Getting an Item Removed From Your Credit Report

Getting an Item Removed From Your Credit Report

Hello, everyone. Can you believe that it’s already September? I’ve discussed credit on this site a few times. A good credit score is something that we should all strive for. In previous articles, I’ve discussed the average credit scores and ways to boost it. Ever since I raised my credit score by 168 points in an eight-month timeframe, I’ve been focused on trying to get it even higher.

I looked over my credit report and realized that I had late payments on three accounts. They were from 2010 – 2013. I didn’t want to wait the full seven years for them to fall off my credit report, so I decided to do some research and see what I could find to help with that. I stumbled across something called a goodwill letter. At the time I had never heard of it before, but I was intrigued.

What is a goodwill letter?

A goodwill letter or goodwill credit adjustment is a way to repair your credit report. According to twocents.com, the purpose of the goodwill letter is to restore your credit to good standing by having a lender or servicer erase a lateness on your credit report.

When I read that information, I figured that it was worth a shot. I realized that if I could get those late payments removed my credit score would increase even more. I did some more research and found out that goodwill letters had a 50/50 chance of working. It seems that some people were flat out lucky because their letter got into the right hands. I saw that people went into detail about what their circumstances were and what they are now. They usually discuss how they’ve grown from their past mistakes and are better and more responsible people.

I drafted three separate letters for my three accounts. Then, I went into detail about what was going on in my life at the time and why my payments were late. I then expressed regret and showed them that I’ve been making years of on-time payments.

I also read online that a lot of people have been having success by emailing the letters to the CEO’s or presidents of the lender companies. Since many people were doing that, I figured that I’d try it as well. If that didn’t work, I’d send a physical letter. I emailed the three companies on a Sunday afternoon. By Monday morning, one of them had contacted me. They called my phone and left a message. I thought that was a good sign. After a day or two of playing phone tag, I was finally able to get in contact with a representative. She stated they reviewed my inquiry, but that they were not able to give me a goodwill credit adjustment at this time.

I wasn’t worried. I knew there was a 50/50 chance so I will try again in 6 months. As for the other two companies, I haven’t heard anything back from them yet. I plan on sending actual letters to them this time. Hopefully, that works. If it doesn’t, I’ll try again. Some of the people that get those goodwill adjustments have been persistent. They’ve contacted their lenders multiple times each year until they found the representative that would approve their adjustment. I’m about to join that club. Once that happens, I will be sure to share my results with y’all.

Have you ever had an item removed from your credit report? 



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Getting Your Credit Score In Order

 

Getting Your Credit Score In OrderThis post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission on purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this site. Read the full disclosure here.

What do you think of when you hear the word credit score? Some people have good thoughts, while others try not to even think about it.  According to Investopedia.com a credit score is a numeric expression of a person’s creditworthiness that is used by lenders to access the likelihood that a person will repay his or her debts. A credit score is a number that is between 300 – 850.  The higher your score, the better the opportunity is for you to get a credit card or loan with good interest rates.

Your credit score consists of five categories. They are your payment history, the length of credit history, amounts owed, types of credit used and new credit.

I check my credit score at least once a month. Ever since it increased by 168 points in 9 months, I’ve been addicted. I like to know where I stand and what I need to work on. If you don’t have the best credit score, there are a few things that you can do to increase it.

Free Copies

You can request 3 FREE copies of your credit report. The three major credit bureaus are Transunion, Experian, and Equifax. Each credit bureau will allow you to get your free credit report once a year. It’s important to get your report from more than one company because there could be discrepancies on there. Take the time to review each report. If you see any inaccuracies, contact the credit company immediately.

Make On-time Payments

Make sure that you are making on-time payments for all of yours bills. 35% percent of your credit score is your payment history. That’s more than a third of it. If you pay your bills late each month, you have to change that. Besides the effect on your credit score, paying your bills late will cause you to have late fees. Late fees can be anywhere from $20 – $50. Imagine having to pay that one several types of accounts. Pay attention to your due dates and pay your bills online.

Pay Your Credit Card In-Full Each Month

Another thing that will help you when you are getting your credit score in order is to pay your credit card in full each month. I’m not going to lie. For some people, this one will not be easy. Some people tend to use their credit card for all their shopping and only make the minimum payment each month. If you want your score to get higher, you have to develop a little bit of discipline and watch your credit card usage. If you have a high credit card balance, you should do whatever you have to to pay it down. Once it’s at zero, use it wisely and pay it in full each month.

