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How to Find Out If You Are Affected By Equifax Hack

Have you been affected by the Equifax hack?

On Thursday, Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies announced that hackers had obtained access to company data potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. After the companies recent investigation, Equifax stated that the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The cybersecurity incident was discovered on July 29, 2017, in which they immediately took measures to stop the intrusion by engaging with a leading independent cybersecurity firm. The company also reported the incident to law enforcement and will continue to work with the authorities until the investigation completes in the coming weeks.

The information accessed includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and in some instances, drivers license numbers. Equifax also stated credit card numbers of approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and personal identifying information for 182,000 consumers involved with credit disputes.

How to tell if you been affected by the hack?

Equifax will not be contacting everyone that may have been affected, but the company will be sending out direct mail notices to consumers whose credit card numbers or dispute information were accessed. Richard F. Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Equifax, stated: “We also are focused on consumer protection and have developed a comprehensive portfolio of services to support all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether they were impacted by this incident.” The company has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help customers determine if the hack potentially affected them. The site will be available as early as Monday, September 11, and will also offer U.S. consumers to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection, and the offer will last for one year. TrustedId Premier will handle the monitoring and protection and will include 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and Transunion; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and internet scanning for Social Security numbers. However, the credit monitoring and identity protection may require you to accept TrusteId’s terms and conditions, including it’s “Attribution” Section.

Equifax has also set up a dedicated call center, 1-866-447-7559, to assist customers seven days a week from 7 a.m. – 1 a.m. Eastern time.

 

Protecting your Identity Theft

Identity theft continues to increase each year, in 2016 victims of identity theft were robbed of $16,000.00. An important factor in protecting yourself from identity theft is regularly checking your credit report and monitoring your account statements. As a consumer, you are allowed a free copy of your credit report once a year from all three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. You can request your free copy of your credit reports online at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you have noticed unauthorized activity on your credit report or accounts, immediately report the activity to your bank or credit card companies, and then contact law enforcement.

For Additional information on how to protect yourself against identity theft, you may access The Federal Trade Commission’s website.

Good, Better, Best │Understanding My Credit Ratings

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.

 

free credit repair consultation

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.

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

 

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

 

Why We Love Debt Negotiation (And You Should, Too!)

Why We Love Debt Negotiation (And You Should, Too!)

We love assisting consumers every day and educating them on how they can save money, impact their scores in a positive way, and take action for themselves! Debt negotiation is something most consumers think they could never do! You may be surprised to know that many creditors/collectors will allow a consumer to negotiate with them on bills such as medical debts.

Job loss, medical emergencies, or unexpected expenses can make it hard to make ends meet! If you find yourself in a tight spot financially, and still have unpaid debt piling up it may seem like a nightmare to continue to get calls from those debt collectors.  Although sometimes difficult,  it is possible to negotiate on your own with collectors. To stay organized and run through the process as quickly as possible, these few steps are important.

free credit repair consultation

Locate Documentation

Locate your current statements and payments you are making. Make sure your payment history and late payment notices are documented. Determine payment arrangements-Look over your finances, bills and money coming in. Come up with a manageable amount that you know you could make. This will help you when you speak with a representative. Knowing what you will hear prior to the phone call will allow you to avoid them pressuring you into payments you cannot handle. The representative is not aware of your other financial obligations so be very honest and outright about what you can handle. Explain to the representative the current situation that you are in isn’t working and try to come to an agreement that you can afford. They may be able to lower the interest rate or accept a lump sum for less than originally documented. If for some reason they are giving you a hard time and you cannot get them to budge, call back and speak to a new rep.

Gather information-
You will want to make sure you are taking notes and keeping names of the people you speak to as well as the date and time the call took place. Anything at this point needs to be documented and kept in writing. If at any point an agreement is made, ask to have it documented in an email or written. This is the most important piece of the puzzle. Agreeing to a payment that hasn’t been documented could mean they do not correctly remove it from a credit report or the information is misplaced, and you are stuck in payments you did not commit to. You will want an outline of the payments you agreed to.

What can I do if I don’t want to negotiate for myself?
In an effort to save time and resources, another option would be to hire a credit repair or credit counseling service. The primary concern would be to learn what kind of work they will do for you upfront and what you will be paying for during the process. At Credit Law Center we use the law as leverage to gain deletions from the credit report. Ideally, this process is one that consumers want to get done quickly whether it is due to wanting to buy a new home, get a new car etc. At Credit Law Center you only pay for the items that we successfully remove so you can expect we want to make sure we are removing items as quick as we can. We go after all of the items on the entire report and our consumers know what they could end up paying in the end. Should you go through credit repair or credit counseling, it is a good idea to continue to monitor your credit report.

Debt Negotiation Options – Another great option is try to negotiate to pay a smaller amount on the debt owed. If you are uncomfortable or the task seems to difficult, we suggest hiring an attorney for this step!

