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Money Makeover: 5 Easy Ways To Clean Up Your Credit

A clean credit report is essential to your financial health.

A clean credit report is essential to your financial health. Low interest rates, hassle-free financing are just some of the rewards of having a praise-worthy credit report. Have you pulled yours lately? Did you scream when you finally looked at it? No fear, there are easy ways to help tidy up your credit so you can make those big purchases, like a home, car or even a business loan.

1. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report

Request a copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. It's important to obtain all three because each report may not have all the same information. And don't worry about paying either, consumers can get one free credit report every year from each of the three agencies.

2. Take a Good Look at Every Charge and Highlight Those That Are Questionable

Circle or mark anything that looks suspicious in red. This can include credit card accounts that you closed but still appear as open, accounts that you never opened, activity that you were not involved in, and account histories that show late payments when you know you paid on time. Credit reports may have errors. It's important for you to not only catch them, but correct them. It's your credit that's on the line, not theirs.

3. Follow Up With Credit Bureau's

Need to dispute a negative item on your report? Write a request to the lender and keep notes of when you sent it. Disputing an item on your credit report once is not enough. Keep notes of the people you speak with at the bureau, when you contacted them and the date by which any corrective action will be taken. Check your credit report again after that date to make sure they followed through. Don't stop until your credit report has been changed.

4. Pay Overdue Bills

This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you have any accounts in collections, create a budget that will help you pay off the debt as soon as possible. By paying down your debt, you will open up your available credit, which you can then use responsibly to purchase big ticket items. Many creditors will allow you to settle your outstanding balance, twenty five cents on the dollar, or pay monthly towards the balance. Knocking out some debt could reflect positively on both your credit report and credit score. If you missed a payment to a creditor in the past, but the account is current, ask them to remove the blemish on your credit report with a note to the reporting agencies.

5. Avoid "Credit Repair" Companies That Promise Quick Credit Fixing

Who doesn't want to call a number and have the negative accounts on your credit report vanish into thin air? That's what credit repair companies promise, but there's no such thing. Credit reporting agencies are not required to remove accurate information unless it is more than seven years old, or bankruptcies over ten years old. If the information that is challenged it’s confirmed, it will be removed. And that’s what these companies are often doing – writing and sending dispute letters on their client’s behalf. Something you can do from home and without any hefty fees or false promises.

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Whitney Houston's Close Friend Robyn Crawford Details Romantic Relationship In New Memoir

Whitney Houston's personal life has been explored ten times over since her untimely passing in 2012 but one of her closest friends wants to share with the world the Whitney she knew and ultimately fell in love with.

In excerpts to People Wednesday (Nov. 6), Robyn Crawford presents a strong bond between the two in her new memoir, A Song For You: My Life With Whitney Houston. The singer and Crawford met in their youth while working at a summer camp in East Orange, New Jersey. From there, their friendship blossomed into something more romantic. With homophobia running rampant in the 80s, Crawford says they never looked at labels but enjoyed the experiences they shared together.

“We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay,” writes Crawford. “We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”

As their journey continued, Whitney's star began to rise which put allegedly put their romance on ice. “She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore,” writes Crawford. "Because it would make our journey even more difficult. She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us....and back in the ’80s, that’s how it felt. I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence.”

Whitney's relationship with Crawford was mentioned in the 2018 documentary Whitney. Created by the singer's estate, the film focused on the singer's legacy and didn't include first-hand accounts from Crawford. Family members were weary of their special friendship.

"I’ve never seen them do anything but I know that she was something that I didn’t want my sister to be involved with," Whitney's brother Gary stated in the documentary.

But Crawford is finally ready to tell her own story while "lifting" Houston's legacy.

“I wanted to lift her legacy, give her respect and share the story of who she was before the fame, and in that, to embrace our friendship,” she tells People. "I'd come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship. And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent."

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston is expected to hit bookshelves this fall.

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Keke Wyatt Announces That She's Pregnant With Her Tenth Child

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"My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy!" she wrote on Instagram. "We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family."

The vocalist continued to state that fans can follow her pregnancy journey on her YouTube series The Keke Show where she gives an intimate look at how she balances her career and motherhood.

 

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My husband Zackariah Darring and I are so happy to announce that we are expecting our new bundle of joy! We are excited to welcome the 10th addition to our beautiful family. Stay tuned for the release date & information for my new YouTube Series “The Keke Show” where you will see me balancing Wife, Mommy and Artist!!! Trust me.. it’s never a dull moment with my family. Love ya sugars💋💋💋 photo credit: @keever_west Styled/Designed by: @keever_west Asst: @freddyoart

A post shared by Keke Wyatt (@keke_wyatt) on Oct 14, 2019 at 4:43pm PDT

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"I just don't believe in shutting down. I believe in that's what the Lord had for me," she said. "Babies don't get in the way of careers, we get in the way of careers. If that's what the Lord had for me from the very beginning, there's nothing nobody can do and nobody can say."

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Summer Walker's Debut Album Inspires Drake To Write New Music

Summer Walker's debut album Over It has everyone's heart aflutter, including Drake.

Off the heels of her debut project, the Atlanta songstress shared Drake's admiration for her project Sunday (Oct. 6) which included collaborations from Jhene Aiko, Usher. 6LACK and Bryson Tiller. Drake had a strong reaction to "Fun Girl," a track that speaks to the acoustic aura of her precious project, CLEAR.

Sharing his love with more than a few emojis, the rapper reveals the song inspired him to pen two new songs at the crack of dawn.

 

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So I guess fun girl is his favorite song on the album, mines isss... BODY🥰 what’s yours ?

A post shared by Summer Walker (@summerwalker) on Oct 6, 2019 at 3:02pm PDT

Summer and Drake worked together for the remix to her breakout hit, "Girls Need Love." In Billboard's  “You Should Know” series, the singer says the two met via Instagram after he gushed about her visuals to the original track. "He said, 'I saw your video on a bowling alley monitor. Thought it was cool,'" she recalled. She added it was Love Renaissance's Justice Baiden who talked her into asking Drake for the remix. The singer is signed to the label along with Grammy-nominated singer 6LACK.

Things have been looking great for the singer. Her album has topped Spotify and YouTube since it's release Friday and is expected to make a nice debut on Billboard's 200 charts.

Get to know the men behind Love Renaissance in our feature, LVRN's Reebok Collaboration Showcases Atlanta's Influence In Fashion.

 

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