Three Credit Repair Success Stories

May I encourage you with a few more success stories from people who have followed the strategies in Repair Your Credit Like the Pros?

G.R. wrote to say their TransUnion score went from the low 600s to 760.
And Equifax went from the low 600s to 740.
Scores were obtained from Vantage Score, which tends to be a little higher than FICO. But what a difference!

G.R.’s late payments were removed using the Credit Investigation Form in the book.
Collections were removed using slightly customized letters from the book and writing “Urgent” in red across the top.

G.R. is still working on a few minor issues.
Well done! Your credit score improvement will save you money in interest, fees, and premiums.

P.J. wrote to say they received a refund of over $400 in fees collected by the credit card company due to their illegal charges. P.J. wrote, “Your book was awesome!!!!!”
Well done, P.J., and thank you for the five exclamation points!

Katia (who gave permission to use her first name) wrote to say she went from 574 credit to 720 credit in 8 months.

The moment I took repairing credit seriously, I began to reap the benefits. ~ Katia

If you, too, are ready to take your credit and your future seriously, do yourself a favor and grab your copy of the life-changing book from Amazon. This current edition gets you ALL the letters; the old version some resellers are peddling does not contain all the current letters and is missing about 5,000 words of information. Please be aware that an author does not get any royalty payment on used, resold books. Thank you for purchasing new.

Emergency! And what I’m doing about it.

Pictures of dust blown fields, failed crops, children so weak from hunger that they can no longer run and play confirm the bad news. The drought in Ethiopia has caused a crisis in food that is beyond anything America has ever experienced.

The Ethiopian government is trying to help, but there are not enough resources for everyone.

City Administrators distributing food in the small villages are Muslim, and they refuse to give anything to the Christian citizens unless they renounce their faith. This Discrimination is an Outrage!

An organization called New Life Ethiopia run by volunteer Americans and a small staff of paid Ethiopians are asking for help to get food to villages. Top priority goes to the children who are severely malnourished.

How can we turn our faces away? How can we not offer a helping hand?

This woman was so weak she could barely move. Zerihun, the Director, gave her two bags of maize. When he checked on her a week later, he was encouraged to find the woman was able to sit in a chair, having been strengthened from the corn cereal.

Together, we can save lives!

I depend on my book sales for my living, but I am donating 100% of my royalty income retroactive from Sunday through the end of this month to help these dear fellow Believers in crisis.

If you ever thought of purchasing a book for friends or family, now is the time when your purchase can save a life.

If you are a realtor or finance professional, grab some books and staple your business card to the cover. People value and keep books, and then your business card will be top of mind when they need your services.

$50 feeds a family for a month. $25 feeds a family for two weeks. New Life Ethiopia’s goal is to provide food for 400 families for a month to get them past this crisis and literally save their lives. We can help!

If the rains do not come, none of us will survive without help, explained a father.

If you would like to donate directly to New Life Ethiopia, more information and the donation link is HERE.

If you would like to pick up some books, knowing 100% of my personal royalty income goes to this cause, you can do so HERE and HERE.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and God bless you!

Five Money Tips From People with 800 Credit Scores

Would you like to know the “secrets” that people with top tier credit use that people with below average credit don’t seem to know?

As a mortgage broker since 1998, I have seen thousands of credit reports, bank statements, and loan applications. While there are always exceptions, here are five things differences between top tier and below average credit users.

Tips From People with Excellent Credit that Everyone Can Us

  • 1) People with perfect credit have bank statements that show they do not spend money daily.

People with below average credit have bank statements with debit card purchases made daily. They regularly spend at Starbucks, fast food, and convenience stores. They make emotional-buying purchases from TV shows like QVC, HSN, and others. They buy lots of clothes and shoes even though their closets are full. They are buying something every day. It’s like they can’t wait to spend what they just earned that day.

  • 2) People with perfect credit shop for groceries weekly or less often.

People with below average credit pop into grocery and food stores daily. They’re always picking up something to eat for the day, and overall this leads to higher spending on food. Every trip inside a store is an opportunity to buy a display item at the end of the aisle or pick up an extra snack.

