personal information. Is your name correct? Address? Employer? Next, examine the open lines of credit. Did you actually open them? Are there loans or credit cards you don’t recognize? Some issues, like bankruptcy, are supposed to drop off your report after 10 years. Debt sent to collections should drop off your report after 7 years. However, if you have a judgement, the time limit is determined by your state’s statutes of limitation.

If you discover errors, you should dispute them. Send COPIES of documentation to the credit bureau along with explanations or the errors. You may have to do it several times and stay on top of them.

If you are denied credit based on your credit report, you can request the reason and a report. Some experts suggest spreading out requests for credit reports so that you get a different one every four months (for instance, TransUnion in January, Experian in May, and Equifax in September). This will allow you to look for fraud or other issues before too many months have passed.

If have had identity theft, you can contact each of the major credit bureaus individually and place a fraud freeze on your credit until you get the issue solved.

How Can I Improve My Credit Score?

If you are not happy with your credit score, you can start to fix it immediately. First, work on paying bills on time. Since 35% of your score is based on timely payments, it can be a pretty quick way to improve your score.

Next, use your credit carefully. Credit utilization accounts for 30% of your score. Credit utilization is the ratio of outstanding credit card balance versus your credit limit. The lower your utilization ratio, the better. For instance, if you have $1000 limit and $900 of outstanding balance, your credit utilization is 90%. Pay down your credit card bills. You can also ask for increased credit limits. Just don’t use the increased limits!

Credit age makes up 15% of your score. Basically, the longer you have had credit reported to the bureaus, the better. Having old credit – cards held for a long time – is also helpful. Lenders also like to see a variety of credit types. Credit variety accounts for 10% of your score. And finally, the number of recent inquiries count for 10% of your score. This means you do not want to apply for credit cards just to decrease your purchase costs. Every single time you do that, your credit takes a temporarily hit.  

Click here to learn how many credit cards you should have.

Our Take

Your credit report is very important to your future. Whether you are buying a house or car, looking for a new job, or wanting to start on your education, your credit score matters. There isn’t much difference among the three bureaus – Equifax, Experian or TransUnion – but each needs to be monitored for accuracy.

Pacific Debt has helped thousands of people reduce their credit card debt.


Should I Use a Credit Card for Everyday Purchases?

Should You Use a Credit Card for Everyday Purchases?

Whipping out a credit card is very easy. Plus, you get rewards – cash back or airline miles – for every purchase. Using a credit card for everyday purposes seems like a win-win situation. But is it? We’ll look at the pros and cons of credit cards and everyday use and answer should I use my credit card for everything?

Why Use a Credit Card for Every Purchase?

There are appropriate reasons to use a credit card for everyday purchases. As we’ve mentioned before, you can maximize your rewards points, in effect making your purchases work for you.

Responsible credit card use and repayment history can help your credit score. Most people don’t like to carry large amounts of cash, and a credit card is a great way around that. Another great reason to use a credit card is that you can accurately track every single expenditure. You’ll also have purchase protections when you use your card.

Pacific Debt has helped thousands of people reduce their credit card debt.


Why You Should Not Use a Credit Card for Every Purchase

There are some very good reasons not to use credit cards for everyday purchases. It is very easy to overspend. After all, your credit card doesn’t feel like it has a limit and it takes almost no effort, unlike writing a check. Another concern is fraud. Every time you use that card, your run the risk of someone getting the number.

Some retailers don’t allow you to use a card for small purchases since their fees are more than your purchase. There are some merchants who don’t take plastic. And finally, the more you use your card the higher your balance. If you don’t pay it off, it becomes very expensive as it becomes a revolving balance.

Using a Credit Card for Everything

If you choose to use your card for everything, there are a few rules that will keep you from overspending.

First, use one credit card. The more credit cards you use the more you will owe. Keeping it to one also keeps all your purchases on one card where you can track them more easily. Plus, you only have one to pay off.

Second, your credit limit needs to be large enough so you can cover your monthly spending. If yours isn’t, keep your credit clean and build up to a higher limit. The other option is to pay off your card several times a month.

Third, put up your debit card so you don’t deplete your account and can’t pay off your credit card.

