How Military Families Can Improve Their Credit

You Agreed To Give Access To Your Credit, Now What?

Lenders, Not The Only One Looking At Your Credit

Should You Freeze Your Credit?

How Are FICO Score Created?

Boost Your Credit Score With Credit Law Center

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Credit Repair │ Mistakes on My Credit Report

The 3 Credit Reporting Companies: Equifax, Transunion, and Experian

There are three entities that your FICO scores are provided by: Experian, Transunion and Equifax. Each credit bureau reports your scores, which can sometimes vary based on the information they have. Do you wonder why your scores are so different? To ensure that the most accurate information is being given to the credit agencies, there are a few things you will want to double check when you receive a copy of your credit report. You are not alone! It is very common for consumers to have three different credit scores, however, understanding your report will help you piece together why each is so different.

Your Personal Information

The report will have important information that is specific to you. If you notice that there are other names, incorrect date of birth or incorrect address information, you may have a mixed file. If you are married, your credit report is still separate from your spouse so you each will want to check your report. Pay close attention to:

  1. Name
  2. Social Security Number
  3. Date of birth
  4. Address
  5. Phone number

Common names in large cities post a potential risk for mixed files. It is important to check your credit report often and look for mistakes. If you find errors, you will want to dispute this with the credit bureaus to change it. Just this small correction can make an impact on your scores. If one bureau has correct information, but the other two do not, you may notice one is higher than the other two.

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Work History

This section of your credit report is used in order to verify your identity. If you are missing employer information, you can have it added although it is not likely for this to have much impact on your file.

Account Information

One of the most important sections of the report is where your accounts are showing status. In this section of your credit report, you will want to look closely at the dates of when the accounts were added and reporting bureaus. You will see:

  1. Open accounts
  2. Closed accounts
  3. Disputes
  4. Payment history
  5. Dates the accounts were opened or closed (by creditor or consumer)
  6. Balances
  7. Loan payment history/status

Each account you have can report to the bureaus at different times. This is another reason that you may notice a variation in the credit scores. To get the best possible scores and outcomes for major things like a home loan purchase, call your creditors and see what day they report to the bureaus. There are a many moving parts to the puzzle, but knowing when each reports will allow you to know when your scores will look the best they possibly can and then you can time it right for when a lender or bank pulls your credit.  

Public Record/Inquiries

Credit Inquiries are not what is typically impacting your credit if your scores are low. Often times, this is what clients think is causing a low FICO but in reality, negative marks in the public record section or accounts with high balances/late payments are where the score is taking a hit.

 

Credit Repair Attorneys Are Ready

If you need credit help, there are credit repair attorneys that can work for you to dispute items on the credit reports. Mistakes on a credit report can hinder you from buying a home, car or even qualifying for a job. Whether you think you have a mistake on your report or not, a second opinion is never bad. 79% of credit reports contain errors. Check your accounts regularly or invest in credit monitoring.

Millions of people in America with mistakes on their credit report- Credit Law Center

 

 

Believe it or not we live in an age where much of what goes on in our daily lives is monitored, collected and sold to interested parties. Our driving records, our medical history, our internet traffic and most importantly our credit information. Which can make you vulnerable to identity theft or a mistake on your credit report, that could cost you money. These mistakes can increase the interest you pay on your loans, prevent you from getting a mortgage, buy a car, landing a job or getting a security clearance. A government study indicates as many as 40 million Americans have a mistake on their credit report. Twenty million Americans have significant mistakes and the credit reporting industry shows that those mistakes can be nearly impossible to get removed from your record.

Consumer Credit Reporting

Consumer credit reporting is a four billion dollar a year industry dominated by three large companies Experian, TransUnion, Equifax. They keep files on 200 million Americans in traffic and our financial reputations. They make their money gathering information from people we do business with and sells it to banks, merchants, insurance companies and employers. These businesses use it to make judgments about our credit worthiness and reliability.

But now the reliability of the industry is being questioned by the Federal Trade Commission. John Liebowitz served as FTC chairman says “One out of five Americans has an error on their credit report and one out of ten has an error on their credit report and because of these mistakes Americans credit scores might be lower as a result”.

Close your eyes for a minute and trying to think of another industry where a 20 percent error rate would be acceptable. Maybe weather men and woman are the only ones that you were more than likely able to come up with. Even then, you want to make sure you remind them that they were wrong because they ruined your plans.  The same applies to your credit report.

