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Helpful Tips To Manage Your Accounts

Credit Alerts Worth Setting Up Now

In order to maintain great credit scores, keeping track of all the activity on your accounts is key! Smart phones are attempting to make our lives easier with a multitude of applications. All major banking institutions now have online banking or apps to make life easier on their customers. These apps have the ability to “control” what comes and goes out of your bank. Gone are the days of driving to the bank to make a deposit. You can now take a screenshot and deposit through mobile banking. The possibilities are endless! We’ve made a list of several other ways to get the most out of your banking apps, most of which are free! Here are a few other ways to use those apps:

Maintenance Notifications:

Statement Notification: Many times it feels like the month flies by and bills are  due once again. ‘Payment due’ is now one of the most used alerts on mobile apps. When the payment is due, an alert pops up, reminding you ahead of time when to make a payment and what the balance is. You can set it up to notify you as soon as you would like! While auto pay or auto draft is great, it is still important to double check that the payment was taken on time. For many families with many different bills due at a time, this is a great way to reduce the headache of having to remember one more thing on that laundry list of “to-do’s” for the week.

Payment Received: Having this notification can ensure that the payment successfully went through and will notify  you immediately on your mobile device.  One of the worst things that can happen is  falling late on a credit card or payment.  Many times if something happens with a card on file and the payment is not processed, consumers don’t catch it. This will ensure that you know those payments are made on time and for the correct amount. To set these up, you will want to download the credit card or bank app you use and turn the notifications on for all purchases and payments made.

Balance Notification: This is a great notification to have set up, as it is very important piece of the puzzle for your credit score. A great rule of thumb is to keep the balances below 30%. The best thing for your credit score is two revolving accounts and two installments in order to have a healthy credit profile. The lower the balance, the better the score is! So, if you’ve noticed your credit card keeps creeping out of your wallet, you can set up notifications at a certain balance so overspending is combated. It is almost like an accountability partner and is great if you find yourself overspending often!

 

credit apps

 

Preventative Notifications:

  1. Suspicious activity- Your bank or credit card company will now send a text message to you if you would like if  there is suspicious activity on the account. The message may sound similar to this: Please verify activity on ____ card ending in ___ at this Location. You can then confirm or deny this text.  If you reply deny, a text follows up with a message that you will receive a phone call in the morning to go over the details. Easy enough, right?
  2. Card not present-Purchases made online will notify you with an alert. Online shopping has seen a dramatic spike in identity theft. For this reason, a feature such as this is a great to keep in mind.
  3. Gas-Any purchase made at a convenient store or gas station will alert you, if you wish. Unfortunately not every station requires a pin to make purchases.
  4. International Purchases-This is not a new feature but is great to keep in mind. If you are traveling, always notify your institution of the activity. Some will automatically turn the card off on you in order to protect the cardholder.
  5. Over limit-This notification is set up by the cardholder and notifies them any time a purchase is made over a certain price.

For more information about your credit score, please give Credit Law Center a call at 1-800-994-3070.

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.

Debt Collectors

Are You A High Risk Borrower?

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.

 

 

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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.

credit scores

Understanding Your Credit Rating

Good, Better, Best and Bad

The internet and cell phones have now made it easier than ever to check your credit score as often as you’d like. Millennials are starting to check their credit scores more frequently than any other generation. This could be due to the fact that credit has become vital in many aspects of life. Whether you want to buy a house, car, or take out a loan, you can expect that your credit report will be scrutinized. Do you know what you are looking at when it comes to those numbers?

A Numbers Game

Your credit score is ever changing. While you may not suspect that things are moving and shifting, they are. Often times people think of their scores as either really bad or good enough. When you are browsing the internet and you start to check your credit scores, please take note that you are looking at a consumer score.

What is a consumer score? This is the scores you have access to online that may show higher than what a lender or bank would pull for you. These are called vantage scores and are not your true FICO score. These scores show higher so that you will start shopping around for products, or continue to spend. Your score may be significantly lower when you apply for a home loan. Once you understand this, the frustration or mind game you feel that happens when your scores are so different won’t be so frustrating. You should pay closest attention to what a bank or lender tells you your score is. So, what are all these numbers really saying?

  • Very Good : 740-799
  • Good : 670-739
  • Fair : 580-669
  • Poor : 300-579

Having scores higher than 799 is possible to obtain but can be hard. A 670 and up is considered exceptional. The better the score, the better the interest rates, among other things. If you are below a 700, there is definitely some room for improvement!

Increasing Credit Scores

If you have a low FICO score, you can bet that is due to a combination of factors rather than just one culprit. A credit score is made up of many different factors. If you are thinking your credit is low due to just inquiries, you are probably incorrect. The chart below demonstrates the factors that come into play with your FICO.

Facts on Fico

Positive Payment History

The largest section of the pie chart is your payment history. If you have been behind on bills, have late payments or cannot keep up current credit cards, your score will be dramatically impacted.

One late payment 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. There is a method to the madness when it comes to your credit scores, you just have to know how to play the game.

 

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Credit Scores and Savings

If you take a look at the numbers above and fall into the category of poor or fair credit, you may notice how much you are having to pay on your auto or home loan. When your credit score is low, you’ll notice how much higher your interest is on your payments. While it is great that you may be able to get approved for a car loan or auto loan with a lower score, you would be better off waiting until you can improve your credit scores. We want to help you save!

Financially speaking, if you can wait and try to get your scores back up  you can be saving yourself a significant amount of money each month for your family.

Quick Ways To Improve
  • 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

Your credit will be around for the rest of your days. While you may have made financial mistakes in the past, you can improve and learn from them. If you have found yourself in a huge hole, and have debt collectors and collection companies calling you daily, please get in touch with a company that can help you. At Credit Law Center we educate our clients on everything they may need to know, to continue to better their credit scores as well as represent them so that the calls can stop. We know the importance of great credit and what doors it can open when you reach that “very good” zone.

Open new doors today for your family, and invest in your financial future.

 

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.