Free Credit Reports For Active Duty Military│Salute To Service

A Step in the Right Direction

Potential new changes in the credit world can seem to be irrelevant and often times have little to no impact (or so it seems) for the consumers. There are many changes on the horizon that will take effect just one year after President Trump signs a new bill.

Congress has passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. This bill has an impact in the credit world because it will be also amending parts of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The Dodd-Frank rollback bill is the most recent part of legislation to go in and amend the FCRA.

The FCRA regulates how the credit bureaus and customers operate and the this bill being passed will start to hone in on several things-

  • Debt Protection (Veteran and Active Duty)
  • Changes in Scoring Models
  • Student Loan Debt
  • Fraudulent Activity

Debt Protection (Veteran  and Active Duty)

Our military personnel sacrifice time away from home, their families and sometimes their lives. An exciting change in this bill means:

  • Medical debt acquired by a veteran may not be reported at the bureau level for at least one year from the date the medical services took place
  • Medical debt acquired by a veteran that has been sent to collection status has to be removed from the credit reports once the debt is paid off or  has been settled (the current rule says after 7 years or immediately after the collection has been paid by  insurance)
  • Medical debts must be removed from the credit reports if the medical debt is or has been assumed by the Department of Veteran Affairs (there is no existing rule on this)
  • A database must be created by the Secretary of Veteran Affairs to verify whether or not the debts reported are actual veteran’s medical debts
  • Free credit monitoring services from the reporting agencies will be given to active duty military personnel

All of these changes will take effect 1 year from the date the bill is signed.


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Changes in Scoring Models

  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be able to use “newer”  generation credit scores for underwriting home loans if the newer score is “reliable and accurate” (how they are going to measure reliable and accurate has not been defined quite yet)
  • Currently Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are using older generation FICO scores (FICO  4) but have not been able to upgrade to newer scoring models (like FICO 9). This is important for borrowers because using the newer versions could help them receive better rates and terms for a mortgage

These changes are not set in stone, but could be a potential positive spin for consumers.

Student Loan Debt

If a debtor can now show willingness and consistent, timely payments (on a private student loan) they can request that the lender go straight to the credit bureau and remove record of the defaults on the student loan.  This can only be done if the lender offers a loan rehab program.



Child credit protections: Parents and guardians can freeze a minor’s credit report (children ages 16 and younger). If a minor child has no credit file, the bureau is required to make a credit file and freeze it. All of these services will be free of charge.

Credit Freeze: Before, the bureaus only allowed for credit freezing to be given to consumers, free of charge, if they had been a victim of fraud. Initially, there were fees for setting a freeze and fees to remove that freeze as well. When the credit freeze is set, the bureau then has to confirm it and provide instructions on how to remove it. All of these freezing capabilities (freezing, thawing, re-freezing) will be free to consumers at the national level.

Alerts:After the change, alerts can now last for one year. Victims of fraud can also place their credit reports on alert or be placed on an extended alert that will last 7 years. A fraud alert will notify users pulling credit reports (lenders and banks) that they must take steps to further verify that the person applying for credit it undoubtedly, the person applying.

These changes will begin 120 days after President Trump signs the bill.


Credit Law Center partners with Home for Heroes and provides significant discounts on services to all military personnel. If you would like one of our attorneys or credit advisors to take a look at your report, 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


Change In Credit Scores -June 8th │ What’s Happening Now

All Credit Reports Must Change!

All credit reports must change! In response to the New York Attorney General coming out with a settlement, the Credit Reporting Agencies are going through a laundry list of changes. These phases have been implemented over the last few years and phase three is now taking place. There will be changes again and with more changes and rules, come more mistakes. Continue to stay up to date and educated on your rights as a consumer!

Now, this is not to say that your credit scores will improve immediately or that they will go up or down when you fall asleep but more-so, this article will outline the improvements that are being made in an effort to protect the consumers and their rights when it comes to dealing with the Credit Reporting Agencies. We deal with these institutions every day, so believe me when I say, we hear and see all your frustrations and now, the NY Attorney General has heard the consumers and their frustrations.

If you have not recently checked your credit report, or do not understand what the report has on it, please let someone look at it with you in a free consultation.

Here is what we know about the changes:

The Phases In The Settlement

  1. Phase One started in 2015-retiring Metro One Reporting Tool which is the software tool that allows the bureaus to communicate back and forth. It was very old and outdated!
  2. Phase Two started in 2016-creating new policies so that credit reporting agencies now cannot refuse to dispute even if the consumer has not pulled an annual credit report. There must be education and content on the website about the dispute process and allow consumers with more free copies of their credit reports.
  3. Phase Three happening now-a process will be put in place that identifies and clearly outlines/defines what is being disputed and presented to the consumer.


