Starting Credit Repair│5 Questions You Should Ask

So You’re Saying There’s A Chance?

All jokes aside, credit repair is a very serious matter.  We have come into contact with many companies that over promise and under deliver when it comes to the services they offer. Have you been teetering back and forth between companies but have been unsure what to ask? Well here’s your guide for working through the sales pitch, and getting to the hard facts.

What is credit repair and how does it work?

When a consumer decides that they are going to attempt credit repair there is often a “pain point” involved that has led them to this decision. For many of our clients, they have visited a lending institution and have been denied financing. Being denied for a home loan or car loan can really get a person in gear and ready to go because credit is important when it comes to major financial purchases. Have you been denied financing recently and are trying to start making your way back toward better credit?

You may find yourself looking for ways to improve your credit score and running into a dead end with “repair” companies. Another thing you may have found is that you may have heard that you can work on your credit repair yourself.

A law firm, like Credit Law Center has the ability to do more than both a consumer and what a credit repair company can. The side by side shows just a few things that you may want to start quizzing your current or potential credit repair company you hire on and start to look for companies that can help you out in all aspects of credit repair.

1. What Will I Need To Get Started?

In order to enroll in credit repair with Credit Law Center you will want to speak with a credit advisor first. They will walk you through our process and what you can expect as far as cost and time frame goes. You will know after your consultation what the cost could be for credit repair if every item came off the report.

You will notice we said if everything comes off. Each item is priced per line item as we only want to charge a client for the successful removal of what we dispute. You would receive a contract ceiling price and be billed accordingly after each round is completed. We are a pay for performance company, which just means you will only pay us for results as opposed to a monthly repair company.

Next, you will need a copy of your credit report, which the credit advisor will pull with you. They will go through line by line with you and educate you on how you can improve scores while we work on any derogatory items on the report. You can expect to pay $1 at the consultation and then decide if you would like to work with our Law Firm. Again, you will be quoted all pricing before ever signing a contract.

Although the cost may sound cheaper per month for a monthly program, and manageable for your budget, it might hurt you more in the long run.  Too often we see consumers that agree to this and they end up signing up for something that takes years for them to improve their credit. Our typical time frame is 60-120 days depending on what other items are positively reporting on a report.

We will work inside anyone’s budget!

Finally, a contract will be emailed to you and after a few ID’s submitted to your credit advisor, you will be ready for credit repair! We are built for speed and this is why 53% of our business comes from referral partners like loan officers and real estate agents. They can expect that their clients will get results quickly, and be ready for financing.

2. Is There An Attorney Involved/Working For Me?

We currently have 3 attorneys in the office that our clients can speak with about their credit reports or any legalities they may come across during or after credit repair. These attorneys also have the ability to work on your behalf, to stop collection calls as well as work with you on what you can say now that you are a client. When a collection company calls you and you are represented by a law firm, you have the ability to request no further communication at that time. Should you continue to receive calls, you may be able to sue for continued harassment.

Does your current “law firm” have the ability to do this? Ask the hard questions!

 

free credit repair consultation

3. Do They Have The Ability To Negotiate And Sue?

Credit Law Center has sued all three major credit agencies: Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. Ask your current or potential company in questioning if they can do this!

Unfortunately for a consumer, there are many ways that these agencies and collection companies go in and break the law. The main reason for this is due to the lack of education out there about credit and what can or cannot be done. You want a legal team guiding you and informing you of your rights through this process.

Our legal team is versed in the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) and  FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act).

Although your credit advisor will not give you legal advice, you can rest assured that as a client you have access to any of the attorneys on staff about matters such as harassing phone calls and items being misreported. They can also negotiate debts on your behalf or sue for damages if you have been impacted by misreporting on a credit report.

4. Who Will Be Monitoring My Credit?

There seems to be many companies out there right now that do not monitor the clients credit while in repair, or do not let them know if they have new activity or items reported. We will monitor your credit with our monitoring service and will update you every 45 days or so on your report. You have access to a copy of the report at all times.

Do you receive updated copies of your credit report with your current service?

This is vital for us, as it allows us to see what items are being removed when we dispute and allows us to also see if you are ready to go from a credit score standing on financing. We will never hold a client in repair any longer than need be. If they are at a point that a lender says they are ready to move forward, we will pull them out of repair and send them on their way!

