This last lesson of Financial Peace University was really eye opening. Dave talked about:
- Your credit score
- Identity Theft
- Getting Credit Report Inaccuracies Corrected
- The practices of collection agencies
- The laws to protect you from debt collectors
- How to not get your life taken over by debt collectors
All these things are reviewed in this lesson and he tells you how to deal with all of it. I had no idea that there are laws against debt collectors! You can read the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act here, or (if that’s too much legal jargon for you) read more about it here.
Now, I can’t say that I’ve had much experience in this, but I did miss paying one bill one time and they called my house and talked to me about it. I was pretty young and this was my first experience with this and I tell you what, I was FREAKED OUT! It scared me so much! I learned my lesson from that because I didn’t want to have that feeling again. Fortunately, I got on a budget fast enough that I haven’t had to deal with it again.
First he talks about your credit score. Ultimately, you won’t have to care about your credit score because you’ll be buying everything with cash–cars, houses–can I hear an AMEN! But in the meantime, he recommends checking it annually to make sure there are no inaccuracies because inaccuracies are very common! You can get your free credit check here. And there is a law that states they must remove inaccuracies within 30 days.
He also talked about collection agency workers are calling to get you scared, or upset, or mad in order to get you to pay. But you really need to make sure your necessities (food, shelter, clothing, transportation) are paid, and then you set the order of your payments. Meaning, you pay them when you can. Not when they scare you into it.
But what Dave talks about in this lesson is how to deal with all of it. I had no idea that there are laws against debt collectors! You can read the Act here, or (if that’s too much jargon for you) read more about it here.
What I really loved about what he shared was that we’re not supposed to ignore debt collectors. If you owe them money, then you should pay them! But, they can’t cross the line and start yelling at you in order to get your money. He recommends communicating your situation with them (even sending them a copy of your budget!) and then set very extreme bounds such as, I’ll talk to you once every 2 weeks, or I won’t talk to you if you yell at me, etc. And when they call, doing the things you asked them not to do, just reiterate your point and hang up.
I am not telling even the half of what Dave spoke about, so if you need help, this would be an amazing class for you. I left the class realizing that I wouldn’t have to take the abuse and there’s something I could do about it!