21 Mar Debt Cures: Does Kevin Trudeau Make Money or Sense? Part 6: Your Credit Report/Score
Part 6 of my review of Kevin Trudeau’s book, “Debt Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know” examines Chapter 8 (Highest Points Wins), 9 (The Report); 10 (Knowing the Score) and 11 (Show Me the Money). The purpose of the review is to examine whether Trudeau, who has had extensive involvement with credit card fraud and the Federal Trade Commission for some of his previous books, makes any sense in this latest self-help promotion or is he making money selling empty promises.
These four chapters dissect the parts of a consumer’s credit report and explain what information will be on the credit report. Trudeau speaks about the importance of the accuracy of the information on the report. Each consumer is entitled to one free report from each of the CRAs (credit reporting agency), for example, Experian, Equifax, Transunion. The federal government set up a website, www.annualcreditreport.com, where the consumer can order all three reports from the one site. The consumer can download a form to order all three from www.ftc.gov/credit or can call 1-877-322-5281.
(Note from this reviewer: one site, free credit report dot com, IS NOT FREE AND IS NOT THE GOVERNMENT SITE–great commercials, catchy jingle, DO NOT GO THERE FOR A “FREE” REPORT; IT WILL COST MONEY).
Trudeau explains what the accounts on the credit report will show (the account, its history, balance, payments, etc) and tells his readers to grab a pen and mark inaccurate information line-by-line. He provides a good description of how to dispute errors on your credit report (also available at www.ftc.gov/credit) . Trudeau suggests a credit monitoring service to ensure that whenever a change is made to your credit report, you get notified (and his website offers just such a service).
In Chapter 10, Trudeau explains that all extensions of credit are based on a score. The consumer is not entitled to know how the score is calculated but most lenders use the services of FICO, or Fair Isaac Corporation, a financial services company which developed a mathematical formula to caculate risk based on a number of factors in each consumer’s credit history (for example, history, amounts owed, length of history, and types of credit used). Sometimes, the FICO score is called Beacon. Another score is called VantageScore, a system developed by Equifax, Experian and Transunion.
Whatever the name is called, the higher the consumer scores, the better. Average scores range from in the 600s; with consumers being able to get good interest rates when their score is above 650.
Trudeau finishes up the education about credit reports with continued admonishments to review, monitor and fix any errors. He advises that if the reader has collection accounts on their report that they call the collector and ask that the reported item be deleted if paid. His stated belief is that half of all collection agencies will delete the item if you pay and ask that it be deleted. He advises using savings if necessary to get those items paid. He also advises increasing credit lines to the maximum allowed (and not using the cards afterward) so that your percentage of debt owed to debt limit is lessened.
Again, none of the information is earth-shattering news and most of the information can also be found at the website provided by Trudeau, www.ftc.gov/credit. (note: it is interesting that the FTC is recommended by Trudeau as the FTC seems to be frequently chastising or charging Trudeau with violations). Trudeau does break up long fact-filled passages with examples of how successful John or Sue or Ted or Tim was when they tried his techniques.
No warnings provided with the review of these chapters. Good information, presented well. Available at no cost through the government or the internet, however.
Part 1 of my review examines the first three chapters of Kevin Trudeau’s book, Debt Cures They Don’t Want You to Know. (gets an “okay” rating)
- Part 2 of my review dissects Chapter 4 of the book (gets a warning of “Get legal advice from a lawyer in your own state”).
- Part 3 of my review deals with Chapter 5 of the book (gets a warning of “Get legal advice before following Trudeau’s advice”)
- Part 4 of my review examines Chapter6, as Trudeau discusses how to cut your credit card rate. (gets a “doesn’t hurt to try it; don’t expect it”).
- Part 5 of my review examines Chapter 7: Fighting Back. (gets an okay rating).
- Part 6 of my review examines Chapters8-11: Credit Score (gets “good information”)
- Part 7 of my review discusses Chapter 12: Credit Reporting Errors (gets mixed review as he repeats bad information (discussed earlier in Part 3) but generally good information).
- Part 8 of my review examines Chapter 13: Student Loans (gets generally good review)
- Part 9 of my review discusses Chapter 14: Home is Where The Start Is (gets nearly failing grade)
- Part 10 of my review examines Chapter 15: No Bankruptcy (gets failing grade/adds shame)
- Part 11 of my review examines Chapter 16: Big Business (credit card industry)(gets A grade for giving information)
- Part 12 of my review discusses the information presented in Chapter 17: Stealing Candy from Babies (gets okay rating for giving information)
- Part 13 of my review examines Chapter 18: Three Ring Circus (gets failing grade for repeating information already provided)
- Part 14 of my review examines Chapter 19: Slaying the Dragon (gets A grade for giving the math on how long it takes to pay off a 20% credit card with a balance of $8000 with just minimum payments….FIFTEEN YEARS!!!
- Part15 of my review examines chapter 20: Stopping Debt Collectors Cold (gets a failing grade for some good information and then followed by really bad advice: scary!)
- Part 15B of my review goes into more detail about what was scary about Chapter 20.
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