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Four Things You Can Do To Raise Your FICO Score

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Have you just exited bankruptcy and want to prepare for some big life changes such as buying a house or new car? You’ll want to first improve your FICO score. FICO is the score used by lenders to help them determine if you’re a good credit risk. While standards vary by lender, a FICO score above 640 should get you a pretty decent loan. But a little improvement never hurt anything. Below are a few things you should do to improve your FICO score:

1. Use your credit cards. It’s understandable that you want to be frugal after bankruptcy, but having an inactive credit card on your credit report can actually bring down your FICO score. To avoid problems, try to use your card at least once every few months, but pay it off immediately.

2. Get more credit. If you have a short credit history with very little credit line variety, make sure you get at least one type of various credit lines. For example, having both a credit card and installment loan is a good way to improve your FICO score and show lenders that you can manage different types of debt.

3. Don’t keep your credit cards at the limit. If you’re keeping a balance on your credit card try to keep it at no more than 50% of your available credit. Lenders will shy away from anyone who is maxing out their credit line. That screams credit risk.

4. Don’t become a credit hound. While exiting bankruptcy is an exciting time to rebuild your finances, chasing after too many credit lines can drag down your FICO score. Choose a small number of credit applications to fill out so that you don’t appear desperate for credit.

If you want to make the most of your post-bankruptcy life, create a strategy to improve your FICO score.

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As Easy As ABC…Affordable Bankruptcy Courses!

It has been a long week, and what better way to wind down than with a light-hearted anagram?

Approved provider of Credit Counseling
Financial freedom 
Fresh start for your finances
Offering you… 
Relief from debt
Debtor Education Course – found here
An opportunity for you to have your debts discharged
Bankruptcy courses – both pre and post filing
Learn new skills – budgeting, financial rebuilding
EOUST-approved

Think bankruptcy courses, think Affordable. Thank you to all our dedicated readers who have been reading our posts thus far.

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What Do Bankruptcy And Animals Have in Common?

if-bankruptcy-were-an-animalWhen sitting down to write this post, I had a long hard think: If bankruptcy were an animal, what would it be? Would it be a fierce predator, ready to make its attack on its unassuming prey, or would it be the prey itself, quivering behind a bush and plotting its escape?

Sometimes you may feel like bankruptcy is the predator and you are the prey – something that on first glance, you are entirely justified in believing. But let’s take a step back for a moment and think. Bankruptcy is a form of debt relief. It did not occur to cause you financial problems; it is there as a result of them. In short: by discharging your debts and filing for bankruptcy, you are able to start fresh financially. It ends your financial worries.

You could almost go as far as to say bankruptcy is rescuing you from a financial future riddled with stress and debt. So referring back to the question at the beginning of this post: if bankruptcy were an animal, what would it be? Which animals spring to mind when thinking of rescue?

Perhaps a seeing eye dog? Fiercely loyal to their owner during times of need, these dogs are specifically trained to provide a service to the visually impaired. They are protecting them against unexpected obstacles, and ensuring they reach their destination safely and unharmed.

I’m sure you can see where we are going with this. Isn’t this exactly what bankruptcy does? It provides a service to those struggling financially, protecting them against their mountain of debt and ensuring they are put forth on the road to a fresher, brighter financial future – safely and unharmed. Just like a seeing eye dog, bankruptcy guides people along the right path. Credit Counseling, Debtor Education…these are both found on the route to your fresh start.

At first this may seem like a far-fetched comparison, but the point to note is that the negative perception of bankruptcy is far from the truth. Upon reflection, the opportunity to have your debts discharged through bankruptcy is actually something to feel good about. It is your opportunity to begin again. Like a cat – you are being given an opportunity to use the 2nd of your 9 lives. And this time you will land on your feet. Just like a cat always does.

