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Credit Repair and Your Free Credit Report

Posted on: March 7th, 2010 by admin

If you want to start getting loans or starting fresh on your credit, there are a few tricks that can help you on the path to credit repair.  It’s important for you to strive for a good credit report if you currently have a negative credit report.  There are plenty of professional credit repair services out there, but there are ways for you to repair your credit by simply following these easy steps.

Your first step is to get your free annual credit report.  You can obtain this credit report from any of the three big credit bureaus, namely Equifax, Transunion, or Experian.  Every year you are entitled to a free credit report which will give you the necessary information of what and how to fix your bad credit.

The second step to credit repair is to examine your credit report and looking for any errors that may show up on your report.  Lookout for any outdated information, any typos, as well as any inaccurate information about you.  Make a list of all the outdated information and send out a dispute to the credit report bureau.  If the information on the credit report is true, and you truly have a negative report, then it’s just a matter of changing your bad spending and paying habits by simply paying for your bills on time.
When disputing errors, you will be required to fill out a dispute form which is provided to you with your free credit report.  You may also simply write a letter to the credit bureau about the errors you found.  Make sure you clearly identify where the errors are located and why these errors need to be fixed.  To maintain that the information currently on the report is wrong, photocopy documents that prove otherwise.  Always retain copies of the letters, completed forms, and other documents that are sent for your own records.  Sometimes you might need to go directly to the creditors to fix some problems.

Your next step to credit repair is negotiating debt repayment.  Request for your bill due dates to be more favorable to when you will be having your money each month.  You might try to negotiate with creditors to be able to keep your current accounts but without them being recorded as being delinquent or having bad credit.  It is also possible to negotiate a pay-off settlement which reduces your bills when it comes time to collecting.  Demand that any negative comments on the account be removed from the credit report and have them reported as being paid in full.  Have all your negotiations in written agreement before you issue a payment.

It’s important for you to gradually close credit accounts so that you have only between 2-4 credit cards left.  Close out your newer credit card accounts first so that you don’t lose your longer credit history.  Make sure your accounts are closed and reported as “closed by consumer”.  Try to only offer yourself modest credit limits so that you don’t go overboard.  Finally, steer clear of revolving balances and keep your revolving debt to 50% of your total.

Idenity Theft – Credit Report

Posted on: March 2nd, 2010 by admin

Identity theft has become a growing problem with the advent of online shopping and the internet.  It is the fastest growing crime in America today.  One big myth people fail to know is that identity theft can affect more than just your credit.  There are several other types of identity theft that don’t necessarily affect your credit.
One type is character identity theft.  This is when someone impersonates you and commits a crime under your name.  In doing so, the impersonator could accumulate warrants issued in your name, arrests, and even time spent in jail.  Background checks on you from potential employers could affect your ability to acquire a new job.  Once crimes are associated with your name it can never come off.  All it takes is for someone to steal your wallet and then commit crimes.  They might even make large purchases under your name.

Another type of identity theft is when your Social Security Number (SSN) is stolen.  If someone stole your SSN, they could potentially acquire a job under your name.  In doing so, you would have to pay for the income tax based on the earnings of the imposter.  The IRS will ask you to pay even though you never earned the extra income.  Failing to pay your taxes could result in a poor credit score.

If you are earning benefits from the government like unemployment benefits, these benefits could be lost because someone may be earning a salary under your name.
Medical identity theft is when someone obtains medical insurance under your name or even worse, uses your current medical insurance policy to aid them with treatments or prescriptions.  Failure to notice these problems could lead to you being denied health coverage because of falsifying information in your medical record.
It is also possible to be a victim of identity theft when your driver’s license is stolen.  Traffic fines will be placed in your name, as well as warrants and your failure to appear in court.

Finally there is credit identity theft.  Someone may use your information to obtain loans, credit cards, goods, and services.  Doing so would accumulate a huge debt under your name, which would prevent you from getting loans for yourself.  Your credit score would be ruined.

