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What Controls My Credit Score?

Payment history accounts for 35% of your total credit score (so far we are at 35% of 100%)

We all know it. If you miss a payment is shows on your credit. The problem is, this is one of the things that is most scrutinized. This is the largest determining factor on your credit score
The number of unpaid bills you have, any collection accounts, or bankruptcies etc...impacts your score. The worst part is the more recent the problem (in comparison to when the report was pulled by a creditor) the lower your score might go. The credit model's main focus for score
One simple analogy that most people can relate to is car insurance. If you got into an accident five years ago and again recently then we all know your insurance rates go up. They go up because you are a higher risk in that you have a repeated pattern of accidents. If you have had late payments in the past be sure to make any future payments on time, otherwise it might be even more damaging than your first late payment
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Outstanding debt accounts for 30% of your total credit score (so far we are at 65% of 100%)

The scoring model looks at the balances on your credit, a good rule of thumb is to keep your cards below 35% of their limit
Installment loan (i.e. mortgage, car loans/leases, student loans etc.) balances are not the major issues since these accounts have a pay off period
Revolving accounts (i.e. credit cards, store cards, etc...) have revolving terms, so they get analyzed based on balance compared to your card limit
The length of time your credit history has existed accounts for another 15% of your total credit score (we are at 80% of 100%)

The longer you use credit the better, a longer track record gives insight to your credit habits
The length of time you have been paying creditors back gives the scoring system the chance to figure out if you have been paying on time
Recent inquiries account for only 10% of your total score (we are at 90% of 100%)

Many inquiries negatively affect your score as it seems you are applying for more debt
The most recent 30 days is the most important when applying for a mortgage
The credit bureaus understand that people shop around for the best rates and need their credit pulled by a lender
There is a downside to that, if you apply for other credit like credit cards, store cards, student loans, car loans during the time be aware that your score may drop significantly
Types of credit in use 10% (that’s it these 5 things make up 100% of your credit score)

How many trade lines you have open
Revolving or installment accounts
Tier 1, tier2, or tier 3 creditors
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Top 10 Credit Misconceptions

The simple fact that an account had to go to collection is the negative item your credit score will suffer from. By nature, you are expected to pay your bills on time. Collections only happen to late bills, so whether you pay this or not does not "heal" your credit. It merely will show the account "paid in full" but you were in collection prior to that.

This is an indicator that you are not a timely payer.

On the other hand, if you feel that your account went to collection erroneously, then you definitely want to dispute that to have the collection removed as it was not your fault. Collections get sold too often and create more than one collection on your report. Only one company can collect, so you should determine who that is and have the others removed.

If you owe money to a creditor, they are not just going to forget about it. Typically you will have to pay them something. Many people with collection accounts can negotiate a payoff figure appealing to both parties.
Sounds good, but isn't true. When you have an item verified and deleted, it stays off. With the exception to the rule that if you a creditor does not respond in 30 days, the bureau removes it temporarily until the investigation is done. If your account is verified as inaccurate, erroneous or obsolete, it will be removed permanently. If after the 30 day time frame the creditor comes back with solid proof of the procedures used to report your credit were in fact followed and accurate, then the creditor can put the item back on your report as it was.

Now there are other instances where an account may be sold to a new creditor and show up under a new name on your report. This scenario is almost impossible to avoid. You never know which bank is buying which bank and what they are selling behind the scenes. So an old item you thought went away simply was sold at the time you requested your dispute and was unverifiable with "the old" creditor.

Our humble advise...check your credit annually like the government suggests and review it closely! Stop problems before they get too big and too distant.
Every type of negative listing has been successfully removed from thousands of consumers credit reports. These negative items (bankruptcy, foreclose, etc) require a different approach during the dispute & investigation so they can be more difficult to remove from the credit report, but they do come off. Easier items such as judgments and Federal & State tax liens are just as severe as a bankruptcy based on the scoring model, yet these are easier to remove.

