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Monday Mailbag 9/24/2018

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Q: Should I use your services or file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

A: Whether a Bankruptcy is right for you really depends on your goals. A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will wipe out all of your debt and the creditors reporting charge-offs/collections will then have to report $0 balances and a status of included in bankruptcy. Those accounts would report for a period of 7 years on your credit reports from the date that the Bankruptcy was filed and the Bankruptcy itself, would report for up to 10 years in the Public Records section.

Typically, lenders make you wait at least 1 year to finance a vehicle and 2 years to get a mortgage after a Bankruptcy. There’s a lot more to a Bankruptcy, some people don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 and have to file Chapter 13 which is a repayment plan which can sometimes take upwards of 5 years to complete. If you’re interested in learning more about bankruptcies I would encourage you to contact a local bankruptcy attorney who can help answer your questions.

Q: Can you delete a Bankruptcy from my credit?

A: Whether Discharged, Dismissed or Withdrawn, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can report on your credit file for a period of up to 7 years from the date that the bankruptcy was filed and up to 10 years for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Having said all of that, we have had great success in removing public record information, such as bankruptcies, from our client’s credit reports significantly faster than the original date that they were scheduled to fall off.

Whether you use our services or not, there is a very important point that I want to make, make sure that all of the accounts discharged in the bankruptcy are reporting a $0 balance, a status of “included in bankruptcy”, and have deleted their payment history (not reporting any late payments).

In most cases, some creditors may not update this information and continue to report their accounts as past due, charged off, in collection, with balances, late payments, etc… The difference between all accounts reporting included in the bankruptcy and just one account reporting something like a charge-off can be the difference between a 650 score and a 550 score. It’s also the difference between being able to get approved for a credit card right after the bankruptcy and not being able to qualify for anything. Make sure that everything is reporting correctly so that you can start to reestablish your credit.

Q: Do you guys pay off my creditors or settle my debt?

A: We don’t do any debt settlement but, settling your accounts isn’t rather difficult. You can simply call up the collection agency and tell them that you would like to settle the debt.

They will make you an offer, you then counter their offer with a lower amount – and you usually meet somewhere in the middle. Most collection agencies have a bottom where they can’t settle lower than a specific amount per their original creditor’s instructions.

For Example: If they offer $500, counter their offer with $100. They will say that they can’t go that low but, they can set up a payment plan. Ask them if they will take $200 to settle the whole thing, they will reply back with another offer. Go back and forth until they can’t move below a number and offer you their best deal, 1-time payment or payment plan.

Once you agree on an amount, request that they fax, email, or mail you the terms to which you have agreed that state the amount that you are going to pay them to settle the account in full. Once you have that document in writing you can make payment arrangements with them.

Are you ready to get started with your journey to 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 9/17/2018

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Q: I have a bankruptcy 7 that still shows up due to the date filled by the court, also my Identity has been stolen 3 times so not sure if that’s is part of the problem. My understanding any bankruptcy 7 that is investigated or reopen will cause whatever payment to be claimed and collected. It’s with my new name that this old bankruptcy case still shows up. I applied for an apartment and the credit check they did showed the Bankruptcy. I have talked to the social security office,  federal judge and also the I.R.S to prove who I am thus that the reason for my name change which I only have for 3 or 4 years.

A: Identity theft is a major issue but, initiating a fraud alert with the credit bureaus may be your best option to stop it from happening again. Basically, once initiated, no one will be able to access your credit or open any new accounts without your verbal authorization on the phone.

To take care of the previous identity theft issues you will need to get a police report and file an ID theft affidavit with the FTC, file a claim with the CFPB, as well as contact the credit bureaus.

You can do all of these things yourself or hire a company like ours to do these things on your behalf.

Regarding the chapter 7 Bankruptcy, if the condo account was included in the bankruptcy paperwork and discharged, the account should not report any balance, not report a payment history, and report a status of included in Bankruptcy.

If the credit bureaus are reporting something else, your bankruptcy documents which state that the account was in fact included in the Bankruptcy should do the trick to updating the trade-line.

Investigating a Bankruptcy or account included in Bankruptcy will not reopen it. If the account was discharged in the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and not reaffirmed, the debt is not collectible and should report as stated above.

Finally, the credit reporting agencies use 4 identifying data points to verify whether an account belongs to you or not. These are; name, address, date of birth and social security number. Even if you changed your name, if any 2 of the data points in the Bankruptcy public record match your information, the entire account will report to your credit report.