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The Song Of Bankruptcy: Your Melody of Money

bankruptcy-musicFor as long as we can remember, recording artists put pen to paper – and hands to instruments – to showcase their musical talents to their adoring public. Most songs follow the same pattern in most cases: chorus, verse, repeat, then after the orchestral climax in the middle as the song gets into full swing, it comes to an – often abrupt – end. Often the focus is about love – first love, happiness, unrequited feelings, heartbreak or otherwise. And each and every song conveys a message; more often than not about that love and the happiness – and tragedies – that accompany it.

So how is bankruptcy similar to this?

During this time, money is not exactly the object of your affection, but it is taking center stage in your thought processes right now. So to put it into a musical context, the song of bankruptcy would not be a consistently happy one – similar to those countless melodies you hear filled with the agonizing pain of unrequited love. But oftentimes, it is the sad, songs of a slow tempo that tug at your heart strings the most, and are the most relatable.

It would perhaps start in a melancholy fashion, and will feature many twists and turns up until the finale – a much welcome finale in the case of bankruptcy and financial woes. We even wrote a post on this recently, on the emotional bankruptcy cycle. Stress, anger, sadness…these are all completely normal emotions to experience during this time in your life. You, among all the hundreds of thousands of other bankruptcy filers each year, are all experiencing the same thing. And your bankruptcy song will follow very much the same pattern as the filers around you.

It may not have a large accepting audience, but that is nothing to concern yourself with at this stage. To quote the famous Dr. Seuss, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” Surround yourself with true friends when showcasing your bankruptcy melody. They will stick by you through thick and thin. Even if you have difficulty singing in tune or strumming a guitar. 😉

There are many steps to take into consideration in the process of having your debts discharged – predominantly finding an EOUST-approved provider of the required Credit Counseling and Debtor Education. These would form the body of the first and last verses, respectively. And the remainder of the song is all about you. What do you want to sing about during this time? How have your financial troubles impacted you? Now is your time to relieve yourself of this stressful burden for just a few moments, and envisage life after filing –financial freedom, lower stress levels, and for those of you who are tone deaf, there will hopefully be no reason to subject your friends and family to any more singsongs. 😉

If you aren’t one for singing, perhaps try our bankruptcy video game? It doesn’t matter how you keep your spirits high during a period of financial distress, so long as you have an outlet to effectively do so. When making the strides to eliminate your debts, remember the most important person in all of this: you. Remember to be kind to yourself and keep your spirits lifted. Just like how a heart-warming song does for the soul.

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Bankruptcy Attorneys: We want your feedback! FREE eBook Available!

Here at Affordable Bankruptcy Courses, we are working on delivering the best level of customer service to each and every one of you bankruptcy attorneys. When considering filing, the last thing your clients want is added stress to an already stressful ordeal. So when taking the Credit Counseling and Debtor Education courses required to begin the process of discharging their debts, they want the best. So do you; you want for the best for your clients.

So how can we be the best? Let us know. We want your feedback. And to each and every one of you leaving feedback in the comment section below, we will send you a FREE, exclusive Affordable Bankruptcy Courses eBook – full of valuable, informative content to help you and your clients through your bankruptcy.

Think bankruptcy courses, think Affordable.

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The Rebirth of Detroit? Facts & Figures From The Largest Municipal Bankruptcy In US History

detroit-bankruptcyOn July 18, 2013, US history was made. Detroit, the largest city in the State of Michigan, filed for bankruptcy after failing to maintain control on its estimated $18-20 billion of crippling debt. This figure made the now infamous Detroit bankruptcy the largest municipal filing in U.S. history. Additionally, no other U.S city with a population even half as large as Detroit’s 714,000 has ever had to file – the closest was the 2012 bankruptcy filing of Stockton, California, boasting a population of little over 290,000.

It is hard to believe that over a year has passed since that announcement was made. Time flies.

Towards the end, things were getting rough in Detroit – with a reported 5,000 cases of arson and over 80,000 homes destroyed. Morale was low among the residents, and with unemployment up over 18%, revenue down 40%, and three times the number of retirees claiming benefits over the number of employed workers, how could you blame them? The facts and figures surrounding the Detroit bankruptcy filing really are quite alarming.