5. Am I Being Billed Monthly Regardless of Items Being Removed or Not?

Lastly, and most importantly, ask what you are being billed for. If you are working with a credit repair company and spending money monthly with no activity as far as your score moving at all, it may be time to make a switch. We are saying there’s a chance! If you work with the right company that can provide you with great results and you listen to the education our credit advisors provide, you may be off to your dream home or dream car sooner than you thought!

If  you are currently working with a credit repair company and are not satisfied with your results, please let us know. We would be happy to help you get financially ready for whatever your next steps might be (house loan, car loan, etc.) Please  contact us today for your personal consultation with a Credit Advisor. We have helped over 30,000 clients improve their scores. Let us get you back on the path toward financial freedom.

Article By Breana Washington

A Note From The Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Check out Credit Law Center’s infographic on 4 myths of collections reporting on credit reports.
credit collection myths infographic

credit collection myths infographic

 

Reconsidering Rent-To-Own│More Risk or More Reward?

Is Rent-To-Own A Sure Thing?

The here and now seems to take the front seat as opposed to decisions that are best for the budget for a lot of families.

“We need more space.”

“Our credit isn’t where it needs to be.”

“What is the quickest way to start building for our future and not funding my landlords retirement?”

Rent-to-own is here. But should it be the move you make?

What Am I Agreeing To?

Rent-to-own contracts can be a little misleading. As with any contract you sign, double check that everything makes sense and is conducive for you and your family in the long run.

Remember when you said you were not wanting to fund your landlords retirement? The typical lease a family signs is a 12 month lease. Anything after that is usually month to month or on extended terms.  With rent-to-own you are saying that you will lease possibly 2-3 years. At the end of those terms, then you have the option to buy it.

Most rent-to-own tenants have decided this option is best for them because they do not have a lump sum for a down payment or cash on hand.

Read further about a few things you may have not been aware of in the rent-to-own agreements.

What They Don’t Tell You

Although you are leasing the home this does not mean that by the end of the lease agreement you will still be approved. Although you did have the first pick on the home, they cannot guarantee that you are getting approved for the loan. This is no fault to the landlord.

If you were having a hard time getting approved for a loan before due to poor credit prior to the lease agreement and didn’t make any effort to work toward better credit, or something happened to your credit in the few years you were in the home, it won’t matter. Unfortunately, you will still be denied.

You will lose the money you put into the home as well.

Prior to signing your rent-to-own lease, you should still meet with a mortgage banker to know what you will need as far as payment, scores, etc. go to close when it comes time for the lease to end and the loan to kick in.

 

free credit repair consultation

The Fine Print

There are many things you need to go into detail with the seller on prior to agreeing to a rent-to-own home. As with a lease, there should be other factors taken into consideration prior to signing on the dotted line.

  1. Are there any liens on the current home?
  2. What will you do if you don’t decide to buy it?
  3. How does the home inspection work?
  4. How much will I buy it for?

Liens On The Home

This is vital! There should be no reason to argue over who owns the title to the home. Speak with someone about all the details, complete research and make sure you have a party involved that knows what they are doing. There are way too many scammers and companies out there that can lie and pull the wool over your eyes and you’re stuck with no where to turn when you thought everything was going to work out just fine.

Taking A Pass

Let’s say you lived in the home for a few years and decide you don’t want to buy it. What then? Double check that the contract has a clear and defined understanding of what will happen if you should choose to not purchase at the end of the lease. The unfortunate part is that the money you did spend is nonrefundable.

Inspection Time

As with any normal inspection, the condition of the home should be documented and photos should be taken off interior and exterior and any major concerns.

Purchase Time

You and the seller will decide on a price up front. With the purchase price being locked in, this does not protect you from the possibility of the home’s value dropping. If that is the case, it will not save you from the price dropping. You will still be held at the price that was decided on at the time of the contract unfortunately.

Not to mention, if the current landlord is not financially sound and possibly loses the home while you are the current tenant you most likely lose the option to purchase and again, the money is gone with the wind.

