How To Get Affordable Homeowner S Insurance In Alabama Disputing Your Credit Score Looking At Your Mortgage Insurance Options How To Avoid Loan Sharks

If you have a mortgage on your home it will come as no surprise to you that your lender requires you to purchase homeowner’s insurance. But did you know that almost 90% of Alabama homeowner’s who own their homes free and clear still choose to purchase homeowner’s insurance?

The reason isn’t difficult to figure out. For most people their home is their biggest and most prized asset and they simply want to do whatever they can to protect that asset.

And well they should.

On the other hand there’s no benefit to paying any more for homeowner’s insurance than necessary and so many people are looking for ways to get affordable homeowner’s insurance here in Alabama.

Remember, too, that while your lender has every right to insist that you purchase homeowner’s insurance, your mortgage company cannot legally force you to buy insurance from any particular company. And that is your key to finding affordable homeowner’s insurance.

There are several things you can do that will drive down the cost of your insurance each month.

For example, did you know that if you have a retired person living in your home that you may be entitled to a break on your insurance?

Did you know that your credit score affects how much you pay each month for your insurance? It does. So keep your credit good and your credit score high, because the better your credit score the less you pay for your insurance each month.

Did you know that the biggest reason for a homeowner’s insurance claim is not fire, but water damage? The biggest culprit is either a broken water pipe or a broken appliance connection that floods the house at night or when the home is empty during the day.

Ask your agent how much you could save if you made the one-time investment to upgrade your home’s plumbing and wiring. If the numbers make sense, then go ahead.

Install outdoor floodlights that are motion-controlled and also trim back all bushes away from windows to discourage burglars. Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors and make certain that every single window has a working lock.

A 24/7 home security system that’s monitored off-site not only helps to protect you from both fire as well as burglary, it can also save you 20% or sometimes more on your homeowner’s insurance – but talk to your agent before installing a system as not all systems merit the full discount on your monthly premium.

Purchasing a kitchen-rated fire extinguisher for your kitchen and installing a full compliment of fire and smoke detectors will also help keep your monthly premium cost down.

Now, taking what you have learned in this article go to 3 different websites that allow you to compare the prices of homeowner’s insurance policies from different insurance companies. Input the same information onto 3 of these websites and then find the company that has the lowest price and which you feel confident will be around for at least another 30 years.

And you’re done. You have now gotten affordable homeowner’s insurance here in Alabama and you can feel confident that you will be saving money month after month and year after year.

If you get your free annual credit report and discover there are some inaccuracies, you will want to dispute the information and work to get it corrected on your credit report. When you dispute the information, you are protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act which requires that all credit reporting agencies (like Experian, TransUnion, etc) respond with an investigation of your creditors.

If the information disputed is found to be inaccurate- it will either be removed from your credit report or corrected within thirty days. Also, if the creditor is unable to proof their information is correct, it will be considered inaccurate and will have to be changed.

What Might Need to be Disputed?

When you get your credit report, you will want to look out for the following common areas that mistakes are found:

Inaccurate details- you may find that creditors have reported late payments to your file that you don’t agree with. If you have back up information, like canceled checks or statements that show when the checks were cashed, you are more likely to be able to get the late notation removed.

Old, outdated information- on your credit report, negative account information can only be reported for seven years after the first delinquency; except Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Fraudulent Accounts-definitely look out for accounts appearing on your credit report that you didn’t open. This could signify that you have been the victim of identity theft, or that account information from someone with a name similar to yours has been mixed up with your information.

How to File a Credit Dispute

You should file your dispute in writing. This includes mailing a letter to the credit reporting agency or using their online form for filing disputes. The Fair Credit Report Act gives 30 days for the credit reporting agency to investigate the dispute claim and come to a conclusion on the situation. You will then receive the written results and a free copy of your credit report if any changes have been made.

The best way to file a dispute is to make a photo copy of your credit report and enclose it with your letter. Circle the dispute on the credit report and number it. In your letter, reference each number for each piece of information you are disputing with the reason you are disputing it.

For fast processing, be sure to include:

Your full name and mailing address

Your date of birth

Social security number

Name of creditor and the account number of the item you are disputing

And of course, don’t forget to sign it!

Alternative Dispute Options

The other method of disputing information found on your credit report is to contact the creditor directly. If you contact a creditor and indicate that they have reported information incorrectly to your credit report, the FCRA states that they cannot then report that item at all to the credit report without including a note that you are disputing the information. Of course, if the information is found to be inaccurate or an error, it must be corrected on your report or removed.

