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3 ways to build fico

Credit Building Without Credit Cards│3 Ways To Build Your Fico

Building Up Your Fico

Understanding and building credit in a positive way takes discipline and some education. Do you recall being taught in school, how to build your credit scores? Did your teachers let you know how big of a role credit would play in your life as you got older? Honestly, it is probably likely that even while going through the process of applying for a credit card or car loan, you were still unsure of what your credit scores really meant.

So what is a credit score made of?  Your FICO is determined by the categories below on the pie chart. Payment history and amounts owed on your credit make up the two largest portions of your scores. What if you do not have credit cards? There are a few other options for you, so that you can still fulfill parts of the FICO scoring model.

Facts on Fico

The Importance Of Credit

Can you imagine not having access to a bank that could lend you money for your home or car? Credit is so important for everyone, whether they have a credit card or not.  A lender or banking institution pulls your credit in order to see how reliable and likely you are to default on your loan. If your payment history is bad or you are lacking credit history, it is hard for them to lend to someone that they cannot be sure of. If you are someone that has no credit score, that is almost as bad as having bad scores. It is hard to justify lending to you when they are not sure how you use your money or pay your bills.

The Typical Way To Build Credit-Credit Cards

If you are opening your first credit card, your bank is usually open to issuing you a credit card with them. This credit card is not to take on your next shopping spree, but small purchases like filling up your vehicle. Many people open up credit card for “emergencies” only, while some use them and live outside of their means. Credit can end up getting you into large amounts of debt if you are not careful and capable of setting limits for yourself. So what are a few other ways to start getting a score, without the card in hand?

Other Options Besides Credit Cards

Become an authorized user

Parents trying to help their children build and establish credit usually allow for them to become an authorized user on a credit card. Prior to adding your kid on the credit card of your choosing, take a look at the length of history and the payments on all of the credit cards you have. If you have an old card, with no late payments and great credit history this is the best one to add your child to.

Young adults trying to establish credit should talk to parents or family members that will allow them to be added to a card as an authorized user. Understand that at no point do they give you access to the credit card but rather, you are just now benefiting from their positive history while having to make no effort or open up new credit lines.

free credit repair consultation

 

Report Monthly Bills

Are you currently renting and paying your bills on time? There are now many companies that will allow for you to have your rent reported. It can be very frustrating to constantly pay bills that are not showing up to show your credit worthiness, so many companies have listened to consumers and now are helping them out in an effort to eventually get a loan.

Join A Credit Union

A starter loan at the credit union works about the same as a secured credit card does. In order to build, the consumer deposits their own money to get started. The funds are not immediate but secured in a savings account until the term is complete. Making payments on this credit building loan are most important as again, positive payment history makes up 35% of the FICO pie chart. These are usually shorter terms (12-36 months) just to begin building credit. Often times, proof of income is required as well.

While it may seem a credit card is the only way to build credit quickly, that is not always the case. There are other avenues to take rather than signing up for the first credit card that is dropped in your mailbox. If you don’t trust yourself to avoid those credit card solicitations visit this site to keep from receiving junk mail and credit cards filling up your mailbox.

 

Do you have questions about your credit report? If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys or credit advisors  and go through a free consultation please give us a call at 1-800-994-3070 we would be happy to help.

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

 

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Credit Cards With High Balances and Interest Rates│Transfer Options

Credit Card Debt & Balance Transfers

Where is your credit card debt currently at? Are you making minimum payments that don’t make a dent once your interest rates kicked in? It may be time to weigh a different option now that you are hoping to make some headway on your current debts.

Your Balances and Interest Rates

While it is always important to take into consideration the best options for you and your financial situation, we have several people that want to know more on the option to do a balance transfer. Here is how in a few short steps:

  1. Check your current credit card balances
  2. Pick a card to transfer to
  3. Read all information and fine print
  4. Apply for the balance transfer cards
  5. Start paying debts

Below are the steps explained in detail. Before making any quick-second decisions, be sure to educate yourself on all of the pros and cons to the balance transfer.