In Closing

There may be some benefits to your family signing a rent-to-own option but this is one to be weary of when walking through the process. There are home loans out there you can apply for that will work for you, especially if you are a first time home buyer. There are also options out there to not only help you improve your credit scores, but also work with you on smaller down payments and lower scores (although your interest rates will be higher).  If low credit scores are keeping you from improving your living situation, please contact us today for a free credit consultation. We have helped over 30,000 clients improve their scores. Let us get you back on the path toward financial freedom.

Check out Credit Law Center’s infographic on 4 myths of collections reporting on credit reports.
credit collection myths infographic

credit collection myths infographic

 

Credit Cards For College Age Students│5 Back To School Basics

Back To School For College Students

Is your college student packed up and ready to start a new chapter already? At some point as a parent, you have probably discussed the do’s and dont’s during the first year when your student is ready to take off and start a new chapter on their own. You probably told them:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Don’t skip class
  • Get involved/meet new people
  • Have fun, but not too much fun

College orientation can be a whirlwind and there are so many things that happen very quickly prior to the first day of classes. It is no longer as easy as grabbing the list at Walmart for school supplies and heading off for your first day.

I can recall my mother and I signing up for a checking account at a bank that was local in the town my University was at. I was extremely excited to start school and was ready for all these new responsibilities.

With that being said, there were also some things I didn’t know about as an 18 year old out on their on my own. I was not aware of what all went into good credit scores.

Here are five tips to educate your college age student when it comes to credit:

1. The Reality

As a student you may not know what shows on your credit reports.  Student loans are just one of the items that may end up on your credit report.

Other things that may show up on your report in a negative way can be

  • late payments on utilities
  • a landlord that you or a roommate doesn’t pay with the lease and fines
  • retail credit cards
  • late payments on a student loan

If your student is making payments on their loan themselves, stress to them that late payments are very serious when it comes to their credit. The same goes for any kind of credit card or bill.

A late payment on a credit report can drop a score up to 100 points. Rebuilding credit can take a while and although it may not seem to be a big deal to a student currently, good credit is important and should be emphasized to your student.

 

2. Find The Right Fit For You

If there is an absolute need for a credit card as a student, you want to be sure to do all research before taking the next step and signing up.

When you are looking into applying for a credit card remember these few rules

  1. Shop for low rates
  2. Try a credit union
  3. If you apply for a checking or savings account with a bank, look into credit card options with them as well

 

free credit repair consultation

3. How To Use The Cards You Get

A credit card should only be for emergency use or to build credit. Students should keep credit card balances as low as possible. If they are using the credit card, try to keep the balance below 30% of the limit.

Credit card balances are reported to the credit bureaus each month. Your credit score will reflect lower scores, if your balances are very high or are reaching maxed out or close to the limit.

 

4. Building Credit

If your student is using credit cards, encourage them to monitor their credit.

The myth out there about having to keep a balance on your credit cards is not accurate. Remind your student as well, that most of the credit cards will be acquiring interest.

There are many companies out there that will offer credit reports for free or you can enroll in credit monitoring.

When pulling a credit report, take note that any consumer score that you can view online is a vantage score not an actual FICO score. Vantage scores tend to be higher than what an actual FICO is. FICO scores can only be given to  you by a bank or lender. However, monitoring your credit at this time is more about what is showing on the report and the timely payments, etc on the report rather than the bureau scores.

5. Put A Lid On It

In an era where it seems there are so many awesome things going on whether you are on Facebook or Instagram, it can be hard to miss out on fun opportunities that maybe you just cannot afford.

Although your student may want to take that awesome Spring Break trip with friends or they have a hard time without the newest clothes, continue to help guide them and help them understand the importance of making good financial decisions.

How Can My Student Start Building Credit?
  • Become an authorized user on family member card
  • Look into a credit builder loan
  • Apply for a secured credit card

There will be many important life lessons that happen through this next time period in their lives. As parents it is important we both teach and model good decisions and long lasting lessons. We hope this sparks a conversation in your household about good financial choices for your high school graduate or soon to be graduate.

 

Do you have questions about your credit report? If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys or credit advisors  and complete a free consultation please give us a call at 1-800-994-3070 we would be happy to help.