Credit Sesame

I also use a website called Credit Sesame. It provides you a credit score and so much more. It differs from Experian, Transunion, and Equifax in the fact that it provides recommendations. For example, it shows you credit cards that you could qualify that has a low APR. It also shows you an overview of your total debt. It allows you to see everything in one place. For more info, sign up here. (It’s free.)

If you are working on getting your credit score in order, I want you to know that you can make it happen. I’m living proof. My credit score was flat out bad at the beginning of 2015. I was able to get it better. Make sure that you use a website that says you can get your credit report for free. There are others out there, but some will try to charge you money to see your score. Don’t be a victim and pay for something that you can get for free!

What are some ways that you are working on getting your credit score in order?


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August 2017 Debt & Life Update

August 2017 Debt & Life UpdateThis post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission on purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this site. Read the full disclosure here.

What’s up, everyone? August has come and went. This was another pretty good month. I continued to focus on my side hustles, mainly eBay. I’ve been researching and finding more items to sell. My eBay shelf is full right now. As of this writing, I have 84 items live on eBay. That is a personal record for me. Part of me wants to get to 100 items, but I don’t want things just sitting around my apartment.

I’ve continued to play around with Pinterest as well. It is currently my number one traffic source. I currently use Tailwind to help me with my pin scheduling. It has saved me a lot of time. I schedule pins once or twice a week, and that’s it. If you are a blogger, you should consider signing up for Tailwind. They are currently giving new users a free month. You can sign up for it with my unique link.

If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, the time is now.  Check out my step by step guide on creating a website with Bluehost. Use my link to get your hosting for as little as $3.45 per month (this low price is only available through my link). It usually costs $7.99 per month. You also get a free domain when you sign up through my link.

I also took this month to focus and create my first course titled “The Beginner’s eBay Course.” If you’re interested in selling on eBay, you should check it out. It goes live in a couple of weeks. Sign up here to get more info.

Posts of the Month

How I Made $3215 in Side Hustle Income the 2nd Quarter of 2017

4 Reasons Why I Like Lavar Ball

How to Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

10 Ways to Save Money on Travel

Debt Update

My total debt went down from $62,158.69 to $61,777.00. That was a decrease of $381.69. It’s lower this month because I got a notice from Uncle Sam. I set up a payment plan, but I want to pay these taxes as soon as possible. That means that I will have to make more than the minimum payment on my payment plan.

Let’s have a look at my updated debt numbers.

Loan 2 – Down from $3845 to $3550

Navient – Down from $23,439.54 to $23,416.70

Nelnet – Down from $34,820.15 to $34,810.30

How was your August? Did anything exciting happen to you?




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21 Experts Share What Their First Side Hustle Was

21 Experts Share What Their First Side Hustle WasHappy Friday everyone! I hope this has been a good week for you. If you’ve been reading TBJ for a while, then you know I love a good side hustle. Selling things on eBay to designing and selling shirts are just a couple of my side hustles. In my opinion, everyone should have a side hustle. Things are better when you have multiple streams of income.

If you’ve never had a side hustle before, you might have some doubts. You might be wondering what type of side hustle you can do. You may also ask yourself would it be successful. Having doubts will stop you in your footsteps. Don’t let that happen to you. You have to get out there and try some side hustles.

We all have to start somewhere. 21 experts shared with me what their first side hustle was. They also shared with me if it was successful or not. Let’s start with the first expert.

Liz Stapleton – Less Debt More Wine

“My first side hustle was refereeing kid’s soccer. I made $20 a game every Saturday. That was more than I made at my regular job.”

Briana Ford – Awesomely Techie

“My first side hustle was freelance writing. I was definitely successful, but boy did I burn out quick. Scaled without proper planning.”

Grayson Bell – Debt Round Up

“My first side hustle was mobile detailing when I was in high school. It taught me a lot about running a business, advertising, profit margins and more. For a teenager, I would say that it was successful. As an adult, I realize the many mistakes I made. I was able to make a few thousand dollars in one summer but stopped before college.”

Martin Seay Jr. – SigmaPrints

“I was seven years old, and my aunt worked at an elementary school. She would get old decommission library books. I setup the books on my grandmother’s stoop and tried to rent the books to people passing by. I failed miserably.”

Jessica Moorhouse – Jessica Moorhouse

“My first side hustle was a teleprompter operator for the news. I did it at night after my day job working in sales. It was successful in that I earned more (hardly made anything at my day job), and it helped me save up money for my emergency fund and my wedding.”

Dominque Brown – Your Finances Simplified

“My side hustle is my main job now! Started a blog, now we are here.”

