Mother and four kids

A Credit Rating, Not A Character Rating

The People Behind The Credit Score

At Credit Law Center we fully believe in the people behind the credit scores. A company is only as good as its “Why” and what matters to us most, is our clients. We recognize that bad things happen to great people and wish to help improve individuals buying power, like the client testimony below.

 

A Credit Rating, Not a Character Rating

“After 15 years of marriage, I began an 18 month long divorce. In my marriage, my main job was to care for our 4 kids and maintain the home. We puchased 2 homes during our marriage, a few rental properties, and vehicles. I assumed I had credit, as anyone would but figured out quickly that wasn’t the case. Because I had been a stay home mother, and only working off and on during that time, I wasn’t on any of the loans, everything was in his name.

Hope (2)

I was unaware that he emptied the checking and savings accounts. So there I was, not a dime to my name, absolutely no credit to speak of, and four little mouths to feed. I started a new job quickly after the separation but that income wasn’t enough to pay for day care cost and all the other expenses that go along with life. Within 60 days I had 3 jobs while trying my best to be a great mom to my kids. I was exhausted. That Christmas I had $85.00 to spend for 4 of my kids!

Nine months into the divorce when I thought things were already bad enough, my car was repossessed. Months later I found out my ex-husband had not filed taxes in a long time, so I then had a huge tax lien on my credit. At this point, I had no where to turn. I couldn’t rely on my family financially, and began to fall deeper and deeper into an emotional and financial hole. Establishing credit was impossible. I had a huge tax lien, and didn’t have any extra money to do anything about it.

Your Guide

Luckily, I met a credit advisor from Credit Law Center and he thought he may be able to help me. I felt like it was a huge waste of his time, there was NO way he could do anything for me. We devised a game plan within 30 minutes and he took the time to give me info for a CPA that would help me with the IRS on my tax lien. The cost for credit repair was not as expensive as I had thought and he offered to work out payment arrangements with me! I appreciated being treated like a person and it was clear that my advisor was taking my situation seriously and that he truly did want to help. That was the first time in over a year I had any kind of hope. I began to establish credit in my name, Credit Law Center successfully removed all my medical collections with in 6 weeks and the CPA he referred me to came up with a compromise with the IRS. Before I met them, I had no idea of where to start or how I was going to do it on my own. I am so grateful now to have good credit, financial freedom, and my life back.”

Are you unsure what the next step is for you? Let one of our Credit Advisors guide you back to financial freedom today! 816-994-4600

divorce_3

5 Myths on Credit and Divorce

5 Myths On Credit and Divorce

Making the decision to end a relationship with a loved one can be one of the toughest calls to make in a person’s life. If you are considering divorce, what is not working is outweighing what is. Whether you are waiting for your spouse to pull the trigger because you can’t yourself. Or, you’re getting your finances in align prior to making the move, there are a few things to know and how the decision will directly impact your credit score.

In this article we address 5 myths about divorce and credit, so you can make the best financial decision for YOU when D-Day comes.

Myth #1: Spouses share a credit score

In the credit world, each person carries their own credit score. Purchases made together still show on each report. If your spouse is negatively reporting due to a late payment and you are an authorized user on that account, your report will also reflect that negative trade line.

Note: There is a major difference between being an authorized user and having a joint account.
Signing divorce papers

Myth #2: Being married or divorced affects my score

Status, age, gender, race, income, or investment does not have any impact on your credit score. Your negative or positive credit history is what makes up a score. Paying bills on time, keeping balances low and your credit utilization.

Myth #3: The legal status of a relationship doesn’t matter

Joint accounts, mortgages and car loans do. Managing those accounts will affect both of your scores whether you are married or divorced.

Myth #4: After my divorce is finalized, my score is no longer impacted by my ex

Unfortunately, your scores can continue to be affected by your previous spouse long after the marriage ends. Co-owner of a credit card that is used by your ex can mean you are still responsible for the debt, married or not. Some states consider all open accounts opened during marriage, a joint account.