Changing your name does not create a new credit file, the credit reporting agencies just add the new name as an alias in your credit report. Changing your name does NOT protect you from identity theft, you need to initiate a fraud alert to protect yourself.

Q: Is it easier to sign up online or call a Rep and get set up? & will I get information to follow how everything is going and what is being worked on?

A: Either option is pretty easy. Signing up online is probably a little faster, it takes about a minute to complete the enrollment form as opposed to calling and giving the same information to a credit consultant over the phone.

As far as tracking progress, once we process your file and start contacting the credit bureaus we will email you the username and password to our website so you can log in and keep track of your case in our client portal.

You’ll be able to see all of the work being done on your case, when the letters were mailed out, who they were mailed out to, when to expect the responses/results back, what accounts have been deleted, and what is still remaining on your credit reports.

Are you ready to get started with your journey to 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 9/10/2018

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Q: Hello, I just had a few questions regarding your credit repair services. Do you charge a one-time/first-time fee or setup cost for your credit repair services? Also, do you charge your customers a fee for credit reports? Thanks!

A: Thank you for contacting us! We do charge a one-time First Work Fee of $49.99 but, it’s rolled into the monthly payment plan so, for example, if you enroll today (9/10/18) your first payment of $49.99 is due on 9/15/18, your next payment of $49.99 is scheduled for 10/15/2018, next payment scheduled for 11/15/18, etc… And of course, you can cancel the service at any time.

If you cancel the service before the payment due date you will not be charged during the next billing cycle so if you cancel your payment on the 12th of November you will NOT be charged on your next scheduled billing date which is the 15th of November.

Regarding your question about credit reports, we ask that our clients forward a copy of their credit report to us, you can send us reports from any credit monitoring service, annualcreditreport.com, or even reports from places like CreditKarma.

Having said that, in the event that you have trouble obtaining a copy of your credit report, we can obtain one for you at no extra charge.

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Q: I am a bit interested. I have done a lot of the work in getting the balances paid down on my accounts, but the missed and late payments from the past couple years are the only thing left to fix. Is this something you are able to help with? What would be the cost, time to fix, etc?

A: The first thing that we would try is a goodwill letter to the creditors requesting the removal of the lates. If that doesn’t work, we will contact the credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to verify the payment history in each account, verify every late payment, and request documentation corroborating that the late payments actually occurred. Finally, if everything is verified is accurate, we would have the credit bureaus process a method of verification request to make sure that the investigations were completed in compliance with the FCRA, didn’t go over their allotted time, and that the creditors and credit bureaus didn’t skip any steps during the investigations.

If the creditors agree to remove the lates through the goodwill letter, if the investigations with the credit bureaus find inaccurate information, if the creditors fail to provide the proper documents within the allotted timeframe, or the method of verification finds that the investigations were improper – the late payments can be deleted.

The fee for our service is $49.99 a month and we would need about 3-4 months to perform the services mentioned above.

Are you ready to get started with your journey to 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

What Do Americans Know About Credit?

September 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Blogs, Credit Report, Credit Score

credit scoring

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and VantageScore Solutions have recently released their annual survey examining how much consumers actually know about their credit scores.

1,000 Americans were surveyed on their knowledge of how credit scores are calculated, where and how to obtain credit scores/reports, how to best manage their credit and what to do to improve their credit scores.

The results were pleasantly surprising, revealing that consumer knowledge of the credit industry and credit scores have increased overall.

Let’s take a look at some of the key findings from the survey.

The number of consumers who have viewed their credit scores at least once in the past year has increased from 49% to 57%.

Although the 8% increase is a great step in the right direction, I find it strange that 43% of the individuals surveyed have not inquired about their credit scores at least once in the last year.

With the availability of free credit reports and scores at all-time highs and the ability to get your credit information at will from credit card companies and credit monitoring services like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, Quizzle, Nerd Wallet, Wallet Hub, etc… not to mention directly from the 3 credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). Everyone in the US should be checking their credit on a monthly basis.

So although it’s great news that the numbers have increased, the fact that a case of Identity Theft occurs once every 2 seconds makes us hope that the number of consumers that check their credit at least once a year gets up to 100% sooner rather than later.

The majority of the individuals surveyed who did check their credit scores were potential borrowers were planning on applying for a loan in the near future. These individuals also demonstrated an increased knowledge of credit when compared to consumers with no plans to use their credit.

