manage your credit debt Archives | Ovation Credit Repair Services

Choose a Payment Schedule to Fit Your Needs

By | Credit Cards, Credit Repair, Credit Scores, Debt, MasterCard, Payment, Revolving Debt, Visa, Your Credit

The holidays are over, and if you’re like a lot of folks, your credit cards got quite a workout. As 2012 rolls in, you’re probably wondering how can you best handle the extra charges that’ll show up on your next statement. Ovation’s Payment Scheduling Tool can help you find a solution that fits your needs and goals. Ovation’s payment scheduling tool is available to everyone; Ovation customers have the added option of being able to save and download their queries. Anyone can run scenarios to determine the best course of action:

Pay highest interest first: If your goal is to avoid interest payments, this is the right scenario for you. Let’s say you have a couple of cards that charge 20 percent interest and you have a couple of cards charging 10 percent interest that have higher balances. You’re better off paying your higher interest cards first because you’ll pay a lot less money in interest and then you can focus on paying down the balances on the other cards.

Minimum payments only: The scheduler will tell you how long it will take you to pay the cards off.

Minimum payments with a snowball: This option tells you how long it’ll take to pay off the cards if you add an additional amount to the minimum payment each month.

Highest balance first: Another option is to pay off the card with the highest balance first to get rid of the bigger debt. You’ll have to apply more of your income to it, but once it’s paid off you can split that amount over several accounts. That way you can get four or five accounts paid off after you pay off one big one.

Lowest balance first: This option will give you the satisfaction of actually paying a credit card off and free up some cash to apply to another card’s balance.

Split Discretionary Evenly: This might be the option for you if your goal is to increase your credit score and the only thing holding it down is a card or two with a balance that’s more than 50% of the card’s limit.  Focus on those cards, get them below 50% debt to limit ratio, and then switch your focus to your high interest or high balance cards.

Bi-monthly payments: Choose this option and the amount of your bi-monthly payment, and the Payment Scheduler will tell you the most effective way to split your payment amount to get everything paid off.

We invite you to try Ovation’s Payment Scheduling Tool. It’s easy to use, helps you find the best way to manage your credit card balances, and puts you in control of your financial future.

Somebody’s Watching You…

By | Consumer Rights, Credit Laws, Credit Repair, Credit Reports, Credit Scores

No, we’re not reminiscing about the 80’s hit by Rockwell…this is more sinister. From hacking computer systems to trapping codes at ATM machines, identity theft is rampant and can have a devastating impact on your life. It can affect your ability to buy a car or a home, it can prevent you from getting a job, and there have been (albeit rare) cases of innocent people being arrested for crimes committed by an identity thief. Keeping a close eye on credit reports is an excellent way to detect fraudulent activity, and credit monitoring can be a helpful tool to do just that.

The three credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian – are required by the federal government to provide an annual copy of your credit report at no charge. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to order it and monitor your own credit by reviewing it carefully to ensure all information is accurate. Doing this once a year is the first step toward thwarting thieves.

The next step would be to hire a company to monitor the credit reports real time and inform you, probably via email, of any changes. Most notices would regard changes in account balances on credit cards or an inquiry for a line of credit at a retail store. In an identity theft scenario though, a thief might use your social security number, stolen while dumpster diving at a local bank, to apply for a new credit card. The timely credit monitoring service notification of this fraudulent application for credit could mean the difference between a small hassle and full-blown, financially crippling identity theft.

Sadly though, not all credit monitoring services are created equal. The ones managed by the three credit reporting agencies are typically pretty good, and the timeliness of the information is excellent – which is the most important element in the detection of fraud. Some of the second tier services though report outdated information since they have to pay for the data and retrieve it periodically from the primary agencies. Another potential problem with the second tier services is that they may offer a free credit report (mimicking the government-mandated service), but once the consumer accepts the free report, they are unwittingly enrolled in a potentially expensive service. What a sneaky and underhanded thing to do – it sure doesn’t make us want to trust them with our financial information.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a program called “Deter, Detect, Defend: Avoid ID Theft.” It is a good program, especially in its education about how to protect personal information (and thereby deter ID theft). Combine this with credit monitoring by a high quality provider and good financial decision-making, and we will stop letting the identity thieves bully us.

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