Rebuilding Your Credit Rating Requires Time and Patience
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"Rebuilding Your Credit Rating Requires Time and Patience"

ICFE Says Three Things That Negatively Affect Your Credit; Unpaid Debts, Slow Payments and High Debt to Income Ratios

RELEASE: October 2001
CONTACT: Paul S. Richard, ICFE Executive Director

San Diego, CA.  "The Federal Trade Commission reports thousands of consumers nationwide are being jilted by bogus credit repair offers. The do-it-yourself process is still the most effective, economical method for credit file correction," said Paul S. Richard, executive director of the nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), based in San Diego, CA., which helps consumers improve spending, increase savings and use credit wisely.

An increasing number of individuals and families have accumulated high interest debt and subsequently, some have done significant damage to their creditworthiness. It is unfortunate that unscrupulous firms use questionable advertising, preying on people's false hope, that, for a fee, they can purchase a good credit rating.

No one can "fix" a bad credit rating and anyone who promises that they can is trying to scam your money. Anything they can do quickly to repair only works if the information in your credit file is inaccurate. If that is the case, there is nothing they can do for you that you can't do yourself for free.

Three things primarily adversely affect your credit rating. They are: first and most important, defaulted debts - either debts unpaid or sent to a collection agency, including credit cards, auto loans, student loans and medical bills. Second, is a slow payment history. Third, is one's debt to income ratio which is a comparison of the amount of debt carried and one's ability to make the monthly payments. If there is too much debt and not enough money to make the payments, it is a strike on the credit report.

The only way to correct a bad credit rating is to first reverse the behavior that resulted in a bad credit rating and then be patient. Your credit record, by paying all your bills on time and keeping your debt level low, will gradually improve. All the debt unlikely came about overnight and do not expect it will be improved overnight.

Begin by buying things only after the bills are paid and use cash. Next, at the very least, make the minimum monthly payments on time. Every time you are just a day or two late, it is reported to the credit bureaus and becomes a part of your credit record. Lastly, don't take on any new debt because if you are overextended, this will be another strike on your credit report.

For consumers who need a little assistance, the ICFE's "Do-It-yourself File Correction Guide," contains the latest amendments to the rules by the Federal Trade Commission which oversees the Fair Credit Reporting Reform Act. Also included are a list of consumer credit rights, credit file request forms, sample letters to smooth communications with credit reporting agencies and a special bonus section called "Help with the credit puzzle." There is complete listings of major credit reporting agencies and governmental agencies that help consumers. It has been recommended to consumers by a variety of media including nationally syndicated Tribune media columnist, Humberto Cruz, ("The Savings Game") the Los Angeles Times, Cosmopolitan, Business Week, Consumers Digest, Kiplinger's Personal Magazine, Army Times, Black Enterprise Magazine, Copley News, Knight-Ridder News, Maturity News, L.A. Bargain Book and numerous others.

The cost is still only $10. To order, send $10 to:

ICFE Credit File Correction Guide
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163

Or to use a VISA, MasterCard or American Express, please call 1-619-239-1401 OR visit the ICFE on-line
at: http://www.financial-education-icfe.org.

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton - creator of the "certified financial planner” (CFP) designation - is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The years between 1984 and 2000, the ICFE was also known as the National Center for Financial Education (NCFE).

The ICFE is a nonprofit consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. Over one million "Credit / Debit Card Warning Labels” and "Credit / Debit Card Sleeves” are in circulation world wide.

The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE Magazine (June 9th, 2002) in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the "Money Instruction Book," a course in personal finance, which was completely revised and updated in 2002 and is positioned to become among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education initiatives.

The ICFE's "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide," now in its Twelfth Printing, is in use by thousands of consumer credit and debt counselors in addition to tens of thousands of consumers. It received a "buy” rating in July, August and November from nationally syndicated financial columnist, Humberto Cruz in his column, "The Savings Game". BottomLine Personal newsletter gave the Guide a "Send For” rating in September 2001. The ICFE and our do-it-yourself approach to credit file correction was featured on NBC Nightly News on 04-30-02. The Spanish edition of the Guide premiered in January 2002. Syndicated columnist, Robert Heady also gave the ICFE Guide a "buy” rating.

The ICFE Web site at: www.financial-education-icfe.org helps consumers with mending spending, learn about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also access financial education courses and videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free eNews, and an on-line resource center of financial education learning tools, including videos, books and personal finance courses.

Consumers may learn more on the Internet about the "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide" here, or fill out our request form, indicating your areas of interest.

For more information contact Paul S. Richard ICFE Executive Director at 619-239-1401.

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