Does credit repair work? YES
Is credit repair a scam? NO, not when you do it legally like the certified, licensed, credit repair specialists.
One of my book readers recently sent me this, showing her success.
Previously, her credit report had a charge-off from Verizon that she did not agree with. She challenged it and won! This letter from Experian shows the results and outcome: “Deleted – This item was removed from your credit report. Please review your report for the details.”
She was so happy, because having this negative item removed from her credit will boost her score. I cannot predict how many points her score will go up, because it varies depending on the person’s overall credit report. That said, having a charge-off removed is a major success!
Congratulations, dear book reader, and thank you for giving me permission to post this as an encouragement to others that DIY credit repair works.
All the steps on how she did this are in Repair Your Credit Like the Pros: How credit attorneys and certified consultants legally delete bad credit and restore your good name. You can check it out here.
Please share this encouragement with others who either need to restore their credit and/or who want to know how the credit system works. I appreciate it so much, and they will too!
The Date of Last Activity (DLA) listed on your credit report is important to understand. This date is updated when one of three things happens on any active account:
- You make a payment,
- You miss a payment, or
- Your balance increases.
The Date of Last Activity used to include the “drop off” date, or the date the item will be removed from the report, but this is no longer the case. The “drop off date” is now a separate item and often not on the report at all.
Who sets the Date of Last Activity?
Creditors and debt collectors are responsible for reporting this information to the bureaus who then update the DLA accordingly.
Is a debt collector messing with your Date of Last Activity?
Some debt collectors sneakily make regular changes to consumers’ accounts, which triggers a balance increase to be sent to the bureaus and changes the DLA. This can hurt your credit score. Some unscrupulous creditors do this to intimidate people in hopes of pressuring them to pay.
What should you do about the Date of Last Activity?
When reviewing your credit report, pay special attention to the Date of Last Activity–especially on delinquent accounts. Make sure that the DLA reflects the actual date that a payment was made, missed, or the balance increased. If it is not, begin the basic dispute process to have the item changed or (better yet) deleted.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act (FACTA) protects you from having erroneous or false derogatory information be posted on your credit report.
Does the DLA determine when an item will fall off your credit report?
No. The original delinquency date determines when the item will be deleted from your report. However, the DLA does influence your credit score. (This is crucial to know and a whole topic in itself. Don’t shoot down your score by updating an old derogatory DLA!)
Collection accounts are deleted seven years from the original delinquency date of the original account. Collections accounts are always associated with the original account so they must be deleted at the same time.
For more information on how credit scoring works and how to take control of your own credit, see Repair Your Credit Like the Pros here.
Book reader Paige Bellamy wrote: “This is the best credit repair book I have ever read. This book is filled with tons of useful information.”
Ashton Ammons, Senior Credit Consultant wrote: “Carolyn did a fantastic job writing this book, I’ve been in the credit repair industry for many years and through these chapters she’s provided our team with new insight, strategies and ideas to be able to produce even better results for our clients. I like a lot of the lingo and terminology she uses throughout the book. It’s true we use a lot of the same words and jargon around here at the office. She’s explains the content in very understandable step by step manner and I believe she truly wants to help the reader better understand how credit works. This book is one of the best investments I’ve made in a long time.”
I received this excellent information from Credit Repair Resources, and I know many of you will be interested in this news:
So another bombshell hit the credit reporting and lending world this week. This time it is potentially big news for millions of Americans and thousands of lenders. In the ongoing effort to provide accurate credit reporting to consumers, the three major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion have announced that in July, 2017 many tax liens and judgments will be removed from consumer credit files.
I thought I would add insight into why this move was made by the CRA’s. The key reason is, wait for it…. identifiers.
You see as part of the ongoing overhaul of the credit reporting system, entities that report information to our credit report, otherwise know as furnishers must provide specific information that accurately ties the account to the consumers credit file.
Public records like tax liens and judgments often do not contain the required identifiers that permit those accounts to be reported. After July of this year, any lien or judgment that does not contain the proper information will be purged from consumer files.
