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Category Archives: Credit Repair Intro

Step Two – So now your have your reports?

After collecting your credit reports and identifying any inaccuracies in your report; you’re going to want to send the bureau(s) a certified letter demanding the removal of your incorrect item(s) with the report included.

The first time you send your letter(s) be sure to include COPIES of all documents and every time after that you will want proof of your dispute in the future so DO NOT PUT IN THE ORIGINAL COPIES. You want to keep files of all your disputes, have a copy of the ‘package’ you mailed the bureaus. Credit bureaus are known to bring things back up that is why I am forewarning you. A good example would be past (paid) collection accounts. I would hate to have that report again to your credit if it was already settled, right?

When you mail a certified letter through the post office you will need to pay a little bit more but you are ensured someone is going to sign for your letter. Typically you will get a ‘green slip’ in the mail after 3-5 days with a stamp from the entity on the back verifying that it was retrieved. From that point on you can begin counting your days. The investigation process takes some time which we will get into, but as a friendly reminder:

  • Do not sign your name on anything you send to the CRA’s
  • Never send original copies
  • Always send certified return receipt
  • Include your report (highlight or make prominent the inaccuracy)

You are also going to want to ensure you stay organized. Do not send all disputes at once, you are allotted three disputes at a time. You do not want to be marked as frivolous because you will be in a sense ‘blacklisted’ from disputing that inaccuracy. Do your research make sure you’ve included everything for the bureaus to start the investigation process. The more you can provide them the better off you will be and the faster you will be traveling on your path to having great credit.

What helped me in this process is my monitoring service as well. Although I had my reports I would compare and contrast them to the monitoring service. The reason I did this is because the monitoring service doesn’t typically give you all the information and address that the CRA would typically give in their report. The monitoring services really give you the bare minimum. What can make your credit repair process a lot harder.

It’s also a excellent idea to get your reports in full from the bureaus individually and use the monitoring service only to track updates.Then you can make sure that the monitoring service is working as expected and you can also see your scores rise as you dispute items on your credit. As you watch your scores raise it will give you the benefit of the doubt that it is working. There are stagnant times when your credit doesn’t budge. Those times happen to the best of us! Usually what will happen is the big stuff makes the biggest difference, that is what you want to attack first.

CG

 

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Documentation to prove identity when disputing inaccuracies – What do I need to send?

It’s important that you send all requests through certified mail. You will need to keep your certified return receipt as well. This will help to track your letter and it will ensure with the ‘green slip’ there was someone that had signed for your letter.

When you are mailing your disputes to the CRA’s (credit reporting agencies) or requesting a credit report directly from them be sure to include these documents:

  • Your Full Legal Name
  • Your Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Current Mailing Address
  • If Less Than 5 Years, Include Your Previous Address
  • A Copy of Your Driver’s License Showing Your Current Address
  • A Copy of Your Social Security Card – If Your SS Number Is Not On Your Driver’s License

There are often other times where a bureau will request more information to verify your identity. Those documents could be any of the items below:

  • Current Employer
  • Current Employer Address
  • Phone Number
  • Signature
  • Current Utility Bill
  • Lease Arrangement/Rental Receipt

**FACT: I’ve always been told to not provide your signature for the privacy of yourself. You would not want to have your signature placed on something that you did not agree to. You must be very careful in repairing credit on your own. If you have questions or concerns I am here to help!

CG

 

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How to identify inaccuracies on your credit report – Who do I write to?

Your credit has 6 sections:

  • Personal Information: your full name, your social security number, your birth date, your current and previous addresses, your employment history, and your driver’s license information.
  • Account Information: opening and closing dates on accounts, student loans, lines-of-credit, mortgages, balances and credit limits, history of payments, child support, over-the-limit checking accounts.
  • Inquiries: a hard pull of your credit report from a creditor when you apply for credit.
  • Public Records and Collection Accounts: including information that has been collected from debt collection agencies and court systems.  Also includes reports on liens or judgments, foreclosures, bankruptcies, wage attachments, and accounts in collection.  Court records included in this section can include divorce, which is usually considered a negative by lending institutions.
  • Consumer Statements: you may add a statement to your credit report explaining certain adverse situations appearing on their credit report including ID Theft. These statements are seldom considered in financial transactions and have no effect on an individual’s credit score.
  • Credit score: which rates your overall risk.  This number ranges from 340 to 850, with higher numbers the less risky you appear to a lender.

If anything in your report is incorrect, inaccurate, appearing to show as ‘late’ or ‘missed payment’, be sure to address that immediately. Also if you see that an inquiry is posted on your report that you did not initiate contact the creditor requesting proof of your signature. It’s always a good idea as well to submit a consumer statement. Especially if you are asking for forgiveness from other lenders after a judgement, bk, repossession, etc.

Below are the addresses for the bureaus, be sure you include all of the required documents in order to speed up the investigation process.

Experian
P.O. Box 9556
Allen, TX 75013

Equifax
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

TransUnion
Trans Union Consumer Relations
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000

GC

 

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Federal Trade Commission – Your rights as a consumer

The Federal Trade Commission requires that all businesses place this at the top of their site:

“You have the right to a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.” – therefore you can use this site to pull all three reports absolutely free! You have the right as a consumer to access your credit reports. You may also send snail mail to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348 if you would prefer.

Credit monitoring services are usually the best route to retrieving your credit reports and scores. Typically you will have to purchase your scores separately if you utilize AnnualCreditReport.com. Some sites will claim that they are free, but usually require you enroll in some product or service. I recommend using a monitoring service because you can see updates monthly or quarterly. Also you receive alerts when your credit updates which is very important when repairing your credit.

