credit card debt

Is Your Credit Card Company Helping You During the Virus?

 

Many businesses have shut down during the coronavirus outbreak, and a lot of people are wondering how they will be able to pay their next, mortgage or credit card payments. This article will help guide you on what you can do and where you need to go to find some help. At the bottom there is a list of  most of the major credit card companies in the country with what they are doing and their contact info!

 

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Some consumers have financial concerns about emergency savings and being able to keep up with the bills.

The social distancing programs have shuttered restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters and other places where people like to gather. This has a lot of people wondering how they will be able to afford their next mortgage payment or even credit card payments.

For many Americans, their primary source of income has been called into question (for a period of time). Consumers are nervous because they don’t know how long it will last and how they will stay up with all there bills until they can get back to work.

Banks are stepping up to offer relief amid virus

Some credit card companies are allowing customers to skip their next monthly payment (some are willing to do more than  just one) without charging interest. These include Apple CardAmerican Express and Capital One.

The key here is without interest accruing – many other issuers are offering temporary relief like reduced minimum payments or forbearance, but interest is continuing to stack up, which can add up.

Most important part here is if you’re having trouble, contact your credit card companies and ask for help. Consider using online chat or social media, because many call centers are light staff and very busy. So while you are quarantining and watching Netflix reach out to your credit card companies and see what they will do for you. Remember if you are having trouble making the payment reach out to the creditor communicate with them and evaluate what they have to offer and always ask how it will be reported on your credit report. If you run into questions you don’t understand please reach out to us we are here to help.

See list below from creditcards.com is your credit card company on it?

 

American Express

Cardholders who are having difficulties paying their bills can contact American Express by calling the number on the back of their card or by online chat or the Amex app to discuss their situation.

Solutions are tailored to an individual’s situation. These might include offering flexibility in paying bills or directing them to American Express’s financial hardship program. Under the financial hardship program, consumers might be able to have reduced monthly payments, get temporary relief from late payment fees, get a temporary reduction in interest rates or prevent their accounts from going past due.

In a March 17 report, CreditCards.com sister site The Points Guy noted some of its readers were getting relief from Amex in the form of refunded interest charges and waived or refunded late fees on both personal and business credit cards. However, one reader reported that if you accept the assistance, your account is frozen until it’s paid off and you can’t use your Membership Rewards.

Bank of America

A customer who has trouble paying their credit card bill related to the coronavirus is encouraged to call Bank of America customer service at (800) 732-9194, visit a bank branch or connect via online banking or mobile application for assistance. The company also has a hardship program in place to provide assistance to consumers and small business clients.

Barclays

Barclays urges credit card account holders to call for assistance if they have problems paying their bills because of COVID-19. Barclaycard’s number for general inquiries in the U.S. is (866) 928-8598.

Capital One

“We understand that this is a time of uncertainty for many people, and we know that there may be instances where customers find themselves facing financial difficulties. Capital One is here to help and we encourage customers who may be impacted to reach out to discuss how we might be of assistance,” Capital One said in a statement.

Because each customer’s situation is different, the bank encourages customers to call it directly. To contact Capital One customer service about an existing account, call (800) 227-4825. Options might include reduced minimum payments or fee waivers.

A March 17 report by the New York Times suggested Capital One is allowing cardholders to skip payments without incurring interest if they request it. (The same report noted Barclays and Bank of America are allowing some customers to pause their payments while still accruing interest, while Discover “would not commit” to stopping interest charges.)

See related: The Fed’s rate cuts won’t help much if you’re in credit card debt

Chase

Chase encouraged its customers to call the number on the back of their cards if they’re affected by COVID-19 and need help with their accounts.

Citi

The bank said it is offering a range of assistance to impacted credit card customers, including offering increases in credit lines and forbearance from collections. Cardholders can call the number on the back of their cards to find out about assistance programs.

For those with bank accounts, Citi is offering waivers on monthly service fees and penalty waivers for early withdrawals from CDs. Customers can contact the bank for assistance with their individual or small business needs.

“We continue to monitor developments closely and will evaluate additional actions to support our clients and communities as needs arise,” Selva said.

Discover

Discover will be extending relief to qualified customers who are experiencing financial difficulty caused by the spread of COVID-19. Discover customers may receive assistance that can include support related to payment timing, fees and late payments.