A mistake can be made so easily. Many people have filed for bankruptcy and had accounts listed incorrectly in bankruptcy when they were not supposed to be. There can be many reasons how the error got there, but if you feel the item is not a bankruptcy, foreclosure, or repossession item, you should certainly exercise your consumer right to have the account verified.
Well, Yes and No on this one. Disputing something takes no effort at all, but actually going through the process and not wanting to ever use another credit card again just because you are dealing with bureaucrats who don't respond to you request (don't forget...Credit Bureaus are a bureaucracy! The name is not just a coincidence.) This comes down to how organized, professional, determined, knowledgeable, persistent and persuasive you can be. Credit bureaus are not a call center, nor are there any customer service hotlines. You have to be ready to do some work. By that we mean typing, tracking, calling, writing, mailing, logging, follow up, verifying, digging up history, or whatever your credit report needs based on the errors you have. Sometimes hiring a qualified professional to spend the time to review your credit with you is invaluable. Most credit consultants, after spending the time with you to go over your credit, can recommend the best solution for you. They typically offer to send out dispute letters for you since they are now abreast of your profile and have most of the letters in a ready to go format. Results can be tough if you are not prepared. The worst is if you attempt to fix without being prepared, you may not be able to hire a professional if you have done any further damage. Saying the wrong thing in a letter can move you backwards in your process to investing errors.
Basically, declaring bankruptcy is the WORST possible thing you can do. A credit report is based upon your ability to manage your credit and repay your debts. Once you declare bankruptcy, you are saying that you are unable to manage your debts and have resorted to the "easy way out". A filing date and discharge date will appear negatively under the public records section of the credit report. In addition, each credit item that is included in the bankruptcy will also report negatively on your credit report. Trying to remove these items after the fact is virtually impossible. However, if you notice errors on the accounts that were included in your bankruptcy, those are still eligible for dispute.

Our advice, is avoid declaring bankruptcy. Seek a Credit Consultant, Credit Coach, or Account Negotiator before declaring bankruptcy at all costs.
News flash...no creditor will consider the information in a 100-word statement. You are lucky if they even read it. This is a waste of time and should not even be bothered with. These statements only provide the creditor with validation that you are admitting to the negative statements on your credit report and have some kind of an excuse for them.
First and foremost, this is illegal and could result in fines or imprisonment. This is also highly risky and as you know, lying about your personal information on your credit application is a criminal offense.
It does not matter how much good credit you have. If you have anything negative on your report, it could impact you adversely and could result in a denial for a mortgage or other personal lines of credit. Most often, the interest rate that you are approved at for the lines of credit are directly related to your credit worthiness on your credit report. One negative item could increase those rates tremendously or have you denied completely.

You cannot tell your car insurance company that you "only got in three accidents over the past 3 years, and all those other days I didn't get in any accidents!" can you? Just like when driving a car you are expected to be in control, with credit you are expected to be in control and manage your credit. Most of all, you are expected to pay your bills. On pretty much all loans and credit cards, there is an agreement to pay on time. If you do not pay on time, then you have "not paid as agreed" and this will lower your score.

If you gauge your spending and repayment habits on a regular basis, you will avoid most credit accidents that happen.
Consumer Credit Counseling Service (or CCCS) will help you manage your debts but will NOT help you restore your credit.

These Consumer Credit Counseling Services are debt counseling organizations that work closely with the credit grantors and the credit bureaus. They are not able to recreate the rules or change your past. They simply exist to help individuals negotiate terms of repayment for those individuals who are having difficulties in repaying their debts due to a loss of employment, increased medical expenses, family tragedy, unmanageable debt balances, etc...

In most cases when you work with a CCCS it will be reported on your credit report. This is NOT a positive event. Most creditors will not grant you additional credit such as a mortgage or auto loan if you are using any type of service to manage your debts. They see it as you not being able to manage your debts and having to resort to someone else managing them for you. You may want to explore other options prior to having your debts managed by a Credit Counseling Service.

Some options are*: Refinance your Mortgage Loan to include your debts
Transfer all debts into a single balance and pay that bill
Try to defer student loans for a year so that you can pay off other loans
Borrow money from a relative to pay debts down to a reasonable level
*These options all assume that the overall payment is lowered.
You will probably hear this multiple times from multiple different credit grantors, etc., however, the law states that a negative listing must appear on your credit report for no more than seven years and sometimes ten years. This means that a creditor has the option of removing that negative listing at any time within those seven years. Your job is to persuade them to do so as soon as possible.

Remember, attempting to restore your own credit can be very time consuming and demanding. There can be a lot of paperwork involved and you need to be organized. Before attempting to do so, make sure you are dedicated, have the right resources and are going to follow through. Make the time in your schedule to do so. If not, you can further damage your credit and make it impossible for anyone to restore it in the future.
Credit Repair Learning Center
Our firm helps you become part of the credit conversation through time-tested services that incorporate innovative dispute methodologies, creditor interventions, and other credit repair methods that make full use of your credit rights as established by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other federal laws.

