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How to Improve Your Credit Scores in 2019

2019 plans
If you found 2018 a difficult year for getting approved for credit cards, auto loans, or mortgages, or aren’t getting the best financing terms and rates, then you may want to work on improving your credit scores and make sure that 2019 is a much more prosperous year.

Improving your credit scores can be time-consuming and complicated but, we have a few tips and tricks to simplify and speed up the process for you on your road toward better credit scores.

A bad credit score can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime and keep you from buying the house or car that you deserve. That is why the process of improving your credit is especially important and worth the investment.

Lots of consumers struggle to increase their credit scores but, with a little knowledge, your credit journey can lead you toward the achievement of your credit goals, allowing you to enjoy everything that comes with having good credit.

 

1. Pay Your Bills On-Time

This goes without saying but, we’ll say it anyway. New late payments and derogatory information in your credit reports will derail your chances at a better credit score.

It’s important to pay your bills on time, every month, and put together a perfect payment history from this day forward. Payment history accounts for approximately 35% of your credit score so, make a commitment to paying all of your bills on time in 2019.

Put together a bill schedule which includes all of your monthly bills to keep yourself on track or set up auto pay or reminders in your calendar.

Do whatever you have to do in order to make sure that you don’t miss even one payment in 2019 and have a perfect payment history going forward.

 

2. Pay Down Your Credit Cards

Approximately 30% of your credit score is aggregated from your active credit utilization. Basically, it’s the percentage of credit that you are using in relation to your total available credit.

If you consider that the average FICO Score ranges from 300 to 850, that means that your credit utilization accounts for approximately 165 points.

Now, if you do a little research, you will find that most companies typically tell consumers to keep their credit utilization below 30%. This means that if the credit limit on your credit card is $1,000 – your balance should be $300 or less. Having said that, FICO doesn’t actually disclose the proper utilization percentage for consumers. They basically only give 2 guidelines; keep your credit card balances as low as possible and don’t carry $0 balances to get the most out of your credit scores.

FICO releases data on what they call “FICO Score High Achievers” every year, these are consumers with FICO Scores of 780 or higher. For 2017, the average credit utilization for a FICO Score High Achiever was 5.8%. ($58 balance for every $1,000 credit limit).

Ultimately, if you can pay your credit cards down to a 30% utilization – great! If you can get it down to 20% – even better! 10% utilization – better yet!

But, work on paying down your credit cards and your credit scores will increase.

 

3. Establish Credit

If you don’t have any active or open credit – you’re missing a huge opportunity to increase your credit scores. Revolving credit (credit cards) is a very important factor in the calculation of your credit scores.

Having an active credit card that you pay on time every month impacts your payment history (35% of your credit score), your credit utilization (30% of your credit score), and your length of credit history (15% of your credit score).

If you’ve had credit issues in the past, a new credit card will help to show future lenders that you have turned over a new leaf and started managing your credit more responsibly. Just pay your card on time, keep a low credit utilization, and don’t close the account, and your credit scores will go up.

If your credit score isn’t high enough to help you qualify for a regular (unsecured) credit card, try applying for a secured credit card.

 

4. Build a Long Length of Credit History

Your length of credit history, in particular, the average age of your open accounts, represents approximately 15% of your overall credit score. Ideally, you want to keep your accounts open for as long as possible and establish a long length of credit.

Constantly opening and closing accounts might seem like a good idea if you keep getting better terms like lower interest rates and higher credit limits but, this process will actually shorten your length of credit history and end up lowering your credit scores.

If your length of credit history is short and the average age of your open accounts is less than 5 years, there’s not much that you can do to increase it quickly. You could have a friend or relative add you as an Authorized User to an old active account with a long credit history but, other than that, the best thing that you can do is establish your credit, keep your oldest accounts open, and refrain from opening up too many new accounts.

 

5. Limit Your Inquiries

Inquiries are a record of your applications for credit and account for approximately 10% of your credit scores. Too many applications within a short period of time will decrease your credit scores.

Limit yourself to no more than 1 inquiry every 6 months to get your scores as high as possible.

If you have too many inquiries reporting on your credit reports right now, you can either wait for them to fall off your reports themselves (inquiries report for 2 years) or work on removing them from your credit reports earlier.

Inquiries fall under the permissible purpose section of the FCRA which state that every creditor reporting an inquiry on your credit report needs to have a permissible purpose (proper authorization) for the inquiry.

You can request that all of the creditors reporting inquiries provide proof of permissible purpose or hire a company like CreditFirm.net to do so on your behalf. If the credit furnisher has the proper authorization, the inquiry will stay, if they can’t verify permissible purpose, the inquiry will be deleted.

 

6. Make Sure Your Credit Reports Are Accurate

According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), 79% of credit reports contain errors and 21% or credit reports contain errors significant enough to have a substantial impact on a consumer’s credit score.