1. Current Credit

When you are thinking about making a balance transfer it is important to figure out what your interest (APR) is on the current credit card. When looking for a balance transfer card, you’ll want to find one that has low (no) fees and will take the actual amount you would be transferring over.

2. What Cards To Transfer To

Researching what credit cards are best to balance transfer to is very important. Depending on the amount of debt you have, you may not be able to transfer all of the debt to the card you choose. Many balance transfer cards offer a 0% introductory period for an allotted time frame.

  • Check the promotional period
  • Check how long the low APR will last

3. Terms and Conditions

The most important part of this transfer is understanding what the fine print states. Although the balance transfer could help you out, many of the cards have balance transfer fees associated with them, and every time you transfer balances over.

Make sure that the transfer is really going to be financially beneficial to you before moving money around. Figure out what the balance transfer fees is and then you will want to calculate the transfer fee cost, how much you could potentially save on interest and go from there.

Some balance transfer cards won’t let you transfer within the same bank, such as Citibank. If your balance is already on one Citibank card, you cannot move it to a balance transfer card.

It is also possible that when the creditor runs your credit and is deciding if you are approved, you may not become approved for the amount you are trying to switch over.

 

free credit repair consultation

4. Application Process

As with any other credit card, you must become approved first. If you have completed the above steps and are ready to make the switch, go ahead and apply for the balance transfer card.

More than likely you can complete a balance transfer online or by phone. You will be giving your account information and the amount of the balances you wish to transfer over to them.

On average, the process takes 7 to 10 business days. Most importantly, it is important to continue to make your payments until you have been given confirmation that the transfer successfully went through.

 

The Pros Of A Balance Transfer
  • Streamlining all credit payments onto one card
  • Start fresh with low APR
  • Get ahead on paying debt
  • Lower interest than previous credit card
The Cons Of A Balance Transfer
  • If you do not conduct research, you may end up with higher interest rates
  • Transfers can be expensive
  • Could drop your credit scores (due to opening a new line of credit)
  • Risk of more debt-likely that your credit limit increases and more credit is available to you if you can’t control spending habits

Your Final Decision

We understand that life happens and the average consumer does own credit cards. In an effort to set our clients up for success, we want them to understand and become more educated about the way the credit world works. As always, continue to educate yourself and always read the fine print! If you are using the balance transfer card for what it is, and in an effort to pay off your debt, not get into more, you will eventually get there. Keep chipping away at the payments you are making and always try to keep your balances low and payments on time.

 

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

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.

 

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

 

saving my credit scores

Credit Scores Dropping Quickly│How Can I Recover?

Credit Scores Dropping

Have you noticed a random decrease in your credit scores recently? There are many factors that can cause your credit scores to fluctuate. Many consumers do not understand that a credit score has no memory and can change immediately due to activity or changes that can happen as soon as you make a payment or use a credit card.

Can I recover from a drop?

Do not panic. Your scores really do change so much, so there is no reason to worry unless you have done some significant damage to a report like went late on a payment. A few things to know ahead of time, prior to calling your credit card companies or bank about your report-

  • If you are pulling credit scores on consumer sites like Identity IQ or Credit Karma, you are looking at consumer scores or vantage scores. These are not your FICO scores. These scores are more of a suggestion of what is going on but not always right or exact.
  • If you want to know your true FICO scores, the only place you can get the real FICO score is an actual lender or banking institution.
  • There are 56 different versions of FICO. Your home loan is going to be using a different version of FICO than the dealership that ran your credit. Don’t expect to see the same scores because they will be off.

 

What Do Inquiries Do To My Credit?

Your scores can be decreasing due to one too many inquiries on your credit report. A good rule of thumb is to only inquire about 10 times for every 12 month period.  Once you start shopping around for vehicles or homes and having your credit pulled more than the suggested number, you will start to notice your scores dropping.

 

How Does A Late Payment Hurt My Credit?

Unfortunately, late payments have a dramatic impact on your credit scores. This is the hardest thing to get removed from a credit report but we still try to go after late payments and try to get them removed.

These late pays 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.