Be sure to protect your identity by reporting to your credit card companies that your wallet has been stolen.  If your SSN was left in your wallet, make sure you report to the government that your SSN was stolen.  An identity thief with someone’s SSN could do a lot of damage to their name.  Make sure you shred any unwanted mail and never carry your SSN card with you.  Checking your free annual credit report can let you know if anyone has been applying for new credit cards under your name.

Equifax Free Annual Credit Report

Posted on: February 27th, 2010 by admin

Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, actually has a somewhat flexible range of possible credit scores, making it easier for you to get loans down the line.  If your score is below 620, you should know that your credit score is already in a very poor situation.  Having such a score on your Equifax credit report will cause you to pay significantly higher rates and fees to obtain loans.  Just remember, Equifax is required to offer you a free credit report every 12-month period.  Every CRA should follow these same rules as well.  Equifax is required to provide you the report within 15 days of requesting it.

One thing to remember is that inquiring about your credit score will never affect your credit score.  As long as it’s you who is inquiring about your own credit score, there shouldn’t be a problem.  35% of your payment history affects the score on your Equifax credit report, so making your payments on time is crucial for your Equifax credit score to be good.

If you are in the 800 range, you are given a reason code just like how consumers in the 500 range get reason codes.  They are used to describe to the consumer the reason for adverse action.  Equifax helps lenders determine your ability to pay your bills on time.  Lenders have studied the relationship between credit scores and mortgage delinquencies.  Those who have had to claim bankruptcy in the past are usually given a higher interest rate when asking for a loan from the bank.

Being able to maintain a good credit can lead to being offered Platinum credit cards with high spending limits.  Lenders understand that occasionally people will make late payments.  Their business runs off the idea that you will fail to make your payment, so that you will end up paying more in the long run.  Having multiple late payments on different credit cards can cause a problem for you.  Being aware of your payment dates and paying on time will help you overcome these obstacles.
Founded in 1899 as Retail Credit Company, Equifax quickly grew becoming one of the nation’s largest credit bureaus.  Equifax was alleged to have rewarded its employees for collecting negative information on its consumers.  This all changed when they began to electronically file all of their consumer’s information, setting a standard to which all of content of their consumers’ information was acquired.

Being aware of what lenders are seeing about you is important if you truly need a loan or need to apply for a credit card.  Requesting your free credit report from companies like Equifax will give you the ability to foresee whether or not you will get a loan, or low interest rates.

Transunion Free Credit Report

Posted on: February 24th, 2010 by admin

Transunion, one of the three main credit bureaus, sell their credit reports to lenders who are seeking to do business with you.  If your credit report with Transunion shows that you are bad at paying back lenders late, lenders who request your credit report will be cautious of whether or not they are going to lend money to you.  They fear you will never pay them back their money so they will increase your interest rates, giving you a higher punishment for not making your payments on time.

If your Transunion credit report is looking bad, there are a couple of ways to improve your Transunion rating.  One important way is to analyze your credit report and have any old negatives deleted or corrected on the statement.  The alternative way is to begin rebuilding a payment history with a creditor on a credit card account or something with revolving credit.

It’s important for you to really closely peruse your credit report for anything that needs to be deleted.  According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, “expired” accounts can be deleted from your report.  It is your right to have these expired accounts deleted from your free annual credit report.  Transunion will not delete these accounts from your report unless you write to them about it.  Make it your responsibility to take care of any discrepancies on your free credit report.

To begin rebuilding a credit history can be a tough task.  The biggest hurdle is being able to qualify for a new credit card or loan in the first place.  In order to pass this hurdle, you need to get a hold of a secure credit card which does not go by your current bad credit rating.  Once the lenders see your poor credit rating, they will deny you a chance to redeem yourself.

Instead of asking for your credit score, the lender will ask for a deposit and will only lend you the amount you have already deposited.  It is only then will the lender approve for your new fresh credit card account.

