For over a century Utah Banks have been at the heart of our communities and they are proud to support the organizations and individuals within their communities.
Howard Headlee, President of the Utah Bankers Association talks about ways of helping Utahns recognize the dreams through the “Don’t Borrow Trouble” campaign, which focuses on educating consumers on how to avoid predatory lending.
The campaign focuses on preparing consumers for the lending process. From step one the campaign offers advice to ensure consumers are informed and are able to recognize predatory lending. How is this accomplished?
The Don’t Borrow Trouble Hotline, which is 1-866-217-1718 is staffed by trained professionals who can answer questions about purchasing a home, refinancing, consolidating debt, home-equity loans and even foreclosure prevention. The goal of the campaign is not only to prevent predatory lending practices, but also protect the American dream of home ownership. Whether you are just starting to consider buying a house or if you need help ensuring you keep the one you have, the Don’t Borrow Trouble Hotline can help.
In what manner can the hotline help consumers avoid losing their home?
This hotline is prepared to assist you in any way and at any stage. If you are in the beginning stages of purchasing a home, a staff member will walk you through the application process and help you determine the best course of action to ensure you will always be able to make your payments and avoid future foreclosure issues. If you are already at that stage, the hotline will make every effort to inform you of your options and even refer you to appropriate legal or financial experts. The goal is to ensure families stay in their homes. We truly measure success by if the communities in which we live and serve are thriving.)
Helpful tips on avoiding credit mistakes and what the financial industry is seeing:
1. Paying late or missing payments: Pay as much as you can, as soon as you can, and always pay by the due date. To avoid paying late schedule payments online, request a due date that suits you and call your lender if you’re going to pay late.
2. Borrowing more than you can afford to repay: Consider what you can afford in good and bad financial times. Using all of the credit available to you will lower your credit score and put you in danger of going over your limit.
3. Ignoring the warning signs of credit trouble: If you’re having trouble making payments, talk to your lender. Most creditors are willing to work out alternative payment plans, especially in emergency situations such as job loss or major illness.
4. Spending without a savings safety net: As little as $500 can cover many common emergencies, such as a car repair on an unusually high utility bill. Start a savings fund at tax time by splitting your refund between up to three separate accounts with the IRS form 8888.
5. Being careless with personal information: Shred all personal documents that contain personal identification. Be alert to unauthorized charges by checking your accounts regularly and your free credit report annually.
If you would like to learn more about preventing predatory lending practices, call the Don’t Borrow Trouble help line at (866-217-1718 or visit the Utah Bankers Association website at www.uba.org and navigate through the consumers tab.