As a law firm we have the ability and power to negotiate judgments, repossessions, charge off, or any sort of debt that is still reporting on a report. We use the power of the law and our attorneys to negotiate these items in a way that’s favorable to you. While not Debt Consolidation or Bankruptcy, we do have significant tools available to us that help negotiate these debts and save you significant amounts of money! We have four attorneys in house that you can lean on for advice and guidance while working on negotiation. Their extensive negotiating experience with banks, collection companies, and collection attorneys has helped our clients save thousands. Our goal is to negotiate the debt as low as possible out of court and get your case dismissed.

If you are in the process of trying to negotiate and come to an agreement with a creditor and have any further questions, our Credit Advisors would be happy to help you. Should you need the expertise and legal advice of on of our attorney’s, please call and they would be happy to answer any questions!

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.

Article by Breana Washington

Why You Should Hire a Law Firm for Credit Repair

Why Consumers Hire a Law Firm For Credit Repair

There is a major difference between what a credit repair company can do versus what a law firm specializing in credit repair can.  What you may find even more interesting is that a consumer can actually do more than what a credit repair company will. A Law Firm however, trumps all. We have been using the law since 2011 to help consumers every day and this is what makes us far superior to other “repair” companies.

Here is how we help our consumers and fight for their rights!

Harassing Phone Calls:

If you are constantly receiving phones calls and are tired of trying to dodge collectors, we can get these calls to stop. At Credit Law Center   we notify all your creditors that you are now a client of our law firm. We also send out correspondence to them indicating that all communication to you should go through us. They must comply with this request! If they do not, it is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and they are liable to you and to us. If they continue calling after you’ve informed them you are represented by Credit Law Center, this could mean money in your pocket!

Violations with FCRA
The Fair Credit Reporting Act    mandates that everything on a report must be verifiable, accurate and timely. A recent study indicated that 79% of credit reports contain errors! Many of these errors are easy for us to spot and we can give our consumers a great idea of what to expect on certain items that may in fact fall off due to a FCRA violation. At Credit Law Center we sue for those inaccuracies.
credit consultation

Debt Negotiation:
As a law firm we have the ability and power to negotiate judgments, repossessions, charge off, or any sort of debt that is still reporting on a report.  We use the power of the law and our attorneys to negotiate these items in a way that’s favorable to you. While not Debt Consolidation or Bankruptcy, we do have significant tools available to us that help negotiate these debts and save you significant amounts of money! We have four attorneys in house that you can lean on for advice and guidance while working on negotiation. Their extensive negotiating experience with banks, collection companies, and collection attorneys has helped our clients save thousands.  Our goal is to negotiate the debt as low as possible out of court and get your case dismissed.

We Win!
At Credit Law Center we use federal statutes to assist our consumers. The first one is the FDCPA or the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  This  statute lays out a specific way in which debts can be collected both legal methods and illegal methods. The second is the FCRA or the Fair Credit Reporting Act.   Lastly is TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act)  This act is specifically designed for text message, fax machine violations, pre recorded voicemails.  Three of these federal guidelines provide for attorney’s fees if we are successful. What that means is if we take your case and pursue it and are successful, the other side pays our fees and as our client you would owe us nothing! Please contact us today if you think you might have a case in any of these areas of the law, we would happy to speak with you further 1-800-994-3070!

Credit and Collections: Your Guide to Better Credit

Credit and Collections

There are many misconceptions about how a collection could impact a credit score. Often times we have clients that think their scores should be higher and have collection companies calling and breathing down their back about paying a collection. They may even promise that if the collection is paid, it will help the consumer.

So, let’s talk about how FICO weighs your report and the truth about those pesky collections. When looking at the graph below, think of your credit score like a grade card. FICO is grading you using this set of criteria. So, if your balances are high that is a large portion of the FICO pie. If you have recently opened new credit cards, your length of credit history is being impacted as well as the new credit portion of the pie. All of these factors make up the grade you receive through FICO. A great rule of thumb is two revolving accounts and two installments. Also keep in mind, the longer the life on the card, the better!Facts on Fico

Consider this: there is less than a 2% difference whether a collection is paid or unpaid. Most of the weight on the credit score is given to how recent the activity. So, suppose you have a four year old collection with a balance of $300. At this point, it is having very little impact on your scores. Now, you may be thinking the balance is pretty low, I can just pay it off. Not necessarily. Once you pay an old collection like this, the collection activity changes and now you have brand new collection activity within the last 30 days. Meaning, your scores are negatively impacted on your credit scores. Collections do have an impact on your score however, payment history and amount owed makes up 65% of that FICO pie.