Now in the near term this is excellent news, but it is not all puppy dogs and ice cream. There is always a caveat. We must consider that government agencies and lien holders are not going to take lightly to this. I hate to make assumptions, but I will make the assumption that there will be pressure applied to court houses and Lexis Nexis to improve their record keeping.
It is also important to know that this will not affect all Americans with these items. If the lien or judgment does contain the proper identifiers, it can remain on the consumer’s credit file.
It will be interesting to see how this impacts the mortgage world, but at first glance, Summer 2017 is looking to a very busy one for the mortgage industry!
~ Written by Chad Kusner, President, Credit Repair Resources (Posted here with permission.)
Please help share this information via social media, because a lot of good folks need this intel.
Repair Your Credit Like the Pros,
available now at Amazon.
96% of readers rated it 5 or 4 stars.
If you think you know what your credit card company charges for a late payment, take another look. You might be shocked!
Capital One posts their interest rate as 27.24%. But look at this statement. Because this consumer was late, Capital One is charging over 70%!
Top line shows the balance was $41.17.
Sixth line (underlined) shows the fee charged is $29.00.
$29 = 70.4% of $41.17
I think that is outrageous, and I hope this goes viral.
It means the consumer is paying $70.17 for an item that cost $41.17. That is a terrible deal, no matter how you look at it!
I suggested that the consumer call Capital One and ask not to be posted 30 days late to the credit bureaus, because she has never been late before and has a perfect credit history. Getting docked 100+ points on her FICO score would hurt more than $29.
Here is the Conversation with Capital One
Cap One Rep: Sorry, we have to report it as late to the credit bureaus.
Consumer: I have a perfect credit history with you. Could I have this one grace?
Cap One Rep: No, we can’t do that.
Consumer: I would like to talk with a Supervisor (following the script in Repair Your Credit Like the Pros).
Cap One Rep: It won’t do you any good. She’ll just tell you the same thing.
Consumer: Nevertheless, I want to talk with a Supervisor.
Supervisor comes to the phone and Consumer asks again.
Cap One Supervisor: We won’t report you late to the credit bureaus. I apologize for what our customer service representative told you.
As a bonus, she waived the late fee. It seems the Supervisor was more interested in good customer service than the representative. It is a good thing she asked! Doing so saved her money and grief.
Scripts for how to negotiate with creditors are in the book. They are based on my own experience in negotiating for my mortgage clients in the past. I do not negotiate for consumers now, but there’s no reason why you cannot D.I.Y.
Setting up automatic payment to pay off your balance in full each month is a good practice. Don’t waste your hard-earned money on outrageous credit card interest. It’s not even tax deductible.
Don’t worry about the credit card companies making a profit. Even if you don’t pay them a single cent, they make money by charging the merchant or seller.
Please help get this education out to good folks: If you don’t pay your balance in full each month, you are paying too much! And if you accidentally go late one month, call immediately and get it resolved before it gets reported to the credit bureaus.
Tired of being hounded by collectors? Fed up with being harassed for payment on an account that’s already been paid or is unverified? There is good news on the horizon!
The CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) is proposing rule changes to the debt collection industry as follows:
- Debt collectors will be required to disclose debt details so the consumer can easily verify accuracy right up front. Currently, consumers receive a bill demanding payment without ever proving whether or not the collector has the right to receive payment, whether or not the amount owed is correct, and other vital information. This will provide transparency and, hopefully, increase accuracy and fairness.
- Debt collectors will be prohibited from pursuing a debt while it is in dispute. Fantastic!
- Debt collectors will be limited in their communication with the consumer. The intent is to stop undue harassment.
In the meantime, know your rights and demand to be treated fairly and accurately. If you don’t want to be contacted by telephone, tell the collector to contact you by mail only. Current law states they must comply.
You also have the right to negotiate a settlement. And so you know, a settlement (as opposed to paying in full) will in no way harm your credit score or jeopardize your ability to get a home loan. Even if you have to pay taxes on the amount “forgiven,” you still come out financially ahead by taking a settlement.
However, if the collection is old, paying it off now will likely lower your credit score, so better to let it age off your report (or handle it like the pros do).
What I mean by that is, if you negotiate a settlement the way the professional credit repair specialists do, you can also have the negative account removed from your credit report–a very smart strategy!
