Credit Repair After The Holidays

Credit Repair After The Holidays

Credit Repair After Christmas The holidays are a wonderful time of the year filled with family time and joyful experiences.  They can also be a time when extended travel, purchasing gifts and other expenses can take a toll on debt loads and credit scores. Additionally, the holidays are also a notoriously popular time for credit card fraud, identity theft and other white collar crimes.  In this article we will cover some tips for how to stay within your limits this holiday season and also how to recover if you are a victim of a crime that impacts your credit score. Holiday Budgeting It can be easy to get carried away during the holiday season, maxing out credit cards and wearing savings thin to pay for extra travel expenses and to get the perfect gifts for your loved ones.  The following are some tips for keeping your financial standing upright leading into the New Year. Make a Budget – Set up a holiday financial plan that includes planned and unexpected expenses Be Frugal with Travel – Traveling during the holidays can be the most expensive time of the year.  Look for the best all inclusive deals or stay with relatives to keep costs down. Don’t Max Out Cards – Instead of maxing out one credit card use other options such as store lines of credit to level out the debt to income ratio   What to Do if Your Information Gets Stolen If you have your identity stolen or your credit card number used fraudulently during the holiday season, it can have a major impact on your credit score.  The first thing to do is close your credit cards and notify the bank of the situation.  The next thing you need to do is follow the steps for identity theft recovery.  Refer to our series of articles on Identity Theft for more help. After you have done this be sure to consult with credit repair specialist about restoring your score.  Reach out to an expert on our credit repair hotline when you are ready.  Call us...

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Secrets For Repairing Credit After Bankruptcy

Secrets For Repairing Credit After Bankruptcy

A Few Quick Tips for Rebuilding Credit Post BK Despite how overwhelming bankruptcy may be on your credit, there are a few lesser known secrets that can help you rebuild and quickly repair your credit score.  There is not an exact order in which these steps should be followed; however every single one of these actions will help improve your credit score.  Over time, with good borrowing and spending habits, it is possible to 100% recover from a bankruptcy filing regardless if it is chapter 7 or 13.   Open a Bank Account – Make Timely Payments This may seem very obvious; however you would be surprised how many individuals post-bankruptcy move to a “cash only” system.  While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this philosophy, if the goal is to rebuild credit, using cash only to make payments will not help the process. Regardless if it is a checking or savings account, opening a bank account and using it to pay bills will keep your payment history visible to creditors and lenders.  This is a good thing from a credit score standpoint.  Remember from What Makes Up a FICO Credit Score that payment history is the largest factor at 35% of the credit score.   Open Credit Cards (3 is Magic #) The ideal situation is to open credit cards right before or during bankruptcy because prior to the BK showing up on your credit report it will be easier to get approved for unsecured lines of credit.  However based on amount owed, this may not be possible.  Post-bankruptcy if you cannot get approved for any unsecured credit card, go with a secured credit card, a opposed to cash.  This is the type of card that requires you to deposit funds in an account to establish spending limits.  It may seem somewhat futile; however this goes a long way to helping show credit worthiness. Additionally it is better to have small balances on credit cards instead of having them maxed out or zero.  Also be careful when applying for multiple cards in a short period, as this will generate inquires which will actually negatively affect your credit. Become an Authorized User on a “Good Credit” Account This does not give you access to the funds on the account, however it does allow you to borrow the good credit of the account holder.  This is an easy one to do as long as you...

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A Quick Look at Credit Repair