A Note From The Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

 

Check out Credit Law Center’s info-graphic on 4 myths of collections reporting on credit reports.
credit collection myths infographic

credit collection myths infographic

 

Saving Money At Closing Time│It Pays To Be Patient

Patience Pays Off

While going through the home buying process, the word patience for most may be a sore subject. Between the pre-approval process, the home search and offer, it can become a stressful time. Not to mention if you get caught in a bidding war or the home you want has issues after inspection. The laundry list of things goes on and just when you thought you had enough…we are asking you to pack on even more patience? Yes!

Pack your patience… and then pack some more!

Ways To Save

With such a large investment and risk, hopefully you are working with a great team that is advising you and leading you in the right direction throughout the home buying process. Just in-case you didn’t know, interest starts accruing the day you close and won’t end until the loan is paid off.

So what are some ways I can save?

Push It Back

Pushing your closing date to later in the month can help you cut down costs. Although this doesn’t mean anything towards savings through the life of the loan, it does help at the initial time, which we will break down later in this post.

If you are moving into a community with HOA fees associated, paying near the end of the month can reduce the amount of upfront cost there are due to the cost usually being prorated.

Interest, again is accruing and if you close early on in the month, you will be paying that accruing interest from the closing date until month end.

Ways You Benefit

We will set the scene for you. You are about to purchase a home where the purchase price is $300,000. You are set to close on June 15 and are ready to go!

Saving on interest may seem insignificant but look at the numbers:

Interest: 5%

Daily Interest ($3,000 x 5%) 1/365 =$41.10/day

Closing date June 15, prepay 15 days interest (15 x $41.10= $616.50)

If you would close on June 29, prepay 2 days of interest (2x $41.10 = $82.20)

 

free credit repair consultation

So What Did This Save?

A savings of about $535 just by changing the closing date. This is more of a cash flow preference than actual true savings.

How about HOA?

HOA Fees/day ($300/30) = $10/day

Closing June 15, you will be paying $150 ($10 x 15 = $150)

Closing June 29, you will be paying $20 ($10 x 2 = $20)

My New Mortgage Payment

With all of this in mind, you are probably also thinking about when your first mortgage payment will be due. Your mortgage is paid in arrears. If you had been paying as a tenant, you were paying in advanced, for the upcoming month. Whereas your mortgage payment is made toward the end of the month.

The home you closed on at the end of June in order to save money, means your first payment wouldn’t be due until the end of August.

Be Prepared

Although these ideas may save you money at the beginning, it is very important to know financially what is going to be right for you. Whether you are leaving a rental property, or selling a previous home, talk with your trusted lenders about the options you may have and how each one will play out. As a buyer, remember that you do have the power to negotiate and make sure everything pans out in a way that will set you or your family up for success.

 

 

A Note From The Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

Do you have questions about your credit report? If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys or credit advisors  and go through a free consultation please give us a call at 1-800-994-3070 we would be happy to help.

 

Check out Credit Law Center’s info-graphic on 4 myths of collections reporting on credit reports.
credit collection myths infographic

credit collection myths infographic

 

Credit Building Without Credit Cards│3 Ways To Build Your Fico

Building Up Your Fico

Understanding and building credit in a positive way takes discipline and some education. Do you recall being taught in school, how to build your credit scores? Did your teachers let you know how big of a role credit would play in your life as you got older? Honestly, it is probably likely that even while going through the process of applying for a credit card or car loan, you were still unsure of what your credit scores really meant.

So what is a credit score made of?  Your FICO is determined by the categories below on the pie chart. Payment history and amounts owed on your credit make up the two largest portions of your scores. What if you do not have credit cards? There are a few other options for you, so that you can still fulfill parts of the FICO scoring model.

Facts on Fico

The Importance Of Credit

Can you imagine not having access to a bank that could lend you money for your home or car? Credit is so important for everyone, whether they have a credit card or not.  A lender or banking institution pulls your credit in order to see how reliable and likely you are to default on your loan. If your payment history is bad or you are lacking credit history, it is hard for them to lend to someone that they cannot be sure of. If you are someone that has no credit score, that is almost as bad as having bad scores. It is hard to justify lending to you when they are not sure how you use your money or pay your bills.