“We encourage them to contact us by calling, and are directing them to www.Discover.com/coronavirus for phone numbers for each product line and other FAQs,” Discover said in a statement. “We also can provide relief through our mobile text app, which connects a customer directly with an agent.”

Goldman Sachs

Apple Card customers were sent an e-mail offering enrollment in an an assistance program that will allow affected cardholders to skip their March card payments without incurring interest charges. If you have questions, contact an Apple Card specialist at (877) 255-5923 or via chat in the Wallet app.

Synchrony

The bank said it is monitoring the situation to determine what action is needed.

Truist (formerly SunTrust and BB&T)

Truist is offering payment relief assistance to customers with personal and business credit cards, among other products. The bank is also offering 5% cash back when SunTrust and BB&T consumer credit card holders use their cards for qualifying purchases at grocery stores and pharmacies through April 15, 2020.

Truist encourages customers to call (800) 786-8787 or visit SunTrust.com if they’ve been negatively affected by the coronavirus crisis.

“As we assist clients and businesses who may be affected by the coronavirus situation, we’re also listening and learning from those conversations to help us evaluate and possibly implement additional client relief measures as they emerge,” the bank said in an e-mail to customers.

Wells Fargo

The bank encourages consumers to call customer service at (800) 219-9739 to discuss options to aid in their specific situation.

 

Blog- Bo Thomas

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.

Credit Companies Credit Law Center

How to Protect Your Credit During 2020

Amidst the  COVID-19 outbreak, Americans are struggling in more ways that one. With many people getting sick, countless workers being laid off or seeing their wages hit due to new restrictions and guidelines from social distancing, credit becomes the last thing on anyone’s mind!

If you are one of the many Americans that are being impacted by the effects of Covid-19 you may be finding it increasingly difficult to allocate funds for bills . Of course, if you have an emergency saving fund, now would be time to utilize is . But if you don’t, you’ll risk falling behind on your expenses and obligations which can make keeping your credit score at a healthy number difficult.

Of the many ways that your credit score is determined, payment history  holds a hefty amount of weight over your numbers. Payment history shows that you have ability to pay your bills in a timely manner, and with limited or no income, that will prove challenging. Here’s what to do if that’s the scenario you’re faced with.

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1. Talk to your lenders

So, you may have some debts you owe whether its from a few credit cards, a car payment or a mortgage and you are faced with decreased income . You could have trouble keeping up with those payments if your income has dropped or disappeared, your best course of action is to reach out to your credit card or loan issuers and ask for assistance. Explain your situation and be sure that you are able to provide proof that you’re currently without an income. In many cases you may be provided with the option of pausing your payments for a time.

2. See which service providers are offering relief

Many of the  utility and telecom companies are granting their customers assistance if they can’t pay their bills do to the current state of events . Be sure to call your providers and find out what options you have and what assistance they can provide. You should also confirm that your lack of payment will not be reported to the credit bureaus during this time, otherwise it can still become a negative mark on your credit!

3. Ask for a credit limit increase

Your credit utilization ration is another factor that helps determine your score in the end. Your credit utilization rate is how much of your available credit your are using from the limit your lenders provided, the lower it is, the better. Specifically, you need that ratio to stay at or below 30% to avoid a hit to your credit score.

However,  if you’ve lost or are on reduced income, you may need to increase your credit utilization due to expenses, thereby racking up a balance! To combat your credit utilization spiraling, call your credit card issuers and request a higher credit limit so so that you will have more to spend without exceeding a certain percentage of your credit available credit. Of course, now is not the time to splurge, only use this increased credit limit for essential purchases only!

 

If you’re having trouble, contact your credit card companies and ask for help. Consider using online chat or social media, because many call centers are light staff and very busy. So while you are quarantining and watching Netflix reach out to your credit card companies and see what they will do for you. Remember if you are having trouble making the payment reach out to the creditor communicate with them and evaluate what they have to offer and always ask how it will be reported on your credit report. If you run into questions you don’t understand please reach out to us we are here to help. It is important to monitor and control your credit during this time so that you are more likely to be granted the option to borrow money when it is most needed. Though we are unsure of how long the Covid-19 situation will persist, but the more in control you are over your credit, the easier life will be at the end!

 

Blog by: Joe Peters

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.