Fourth, always pay off your balance every month. Otherwise, that $2.95 daily latte is going to get really expensive as your charges will end up revolving.

Since 2002we’ve settled over $200 million in debt for our clients. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Revolving Credit

When you are deciding whether or not to use a credit card every day, think about what happens if you don’t pay off your balance every month. Take our latte example. We’re going to make a few assumptions based on average credit card rates.

  • Our APR is 17.55%
  • Minimum payments of 2% of the balance

If you buy 30 lattes at $2.95 a cup, in one month you’ll owe $88.50. If you don’t use the card for anything else, it takes six months to pay off those coffees if you’re only making the minimum payments. After you factor in interest, each cup actually costs you $3.11. Doesn’t seem too bad, does it?

But this example assumes that you make no additional charges on your card for 6 months and you only make the minimum payment each month. If you do make additional charges, it takes longer than 6 months to pay off the lattes and the amount you effectively pay creeps up.

Let’s say you buy 30 lattes a month but only make minimum payments. At the end of the second month you’ll owe $162.00. If you stop using the credit card at that point, it will take you almost a year to pay it off and you’ll pay $3.15 apiece for the lattes. As you can see, it takes a long time to pay off a card making minimum payments and while 20 cents a drink doesn’t seem like much, it adds up!

If you are using your card for everything, let’s say you charge $2000 a month on your card. You make a 2% minimum payment. The next month, you charge another $2000. You now owe $3960.

Repeat for one more month and you owe $5880, roughly the average amount of credit card debt for Americans.

If you stop using this credit card immediately, it will take you 31.5 years to pay it off at minimum payments and you will pay $13,610. You can see that using your credit card and not paying it off gets very expensive very quickly.

Credit Card Grace Periods

People who are very organized may be able to take advantage of grace periods, the 21 to 27 days that you are not changed interest by your credit card company. However, this only works if you are very organized and track those dates. Otherwise, you will get into trouble very quickly.

Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Covering all your monthly spending with a credit card can be a good thing, if you have self-discipline and (we can’t repeat this enough) PAY OFF YOUR BALANCE EVERY MONTH. Don’t become one of the millions of Americans with credit card debt.

If you really want to try this, start with a secured card and see if your self-control, income, and expenditures are all on the same page!


Pacific Debt has helped thousands of people reduce their debt. Since 2002we’ve settled over $200 million in debt for our clients. Contact us today to see how we can help.


How to Manage Debt during the Holiday Season

How to Manage Debt during the Holiday Season

Entering the holiday season with a mountain of debt is a terrible experience. It’s made even worse with the added weight of an abysmal debt-to-equity ratio.

For parents, the weight of responsibility to provide for your children is multiplied during the holidays — one of the few times other than birthdays when the kids expect to receive gifts.

For children, the excitement of past holidays and the expectations of opening presents on Christmas day can create a crushing experience if they feel disappointment. So, what does this mean for parents?

Are you expected to get deeper in debt just to avoid disappointing the children?

Should you buy just a few good gifts or many small gifts?

Is there a way to satisfy your kids’ expectations and avoid more debt?

Believe it or not, there are many ways to avoid getting deeper into debt during the holidays and it all begins with expectations.

The Root of the Holiday Debt Problem

Is it wrong to spend money during the holidays?

No, it isn’t.

But it can do damage in the future if you aren’t careful with how you spend. That’s why you need to cultivate a habit of smart gift giving. Smart gift giving is different from normal gift giving, because you focus on needs over wants and completely cut out holiday overspending habits.

To begin your path to smart gift giving, you’ll need to identify your overspending habits. There are two culprits when it comes to holiday overspending: avarice and love.

Parents/family either love their children so much that they hate to see them disappointed on Christmas — resulting in overspending on Christmas gifts — or they’re so preoccupied with “having nice things” that they willingly fall deeper into debt.

Debt and gift-giving have gone hand-in-hand for far too long — it’s time to break up these two highly unlikely lovers and forge healthier holiday spending habits.

Check out these great ways to avoid going deeper in debt during the holidays.

Contact us today and chat with a debt specialist free of charge.

The Gift of Giving

Yes, it’s cliche. But constant repetition hasn’t made this any less true — giving will always trump getting. And luckily for all of us, giving doesn’t necessarily mean paying.