Errors On Your Credit Report

These errors are clear violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act which performance based credit repair companies can take care of for you, that monthly credit repair companies just can’t. Performance based credit repair companies like Credit Law Center uses those mistakes as leverage to get their clients results faster, without dragging out the process to simply collect as much money as they can get.

These banks, merchants and debt collectors have a legal responsibility to make sure that the information is accurate. The federal law says that if you believe that there is a mistake you can go to them and they have an obligation to do a reasonable investigation. Let’s face it, they are not doing a reasonable investigation.

Disputing Your Credit Report

Eight million people a year file disputes about their credit report, which usually requires a visit to the Experian, TransUnion or Equifax websites. Those sites are primarily designed to sell you premium products, not resolve a dispute. There’s a toll free number you can call which is likely to connect you to someone on a faraway continent.

Besides the toll free number, they also give you a post office box address where you can send a letter and documents supporting your claim in each case. It’s extremely unlikely that anyone with the authority to resolve your dispute will ever actually see it. Usually if you challenge your credit report and mail your information to a post office box in the United States, the dispute will likely be investigated in India, Philippines or South America.

Then your dispute will be sent with a two or three line summary and no documentation back to the bank,merchant, or debt collector that furnished the original information. If there was a difference of opinion between the creditor and the person who was filing the complaint. The bureaus usually resolve it in favor of the creditor. You heard correctly, the creditor was always right.

The difference between monthly and performance based credit repair

Much of what’s known about the inner workings of the consumer credit agencies come out of lawsuits filed by performance based credit repair companies like Credit Law Center who have subpoenaed company records, deposed employees and executives and say under the current system there is no way for people to get these issues resolve.

Performance based companies like Credit Law Center can get a jury verdict for hundreds if not thousands of dollars for their clients.That’s chump change for these bureaus! They would rather pay a verdict in a hundreds to thousands of dollars, than to actually go in and change the policies and procedures that they have.

What most people don’t understand is that monthly credit repair companies are limited by what they can do. Basically you are paying $65 to $100 a month to send dispute letters that are going to India, Philippines, South America or filling out the dispute on the 3 big credit bureau sites on your behalf and keeping their fingers crossed. Very little if any fighting for consumers rights are going on.or people to get their problems solved. So clients who take the time to meticulously document their case that the bill isn’t theirs or the bill has been paid, have sometimes not only got the items deleted but also has received a check from the bank, merchant or collector for damages.

 

 

Low Fico Scores│Too Many Inquiries On My Report

How Do Inquiries Impact My Score?

One of the common misconceptions about a credit score is that inquiries have a major role in the score. If you have looked at your credit score recently and feel that there are not many dings to the report that would cause your score to be low, take a few things into consideration first:

  1. Do you have two or more revolving lines of credit? If so, are these accounts at or below 30% of the limit?
  2. Now, are there any collections, charge-offs or other accounts that are in a negative standing? You’ll want to have these removed from the report.
  3. Lastly, do you have incorrect or inaccurate contact information on your credit report i.e addresses, names, etc?

All of the above scenarios should be looked at before jumping to what your inquiries look like.

One Too Many Inquiries

If you have been credit card or car shopping lately, you may notice a multitude of inquiries on your credit report. It is very common for a dealership to throw your information into their system to see if they can find you a low interest rate at a great loan term so they can sell you the car on their lot.

Understanding how this impacts your score allows you to walk into each situation prepared and knowledgeable. Whether you are applying for a new credit card or a car note a few things.

  • When shopping for a car, research a Credit Union you could get a loan through, rather than the dealership financing option
  • Know your credit score
  • Don’t apply for credit when you don’t need it

Each time you apply or allow someone to check your credit score, you are allowing them to apply another hit to your credit profile.

The best rule of thumb for inquiries is no more than 10 “pulls” on your credit over a 12 month period.

Once you start running into more inquiries than this, your credit score will start to be impacted by them. Again, applying for unnecessary credit lines will start to impact you in a negative way.

I Have Been Denied Credit

If you have run into issues of hoping to start building credit, but have been denied credit cards over and over, there are a few options you have. Applying or inquiring for more and more credit is not helping your scores. You can try a few other options such as:

  • Applying for a  Secured Credit Card
  • CD Builder Loans
  • Second Chance Checking

You can look for other options for credit cards here

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What My Credit Score Says

Your credit score tells a lender the likelihood of you to default on a loan in the next 12 months. Credit demonstrates your trustworthiness to pay your bills and loans on time. Keeping this in mind, it is easier to understand what your credit report says about you as a borrower.

If you have late payments, this impacts your score significantly.