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Financial Conversations with Fitz #80 - Credit Repair: How to Help Yourself - 10/11/2010

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Beans are pretty well out. Took about 8 days….Corn never did quit moving this weekend. …Great weekend for drying.….. Grain Prices are volatile is for sure. Friday grain was wild. Looks like it will open up about 45 cents this morning. CME expanded it to the 45 after Fridays activity. Beans will probably go up to 1.05…..Great for our Iowa farmers. Tough on margin calls. Read reports over the weekend that other areas were really short with yields. ….. EPA did increase the allowance by 15%.....Probably won’t see much action for the pumps. They have made it so complicated to buy and expensive for the dealers to put in new digital pumps. Can’t blame the dealers to spend $25,000 to pump a heavily restricted product. The Dow topped 11,000 Friday. Looks like it will open stronger today with hope of a stimulus.


One comment I get a lot at my desk is “I just want to improve my credit score”. Borrowing money if you don’t need to is not a good solution. If you want to add something to your credit report, a small credit card if you don’t have one is probably the safest. Don’t add more credit cards to your billfold if you have several. You have heard me say several times…..”Whatever you do, don’t pay someone to fix your credit report”…..This was the topic of our weekly FDIC “Facts for consumers” report. The media is loaded with phrases like: “Credit problems? No Problems!”, We can remove bankruptices, judgments….. etc, “We can erase your bad credit ----100% guaranteed” LOOK OUT!!!!!!! How to recognize a Scam…….The company wants you to send money to pay for credit repair in advance, The law says they can’t do that., The company doesn’t list your rights and what you can do yourself, The company recommends that you don’t contact any of the three major reporting agencies yourself, They tell you that they can get rid of most or all of the negative credit information, The company suggests you try “new” credit identity with a new Fed Id #, They suggest that you dispute all the information in your report even if it is true.


So what is a person to do…..First of all, no money….OK….You can stop in to see a bank officer at any of our three locations…..There are “free credit agencies in all of our trade areas, be it Mason City, Forest City, Algona or Spencer…..You can run your own credit report for free…..You can use your local Extension Office for referrals for credit help and budgeting…..This information does affect you whether you are getting a loan, credit card or car insurance so it is important to have it accurate. I would highly recommend you check with us or the web site on Best of all is to google “Credit report: How to help yourself."


Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations. When you work with them, you know that you will also see them sitting with you at ball games, church or community events. So, if in doubt give us a call.