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Protecting Your Credit When Natural Disasters Hits

In recent weeks the United States has been hit with several natural disasters, leaving Americans uprooted from their homes and their employment. Texas and Florida are dealing with the aftermath of flood and rain waters from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, while the Western United States is dealing with the complete opposite dry and extreme conditions causing widespread forest fires.

In the wake of a natural disaster such as the recent hurricanes and wildfires, you may be wondering:

    • What if I use my credit cards or max them out?
    • What If I miss a payment?

What if I use my credit or max out my credit cards?

Rebuilding your home or life after a natural disaster can be overwhelming mentally and financially. Natural disasters like the recent events in the United States will require many Americans to start over completely, even with insurance money, government grants and any nest egg you have built you may still need to use your credit cards. We do know that the area we reside is not part of what makes up your FICO credit score, but using your cards and or maxing them out may affect your FICO Score. One of the first things you should do is pull your credit report, pulling your credit report will give you a complete picture of your credit profile at the time the natural disaster hit.

What If I Miss A Payment?

Missing just one payment could damage your credit significantly and could lead to not being about to obtain credit when it is most needed. If your house has was destroyed, make sure you cut off costly services, such as Wi-Fi and cable or electricity. This would be a perfect time to look at your budget and create a post-disaster budget; this budget should be a bare-bones budget. Once you created your budget and determined the amount, you can pay each creditor, call each creditor and discuss your options.  Depending on the credit card company and their situation they may offer you long-term or short-term options, may waive late fees or offer assistance programs.

A Few Companies That Are Helping

If you are your family or friends have been affected by a natural disaster here are a few companies that have resources for you. The information below is directly from the companies listed web pages, please visit the links to see more information.

Wells Fargo 1-800-869-3557

We know this can be a stressful time financially, so we are committed to giving affected customers additional support. Here are the ways we’re proactively helping customers in FEMA-declared areas (customers impacted by the hurricanes outside these areas are also encouraged to contact us):

  • Reversing certain fees — such as late fees — for our lending products, including credit cards, auto loans, personal loans, and lines of credit.
  • Waiving Wells Fargo fees for customers using non-Wells Fargo ATMs.
  • For Credit Card customers, providing payment relief and suppressing any negative credit bureau reporting for 90 days.

Citi Cards 1-800-950-5114

Customers in FEMA-designated disaster areas may be eligible for assistance such as:

  • Automatic waiver or refund of late fees on credit cards;
  • Automatic waiver of monthly service fees on Citibank deposit accounts;
  • Automatic waiver or refund of late fees on personal loans and lines of credit;
  • Deferred minimum payments on credit cards;
  • Emergency credit line increases;
  • Waived early withdrawal penalties on CDs and wire transfer fees;
  • Waived late fees for September mortgage payments; and
  • Mortgage payment forbearance programs.

Chase Home Lending 1-888-356-0023

First, for all customers who live in a FEMA-designated individual assistance disaster area, we’ll pause the obligation to make mortgage and home equity payments for 90 days from when the hurricane first hit (a 90-day grace period).

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

 

 

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

Consumer Credit Reporting

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

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

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

Errors On Your Credit Report

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

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

Disputing Your Credit Report

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

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

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

The difference between monthly and performance based credit repair

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

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

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

 

 

TOP 10 BLOGS 2018

CREDIT REPAIR2018 Top 10 Credit Repair Blogs


Thank you to all of our 2018 clients for giving us a fantastic year for Credit Law Center.  From our new facility to the thousands of lives we have made an impact on, we wanted to share what we learned last year in the same order that you liked the most.  So whether it be learning how to handle credit after the death of a loved one, handling collectors, understanding the myths that surround credit, or just understanding the mortgage process - we have you covered with our 2018’s most popular blogs written by our very own award-winning Credit Repair experts.  Be sure to check in with our Live Chat specialists to schedule your free credit repair consultation to see how quick, easy, and affordable credit repair can be with Credit Law Center!


CREDIT REPAIR CONSULTATION


 

  1. The Mortage Process

Our most popular blog of 2018 was this blog that addresses what to do to be “Mortgage Ready”.  Short and simple to the point, but however a few checklists here to make sure the largest purchase of our lives has us ready to take on the big decisions that go along with it.

   2. Debt Negotiation

Don’t worry, debt collectors fear Credit Law Center!  However, knowing your options when a debt collector comes after you.  This debt negotiation will walk you through your options.

   3. Credit Rating Matter?

Here is a very powerful piece of writing that will walk you through not only how important Credit Law Center’s clients are to us, but how credit ratings are different than character ratings.  This is important information to know as to when you are applying for credit, these credit ratings are important and the better you understand the better you can navigate through your next purchase.  Better credit, better life!