This tells us that unfortunately, people only care about their credit when they need it. But, by that time it may be too late. It’s much easier to spend 15 minutes a month on reviewing your credit and making sure that everything reporting in your credit report is 100% accurate and reporting correctly instead of stressing out over issues you located in your credit report as you were applying for a loan.

With the recent data breach at Equifax where 143 million credit files were compromised containing names, dates of birth, social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and tradeline information; Identity Theft has never been more of a reality.

On top of the risk for identity theft, 79% of credit reports contain errors. Although these errors may seem rather small and insignificant on the surface, according to a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission, 20% of credit reports contain errors that impact your credit scores enough to increase the consumer’s credit risk tier, making them less likely to be offered a higher interest rate.

Checking your credit every month is as important as paying your bills on time.

The CFA also found that a large part of the consumers surveyed was able to identify 3 factors used to calculate a credit score. Payment History, Credit Utilization, and Public Records such as Bankruptcy.

Several incorrect factors were also commonly listed as having an impact on credit scores including marital status, age, and income. These factors DO NOT impact your credit scores.

It is important to understand what factors are used to calculate your credit scores in order to increase them.

Several of those who were surveyed were able to get one or two of the factor used to calculate a credit score but, few were able to get all 5.

For your records, there are 5 main factors used to calculate your credit scores.

Payment History – 35% of your credit score.
Credit Utilization – 30% of your credit score.
Length of Credit History – 15% of your credit score.
Mix of Credit – 10% of your credit score.
New Credit/Inquiries – 10% of your credit score.

What your credit scores are made of

These findings suggest that Americans are more curious and knowledgeable about their credit than ever before, especially if they are interested in applying for a loan in the near future.

However, there’s still a long way to go.

Monday Mailbag 9/3/2018

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I have been threatened via email about a debt that I don’t recall ever asking for or getting. Tomorrow, they said they are issuing a warrant with my local police and serving me a summons. I am afraid of this and don’t know what to do.

Legitimate collection agencies are bound to work within the confines of the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). Collection agencies CANNOT get warrants issued against you for debt and are legally bound to provide you a 30 day written notice when they acquire your debt. This email sounds like a scam. If it’s a legitimate debt which is still within your state’s statute of limitations and they summon you to court, you will have the opportunity to validate the debt and receive all of the original paperwork from the original creditor (including the original contract you signed when you established the debt) to find out what the debt is for. Don’t panic and DO NOT send any money to this company.


Is a Credit Score of 600 good or bad?

A 600 credit score could be either poor or fair depending on the credit scoring model used to calculate the score.

Most credit scores (FICO & VantageScore v3.0) have a range of 300–850 with a few industry-specific FICO scores ranging from 250–900 and other scores like Sagestream ranging from 1–999 and VantageScore v2.0 ranging from 501–990.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that your score of 600 is a FICO score, the most common credit scoring model and the model used in 90% of lending decisions.

A 600 FICO score is considered to be in the Fair range which means that you can probably qualify for a mortgage or auto loan but, the terms and interest rates won’t be that great.

FICO Score Ranges

According to the Fair Isaac Company (FICO), the average credit score in the US is 695 which means if you should really try to shoot for the 700’s to start getting premium offers from lenders.

Based on some information which we received from mortgage lenders and auto dealers, your FICO score should be at least 740 to qualify for tier 1 auto loans and mortgages.

To increase your scores you will want to work on optimizing the 5 factors used to calculate your credit scores, which are:
Payment History – 35%
Credit Utilization – 30%
Length of Credit History – 15%
Mix of Credit – 10%
New Credit/Inquiries – 10%

To get the most out of your credit scores and increase them, you should pay your bills on time, work on paying down your credit cards to a credit utilization of 20% or less, keep your oldest accounts open and active to establish a long length of credit history. Don’t open too many accounts at once and incur too many inquiries, in fact, you want to try and limit yourself to 1 inquiry every 6 months. Carry a good mix of credit which includes both installment and revolving accounts.

Finally, if you have and past delinquencies or accounts reporting derogatory statuses like collections, late payments, charge-offs, repossessions, tax liens, judgments, bankruptcies, foreclosures, 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….

You can’t magically remove all negative information from your credit reports with the wave of a wand but, if you investigate the derogatory information, validate the debt, complete method of verifications requests, permissible purpose verification, goodwill requests, etc… you can do some damage to the negative information and improve your scores.

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 credit repair company 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.

We would be honored to have the opportunity to work on your credit reports, increase your credit scores, and help you reach your 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

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