There are important, fundamental financial lessons to be learned and developed through giving:

  1. A focus on needs over wants
  2. The true meaning of value
  3. How material things and money affect wellbeing

Through giving, you can actually learn how to save money when buying things for yourself.

Think about it.

If you approach every purchase with a budget in mind, a healthy perception of value, and a focus on your needs, your purchases will become smarter, saving you money in the long run.

Learning to give smart gifts can actually teach you to save money.

Most gift giving involves spending. But you can also give time, knowledge, experience, and care. For example, if you know how to play the piano, you can offer to hold free lessons for the kids in your neighborhood. This is both a gift of time and knowledge.

Whichever type of giving you decide to adopt this Christmas, you’ll likely need to be more outgoing and social than you were before. Opportunities for giving don’t just show up on your doorstep — you have to learn about other people to identify what they need.

I had a friend growing up who celebrated Christmas, but not like the rest of us. He didn’t wake up on Christmas to a mountain of presents under a tree. He wasn’t ever home during the holidays.

Every Christmas, my friend’s family would do charity work in neighboring towns and sometimes different countries. He made new friends and lasting memories of helping those much less fortunate than himself.

Though an expensive excursion may be out of the question for parents struggling with finances, the idea is the same and it doesn’t have to cost money.

Here are some great ways to give without spending too much money (or none at all):

  • Host a dessert swap with neighbors
  • Grow and give away fruits and vegetables
  • Get a charity-focused credit card
  • 12 days of Christmas; acts of kindness
  • Employer gift matching
  • Fundraising for local charities
  • Organize a neighborhood food or gift drive
  • Donate your old clothes, toys, and goods
  • Donate blood
  • Host a cooking day with your friends; make dinner for random families

More than getting gifts, your kids deserve the valuable lessons that come from giving. Yes, random acts of kindness can make a big difference for those on the receiving end. But just imagine the nurturing effect giving will have on your kids.

In time, your children will become givers instead of receivers. You will spend less money on Christmas gifts and more time on learning the meaning of Christmas.

The Gift of a Brighter Financial Future

Sometimes, gift giving is made even more difficult when choosing a gift for those suffering from financial troubles. After all, would you buy an Apple watch for someone who struggles to pay their bills?

There are some great ways to actually improves the lives of those you are giving to, without removing the spirit and festivity of the holidays.

Parents can educate their kids to live or at least desire to live a financially savvy life. Though financial wellness gifts may not make much immediate difference, they will relieve the stress of future holiday debt.

Use the best budgeting apps to manage your expenses during the busy spending season. An good budgeting app can save you some valuable dollars here and there that will make a difference in the end.

By Christmastime, you should at least have a bit of your tax refund set aside for smart gift-giving. When it comes to teaching your kids about taxes, it’s important to lead by example. Plan a family tax prep night, to teach your growing kids about the importance of keeping receipts and records of transactions.

Professional Preparation for the Holidays

In the months leading up to the holidays, offer to work extra hours to impress your superiors. Your hard work leading up to the holidays could lead to a bonus or a promotion.

You can even express your desire to your superiors to earn some extra money to save up for the holidays. You may qualify for a pay increase if you accept extra responsibilities at work.

Besides working extra hard in your chosen career path, you also have the option to make money on the side to save up for the holidays.

Spending the next month as an Uber or Lyft driver will put some extra cash in your pocket for those added holiday expenses.

The Motley Fool reveals that you can make between $371 and $1,853 per month by driving for Uber. Of course, it completely depends on the time you put into it, but you can actually make enough money to pay for Christmas.

Other possible side gigs include:

  • Freelance writing
  • Dog walking
  • Social media manager
  • Caregiver
  • Airbnb
  • Garage sales
  • Donate plasma
  • Party planning
  • Research study participant
  • Become a tutor

No matter how much money you have or how much debt you’ve accumulated over the years, there is always a way back. Yes, the holidays are a time of giving, but they don’t have to be a time of going into debt.

Practice smart gift giving by focusing on needs over wants, saving up money beforehand, making extra efforts at work, sharing good financial practices with your kids, and by focusing on the real reason for the holidays: family.

For more information, talk with one of our debt specialists today.

