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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 Terms

6 Common Credit Terms – Credit Law Center

We recently asked the question on social media, “What is one thing that should be taught in school?”, several came back with the answer “credit.” Unless you are a financial guru at understanding complex financial terms, the world of credit can be slightly confusing. Understanding the most common credit terms and credit score terms could help you save money.

 

6 Common Credit Terms

 

1.Credit Mix

The different types of credit that make up your credit report. Your credit mix makes up 10% of your credit score and can be a mixture of credit cards, a mortgage to student loans and auto loans. Having a good mixture of positive credit can impact your credit score.

2.Credit utilization

This is the amount of available credit you are using. To calculate your credit utilization, you would divide your total credit card balances by your total credit limits. Then multiply that number by 100 for the percentage. Keeping your credit utilization under 30 percentage is best, by keeping it under shows lenders that you are capable of managing debt.

3.Installment loan vs. Revolving credit

An installment loan is a cash loan that requires a fixed number of regular payments that are equal in amount. Payments on an installment loan are calculated over a set duration, home loan and a car loans are examples of installment loans.

Revolving credit is credit that can repeatedly be used and paid off without having to reapply each time. Credit cards and lines of credit are two forms of revolving credit. Revolving credit does not require a set payment plan, and you can borrow up to your limit. Revolving credit is riskier for lenders. Therefore the interest rates are higher.

4.Hard Inquiry

A hard inquiry happens when you have applied for credit, and a business or lender “pulls” your credit report to determine your creditworthiness. This type of inquiry can affect your credit score.

5.Soft Inquiry

A soft inquiry occurs when a consumer checks their credit file or when a lender sends you a pre-approval letter. This type of inquiry does not affect your FICO credit score.

6.Payment History

35 percent of your credit score is made up by your payment history. Therefore it is a crucial element in your credit score. Payment history is calculated on how well you pay your bills and if you pay them on time. With payment history being such a big portion of your credit score being late on a payment or defaulting on a loan could cause you to be denied credit or have high-interest rates.

Fake Debt Collectors

Are You Getting Calls From Fake Debt Collectors? – Credit Law Center

Have you received a call from a debt collector and you don’t recognize the debt or loan that they are trying to collect? Consumers all over the U.S. are reporting that they are receiving calls like this. Fake debt collectors pretend to be lawyers, debt collectors and do anything to scare you into paying them, and occasionally, the imposters may have some of your personal information, and they are incredibly slick and will do anything to scam you into paying.

The FTC recently stopped imposters who pretended to be lawyers. These imposters threatened people with lawsuits and jail time to collect debts that didn’t exist.

Common Characteristics of Fake Debt Collectors

  • They use names of real small businesses or names that are similar to existing businesses.
  • Trying to collect on a debt you are not familiar with or do not owe.
  • High pressure to try and scare you into to paying, such as threatening jail time or calling and reporting you to the local law enforcement agency.
  • Fake debt collectors may threaten to sue you or tell you that they are suing you
  • Refusing to give you an address or telephone number
  • Asks you personal financial or sensitive information.

What to do if you think you are speaking to a fake debt collector

  • Ask the caller for his name, company, street address and telephone number. Advise the caller that you refuse to discuss the debt, asks them to provide you with a “validation notice.” A validation notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor, and your rights under the FDCPA. If they refuse to provide this information, DO NOT PAY!
  • Do not provide the caller with any financial or sensitive information. Never give out personal information or confirm personal information like bank account, credit card or social security number unless you are sure you are dealing with a legitimate debt collector. These imposters can use your information to commit identity theft, charging your credit cards, or open new credit.
  • Contact the creditor. It may be possible that they are calling on a legitimate debt that they have somehow accessed information on. If you believe the debt is legitimate, but you do not believe the caller is a real debt collector, contact the original creditor directly, be sure to share the information with them so they can keep track of the behavior.
  • Report the Call to the FTC. Contacting the FTC and your state Attorney General’s Office with the documented information about the suspicious callers, and most States have their own laws in addition to the FDCPA.
My Credit Card Statment Now Has a Credit Score

My Credit Card Statement Now Has a Credit Score – Credit Law Center

You may have recently noticed that your credit card statement has provided you with a credit score for free. Having this credit score on your credit card statement could potentially help you spot an error on your credit report. For example, if the score is lower than you expected, it may be a perfect time to request your credit reports, dispute any errors that you may find.

Things to consider about the scores provided on the credit card statement

Each credit card company uses a different formula for assessing your credit profile. The credit score you get from one credit card company may be slightly different from the credit score you receive from another credit card company. The score you receive on the credit card statements may also be different than the score you receive from a lender or a finance company. FICO scores are the credit scores used by 90% of the top lenders to determine your credit risk.

FICO Scores

You will have three FICO scores, one for each of the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. As well as the three different scores from each bureau, FICO has a total of 56 versions of FICO scoring. Just think of it like Microsoft word, every year a new version comes out updating the software. Each of the 56 versions old or new are tailored for different types of lending. One version may be used for mortgage lenders, while another may be used for a credit card company. With so many versions being the major reason the score on your credit card statement may differ from one a lender pulls.

 

Top 5 Credit Myths (1)_Page_03

No matter what version of FICO is being used your score is calculated by the information on your credit report. Therefore your credit score could differ from bureau to bureau as well. For example, you may have a loan from a small community bank; this bank may only report your activity to Transunion, and not report to Experian or Equifax, leaving your credit file with the other two bureaus thin.

Things to keep in mind

Each month when you receive your score on your credit card statement use it as a tool to help identify any possible errors. Focus on paying your bills on time, and not overextending your credit. If you notice your score has gone down, review your credit, and look for any errors in your credit report. Each bureau allows one free credit report per year and you can request at www.annualcreditreport.com

What is a Good FICO?

What is a Good FICO Score? Credit Law Center

One of the most well-known types of credit score is FICO Scores and used by many lenders. The average FICO score for Americans, as of April 2017 was 700. When you check your credit score, you’ll probably want to find out how you compare. What is a good FICO Score?

 

What is a Good FICO Score?

Think of your credit score like a grade. If you do not have any credit or tradelines, FICO has nothing to grade you on. FICO scores often range from 300 to 850, and a FICO about 700 is considered a good credit score. A FICO of 800 is an exceptional score, and approximately 19.9 % of Americans are in this range. Applicants in the excellent range are at the top of the list for the best rates from lenders. 17% of people range in the very poor range and these individuals may be required to pay a fee or a deposit, before getting approved.

Top 5 Credit Myths (1)

Why Do Credit Scores Matter

Lenders use credit scores to help them determine how likely you are to repay your loan on time. A Credit score allows lenders assess the risk that you won’t be able to pay your loan as agreed.

Establishing and maintaining a good credit score is important because it can determine whether you are approved for a loan or not. It will always determine what interest rates you qualify and potentially save you tons of money over the length of the loan. Every major financial goal you have, like owning a home, or purchasing a new car, your credit will be a part of the financing.

Common Credit Score Facts

Marriage: When you get married your credit score will not merge with your spouse’s

Joint Accounts: Joint accounts will show up on both individuals credit report, and both individuals are responsible for the debt. If a payment is missed both parties will see the delinquency on their credit report and it will affect both individual scores.

Checking your score: Checking your score will not hurt your credit report. Checking your score is considered a soft inquiry, and it allows you to review your score without harming it.

By law, credit reports are required to be timely, accurate and verifiable. Monitoring your credit is a great way to avoid any mishaps when it comes to your score. Depending on what type of reporting error you could have on your report it could significantly drop your score.

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.

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.