The Typical Way To Build Credit-Credit Cards

If you are opening your first credit card, your bank is usually open to issuing you a credit card with them. This credit card is not to take on your next shopping spree, but small purchases like filling up your vehicle. Many people open up credit card for “emergencies” only, while some use them and live outside of their means. Credit can end up getting you into large amounts of debt if you are not careful and capable of setting limits for yourself. So what are a few other ways to start getting a score, without the card in hand?

Other Options Besides Credit Cards

Become an authorized user

Parents trying to help their children build and establish credit usually allow for them to become an authorized user on a credit card. Prior to adding your kid on the credit card of your choosing, take a look at the length of history and the payments on all of the credit cards you have. If you have an old card, with no late payments and great credit history this is the best one to add your child to.

Young adults trying to establish credit should talk to parents or family members that will allow them to be added to a card as an authorized user. Understand that at no point do they give you access to the credit card but rather, you are just now benefiting from their positive history while having to make no effort or open up new credit lines.

free credit repair consultation

 

Report Monthly Bills

Are you currently renting and paying your bills on time? There are now many companies that will allow for you to have your rent reported. It can be very frustrating to constantly pay bills that are not showing up to show your credit worthiness, so many companies have listened to consumers and now are helping them out in an effort to eventually get a loan.

Join A Credit Union

A starter loan at the credit union works about the same as a secured credit card does. In order to build, the consumer deposits their own money to get started. The funds are not immediate but secured in a savings account until the term is complete. Making payments on this credit building loan are most important as again, positive payment history makes up 35% of the FICO pie chart. These are usually shorter terms (12-36 months) just to begin building credit. Often times, proof of income is required as well.

While it may seem a credit card is the only way to build credit quickly, that is not always the case. There are other avenues to take rather than signing up for the first credit card that is dropped in your mailbox. If you don’t trust yourself to avoid those credit card solicitations visit this site to keep from receiving junk mail and credit cards filling up your mailbox.

 

Do you have questions about your credit report? If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys or credit advisors  and go through a free consultation please give us a call at 1-800-994-3070 we would be happy to help.

A Note From The Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

Check out Credit Law Center’s info-graphic on 4 myths of collections reporting on credit reports.
credit collection myths infographic

credit collection myths infographic

 

Credit Cards With High Balances and Interest Rates│Transfer Options

Credit Card Debt & Balance Transfers

Where is your credit card debt currently at? Are you making minimum payments that don’t make a dent once your interest rates kicked in? It may be time to weigh a different option now that you are hoping to make some headway on your current debts.

Your Balances and Interest Rates

While it is always important to take into consideration the best options for you and your financial situation, we have several people that want to know more on the option to do a balance transfer. Here is how in a few short steps:

  1. Check your current credit card balances
  2. Pick a card to transfer to
  3. Read all information and fine print
  4. Apply for the balance transfer cards
  5. Start paying debts

Below are the steps explained in detail. Before making any quick-second decisions, be sure to educate yourself on all of the pros and cons to the balance transfer.

1. Current Credit

When you are thinking about making a balance transfer it is important to figure out what your interest (APR) is on the current credit card. When looking for a balance transfer card, you’ll want to find one that has low (no) fees and will take the actual amount you would be transferring over.

2. What Cards To Transfer To

Researching what credit cards are best to balance transfer to is very important. Depending on the amount of debt you have, you may not be able to transfer all of the debt to the card you choose. Many balance transfer cards offer a 0% introductory period for an allotted time frame.

  • Check the promotional period
  • Check how long the low APR will last

3. Terms and Conditions

The most important part of this transfer is understanding what the fine print states. Although the balance transfer could help you out, many of the cards have balance transfer fees associated with them, and every time you transfer balances over.

Make sure that the transfer is really going to be financially beneficial to you before moving money around. Figure out what the balance transfer fees is and then you will want to calculate the transfer fee cost, how much you could potentially save on interest and go from there.

Some balance transfer cards won’t let you transfer within the same bank, such as Citibank. If your balance is already on one Citibank card, you cannot move it to a balance transfer card.

It is also possible that when the creditor runs your credit and is deciding if you are approved, you may not become approved for the amount you are trying to switch over.