David Carlson – Young Adult Money

“My first side hustle was playing poker on the weekends at a local casino when I was 18 years old. Some would say this is simply gambling, but I studied the game and was a winner over time.

I definitely would say this side hustle was successful as I made a few grand from it. I used some of the money to pay for a volunteer service trip to Juarez, Mexico. My future wife was also on this trip, and we started dating a few months after. It goes without saying that I’m glad I did this side hustle!”

Nick Loper – Side Hustle Nation

“My first side hustle was a comparison shopping site for footwear, which ultimately was the vehicle that let me quit my job. It earned money as an affiliate for Zappos and other online shoe stores. Before investing in having the site built, I tested the idea with Google text ads for specific models of shoes starting with a budget of $1 a day. That was my way of “firing bullets before cannonballs.” in “Good to Great” speak,”

Teresa Mears – Living on The Cheap

“My first side hustle was selling Wallace Brown greeting cards. It was a total flop. I hated, hated, hated selling door to door! But I was quite successful as a teenage piano teacher from age 13 to 16 until I was old enough to get a regular job.”

Bola Sokunbi – Clever Girl Finance

“My first side hustle was a part time wedding photography business. I ran it for seven years and averaged about $40,000 a year from it. During my highest paying year, I made $70,000, but I wound it down because I started losing my passion for it. It was also physically demanding and also time-consuming. I also still worked full-time and was a new mom to twins.”



Andrew Daniels – Family Money Plan

“My first side hustle was buying and selling musical instruments that people were trying to get rid of. I worked in a music store and was able to track down special types of guitars, basses, etc. for both first time musicians and collectors. It was great. I would go to pawn shops or look through classified ads. Then I would be able to resell them in a retail environment as second hand. The instruments were gently used, but way better value than buying a new one. My first instrument was a Garth Brooks guitar, and I made 300% in under 24 hours. After that, I was hooked. I loved that side hustle.”

Dorethia Kelly – The Money Chat

“My first side hustle was home and office cleaning. It was successful in that I did the work and got paid. I picked it up and dropped it whenever I needed to while working, going to school, being a mama, etc.”

Melissa Hoffman – Sun Burnt Saver

“My first side hustle was creating websites for people who played this (old and probably not in circulation anymore) computer game. There were really primitive forums around back then for this game, and I “advertised” there. It was successful for a pre-teen, but I gave up on it once I went to high school and decided boys were more interesting than coding. HUGE Mistake. (No offense to the men here).”

Kylie Travers – The Thrifty Issue

“As a kid/teen, it was delivering newspapers, washing cars and babysitting. Basically, anything I could get my hands on to get paid to do, I did. As an adult, it was being a dental assistant while I was a full-time hairdresser (Did dental work on my days off from hairdressing), plus I did hairdressing for friends and family after work. I moved out at 17, so I needed to make extra cash.”

Crystal Stemberger – Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

“When it first opened, and business was slow, Bidz.com gave huge coupons to bid and buy. I was 17 years old and bought gold and diamond jewelry for $10 of shipping and resold to pawn shops in my area. I ended up banking $500+ before their promotion ended.”

Linsey Knerl – Linsey Knerl

“I used to buy homeschool books on a site called Wagglepop (like eBay) and then resell on eBay. No one knew about Wagglepop at the time, so you could pay pennies for things and then resell high. It was the best kind of arbitrage.”

Robert Farrington – The College Investor

“My first side hustle was selling my own stuff on eBay. I started selling my old SNES and video games and moved into all kinds of random toys, CD’s, and DVS’s I had laying around my room. Once I sold all the stuff that I didn’t want, I started going to garage & estate sales and buying things to resell. It was very successful, and I still sell stuff on eBay. I just looked, and my eBay account was started in January 2002. That’s crazy. I was still in high school. At my peak during college, I was earning about $2000 a month in profit from buying and reselling.”

Joseph Hogue – My Work From Home Money

“My first side hustle was writing stock market analysis and reports in 2011. I had just earned the Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) destination and wanted to get started as an analyst. Since my day job was a Labor Market Economist, I didn’t get a lot of opportunities to talk stocks so I started looking around for websites and advisors that would hire me to freelance for them.

I found my best marketing tool was a report I did on market integration, a report that got picked up by Bloomberg and got me a spot on an expert panel at a conference in New York. Sometimes it’s this initial portfolio-building work that needs to be done to show potential clients. Having the designation helped a lot, and I was able to find three clients that gave me regular work for years.”