  • 3) People with perfect credit have modest car payments.

People with below average credit have car payments that are too high for their incomes. On top of that, they might be financing two cars at the same time. Their transportation cost might even equal a house payment!

  • 4) People with perfect credit show a bank balance that goes up each month. They are spending less than they earn, living below their means.

People with below average credit show bank balances that either decline or barely break even. They figure they are doing fine, because they aren’t going into overdraft status. But they are not doing fine. They are spending money like there is no tomorrow, and they are neglecting to save.

  • 5) People with excellent credit have savings for emergencies. When their car blows a part or the water heater goes out, they don’t have to borrow from a credit card and go deeper into debt. They have the savings to cover it. They don’t pay interest on the car repair or the new home water heater, because they didn’t have to dig into credit to pay for it.

Personally, I know what it’s like to live on a small income so that there is truly no money left over for savings. I remember replacing one package of ground beef with another, because it was a nickel less and my grocery money was that tight. This is not meant to judge people who are barely making it one week to another. But I will also tell you this: when I was poor, I did not spend money on lattes and Big Gulps and I did not buy movies or toys for my kids that I honestly couldn’t afford. My kids learned to respect, “We can’t afford that right now.”

I have seen bank statements with barely any money on the balance, and the people earn a six-figure income. Their bank statements go on for pages with daily purchases, non-essential items, impulse buys, multiple car loans. They never say no to themselves with presented with a “want.”

Yesterday, someone with top tier credit suggested that I share some money tips that everyone can use. I hope this helps at least one person.

Credit Score Increased to 808

This is a picture from one of my book readers showing how her credit score went from 720 to 806. When you have a top tier credit score like this, everyone respects and wants your business!

When you have a top tier credit score, you qualify for all the best financing at the lowest interest rates.

When you have a top tier credit score, you have self-respect and dignity. You set a good example for your children.

When you have top tier credit, you are in control.

She didn’t start off with a 720 score. When she began, her score was in the subprime category. She picked up a copy of Repair Your Credit Like the Pros and began the journey to better credit by removing misspellings of her name and addresses that did not belong to her. One address on her report was not even a residence but a business.

After correcting her personal identifying information, she was able to get accounts that were not hers deleted from her credit report. When there are incorrect names and addresses on your credit report, it’s not uncommon for someone else’s account to be merged onto your report also.

Her journey to a 808 credit score was not an overnight process. She could have stopped at 720, because that is a good, respectable score right there. But she had her sights on “800”! All in all, she worked on improving her credit for about a year.

But wow! What a stellar result! And now, she has the confidence, dignity, and respect to be in command of all financial dealings, including being a home owner with a mortgage anyone would be proud of.

Why not start your journey to better credit today? Pick up your copy of the guide here.

Debit or Credit: Which is Better?

Let’s answer three questions to determine if it’s better to use a debit card or a credit card.

Q1: Which card reports to the credit bureaus and builds your credit profile?

Answer: A debit card does not report to the credit bureaus and does NOTHING to contribute to your credit profile or your credit score. How could it? It’s not credit. Credit is about how you handle an advance of money in the form of credit. Debit is not that. It is auto-withdraw from your bank account.

Q2: Which card maintains your privacy when you apply for a home loan?

Answer: As a mortgage broker since 1998, I have seen a lot of bank statements of people who want to qualify to purchase a home. Those bank statements from people who use debit look horrible! The underwriter can see every tiny purchase they make. Their bank statements go on for pages and pages.

There is no privacy whatsoever for all their lattes, fast food, clothing, impulse purchases, restaurants, casino visits, and so on. With a credit card, all the purchases for the month show on one simple line called “Visa.” What they bought is private. It looks good. 

Q3: Which card can boost your credit score?

Only credit card usage contributes to your credit score. Debit is not part of your profile or your score.

I see no reason to use a debit card. Personally, I don’t own one. If you love debit over credit, I would be interested in hearing why. Please click Comment and let me know your thoughts.

Thank you for reading and sharing this information with others who could benefit.

Available on Amazon here.

Credit Reporting Agencies: Friend or Foe?