 

free credit repair consultation

4. Application Process

As with any other credit card, you must become approved first. If you have completed the above steps and are ready to make the switch, go ahead and apply for the balance transfer card.

More than likely you can complete a balance transfer online or by phone. You will be giving your account information and the amount of the balances you wish to transfer over to them.

On average, the process takes 7 to 10 business days. Most importantly, it is important to continue to make your payments until you have been given confirmation that the transfer successfully went through.

 

The Pros Of A Balance Transfer
  • Streamlining all credit payments onto one card
  • Start fresh with low APR
  • Get ahead on paying debt
  • Lower interest than previous credit card
The Cons Of A Balance Transfer
  • If you do not conduct research, you may end up with higher interest rates
  • Transfers can be expensive
  • Could drop your credit scores (due to opening a new line of credit)
  • Risk of more debt-likely that your credit limit increases and more credit is available to you if you can’t control spending habits

Your Final Decision

We understand that life happens and the average consumer does own credit cards. In an effort to set our clients up for success, we want them to understand and become more educated about the way the credit world works. As always, continue to educate yourself and always read the fine print! If you are using the balance transfer card for what it is, and in an effort to pay off your debt, not get into more, you will eventually get there. Keep chipping away at the payments you are making and always try to keep your balances low and payments on time.

 

A Note From The Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

Do you have questions about your credit report? If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys or credit advisors  and complete a free consultation please give us a call at 1-800-994-3070 we would be happy to help.

 

Check out Credit Law Center’s info-graphic on 4 myths of collections reporting on credit reports.
credit collection myths infographic

credit collection myths infographic

 

Credit Scores Dropping Quickly│How Can I Recover?

Credit Scores Dropping

Have you noticed a random decrease in your credit scores recently? There are many factors that can cause your credit scores to fluctuate. Many consumers do not understand that a credit score has no memory and can change immediately due to activity or changes that can happen as soon as you make a payment or use a credit card.

Can I recover from a drop?

Do not panic. Your scores really do change so much, so there is no reason to worry unless you have done some significant damage to a report like went late on a payment. A few things to know ahead of time, prior to calling your credit card companies or bank about your report-

  • If you are pulling credit scores on consumer sites like Identity IQ or Credit Karma, you are looking at consumer scores or vantage scores. These are not your FICO scores. These scores are more of a suggestion of what is going on but not always right or exact.
  • If you want to know your true FICO scores, the only place you can get the real FICO score is an actual lender or banking institution.
  • There are 56 different versions of FICO. Your home loan is going to be using a different version of FICO than the dealership that ran your credit. Don’t expect to see the same scores because they will be off.

 

What Do Inquiries Do To My Credit?

Your scores can be decreasing due to one too many inquiries on your credit report. A good rule of thumb is to only inquire about 10 times for every 12 month period.  Once you start shopping around for vehicles or homes and having your credit pulled more than the suggested number, you will start to notice your scores dropping.

 

How Does A Late Payment Hurt My Credit?

Unfortunately, late payments have a dramatic impact on your credit scores. This is the hardest thing to get removed from a credit report but we still try to go after late payments and try to get them removed.

These late pays can potentially drop your score 100 points.

If the creditor sends your card into collection or charge off, we can take a look at your report and discuss what the next options are for your credit report or how you can try to make up for those late pays in other ways  to increase the scores.

 

free credit repair consultation

What If I Don’t Have Any Credit?

Not having any credit cards or installment loans will also keep you at low scores. In order to have good credit scores, FICO has to have something to grade you on. We advise 2 credit cards and 2 installment loans (auto, home or personal). There is a misconception that no credit keeps you from having bad credit. That is not true and in order to qualify for a car loan or auto loan, if you are not showing that you can make payments on time and be trusted with a loan, a lender doesn’t know how trustworthy you are to loan to. If you are hoping to get a loan, it is important to start establishing credit for at least 6 months to a year and build and show positive payment history. If you are in credit repair and have noticed that your scores are dropping but derogatory items are falling off, it may be due to the lack of credit you have established, or that the credit you do have is not being utilized the right way i.e. high card balances above 30% utilization or recent late payments which will keep your scores down.