ESI – ESI Money

“My first side hustle was writing articles on money and marketing (two separate topics) for magazines. We wanted to pay off our mortgage, and I liked to write. So I started a freelance business and pitched some magazines. I built my way up from writing for 10 cents a word to $1 a word over the course of four years. I ultimately earned $10K to $15K per year and put most of the money toward the mortgage. Once it was paid off, I shut down the business as magazines were beginning to pay less and writing at 2 am several nights a week was killing me. But the side hustle was a key reason we’ve been without a mortgage for over 20 years.”

Chris Abrams – Abram Insurance Solutions

“I started a second website called MJ Life Insurance. It took about five months to start getting leads and just closed my second life insurance case. This income has reimbursed me for the website creation and start-up costs. The next life insurance policy will turn a profit for the site.”

Gary Weiner – Super Saving Tips

From the age of about 13, I was always looking for ways to make extra money. I had jobs such as working on an Italian ice truck serving ices and pretzels, selling light bulbs, door to door, and a regular job as a cook in our local luncheonette. As a true side hustle, after I was married and working full time, my wife and I started a part time business selling wedding invitations from our home (before the internet). We obtained many popular wedding invitation books at little or no cost and then advertised locally to obtain customers. We were somewhat successful and made a few extra dollars each month, but it never lived up to my expectations. I’m glad I did it because I learned a lot about running my own business and that later helped me when I became a flea market vendor for a side hustle several years later.”

21 experts just shared their first side hustle experiences. Some did great and others not so much. One thing they didn’t do is stop trying. They all have successful businesses. I’m not sure about you, but that is very motivating. If you don’t have a side hustle yet, you now have 21 examples to consider. My first side hustle was selling calendars in 7th grade. That now makes 22 examples. It’s time to stop making excuses.  Figure out what side hustle works for you the best and start making this extra money.

What was your first side hustle?




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Labor Day Destinations

labor day

This post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission on purchases made through links at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this site. Read the full disclosure here.

Labor Day Weekend is looked at as the end of summer. Classes are about to be back in session. The college football and the NFL seasons are also upon us. A lot of people take one final trip during Labor Day weekend. They want to enjoy cities before the season changes to fall. Here are five Labor Day destinations for you.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois is a great Labor Day destination. It’s one of my favorite cities to visit in the country. Navy Pier is always nice to check out. There are a lot of shops and restaurants out there. If you are a baseball fan, you should check the MLB schedule to see if the Cubs or the White Sox are in town. You can also enjoy a day of people watching at Grant Park.

Atlanta, Georgia

Centennial Park will be filled with people having fun.  Adults and children will be enjoying the fountain of rings.  The Braves may also be in town. There are also numerous day parties and festivals going on in Atlanta, too. One festival, House on the Park happens every Labor Day Weekend. It takes place at Grant Park. People are out there grilling and listening to house music all day. It’s a fun time. The weather will hot, and muggy so make sure that you dress accordingly.

 

New York, New York

You have so much to choose from in New York. Times Square, Chinatown, and Central Park are just a few options.  The Yankees and the Mets may also be playing some home games that weekend. If you are a tennis fan, you can check out The U.S. Open. That event takes place in Queens. Also, the Labor Day Carnival will be going on in Brooklyn.

Charleston, South Carolina

If you are looking for a laid back relaxing weekend, Charleston is the place to go.  You can also check out the beaches. The Low Country Jazz festival will also be going on this weekend. Charleston won’t have as many people there some of the other cities on this list. Charleston’s southern charm may be what you’re looking for in a Labor Day getaway.

San Diego, California

The final city on the list is San Diego. San Diego has great weather year-round. There will be a couple of festivals going on during the weekend. You can also take a day or two to enjoy Mission Beach or La Jolla. As far as sports, the San Diego Padres might have some home games too.

If you plan on going to any cities near water make sure that you check the weather. It is hurricane season. The worst thing that you want to do is book a trip and then have it canceled due to weather. This happened to me a few years ago. I booked a Labor Day trip to New Orleans only to have it canceled due to Hurricane Isaac. The good thing was that I was able to get the trip refunded.

What will be your Labor Day destination this year?

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Back To School Tips For College Students

Back To School Tips For College StudentsCan you believe that the first week of August is almost over? You know what that means right? The summer break for college students is winding down. It is almost that time for the Fall semester to start. In today’s post, I will be going over a few back to school tips for college students.

Make sure your financial aid information has been completed.

After working in 2 different financial aid offices, I find it amazing to see how many returning students don’t complete their financial aid paperwork until the last minute. If you’re reading this and you’re still in college I hope that you completed yours in May or June. If not, good luck. August is the peak season for colleges. Financial Aid usually takes longer to process during this time. If you haven’t finished turning in your paperwork you risk the chance of having to pay out of pocket or worse missing the semester.