What you need to know about this round of changes:

Phase Three Implemented June 8th, 2018

  1. They are now requiring collection agencies to reconcile collections that have not been paid in full. Meaning, the removal or suppression of all collection accounts that have not been updated within the prior 6 months time frame.
  2. Advised to not report any medical collections that are less than 180 days from the date the debt went delinquent. If a collection is found to be paid by insurance at a later date, it must be deleted.
  3. If a Credit Reporting Agency receives a notice from another bureau that there is a mixed file, an investigation will be conducted and they will have to correct steps in place to fix the mixed file.

After Your Completed Investigation

After an investigation is completed each bureau is required to take the following actions:

  1. Report all actions taken by credit bureau regarding the dispute
  2. Contact information of the creditor/collection involved in the dispute
  3. The results of the dispute, including any modification or deletions of all disputed items
  4. If the consumer is not satisfied, the option to re-dispute the items and include any and all supporting documents is given


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When you send proof that the information is inaccurate they must get it in front of someone that has the ability to actually make a change to the error on the report.

For clients that we continue to help dispute items on the credit report, we are seeing improvements based on the first few phases of this process. When we have supporting documents that can be sent in and followed up with the dispute, we are seeing fantastic results and usually the turn around time on those is very fast! If you would like one of our attorneys or credit advisors to take a look at your report, 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


2019 Credit Forecast-Four Key Trends

2019 Consumer Credit Forecast

What’s in store for the consumer credit market in 2019? Increases in GDP personal income. Total employment and the House Price Index among other factors will outweigh potential negatives such as rising interest rates and slowing vehicle sales. Here are four key trends.

TransUnion is forecasting-
1. Strong employment and rising home prices will help reduce serious mortgage delinquencies reaching their lowest levels since 2005.

2. Rising interest rates and subprime borrowers will push credit card delinquencies up in 2019 though they will remain well below recession levels.

3. Despite a decline in auto origination’s a shift from subprime to prime plus and super-prime consumers will cushion the 2% projected rise of serious auto loan delinquencies.

4. Increases in retail sales and growth in FinTech will push personal loan balances higher while delinquency rates plateau or fall thanks to most originating consumers ranking as prime and above.

As we enter 2019 and the Spring and Summer months approach, we hope these insights will help you with your strategy throughout the rest of the year be it the home buying process, the search for a new car, etc. If you have questions concerning your report or about the home buying process and how your scores are impacting it, please contact us.

When The Chips Fall: Gambling Addiction and Credit Scores

When The Chips Fall: Gambling Addiction and Credit Scores

As luck would have it, gambling and debt go hand in hand! So what if your hand falls short? Nearly 23 millions Americans lose and fall into debt- losing an estimated $55,000. What happens when you’ve run out of cash and all stashes have hit zero? Once you have exhausted all resources you may realize you have run into a real problem-addiction.

Gambling Addiction:
The first step here is taking care of yourself and the addiction. If you do not get a grasp on the addiction first you may never hit the root of the real problem. As cliche as it may sound, admitting you have a problem is where one must start.

But what is next?

  1. Make the decision to say no-While still considered a substance abuse disorder, gambling is still something to take seriously. It is very important to have a great support system around you when making the decision to quit.
  2. Close credit cards funding gambling-Request that your bank require two signatures on withdrawals and have an accountability partner that will not allow you to take that money out to gamble with. This will ensure that you are thinking twice before spending and funding the habit.
  3. Find a support system-Looking to get help for this addiction is hard. Find a support group like GA (Gamblers Anonymous) which is  beneficial and a step in the right direction. Recruit the support of trusted friends and family that can help you work through the issues and will not enable or support the addiction.


Paying Gambling Debt:
Hitting rock bottom is scary. What may be even more scary is thinking about your current credit scores.  Pull a credit report here for $1. If your credit report is showing numerous derogatory accounts, debt negotiation may be your best, last “bet.” The attorneys at Credit Law Center have years of experience negotiating debts. Their extensive negotiating experience with banks, collection companies and collection attorneys has helped many of our clients save thousands. Their goal is  to negotiate the debt as low as possible out of court and get the case dismissed.

This is not always the best or only option out there.  There is no guarantee your debt will be discharged. This option needs to be discussed at great length due to the impact it has on your credit score. To determine if you should file for bankruptcy, collect and add up your bills and credit statements. If the value of your assets is less than the amount of debt you owe, filing may be a great option. Again, this step should not be approached lightly.