Collections are not the only reason a client has a low FICO scores. Here are some other things that may be impacting you:

1. High credit card balances
2. Late payments
3. Not enough trade lines

4. Closing credit cards with great history

credit consultation

If you are pulling a report online, remember that you are seeing a consumer score and not a real FICO. The only way you will see a true FICO score is from a lending institution. If you have had a report pulled recently and would like to speak with someone about how to increase your scores or remove derogatory items on a report, please call us at 1-800-994-3070. Credit Law Center has helped over 30,000 clients improve their credit scores in as few as 40 days.

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

Is DIY Credit Repair Right For Me?

We live in a world where people have a do it yourself mindset. They are ready to get back on track and they want the DIY way to go about it. Though it isn’t the fastest way to work, we still encourage clients to do what works best for them. At Credit Law Center we have the credit repair process down to a science in how we go about the removal of items from a report. We spend a significant amount of time educating our clients with the tools they need and if they choose not to use us and work on their credit alone, they are free to do so. If you are looking for a quick route to better credit, DIY is not for you!

Our credit advisors at Credit Law Center will not only walk a potential client through a FREE consultation, they also help in providing as much advice to the client as they can to save them the most money while attaining scores they want. Who doesn’t love free advice?

One of the questions clients ask about if they are hoping to wok on their own is  “how to settle an account to be removed from their report.” In the credit repair process, one piece of the puzzle is a pay for deletion. This means settling an account balance that is outstanding. Here is what the consumer needs to do to have the item removed the correct way with the DIY route on pay for deletion.

You’ll need to say:
“If I pay (cost of item) this item needs to be removed from the credit report. I need this documentation in writing either by mail or e-mail.” Once the documentation is received, then you may proceed with paying said item.

Next Step:
If you wish to take this task on, on your own make sure you put in writing as well for the creditor or collector and mail it certified to ensure you can track the process. As a client we do this for you, but again some folks wish to try on their own first.

The most important word in this process is the word “removed.” If it is not stated in the documentation they may not remove it when it is paid. Many consumers make the mistake of taking the creditor’s word via phone. Almost 100% of the time they will collect the money, hang up the phone and forget all about the consumer leaving them with lower scores and a paid collection. To read more about how a paid collection negatively impacts a score, visit this blog.

Cost and speed are what sets us apart. DIY will take time and work the consumers end of this. If you want to speed the process up and work with a credit repair company please give us a call, we would be happy to assist you!

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

The Elephant in the Room-Credit Repair

The Elephant in the Room

The issue to which everyone is aware, but few want to talk about-credit repair companies.

When you hear credit repair, what pops into your mind? You may have immediately rolled your eyes and scoffed at the phrase “credit repair!” Hey, we get it! You may be picturing someone holed up in their basement, eating Hot Cheetos and hysterically laughing each time they find their next victim in need of a quick fix on their credit scores.

We are right there with you. Eye rolling, scoffing and scratching our heads at how so many people fall victim to these “quick fix” companies-if you can even call them a company. Again, we get it. It makes sense— the low fees, the promises and, of course, the emphasis they put on how your life is going to dramatically improve once you sign up for services. Hope is the driving factor for many. Who can blame consumers for hoping things can be better? These credit repair companies are not working on credit reports like Credit Law Center. We know there are no companies, at this point, that help clients the way we do.

Here’s the difference:

  • We have actual attorneys that work on your file. Yes, we have the word law in our name AND, yes, our Attorneys work for you as a represented party. We use the law as leverage to get accounts deleted for you.
  • You pay only for items successfully removed? Yes! Those monthly fees other companies are charging -that drag on and on- sound low and reasonable now! But, two or three years down the road, the cost starts to add up. We don’t waste any time trying to get derogatory items removed. We are a pay for performance Law Firm. So, you can bet that speed is what we are after!
  • Our credit advisors are here for you to answer questions, be a resource and educate. This is probably the most important part. We don’t want you to be a repeat client if we can help it! We want you to know the ins and outs of the credit game! Our goal is to get you in and out of the process as quick as possible-with as much success as possible. We win when you win!

Our Process
7 Steps for better credit

Who tells you all their fees up front? We do!

You can’t get any more transparent than that! Our website has the pricing menu, our credit advisors tell you the max you might pay, should 100% of the items come off your report. There is nothing hidden and we ensure that you know exactly what you are getting into. The only thing you have to do is decide if we are the right fit for you.

Better Credit, Better Life

The best piece of advice we offer to consumers on a daily basis is, to first, become educated. Please, research other credit repair companies out there; we have! Listen to what they have to offer. What are their fees? Do they tell you upfront? After those questions are answered, go with your gut. In January 2018 we signed over 700 clients. For many of those, they will see results in as little as 90 days. We are not here to sell you a service. We are here to help you build a better life. We have found that building trust means addressing those concerns, up front, with potential clients. So, we ARE talking about the elephant in the room.
Check us out on our social media platforms. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more information and blogs!
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

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Student Loans

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Student Loans

The price for higher education is rising, as is the numbers on student loan debt. What is deemed necessary to be successful in today’s world, is also what is holding many folks back from financial freedom. While many are trying to get ahead in their lives, student debt is following them everywhere and it can be hard to know what the next step is.

