Howard S. Dvorkin is a serial entrepreneur, a two-time author, a personal finance expert, and the Chairman of Debt.com. He has helped thousands of individuals face and overcome devastating financial hardships and avoid personal bankruptcy. His success in the financial industry has granted him interviews by various media outlets over the years including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Fortune, Entrepreneur, The American Banker, Investor’s Business Daily, and virtually every national and local newspaper in the country. He has also appeared as a finance expert on national and local television and radio programs, including the CBS Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, The Early Show, Fox News and CNN.
Howard graduated from the University of Miami with a Master’s in Business Administration and received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from American University. He is a part of the premier group of CPAs that are recognized with the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation.
Why Are Credit Freezes Important
What is a credit freeze?
Put simply, a freeze is like a lock on your credit, where no one has access to your credit history but you. If you want to give a company access to your credit history, you must have the “key,” which is a specialized PIN you give the credit agency. Once they confirm your PIN, they “unfreeze” your account to allow businesses and companies to view it.
For example, opening a new credit card, getting a new phone, buying a house, a car or most other major purchases, all require a credit check. If your credit is frozen, you would have to call each bureau to unfreeze your account to then apply for a loan or make a purchase. Under the old system, it could take up to three days and cost up to $30 in total once you contact and pay each bureau.
In 2018 credit freezes from all three credit bureaus became free for all consumers nationwide. Two of Debt.com’s experts – founder and CPA Howard Dvorkin and personal finance writer Jessica Patel – talk about what credit freezes are, how they’ve changed with the new regulation, and why everyone needs to consider setting credit freezes, given the prevalence of identity theft today. Learn how to freeze your credit reports under the new regulations so you can protect your identity and credit in the age of identity theft.
UltraFICO Score Explained
For years, Debt.com readers have told me horror stories about suffering a financial crisis —a divorce, illness, accident, or natural disaster — and then watching their previously awesome credit score plummet. There was nothing they could do about it.
UltraFICO will help. The Journal says UltraFICO “will function as an appeal of sorts.” If you apply for credit and your lender sees your “traditional” FICO score is weak, there’s now an option to strengthen it enough to get that loan.
Namely, that lender will be able to consider your “banking activity.” If you have even a few hundred dollars in your accounts, and you haven’t bounced checks or gone under the minimum balances, that will count in your favor.
It might not sound like much, but as anyone who’s applied for a mortgage or an auto loan knows, every little bit helps. When you talk about big-ticket items, a few points can be the difference of hundreds of dollars over the life of the loan.
Howard Dvorkin, CPA and Jessica Patel discuss UltraFICO score, and its potential. Watch your UltraFICO score increase by being financially responsible. Get better loan terms and financial freedom.
Why Does Checking Your Credit Score Lower It?
When people refuse to believe an answer, it’s because there’s a kernel of truth in the myth they embrace. In this case, it has to do with two terms: hard pulls and soft pulls.
A “soft pull” is the industry term for when you check your own credit score. Your creditors — like your credit card issuer or your mortgage holder — are smart enough to realize this is actually a good thing. You care enough about your finances to do your homework.
Where they get concerned is with “hard pulls.” That’s the term for someone else pulling your credit score. Who does that? Whoever you applied to for new credit. For instance, say you’ve applied for an auto loan with GMAC. The company is checking your score to make sure you’re a good credit risk, and the interest rate they demand you pay will be based on that score.
For obvious reasons, if you’re applying for a lot of new credit — and a lot of creditors are pulling your score — that’s worrisome. It might mean you’re trying to get more credit than you can afford to pay back, which makes lenders skittish.
That’s why your credit score might take a small hit if there are too many hard pulls. But those soft pulls? You can quite literally check your score every day, and it won’t make a dent.
If The United States Can go Into Debt and be ok, Why Can't I?
Just because the government doesn't stick to a budget doesn't give you a pass not to. The Federal Government has an annual budget of $4 trillion dollars, which doesn't even come close in comparison to the average budget of an American. Debt can be crippling, don't hesitate to visit Debt.com.
How Millennials Handle Their Money Matters To Us All
In this episode of Dvorkin On Debt, we cover why it matters to us all how Millennials handle their money. From what were once bumbling teenagers have now become masters at handling their finances.
Our Credit Cards Reveal More Than Our Debts
Debt.com's CPA and Chairman Howard Dvorkin explains how our choice in credit cards could reveal more about ourselves. Watch the video to learn more about debt management and credit card options. Do you pay off your credit cards right away? Maybe you choose a card with a low-interest rate.
Can You Go Gray Without Going Into The Red?
Debt.com's top financial expert reviews how to can go grey without going red. What he means by this is how you can grow old without getting into massive debt. If you're 55 and owe more than $55,000 in debt then it may be time to seek professional help.
If I Pay Off My Credit Card, Will My Credit Score Go Up?
Howard discusses why paying off your credit card will be the most beneficial option. Pay off debt and love the difference! Learn from our expert about debt advice and debt management today.
How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt When You Have No Money?
Learn how to pay off credit card debt when you have no money. This is not an impossible task! Get the information that will save your financial life. Don't go bankrupt just because you are in debt. Our top financial expert dives in on how to pay off credit card debt when you have no money.
Can I Fix My Credit Report If Theres A Big Mistake On It? Howard Dvorkin, CPA Answers
Question: I have an erroneous hit on my credit which reduced my FICO score from 840 to 724. The company refuses to acknowledge the error. What can I do?
Quirky Questions From Perplexed People In Debt
This week, Debt.com's chairman Howard Dvorkin addresses several readers' questions that leave out important details needed for him to provide a helpful answer.
Ask the Expert Should I Loan Money to My Kids
You want to help your children get ahead in life, but you also want to make sure they can be independent and live without your support. That makes lending money to adult children a bit of a conundrum. Debt.com chairman Howard Dvorkin explains how you lend money to kids without becoming a crutch.
Ask the Expert How Much Do I Need for Retirement
It’s the age old question and one that can be difficult to answer, but Debt.com President Howard Dvorkin gives you an easy way to figure out exactly how much you should have saved for retirement by the time you turn 35, 45, 55 and 65.
Ask the Expert Debt Collection Statute of Limitations
Just like any other civil suit matter, debt collections have a statute of limitations that applies to how long a debt collector can pursue a borrower for repayment on a defaulted debt. Debt.com President Howard Dvorkin explains what you need to know about these statutes.
Ask the Expert How Do I Save for My Kids’ Education
Student loan debt is crippling young Americans and preventing them from achieving financial stability right out of school. Debt.com President Howard Dvorkin explains options for saving for your children’s education so you can give them a leg up.
Ask the Expert Can I Consolidate My Student Loans?
Debt.com President Howard Dvorkin explains student loan consolidation and explains the difference between debt relief for federal student loans and private student loans. Learn about your options if you’re struggling to keep up with your loans.
Ask the Expert Mortgage Payoff or Retirement Savings
A consumer with extra cash on hand wants to know if that money is better spent on paying off part of the remaining balance owed on a mortgage or if it would be wiser to invest it in order to gain an extra asset for retirement. Debt.com President Howard Dvorkin weighs in.
How Can I Avoid Overdraft Fees?
This week, Howard Dvorkin answers a reader's question about using her bank account's overdraft protection to cover her bills. She is barely scraping by, and has all her bills consolidated into two separate monthly payments to coincide with her monthly pay periods.