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Credit Management Kit For Dummies

ISBN: 978-1-118-14561-6
408 pages
August 2011
Credit Management Kit For Dummies (1118145615) cover image
The painless way to manage credit in today's financial landscape

People with great credit scores are getting turned down for credit cards and loans for homes and cars. What do they need besides a good score? What are lenders looking for now that they are extremely risk-averse? Repairing broken or damaged credit is one thing, but having to meet today's much stiffer credit standards requiring that consumers consistently manage their credit is another thing all together. Credit Management Kit For Dummies gives you answers to these questions and insight into these concerns, and also walks you down the correct path to credit application approval.

You'll discover major changes with the Credit CARD (Credit Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure) Act provisions and the new Consumer Financial Protection Legislation Agency; the effect of tightened credit markets on those with good, marginal, or bad credit; new rules and programs including Hope and Government options via the Obama Administration; the best ways to recover from mortgage related credit score hits; tips for minimizing damage after walking away from a home; credit score examples with new ranges; and much more.

  • The pros and cons of credit counselors
  • The quickest and most effective way to undo damage from identity theft
  • Advice and tips about adding information to a credit report, and beefing-up thin credit
  • Guidance for evaluating your Credit Score in today's economy
  • Fannie Mae's revised guidelines for purchasing mortgages
  • Information on significant others (boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse) and credit and debt sharing
  • IRS exceptions to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act in a mortgage meltdown situation

Not just for those who have bad credit and need to repair it, Credit Management Kit For Dummies also serves as an invaluable resource for those with average credit who want, or need, to manage it to get a job, reduce insurance costs, qualify for banking products, and more.

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Foreword xix

Introduction 1

Part I: Credit Management: An Essential 21st-Century Skill for Financial Success 7

Chapter 1: Introducing Credit Management Essentials in a Tightened Credit Market 9

Chapter 2: Gaining Control of Your Credit 25

Chapter 3: Taking a Sustainable Approach to Your Financial Environment 33

Chapter 4: Creating a Spending (And Savings) Plan for Your Future 45

Chapter 5: Protecting Your Credit in the Post–Financial Meltdown World 69

Part II: Writing on Your Personal Credit Wall: Credit Reporting and Scoring in the Facebook Age 85

Chapter 6: Discovering How Credit Reporting Works 87

Chapter 7: Understanding Credit Reports and Scores 99

Chapter 8: Monitoring Your Credit Reports and Scores 123

Part III: Creating Solid Credit Strategies for Every Stage in Life 135

Chapter 9: Building Credit: Getting Started (or Restarted) in Life 137

Chapter 10: Accounting for the Effect of Life’s Necessities 161

Chapter 11: Keeping Your Credit Great When Faced with Major Life Events 173

Chapter 12: Controlling Access to Your Identity 203

Part IV: Navigating Negative Credit 215

Chapter 13: Turning Your Credit Around 217

Chapter 14: Polishing Your Credit Reports 233

Chapter 15: Getting the Best Help for Bad Credit for Free 247

Chapter 16: Coping with Bad Credit and Debts 259

Chapter 17: Managing Credit in a Mortgage Crisis 281

Chapter 18: Working with Collectors, Lawyers, and the Courts to Manage Debt Obligations 293

Chapter 19: Minimizing Credit Damage in a Bankruptcy 309

Chapter 20: Repairing Identity Theft Credit Damage 329

Part V: The Part of Tens 337

Chapter 21: Ten Consumer Protections Everyone Needs to Know 339

Chapter 22: Ten Tips to Achieving Stellar Credit 347

Chapter 23: Ten Ways to Successfully Manage Financial Emergencies 353

Appendix: About the CD 359

Index 369

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Steve Bucci is a nationally syndicated columnist for the financial mega-site Bankrate.com and a contributing columnist for the Providence Journal. Bucci is also the former president of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern New England, former managing director of the Center for Personal Financial Education at the University of Rhode Island, and a personal finance coach.
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