   4. After The Death Of A Loved One…

This being the most difficult credit issue to face, however important to know what to do after the death of a loved one.  Knowing what to do to make sure thieves are at bay, debt is reported accurately, and understanding the laws behind it all is what makes this blog one of our most popular sources of learning for our clients.

   5. Harassment From Debt Collectors

Even though you may have debt that you have agreed to pay at one time, but that does not mean the debt collectors get to abuse and ignore the laws that they are required to follow.  So before you hang up or avoid that next collection call, read the information here so you know your rights. Credit Law Center is on your side.


CREDIT REPAIR CONSULTATION


 

   6. Credit Myth On Divorce

Making the decision to end a marriage can profoundly affect lives and credit.  This article will walk you through the myths associated with credit and how the aftermaths divorces leave behind.  

   7. Credit Law Center Is Superior To All Other Credit Repair  Companies.

Yes, you read correctly.  This is probably our boldest claim, yet we have not found any evidence to other credit repair companies that have REAL attorneys that get REAL results, in as soon as 39 days, and with nothing to pay upfront.  Be sure to check out the graph on this blog that compares everything you need to know up front when deciding to sign up for credit repair.

8.  Credit Repair │ The Elephant In The Room

Throughout the years, there have been so many credit repair companies that took advantage of their clients, leaving a bad taste in their mouth the next time a real law firm that uses the law to delete negative items off credit reports.  Not to mention the personal anguish we go through when our credit scores are low and sometimes not everybody like to discuss openly about credit repair. Here is a great article that helps ease the conversation no matter who you want to share with.

9.  Credit Myth On Paying Collections

Our very own Jana Fox puts it perfectly on what happens when you pay a collection.  We all have a responsibility to pay our debt, however, we do what we have to do when things get tough - paying that collection isn't doing what you think it is doing to your credit report.

10.  Credit Myth On “It’s On The Credit Report, It Must Be True”

It is a fact that 80% of all credit reports contain errors.  Here is Jana Fox again setting the record straight on another myth of credit.  Great job Jana!


CREDIT REPAIR CONSULTATION


 

Low Fico Scores│Too Many Inquiries On My Report

How Do Inquiries Impact My Score?

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

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

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

One Too Many Inquiries

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Have Been Denied Credit

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

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

You can look for other options for credit cards here

free credit repair consultation

What My Credit Score Says

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

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

Facts on Fico

If you look at the chart above, you notice that your payment history makes up 35% of the FICO score. Therefore a late payment will tank your score! Another large portion of the FICO score rating, is the amount you owe. If your credit card balances are high, the easiest and quickest way to start improving your score is to pay your cards down as low as you can, rather than making the minimum payments.

In order to have a healthy credit profile, it is recommended to have two lines of revolving credit, and two personal (like home and auto) loans. If you have questions about other reasons your scores may be low or would like to speak with an attorney today, please call 1-800-994-3070. We would be happy to assist you further or answering any questions you have concerning your score.

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

law firm vs credit repair

Starting Credit Repair│5 Questions You Should Ask

So You’re Saying There’s A Chance?

All jokes aside, credit repair is a very serious matter.  We have come into contact with many companies that over promise and under deliver when it comes to the services they offer. Have you been teetering back and forth between companies but have been unsure what to ask? Well here’s your guide for working through the sales pitch, and getting to the hard facts.

What is credit repair and how does it work?

When a consumer decides that they are going to attempt credit repair there is often a “pain point” involved that has led them to this decision. For many of our clients, they have visited a lending institution and have been denied financing. Being denied for a home loan or car loan can really get a person in gear and ready to go because credit is important when it comes to major financial purchases. Have you been denied financing recently and are trying to start making your way back toward better credit?

You may find yourself looking for ways to improve your credit score and running into a dead end with “repair” companies. Another thing you may have found is that you may have heard that you can work on your credit repair yourself.

A law firm, like Credit Law Center has the ability to do more than both a consumer and what a credit repair company can. The side by side shows just a few things that you may want to start quizzing your current or potential credit repair company you hire on and start to look for companies that can help you out in all aspects of credit repair.

1. What Will I Need To Get Started?

In order to enroll in credit repair with Credit Law Center you will want to speak with a credit advisor first. They will walk you through our process and what you can expect as far as cost and time frame goes. You will know after your consultation what the cost could be for credit repair if every item came off the report.