Another loophole you can take into consideration is to ask a relative to allow you to be added to their revolving credit card accounts.  This relative must have the same last name as you when you are added.  Obviously you would want to attach your name to a relative’s credit card that has a good payment history to begin with.

Try to request creditors to report positive account information, as well as monthly payment history to Transunion, so that it can demonstrate stability in your credit file.  Taking out secured credit cards will also help you build a solid credit history.  Be careful though, having too many inquiries to your credit report may lower your score.
Depending on your current credit rating, it could take anywhere from three weeks to three months for you to even see a lift in your Transunion credit report.  Be sure to take advantage of the free credit report offered to you by Transunion every year so you can stay on top of how your credit score is doing.

Experian Credit Report

Posted on: February 21st, 2010 by admin

With so many people making purchases online these days, the ability for a hacker to steal your identity is easier than ever.  Credit cards registered under your name without you ever knowing can cost you big when it appears on your credit report.  Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, is leading the way in reporting accurately how well your credit score is doing.  If you have a current Experian report, simply log in to the member center and dispute any purchasing that was never done by you.  If you haven’t already requested a free annual credit report from Experian, simply give them a call, order one online, or write a request for one.

One thing many people don’t know is that if you are constantly changing employment and have an unstable history of residence, it can cause you to drop your credit score.  A drop in your credit score can affect you with even the simple decision of renting a vehicle.  Getting a free annual credit report from Experian will prove to be helpful when seeing if your change of residence has affected your credit score.

Experian is merely an accumulator of information about your credit score and presents it to you fairly and accurately.  It is ultimately your responsibility to take advantage of the annual free credit reports that are offered by bureaus like Experian.  If there is a discrepancy or problem with your credit score, especially when you know it’s not your fault, it is your duty to point these problems out and get them fixed.

In your credit report you will find information about your consumer history, bankruptcy information, money and loan information about you, and finally credit information.  You will know when your new credit card accounts were opened, balances in these accounts, and even collection activity.  When looking at this information, be sure to look out for any fraudulent information that you know cannot be attributed to you.

What’s great about an Experian credit report is that it will give you an excellent snapshot of your credit health.  Important information like your payment history, the number and age you began your credit lines, how long you have had a credit history, the types of accounts you currently have, the total credit available to you and how much you’ve used, and the number of inquiries on your report might all be information important for you to know to prevent identity theft or to improve your timeliness of your payments.

Fico Score 2010

Posted on: February 18th, 2010 by admin

Come late January or early February 2009, a new credit score will replace the old FICO credit score.  Its new name, the FICO 08, will continue to range from 300 to 850 as did the current (classic) FICO score.  There are currently two main types of credit scores, one being the FICO score and the other is the Vantage credit score.  In 2006, the three credit bureaus were sued because of unfair and uncompetitive practices that had harmed the FICO brand because of its use of the Vantage score.

Transunion will be using the new FICO 08 come January 2009.  Equifax will also use the new FICO 08 coming in the spring of 2009.  The last of the three big bureaus, Experian, will be waiting to use the new FICO 08 until the lawsuit is resolved.

The new FICO score was created with the intention of meeting the demand by consumers, especially since there has been increasing defaults on mortgage payments and late payments to creditors.  The new and improved FICO score will provide for the consumer a better way of analyzing their risk.  Used mostly by lenders to grant credit and to set interest rates, the FICO scores are also used by insurance underwriters to factor in their credit decisions.  Creditors are always analyzing whether or not the borrower will be a bad risk to their investment.  The new FICO scores will paint a better picture of the borrower’s credit history and will be a better predictor of whether or not the borrower will be a financial problem.

In some cases the FICO scores are used by employers to evaluate prospective employees.  The new FICO scores may see a slight increase compared to the old FICO scores.  Regardless of this slight change, many with poor credit history will inevitably see their credit scores decrease as they fail to pay their bills on time.