Banks Respond to Covid-19

A Light in the Dark

For all of those that have been financially impacted by COVID-19, below is a list of some of the largest lending institutions and banks that have already released statements and programs to help those affected. We have pulled this list together attempting to help you make the best decision to help you and your families. We implore you to communicate with your creditors in times like these and specifically ask how this will be reported to the credit bureaus. Most companies are addressing this in their press releases. If you are unsure or have a question, please reach out we are happy to assist you in understanding how the choice will impact your credit score. 816-994 -4600

FDIC website consumers’ frequently asked questions about the impact of COVID-19 on their banking relationships.

Ally

On March 18, Ally shared measures it will implement to offer relief to those experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s how the bank is offering assistance:

  • Ally is waiving all fees related to expedited checks and debit cards, overdrafts and excessive transactions on savings and money market accounts until July 16, 2020.
  • Auto loan payments can be deferred for up to 120 days. No late fees will be charged, but finance charges will accrue. New auto customers will have the option to defer their first payment for 90 days.
  • Mortgage payments for existing customers can be deferred for up to 120 days. No late fees will be charged, but interest will accrue.

Ally is strongly encouraging customers to utilize its online self-service access and the Ally mobile apps, to avoid longer call wait times. Customers can continue to transfer money and make payments online as usual. For depositing of checks of $50,000 or less, it’s faster to deposit them online via the mobile app than to submit by mail.

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For more information and updates, visit Ally’s coronavirus help page.

Bank of America

Bank of America emailed information to Forbes about potential measures it is ready to take in response to the coronavirus:

“We continue monitoring the developments of coronavirus and are always prepared to support our clients facing financial hardship or loss of income due to illness. All employees who work directly with our clients are trained to identify and assist impacted clients and provide the right support to address their unique personal needs. As part of our regular practice, we offer assistance to qualifying consumer and small business clients facing hardships, including forbearance with certain fees.”

A video has been added to Bank of America’s coronavirus help page to explain the additional assistance the bank is providing to clients and small businesses.

On March 19, Bank of America announced additional support that will be provided, working on a case-by-case basis, including:

  • For consumer and small business deposit accounts, clients can request refunds of overdraft, insufficient funds and monthly maintenance fees.
  • Clients can request to defer payments and refunds of late fees on their small business loans.
  • On auto loans, personal loans, mortgages and home equity loans, clients can request deferral of payment, with those payments added to the end of the loan. So long as clients are up to date, no negative credit bureau reporting will be made.

Clients facing financial hardships related to the coronavirus are encouraged to visit Bank of America’s coronavirus help page and contact the client services team.

Capital One

In an email to customers on March 12, Capital One encouraged them to access their accounts with the bank’s digital banking tools, including online and app access.

Customers facing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus are urged to contact the bank directly through one of its many customer support lines. At its website, Capital One encourages customers who may be impacted or need assistance to reach out so that the bank can help find a solution.

Capital One tells Forbes that all customers will be eligible for assistance, of which will vary on the type of product they have and their individual needs. Examples of assistance include:

  • Minimum payment assistance
  • Deferred loan assistance
  • Fee suppression
  • Image result for capitol one

For more information and updates, visit Capital One’s coronavirus help page.

Chase

Chase says it will “continue to adapt” to the changing coronavirus situation. Effective March 19, Chase temporarily closed approximately 20% of its branches to help ensure the safety of customers and employees. In addition to its nearly 4,000 branches that will remain open, Chase encourages customers to utilize the tools available on the Chase mobile app and at chase.com.

Individuals who are affected by COVID-19 and need help with their accounts are encouraged to call the number on the back of their credit or debit card, or on the back of their monthly statement. In an email to Forbes, Chase detailed what this help could potentially look like, but explains that, as of right now, it’s being addressed on a case-by-case basis.

“We are helping customers who contact us, as we always do and notably did during hurricanes and wildfires in years past. Things we’ve done for customers (and small businesses) in past crises include things like fee waivers or refunds, changing due dates, extending credit lines. Sometimes, if there’s been a government-designated area (like for a Hurricane), we will proactively waive certain fees. We’re not there yet with this, of course. We’re working with our customers on a case-by-case basis right now.” 

For more information and updates, visit Chase’s coronavirus help page.