You will notice we said if everything comes off. Each item is priced per line item as we only want to charge a client for the successful removal of what we dispute. You would receive a contract ceiling price and be billed accordingly after each round is completed. We are a pay for performance company, which just means you will only pay us for results as opposed to a monthly repair company.

Next, you will need a copy of your credit report, which the credit advisor will pull with you. They will go through line by line with you and educate you on how you can improve scores while we work on any derogatory items on the report. You can expect to pay $1 at the consultation and then decide if you would like to work with our Law Firm. Again, you will be quoted all pricing before ever signing a contract.

Although the cost may sound cheaper per month for a monthly program, and manageable for your budget, it might hurt you more in the long run.  Too often we see consumers that agree to this and they end up signing up for something that takes years for them to improve their credit. Our typical time frame is 60-120 days depending on what other items are positively reporting on a report.

We will work inside anyone’s budget!

Finally, a contract will be emailed to you and after a few ID’s submitted to your credit advisor, you will be ready for credit repair! We are built for speed and this is why 53% of our business comes from referral partners like loan officers and real estate agents. They can expect that their clients will get results quickly, and be ready for financing.

2. Is There An Attorney Involved/Working For Me?

We currently have 3 attorneys in the office that our clients can speak with about their credit reports or any legalities they may come across during or after credit repair. These attorneys also have the ability to work on your behalf, to stop collection calls as well as work with you on what you can say now that you are a client. When a collection company calls you and you are represented by a law firm, you have the ability to request no further communication at that time. Should you continue to receive calls, you may be able to sue for continued harassment.

Does your current “law firm” have the ability to do this? Ask the hard questions!

 

free credit repair consultation

3. Do They Have The Ability To Negotiate And Sue?

Credit Law Center has sued all three major credit agencies: Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. Ask your current or potential company in questioning if they can do this!

Unfortunately for a consumer, there are many ways that these agencies and collection companies go in and break the law. The main reason for this is due to the lack of education out there about credit and what can or cannot be done. You want a legal team guiding you and informing you of your rights through this process.

Our legal team is versed in the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) and  FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act).

Although your credit advisor will not give you legal advice, you can rest assured that as a client you have access to any of the attorneys on staff about matters such as harassing phone calls and items being misreported. They can also negotiate debts on your behalf or sue for damages if you have been impacted by misreporting on a credit report.

4. Who Will Be Monitoring My Credit?

There seems to be many companies out there right now that do not monitor the clients credit while in repair, or do not let them know if they have new activity or items reported. We will monitor your credit with our monitoring service and will update you every 45 days or so on your report. You have access to a copy of the report at all times.

Do you receive updated copies of your credit report with your current service?

This is vital for us, as it allows us to see what items are being removed when we dispute and allows us to also see if you are ready to go from a credit score standing on financing. We will never hold a client in repair any longer than need be. If they are at a point that a lender says they are ready to move forward, we will pull them out of repair and send them on their way!

5. Am I Being Billed Monthly Regardless of Items Being Removed or Not?

Lastly, and most importantly, ask what you are being billed for. If you are working with a credit repair company and spending money monthly with no activity as far as your score moving at all, it may be time to make a switch. We are saying there’s a chance! If you work with the right company that can provide you with great results and you listen to the education our credit advisors provide, you may be off to your dream home or dream car sooner than you thought!

If  you are currently working with a credit repair company and are not satisfied with your results, please let us know. We would be happy to help you get financially ready for whatever your next steps might be (house loan, car loan, etc.) Please  contact us today for your personal consultation with a Credit Advisor. We have helped over 30,000 clients improve their scores. Let us get you back on the path toward financial freedom.

Article By Breana Washington

A Note From The Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Check out Credit Law Center’s infographic on 4 myths of collections reporting on credit reports.
credit collection myths infographic

credit collection myths infographic

 

Reconsidering Rent-To-Own│More Risk or More Reward?

Is Rent-To-Own A Sure Thing?

The here and now seems to take the front seat as opposed to decisions that are best for the budget for a lot of families.

“We need more space.”

“Our credit isn’t where it needs to be.”

“What is the quickest way to start building for our future and not funding my landlords retirement?”

Rent-to-own is here. But should it be the move you make?

What Am I Agreeing To?

Rent-to-own contracts can be a little misleading. As with any contract you sign, double check that everything makes sense and is conducive for you and your family in the long run.

Remember when you said you were not wanting to fund your landlords retirement? The typical lease a family signs is a 12 month lease. Anything after that is usually month to month or on extended terms.  With rent-to-own you are saying that you will lease possibly 2-3 years. At the end of those terms, then you have the option to buy it.