Myth #5: One spouse acquires credit card debt he/she is solely responsible

A divorce decree does not cancel previous credit contracts. As such, the decree is only responsible for writing out who is responsible for existing debts. A divorce decree will not automatically remove joint or authorized users from accounts. Read more on divorce decrees here!

If you have previously gone through a divorce and are unsure of what your credit report is reflecting, please pull a report here IDIQ
Contact:  1-800-994-3070

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Credit Law Center Christmas

Credit Scores That Are Merry And Bright

 

Credit Scores That Are Merry And Bright

Tis the season for gift giving-which means plenty of shopping! This is also the time when the season can cause a huge strain on your credit if you are not careful.

Here are some tips to avoid the credit blues once the new year arrives.

 

Avoid new credit cards

In the check out line and the cashier asks you if you want to open a store card to save money on your purchase, you’ll want to kindly smile and say no thank you. If you are working on your credit currently, opening a retail store card may not be in your best interest. Opening all these retail store cards for a discount on items you are buying for other folks will hurt your own score, you have to think about yourself this season too.

Don’t rack the cards you do have up

Remember, a good rule of thumb is to continue to pay your cards on time, and pay them down as much as possible. During this time, it is very easy to overuse your cards for purchasing the best gifts for your friends and family members. Set a budget prior to going out to shop and remind yourself what is most important. Is it a new cell phone for your teenager or a new home come Spring? You’ll start to put things in perspective when you keep the end goal in mind.

 

Credit Law Center Christmas Shopping

Keep track of your cards

There is no time like the Holiday season for identity and credit theft. As long as you are taking extra precautions at this time of year, you can feel good about making purchases out and about or,  from the comfort of your home. Keep in mind:

  • Online shopping is great! Ensure the URL address or lock symbol on the page is showing that the site is secure
  • Conceal your cards somewhere safe and don’t carry too much cash when you are out shopping
  • Stay vigilant-if possible, tuck your cell phone away when making a trip back to the car so you can be alert the whole time
  • Use secure ATMs at your bank
  • Put those receipts in your wallet or purse and shred them once your bills arrive. Gift receipts are great incase of the need to make an exchange
  • Monitoring your credit is going to be vital at this time. Report any fraudulent activity once the season is over and take action

If you would like to learn more, please contact Credit Law Center and an analyst will be happy to provide you with additional information.

Contact:  1-800-994-3070

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Road to good credit

How to fix your Credit

The winds come whipping in, the sky turns black and-BOOM-a tornado blew through all of your life plans! Are you feeling as if Oz himself is behind the curtain pulling random numbers from the debris and  tossing them out one by one? After the dust has settled you see a score that makes no sense, but the damage has been done. So what do you do to pick up the pieces?

Credit Law Center Credit Score

If you are looking to fix your scores but continue to find ways that take longer than the time you have available, don’t quit…there is hope for you yet- your yellow brick road is closer than you think!

Although time doesn’t always seem to be on our side, and the credit bureau’s don’t seem to be either, there is still some good news when it comes to fixing your less than perfect report. A healthy credit report will take time to build, but the wait is worth it.

Oz is not going to improve your scores for you and unfortunately you can’t just tap your shiny red shoes together for a quick fix. It is up to you as the consumer to take some action. Here is what you can do to get started:  1. Pull your report and check your scores. You need to view all three (Transunion, Experian and Equifax) 2. Find out what the issues/negative items are on the report. Are the debts yours? 3. Clean negative items off the report 4. Build and establish positive credit/tradelines.

First: Pull your report

You will want to enroll in a credit monitoring service that allows you to see all three bureau’s. A lot of the credit reports consumer’s can pull on their own show you two reports, the third one is just as important as the other two. Remember: scores will vary as they are only a consumer score and will always be different than what a lender or bank will tell you. Check out : vantage scores vs Fico….. Credit monitoring is also great for identity theft monitoring, among other things. Interested in having a three bureau report pulled for just $1? Click here!

Second: What is negative?