While these laws give you a way to address credit issues on your own, acting on them takes more than a letter, a stamp and crossed fingers, it takes experience and perseverance. Many who try to repair their own credit are discouraged by a series of road blocks that lead them to end their fight for fair credit in frustration and despair.

Credit Information What's On A Credit Report? Credit Reports generally contain five types of information:

  • Identification Information: Information such as the name of the individual, current and previous residential addresses, and Social Security number.
  • Trade Line Information: Detailed information reported by creditors and other furnishers on each current and past loan, lease, or other debt (such as utility and medical debts).
  • Public Record Information: Information derived from financial-related public records, such as records of bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens, garnishments, and other civil judgments.
  • Collection Account Information: Information reported by collection agencies regarding credit accounts and other debts.
  • Inquiry Information: Identities of individuals or companies that have requested information from an individual's credit file; the date of inquiry; and an indication of whether the inquiry was by the consumer, for the review of an existing account, or to help the inquirer decide on a potential future account or relationship. Unfortunately, an alarming number of these files (credit reports) contain serious errors and could cause the denial of credit, a loan, or a job, so monitor your credit report and minimize or eliminate future credit problems. Remember, keeping a 'clean' credit report is essential to your financial well-being.

Who controls my Credit Score?

The 3 national bureaus are 3 companies (that means they make profit in exchange for service /goods). They are not here for your own good. They are companies looking to get paid. However, the Federal Trade Commission (a.k.a. "FTC") created the FCRA (or Federal Credit Reporting Act) which regulated how the bureaus operate and the rules they are held to.

The 3 Major companies are Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax. Your credit score comes from a company who made judging cards (Approximately 10 of them) to rate you compared to other Americans. The Fair, Isaac & Company took 1 million records from all the bureaus and started sorting them to find trends. The model became well know as the "FICO" model and is used by the bureaus. Think of it as a bell curve (small percentage doing extremely perfect or extremely awful, most of the numbers fall in the middle)

Clean Credit - Four reasons to clean your credit

Reason #1 - Clean Credit Usually Means Lower Interest Rates

  • Lower interest rates on credit cards, loans, etc.
  • Interest rates are generally based on your credit score, which is calculated according to the positive and negative listings on your credit report
  • A cleaner credit report typically results in a higher credit score and a lower interest rate offer for you.
  • Lower interest rates save you money on credit card purchases or loan payments which is a savings that can add up very quickly.

Reason #2 - Clean Credit Reports Make for a Higher Rate of Loan Approval

Because of the state of our economy, more and more people are getting turned down for home loans, car loans, home improvement loans and more every day.

  • A good way to ensure that you get the loan you are applying for is to make sure your credit report is clean and accurate.
  • It is an unfair but true fact that people get turned down for loans based on inaccurate information that is found on their credit reports.
  • Information can be disputed and, if proven inaccurate, can be removed from your credit report, typically raising your credit score and increasing your chances of getting approved for a loan.

Reason #3 - Employers Like a Clean Credit Report

  • There are many jobs available for people with high credit scores that are out of reach for people with low credit scores.
  • Many jobs that require employees have access to financial information, handle money, or even sell items also require that the person applying for the job not have a bad credit score.
  • Taking the steps to clean your credit will ensure you don't get turned down for a job based on your credit rating.

Reason #4 - Clean Credit Feels Good

  • Having a low credit score has an impact on the self esteem and confidence of many people.
  • Having a low level of confidence can affect many aspects of your life.
  • Clean your credit and improve your credit rating either by yourself or with the help of a credit repair firm and keep low credit from impacting your confidence and happiness.

Did You Know?

Credit Bureaus Are Really Just Corporations In Disguise Most people don't know this but the three major Credit Bureaus that control your credit are for-profit companies whose primary motive is making money for shareholders. You are far from their first concern. Other interesting Credit Bureau facts are:

Credit bureau practices became such a concern to the government that congress stepped in with legislation to regulate the fairness by which they operated on behalf of the consumer.

You are not the most important client the credit bureaus have. Credit bureaus make much more money selling your report to lenders that charge you interest than they do selling your own report back to you. The worse your credit report is, the more those lenders (and credit card companies, etc.) make in interest against you. Smell funny?