A Quick Look at Credit Repair

Credit Repair – Legal For Every American Regardless if done independently or through a reputable company Credit Restoration also commonly referred to as Credit Repair is the process of removing incorrect or inaccurate items from an individual’s credit report. Credit repair can also encompass adding good credit items and building a positive credit profile. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) defines a “credit score” as the following… A numerical value or a categorization derived from a statistical tool or modeling system used by a person who makes or arranges a loan to predict the likelihood of certain credit behaviors, including default (and the numerical value or the categorization derived from such analysis may also be referred to as a ‘risk predictor’ or risk score.) The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) enacted in 1970 aimed at creating equality, precision and most importantly privacy of personal information. The concept was to curb the information reported to the credit bureaus by lenders, creditors and others. The FCRA affords the individual the ability to dispute items on his or her credit report. This is done on the basis of “completeness and accuracy” and includes all items that are inaccurate, untimely, misleading, biased, incomplete or unverifiable. If the credit bureaus cannot verify that the information is indeed correct, by law, those items must be removed. These unverifiable items on the credit report must be deleted within 30 days. This has been deemed as the investigation period or the “reasonable period of time” as designated by the law.   Credit Repair Basic Steps Obtain credit reports. Highlight items to dispute. Dispute items with credit bureaus. Repeat cycle as needed.   The concepts themselves are not that complicated; however, the legality and bureaucracy behind them are. Additionally, in today’s environment a certain degree of technology is helpful in expediting and making the process more efficient. Solid credit repair companies have state of the art technology and the understating of consumer laws to quickly and effectively dispute discrepant items on the consumer’s credit report. The best credit repair companies, and the only ones that we recommend, will not only help with step 3 (disputing), but will also guide the consumer through each step of the process. This includes helping consumers obtain free copies of their credit report.   What Service is Right For You? Depending on the credit repair service that is right for you,...

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5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Credit Score

5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Credit Score

A Proactive Approach Never Hurt Anyone: Improving Your Credit Score One Step At A Time A damaged credit score can affect a number of things in your everyday life. Aside from the emotional strain and stress that damaged credit provides, a poor credit score can affect anything from applying for loans, to potential job opportunities. Credit restoration takes more than just time; it requires effort on your part as well. It’s easy, we’ll show you how.   1. Order Your Credit Reports You can’t begin the process of credit restoration without having a good grasp on your own credit situation. This is an extremely important step. You must find out what the 3 main credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, have on file about you and what is being reported.  Chances are all 3 are going to vary, this is completely normal as creditors aren’t required to report to all 3 bureaus.   2. Carefully Examine Your Credit Reports We can’t stress this enough! Be extremely thorough in your examination. The majority of Americans have incorrect information reported on their credit reports. The credit bureaus are not required to verify the information the creditors send over to them. They generate your credit score/reports based solely on what they receive, regardless of the accuracy of the information. This leads us straight into our next step.   3. Credit Disputes and Resolution Credit errors hurt your credit score more than you may think. This is why creating a dispute is vital. You can do this all online as you’re investigating your credit report. If you prefer to have hard copies of your documents, mailing these disputes in is an option as well. It is important to clearly identify and document all the disputes being submitted. Make sure to print out and keep extensive records of EVERYTHING. Once submitted, a resolution may take up to 45 days to be completed. If you need assistance with this step, please call 888-586-7099   4. Get Caught up on All Open Accounts Devise a structured plan to bring all your open accounts current. Do this as fast as you can. If you’re struggling to make your monthly payments, call your creditors and let them know your situation. Communication is key during this time. The easy way is to just ignore it and hide under a rock, but if you show the creditors you’re actively trying...

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Identity Theft Statistics

Identity Theft Statistics

Identity theft is becoming one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States.  Arizona is the highest ranked state in identity theft at 142 victims per 100,000 people.  Arizona, California, Texas and Florida are always at the top due to having a large amount of people entering the country illegally needing new identities. With advent of advancing mobile technology and the internet, both fraud and identity theft have been on a steady rise for the last several decades.  In the year 2000 Fraud and ID theft crimes were 230,628 in the United States.  By 2009 this number had risen to 1,330,426.   Some Quick Identity Theft Stats: An identity theft victim will spend an average of 175 hours and $800 trying to clear up their record.  It can take months or even years to resolve it. The FTC claims that 9.91 million American’s are identity theft victims each year Losses total $52.6 billion Social Security numbers cost roughly $49 on the black market A driver’s license is roughly $90 Birth certificates are about $79 It is believed that in 2005, an identity was stolen every four seconds   Identity Theft Complaints by Age <19         =    7% 20-29    =    24% 30-39    =    22% 40-49    =    19% 50-59    =    15% 60-69    =    8% 70+         =    5%   Have you suffered from identity theft? Are there any criminal uses we missed? Please share your story or comments below.  Thanks – TDN  ...

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