Can you imagine that the bureau’s have incorrect information? Actually, 79% of credit reports contain errors. Not only is it important to verify that the debts on your report are yours, but it is just as important that your addresses, name, DOB, etc. are correct as well. “Oz” uses an algorithm that is hard to crack! What we do know is this:  • Payment history makes up 35%  • Credit utilization makes up 30% • Age of credit accounts 15% • Length of life on card 15%
If you play the game right, you’ll start to see your scores on the rise. Keep pushing.

Third: Clean up negative items

Just like the lion, tin man and the scarecrow, you’re going to need someone to help guide you down the path. Recruit well, and do your research! Credit Law Center, attorney based credit repair can assist you in cleaning up your negative items on your report such as:  • Collections/Repossessions • Public Records • Late Pays • Bankruptcies/Foreclosures  • Tax Liens/Judgments
This team not only assists you in removing derogatory items from your report, but coaches through the process on how to build on the positive side of your report as well. An unbelievable team for you to depend on, Credit Law Center is a combination of all of Dorothy’s confidants into one company.
The tin man: a heart that cares about the future of the consumer’s, and what happens next
The scarecrow: a brain full of knowledge about credit and the resources to aid clients
The lion: courage/legal prowess to take action
Ready to get to work on your report? www.creditlawcenter.com

Fourth: Build and establish

You might have been denied credit cards previously, but that are a few other ways around establishing that you don’t know. Secured credit cards are one route you can take. They require a deposit that will serve as your credit limit. Making on time payments and keeping an eye on your utilization is vital. Keep those balances as low as possible. Your limit is $1,000? Keep that card under $300 if possible! A few more things to do to start building:  • Pay balances down as low as possible while holding off on making new purchases • Credit builder loans with a bank can be a good start • DO NOT close old credit card accounts when you have them in good standing, the longer the life on the card, the better • Increase your credit limit so your balances seem to be back down under that 30% utilization (See, this game can be won!)  • Become an authorized user on an account of a TRUSTED family member or friend. Don’t worry, you never have to even see/use their card, you will benefit from their positive history (make sure they pay their bills) Again, the longer the life, the better! Their shiny scores won’t be hurt by your scores, the only one taking a risk is you. Choose wisely!
Now, that the clouds have cleared and the sun is peaking through, you can take on Oz with the right team behind you. We are excited to help you so you too can tap your shoes together and exclaim “There’s no place like home!”

If you would like to learn more, please contact Credit Law Center and an analyst will be happy to provide you with additional information.

Contact:  1-800-994-3070

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Credit Score

Why did my scores drop during credit repair?- Credit Law Center

You have decided to use Credit Law Center to help restore your credit, and during this process you watched your scores drop a little. The credit repair process takes time and works best if we work together as a team. Our credit analysts will give you goals and homework to do to help you reach your goals. Each situation is unique; it is possible at times while we are working on correcting and updating your credit report that your scores may drop.

Why are my scores going down?

There are a couple of different answers for this one.
First of all, you will want to determine if they are in the middle of a round. If they are, the best answer is to tell them that we are working diligently on their repair, it is not uncommon for the scores to fluctuate during this process. The things we need you to make sure you are doing along the way is to pay your credit cards down as close to zero as you can and pay all your bills on time!! Do not acquire any late payments on any accounts, and if they do not have four open trade lines, then they should work on obtaining those.

If we have finished around and their scores went down:
It could be some of the same answers, if their CC balances increased, they have a new late or collection account, or if we were able to get a judgment, bankruptcy, tax lien, or other negative item removed from their account, this could change the scorecard they are now on. Meaning that they are now being compared to members of the public with good credit and if their positive credit is not strong this could negatively affect their score. Either way more than likely they are not looking at the same score their lenders are or will be using. Most important thing is not to score watch during the repair process and focus on removing negative items and building the right mix of positive accounts.

Teeter Totter Analogies

Positive vs. Negative

On one side, you have your negative credit, and on the other, you have your positive credit. Right now your negative credit is outweighing your positive. What we want to achieve is to get rid of as much of the negative credit as possible while boosting up the positive side of your teeter totter. If you have one item on the positive side and 20 on the negative and I get rid of 10 does your teeter totter move. (Pause for dramatic effect) No. There is still not enough weight on the positive side to tilt the scales. The teeter-totter is your Fico Score. The more it Moves toward the positive side, the higher your score is going to be.