Citibank

Effective March 9 for an initial 30 days, Citibank customers can contact the bank for assistance with:

  • Waivers on monthly service fees, for both regular and small business customers
  • Waived penalties for early CD withdrawal, for both regular and small business customers
  • Fee waivers on remote deposit capture for small business customers
  • Bankers available after hours and on weekends to support small business customers
  • Some credit card customers may be eligible for credit line increases and collection forbearance programs.
  • Some mortgage customers may be eligible for a hardship program through Cenlar FSB, the bank’s service provider. For assistance, call Cenlar FSB at 855-839-6253 (Mon–Fri, 8:30 a.m.–8 p.m. ET or Sat, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. ET).
  • Image result for citibanl

For more information and updates, visit Citibank’s coronavirus help page.

Discover

Discover’s coronavirus help page says there is “support in place” for qualified Discover customers who experience hardship as a result of the outbreak.

Online banking customers can reach out to Discover’s 100% U.S.-based Customer Service team for help by calling 1-800-347-7000 (TTY/TDD 1-800-347-7454) at any time.

For more information and updates, visit Discover’s coronavirus help page.

Fifth Third Bank

The bank initially provided a written statement to Forbes about how it’s monitoring the situation, and actions it could put into effect. Since, the company has created a coronavirus help page, detailing similar information.

“We are focused on the safety of our employees and customers, and ensuring business continuity. This work includes ensuring that critical functions continue in the event of any disruption, with policies, people and processes aligned to provide continuous service. We are not starting from scratch on these plans. Fifth Third Bank has long had comprehensive plans and strategies in place to manage effectively through emergencies—these include hardship programs for our customers. We are well prepared, and we continue to monitor this situation from every level of our organization.”

Fifth Third adds that if circumstances require temporary closure of any of its branches, customers will be notified and informed about backup physical locations. Fifth Third accounts also can be accessed via the bank’s digital banking tools including mobile, online and voice banking services.

“Fifth Third’s focus on helping customers improve their lives and building stronger communities is more relevant than ever during these times of uncertainty,” said Greg D. Carmichael, Fifth Third chairman, president and CEO. “We take our role and responsibility seriously to understand and put our customers’ needs first. We are continually evaluating our programs to assist our customers. Last week, we announced several proactive measures that we are taking across our business and consumer products to help lessen the financial strain on our customers, and we are providing additional details on these programs today. Our goal is to stand with our customers to help them and our communities get back on their feet. We are here to help our customers when they need us most.”

Fifth Third is offering the following programs for our consumer and business customers facing financial hardship related to COVID-19. To participate in the programs, customers will need to contact Fifth Third.

  • Vehicle Payment Waiver Program: Payment waived for up to 90 days and no late fees during the waiver period.
  • Consumer Credit Card Payment Waiver: We are offering to waive the monthly payment requirement on Consumer Credit Cards (Trio, Truly Simple, Platinum, Secured, World Elite) for up to 90 days with no late fees.
  • Mortgage and Home Equity Program: 90-day payment forbearance with no late fees.
  • Small Business Payment Waiver Program: We are offering a payment waiver program for up to 90 days, no late fees and a range of loan modification options. We are waiving all note processing fees for new Fifth Third Fast Capital loans for six months.
  • Fee Waiver Program: Fee waivers for up to 90 days for a range of consumer and small business deposit products and services.
  • Vehicle loans: Suspension of initiating any new repossession actions on vehicles for the next 60 days.
  • Foreclosures: Suspension of all foreclosure activity on homes for the next 60 days.

Customers should call Fifth Third to participate in these relief efforts. In addition, customers are reminded that interest will accrue during the 90-day no-payment period for each of the waiver programs.

For more information and updates, visit Fifth Third Bank’s coronavirus help page.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Marcus by Goldman Sachs initially shared information with Forbes about its efforts to help customers experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus.

Customers with personal loans through Marcus by Goldman Sachs can postpone payments on their loans for one month with no interest, and their loan terms will be extended by one month. For customers who need access to funds currently held in certificates of deposit prior to maturity, Marcus is waiving early withdrawal penalties.

As of this time, Marcus by Goldman Sachs is operating its contact centers virtually. The temporary hours of operation are Mon–Fri, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. ET and Sat–Sun, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. ET. Customers can call 1-844-MARCUS-6 (1-844-627-2876) and may expect to experience unusually long hold times.

For more information and updates, visit Marcus by Goldman Sachs’ coronavirus help page.

