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Tag Archives: Credit Scores

When your identity is stolen – What do you do?

Recently I experienced a great loss. I wasn’t smart and I left my purse and the contents of my life in a friend’s car. What do you hate to accept? You were lazy, didn’t wanna bring it, didn’t think otherwise, and yes that your purse is stolen. My purse was stolen!

Having a day planner is a necessity for some which can be an immediate ‘red flag’. I carried mine in my purse and I go everywhere. It had  information written down that ‘I would never lose’. I used that thing religiously for bills, important ‘to do’ items, resolutions, balances, entertainment schedules, etc.

When it comes to sunglasses/glasses they can be replaced, a cellphone can also be replaced, pens/pencils can be replaced, and even a set of keys can be replaced. The information that is in a wallet or day planner cannot be replaced – as easily.

  • The money, gone.
  • Credit cards, gone.
  • ID or Driver’s license (maybe even both), gone.
  • Social security card, gone.
  • Checks, gone.
  • Proprietary information, gone.

Everyone knows not to leave ANYTHING VALUABLE inside a car. Also never take anything important with you like your social security card or birth certificate. I’ve heard of some say to leave your credit cards at home to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. What about the ‘responsible’ people like myself? What if you’re traveling. It’s important to make the best judgement. It’s also very important that you are aware of where you are leaving important items, like your purse.

ID theft is a crime but it doesn’t stop someone from the ‘smash and grab’, you have to be more careful!

What do you do first when your identity is stolen? Do you call your banks to cancel your accounts? Do you call the police? What exactly happens when you’re ID is stolen? Those are all great questions and honestly you could never know until years later that you have been a victim of ID theft.

I have been stressing the importance of paying for a ‘monitoring service’. When something like this happens to you, you are really going to wanna know how to properly handle the situation. The first couple days are crucial so you need to have a plan and you need to act quick!

The steps I took to prepare:

  • Contacted the police for a case #
  • Contacted my financial institutions
  • Change passwords to ALL accounts
  • Contact credit monitor
  • Place a fraud alert on my account
  • Obtain new cards from financial institutions
  • Contact my landlord (keys stolen) replace locks

Having a credit monitoring service to help you watch for fraud is dire at a time like this! If I did not have a monitoring service to help track fraud on my identity; I would feel rather uncomfortable. I feel safer now knowing that although my information has been jeopardized I am still okay to carry on my daily routine as I would if I hadn’t had my purse stolen. Of course it will take time to get back together once you’ve been victimized but it is not impossible to protect yourself in the future.

‘The price of greatness is responsibility.’ – Winston Churchill

 

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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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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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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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Introduction – The Credit Goddess

Hello,

As you already know I am constantly growing, editing, learning, and adapting to my environment. There’s a lot I’ve been doing in the past months and I will be catching you up on every last bit of it. I’ve always understood that ‘Knowledge is Power’. I would like to share what I’ve learned when it comes to the ‘Real World’.

CG

 

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