Since government regulation has been passed, the Credit Bureaus have been fined millions of dollars in penalties for not operating legally and fairly. The Credit Bureaus have secret formulas that determine whether or not they will honor disputes you make about your report. These special formulas and formats make it difficult for you to be as successful disputing your credit on your own, although you certainly can.

Two of the three major bureaus are privately owned and held. They are not affiliated with the government in any way. Transparency is virtually non-existent. Their primary motive remains to produce a profit for their shareholders.

A Summary of The Fair Credit Reporting Act 1971

  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is designed to promote accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of every "consumer reporting agency" (CRA). Most CRAs are credit bureaus that gather and sell information about you - such as where you work and live, if you pay your bills on time, and whether you've been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy -- to creditors, employers, and other businesses. The FCRA gives you specific rights in dealing with CRAs, and requires them to provide you with a summary of these rights as listed below. You can find the complete text of the FCRA, 15 U.S.C, 1681 et seq. at the Federal Trade Commission's web site (http://www.ftc.gov).
  • You must be told if information in your file has been used against you. Anyone who uses information from a CRA to take action against you -- such as denying an application for credit, insurance, or employment must give you the name, address, and phone number of the CRA that provided the report.
  • You can find out what is in your file. A CRA must give you all the information in your file, and a list of everyone who has requested it recently. However, you are not entitled to a "risk score" or a "credit score" that is based on information in your file. There is no charge for the report if your application was denied because of information supplied by the CRA, and if you request the report within 60 days of receiving the denial notice. You are also entitled to one free report a year if you certify that (1) you are unemployed and plan to seek employment within 60 days, (2) you are on welfare, or (3) your report is inaccurate due to fraud. Otherwise, a CRA may charge you a fee of up to eight dollars.
  • You can dispute inaccurate information with the CRA. If you tell a CRA that your file contains inaccurate information, the CRA must reinvestigate the items (usually within 30 days) unless your dispute is frivolous. The CRA must pass along to its source all relevant information you provided. The CRA also must supply you with written results of the investigation and a copy of your report, if it has changed. If an item is altered or deleted because you dispute it, the CRA cannot place it back in your file unless the source of the information verifies its accuracy and completeness, and the CRA provides you a written notice that includes the name, address and phone number of the source.
  • Inaccurate information must be deleted. A CRA must remove inaccurate information from its files, usually within 30 days after you dispute its accuracy. The largest credit bureaus must notify other national CRAs if items are altered or deleted, however, the CRA is not required to remove data from your file that is accurate unless it is outdated or cannot be verified.
  • You can dispute inaccurate items with the source of the information. If you tell anyone -- such as a creditor who reports to a CRA -- that you dispute an item, they may not then report the information to a CRA without including a notice of your dispute. In addition, once you've notified the source of the error in writing, they may not continue to report it if it is in fact an error. Outdated information may not be reported. In most cases, a CRA may not report negative information that is more than seven years old; ten years for bankruptcies.
  • Access to your file is limited. A CRA may provide information about you only to those who have a need recognized by the FCRA -- usually to consider an application you have submitted to a creditor, insurer, employer, landlord, or other business. ? Your consent is required for reports that are provided to employers or that contain medical information. A CRA may not report to your employer, or prospective employer, about you without your written consent. A CRA may not divulge medical information about you without your permission.
  • You can stop a CRA from including you on lists for unsolicited credit and insurance offers. Creditors and insurers may use file information as the basis for sending you unsolicited offers of credit or insurance. Such offers must include a toll-free number for you to call and tell the CRA if you want your name and address excluded from future lists or offers... If you notify the CRA through the toll-free number, it must keep you off the lists for two years. If you request and complete the CRA form provided for this purpose, you can have your name and address removed indefinitely.
  • You may seek damages from violators. You may sue a CRA or other party in state or federal court for violations of the FCRA- If you win, the defendant may have to pay damages and reimburse you for attorney fees. If you lose and the court specifically finds you sued in bad faith, you or your attorney may have to pay the defendant's fees.
  • You may have additional rights under state law... You may wish to contact a state or local consumer protection agency or a State attorney general to learn those rights. If you have questions or believe your file contains errors, call our toll-free number.
  • Our credit repair services help people repair their credit score or bad credit history with our bad credit repair kits. If you want to know how to repair your bad credit and ask yourself how to repair my bad credit, we can help