 

free credit repair consultation

What If I Don’t Have Any Credit?

Not having any credit cards or installment loans will also keep you at low scores. In order to have good credit scores, FICO has to have something to grade you on. We advise 2 credit cards and 2 installment loans (auto, home or personal). There is a misconception that no credit keeps you from having bad credit. That is not true and in order to qualify for a car loan or auto loan, if you are not showing that you can make payments on time and be trusted with a loan, a lender doesn’t know how trustworthy you are to loan to. If you are hoping to get a loan, it is important to start establishing credit for at least 6 months to a year and build and show positive payment history. If you are in credit repair and have noticed that your scores are dropping but derogatory items are falling off, it may be due to the lack of credit you have established, or that the credit you do have is not being utilized the right way i.e. high card balances above 30% utilization or recent late payments which will keep your scores down.

 Factors Causing A Drop
  1. Late payments
  2. High Balances
  3. Too many Inquiries
  4. Late reporting (possibly your credit cards reporting at different times to the credit bureaus. An easy fix to this is call your credit card and ask them when they report to the bureaus so you know when to make payments so your score reflects better)
  5. Paying an old collection (there is less than a 2% difference whether a collection is paid or unpaid, most weight is given to how recent the activity)
How Can I Start Building Credit?
  • 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

Above all, be patient. Building and establishing credit takes time. If you are thinking about buying a home or vehicle, start planning ahead and looking at your credit now. Credit impacts many factors like interest rates, your insurance and many other things. Great scores mean more savings in your pocket!

 

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

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.

 

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

 

Credit Scores across the states

Credit Scores Across States│Where Do You Rank?

Battle of the States

Have you ever wondered what part of the United States has the best/worst credit scores? It may come as a surprise to you but, the highest scoring state, Minnesota has an average credit score of 709. What may come as even more of a shock is that yes, they do have credit cards! On average, folks in Minnesota have 2.9 credit cards with an average balance of $5,911. You read that right! The take away from these numbers is that yes you can have great credit, while using and maximizing the credit cards you do have to obtain great credit scores.

Credit Scores across the states

We do not condone racking up credit cards by any means but there are several misconceptions out there about how one obtains good credit. Unfortunately, there is no snap of the fingers to make scores jump 100 points over night but we do know several tricks in an effort to get to the point that you may be trying to get to.

If you are looking for

  1. A home loan
  2. An auto loan

There are several factors that come into play with your credit. Many people do not even know or understand how a FICO score is made-

35% of your FICO is your payment history, 30% amount owed, 15% length of credit history, 10% new credit and the credit mix

So what is the trick?

Is there a trick to better credit scores?

Is there at trick to these high scores? One could argue that there are tricks to the trade.

Imperfect credit scores do not happen over night, the same goes for scores like people in Minnesota with 709. In order to obtain great credit scores you need to know what a good credit mix looks like. At Credit Law Center we advise that a consumer should have two great revolving credit cards and two installments. We also advise a few other steps in order to obtain great scores:

  • Authorized user- a spouse or family member with a credit card with a low balance and several  years of history is a great way to get a quick boost in scores
  • Pay for deletion-asking a creditor/collector to remove an item from the report if you pay a certain amount
  • Lower utilization-paying down a card more than the minimum payments will dramatically impact your credit
  • Inquiries on your credit report can bring the score down

Your Next Step

If you have completed the above steps and don’t see a change in scores, you may have negative items on your report that are weighing heavily like collections, too new of credit cards, or something as significant as a bankruptcy, tax lien, or judgment. Have you looked at a credit report lately? We can go through the credit report with you and discuss what steps you may need to take in an attempt to maximize your efforts.

free credit repair consultation

Did you know?

  • It is actually better for our economy for consumers to have lower FICO Scores. The higher the interest rates, the more money circulating through the economy as well as the increase in the value of currency.
  • There is a misconception that you will have better credit if you do not use credit cards. That is inaccurate, as FICO needs you to have/use credit to have the ability to grade you to come up with your FICO score.
  • Having only installment loans (auto, home, personal) and no credit cards, or only having credit cards, and no installment loans keeps your credit score down 10% then what it could be if you had a good credit mix.

