Obtaining Credit where Credit Is Due

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People continue to face serious hardships. They've lost homes, their jobs, their savings, their health insurance and their pensions. Some people who would normally refinance away credit card debt --found themselves unable to go down that path when their home value dropped and their mortgage sunk underwater. If you've ever had problems with your credit, whether caused by your actions or someone else's, then you know what an uphill battle it can be when trying to obtain credit --or repair a less- than-perfect credit rating. Not only can having poor credit cost you a loan or credit line but you'll end up paying more in interest when you do manage to get an offer. In some cases you might even find yourself missing out on housing or job opportunities because a potential landlord or employer runs a credit check before approving your application.

Fortunately there are some companies out there today that understand not everyone has a credit score above 700. Some companies offer personalized tools designed to help consumers better manage their spending and debt and make better financial decisions.

One such company is Planwise, a technology startup that hopes to help you to get a better grasp on your finances. Planwise isn't just another budgeting website; once you enter in all of your financial information to generate a picture of your current and future financial situation the site lets you add your plans and unexpected expenses into the mix to see how well your finances will fare. It's honestly kind of fun to see how your choices will affect your current cash flow and future savings, and it gives you a much better picture of how paying off your credit cards, buying a new car, losing your job or other financial shifts could affect you and your family. The site is free to use, lets you save your information, features social networking integration and doesn't even contain ads to ensure that users have the best possible experience while plotting their financial futures.

Another company you might want to check out is eCredable, a company that offers an alternative credit rating score that helps consumers prove their creditworthiness to potential creditors. Unlike the credit score that you're currently familiar with, the AMP Credit Rating (All My Payments) takes into account a wide range of bills and payments including utilities, cell phone payments and even your rent. eCredable confirms that the debts and payments you report are legitimate --and then creates a credit rating for you based off of those items. There are no confusing numbers or vague scoring practices involved: the AMP Credit Rating is graded from A to F just like the grading system that's used in schools. The verification process used by eCredable meets the standards set forth by Fannie Mae, and everyone involved with the process is Fair Credit Reporting Act certified, so it's not a; "get a good credit score" scam. There is a cost involved, though the exact cost depends on how many bills and payments you choose to have verified.

A number of consumers have contacted me looking for ways to restore their credit rating --or find access to credit they believe they deserve. Either way -- I think that both of these companies have potential to do a lot of good for consumers, especially those who are struggling to overcome financial problems from the past, present -or future. This post is not a paid endorsement. Sharing this info is simply my way of keeping in line with my longstanding commitment to help consumers make informed decisions and in doing so, giving a bit of credit where credit is due. If you decide to try either of these services -let me know if they hold up to my first impressions!


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A memoir exposing the steep price consumers pay when facing mortgage servicing errors, inaccurate credit reporting, illegal debt collection practices, identity theft and weak consumer protection laws. THE BOOK » DENISE'S STORY »