How does credit repair work?
Credit repair is 100% legal. It works because of a law called “The Fair Credit Reporting Act.” The FCRA gives you the right to dispute any item on your credit report. If that item is inaccurate or cannot be verified within a reasonable time (usually 30 days) it must be removed.
Credit Report Basics
Your credit payment history and profile is the makeup of a credit report. These files or reports are maintained and sold by “consumer reporting agencies.” One type of consumer reporting agency is commonly known as a credit bureau. The largest three credit bureaus are Transunion, Equifax, and Experian. You have a credit record with these agencies if you have ever applied for a credit or charge account, a personal loan, or a job.Your credit record contains information about your income, debts, and credit payment history. It also indicates whether you have defaulted on any debts, have any outstanding judgments or child support, and whether or not you have any bankruptcies.
Do I have a right to know what’s in my report?
Yes. By law, the agencies must give you a free report annually. You can obtain your free credit sponsored by the three bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com. These free reports, however, they do not contain credit scores. You may purchase your score from the three credit bureaus directly, or sign up for a credit monitoring service.
Credit Score ranges and their meaning
800 and Higher (Excellent) With a credit score in this range no lender will ever disapprove your loan application. Additionally, the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) on your credit cards will be the lowest possible. You’ll be treated as royalty. Achieving this excellent credit rating not only requires financial knowledge and discipline and, but also a good credit history. Generally speaking, to achieve this excellent rating you must also use a substantial amount of credit on an ongoing monthly basis and always repay it ahead of time.
700 – 799 (Very Good) 27% of the United States population belongs to this credit score range. With this credit score range you will enjoy good rates and be approved for nearly any type of credit loan or personal loan, whether unsecured or secured.
680 – 699 (Good) This is the average credit score range. In this range approvals are practically guaranteed but the interest rates might be marginally higher. If you’re thinking about a long term loan such as a mortgage, try working to increase your credit score higher than 720 and you will be rewarded for your efforts – your long term savings will be significant.
620 -679 (OK or Fair) Depending on what kind of loan or credit you are applying for and your credit history, you might find that the rates you are quoted aren’t the best. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be approved, however, certain restrictions will apply to the loan’s terms.
580 – 619 (Poor) With a poor credit rating you can still get an unsecured personal loan and even a mortgage, but, the terms and interest rates won’t be very appealing. You’ll be required to pay more over a longer period of time because of the high interest rates.
500 – 579 (Bad) With a score in this range you can get a loan but nothing even close to what you expect it to be. Some people with bad credit apply for loans to consolidate debt in search for a fresh start. However, if you decide to do that then proceed cautiously. With a 500 credit score you need to make sure that you don’t default on payments or you’ll be making your situation worse and might head towards bankruptcy, which is not what you want.
499 and Lower (Very Bad) If this is your score range you need serious and professional assistance with how you handle your credit. You’re making too many credit blunders and they will only get worse if you don’t take positive action. If you are thinking of a loan then keep in mind that if you do find a sub-prime lender (which won’t be easy), the rates will be very high and the terms will be very strict. It may be best to work on improving your score prior to applying for any new accounts.
How do Credit Bureaus determine my credit score?
35% – Payment History
30% – Debt Ratio
15% – Length of Credit History
10% – Types of Credit
10% – Number of Credit Inquiries
The percentages in this chart show how important each of the categories is in determining your Credit score. We will help you to remove negative items from your payment history. We will also show you how to maximize your debt ratio score, even if paying off credit cards is not an option.
What type of information do credit bureaus collect and sell?
Credit bureaus collect and sell four basic types of information:
1. Identification and employment information Your name, birth date, Social Security number, employer, and spouse’s name are routinely recorded in your credit report. They may also provide information about your employment history, home ownership, income, and previous address, if a creditor requests this type of information.
2. Public record information Events that are a matter of public record, such as bankruptcies, foreclosures, or tax liens, may appear in your report.
3. Inquiries CRAs must maintain a record of all creditors who have asked for your credit history within the past year. It is generally beneficial to keep the number of inquires as low as possible.
4. Payment history Your accounts with different creditors are listed, along with the balances, high balances, and outstanding balances. Related events, such as referral of an overdue account to a collection agency, charge off accounts or other delinquencies may also be noted.
How does a credit bureau determine my score?
Credit scoring models are complex and often vary among creditors and for different types of credit. If one factor changes, your score may change — but improvement generally depends on how that factor relates to other factors considered by the model.
Scoring models generally evaluate the following types of information in your credit report:
Do you pay your bills on time? Payment history is a major factor in credit scoring. If you have paid bills late, have collections, or declared bankruptcy, these events will not reflect well in your credit score.
Do you have a long credit history? Generally speaking, the longer your history of holding accounts is, the more trusted you will be as a borrower.
Have you applied for credit recently? If you have many recent inquires this can be construed as being negative by the credit reporting agencies. Only apply for credit when you really want it.
What is your outstanding debt? It is important that you are not using all of your available credit. If all of your credit cards are maxed out, your scores will reflect that you are not managing your debt wisely.
What is the secret to a high credit score?
1. Always pay your bills on time!
2. Don’t close old accounts!
3. Don’t apply for any new credit too frequently! Also, be selective and verify a creditor’s requirements before applying.
4. Don’t ever leave your balance at more than 30% of your available credit on each credit card!
What happens if you are denied credit or don’t get the terms you want?
If you are denied credit, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act requires that the creditor give you a notice that tells you the specific reasons your application was rejected or the fact that you have the right to learn the reasons if you ask within 60 days. Indefinite and vague reasons for denial are illegal, so ask the creditor to be specific. Acceptable reasons include: “Your income was low” or “You haven’t been employed long enough.” Unacceptable reasons include: “You didn’t meet our minimum standards” or “You didn’t receive enough points on our credit scoring system.” If a creditor says you were denied credit because you are too near your credit limits on your charge cards or you have too many credit card accounts, you may want to reapply after paying down your balances or closing some accounts. Credit scoring systems consider updated information and change over time.
If you’ve been denied credit, or didn’t get the rate or credit terms you want, ask the creditor if a credit scoring system was used. If so, ask what characteristics or factors were used in that system, and the best ways to improve your application. If you get credit, ask the creditor whether you are getting the best rate and terms available and, if not, why. If you are not offered the best rate available because of inaccuracies in your credit report, be sure to dispute the inaccurate information in your credit report.