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Credit and Collections

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

Credit, Tax time

Tax Procrastinator? Deadlines Approaching-Here’s What To Do Next

Are you a tax procrastinator?

For many, tax time is an inconvenience and quite frankly, a nuisance. Day to day life can be hectic. When you walk into your kitchen there is probably a corner stacked with bills, right? You know the one. Somewhere in there is some information about a very important day coming up.

April 17th, 2018

It is here once again and if you’ve been procrastinating up to this point, this is your ‘last call’ so, round up those documents and find a trusted resource to file for you. Haven’t even thought of it yet? No worries, you’ve got about one week left!

Here’s what you need in order to file:

1. Personal Info-social for yourself, spouse, and dependents
2. W2’s for 2017
3. Childcare expenses
4. Charitable contributions
5. Medical expenses

Additional:
1. Self employment info
2. Retirement info
3. Rental income
4. State and local taxes or sales tax
5. Educational expenses
6. Job expenses

credit consultation

What happens if I don’t file my taxes? Well, I am glad you asked!

The serious consequences that can happen are as follows:

  • The IRS will penalize you (seizing money from your bank)
  • Late filing penalties
  • Put a lien on your property
  • Garnish wages
  • Take more money as well as wages

Not to mention the unnecessary stress all this can cause you or your family. For some, filing could mean a tax refund! For others, having to pay may be what is keeping them from filing. Should you be worried about the ability to pay the money or not, the IRS still wants you to file. In an effort to help with this, they conveniently have an option for a payment installment plan.  

If you have questions about reliable resources or could use help with tax liens or judgments, please reach out to an attorney at Credit Law Center, they 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

Credit Law Center Mortgage Answers about repairing consumers credit

Becoming Mortgage Ready-Credit Law Center

At Credit Law Center we work with several different Mortgage Companies across the globe and want to continue educating our consumers that may be thinking about buying or that may be in the process currently. Some clients that we work with are also currently working with lenders to get approved for a loan. Combining what we know about credit, and what our lenders tell us about the loan process, we have broken down and compiled a short list to keep you informed so you feel comfortable in whatever stage you may be in.

Here is what you have the green light on!

Do:

  • Review your credit report in depth (prior to applying if possible) and look at your credit scores-Credit can impact several things (PMI, Interest Rates, etc)
  • Communicate with your lender-Find a lender that works for you and is available for you and communicates with you throughout the process.
  • Decide what the best “type” of loan will be for you-Ask questions and listen to all options out there.

Do Not:

  • No large deposits
  • No unnecessary job changes-These can have an impact on your qualification and the way your income is calculated
  • No large purchases-Do not go buy new furniture for the new house you are pining over just yet!
  • Don’t pay off a collection during the loan process-This can negatively impact you and potentially drop your credit scores and lower the chances of you getting approved!
Credit Law Center-the elephant

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

Credit Law Center Student Loans

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.

hard-soft-inquiries-credtit-score

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

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

divorce_3

5 Myths on Credit and Divorce

5 Myths On Credit and Divorce

Making the decision to end a relationship with a loved one can be one of the toughest calls to make in a person’s life. If you are considering divorce, what is not working is outweighing what is. Whether you are waiting for your spouse to pull the trigger because you can’t yourself. Or, you’re getting your finances in align prior to making the move, there are a few things to know and how the decision will directly impact your credit score.

In this article we address 5 myths about divorce and credit, so you can make the best financial decision for YOU when D-Day comes.

Myth #1: Spouses share a credit score

In the credit world, each person carries their own credit score. Purchases made together still show on each report. If your spouse is negatively reporting due to a late payment and you are an authorized user on that account, your report will also reflect that negative trade line.

Note: There is a major difference between being an authorized user and having a joint account.
Signing divorce papers

Myth #2: Being married or divorced affects my score

Status, age, gender, race, income, or investment does not have any impact on your credit score. Your negative or positive credit history is what makes up a score. Paying bills on time, keeping balances low and your credit utilization.

Myth #3: The legal status of a relationship doesn’t matter

Joint accounts, mortgages and car loans do. Managing those accounts will affect both of your scores whether you are married or divorced.

Myth #4: After my divorce is finalized, my score is no longer impacted by my ex

Unfortunately, your scores can continue to be affected by your previous spouse long after the marriage ends. Co-owner of a credit card that is used by your ex can mean you are still responsible for the debt, married or not. Some states consider all open accounts opened during marriage, a joint account.

Myth #5: One spouse acquires credit card debt he/she is solely responsible

A divorce decree does not cancel previous credit contracts. As such, the decree is only responsible for writing out who is responsible for existing debts. A divorce decree will not automatically remove joint or authorized users from accounts. Read more on divorce decrees here!

If you have previously gone through a divorce and are unsure of what your credit report is reflecting, please pull a report here IDIQ
Contact:  1-800-994-3070

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Article by Breana Washington

Credit Law Center Christmas

Credit Scores That Are Merry And Bright

 

Credit Scores That Are Merry And Bright

Tis the season for gift giving-which means plenty of shopping! This is also the time when the season can cause a huge strain on your credit if you are not careful.

Here are some tips to avoid the credit blues once the new year arrives.

 

Avoid new credit cards

In the check out line and the cashier asks you if you want to open a store card to save money on your purchase, you’ll want to kindly smile and say no thank you. If you are working on your credit currently, opening a retail store card may not be in your best interest. Opening all these retail store cards for a discount on items you are buying for other folks will hurt your own score, you have to think about yourself this season too.

