Never let someone take on your payments
Dear Dave: Iím trying to get out of debt, and I want to get rid of my car. Iím thinking about putting an ad in the local paper asking for someone to take over the payments. Iím not upside down on the car, but the finance company wonít allow another name on the note. Is this a good idea? — David
Dear David: No, this is not a good idea. Itís like renting your car out to a stranger, and your name will still be on the note. If the ďrenterĒ stops paying, the finance company will come knocking on your door!
The newspaper idea is a great start, though. People sell things in the paper because it works. List the car at a fair price, and then use the money to pay off the debt and buy a little junker — just plain, no-frills transportation. Once you do that, you can begin saving to pay cash for a better car down the road.
But never let someone else take over your payments! — Dave
Dear Dave: Several months ago I lost my job, got very behind on my bills and ended up filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It was dismissed because I was unable to find work. I recently found a good job and have taken care of everything but my truck. I owe $4,000 on it, and itís worth about $5,000. The finance company wonít work with me and is getting nasty, so what can I do? — Carl
Dear Carl: Sell the truck! If you can get $5,000 for this vehicle you can pay off the finance company and have about $1,000 left over to buy a junky, ugly, reliable little truck with cash.
After being dragged into a bankruptcy and not getting anything this finance company is a little hacked off. Thatís probably why they wonít work with you.
Get an ad in the paper today and sell that thing! Then, call the finance company one more time, and tell them what youíre going to do to make things right with them.
Good luck, Carl. — Dave
Credit report inquiries
Dear Dave: Recently, I requested a copy of my credit report and noticed there have been several instances where companies have requested a copy of my report. I was under the impression that this could only be done if you were applying for credit. Is this legal? — Lynn
Dear Lynn: Under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act anyone with a valid business reason can check your report with or without your permission. Even most employment applications state that they will pull a copy of your report as part of their screening process.
It sounds like youíve gotten a bunch of marketing inquiries. That why your mailbox — like most — is full of unsolicited credit card and home equity loan offers.
Hereís the good news, Lynn. You can put a block on your bureau for unsolicited marketing inquiries. This prevents companies from searching your bureau for the sole purpose of offering credit you didnít request.
This will help keep the credit shark from swimming around in your bureau and into your mailbox! — Dave
For more financial advice,
visit www.davesays.org or
call (888) 22-PEACE.