Are you hoping to increase your credit scores and get on the track to better credit? Contact us today and one of our credit advisors  will complete a free consultation or please give us a call at 1-800-994-3070 we would be happy to help.

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

 

5 ideas for smart summer savings

High Utility Bills & High Temperatures│5 Ideas for Smart Summer Savings

5 Ideas for Smart Summer Savings

The first day of Summer officially arrived although it seems we have skipped most of Spring this year!  Have you noticed your bills are much higher than the previous Summer? It’s no surprise that while the days are longer and hotter, utility bills are headed on up too. We don’t expect that anyone would choose to sit inside with the air off, so with that, we have a list of some ways to save so you can stay cool while keeping your costs at a minimum.

 

Air Dry Your Clothing

Do you have a place to hang your clothing outside? Cutting back on your electric bill by letting all your laundry air dry is a great way to save this Summer. Although the time it takes to dry your clothes does take longer, it will keep your clothing looking brighter and actually extend the life of the clothing rather than tossing it in the dryer every time.

Find A Pool

Pack a snack and spend the day by the pool. This is a great way to give your AC a much needed break for the day. After you leave the pool, find a spot for a shaved ice or ice cream cone and soak up some of the air and cool off.  For parents, this is a great way to get the kiddos tired and settled down for a quiet movie and bed time!

Here are a few other awesome ideas for your kids to do this Summer that are free!

 

free credit repair consultation

Unplug

We tend to leave all of our phone chargers, laptops and other devices plugged in at home when we finish using them. Before you lock the front door, walk around your home and unplug any devices that are not being used. One way to eliminate this head ache is plug everything in a power saving strip so that when you are in a rush, you just turn the strip off and can head out the door or invest in an outlet timer.

Clean Up

The refrigerator is one appliance you cannot unplug but you can still cut costs by keeping the back side of the fridge clean! Once you move all the toys, goldfish and crumbs out of the way, you’ll see the coils on the fridge in the back or bottom of the fridge. They need a good cleaning each month which can help you save money as well. Just a quick once over with your vacuum each month can help you save.

Are you a renter?

It can be hard to cut cost on a unit that you can’t fix some of the issues that cause your bills to be higher, like the front door needing to be weatherized so the air does not escape. Here are a few ways you can save without calling up your landlord:

  1. Change air filters on air conditioner/furnace
  2. Thermostat settings-can cut costs 3% each degree over 75
  3. Cold Water-wash your clothes in cold which can save you about 50 cents/per load of laundry you do

Get out and enjoy your Summer to the fullest with your friends and family! Whether you are hoping to save up for a new vacation, a new home or just to put money back into savings, we hope these tips will help you get there this season!

 

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

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.

 

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

 

debt collectors calling

Constant Calls From Debt Collectors│Illegal Practices vs Scam Callers

How To Deal With Debt Collectors

I have recently been receiving strange calls from someone trying to collect money from me, what do I do? As a consumer, it is important to be educated about the process by which an actual collection agency attempts to collect debts as opposed to scam callers asking you to meet them at the nearest CVS with no real explanation and for a large sum of money. It is not uncommon that if you are receiving phone calls, it will continue to happen until you can do something to make them quit.

 

Your Rights Under the FDCPA

The FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) has been put into place for the consumers protection. Though they don’t always follow the rules, harassment is illegal and will not be tolerated. There are many avenues as far a legal actions you can engage in should a debt collector call and harass you. While it is legal for a debt collector to call you and attempt to collect a debt, it is not legal for them to harass or threaten a consumer such as many scam callers and a few debt collectors do. There is a major difference and it is hard to track scam calls down. Many legitimate debt collectors take correct steps when making their phones calls however, should you continue to receive calls this is what you should look for:

They must

  • Identify themselves in every form of communication
  • Address what the call is in regards to “This is an attempt to collect a debt”
  • Verify the name and address of the original collector
  • Advise that you have the right to dispute the debt

If you receive a phone call and the company calling you does not do provide the information above, do not pay them or agree to met them to provide any money. You will want to contact an attorney to see if there are any steps that can be taken.