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Disclaimer: We are not attorneys or accountants and can not give you legal advice. If you have legal or tax questions, you should contact the appropriate expert.

What Happens to Debt When You Die

What Happens to Debt When You Die?

What Debts Are Forgiven at Death?

What happens to debt when you die? It depends on the type of debt and if there are cosigners. Basically, all debts pass into the estate along with assets and other liabilities. Even if you have very little, you still have an estate in the eyes of the law.

Most people have wills (and if you don’t, you should). A will determines how assets are distributed. However, before anything is distributed, creditors are given a chance to claim part of the estate.

Talk to one of our debt specialists today to learn more about our debt settlement program.

What Are Different Types of Debt?

  • Secured Loans

  • Unsecured Loans

  • Student Loans

  • Taxes

Secured debt, like mortgages, are passed along with the asset. If you are given a house in a will, you also get the mortgage. If you are unable to pay the mortgage, the bank can seize and sell the house.

Unsecured debt, like credit cards, must be paid as long as there are enough assets in the estate. If the debt is in the name of the deceased and no one else, the debt must be settled with the estate.

If there is a co-signer, the debt passes to the co-signer.

Student Loans

Generally, student loans die with the borrower. In some cases, the debt also dies if the parent(s) of the borrow die. You will have to provide proof of death to the school or lender, which is referred to as a death certificate, or proof of death certificate. A proof of death certificate has to be signed by a funeral director and can be presented to companies and organizations to inform them of the deceased.

IRS Taxes

IRS Taxes never die. In fact, they may even increase because you will still have to pay income tax on anything earned up to the date of death.

Disclaimer

All these categories are very complex, particularly taxes.

You should have the guidance of an accountant or attorney.

Is Family Responsible for Deceased Debt?

This is another complex area. It depends on the type of debt and on the state where the deceased was a resident.  If you live in a community property state, the laws can be extra confusing, so talk to an attorney.

If your deceased loved one has debts,

talk to an accountant or attorney before agreeing to pay anything.

Can Collections Agencies Call You?

Absolutely. They can and will. However, once the estate is probated, all debts owed by the estate are gone. They may call you while the will is in probate. Refer callers to the personal representative (executor) named by the court to handle business on behalf of the deceased.

Remember, generally, and unless, your attorney/accountant says otherwise, you DO NOT owe anything.

Do not make promises or payments to collectors. Do not give the collector personal information including bank account numbers or social security numbers. The collector is not necessarily a collector but could be a scam artist who reads obituaries.

If the callers violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or your state’s FDCPA, report them.

What if the Primary Credit Card Holder Dies?

It depends on the status of the secondary credit card holder. If the secondary was only an authorized user, the secondary is not liable for the debt, the estate is.

Hint: don’t use the card after the primary dies, or you may end up with the debt. Credit card use after death can also be considered fraud.

If the secondary is a co-signer, the secondary is responsible for the debt of the primary cardholder.

Are there Deceased Credit Card Collectors?

Yes and no. They are either regular debt collectors or scam artists. Again, talk to an attorney or an accountant before agreeing to pay anything to anyone.

What Happens with Credit Card Debt after Death?

If there is not enough money to cover debts, the creditors will be notified as to that fact. They should write off the debt as part of the cost of doing business.

If there is money, the credit card company must stop adding interest and fees while the will is being probated.

In most cases, debt is not inheritable.

Again, talk to an attorney BEFORE agreeing to pay any debts.

Stopping Credit Cards After Death

The personal representative should contact the credit card companies. They may require a death certificate. Some credit card companies can be unpleasant about canceling cards. Keep at them until you get the cards canceled.

Do everything in writing and keep records of who you talk to, what you send, and what response you get.

If you are not the personal representative, refer everyone to the personal representative. You have no legal standing in the deceased’s business.

We can’t stress enough that you should talk to an attorney and/or accountant before settling debts. Debt after death can be a complex issue and you will probably need expert guidance.

For more information, talk with one of our debt specialists today.

FREE CONSULTATION

References

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/debts-after-death-life-insurance/

https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-debt-death-1282.php

https://www.cardratings.com/what-happens-when-someone-dies-with-credit-card-in-th…

https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/6-steps-when-credit-card-holder-dies.php

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