A year may have passed since the city filed, but Detroit was experiencing a decline in the years leading up to its end. For example, it had 11,000-12,000 fires every year in the decade prior to bankruptcy. Industry was also on the decline – in the last 60 years alone, the number of manufacturing jobs in Detroit dropped from 296,000 to just 27,000, – that is a 91% decline. The city’s state of affairs became a sorry sight at the end, particularly when comparing it to what it once was: a thriving US community with the highest per-capita income in 1960. But nowadays, things are very different. Today there are around 78,000 abandoned homes in Detroit, many of which can be bought for less than $500. That’s less than what you would pay for a new computer.

However, this is not expected to last. It is hoped that by September 2014, Detroit will be out of the bankruptcy court. Plans are in motion to form an optimistic future for the city and its residents: natives are being recruited back into the city, as well as $816 million being used to limit pension cutes and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) from a fire sale. Since the filing in 2013, 50,000 streetlights have been replaced, homicides are down 18%, trash collection has become privatized and robberies are down 25%.All of these initiatives are steps in the right direction, towards the rebirth of Detroit as the thriving economy it once was.

This just goes to show that no matter how drastic your financial situation is, or how publicized it becomes, the situation is not permanent. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you need to know that there is always a way back to full recovery, and you can always get back on the road towards a fresher financial future. There are many EOUST-approved providers of the required Credit Counseling and Debtor Education, to help you on your way to having your debts discharged. No matter what your situation, by being proactive about your financial future, you too can start fresh with a tighter grip on your finances and a spring in your step!

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Social Media Frenzy: Some Alarming Statistics For Bankruptcy Attorneys

bankruptcy-attorney-social-mediaHopefully, it is reading our previous posts on becoming social media savvy and utilizing social media marketing to promote your business that brought you here. If the use of online resources to extend the reach of your marketing campaigns has sparked your interest, then you are not alone. 22% of all Americans check social media multiple times a day. That’s almost a quarter of the US population! So in having an online presence, you are exposing your business to this 22% not just once, but four times over.

And that’s just America. Social media is trending worldwide, and is growing at an exponential rate. It is now the top internet activity, even trumping email. Believe it or not, since 2012, the number of Twitter users in the 55-64 age bracket alone has increased a staggering 72%. Every 2 seconds, someone new joins LinkedIn. And did you know, YouTube reaches more American adults than any cable network?

Yes, social media is booming. So if you aren’t currently using it to market your bankruptcy law firm, now would be a great time to start. At Affordable Bankruptcy Courses, we use it to market our Credit Counseling and Debtor Education courses. Always be mindful of how to reach your target audience when implementing your online marketing techniques. For example, 71% of people access social media from a mobile device. So make sure your content is mobile-friendly, especially if you are marketing to tech savvy teenagers – 98% of them use social media. And with over 189 million ‘mobile only’ users on Facebook alone, you don’t want to miss out on brand exposure by overlooking this simple, yet effective concept when designing your Landing Pages.

You might not think posting a tweet a day would make much difference, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Allow us to introduce you to the concept of content sharing! On Facebook, 4.75 billion items are shared daily. On Twitter, 190 million tweets are sent daily. So in posting your one tweet, it might catch the attention of a handful of consumers, who re-tweet your content. This is then seen by their followers, who may also share it online. The chain continues, and before you know it, you may even become the next Katy Perry – the most followed account on Twitter!

And it isn’t just text you can share. A large amount of engagement via social media is done through images. Pinterest – a site where users create and share visual content – was the fastest growing social network of 2013. And almost a quarter of teenagers deem Instagram their favorite social media platform. So by creating your own graphics, or sharing visual content through your business’ social media pages, you are catching the attention of the visual learners out there, and exposing your brand to even more people. And through content sharing across the web, your customers are actually doing most of the work for you! That’s the magic of Social Media Marketing!

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