This is why it is so important that you check your credit reports from all 3 credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) at least once a year.

You can access your credit reports for FREE from annualcreditreport.com or via credit monitoring sites like Credit Karma.

Once you have your credit reports, go through them, account by account, to make sure that everything in your credit reports is 100% accurate.

Make sure that you keep an eye out for any addresses, phone numbers, accounts, or inquiries that you do not recognize – they may be a sign of a merged credit file or identity theft.

If you find any suspicious information in your credit reports make sure that you address those issues and work on removing them from your credit or hire a professional credit repair service to handle the removal of the inaccurate information on your behalf.

 

7. Work On Removing Negative Info From Your Reports

If you have any derogatory information reporting in your credit reports such as late payments, collections, charge-offs, repossessions, etc… you will want to work on removing them from your credit reports by leveraging consumer protection laws such as the FCRA, FCBA, FDCPA, etc….

Investigate and challenge the derogatory information with the credit bureaus, validate any debt reporting in collection, complete method of verification requests for any information verified by the credit bureaus, contact each creditor reporting the negative info directly and request goodwill removals of the derogatory info, conduct permissible purpose verification on the inquiries as stated above. Use every tool alotted to you by consumer protection laws and remove as much derogatory information as you can.

You can perform all of this work yourself but, make sure that you understand that the process takes time and can be quite time-consuming. You have to be organized, diligent, and stay on top of everything.

You can also choose to hire a professional credit repair service like CreditFirm.net to handle all of the work on your behalf, to work on removing the derogatory information and advise you on the best way to manage your credit to get the most out of your credit scores.

NOTE: If your credit score is holding you back from achieving your dreams, CreditFirm.net is here to help improve your scores and achieve your personal and financial goals.

 

Why Choose CreditFirm.net?

Assurance. Our Credit Repair process was developed by experienced attorneys.

Speed. Documents are typically processed and sent out for investigation within 3-5 days.

Support. Award winning customer service guarantees your satisfaction.

CreditFirm.net Review

Monday Mailbag 01/14/2019

January 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Blogs, Credit Repair, Monday Mailbag

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Question:
How do I know that you guys are being as aggressive as you should because you’re a business and I don’t want to keep paying you forever?

Answer:
We try to remove derogatory information for our clients and help them increase their credit scores as quickly as possible. We would much have you complete the program quicker and refer your friends and family to us than milk you for an extra 1 or 2 months.

In fact, we’re one of the few credit repair companies that initiate investigations with the credit bureaus and credit furnishers simultaneously, instead of one at a time – like most other companies.

For example, we process debt validation with collection agencies while the credit bureaus are working on their disputes which allows our clients to complete our program faster. Our rounds are 30-45 days instead of 60 days some other companies.

Finally, there’s a lot of false information on the internet about aggressiveness and credit repair, which has been perpetuated in no small part by credit repair companies. Consumers are lead to believe that accounts can be deleted based on the aggressiveness of the investigations, this is false.

A credit bureau will not delete an account from your report if our attorneys send them an aggressive angry letter threatening a lawsuit, a credit bureau will remove derogatory information if the information was found to be inaccurate, incomplete, unverifiable, biased, or not compliant with the law.

An account will not be deleted based on aggressiveness but, will be deleted based on an incorrect method of verification, or debt validation, or permissible purpose verification, etc….

And that’s what we do, we have a process where one investigation leads into the next and we escalate the investigations accordingly to try to catch the credit furnisher or credit bureaus out of compliance and get the accounts deleted.

Ultimately, we’ll do everything possible to get you in and out of this process as quickly as we can.

Are you ready to get started on your journey toward a better credit score?

 

Why Choose CreditFirm.net?

Assurance. Our Credit Repair process was developed by experienced attorneys.

Speed. Documents are typically processed and sent out for investigation within 3-5 days.

Support. Award-winning customer service guarantees your satisfaction.

CreditFirm.net Review

Monday Mailbag 12/17/2018

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Question:
What can the credit card companies do if I stop making payments?

Answer:
1. After 6 months on non-payment your credit card debt will be charged off by the credit card company.

2. The credit card company will report the charged-off status to your credit report – lowering your credit scores and making it significantly more difficult for you to obtain credit in the future.

3. The credit card company will likely either send the delinquent debt to a collection servicing company or, if enough time has passed without the creditor being able to recover the debt – they may sell the debt to a collection agency altogether.

4. The collection agency will now report the past due debt on your credit report. At this point, you will likely have the original creditor (credit card company) reporting a charged-off account (with a $0 balance) and a collection agency reporting the account in collection (with the full balance + fees and interest). Your credit scores drop even lower. Although some people consider this illegal, as long as the original creditor is not reporting a balance, it is 100% legal for 2 credit furnishers to report 2 separate accounts for the same debt.