PNC Bank

PNC’s website says it will be helping customers “navigate potential financial hardships” because of the coronavirus. In an email to Forbes, the bank encourages customers encountering hardship to reach out to the bank directly; assistance will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Customers affected by the virus who are encountering hardship can call 1-888-762-2265 (Mon-Fri 7 a.m.–10 p.m. ET or Sat-Sun 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET) to discuss options.

PNC adds that the bank will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation “to determine potential extension or expansion of available assistance,” and customers will be notified of any developments as they arise.

Effective March 20, PNC has made temporary adjustments that include operating primarily via drive-up only (except branches that do have have drive-up), and PNC estimates that three quarters of its branch network will remain open. Open branches are operating on reduced hours, offering designated days for “essential appointments,” such as safe deposit box access, loan closings or other in-person services.

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For more information and updates, visit PNC’s coronavirus help page.

Truist

Truist (formerly BB&T and SunTrust banks) says it’s committed to working with clients “to reduce financial stress during this challenging and uncertain time.” The bank is also encouraging individuals to use its digital and mobile banking options.

Effective March 21, most branches will remain open with “modified service” including ATMs, drive-through, and consultations in the branch by appointment.

Customers experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus will be provided payment relief on consumer loans, personal credit cards, business credit cards and business loans. The bank is also temporarily waiving ATM surcharge fees to help consumers and businesses access cash. Customers who use their BB&T and SunTrust credit cards for qualifying purchases at grocery stores and pharmacies will receive 5% cash back through April 15.

Customers in need of assistance can reach out to the following numbers:

  • Heritage SunTrust clients: 800-SUNTRUST (800-786-8787)
  • Heritage BB&T clients: 800-226-5228

For more information and updates, visit Truist’s coronavirus help page.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank is encouraging customers to utilize its digital banking features, including its mobile app, online banking or banking by phone.

On its coronavirus help page, U.S. Bank says it is “actively looking for ways to assist our customers that have been financially impacted by COVID-19” and suggests several products that may be of help. Customers who need additional support are invited to call 888-287-7817.

Effective March 19, U.S. Bank has temporarily reduced its hours of operation in all branches and is encouraging the use of drive-up services rather than lobby services.

For more information and updates, visit U.S. Bank’s coronavirus help page.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo customers experiencing hardship from the coronavirus disease can call 1-800-219-9739 to speak with a trained specialist about their options. This includes customers of consumer lending, small business and deposit products. Details on what type of assistance might be available have not been released but are likely determined on a case-by-case basis.

Effective March 20, Wells Fargo is temporarily closing some branches and adjusting operating hours of branches. Customers are encouraged to utilize drive-up, rather than lobby, services when possible.

Wells Fargo also has suspended residential property foreclosure sales, evictions and involuntary auto repossessions.

For more information and updates, visit Wells Fargo’s coronavirus help page.

 

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Article by Bo Thomas

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.

student loan resources

Student Loans And Credit Scores│Available Resources For Consumers

Student Loans and Credit Scores

Student loans seem to be on almost everyone’s credit reports. They can positively impact your credit scores if you are consistent with your payments and aware of what is happening with your loan. As with any bill or loan you take out, it is extremely important to your credit score as well because it can also have a negative impact too. We will discuss some of the positive ways that your loan can impact your credit, as well as a few ways it can do severe damage if you are not careful.

The Positives

1. Payment History

A student loan, when paid correctly, can be a great trade-line for your credit report. If you make the minimum payments, this shows great repayment on your part that you can reliable and make on time payments. This part of the credit report makes 35% of the FICO grading scale. The difference with a student loan as opposed to your other monthly bills such as your car insurance is that they do not report monthly (only when you miss the payment or fall into collection) whereas your loan will report positively when you have positive payments. This is great for your credit!

For some consumers, building credit is hard to do if you do not have an auto loan or any credit cards, but your student loan can help start to establish that payment history.

2. Building A Credit Mix

For a while, there was a myth out that having “diverse” accounts helped your scores and provided for a healthy mix of credit. Only about 20% of your FICO score is made up of new credit and types of credit used. Typically, having two revolving accounts and two loans (home, auto,or personal) are sufficient enough in trying to build on your scores. Your student loan will also help you start to fill out a portion of that percentage of your credit mix while you continue to make positive payments.