Length of History and Re-aging

New credit starts in the middle of the Teeter Totter. As you make your payments on time, it starts to move out toward the end of the teeter totter where it has more weight. So, at first good credit has virtually no weight then after a little time (6 months to a year) it starts moving out toward the edge. When it hits seven years, it is out there at the edge weighing a lot. Bad credit is the opposite. It starts on the full bad end of the Teeter Totter doing maximum damage. As time goes by it is moving to the center of the Teeter Totter. At 7 ½ years, it has hit the center where it virtually has no impact and therefore falls off the credit report. However, if you make a payment on that account, you essentially move it back to the end of the Teeter Totter letting it do maximum damage once again. It does not start your seven years all over again, but it maximizes its damage for the time it has left.

Credit Line Usage
Your debt to limit ratio on credit lines makes up 30% of your score. If you go over 50% of your credit line, it is on the downside of the teeter totter. The higher you go, the more it hurts. At 30-50% you are in the middle of the teeter-totter, virtually neutral. Under 30% of your credit line, you are on the positive side of the teeter totter. The lower you go, the better

Credit Repair Process

What Makes Credit Law Center’s Credit Repair Process Stand Out

It’s no news to us that the word “credit repair” can have you feeling uneasy and unsure about the whole process of rebuilding your credit. Here at Credit Law Center, we want to provide every client with personal attention to their individual needs and leave you feeling educated and confident about the decision to start the credit repair process. So you have done your homework and researched the credit repair process and the many different repair companies out there. What makes Credit Law Center’s credit repair process different?

 

What Makes Credit Law Center’s Credit Repair Process Stand Out

The credit repair process at Credit Law Center is unique for several various reasons, and our company takes pride in the services that we offer.

We have 5 Attorneys on Staff

Yes, it is true that we are an actual law firm and have five attorneys on staff willing and eager to fight for our client’s rights. The FTC reports that 79 percent of American consumer’s credit reports contain errors. The FCRA, (Federal Credit Reporting Act), states that all credit reports must be accurate, verifiable and timely. Our attorneys assist consumers in disputing questionable items on their credit reports and demands that the reports are 100% accurate. The attorneys in our office have over 14 years of litigating consumer rights cases, and we have perfected the dispute process.

Credit Repair Pricing

 

Our credit repair process does not require a monthly fee.

Unlike other credit repair companies, we have a performance-based pay structure and do not require an upfront fee. You will only pay for items that we get deleted; however, we are similar to many other law firms and depending on the contract size you may pay a retainer. Credit repair pricing

We value our clients

Customer service is extremely important here at Credit Law Center and we are always looking for ways to achieve superior customer service and client satisfaction. Our staff takes great pride in educating our clients with the credit repair process and helping them continue down a path of financial stability. Each individual client has a unique circumstance and chain of events that have brought them to seek our services. With 79 percent of credit reports containing errors its quite possible to say that some of our employees or their family members have had some kind of incorrect reporting on their credit report.

Credit Repair- Credit Builder

A Credit Builder Loan Can Help You Create, or Restore Credit – Credit Law Center

If you have never established credit before, or you are recovering from bad credit, there are ways to help build or rebuild your credit. If you are unable to get approved for a personal installment loan, one great option is a credit builder loan. Consumers seeking a credit building loan to rebuild or build a stronger credit profile, usually have a larger goal in mind. Whether your goal is getting an unsecured credit card, buy a new car or even purchase a home a credit builder loan is a great place to start.

Credit Builder Loans

A Credit builder loan is particularly offered by credit unions and a few banks, they are typically offered in modest amounts, ranging from $500 to $1500. Many credit unions and banks certain requirements you must meet before they approve the loan. For example, they may require you to be a member for X amount of years, have been employed at the same job for six months, and reside at the same location for six months to a year.