Don’t rack the cards you do have up

Remember, a good rule of thumb is to continue to pay your cards on time, and pay them down as much as possible. During this time, it is very easy to overuse your cards for purchasing the best gifts for your friends and family members. Set a budget prior to going out to shop and remind yourself what is most important. Is it a new cell phone for your teenager or a new home come Spring? You’ll start to put things in perspective when you keep the end goal in mind.

 

Credit Law Center Christmas Shopping

Keep track of your cards

There is no time like the Holiday season for identity and credit theft. As long as you are taking extra precautions at this time of year, you can feel good about making purchases out and about or,  from the comfort of your home. Keep in mind:

  • Online shopping is great! Ensure the URL address or lock symbol on the page is showing that the site is secure
  • Conceal your cards somewhere safe and don’t carry too much cash when you are out shopping
  • Stay vigilant-if possible, tuck your cell phone away when making a trip back to the car so you can be alert the whole time
  • Use secure ATMs at your bank
  • Put those receipts in your wallet or purse and shred them once your bills arrive. Gift receipts are great incase of the need to make an exchange
  • Monitoring your credit is going to be vital at this time. Report any fraudulent activity once the season is over and take action

If you would like to learn more, please contact Credit Law Center and an analyst will be happy to provide you with additional information.
Article by Breana Washington

Contact:  1-800-994-3070

Check out Credit Law Center Reviews:

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Road to good credit

How to fix your Credit

The winds come whipping in, the sky turns black and-BOOM-a tornado blew through all of your life plans! Are you feeling as if Oz himself is behind the curtain pulling random numbers from the debris and  tossing them out one by one? After the dust has settled you see a score that makes no sense, but the damage has been done. So what do you do to pick up the pieces?

Credit Law Center Credit Score

If you are looking to fix your scores but continue to find ways that take longer than the time you have available, don’t quit…there is hope for you yet- your yellow brick road is closer than you think!

Although time doesn’t always seem to be on our side, and the credit bureau’s don’t seem to be either, there is still some good news when it comes to fixing your less than perfect report. A healthy credit report will take time to build, but the wait is worth it.

Oz is not going to improve your scores for you and unfortunately you can’t just tap your shiny red shoes together for a quick fix. It is up to you as the consumer to take some action. Here is what you can do to get started:  1. Pull your report and check your scores. You need to view all three (Transunion, Experian and Equifax) 2. Find out what the issues/negative items are on the report. Are the debts yours? 3. Clean negative items off the report 4. Build and establish positive credit/tradelines.

First: Pull your report

You will want to enroll in a credit monitoring service that allows you to see all three bureau’s. A lot of the credit reports consumer’s can pull on their own show you two reports, the third one is just as important as the other two. Remember: scores will vary as they are only a consumer score and will always be different than what a lender or bank will tell you. Check out : vantage scores vs Fico….. Credit monitoring is also great for identity theft monitoring, among other things. Interested in having a three bureau report pulled for just $1? Click here!

Second: What is negative?

Can you imagine that the bureau’s have incorrect information? Actually, 79% of credit reports contain errors. Not only is it important to verify that the debts on your report are yours, but it is just as important that your addresses, name, DOB, etc. are correct as well. “Oz” uses an algorithm that is hard to crack! What we do know is this:  • Payment history makes up 35%  • Credit utilization makes up 30% • Age of credit accounts 15% • Length of life on card 15%
If you play the game right, you’ll start to see your scores on the rise. Keep pushing.

Third: Clean up negative items

Just like the lion, tin man and the scarecrow, you’re going to need someone to help guide you down the path. Recruit well, and do your research! Credit Law Center, attorney based credit repair can assist you in cleaning up your negative items on your report such as:  • Collections/Repossessions • Public Records • Late Pays • Bankruptcies/Foreclosures  • Tax Liens/Judgments
This team not only assists you in removing derogatory items from your report, but coaches through the process on how to build on the positive side of your report as well. An unbelievable team for you to depend on, Credit Law Center is a combination of all of Dorothy’s confidants into one company.
The tin man: a heart that cares about the future of the consumer’s, and what happens next
The scarecrow: a brain full of knowledge about credit and the resources to aid clients
The lion: courage/legal prowess to take action
Ready to get to work on your report? www.creditlawcenter.com

Fourth: Build and establish

You might have been denied credit cards previously, but that are a few other ways around establishing that you don’t know. Secured credit cards are one route you can take. They require a deposit that will serve as your credit limit. Making on time payments and keeping an eye on your utilization is vital. Keep those balances as low as possible. Your limit is $1,000? Keep that card under $300 if possible! A few more things to do to start building:  • Pay balances down as low as possible while holding off on making new purchases • Credit builder loans with a bank can be a good start • DO NOT close old credit card accounts when you have them in good standing, the longer the life on the card, the better • Increase your credit limit so your balances seem to be back down under that 30% utilization (See, this game can be won!)  • Become an authorized user on an account of a TRUSTED family member or friend. Don’t worry, you never have to even see/use their card, you will benefit from their positive history (make sure they pay their bills) Again, the longer the life, the better! Their shiny scores won’t be hurt by your scores, the only one taking a risk is you. Choose wisely!
Now, that the clouds have cleared and the sun is peaking through, you can take on Oz with the right team behind you. We are excited to help you so you too can tap your shoes together and exclaim “There’s no place like home!”

If you would like to learn more, please contact Credit Law Center and an analyst will be happy to provide you with additional information.
Article by Breana Washington

Contact:  1-800-994-3070

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Credit Terms

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.