Make sure your schedule is correct.

Review your class schedule to make sure there aren’t any changes. One semester I had registered for a class in May and by the beginning of August, the classroom number had changed. I’m glad I decided to check my schedule. If not, I would have been looking crazy going to the wrong classroom. You don’t want to be stressed out the 1st day because of scheduling issues.

Review your class locations.

If you are taking back to back classes you want to make sure that they are in the same building or at least near each other. A couple of days before the classes start you may want to take a test run to make sure that you will be able to get to them on time.

Move in early.

If you’re living on campus try to move in early. It’s always good to beat the crowd and get your stuff situated before everyone gets there. Moving in early also gives you time to relax and get focused for the beginning of the semester.



Talk to your roommates about rules.

If you’re lucky you should have been able to request who you wanted to live with before the Spring semester was over. If you know your roommates already you probably don’t need to go over too many rules. If you didn’t have the chance to request you’re roommates you should definitely go over a few things such as cleaning schedule, who takes out the trash, etc. That should save you some headaches down the line.

Contact your professors in advance.

You may or may not need a textbook for all your classes. Before you send that $150 per book contact your professors. They will let you know if you will need the textbook. If they do use the book they may even advise to get an earlier edition to help save money.

Decide if you want to join any organizations.

A lot of returning students think about joining organizations on campus during their 2nd or 3rd year. I pledged during my 3rd year in school. I took the summer to do my research. I’m glad I did it. I also wish I would have joined a couple other groups on campus as well.

Get adequate rest before the 1st day.

Finally, make sure you get adequate rest before the 1st day of classes. The first day of school any year can be a whirlwind. It’s even worse in college. Don’t be surprised if your professors give you an assignment. You want to make sure that you are well rested for it.

Those are a few tips for returning college students. Do you have any more back to school tips for college students? Did I miss anything?

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5 Easy Ways to Stay out of Debt

5 Easy Ways to Stay out of DebtThe amount of debt that the US has is over 16 trillion dollars. That amount is ridiculously high. As I previously posted I have some debt that I am working on paying off. In the next few months, I will go into overdrive and work even harder to pay it off. I know that I’ll be able to make it happen. I just have to stay focused.

Unfortunately, I know that I’m not the only one in debt. You might be in debt and is having a hard time coming up with a plan to pay it back. In today’s post, I want to share with you five easy ways to stay out of debt.

Create a budget

Creating a budget is very important. A budget is a spending plan that shows you where your money goes. If something is not in your budget don’t buy it. It might be hard to get used to a budget at the beginning, but if you are focused, it will work. There are multiple apps out there that can help you with your budget. One of my favorite apps is Mint. I wrote a review about it here.

Pay bills on time

Paying your bills on time helps to keep you out of debt and it also helps your credit score. At one point I used to pay several bills late each month. Most of those bills were collecting interest and late fees. My finances were not a pretty sight. I took the time to go through each bill and I wrote all the due dates in my planner. Then I contacted the creditors that I was behind on and started paying them. It took me a few months, but I was able to get current on all of them. If you’re in a similar situation, I want you to know that you can on track too.



Don’t spend money you don’t have

Sometimes people buy stuff even if they don’t have the money for it. Whether it’s using a credit card too much or allowing your checking account to become negative, don’t spend money you don’t have. I have made mistakes in the past by over spending. Having to pay your bank or credit union an overdraft fee is not fun. I’m not 100% against using credit cards. I just think that people should use them in moderation. People get in a lot of debt and they truly don’t need to be in it.

Forget about keeping up with the Joneses

This one is tied into #3. I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Keeping up with the Joneses”It means that you are trying to match someone’s social status.  Don’t do it. The Joneses are usually broke. You don’t have to be like them. Don’t spend money that you don’t have. Nothing positive will come out of it. The people that you are spending to impress don’t give a damn about you anyway.

Avoid credit cards or loans that have high interest

When applying for a credit card or loan, you should make sure you choose the one with the lowest interest rate. If you can’t pay your credit card off each month, the low-interest card is the best option. I hate paying interest, but I’d rather pay it on a credit card that has an interest rate of 12% instead of one with 22%. The interest will add up quickly. Luckily, I paid off my credit card debt earlier this year.

You’ve just read 5 easy ways to stay out of debt. Paying attention to your money. Don’t get caught up trying to be like someone else. Debt is a huge problem for millions of people in this country right now. If you can, try not be like everyone else. Strive to be debt free. I am looking forward to the day when I can say that.

What other ways do you know of that can help people stay out of debt?

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