Each Credit Union or Bank offer different Structures

Credit Unions or banks may offer a different type of credit building loans and can vary in interest rates. Here are a few examples of the different types:

  • A loan secured by loan funds: This type of loan is when the lender puts the loan amount in a locked savings account and gives it to the borrower after the final payment has been received. This type of credit building loan is safe and secure for both the lender and the borrower, and the major advantage is the borrower doesn’t need to come up with a lump sum payment to start building credit.
  • Secured Loan: This is when a consumer gives a lump sum amount of money to the lender using it as collateral for a loan. The lender typically puts the lump sum in a secured savings account or a certificate of deposit. The collateral is frozen and the funds are released incrementally as the loan is paid down. The interest rates are typically lower on a secured loan, but the major disadvantage is coming up with a large amount to use as collateral.

 

How A Credit Builder Loan Can Help

If you are starting fresh and do not have credit a crediting building loan will take time to build on your credit profile. Once the loan starts reporting on with the credit bureaus it may take up to six months before you start seeing an increase in your FICO Score. FICO needs enough information on your credit file to determine your creditworthiness. Making your payments on time and in full will help build a strong credit profile. Depending on your history you may see your score go from zero to 600’s and in some cases 700’s.

If you had bad credit and are trying to reestablish your credit, it will be important that you remain current and on time on any previous obligations, you may have had. You will also want to make sure everything on your report is reporting accurate and is verifiable. A Credit building loan can help you increase your score by 20 to 25 points over the life of the loan.

A small increase in points can help you go from poor to fair, or fair to good. Credit Builder Loans can help move from a risky borrower to a less risky tier.

6 Things You Did Not Know That Will Affect Your Good Credit

6 Things You Did Not Know That Will Affect Your Good Credit

Having good credit can be a significant accomplishment and allow you larger financial opportunities. However, there are a few unexpected ways that can hurt your good credit.

1.One Late Payment

So you got busy with life and forgot to send in your car payment. Having one 30 days late payment report on your credit report can significantly drop your credit score, and depending on your credit history it could drop it by 100 points.

2.Closing your zero-balance credit card

Paying off your credit card is wonderful, and you may be tempted to close that account. Closing a zero-balance credit card can affect you one of two ways, it reduces your total credit amount, which can raise your credit utilization ratio. It also can shorten the age of your credit history.

3. Co-Signing

Co-signing for a friend or family with less than perfect credit makes you responsible for the debt. When your friend or family member misses a payment, it will report on your credit report. You will take full responsibility for that account if they do not pay.

4.High Credit Balances

You have the right mix of credit, perfect payment history, but you are reaching the credit limits on your credit card. Having high limits can cause your score to drop, it is important to try and keep them at 30% of the available balance. The lower, the better.

5.Applying for additional credit

Every time you apply for new credit or a credit increase the creditor will do a credit check. These credit checks are considered hard inquiries. Be careful when applying for credit or asking for an increase to an existing credit card.

6.Not paying attention to your credit report

Approximately one in five Americans have errors on their credit reports. It is important to check your report at least twice a year to make sure all information is reporting accurate. One reporting error could lead to major problems and possibly lower your scores. By law, Americans are allowed to one free credit report per year from all three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. You may receive your free reports at annualcreditreport.com.

13 Things That Do Not Affect Your Credit Score

13 Things That Do Not Affect Your Credit Score – Credit Law Center

Your FICO credit score is one of the most dominant three digit numbers in your financial life. Many of you probably know that not paying a mortgage payment or car loan on time will affect your credit score. And you probably also know that maxing out your credit cards and or bankruptcy will lower your score as well. But, beyond the obvious, things may get a little fuzzy. Do you know the financial decisions that do not affect your credit score? You may have even wondered why all three credit scores are different.  Not all companies report to all three credit bureaus and not every financial transaction you make is used to calculate a credit score. A credit score uses the data that reports in your credit file.