Also here is the Fair Credit Reporting Act link from the Federal Trade Commission website: http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf it has depth to it.

CG

 

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Credit Cards – For high school students

When you get a credit card, you should be instructed on how to properly use it. Although you will be tempted to run up your balance on your credit card like I experienced. It should be saved for emergency situations.

Students in high school that are looking to start building their credit early can get high school student credit cards like I had. These credits cards can help teach the responsibilities of credit and how to manage credit early on. These types of credit cards are issued to high school students before going off to college.

**FACT: I established my credit in 2008. Can anyone tell me what happened in 2008?!

Before applying for a high school student credit card you should always look at their available options. There are a lot of banks and credit card companies to choose from, which makes it in your best interest to look around. I told you the reason I went with Wells Fargo – they have branches nationwide. Some cards will come with high APR and a high annual fee, while some are more reasonable.  With high school students not having any credit, some lenders will try to charge unreasonable rates – which is reason enough to do your research and know the best deal.

It is important to build your financial intelligence at a young age. As you may already know for some – credit cards can be an ideal investment. As for others – it’s always going to be a hard lesson to learn. Although I knew what I was doing I continued to spend. It is necessary to keep yourself from buying frivolous things that you can’t afford initially!  I was irresponsible, maxed out my limit and over drafted by $200, then started paying minimum payments. I relocated to a different state. I was out of work (at least work with decent pay). On top of all that I was a full-time student.

Even though I read the terms of use for my College Card I still was never taught in school about finances. I would hate to see more people fall into the ‘World of Debt’? Do not leverage over 30% of your line or ‘money borrowed’. At the end of every month, you should try to pay the whole bill, to avoid getting into debt.  If you can pay the bill – it will also help boost your credit.

“Use your credit wisely”.

GC

 

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Let’s get everyone up to speed – Background

Good morning everyone!

When I was working at Port of Subs prior to graduation. I went into my local Wells Fargo to establish a Student Checking account with the bank. Therefore no matter where I go in the Nation I will have access to a branch to make my deposits and withdraws. Wells Fargo at the time had a College Credit Card that they said I qualified for. I accepted that line of credit with $700 limit not knowing anything about what my credit report looked like; better yet not knowing my scores. The reasoning for me doing this (not just out of excitement) is because I knew credit was a big deal! I was eager to establish it at an early age.

Was I irresponsible? Yes! Did I fail to do as I so sternly said I wouldn’t? Yes. Did I have to fight them on the collection later? Yes. It was a snowball effect from there.

All of life’s necessities are based upon how you manage your finances and how you deal with creditors. In the eyes of a lender you have to be in a ‘three piece suit’ in order to be approved or even looked at. Even if you are a qualified borrower perhaps the strategy you are utilizing is not working. Do you understand the criteria for lenders?

In my position when I started working with Jantzen (my current employer) I had poor credit. It could have very well been due to derogatory items on my report. I had the company do a hard pull to see just where I was at. I ran into a lot of snags with the credit monitoring services I was attempting to use. They ‘could not locate my report’. The problem with that is; I did not know what was on my report specifically, especially since I had never viewed it. All the questions they ask you about your addresses, your creditors, account(s) that are new, and mortgages… I had no idea. By allowing the company I work for pull my credit I was capable of locating the report itself.  From there on out I was able to start utilizing a monitoring service for any further repairs or references to updates.

When I initially pulled my report, like I mentioned, I had poor credit. My credit score was a 580 from Experian! This was the first time I had ever viewed my report, not just in detail, but PERIOD! I wasn’t surprised at what appeared on the report. I was very much surprised by how that one collection account had affected my score so dramatically. I had to do something about this. I always wanted good credit, but I failed to maintain the one chance I had at proving my stability. The creditors viewed me as ‘High Risk’. I couldn’t establish credit any further (at least that’s what I thought).

Now I will proudly say that I have good credit. Through the trial and error process of repairing my credit I have become very familiar with how I think the algorithm works. Again, it’s an algorithm therefore nobody can really tell you how the score is determined. I again though will state that I have successfully pulled myself out of the rut I CREATED FOR MYSELF.

Now I am here to explain to you how to do it yourself! In case you, like me, did this exact same thing.. Or something similar?

GC

 

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Now here’s what we do – Credit Repair!

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all doing well! I left off explaining how I got to where I am today through my employment. The reason for my prior posts was to give you more insight on my blog and me as an individual. I want to explain to you the struggles I have experienced in the ‘Real World’. The path I pursued was a rocky one but I didn’t give in to the pressures around me. Whether that be the lack of employment, attending school full-time, or doing the daily with friends and family.

The hardships I experienced through transitioning from NV to UT were money oriented. I explained to you that I was lacking work and through that bills start piling up. Sound familiar? It was harder and harder for me to make my minimum payments. I could barely pay rent on time with a bi-weekly check, how could I manage to pay my credit card debt?!

I came out of this rut when I started work for Jantzen and learned a lot from him as a entrepreneur. First things first though, credit! Credit has a lot to do with the ‘Real World’. I hate to say this but your credit is like your fingerprint now. I’ve known businesses to use your credit report for hiring purposes. Of course you can’t get a car unless you have fairly good credit either, or even a home without money down. That concern isn’t just yours as a poor credit client; it’s a lot of people’s!

Nobody jumps for joy when they are denied or declined credit. I failed to understand this in the beginning when I put myself in the position I will later explain.. As for you perhaps there is still hope!

So how can you get everything you need with a poor credit score? The answer is simple. Do not run from you problems, handle them accordingly, and do your research! It’s important that you understand how the ‘Real World’ works. My purpose is to educate you on how to navigate through the messy process of credit repair.

CG

 

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