May the odds be in your favor-
Financially speaking, this is a big hole to fall into and few recover from quickly. Embracing a new lifestyle free from addiction is tough, but surrounding yourself with a team that is willing to get you back to financial stability is a must. When gambling debt occurs, more often than not, the debt goes deeper than just money owed to the casinos. If you have run into a turn of bad luck and collection companies are attempting to track you down, please reach out to one of our Credit Advisors today. We would love to help get you back on the right path.  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

Does unemployment affect my credit?

Does unemployment affect my credit?

Unfortunately job loss is something many American’s experience in their lifetime. The loss of a job means financial hardships, which directly affects our consumer’s credit. Here is what you need to know about how job loss can affect your credit scores.

Loss of Savings:
Money that was saved for emergency may have to be used. It is hard to replenish those funds but for times like these, this is why that savings is vital!If you did not have a great credit score prior to losing the job, you may look into a secured card. A secured card requires the consumer to open an account with the issuing bank. If you do not have the money to put down the deposit for the card, this will not be a route you can take. Your savings may start to dwindle but hopefully those depleting funds will be able to be replenished after you secure new employment.

Late Pays:
If you experience long term unemployment, unfortunately your credit will be greatly impacted! If you fall behind 90 days late, this is a serious delinquency and will dramatically drop your scores. You may want to read the blog here on late payments. At this point, the last thing folks are worried about is their credit score, especially if they have a family to care for. Does this sound like something you have gone through? Let us take a look at your report to see what we can do.

High Balances:
Making minimum payments on credit cards will start to hurt your scores. You will start to see your credit score decline when the balances and interests start climbing. Once that balance reaches above 30% of the limit, your scores start to reflect it in a negative way.




Ways unemployment does not hinder a credit score

If you are unemployed, rest assured that anyone that is looking at your credit report will not know. There are not any boxes on a report marked that a lender, employer, or insurance company would be able to see. Unemployment claims are not public record and benefits are not debts. You are not obligated to repay those unemployment benefits at all, so thankfully this will not be a dark cloud lingering with the rest of your bills after you are back on your feet.

Change in Income:

Though credit reports used to contain your salary, that is now a thing of the past. The difference in income will not show up, however if you are applying for loans you should expect to have to provide documentation and proof of income.

At Credit Law Center we understand that while financial hardships may fall on a consumer,  often there is more to the story than not paying bills. The credit bureau’s do not care what our consumer’s go through. We want to help you get your buying power back and get you back on your feet! If you are in need of a FREE consultation please visit our website and talk to an advisor!

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

Improve a credit score in the next 24 hours!

Three things you can do in the next 24 hours to improve a credit score. Two of the three options do not cost you any money!

Credit Law Center explains three things to do to improve a credit score in the next 24 hours. First, add a new account or become an authorized user. Second, is to pay down your credit cards or balances. Third, pay for deletion. We have broken these tips down for consumers to understand what will work best or what fits with their current situation.

Add new account/authorized user: Adding a new account will not cost you any money. Becoming an authorized user to an account that is in great standing (spouse, parent, sibling) will immediately impact your own credit report. If you do not have a good mix of credit, this may be a great option. We tell clients two revolving and two installments is a good, healthy mix of credit. If you are working with a lender and trying to become approved for a home loan, check with your Loan Officer on the authorized user as sometimes, if that is your only revolving account, underwriting will not approve you.

Pay down and lower utilization: This step, if you have some money to put towards lowering those balances, your utilization ratio will really help. Often times, people are told to pay their accounts down to zero. Another idea, if extra cash is not on hand, is to ask for a credit limit increase. This is not an excuse to go shopping, however, helps again with that utilization ratio. Good rule of thumb is to look at the report as a grade card. A credit Score is ascending not descending. So, you do not start with an A and lose points, you start at the very bottom or a 350 score and gain points based on the types of accounts you have.



Pay for deletion: Credit Law Center uses pay for deletion as one of the tactics for our clients. This is a great article on the DIY way to attempt pay to delete on your own.


In conclusion:  A lot of people assume your credit score is based on history so it will remember everything, right? Your credit score has no memory.  As that report changes it doesn’t remember past information, it only knows what info is had right then and there. Your scores are only calculated when a current report is ordered. It is all based off of the information that is on the file at the time. If you can change that information or update it each time that score continues to change each time. If you have inaccurate information on a Monday and it is removed Monday evening, by Tuesday it is gone. Those changes have immediate impact on the score. Therefore, if you make changes to your balances and pay cards down and order a new report, the scores will reflect it.