13 things that do not affect your credit score

  1. Soft inquiries –  A soft inquiry or a soft pull, shows up on your credit report whenever you pull your credit report or score, a business checks your credit report for promotional purposes, or a company you may already have credit with pulls your credit report.
  2. Late Rent, utility, and cell phone payments – Landlords, utility and cell phone providers do not report your monthly payments to the credit bureaus. However, if at any point you terminate the contract and leave an outstanding balance and the account goes to collections these providers most likely will report to the credit reporting agencies.
  3. Mortgage loan rate shopping – We all want the best interest rate when shopping for a home mortgage, in order to find the best rate we may have to have several loan officers review your credit profile. This generates several hard inquiries, but FICO has a particular formula that ignores home loan inquiries over a 30- day period. FICO uses a particular method that when searching your report if they find mortgage loan inquiries with in a 30-day period, they will count as one.
  4. Disputing a charge or error on your credit report – Incorrect information is often reporting on your credit report, individuals are allowed to dispute inaccurate information. Disputing this information will not affect your credit score.
  5. Overdrawing your checking account – Checking account information is not reported on your credit report.
  6. Being denied a credit card – If you have recently applied for a credit card or loan and denied,  the denial will not be on your credit report. However, the request will result in a hard inquiry showing on your credit report.
  7. Losing a job – Job status is not a factor in your credit score, but lack of income may affect the approval of a loan or credit card.
  8. Not paying back a family member or friend – Individuals are not allowed to report to the credit bureaus.
  9. Receiving government assistance – Receiving food stamps or any other government assistance has no bearing on your credit and will not be reported.
  10. Your debit card – The activity from a debit or prepaid card does not report on your credit report, therefore doesn’t affect your credit score.
  11. Net Worth – The amount of money you have in savings, the lavish house you live in or a fancy sports car will not affect
  12. A degree or lack of a degree – It doesn’t matter if you attended an ivy league college or never even graduated from high school.
  13. Paying your taxes on time – Paying your taxes a few months late won’t immediately result in credit damage, however, once the IRS reports you for delinquent taxes and a tax lien is issued that’s when the trouble starts.

Your credit score is used to give potential lenders a look into your financial history; this allows them to determine the amount of risk you will be as a borrower. This being the reason your credit file only contains information about your financial track record, and how well you have paid any outstanding loans.

 

Credit Score

How to Raise Your Credit Score Quickly – Credit Law Center

So you want to buy a house, but your credit score is 675 instead of 720 which will get you the best rate on a home loan. If you want to raise your credit score quickly, there are some steps you can take that can guarantee an exceptional home loan or any other credit line for that matter.

The Blueprint to a High Credit Score.

The blueprint for getting a great score is to pay your bills on time, keep account balances low, and take out new credit only when you need it. Those who follow this blueprint faithfully have very high credit scores. It usually means you are cautious and conservative about credit. Credit scores are not something you want to take lightly.

Sounds easy enough right? Great advice, but let’s face it following these basic principals takes time. What if you are house hunting and need a few extra points to bump you over the line to exceptional rates?

How to Raise Your Credit Score Quickly When You Need a Few Extra Points
The first place to start is with your credit report. Make sure to check it over and find out what your credit score is right now. Review your credit report to make sure all the information is reporting accurate. You will want to concentrate on correcting any errors by following the dispute process. Look for errors such as accounts that are not yours, late payments that you paid on time, debts you paid off that are showing as outstanding, or old debt that shouldn’t be reported any longer. Negative items are supposed to be deleted after seven years, except for bankruptcies, which can stay as long as ten years.

After repairing any errors, the quickest route to a better score is paying down balances on credit cards. There’s no silver bullet, but over a 60 day period, it is possible to raise increase your score by twenty points, by paying down your credit lines.

 

Things You Should Not Do To Raise Credit Score

One thing you should not do if you are just trying to boost your score is close unused accounts. If someone tells you to close unused accounts to raise your score quickly, he or she is pulling your leg. Actually, it harms your credit score.

Closing unused accounts without paying down your debt changes your utilization ratio, which is the amount of your total debt divided by your total available credit. You appear closer to maxing out your accounts. That is why your score can drop. It does not mean people should not close them, but don’t close them to improve your score.