Virtually all adults in industrialized countries understand the importance of paying their bills on time. However, even the most financially-savvy people can fall for common credit myths. Discover whether your beliefs fall in line with credit myths or credit facts. |
1) MYTH OR FACT? Your old college roommate stole your Social Security number and took out a bunch of credit cards in your name. She didn't pay them, and now your credit rating is trashed. You called the police and the credit card lenders, but other than that you have to grin and bear it.
MYTH. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) you have the right to demand that only accurate information is reported to your credit profile. The process can be long and sometimes exhausting, but you can dispute the negative accounts with the credit bureaus. Having a police report and other evidence of the identity theft will help you clear your name. You may also wish to find an attorney who can represent you against your former roommate. Even if criminal charges are never filed, you may be awarded money if you are able to successfully sue the person who stole your identity. Identity theft is not cool and is also illegal - don';t just grin and bear it! 2) MYTH OR FACT? Bill collectors keep calling you at work even though you have repeatedly asked them to stop. Now one of them has called your boss and discussed your late Victoria's Secret credit card bill. This embarrassed you in many ways and now you literally want to hide while at work. This collection agency has repeatedly violated the law and could be sued for monetary damages.
FACT. One of the biggest credit myths is that debt collectors have the right to act intrusively and even abusively. However, the FDCPA offers you numerous protections especially when it comes to calls from bill collectors. Not even your insurance company can legally discuss your account with anyone without your consent. Also, if you ask a debt collector to stop calling you at work or on your cell phone they must comply. In fact, you could even demand they stop calling you entirely by writing a "cease and desist" letter.
Always remember, the best way to avoid falling for common credit myths is to consistently live within your means and save money for financial emergencies. Remember to pay yourself first from every salary check you receive. A good figure to start with is 10 percent and it should be increased as time passes. You should be saving for many things like a house, retirement, car, and education for your kids.
Related Articles -