Thank you for reading my post, and if you know anyone who is struggling with collections, please pass on this good and vital information to them.
Today, Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, signaled that an interest rate increase in March is likely. The Feds expect the economy to continue to improve; and accordingly, for interest rates to continue upward on a gradual incline.
30-year fixed rates:
Last summer – 3.75%
Now – 4.375% to 4.5%.
How long will it take to get to 5%?
I think that is the appropriate question: how long until rates are at 5%?
Not “if” but “when”?
If you have been procrastinating in buying a home, waiting for flowers or sunshine, that is a mistake. Not only will rates be higher, but sellers price their homes higher when their yards are gorgeous. Statistically, bidding wars are at their fiercest in March when both sellers and buyers come out of hibernation. Be smart and beat the rush if you can.
Have you been procrastinating with getting your credit repaired? Maybe you don’t have the money to hire a professional service. STOP procrastinating and get busy now. All the instructions are available for you in my newly released expanded edition of Repair Your Credit Like the Pros.
Does credit repair work? Yes, it does!
TJ wrote me to say, “I read your book…I increased my score by 70 points!”
The time is now to reach your dream of home ownership. The chart on the left is from a professional service (EZ Credit). The book on the right teaches you how to do it yourself to get the same results.
Thank you, Kristina Mastrocola, writer, for the interview.
In case you can’t read the article here, it is on page 26, the August 22 issue, which is on newsstands now.
I hope these tips will help people understand that they can take control of their credit and create the score they desire. There is no need to be a victim when it comes to your credit profile.
What’s more, you are not required to have perfect credit in order to get a home loan. Recently, I helped a first-time home owner who had six open collection accounts close on a charming three-bedroom, ranch style home–and she did not have to pay off the petty collections (total under $2,000) in order to do so.
As always, thank you for subscribing to my blog. If you have a topic on mortgage, home buying, or credit that you’d like to see, please email me here.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act includes Statutes of Limitations on how long negative credit can remain on your credit report. Here is a quick list for your reference.
Late Payments: 7 years from the late payment date
Collections, Charge-Offs: A late account becomes a collection or charge-off after it is 180 days past due. It must be removed 7 years after the last date of delinquency.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: 10 years from the file date.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: 7 years after the file date.
Judgments: These are more complex. They have a Statute of Limitations of 7 years; however, they may be revived at any time by the judgment holder, making them last indefinitely until paid.
Unpaid Tax Lien: Forever, no Statute of Limitations.
Paid Tax Lien: 7 years from the date of release.
Word of Advice: File the release with your courthouse so the 7-year clock starts.
Hot Tip: If an IRS tax lien is less than $25,000 and paid, you can use IRS Form 12277 to have it removed within 90 days.
Heartfelt thanks to Chad Kusner, President of Credit Repair Resources LLC, for this information.
Are you curious about how credit repair specialists and certified credit attorneys legally delete bad credit?
Kate W. wrote to tell me that her credit score increased from 613 to 720 after following the system in Repair Your Credit Like the Pros.
“My score has improved 63 points in 15 days.”
~ Posted by user name Amazon Customer
“I have read many credit repair books, but none of them helped me like this one. The book has real advice that has been used and actually works.”
~ Tiffany H., Amazon review
I checked my credit score today using the free site, Credit Sesame. More about what that means in a moment. But first, I was pleased–but not surprised–to see that my score today is 815. Here is how I earned the coveted score of over 800.
Payment History = 35% of the credit score
I have zero late payments on my report. (It wasn’t always that way. More about that later.)
Credit Utilization = 30% of the credit score
If your credit cards are maxed out, you get docked a lot of points, even if all payments are made on time. If your credit cards are over 50 percent of the limit, you get docked points. My credit utilization is only 6%; so because it is under 10 percent, I gain points.
Age of Credit History = 15% of the credit score
My oldest active account is 18 years, 1 month old. If I close that account, I will lose points, so I don’t want to do that.