35% of the credit score is based on payment history. Amount owed on your cards makes up 30%. The other 35% is made up of types of credit used, length of history, and new credit. When a consumer has a late payment, it takes a long time to recover. Looking at your report and understanding the credit world is important in order to maximize your scores. If you would like additional information on how to improve your scores, please contact us!

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

Credit 101-What You May Not Know About Your Credit

Credit 101

Janna Fox (Director of Business Development) and Breana Washington (Marketing and Media Manager) chat about common questions consumers ask about credit repair and what myths there are about credit scores.  Credit Law Center educates consumers and encourages them to know their rights, and be more informed about the credit world.   For more information about credit reports or getting in contact with an advisor, please visit our website.

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

6 Common Credit Terms – Credit Law Center

We recently asked the question on social media, “What is one thing that should be taught in school?”, several came back with the answer “credit.” Unless you are a financial guru at understanding complex financial terms, the world of credit can be slightly confusing. Understanding the most common credit terms and credit score terms could help you save money.


6 Common Credit Terms


1.Credit Mix

The different types of credit that make up your credit report. Your credit mix makes up 10% of your credit score and can be a mixture of credit cards, a mortgage to student loans and auto loans. Having a good mixture of positive credit can impact your credit score.

2.Credit utilization

This is the amount of available credit you are using. To calculate your credit utilization, you would divide your total credit card balances by your total credit limits. Then multiply that number by 100 for the percentage. Keeping your credit utilization under 30 percentage is best, by keeping it under shows lenders that you are capable of managing debt.

3.Installment loan vs. Revolving credit

An installment loan is a cash loan that requires a fixed number of regular payments that are equal in amount. Payments on an installment loan are calculated over a set duration, home loan and a car loans are examples of installment loans.

Revolving credit is credit that can repeatedly be used and paid off without having to reapply each time. Credit cards and lines of credit are two forms of revolving credit. Revolving credit does not require a set payment plan, and you can borrow up to your limit. Revolving credit is riskier for lenders. Therefore the interest rates are higher.

4.Hard Inquiry

A hard inquiry happens when you have applied for credit, and a business or lender “pulls” your credit report to determine your creditworthiness. This type of inquiry can affect your credit score.

5.Soft Inquiry

A soft inquiry occurs when a consumer checks their credit file or when a lender sends you a pre-approval letter. This type of inquiry does not affect your FICO credit score.

6.Payment History

35 percent of your credit score is made up by your payment history. Therefore it is a crucial element in your credit score. Payment history is calculated on how well you pay your bills and if you pay them on time. With payment history being such a big portion of your credit score being late on a payment or defaulting on a loan could cause you to be denied credit or have high-interest rates.

Are You Getting Calls From Fake Debt Collectors? – Credit Law Center

Have you received a call from a debt collector and you don’t recognize the debt or loan that they are trying to collect? Consumers all over the U.S. are reporting that they are receiving calls like this. Fake debt collectors pretend to be lawyers, debt collectors and do anything to scare you into paying them, and occasionally, the imposters may have some of your personal information, and they are incredibly slick and will do anything to scam you into paying.

The FTC recently stopped imposters who pretended to be lawyers. These imposters threatened people with lawsuits and jail time to collect debts that didn’t exist.

Common Characteristics of Fake Debt Collectors

  • They use names of real small businesses or names that are similar to existing businesses.
  • Trying to collect on a debt you are not familiar with or do not owe.
  • High pressure to try and scare you into to paying, such as threatening jail time or calling and reporting you to the local law enforcement agency.
  • Fake debt collectors may threaten to sue you or tell you that they are suing you
  • Refusing to give you an address or telephone number
  • Asks you personal financial or sensitive information.

What to do if you think you are speaking to a fake debt collector

  • Ask the caller for his name, company, street address and telephone number. Advise the caller that you refuse to discuss the debt, asks them to provide you with a “validation notice.” A validation notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor, and your rights under the FDCPA. If they refuse to provide this information, DO NOT PAY!
  • Do not provide the caller with any financial or sensitive information. Never give out personal information or confirm personal information like bank account, credit card or social security number unless you are sure you are dealing with a legitimate debt collector. These imposters can use your information to commit identity theft, charging your credit cards, or open new credit.
  • Contact the creditor. It may be possible that they are calling on a legitimate debt that they have somehow accessed information on. If you believe the debt is legitimate, but you do not believe the caller is a real debt collector, contact the original creditor directly, be sure to share the information with them so they can keep track of the behavior.
  • Report the Call to the FTC. Contacting the FTC and your state Attorney General’s Office with the documented information about the suspicious callers, and most States have their own laws in addition to the FDCPA.