 Factors Causing A Drop
  1. Late payments
  2. High Balances
  3. Too many Inquiries
  4. Late reporting (possibly your credit cards reporting at different times to the credit bureaus. An easy fix to this is call your credit card and ask them when they report to the bureaus so you know when to make payments so your score reflects better)
  5. Paying an old collection (there is less than a 2% difference whether a collection is paid or unpaid, most weight is given to how recent the activity)
How Can I Start Building Credit?
  • Become an authorized user on family member or spouse’s card
  • Look into a credit builder loan
  • Apply for a secured credit card
  • Invest in credit repair to get derogatory items removed

Above all, be patient. Building and establishing credit takes time. If you are thinking about buying a home or vehicle, start planning ahead and looking at your credit now. Credit impacts many factors like interest rates, your insurance and many other things. Great scores mean more savings in your pocket!

 

A Note From The Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

Do you have questions about your credit report? If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys or credit advisors  and complete a free consultation please give us a call at 1-800-994-3070 we would be happy to help.

If you are hoping to dispute and work on your credit report on your own, here is a link that provides you with a few ideas on how to go about DIY Credit Repair.

 

Check out Credit Law Center’s info-graphic on 4 myths of collections reporting on credit reports.
credit collection myths infographic

credit collection myths infographic

 

Credit Scores Across States│Where Do You Rank?

Battle of the States

Have you ever wondered what part of the United States has the best/worst credit scores? It may come as a surprise to you but, the highest scoring state, Minnesota has an average credit score of 709. What may come as even more of a shock is that yes, they do have credit cards! On average, folks in Minnesota have 2.9 credit cards with an average balance of $5,911. You read that right! The take away from these numbers is that yes you can have great credit, while using and maximizing the credit cards you do have to obtain great credit scores.

Credit Scores across the states

We do not condone racking up credit cards by any means but there are several misconceptions out there about how one obtains good credit. Unfortunately, there is no snap of the fingers to make scores jump 100 points over night but we do know several tricks in an effort to get to the point that you may be trying to get to.

If you are looking for

  1. A home loan
  2. An auto loan

There are several factors that come into play with your credit. Many people do not even know or understand how a FICO score is made-

35% of your FICO is your payment history, 30% amount owed, 15% length of credit history, 10% new credit and the credit mix

So what is the trick?

Is there a trick to better credit scores?

Is there at trick to these high scores? One could argue that there are tricks to the trade.

Imperfect credit scores do not happen over night, the same goes for scores like people in Minnesota with 709. In order to obtain great credit scores you need to know what a good credit mix looks like. At Credit Law Center we advise that a consumer should have two great revolving credit cards and two installments. We also advise a few other steps in order to obtain great scores:

  • Authorized user- a spouse or family member with a credit card with a low balance and several  years of history is a great way to get a quick boost in scores
  • Pay for deletion-asking a creditor/collector to remove an item from the report if you pay a certain amount
  • Lower utilization-paying down a card more than the minimum payments will dramatically impact your credit
  • Inquiries on your credit report can bring the score down

Your Next Step

If you have completed the above steps and don’t see a change in scores, you may have negative items on your report that are weighing heavily like collections, too new of credit cards, or something as significant as a bankruptcy, tax lien, or judgment. Have you looked at a credit report lately? We can go through the credit report with you and discuss what steps you may need to take in an attempt to maximize your efforts.

free credit repair consultation

Did you know?

  • It is actually better for our economy for consumers to have lower FICO Scores. The higher the interest rates, the more money circulating through the economy as well as the increase in the value of currency.
  • There is a misconception that you will have better credit if you do not use credit cards. That is inaccurate, as FICO needs you to have/use credit to have the ability to grade you to come up with your FICO score.
  • Having only installment loans (auto, home, personal) and no credit cards, or only having credit cards, and no installment loans keeps your credit score down 10% then what it could be if you had a good credit mix.

Are you hoping to increase your credit scores and get on the track to better credit? Contact us today and one of our credit advisors  will complete a free consultation or please give us a call at 1-800-994-3070 we would be happy to help.

A Note From The Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

 

Check out Credit Law Center’s info-graphic on 4 myths of collections reporting on credit reports.
credit collection myths infographic

credit collection myths infographic