Tag Archives: Frederick MD

Late Credit Card Payments – What to do!

pastdue credit card payment

Late credit card payments happen to all of us. Sometimes life gets busy and the due date was missed or maybe it was a little bit of a struggle to come up with enough money for all the monthly bills. In any case, missing a payment could have a negative impact on your credit score. Here is some great information and steps to take as soon as you realize the bill was late:

1. Make Your Payment As Soon As Possible

If you’re late on a credit card payment or missed it altogether, don’t just wait for the next bill to come. Make a payment on your card as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the less chances it will have a negative impact on your credit score.

Here’s what you need to know about credit scores and late payments: a payment is typically reported to the credit bureaus if it’s 30, 60, or 90 days late. But if you get your payment in before that 30 days, you can rectify the situation before it hits your report.

2. Call Your Credit Card Issuer and Ask them to Waive the Fee

Believe it or not, if you were charged a fee for your late payment, there’s a good chance you can get it waived. Simply make your payment and call your credit card issuer. Tell them that it was a mistake and not one you intend to repeat, and chances are they’ll take the fee right off for you.

Here’s what not to do when you call: Don’t give a sob story. Don’t try to tug at their emotions or their sympathy. Don’t get angry. Don’t tell them all the details about your life and your finances. This won’t work.

Instead, be courteous and professional. Tell them that it was a mistake and that you have now made your payment, and since you’ve been a loyal customer for so long you’d greatly appreciate it if they remove the fee. Keep it simple and polite and your chances will be much better.

3. Make A Plan to Prevent this From Happening Again

Late payments happen to everyone – that’s one reason credit card companies are decently fair about removing fees. We all make mistakes sometimes!

But if it happens over and over again, then it will turn into a much larger problem. Continually missing payments could lead to a hike in your APR, less cooperation on fee removal, and even eventual default. If the latter happens, you’ll see a major dip in your credit score and you’ll have to deal with debt collection agencies.

A mistake happens once – but three, five, ten times is a habit. That’s why it’s important to make a plan of action now. The more you can do to prevent this from happening again, the better off you’ll be.

For more information: https://www.mybanktracker.com/credit-cards/advice/what-to-do-if-miss-credit-card-payment-19429

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Ways to Pay Down Your Debt

Paying down debt is something we all want to know more about. How can we do it faster and in a way that is manageable? Carol Riggles, IHA’s Homeownership Program Manager, has two ways to pay down your debt faster!

There are two great ways to pay down debt faster. One way suggests that you should choose the credit card with the lowest balance and pay it off first and the other way recommends that you choose the card with the highest interest rate to pay off first.  Both methods expect you to continue paying the same monthly payment regardless of whether you are required to do so, and both also assume that you are not still using the cards.  (Keep in mind that you should use a credit card at least once a year to keep the account active, but only charge something for $10 or less so that your goal to pay off your balances stays on course!)

Here is how it works:

Method One – Select card with lowest balance.

  • Pay minimum payment on all cards except this one and pay as much as you can afford each month until it is paid off.
  • Then start doing the same for the next card with the lowest balance, but now you are adding the monthly amount you were paying on the paid off card to the amount you are required to pay.
  • For example – Card One has a $400 balance and an interest rate of 17% and you can afford to pay $60 a month.  Card Two has a $1,000 balance and a 21% interest rate and the minimum payment is $30.  Card One gets paid off in about 8 months, and then you start paying $90 a month to pay off Card Two.  The balance on Card Two is now about $894 and paying $90 a month will take 12 months to pay off the debt completely.  The whole process took 20 months.

Method Two – Select the card with the highest interest rate.

  • Using the same examples as in Method One, Card One has a $400 balance and an interest rate of 17% and a minimum payment of $30.  Card Two has a $1,000 balance and a 21% interest rate and you can afford to pay $60 a month.  In 15 months, Card One is paid off and then you add the $30 to the $60 you are paying on Card Two, and 4 months later you are paid off completely and you have $72 to put into savings because the balance on Card Two was only $18 on the 19th payment.
  • You are accustomed to paying $90 a month, so start adding this amount to your savings every month to build up an emergency fund so you won’t have to reach for your credit card as often!

There are lots of calculators online to help you with your calculations.

Here’s one: http://www.creditcards.com/calculators/payoff.php

Building your credit and paying down your debt can assist individuals on their pathway to homeownership!