 

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The Negatives

 

1. Late Payments on Loans

A good way to completely tank your credit scores quick, fast and in a hurry is to get a late payment. As much as on time payments can help your credit score, they can also harm them, sometimes up to 100 points.

These bad or derogatory remarks can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. If continue to miss your payments and they continue to roll over, your scores will just keep dropping and dropping. The other piece to this puzzle that is not good, is how long it can take for you to rebuild once you have fallen behind. Be aware of what is happening with your bills and other finances and communicate with your institution if you start to fall behind.

2. Defaulting 

If your accounts are sent to collections, this can also really impact your credit scores. Often times, creditors will not lend you any money unless you “correct” it and make it right with the lender of the money. If you go and apply for a home loan and they see collection status, it can be extremely hard for them to justify lending to you with a lot of derogatory marks on the report.

You may hope to open credit cards and start to establish credit but the creditor denies you due to the defaults on your credit report. All in all, if you are seeing collections/charge offs or have been denied financing, you may want to reach out to a credit repair company today.

What Resources Are There?

Having student loans and pursuing a degree is important in this day and age. We see so many student loans every day on credit reports that are doing great things for people and their credit report. Make sure you stay up to date on the payments and work as well on establishing credit.

For more information on student loans and second chance checking, please visit this site. You will find a lot of programs to help you out in regards to student loans if you have not been able to find any resources yet that work.

 

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

 

Facts on Fico

What Really Impacts Your Credit Score

 

 

I have clients from all over the country asking me how much particular items on their credit report are affecting their credit and if the item is removed, then will their credit score rise. It is difficult to provide a precise answer because there are many underlying factors that can make or break your credit! Follow Credit Law Center as we delve into the 5 major factors that impact your credit score!

 

#1 Payment History

 

Payment history holds the most weight over your credit score is calculated. Your payment history roughly translates to 35% of your FICO score and could be one of the reasons you aren’t seeing those numbers rise. It is extremely important to establish healthy and beneficial trade lines and to make sure that your debts are monitored and paid in a timely fashion.  Therefore, it is more difficult for beginners to start establishing healthy credit because they have not had the time to acquire a positive credit history.

It goes to show that if you have upheld your credit obligations in the past then you will reap the rewards in the future!

 

#2 Missed Payments

It happens to the best of us, something comes up and we miss a payment! Even a 30-day late payment can hurt your score and if you make frequent late payments then expect your score to start to drop.

Credit scoring models look at:

-Are there late payment appears on your credit report?

– How late are those payments?

-How recent were those late payments?

– How many late payments appear on the report?

 

Automated payments are one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t make a late payment. Most credit card issuers will offer scheduled payments and the option to either pay in full or pay the minimum payment and will allow you to choose whichever fits your financial needs.

 

I use automatic payments on my CareCredit account, and it lifts a lot of stress knowing that I don’t need to remember to log into my account every month to set up a withdrawal. It is smart to check your transaction history to make sure that the payment was made successfully!

#3 Credit Utilization

Credit utilization is almost as important as your payment history in terms of credit health and importance. Your credit utilization rate makes up roughly another 30% of your FICO score!

The lower your credit utilization rate, the lower risk you are to lenders. Say you have a $6000 limit on your credit card, and you are using $2000 worth of credit. You are using a little more than 30% of your credit cap and are seen as a lower risk borrower.

Paying off your statements in full is the best way to keep your credit utilization at a healthy percent and can really bump up your credit score!

 

#4 Length of Credit History

 

Length of credit history and payment history go hand in hand when it comes to establishing your credit score. Length of credit history only takes up about 15% of your credit score but can be a wonderful way to passively grow or stabilize your report!

Fico will consider:

  • Your oldest account held
  • Average account age
  • Usage of accounts

Becoming an authorizes user is a wonderful way to start building credit history if you are just beginning to start building credit. If you have established credit then keeping those older accounts open and in use will be beneficial if done responsibly.

 

# 5 New credit

Studies show that people who apply for a lot of credit in a short period of time are riskier borrowers. In other words, they’re more likely to pay a credit obligation 90 days late in the following 24 months.

Some people apply for many credit cards at once to boost their score quickly. This can have negative implications for your credit score as it makes you seem desperate for credit and you will be seen as a high-risk borrower.

