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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 10/15/2018

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Question:

My credit card debt keeps increasing. I keep spending and spending, it’s very hard for me to stop. How do I stop spending and pay down my credit card debt?

Answer: 

If you don’t have the self-control to stop using your credit cards then you really only have one option to pay down your debt. Cut up all of your credit cards and use a debit card or cash for your monthly expenses. Create a budget to make sure that your expenses are lower than your income and have money saved over at the end of the month to pay down your credit card debt.

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Question:
What does an outstanding judgment on a credit report mean?

Answer:
A judgment refers to a court’s decision to side against you in a lawsuit. Basically, it means that someone (person or company) filed a civil lawsuit against you, won, and a judgment was entered against you.

An outstanding judgment refers to the fact that the judgment is unpaid and still open.

In most cases, we see judgments originate from charged-off credit cards or other collection accounts. Ultimately, a court has decided that you are liable for the debt.

A judgment may also give the plaintiff (the person or company which filed the judgment against you) legal authority to garnish your wages, garnish of your tax refund, or even access the money in your bank accounts to recover their funds.

According to the FCRA, judgments can report for a period of up to 7 years on consumer credit files from the filing date.

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Question:
How long does it take to remove inquiries from a credit report?
Answer:
Hard inquiries can report on consumer credit reports for a period of up to 2 years from the date that they are initiated.A hard inquiry may be removed before the 2-year clock expires if the creditor which is reporting the inquiry cannot provide documented proof of their permissible purpose for pulling your credit report.- – –

Question:
How accurate is the credit score you get on Mint.com?

Answer:
Mint.com’s credit score is calculated using the VantageScore v3.0 scoring model.
90% of all lending decisions in the U.S. are made using FICO credit scores. Depending on the information reporting in your credit reports, your VantageScore and FICO score might only be 5 points off of 50 points off. Every situation is different and sometimes the VantageScore is very accurate but, sometimes it’s completely off. If you’re interested in seeing your actual FICO scores you can access them at myFICO.com.

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 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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