The 4 R’s of Affordable Housing

Renew, Restore, Recycle & Revitalize, the 4 R’s of affordable housing. Many projects that organizations pursue to create affordable housing utilize buildings or communities that are already existing. In these cases, the buildings are being recycled and restored to a new home to be inhabited. Occasionally the buildings have not been lived in for some time and they need restored to a livable standard, which ultimately revitalizes the area in which the house resides. There are many instances of these 4 R’s occurring across the United States and even right here in Frederick, MD.

Binghamton, NY

There was a new 37-unit affordable housing development created. The developer First Ward Action Council was able to restore 11 buildings on the city’s Front Street to a livable standard, plus construct a new mixed-use building with two commercial storefronts along with 10 residential units on the site of the former historic Lincoln Hotel which was destroyed by a fire. A location which was once lively was destroyed, but has not been revitalized to a beautiful new community.

For more information on this development: Binghamton, NY

Denison, TX

Over the past decade, city and community leaders in Denison have pushed to clean up the city and encourage renewal in aging, and blighted portions of the city. There have been multiple agreements for affordable housing projects aimed at revitalizing these neighborhoods. In 2015, Denison earned the 2015 Municipal Excellence Award for its affordable housing program. They have had a successful effort in restoring dilapidated buildings that posed health and public safety risks and recycling empty lots without present owners. Denison created a neighborhood empowerment zone which encompassed the area of town where the majority of these buildings were located and were able to partner with 8 different builders to develop 30 lots in the neighborhood zone and a few outside of it which revitalized the area.

For more information on their award and Denison, TX

Washington, DC.

The DC Department of Housing and Community Development continues to acquire vacant buildings in the district to recycle them into new affordable housing units. Recently, the DHCD solicited five different sites in the Anacostia neighborhood to revitalize these neighborhoods and to assist those in need of affordable housing in the area. The current Mayor Muriel Bowser has focused on affordable housing. Since January 2015, the Bowser Administration has produced and preserved over 3,100 units of affordable housing units in the District with more to come. Her approach is to continue renewing the many vacant properties in the District with almost 3,700 more affordable housing units in the developmental pipeline.

For more information on the Bowser Administration: Washington, DC

Hialeah, Florida

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reports on a 300 Unit Elderly Rental Affordable Housing Project that was created in Hialeah, Florida. The project not only improved the lives of these new tenants but also has directly revitalized the neighborhood and served as a catalyst for economic growth that helped to spur economic development activities and improvements in the entire neighborhood.

For more information on this project: Hialeah, FL

Frederick, MD

Right here in Frederick, MD, Interfaith Housing Alliance is working hard to bring 59 apartments to downtown Frederick at 520 North Market Street. The building has been used as a school and office buildings. Now it will be recycled and restored to a brand new affordable housing apartment community. This well-loved city icon is being transformed into a mixed income housing development right in the heart of downtown Frederick, thus helping revitalize that area.

For more information on 520 North Market: Frederick, MD

The four R’s are helping individuals, families, and seniors around the country! In addition to directly helping the participants, the properties are helping their direct communities and economies. Buildings are being renewed and recycled which helps keep houses from becoming public health and safety concerns. Communities are being revitalized with new people, new funds coming into the economy, and of course helping those in need!

Renew – Restore – Recycle – REVITALIZE! 

Weinberg House Events

This has been an exciting week at the Weinberg House! The Weinberg House is a property owned by IHA which is located in downtown Frederick off Broadway Street. The property  offers 23 one-bedroom apartments serving seniors earning 50% or less of the Area Median Income. This is a wonderful facility that serves an underserved population! This week Legal & General America provided two FANTASTIC events for this community. 

Legal & General America contracted with BrightView to create this beautiful garden for our residents at the Weinberg House! A bench is set to be delivered in the next few weeks for the residents too!

Pictured: LGA Volunteers & BrightView crew (top left), Main garden completed (top right), Front garden bed completed (bottom left), Pre-work front garden (bottom middle), Pre-work main garden (bottom right).

Legal and General America also managed a BINGO event for the residents of Weinberg House that same afternoon. During the event, the residents were provided delicious snacks, goody bags, and had the change to win FANTASTIC prizes! The smiles on each participant’s face was very rewarding and IHA is very appreciative of the generous donations and support from this wonderful organization! 

Pictured: LGA Volunteers, IHA Intern and Residents of Weinberg House.