When a financial institution pulls your credit score, a record known as an “inquiry” is added to your credit report. Most inquiries stay on your report for 24 months. Certain inquiries, known as “hard” inquiries, have the potential to damage your credit score for 12 months.

 

Your credit score determines many factors in your life and the more that you understand it, the more fruitful your endeavors will be!

Inquire for free credit review & consultation.

Contact:  1-800-994-3070

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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

Article by Breana Washington

high risk borrower

Am I A High Risk Borrower?│I Want To Buy, Now!

I Want To Buy, Now!

Are you preparing to purchase a home in the next few months? It seems that when we are not looking, a home just pops up and finds us, at a time when we were not even contemplating making a move. Then, boom!  The rush is on to beat the clock and make an offer before the next person does. With how quick homes are flying off the market, the best thing to do is be as prepared as possible right now, in the event you do find what you are looking for.

Many borrowers hoping to apply for a home loan are unsure of what a lender might need because it is either their first time, or the process was so long ago. Let’s go more in depth here, about what you will need to get to the point that you are ready to purchase!

Here are 4 things you’ll want to start thinking about before you meet with your lender:

  1. Locating your W2, pay stubs and documents to provide proof of income
  2. Decide if someone will be on the loan with you
  3. How much money you may have/can save for a down payment
  4. Your credit scores
This list will start to prepare you for what your lender will want to discuss with you. More often than not, what is going to keep you from moving through the process as quick as you’d like, is if your credit scores are not where they need to be.
Facts on Fico

FICO is grading you on a few key factors:

  • Payment history
  • New credit
  • Types of credit used
  • Length of credit history
  • Amounts owed

 

If you are looking at your credit report and seeing several derogatory accounts, late payments or other items you will want to look at cleaning up your credit before you go in to a lender. In an effort to lessen the pain of a solid “No” next time you meet a lender, and miss out on your dream home, please consider the following points. If you feel you are a high risk borrower, there are a few things you can you do to ensure that you can lower your risk to lenders. The more prepared you are and the more education you have, the more equipped you will be to get approved and improve your buying power!

4 Challenges of a High Risk Borrower

1. Do you have a low Fico?

You can be sure that your lender will be taking a look at your credit report when you are thinking about purchasing a home. This score is a large portion of what they are using to determine your trustworthiness and the likelihood of you defaulting on a loan, based off previous loans, bank accounts, credit card payments, etc. As important as the scores are in this process, do not let this keep you from going in to see a lender.

If your FICO scores are low there are several things you can do to increase your scores on your own. Read more here, or speak to a credit advisor at Credit Law Center so they can look through your report and ensure you are mortgage ready before you find the home of your dreams.

2. What does your employment status look like? 

Your employment status and employment change are two very different things. Should you be changing jobs often, this may be cause for concern. If you are working a full-time job with regular, consistent pay, creditors prefer this. If you do not work on a set schedule with set pay however, or maybe are self-employed (with less than 2 years of verifiable income), a lender may be very hesitant to lend you any money.

 

 

free credit repair consultation

 

3. Are you lacking excess funds?

Although there are several programs in place for borrowers with little to no money down, it is a good idea to save and have some skin in the game for a down payment. Many lenders would prefer to work with someone that has shown financial responsibility and saved and set aside money. A lender may be hesitant if you  do not, and potentially feel like you still may be a risk.

4. Are you avoiding other responsibilities you have?

Late payments impact your credit score the greatest. If a lender sees you have been falling behind on responsibilities you already have, this can be a large red flag during this process. Again, they are considering the likelihood of you to fall behind on the loan, and if you are late on several bills, why would they feel your mortgage would be any different?

If the above apply to you, and you are potentially a high risk borrower, do not let that stop you from pursing a home. As discouraging as things might seem, there is hope for you after some time of getting back on track.

If your credit is not where it should be and your lender has expressed concern, you may look into a few different options within credit repair. If you are in a rush and are pressed for time, Credit Law Center can help you through a quick and affordable process. Each round with Credit Law Center lasts 30-45 days. If you have items on the credit report that have to be removed (collections, tax liens, bankruptcy, etc) allow a credit advisor to walk you through a consultation.

The credit advisors at Credit Law Center will let you know what you can work on, on your end as well as what you may be doing that is keeping you from higher credit scores. With a little help and a guide to walk with you, that new home may be closer than you expected.

 

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.