Most rent-to-own tenants have decided this option is best for them because they do not have a lump sum for a down payment or cash on hand.

Read further about a few things you may have not been aware of in the rent-to-own agreements.

What They Don’t Tell You

Although you are leasing the home this does not mean that by the end of the lease agreement you will still be approved. Although you did have the first pick on the home, they cannot guarantee that you are getting approved for the loan. This is no fault to the landlord.

If you were having a hard time getting approved for a loan before due to poor credit prior to the lease agreement and didn’t make any effort to work toward better credit, or something happened to your credit in the few years you were in the home, it won’t matter. Unfortunately, you will still be denied.

You will lose the money you put into the home as well.

Prior to signing your rent-to-own lease, you should still meet with a mortgage banker to know what you will need as far as payment, scores, etc. go to close when it comes time for the lease to end and the loan to kick in.

 

free credit repair consultation

The Fine Print

There are many things you need to go into detail with the seller on prior to agreeing to a rent-to-own home. As with a lease, there should be other factors taken into consideration prior to signing on the dotted line.

  1. Are there any liens on the current home?
  2. What will you do if you don’t decide to buy it?
  3. How does the home inspection work?
  4. How much will I buy it for?

Liens On The Home

This is vital! There should be no reason to argue over who owns the title to the home. Speak with someone about all the details, complete research and make sure you have a party involved that knows what they are doing. There are way too many scammers and companies out there that can lie and pull the wool over your eyes and you’re stuck with no where to turn when you thought everything was going to work out just fine.

Taking A Pass

Let’s say you lived in the home for a few years and decide you don’t want to buy it. What then? Double check that the contract has a clear and defined understanding of what will happen if you should choose to not purchase at the end of the lease. The unfortunate part is that the money you did spend is nonrefundable.

Inspection Time

As with any normal inspection, the condition of the home should be documented and photos should be taken off interior and exterior and any major concerns.

Purchase Time

You and the seller will decide on a price up front. With the purchase price being locked in, this does not protect you from the possibility of the home’s value dropping. If that is the case, it will not save you from the price dropping. You will still be held at the price that was decided on at the time of the contract unfortunately.

Not to mention, if the current landlord is not financially sound and possibly loses the home while you are the current tenant you most likely lose the option to purchase and again, the money is gone with the wind.

In Closing

There may be some benefits to your family signing a rent-to-own option but this is one to be weary of when walking through the process. There are home loans out there you can apply for that will work for you, especially if you are a first time home buyer. There are also options out there to not only help you improve your credit scores, but also work with you on smaller down payments and lower scores (although your interest rates will be higher).  If low credit scores are keeping you from improving your living situation, please contact us today for a free credit consultation. We have helped over 30,000 clients improve their scores. Let us get you back on the path toward financial freedom.

Check out Credit Law Center’s infographic on 4 myths of collections reporting on credit reports.
credit collection myths infographic

credit collection myths infographic

 

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

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.

My Credit Card Statement Now Has a Credit Score – Credit Law Center

You may have recently noticed that your credit card statement has provided you with a credit score for free. Having this credit score on your credit card statement could potentially help you spot an error on your credit report. For example, if the score is lower than you expected, it may be a perfect time to request your credit reports, dispute any errors that you may find.

Things to consider about the scores provided on the credit card statement

Each credit card company uses a different formula for assessing your credit profile. The credit score you get from one credit card company may be slightly different from the credit score you receive from another credit card company. The score you receive on the credit card statements may also be different than the score you receive from a lender or a finance company. FICO scores are the credit scores used by 90% of the top lenders to determine your credit risk.

FICO Scores

You will have three FICO scores, one for each of the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. As well as the three different scores from each bureau, FICO has a total of 56 versions of FICO scoring. Just think of it like Microsoft word, every year a new version comes out updating the software. Each of the 56 versions old or new are tailored for different types of lending. One version may be used for mortgage lenders, while another may be used for a credit card company. With so many versions being the major reason the score on your credit card statement may differ from one a lender pulls.

 

Top 5 Credit Myths (1)_Page_03

No matter what version of FICO is being used your score is calculated by the information on your credit report. Therefore your credit score could differ from bureau to bureau as well. For example, you may have a loan from a small community bank; this bank may only report your activity to Transunion, and not report to Experian or Equifax, leaving your credit file with the other two bureaus thin.

Things to keep in mind

Each month when you receive your score on your credit card statement use it as a tool to help identify any possible errors. Focus on paying your bills on time, and not overextending your credit. If you notice your score has gone down, review your credit, and look for any errors in your credit report. Each bureau allows one free credit report per year and you can request at www.annualcreditreport.com