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Smart consumer tips and strategies from Eyewitness News Online



Re-Aging Credit Cards

Late payments. We all have our reasons. And we all end up paying dearly, through late fees or credit scores. But, a little thing called re-aging can save you. Re-aging is a way of giving you a clean slate if youre one, two or three months late on your credit card. You show the credit card issuer that youre in a better position to pay and it agrees to negate late fees and not report those late payments to the credit reporting agencies. Well explain how to get it done.

Second Chance

Check This! First, Ask
If you want your credit card company to consider re-aging your account, you need to ask. You can do this on your own, or go through a credit counseling service.
Check This! Prove it
The company will require you to make about three months of payments before agreeing to re-age your account. You will need to pay on time, and in some cases, pay more than the minimum required. Your account also must be at least nine months old.
Check This! Stay current
You will not be permitted to re-age your account more than once over a 12 month period, or twice in a five year period.

There is help out there for financial matters like late payments, and these days, you can get that help online. Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) is a national nonprofit organization that helps people deal with debt. And one of its newest programs is free online financial advice. Heres the breakdown, according to counseling manager Sue Hunt:

Online Credit Counseling...At a Glance

Check This!Log onto your local CCCS Web site. You can find that address by calling 1-800-251-2227. Once you're on the CCCS site, click on the icon for online counseling. You'll be asked about your income, expenses and debt. Your answers, along with any questions you have, will be e-mailed to a counselor. "They can do it on their lunch hours. If they're awake at 2:00 in the morning, they can take care of it," Hunt says.
Check This!You'll get a response within a day, sometimes as quickly as an hour
Check This!Your Internet counselor will create a debt management plan for you within a matter of hours
Check This!Many clients never have to see a counselor face to face

Warning! Counselors point out that online counseling isn't for everyone. Hunt says some people have complex problems and really need to schedule an appointment in the office.

HAVING TROUBLE?

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling also offers help -- from online credit counseling to office visits. Click here to explore your options.

Smart Idea! BRIGHT IDEA!
If you're carrying a lot of debt right now, when will you finally pay it off?
Click here to calculate how long it will take to pay down your debt.

Money Saving Tip!Did You Know?

More than 40 percent of US families use credit to spend more money than they actually earn.

GET MORE FOR YOUR MONEY
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from Fox11 Eyewitness News Online










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