Experian, Equifax, and Transunion, the three largest credit reporting agencies (also called credit bureaus) are looking out for whose best interests? Yours or theirs?

The correct answer is, they are looking out for their own best interests. Here’s what I’m talking about:

  1. When you request your free annual credit report online, you give up legal rights and agree to let them process dispute letters to their own convenience and advantage.

(This is why I recommend requesting your credit report only through the USPS mail system.)

2. When you provide your personal banking information in order to participate in “Boost My Credit Score,” you give all kinds of personal data to the credit bureau, but the “boosted score” is NOT USED by mortgage lenders.

(This is why I recommend saying no thanks to that privacy-invasive program.)

3. When your credit report is available for all creditors to see, they sell your name, address, and phone number to credit card companies who then harass you with junk mail that puts you in greater danger of identity theft.

(This is why I recommend opting out of receiving credit card offers. If you want an account, you can apply on your own. Go to http://www.optoutprescreen.)

4. When Hieu Minh Ngo hacked into Experian’s system in 2015, he stole 200 million identities belonging to American citizens and then sold them on the black market, exposing much of our personal identifying information.

(This is why I recommend placing a freeze on your credit reports if you don’t intend to apply for credit within the next month.)

Now you tell me, are these agencies your friends? Are they looking out for your safety and protection? Or do they exist mainly to make money from consumers, from lenders, from creditors, and from anyone else they can sell reports to?

It’s no wonder that one in five credit reports contain an error, according to a study by the Federal Trade Commission in 2019.

It’s no wonder that in 2020, consumers filed more than 280,000 complaints against the credit bureaus!

Could your report contain an error? Might the collection or charge-off balance reporting be wrong? Might someone else’s late payment be showing up on your report? It’s possible. And it is also possible to get those errors removed from your report.

Only when your credit report is 100 percent accurate, clean, and earning a high credit score do the credit bureaus become your friend. Learn how to make this happen for yourself by picking up a copy of Repair Your Credit Like the Pros here nd Build and Protect Your Credit Like the Pros here.

God bless you on your journey to credit you can be rightfully proud of!

Direct Lender vs. Mortgage Broker: Lies Exposed

I am fired up today after reading an article full of misinformation and lies titled, “Direct Lender vs. Mortgage Broker.” I am here to set the record straight.

I am shocked and dismayed by false information posted by freelance writers, who frankly, have no clue what they’re talking about.

I am saddened by the lies they are spreading on the Internet. For example:

NextAdvisor posted a “pro” and “con” list that is alarmingly untrue. Sure enough, the writer has never worked in the mortgage industry. I have no idea how she drummed up the list of falsehoods mixed with a few facts, so I will tell you the truth.

I am a licensed mortgage broker (NMLS # 1284134). I have worked for a direct lender and for a mortgage broker. I have worked in both retail and wholesale lending since 1998. I have both direct and inside experience in the mortgage industry.

Here are the facts:

  • Only a mortgage broker has a legal fiduciary responsibility to get you the best loan program with the BEST pricing and lowest interest rate they have available. The direct lender has a responsibility first to the lender, not to you, the borrower.
  • A licensed mortgage broker must pass a rigorous test, take classes annually, be fingerprinted and background-checked, and credit checked.
  • A mortgage broker shops 30 to 50 wholesale lenders for you.
  • A mortgage broker shops wholesale, so the vast majority of the time, he or she will get you a lower interest rate than what you could find yourself with a direct lender. Even though not all lenders work with brokers, those lenders usually have higher interest rates and fees anyway, so who needs them?!
  • Lie: “Brokers often charge their fees directly to the homebuyer.” NO. The broker fee is paid by the wholesale lender 99 percent of the time. It is normal for a homebuyer using a mortgage broker to pay no broker fee whatsoever. Only in unusual circumstances would that be different.

Another misconception is stating that Quicken is a direct lender. The truth is that Quicken (now called Rocket) has both a retail (direct lender) channel and a wholesale (broker) channel. If you go directly to Quicken, your interest rate will be approximately .25% to 5% higher than if you go through a mortgage broker.