The new FICO scores will be less harmful to those who have had a single serious credit incident, such as a charge-off or repossession, as long as their other active credit accounts are in good standing.  Consumers with several delinquent accounts will surely experience a drop in their FICO score.  As long as you have a moderate amount of credit inquiries on your credit reports, you should generally be fine.

Come late January or early February 2009, a new credit score will replace the old FICO credit score. Its new name, the FICO 08, will continue to range from 300 to 850 as did the current (classic) FICO score. There are currently two main types of credit scores, one being the FICO score and the other is the Vantage credit score. In 2006, the three credit bureaus were sued because of unfair and uncompetitive practices that had harmed the FICO brand because of its use of the Vantage score.

Transunion will be using the new FICO 08 come January 2009. Equifax will also use the new FICO 08 coming in the spring of 2009. The last of the three big bureaus, Experian, will be waiting to use the new FICO 08 until the lawsuit is resolved.

The new FICO score was created with the intention of meeting the demand by consumers, especially since there has been increasing defaults on mortgage payments and late payments to creditors. The new and improved FICO score will provide for the consumer a better way of analyzing their risk. Used mostly by lenders to grant credit and to set interest rates, the FICO scores are also used by insurance underwriters to factor in their credit decisions. Creditors are always analyzing whether or not the borrower will be a bad risk to their investment. The new FICO scores will paint a better picture of the borrower’s credit history and will be a better predictor of whether or not the borrower will be a financial problem.

In some cases the FICO scores are used by employers to evaluate prospective employees. The new FICO scores may see a slight increase compared to the old FICO scores. Regardless of this slight change, many with poor credit history will inevitably see their credit scores decrease as they fail to pay their bills on time.

The new FICO scores will be less harmful to those who have had a single serious credit incident, such as a charge-off or repossession, as long as their other active credit accounts are in good standing. Consumers with several delinquent accounts will surely experience a drop in their FICO score. As long as you have a moderate amount of credit inquiries on your credit reports, you should generally be fine.

How do I get my free annual credit report?

Posted on: February 15th, 2010 by admin
reginia asked:

I’ve heard that you can get a free annual credit report online. Is that true? and if so, which companies provide these free credit reports online?

Free Annual Credit Report

Posted on: February 15th, 2010 by admin

If you have not already known, the FTC mandates that the 3 biggest credit bureaus (Experian, Transunion, Equifax) provide you a free credit report every year.  This credit report will report to you the history of your credit throughout the course of the given year.

Each of the three bureaus reports your credit differently with their given credit score.  You are rated based on your ability to pay your bills on time.  Whether or not you pay your bills on time or if your payment is delayed, your performance will be reflected upon your credit score.  The credit reports take into consideration not only your credit card purchases, but expenses such as your electric bill, water bill, telephone bill, and gas bills.  Other expenses you are rated on are your loans, mortgages and other bills.  Your failure to pay these bills on time will cause your credit score to go down, and ultimately making it harder for you to secure a loan in the future.

When applying for loans, the banks use your credit report to make a reasonable judgment on whether or not they should loan you money.  If your score is poor, the banks will have a bigger reason to provide you with a loan, but with a high interest rate.  Knowing you will most likely have trouble making your payments on time gives the banks the ability to take advantage of your poor spending habits.

The free annual credit report is a great way for you to take notice of identity theft as well.  If you know you are a responsible person and have made all of your credit transactions on time, then you know there shouldn’t be any problems with your free annual credit report.  Looking at a poor credit score would be warning signs that quite possibly you have been a victim of identity theft or maybe you have forgotten to make certain payments on one of your loans.

Without a free annual credit report, you would never know if you were failing to make your payments on time.  Failure to take notice of your credit report can truly cost you a lot of money down the line because of the high interest rates and late fees.  With excellent self-discipline and a little knowledge you will never have to worry about your credit score as long as you take advantage of your free annual credit report from the three big credit bureaus.

