Financial News You Can Use – July 2017

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Another GREAT Success Story

201707_Financial-eNews_CreditReportDoris L. from Broken Arrow was one of the first to take advantage of ABLE Tech’s new Direct Loan financial program. She borrowed $1,000 to go toward a hearing aid that she desperately needed.

Having recently moved to Oklahoma to live with her daughter, Doris’ signs of hearing loss had become evident. Her audiologist was knowledgeable about ABLE Tech’s loan and referred her to the program. She successfully met the minimum credit score requirement, with a score of 584 on the application; however, she had some outstanding collection items on her credit report. With her daughter’s help she was able to dispute and/or resolve them.

After 12 months of making timely scheduled payments, her loan was paid in full and her credit score had improved drastically to a score of 637. What a great outcome – not only is Doris able to hear and interact with her daughter, but she has made a great upward trend in her credit worthiness!

ABLE Tech takes pride in hearing stories like these because Doris otherwise might not have been able to qualify for another loan program where she could get the assistive technology she needed.

Highlight on Success

Marion R., Asher, OK
AT purchased: Hearing Aids
Purpose: Community Living
“This program was the only way I could afford the hearing aids.” Having the hearing aids has improved my quality of life being able to respond to people and understand them as they speak to me."

Jeannie S., Tulsa, OK
AT purchased: Hearing Aids
Purpose: Employment
“I have limited resources and needed to build up my credit again. I can hear my supervisor at work now, I can hear my kids and grandkids a lot better, and I can hear when people call me on my cell phone.”

Lance G., Oklahoma City, OK
AT purchased: Hearing aids
Purpose: Community Living

“I have used this program in the past. When it came time to purchase new hearing aids, I had too little credit history to qualify for other types of financing. The new hearing aids have enhanced my ability to hear again.”

Glenda V., Stillwater, OK
AT purchased: Hearing aids
Purpose: Community Living

“I have money tied up for savings for retirement, so I chose to use this program. I have felt very isolated, especially in a group. TV has been a nightmare, family members also get frustrated repeating themselves, and increased challenges when I try to substitute teach.” … “Since I was able to get my hearing aids, my life is just so much better now that I can hear.”

James W., Shawnee, OK
AT purchased: Hearing aids
Purpose: Community Living
“Medicare does not cover the cost of hearing aids and hearing loss affects the whole family."

Tina K. and Mary W., Tulsa, OK
AT purchased: Hearing aids
Purpose: Community Living
"Mary has struggled for two years considering the purchase of hearing aids. She became interested in the loan program after learning how high the interest rate is for other programs. Tina says, “it is so much easier to talk to her now. She can attend church and hear the sermon, and she doesn’t have to miss conversations all the time. This has greatly improved her quality of life.”

Click here to see more Financial Loan success stories

Financial Tip: Know Your Rights

Credit reporting guidelines are a hot topic right now. We touched on this last quarter, but since several changes take effect July 1, we think it is valuable information to share more details.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

  • You have the right to get your credit reports for free every 12 months at www.AnnualCreditReport.com
  • If you don’t know what debts you owe, this is a good place to start. *Just be aware that not all past-due debts are reported to credit bureaus.
  • You may dispute an item on your credit report at any time.
  • You may dispute an item on your credit report directly with e CRA or indirectly with the data furnisher / collection agency.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practicing Act (FDCPA)

  • You have the right to dispute debt verbally or in writing.
  • You may request verification of the debt as well as the name and address of the original creditor within 30 days of receipt of the validation notice in writing.
  • If you prefer to be contacted in a different way (cell phone, text message, email, etc) or at particular times, notify the collector of your preference in writing.
  • If you receive a collection letter in the mail, read it carefully. Do not ignore collection letters.
  • You may access consumer help letters at CFPB.gov and general consumer information at Consumer.ftc.gov.

New rules – National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP)
effective July 1, 2017:

  • 180-day waiting period before reporting medical debt.
  • Traffic tickets and government fines will not appear in credit reports.
  • Enhanced dispute resolution procedures.
  • Initiating a dispute.
  • Improving notifications to consumers on reinvestigation results.
  • Additional free annual credit reports to consumers following dispute investigations.
  • New format and new minimum reporting requirements.
  • Escalated dispute handling for mixed files, fraud, and identity theft. Review of supporting dispute documentation.
  • Work group to furnish additional guidance.

Oklahoma ABLE Tech is the statewide Assistive Technology Act Program proudly located at Oklahoma State University in the Department of Wellness. ABLE Tech's mission is to improve access to and acquisition of assistive technology (AT) for individuals with disabilities of all ages. We offer AT demonstrations, short term loans of AT, financial loans to purchase AT, and recycling AT programs.


Oklahoma ABLE Tech
Oklahoma State University | Department of Wellness
1514 W. Hall of Fame | Stillwater, OK 74078
800.257.1705 (V/TTY)