Taking Legal Action

The FDCPA has set rules in place for the way communication is to be handled by the debt collectors. Should a debt collector or agency not abide by those regulations, you may be able to take legal action moving forward.

  • Collector cannot call outside of the hours of 8am and 9pm on your local timezone
  • Auto dialing or numerous calls in the effort to annoy, abuse or harass the consumer is not prohibited
  • Profane or abusive language is not allowed
  • Calls to family, friends, or place of employment is not allowed
  • A Collector cannot call and threaten to report falsely to credit reporting agencies
  • Once a consumer discloses they are working and represented by an attorney, communication must stop

A few examples of harassing phone calls are on our website, you can access them here.

free credit repair consultation

Suing the Debt Collector

If you feel you have been dealing with harassing collectors, please contact Credit Law Center so we can help you build your case. We have sued all three of the credit bureaus and are constantly helping consumers become more educated about their credit as well as their rights under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). This can be a fairly lengthy process, but in the grand scheme of things, having those calls come to an end are worth moving forward and pursuing legal action.

Continued Harassment and Next Steps

The best thing you can do to help yourself in a scenario like this is document and never throw anything away that may help an attorney out. We advise our clients to document everything such as the time and date you spoke, who you spoke with and what company they work for and any of the phone call details that you may be able to remember. Some other things that will help in this process are:

  1. Collection Letters you received
  2. Any voicemails left, save them to a storage device
  3. Telephone Bills
  4. Notes and contact info taken during call
  5. Take screenshots of your caller ID info

 

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

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.

 

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

 

Lower Interest Rates

Lower Interest Rates & Better Credit Scores│Real Results With Credit Law Center

Increased Credit Scores by 100 Points

At Credit Law Center we love hearing success stories from past clients. One client shares how Credit Law Center helped her family save money and increase their scores.

What brought you to Credit Law Center?

I was online one day and was looking at homes. A lender reached out to me and we started talking about purchasing a home. She pulled my credit scores and we had some past debt that we needed taken care of. I know credit is important. Based off the information we gave the lender, she gave us some options to get where we needed to get approved. She referred us to one of her Credit Advisors at Credit Law Center and so we got in touch. They assured us that we would only pay for the items that actually got deleted and our advisor talked us through the process and the costs.

How did you feel about working with a Credit Repair Company?

I was a little skeptical at first, but I looked into it. I had a really good feeling about my lender referring me to Credit Law Center. My credit advisor, Kim was really good at getting in touch with me. She let me know if an item was not removed, you didn’t pay for it. I let her know I was going to be out of town on a trip and what I could afford. She made it very inexpensive and worked with me on my budget.  I signed all the paperwork and got my report pulled. She went over everything with me, past debts, and gave me advice on the credit I did have. I hadn’t made my first payment yet, and I saw my scores were already jumping and that was back in January. I was receiving updates every month and my scores just kept jumping. My score has improved 100 points since we started the process.

What has the change in credit scores done for you?

The good thing is, back in December I had just got a vehicle. Then in February my husband and I went to get a vehicle for him. My scores had increased so much, my interest dropped 10% from when I got my vehicle back in December. It has just been awesome!

free credit repair consultation

 

Are you purchasing a home now?

Yes, we qualified and based off the information and our credit jumping, we are able to move forward in the loan process.  I have told family about; it was definitely worth it! That’s the good thing with Credit Law Center, any time anything touched my credit they were monitoring it. I was always getting updated and any questions I had to ask, I was able to reach out to my advisor  and could count on her.

Credit Law Center has been awesome and I am happy my lender put me in touch with them. One thing I can say, my husband was very skeptical but after seeing me go through this process with Credit Law Center my husband now wants to go through the repair process and he doesn’t have a bad taste about credit repair anymore.

Do you have questions about your credit report? If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys or credit advisors  and go through 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

 

debt negotiation

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

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

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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

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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