The Real Challenge of Personal Finance

I believe it is far easier to earn more money than it is to accumulate wealth, in America at least.

72% of Americans would find it somewhat difficult or very difficult to pay that month’s bills if they lost their job today. In simplest terms, that simple fact means that it’s the norm to spend everything that you bring in and not accumulate anything.

Add to that the fact that the average American household income is above $50,000 a year and you have a recipe for a society in which an awful lot of people are spending an awful lot of money without accumulating very much at all.

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5 Things to Do if You’re Behind on Your Bills


Sometimes, though, we hear from people who are in a hole that goes beyond debt.

There are two pieces to the “behind on your bills” issue. First, there are people who (later) find that the money they have is enough – but they’re not using it in a way that allows it to be. Second, there are people who simply, at this time, don’t have enough money to pay even the minimums due on various accounts, including non-debt accounts like their electric bills.

Either way, nothing will change unless you’re willing to take action. 

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Homeowners Out of Luck in Finding Foreclosure Relief

Bank of America is making national headlines, as six former employees filed declarations in a federal court this month alleging that the mortgage lender engaged in fraudulent practices to force customers into foreclosure.

As the largest mortgage servicer in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) when the program began in 2009, Bank of America held twice as many eligible loans as the next largest bank. But former employees are claiming that bank officials arbitrarily declined masses of applications, rewarded employees for foreclosing on homes and falsely claimed they hadn’t received documents from homeowners.

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4 Little-Known Reasons to Keep Your Credit Score High

credit score

You probably know that if your credit score is relatively low, it will make it harder for you to buy a car or get a mortgage. But these days, there are countless other aspects of your life that your three-digit credit score impacts. From job prospects to student loans, find out some more reasons why you’ll want to keep your credit score high.


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How to Live Debt-Free: Tips to Help Eliminate Debt

Paying down debt may reduce the rates you could pay on future loans and save you a lot in interest payments.


Making a long-term effort to pay down debt can eventually allow you to live more debt-free. With just a simple debt management plan, you can live debt-free.


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What to do if you need Bad Credit Help

Get Bad Credit Help.

If you are struggling with bad credit, Legacy Legal can help. Legacy Legal is a professional team of paralegals who has helped thousands of consumers, like yourself, improve their bad credit. Our goal at Legacy Legal is to see our clients achieve a credit score of at least 700, which enables them to get the most favorable rates and terms for loans, mortgages and insurance and can even help them get a job.

How to handle Bad Credit History Repair

What does “Bad Credit History Repair” mean?
If you have bad credit and would like to repair it but don’t know how, you might type “bad credit history repair” into a search engine to pull up information on how to repair your bad credit history. Bad credit repair does not mean bad service from a credit repair company or that credit repair is bad. It simply means bad credit history that is in need of repair.

You do not need to be trapped by bad credit!
So many American consumers are trapped by bad credit. You may be one of them. Whatever the circumstances that led to your bad credit history, you can improve it through the credit repair process. There are people who will say that repairing bad credit is illegal or unethical and that only time and responsible money management will improve your credit report. Yes, these are certainly important factors, but at the same time there is more you could be doing to repair your bad credit history. There is a legal and ethical process that can lead to the removal of many negative items on your credit report.


“Paid in full” charged off account is better

charged off

Dear Experian,
If you have a charged off account, is it better for it to show “paid in full” or “settled for less?”

Dear JMN,
It is always better for an account to show it was paid in full than to show it was settled for less than the full balance.

A status of “settled for less than full balance” means that you negotiated repayment of the loan for less than was actually owed. Any time you fail to repay the full amount you owe it will be considered negative.

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How Identity Theft Can Kill a Small Business

Identity theft is on the rise again, hitting a 3-year high and producing one new victim every three seconds in 2012, according to a study released Wednesday by Javelin Strategy & Research. Data breaches are responsible for much of the stolen personal information. One in four people who received a breach notification letter fell victim to identity theft, the study found, compared with one in five people in 2011.

Fallout from the upswing in identity theft is hurting small businesses. Fraud victims are more selective of where they shop after an incident, the study said. About 15 percent of all fraud victims actively changed their shopping behavior, avoiding smaller online merchants in favor of larger retail sites.

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Is It Worth Paying for Mortgage Points?

When applying for a mortgage, having a stellar credit score (think: 720 or higher) is the best way to land a low interest rate. But did you know that you could pay additional money at closing to get an even lower interest rate?

Before you commit to a specific loan, your lender might ask you (and if he doesn’t, inquire yourself) if you’re interested in buying points. A point is essentially a fee that is 1 percent of the loan amount. For every point you buy, your interest will generally be lowered 0.125 to 0.25 percent in return…

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