According to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve system, the average monthly student loan payment is $351 for people between the ages of 20-30. All in all, there are 44.2 million American’s with student loan debt. Can you imagine what happens to those that fall behind on something as serious as a student loan? If you have been in this position, you know how seriously those loans have an impact on your day to day life. Working with over 30,000 clients, we see our fair share of student loans and the impact they have on a consumers credit scores. So what can be done?

Student Loans

I’ve been sent to collections, now what?

If you have been sent into collections understand that the government has a lot of power when it comes to student loans and grants. They can garnish your wages, take social security benefits and charge very high collection fees. There is no limit for a collection of federal student loans. Once you miss your payment, they will immediately contact you and the tactics will worsen the longer it takes you to pay. There are severe consequences if you default so pay close attention to your loans. The government hires private collection agencies to collect and many of those agencies will try to collect in illegal, and unprofessional ways. You have rights! We recommend if you have felt harassed or threatened by these collection agencies, that you contact an attorney with Credit Law Center right away.

Should I rehab or consolidate?

Rehabbing your student loan means you spend 9-10 months making payments so that you can remove the default status. If you successfully rehab your student loans the loan holder will remove your default from the credit report. If you consolidate, that negative history for the old loan will continue to show until it ages off the report. You will have a current on the new consolidate loan so continue to make timely payments moving forward. No matter what, student loans need to be paid on time. Maintaining good credit is vital so continue to check your credit report often using a credit monitoring system.

Remember, it is best to check your credit report often and continue to ensure that your payments are being made on time. Having late payments can dramatically impact your scores! If your scores are suffering and you have fallen behind on student loans or other bills, you’ll want to get in touch with a credit advisor today.

Check us out on our social media platforms. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more information and blogs!
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

The Truth About Inquiries

Credit Reports. The Soft and Hard Pull Inquiry Finally Explained

There Are Two Main Types of Credit Inquiries

Chances are when you have applied for a credit card or a loan, you have heard the term “inquiry.” This inquiry is a credit check to take a look at your credit report, but there is a difference between the two inquiries.

Often times, we hear the same few questions when dealing with clients. Do they impact my score? What is a hard/soft inquiry? Here is the difference:

Soft Inquiry

A soft inquiry can happen when you pull your report on a website such as credit karma, or background check ran by an employer, or applying for utilities. Remember; these are not your true Fico scores. For more info on the difference in scores, view our blog. At the bureaus discretion, a soft inquiry may be recorded on the report. The soft inquiry will not have an impact on the credit score but a hard inquiry will.

Hard inquiry

Lending institutions such as a bank, mortgage lender or credit card issuers will pull a hard inquiry BEFORE they approve you for the credit card, loan or mortgage. This helps these institutions also determine what the interest will be. When your credit cards are paid down (30% or below) and your accounts are in good standing, the chances of you being approved and paying low interest rates is very good.

Hard inquires do mean you lose a few points from your credit score, however most people lose less than five points. These inquires do not have a long term weight on the credit report. You are looking at about a two year window for hard inquiries.

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If you are curious on how to get a credit score to view your personal report, we can help. You will want to check your scores here.

Do you have inquiries on your credit report?

If there are inquiries on your credit report and you are unsure where they came from, check with a credit repair service such as Credit Law Center-we use the law to help fix your credit in a quick and affordable way! Credit repair companies can help look through the report and address any errors that may have occurred for you to have inaccurate information. We recommend reviewing your credit history often.
Please note that you can only dispute hard pulls executed without your permission. Hard pull inquiries can take up to 2 years to no longer appear on your credit history.

How do I refrain from having too many inquiries?

Every credit card, loan, mortgage application you submit results in a hard inquiry. If you continue to have your report pulled, and those 3-5 points come out every time, you may end up tanking your scores by shopping around. Space your applications out by several months if possible. However, FICO allows 30 days before weighing your inquiries into their algorithms which determine your credit scores. If inquiries occurred within the same period of time, they can be counted as multiple pulls. This is why mortgage companies recommend not having your credit pulled as a hard inquiry due to the possibility of it lowering and in turn qualifying for a higher interest rate and finally potentially unfortunately not buying a home. Nobody wins!

Conclusion

Credit scores have a critical part in our financial outcomes in life. A good credit score is considered to be scores higher than “700”. When applying for credit, take the time to build your scores. Feel free to use our site as a resource, we love answering questions!To get assistance on tracking soft or hard inquiries that could impact your credit scores, inspect credit reports from Transunion, Equifax, and Experian. CLICK HERE to get in touch with a credit analyst for more details.
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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