5. After multiple letters, notifications, calls and voicemails and some time of not being able to collect on the debt, the owner of the debt may decide to file a civil suit against you in court. Whether it’s the original creditor or the collection agency, the owner of the debt may be able to get a court judgment against you. This court judgment may report in the public records section of your credit report – dropping your scores even lower.

6. With a court judgment in hand, eventually, the owner of the debt may decide to take matters into their own hands and stop asking for their money and just start taking it. With a judgment in place, the owner of the debt can go back to court and get a wage garnishment order. This will allow them to withhold a percentage of your wages as well as gain access to money you have in your personal checking or savings accounts.

Ultimately, it’s always better to pay your bills on time but, sometimes unforeseen circumstances happen and if you have any questions about unpaid, past due, or charged-off credit cards – our credit consultants are here 24/7 to help.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at any time.

Are you ready to get started on your journey toward a better credit score?

 

Why Choose CreditFirm.net?

Assurance. Our Credit Repair process was developed by experienced attorneys.

Speed. Documents are typically processed and sent out for investigation within 3-5 days.

Support. Award-winning customer service guarantees your satisfaction.

CreditFirm.net Review

Monday Mailbag 10/29/2018

October 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Blogs, Monday Mailbag

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Question:
I’m thinking of buying a DIY credit repair course from ##########. Have you ever heard of them? Is it a good deal? Should I do it?

Answer:
I have never heard of this company but, it seems like they are selling a do it yourself (DIY) kit which only includes letter templates to send to the credit reporting agencies. Disputing is a great way of getting derogatory information removed from your credit reports but, you’ll want to make sure that you do much more than dispute with the credit bureaus. The FTC did a study about 12 or 13 years ago which found that on average 1 out of every 5 disputed accounts resulted in a deletion, they then followed up the study 10 years later and found that the number changed from 1 out of 5 disputes resulting in a deletion to 1 out of 25 accounts resulting in a deletion. So basically, the deletion rate went from 20% to 4% in 10 years. This is mainly due to the credit reporting agencies automating the dispute resolution process. The reason I’m mentioning this is that nowadays if you want to increase the effectiveness of your credit repair, it is important to do more than dispute the negative information. It’s important to do Method of Verification follow-ups, Debt Validation, GoodWill intervention, Permissible Purpose Verification, etc… in order to get more removals. Just make sure that the information that you’re purchasing from that site includes more than dispute templates, which you can find online for free. Make sure that the information that you are purchasing includes all of the techniques I mentioned, and more so that you can get the most out of your credit repair.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at any time.

Are you ready to get started on your journey toward a better credit score?

 

Why Choose CreditFirm.net?

Assurance. Our Credit Repair process was developed by experienced attorneys.

Speed. Documents are typically processed and sent out for investigation within 3-5 days.

Support. Award-winning customer service guarantees your satisfaction.

CreditFirm.net Review

Monday Mailbag 10/22/2018

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Question:
Would it hurt my credit score to close 2 cards and open a new credit card with better points?

Answer:
Short answer, YES. 15% of your credit scores are calculated from something called “Length of Credit History” in which the average age of your open accounts factors tremendously. By closing your oldest accounts and opening a new card you are severely shortening the average age of your open accounts and this will adversely impact your credit scores.

For example, let’s say that your 2 open accounts are a 4-year-old credit card and a 6-year-old credit card. That would come out to an average length of credit history of 5 years. If you close your 2 active credit cards and open a new account your average length of credit drops from 5 years (60 months) to 1 month (as soon as your new card reports). This new shortened length of credit will significantly drop your scores.

Instead, feel free to apply for the new credit card (with points) but, keep your other accounts open and active. This will preserve your credit scores and ensure that you don’t endure a significant drop in your credit scores.

– – –

Question:
Why does Discover give me a different FICO score than Credit Karma?

Answer:
Discover most likely uses the FICO 08 BankCard Score while Credit Karma uses a VantageScore v3.0 scoring model. The reason for the difference in your credit scores is due to the fact that these 2 different credit scoring models calculate the scores differently, even if based on the same data from the same credit report.

– – –

Question:
What does “AMEX/DSNB” mean on a credit report?

Answer:
AMEX = American Express
DSNB = Department Stores National Bank
Basically, this is an American Express credit card which was issued by Department Stores National Bank. DSNB also issues cards for Macys and Bloomingdales.

Are you ready to get started on your journey toward a better credit score?

 

Why Choose CreditFirm.net?

Assurance. Our Credit Repair process was developed by experienced attorneys.

Speed. Documents are typically processed and sent out for investigation within 3-5 days.

Support. Award-winning customer service guarantees your satisfaction.

CreditFirm.net Review

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