Get Your No Credit Card Credit Report

Posted on: March 20th, 2009 by admin

Do you want a credit report, but you are worried about putting down your credit card?  Maybe you don’t have a credit card to put down, or you simply do not like the idea of giving your credit card over the internet.  If you are worried about getting a credit report without a credit card, it is important to understand you can get a no credit card credit report.  With this option, you will gain access to your credit file without having to worry about supplying a credit card.  For many people, this is the best option.  They are able to get their credit report without having to put forth a credit card, which makes it much more accessible.

First, a no credit card credit report is completely free when you go to the right company.  When you go to www.annualcreditreport.com, you do not have to pay anything for your credit report and you do not have to supply a credit card.  You will be able to get your credit report by simply supply a small amount of personal information.  With that personal information, the credit agencies will be able to identify you and they will then give you immediate access to your credit report.  You can download the report and have access to it for a full thirty days.  You can do this one time a year.

A no credit card credit report does not have any strings attached.  Some credit reports require a credit card to gain access because they make you sign up for credit monitoring services, as well as other services.  You will be charged for the services on your credit card.  How you are charged varies.  You might be charged upfront, or you might be charged after a period of time.   The fee you are charged will vary depending on the company and the services they provide.  In many cases, people do not even realize they are getting charged until it is too late.  They end up with a fee on their credit card, and then they are left with a service they did not even use.  By the time they cancel the service, they have already paid for it.  Suddenly, the free credit report they obtained is no longer free.  This can be avoided by getting a no credit card credit report.

A no credit card credit report is the best way to obtain a free credit report.  There are not any hidden fees with such a report, so one can obtain it safely.  They do not have to worry about paying down the road for their credit report, and they also do not have to concern themselves with using their credit card.  They can get the credit report without any worries or hassles.  This is a service that is granted by the federal government and it should be utilized.  While there are many places to get a credit report, one needs to be mindful of how to get a no credit card credit report for free. 

Reduce the Impact of Identity Theft

Posted on: March 13th, 2009 by admin

Have you thought about identity theft?  You have certainly heard a great deal about it.  You have likely read about people who have been victims, and you have also heard the importance of protecting your social security number and other information. The problem is, as criminals become smarter, it has become more difficult than ever to protect against identity theft.  However, there are measures you can take in order to lessen the impact of identity theft.  When you lessen the impact, you can control the damage that identity theft will cause.  You want to protect your credit, and reducing the impact of identity theft is one way to do that.

First, you want to make sure you keep good records.  Good records are a great way to fight against identity theft.  It is much harder to steal the identity of someone who is organized than someone that is disorganized.  When you keep good records, you are more likely to become aware of the fact that someone has stolen your identity.  You can then fight against the identity theft and protect your credit.  You need to keep records of every credit card you have, along with the purchases you have made.  This will make it much easier to prove your case if something were to happen.

Next, you need to go to www.annualcreditreport.com and order your free credit reports from the three major credit reporting bureaus.  By ordering the three free credit reports, you will be able to see if there has been any activity on your credit that you did not know about.  For example, you can see if there were cards opened up in your name that you did not apply for.  If there are, that is a red flag that you have been a victim of identity theft.  At that point, you can start to take measures to protect your identity.  If you feel you have been a victim of identity theft, you can place a fraud alert on your credit file.  When you do this, you will only have to place the fraud alert with one of the credit bureaus.  They will then notify the other agencies.  The fraud alert will make it more difficult to obtain credit.  Credit will not be able to be obtained quickly. Instead, the information will need to be verified. While it might take longer to get credit, that is in order to protect you from identity theft.  The credit bureaus will ensure that you are the only person who is obtaining credit on your credit file.

Identity theft is a serious crime, and you must make sure you protect yourself.  In some cases, identity theft cannot be prevented, but it can be detected quickly.  Once it is detected, the authorities can be alerted and you can get the negative information wiped clean from your file.  However, it is important to detect the fraudulent activity quickly in order to get the item removed from your file.  In order to protect yourself from identity theft, you must know what is going on in your credit file.

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