What to Do if The Dispute Doesn’t Result in a Settlement

It’s not always simple to get a settlement on your dispute. If following the dispute process leaves you with an unsatisfactory result, you can then file a dispute with the National Consumer Assistance Center. Having the case re-investigated may or may not result in the deletion of an item off your credit report; but you can bet that you will need to have documentary evidence to get the credit bureaus to remove any information. Unfortunately, if you are successful in having items removed from your credit report, you may find them to reappear due to the instance of the creditor!

Another option is to contact your Attorney General’s Office if you believe the credit bureau has violated the FCRA. You have the option to sue the credit bureau and/or creditor in either state or federal court if you feel they are in violation. If you win, all of your attorney fees and damages would be reimbursed to you.

Mortgage insurance is most definitely recommended for experienced homeowners and those looking to get on the property ladder for the first time alike because of what every individual policy offers. Mortgage insurance can protect your repayments, usually for up to a year, if you were to ever lose your job via redundancy or contract a long-term illness that will prevent you from working for a time.

Any individual has three options when it comes to mortgage insurance – the standalone policy, the add on policy and the high street provider policy. All three have integral differences that begin with the nature of the mortgage insurance on offer.

A specialist insurance company, rather than those that count lending amongst their business, will offer a standalone mortgage insurance policy designed to protect consumers. There are a select few of these around at the moment purely and simply because the high street banks and lenders actively dominate the payment protection industry. As a result of this though, standalone mortgage insurance providers tend to offer a product with a cheaper monthly premium.

The majority of individuals that take out mortgage insurance get the add on. This is simply mortgage insurance that is added onto your mortgage by the same high street bank or lender you have your mortgage with. It is often quoted in with the cost of your mortgage and added onto the monthly payment. It may also add interest onto it as a result. It may be convenient because you do not have to find a separate provider, but you may find yourself unable to cancel it if need be and in most cases, you will be paying well over the odds for it.

The mortgage insurance offered by high street providers is usually the same as the add on policy, but is detached from the mortgage because you would hold it elsewhere. As a result, it is up to the provider to decide on the terms. They may expect an annual premium or monthly one for the mortgage insurance but would ultimately provide very similar cover.

If you have bad credit and are desperate for a loan, don’t make the mistake of using a loan shark. Although many people think loan sharks are a fantasy from Hollywood movies, there are many lenders out there that will rip you off and act as a loan shark. If you want to get yourself a loan but are not sure how to avoid these bad lenders, then here is some advice on how to avoid loan sharks

What is a loan shark?

In essence, a loan shark is a lender who targets people with bad credit and difficult financial circumstances and offers them loans are extremely high rates. By preying on people who think they cannot get a loan elsewhere, the lender makes large sums of money through the high interest rates. Contracts are usually very unfair and there are harsh penalties if the borrower defaults or misses payment. These so called loan sharks use a variety of techniques to make money off people unfairly.

Large loan fees

Loan sharks often charge large fees in addition to the interest, which are added to the total cost of the loan. The borrower is often not told in detail about these charges, and may not notice that they are paying a lot more money for no reason at all. These fees on predatory loans can be as much as 5% of the total loan amount. Another type of fee often charged is for early payment on the loan. A lot of good loans do not carry these penalties, but loan sharks can charge up to 6 months’ interest for early repayment.

High interest rates

The loan sharks target people who find it hard to get loans, and so for the ‘convenience’ of allowing them a loan they charge huge interest rates. These rates could be 3 or 4 times more than you might normally pay, and even if you have bad credit there is no need to pay this much. If you look around then you will see that there are competitively priced loans even for people with a poor credit history.

Letting you borrow too much

Loan sharks are not really bothered about your ability to pay a loan back, because they usually make contracts unfair and require security so that if you do not pay back, you will lose your home. That is why these lenders will let you borrow more than you can really afford. They are making so much from the fees and interest that if you default and they repossess your property they will still make money.

Avoiding loan sharks

These loan sharks target people who think they cannot get a loan another way. However, even people with poor credit can get a legitimate loan with decent rates and no hidden charges. To avoid being the victim of a loan shark, only use reputable companies when getting a loan, and always check the contract you are signing in detail. If you are unsure about a loan or lending company, then contact an independent financial advisor. If you shop around and remain aware of the dangers, you won’t become another victim of loan sharks and their predatory loans.

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