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Is Hiring A Credit Repair Agency Worth It? Here’s What To Know



You should exert the effort to be on top of your financial situation, which means that as much as possible, your income should be sufficient to cover all your necessary expenses. In parallel to this, you should also ensure that your bills are settled timely because any late payment can hurt your credit score. However, there are instances wherein no matter how cautious you are with your credit score, you may find errors in your credit report that need to be fixed. It is in these instances wherein you may need to engage the services of a credit repair agency.


But is hiring a credit repair agency worth it? The simple answer is that it depends. Yes, hiring a credit repair agency is worth it with the following scenarios:


Deal with Complex Issues

When you have to deal with complex issues surrounding your credit report, then it may be worthwhile to hire a credit repair agency. For instance, you may be faced with issues like a duplicate collection of data or if your situation has several negative issues, then perhaps you should get some help. However, you need to ensure that you only engage with the best company for credit repair. In this case, they will be able to guide you through the entire process of credit repair.

On the other hand, you need to be wary of credit repair companies that promise to remove all negative information from your credit report, particularly if this is accurate information. Thus, when a credit repair company suggests that you dispute even the accurate information in your credit report, then this should be a red flag already because it is tantamount to fraud. A reliable credit repair agency won’t also pressure you to pay for their services upfront.


Immediately Use your Credit

Another instance where it is worthwhile to engage the services of a credit repair agency is when you immediately need to use your credit. For example, you may be planning to start a small business within the year. In this case, you need to ensure that you have an excellent credit score, particularly if you intend to apply for a loan to fund your business venture. Thus, consider getting services that clean up your credit report. Keep in mind that an additional 50 to a hundred points in your credit score will already go a long way when it comes to increasing your chances of being approved for a loan.


Lack of Time

Finally, when you simply don’t have the time to deal with your credit repair issues yourself, then it is worthwhile to hire credit repair services to help you handle your credit report issues. Keep in mind that the credit repair process is a time-consuming one that most people with full-time jobs won’t be able to handle accordingly. With the services of a credit repair company, you won’t have to go through the grueling process yourself.

On the contrary, you can also work to fix the problems yourself by:


Disputing errors

You have the opportunity to dispute the errors you find in your credit report directly with the major bureaus. In this modern time, almost everything can already be done online, even disputing the errors in your credit report. This proves to be one of the fastest ways to start fixing your credit report issues.


Working on your payment history

Another thing that you can do in an attempt to address your credit report issues yourself is to work on your payment history. Thus, make sure that you pay your bills on time and avoid any late payments. Remember that late payments can drag your credit score down deliberately. In this case, exert the effort to bring a late account current as soon as you can.


Using less of your available credit-repair

Lastly, you should also exert the effort to use less of your available credit to lower your credit utilization ratio. The lower it is, the better your credit score and credit report will be. In this case, what you can do is attempt to make multiple small payments in a billing cycle. This will eventually help reduce your credit utilization ratio.

There are instances wherein it is worth it to hire a credit repair agency, particularly when you need to deal with complex issues as well as when you need to use your credit immediately. It is also beneficial to hire a credit repair agency when you simply don’t have the time to attend to the issues of your credit report yourself. Otherwise, it might be better for you to consider fixing your credit report by yourself.

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?



When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances



Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit



Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.



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