Monthly Archives: April 2015

Steps To Take Once Your Married To Keep Your Credit Profile On Track

So you just got married and returned home from the honeymoon. On top of sending out thank you cards for all the nice wedding gifts and attendance to your wedding there is one more very important task to left to do. If you have changed your name you need to begin the daunting task of notifying everyone you do business with about your name change. Any organizations and institutions you deal with will need to be notified so records can be changed. Not doing this can cause serve credit issues, tax issues and more.

While this process can be time consuming it is pretty easy to do. You will want to obtain your marriage certificate as soon as possible if you have not yet already obtained it. In most cases you will receive this in the mail within a few weeks of getting married. Your marriage license will not suffice as this is just the legal permission to get married, while your marriage certificate records the fact that you indeed did follow through and were married in a legally binding manner. You will need this certificate for banks, credit unions, social security, your work place and more.

The next step will be to update Social Security on your new name change. You cannot do this online but it will not cost you anything to do. You simply need to visit your local Social Security office with a copy of your marriage certificate and fill out some forms, as well as showing some points of ID. You can also mail these in but if you mail them in you need to provide the originals which Social Security claims will be mailed back to you. Given the many mistakes that the Social Security Administration makes I would highly advise going in person. Failing to notify social security in a timely fashion can delay tax returns and lower your future social security benefits so this needs to be as soon as possible.

You will next want to update your drivers license and passport. Updating your drivers license is as simple as visiting your local DMV and showing your ID, marriage certificate and other points of identification. Your passport will be more tricky, as you will need to apply for a brand new passport, full out multiple forms as well as wait up to six weeks for your new passport to arrive and this will of course limit your travel options during this time. The good news is the passport can be handled by mail, simply fill the forms out, include your old passport, the original marriage certificate and a color photo for your new passport.

You now need to focus on the financial institutions you do business with such as banks, credit cards and even your auto loan providers. The best way to do this is in person with your new updated drivers license and a copy of your marriage certificate. You should ask for new checks and new debit cards with your updated information. Also contact your credit card provider. My wife was able to simply fax them a copy of her license and marriage certificate. Most times they will issue you a new card for free, if they try to charge a fee ask to speak to a manager especially if your account has been in good standing. To guarantee accuracy on your credit report, you should inform the credit bureaus of any your new name change as well.


You should also of course update your doctors, medical insurance providers, auto insurance, home insurance and employer about your name change. Many people forget to notify the post office and this should be done as well. Some of these may have online options to update the information. Name change kits which average between $20 and $30 can assist you with the process by providing forms, envelopes and instructions. These kits just help save you a little time but are not needed as with just a little time and patience you can breeze right through the process.

Ryan Stevens writes for the InstallmentLoansHub a leading consumer lending portal that helps to educate consumers searching for short term loans on credit, finance and money savings topics.

Key Differences Between Credit Cards and Lines of Credit

Many of my clients ask me what is better a line of credit or a credit card. Like most forms of credit each has it’s own pros and cons, and each has its own appeal to people in given situations. While each has similarities, each also has vast differences. Lets break down each shall we?

Lines of Credit

* In order to receive a line of credit your income will be and must be verified. You also typically need to have had stable employment for a length of time as determined by the lender.

* Lines of credit are handy but the money is not easy to access, you tend to need to walk into a financial institution or have a check mailed to you.

* Personal Lines of credit tend to have much higher limits then credit cards.

* As a rule of the thumb these tend to have lower interest rates than credit cards do.

* It is harder to obtain a line of credit than it is a credit card due to the stringent underwriting used by lenders for personal credit lines.

* Interest accrues from the date of withdrawal or purchase, and there is no grace period unlike a credit card.

* Personal lines of credit tend to carry fees, but these fees vary by lender. The fees you will face will be in the contract or fine print and can include access fees, annual fees, and late payment fees.

* Can be used to pay merchants who do not take credit cards.

* You can withdraw up to 100% of your available credit as cash with no fees unlike a credit card, making this form of credit ideal if you need a cash infusion.

Credit Cards:

* Easier to obtain than a personal line of credit.

* Higher interest rates and APR then personal lines of credit.

* Cash advances have high fees and limits, not to mention higher interest rates. Cash advances tend to be limited to 20% of credit limit.

* Income is not always verified so you could end up getting a decent credit limit even on lower income.

* Credit limits tend to be lower than personal lines of credit.

* Feature a grace period, so you can borrow, pay the money back in full before grace period is over and owe nothing.

* The better credit cards on the market have rewards programs where you can earn money just for using them.

* Are not accepted everywhere due to the fees that merchants get charged for accepting them. Car dealerships also do not take them.

* Make online shopping safer than using a debit card that has your bank account attached to it.

Credit cards are good for those who wish to shop at stores and need a temporary loan, if the balances are paid in full before the grace period it is an interest free loan. You can also earn decent rewards using your credit card, provided you apply and qualify for a rewards credit card such as the Citi Doublecash card. Personal lines of credit are perfect for businesses that need a occasional cash infusions, and for people who need cash advances. Personal lines of credit are also useful in place of a personal loan for such things as emergency house repairs or car repairs. If you are asking which is better a personal line of credit or a credit card, my advice is simple, have two or three credit cards on hand and if you qualify for a line of credit open one but do not use it unless needed. You can have multiple lines and forms of credit, there is no hard rule that says you can only have one or another, and both forms of credit have their unique positive benefits.