My newest account is 8 months old, because I opened a credit card within the last year. Once an account is open for six months, it is considered old enough to be included in your credit rating. Also, at 8 months, it has aged enough that it is no longer docking me points for “unknown usage,” meaning they don’t know if I will max it out or pay on time when first opened. This is why you don’t want to open a new account right before applying for an auto loan or mortgage.
Account Mix = 10% of the credit score
The credit bureaus prefer a mix of credit cards, installment loan (such as auto or student loan), and mortgage loan. However, you can still get a score of over 800 without a mix; as is my own case. I have five open credit accounts.
Credit Inquiries = 10% of the credit score
I have zero inquires in the past 12 months, according to Credit Sesame. That seems odd since I opened a credit card just eight months ago. Either Credit Sesame is incorrect or the card didn’t result in a hard credit inquiry. I will have to look into that.
Is Credit Sesame Accurate?
Credit Sesame provides one score obtained from the Experian National Credit Equivalency, which means it is one bureau’s consumer credit score. The consumer score is more lenient than the mortgage score, because it is less risky to give someone a credit card than it is to give them a mortgage. The score from Credit Sesame varies from the actual Experian score by an average of 33 points, according to a study conducted by Doctor of Credit.
Using Credit Sesame is free, gives a good ballpark estimate of your score from one of the three bureaus, and will not hurt your score or show as an inquiry on your credit report.
If You Need to Repair Your Credit (Like I Did)
There was a time when I did not have an 800 score. I unknowingly made some mistakes, including letting a department store credit card payment slide for a month. On top of that, someone else’s late auto payment was showing up on my report. When I purchased my first home as a young, single woman, I had to take an FHA loan, because my score didn’t qualify for a conventional loan.
I took charge of my situation and raced to the top of the chart. You can do the same!
Certified credit repair specialists and experienced attorneys are one way to go. But if you don’t mind taking the time to do the work yourself, you can save $500 to $2,000 in professional fees. Instructions on how the professionals restore your credit and good name are in my book, which is getting great reader reviews on Amazon, and many more emails to me from folks who don’t post reviews. Feel free to check it out here.
Here are four things you should know about how credit cards affect your FICO score:
1) If you carry a balance that is over 50 percent of the limit, you will lose credit points.
To remedy, either call your creditor and ask to have the limit raised, or spread out your spending over an additional card. I am assuming, of course, that you are not overspending for your income and budget. That is another topic altogether!
2) If you pay off your balance in full each month, you will be rewarded with additional credit points.
The credit system recognizes the proper use of credit and adds points to your FICO score when you don’t carry a balance from month-to-month. Moreover, you don’t waste your money paying interest that is non-tax deductible.
3) If your total use of credit is below 50 percent of your total available credit, you will gain points.*
Not only does the system look at your individual credit card balance-to-limit ratio, but it also looks at the total of all your available credit cards. So if you are maxing out all your cards, your score will receive a double whammy in point subtraction.
4) Any payment that is 30 days late will dock your score. If you’re 60 days late, it gets worse, and ditto for 90 days.
If you are 31 days late for the first time and call your creditor immediately, they might give you grace and not report you as late, especially if you are a long-time, perfect-paying customer.
If your one-off late payment has already reported, then you should take steps to get that removed from your credit report. The law gives you the right to dispute the late payment, and many creditors are happy to remove the late payment when you send the right type of letter through the good old-fashioned USPS mail system. Why? Because it is a good business practice for them, and it is within their legal right to do so. As the creditor, they own your credit information.
When you understand how the system works, you are in control of your own credit score.
* If you reduce the 50% credit usage to 30%, you gain even more points.
Having a score of 740+ puts you in the top tier for a conventional mortgage loan. If your score is 800 or higher, you gain respect, bragging rights, and may qualify for slightly better terms, depending on the lender and loan program.
Learn what the credit professionals know that you don’t about restoring credit and your good name. I received an email from a gentleman who read this book and has been following the steps for do-it-yourself credit repair. “Three negative accounts gone, three to go,” he wrote. Yes, credit repair does work when it is done properly.
Unless you’re as cute as a cat or have just won the lottery and plan to pay cash for everything for the rest of your life, you need excellent credit and a high FICO score in order to obtain the best financing, the cheapest insurance premiums, and save money.