The problem with the Internet is that anyone can post whatever, true or not.

The good thing about the Internet is that professionals can also post what is true. We can only hope that consumers find the truth and shun the lies.

If you found this information to be important, please share it with friends and associates who want to become home owners. Personally, I am not accepting new applications for home loans at this time, so my intent is for educating the public, not for generating new applications for myself.

Thank you for reading and sharing.

How to Avoid Needless Junk Fees When Buying a Home

Some of the biggest junk fee offenders are escrow companies, also called settlement agents. Some of them add several unnecessary fees to pad their profits.

These fees have good-sounding names in order to fly under the BS radar. Federal law says it is illegal to charge a fee for a service you don’t perform. OK, fine; but come on, do you really need to charge extra for the lettuce, ketchup, and pickle on the hamburger?

There are good escrow settlement agents that do not charge padded fees.

For example, here are some fees I don’t want to see on a Loan Estimate:

  • Doc prep fee
  • E-doc fee or email fee
  • Archive fee or filing fee
  • Messenger fee or courier fee
  • Overnight fee
  • Endorsement fee
  • Tie-in fee

At this time, paying for a licensed notary to travel to you for signing is reasonable and common due to Covid-19. This is typically $200.

The time to look at fees and avoid them is BEFORE SIGNING the Purchase Agreement that stipulates which escrow settlement company will be used.

Once you have signed a contract agreeing to use Junk Fee Escrow Company, you are legally stuck with that company. You have put your signature on a legal document.

The time to choose your escrow settlement company is the same time you are shopping for and choose your mortgage lender (preferably a mortgage broker). That way, you tell your realtor which company to write into your offer. This is the time when you can still choose and negotiate.

If you failed to do your due diligence ahead of time, didn’t pay attention to which escrow settlement company was written on the contract, and only discovered all over-charges midway through your loan process, then it would take the seller agreeing to switching companies and making the change on the contract in order for you to change. That is highly unlikely to happen. The realtors will never allow it, because they will perceive it as creating a bump in the road to closing. In this case, chalk it up to a Life Lesson and write a review on Yelp and Google to warn others.

Prevention is better than cure. And with the federal lending laws enacted in 2010, sometimes prevention is the only cure.

Three Things You Can’t Do While Buying a Home

If you make one of these mistakes during the home buying process, your approval can be turned into a denial.

Even if you are fully approved and have signed documents, you can be denied — even one minute before closing. The lender has the right to stop the loan from funding if they believe the risk of lending to you has increased.

Here are Three Things You Cannot Do Without Jeopardizing Your Financing

  1. You cannot quit your job or go on furlough. This will turn your approval into a denial
  2. You cannot open a new credit account without possible jeopardizing your approval. Opening a new account increases your debt ratio and possibly lowers your credit score. Yes, they keep a watch on your credit throughout the process.
  3. You cannot buy a car, truck, SUV, or other high ticket item without jeopardizing your approval. Wait until after closing to consider purchasing a vehicle.

Protect your financing during the process. Speak with your loan officer BEFORE making any financial moves or changes in employment.

Available on Amazon

Two Pitfalls of Auto-Pay

Setting up automatic payments on your credit cards and other accounts is a good idea. In fact, I just set my own Paypal Mastercard to auto-pay so that I don’t have to worry about slow mail delivery.

However, there are two possible “gotchas” that can catch a person off-guard and create a late payment on the credit report.

I don’t want this to happen to you!

Two Tricky Traps of Automatic Payments

You should not be charged a fee for setting up automatic payments.

  1. If your account is sold to a new creditor and you don’t reset the auto-pay with your bank, your payment can become “late.”
    That’s what happened to someone who had a student loan. They never told him they transferred to a new student loan servicer, so his auto-payment never went out, and the new company reported him as late.
  2. If your pay date happens to fall on a holiday, your payment might go out “late.”
    Check the system with your credit to make sure you have at least 3 days’ buffer or that the funds will transfer even if your bank is closed for the holiday.

Even if you have auto-pay set up, review your accounts to ensure all is as it should be. Then you will have peace of mind and know you are establishing a great credit profile that you can be proud of.