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Monday Mailbag 2/4/2019

February 4, 2019 by  
Filed under Credit Repair, Credit Score

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What is the fastest way to repair bad credit?

 

The fastest way of repairing your credit score is;

1. Catch up on your bills

If you have active accounts that are currently reporting as 30, 60, 90, etc… days late with past due balances – catch up on those active accounts and bring them current. No matter how much progress you’re making, your scores will not increase if you have creditors continuing to report new derogatory information in your credit reports month after month.

2. Pay your bills on time

There’s no substitute for paying your bills on time. No matter how well you manage all of the other factors used to calculate your credit scores, your credit scores will remain low as long as you continue making late payments. Pay your bills on time and string together 6 months of perfect payment history with no late payments in order to see a significant increase in your credit scores.

3. Lower your credit utilization

Your credit utilization is about 30% of your credit scores and maxing out your credit cards will hinder your improvement. Paying your credit cards down to a credit utilization of 20% or less will increase your scores very quickly. For example, if the credit limit on your credit card is $1,000 you will want to maintain a balance of no more than $200 on it, which is 20% of $1,000.

4. Establish Credit

If you don’t have any/enough active credit – establish some new credit by opening up a credit card. If you don’t qualify for a regular credit card, apply for a secured credit card.

5. Add an Authorized User Account

If you have a friend or relative who has credit cards with a long length of credit history, a low credit utilization, and a perfect payment history – ask them to add you as an authorized user to their account(s). Once added, the entire payment history from the time the account was opened will be added to your credit reports. This will help to increase your length of credit history, establish a positive revolving account with a good payment history, and may even decrease your overall credit utilization. Most importantly, it will help to increase your credit scores.

6. Limit your inquiries

Inquiries account for approximately 10% of your credit scores so don’t apply too often or you’ll be penalized. Limit yourself to one credit application every 6 months and if you already have way too many inquiries you will want to try to remove as many of them as possible. You can do this by contacting each creditor reporting an inquiry on your credit reports and ask them to verify their permissible purpose (authorization) for pulling your report. If they can verify this information the inquiry will continue to report but, if they can’t – the inquiry will be deleted and this will increase your credit scores.

7. Remove Derogatory Information

If you have accounts reporting derogatory information in your credit reports like late payments, charge-offs, collections, repossessions, foreclosures, etc… – you will want to work on removing it from your credit reports. Utilize the consumer protection statutes within the FDCPA, FCBA, and FCRA laws to remove as much of your past mistakes as possible. Disputing is a great start but, it’s only 10% of the actual credit repair process, so make sure that you also validate any debt reporting in your credit reports, initiate method of verification, goodwill requests, etc… and use the full scope of all of the laws at your disposal.

You can do all of this work yourself or hire a professional credit repair service like CreditFirm.net to file these investigations of your behalf.

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

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 10/1/2018

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Question:
I received an alert stating that an account was created using my social security number. When I spoke to a rep @ Cap One, he told me to just keep an eye on my credit to make sure that nobody tries to apply for new things using my information. Should I be doing more?

Answer:
One thing that you could do to protect your identity and add another layer of security is initiating a fraud alert on your credit report. A Fraud Alert is a free service provided by the 3 credit reporting agencies which will warn you if anyone tries to access your credit file or open any accounts in your name.

What happens is, when you initiate the Fraud Alert, you input a phone number, then, if anyone tries applying for anything in your name, the creditor will call that phone number to confirm that it is really you who is applying for the loan.

If it’s really you who’s applying for the loan then you tell them that yes, you are applying and they will continue forward with the loan but, if it’s not, you tell them that you were not the person who applied and the creditor will not be given access to your credit reports. No inquiries will be added to your credit reports, no accounts will be opened in your name, the identity thief will be stopped dead in his tracks.

You can initiate a Fraud Alert via the following link: https://www.alerts.equifax.com

Once the alert is initiated with Equifax they will notify Experian and TransUnion themselves.

Question:
Do you know of any companies to pay a fee to instantly improve credit score overnight? I’ve heard of someone paying $600-$800 bucks for something like that….you know of anyone? I still want to use your services to remove the negative info but, I need to get my scores up 100 points right now.

Answer:
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a company that can improve your credit overnight, no matter how much you pay them. The FCRA, FDCPA, and FCBA laws allow the credit bureaus and furnishers 30-45 days to complete a dispute, 15 days to complete a method of verification request, 30 days for debt validation, etc…. There is absolutely no way to circumvent these laws, that is why you will never see a legitimate credit repair company advertising anything like that. Permanent positive results that increase your credit scores take a substantial amount of time and work. If you hear of a credit repair company advertising overnight results or something too good to be true… RUN.

Having said that, there are companies out there that sell trade-lines. Basically, they would add you as an authorized user to an old established credit card, something like a 15-year-old credit card with a perfect payment history, a high credit limit ($20,000+), and a very low credit utilization. Getting an account like that on your credit report can have a tremendous impact on your credit scores but, it typically takes 30-60 days to get the creditor to report the account on your credit file and the increase is temporary since the account will eventually be removed from your reports.

There are companies out there that do this but, we don’t really know of any reputable ones and have hears stories from clients where they have paid hundreds of dollars for a trade-line and it either never reported to their credit reports or reported and disappeared after a few weeks.

If you’re interested in permanently improving your credit scores, it will take time. You will need to pay your bills on time, pay down your credit cards or establish your credit, you will need to limit your inquiries and keep a good mix of credit, and you will need to work on removing your past derogatory information by leveraging all of the consumer protection laws including the aforementioned FCRA, FDCPA, and FCBA to name a few. Or you can hire a legitimate credit repair service to conduct the work on your behalf. And you can’t realistically expect to remove 7-10 years of bad credit from your credit reports overnight.

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 9/24/2018

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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

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