Last month, I was recorded for an episode of “On Everyone’s Lips.” Today, I am sharing three of those credit tips with you.
O.E.L.’s goal is to teach techniques and strategies.
O.E.L.’s mission is to inspire listeners.
Here are 3 Tips from the show:
- What debts should be tackled first?
It’s best to pay down any and all revolving debts first. Credit cards have a higher negative impact on your credit because they continue to affect you for longer, as opposed to installment loans like student loans and auto loans that have an end date.
Pay down your credit card debt first. Generally, it’s best to start with the card that has the highest APR/interest rate. The more you pay on interest, the more money you wind up paying in the long run.
2. What are some ways to maintain good credit?
Never shut down all of your cards. Closing your credit card accounts means that nothing is actively reporting to the credit bureaus. Eventually, that closed account stops helping your score. When there is no score to report and you have no credit history, then you will pay more for a home loan and other financing.
If you use a credit card once or twice a year, then the creditor won’t shut down your card.
3. What is the best way to obtain your credit report?
The best way is to write a letter to the address below and request a copy of your free annual report. Avoid using the online credit report request, because in so-doing you agree to waive several of your rights when you check the box agreeing to the terms and conditions. It’s always best to put everything in writing. Use the good, old fashioned USPS mail, even though it takes longer than the online system.
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
For the complete podcast, see here.
Thank you, Mr. Khari Harrigan, podcast producer and manager, for inviting me on your show.
Thank you, O.E.L. team Lindsey J, Chelsea Jade, and Monique Knows aka Mo for the interview.
Very near the equator where the sun rises at 6 a.m. and sets at 6 p.m. 356 days a year, there are villages where people live in thatch and mud homes barely large enough to shelter a sleeping family. They cook by fire and farm by oxen. They gather sticks and carry 50-lb stacks on their backs to sell at market in order to survive. In this place, something wonderful has happened.
Ethiopians are telling other Ethiopians about a newfound joy, the joy of knowing Jesus in a personal way. Their lives are being changed from male-domineering-sometimes-abusive into compassion. One of these villages has been praying for a neighboring village for 10 years, and now those same villagers are finding faith in Christ.
In one village there are now 88 Believers who gather to worship. They sit on plastic jugs or on the ground under a tree. They have no protection from scorching heat or rain. They need a church. Moreover, in their culture, what makes a religion valid is a church. They are accustomed to prayers in a mosque. Socially, without a church, you are nobody. Friends have told them, “If you get a church, that is when I will come and pray with you and join your faith.”
To build a church, they need land. A prominent Ethiopian, an Influencer, has come to salvation—and he brought his family of 24 into the faith with him. This man has donated land for the purpose of a church. The problem is, there are no funds to build a church nor means to earn funds. How much does a church cost?
$7,000! That’s right, only $7K will build a church that will change the course of a village. Less than what most of us pay for our cars.
I am donating 100% of my royalty income for November and December from my two bestselling books to fund a church for these dear people. However, my current monthly is not enough. And this is where I need your help. I am asking you to hit Share on Facebook to pass on this information so that people who need the information will order a book.
Repair Your Credit Like the Pros has 412 reviews with an average of 5 stars. Everyone who needs to fix their credit can benefit. (See Amazon)
Build and Project Your Credit Like the Pros is for young people starting out, immigrants, and anyone else who wants to go from basic-to-expert and a 800+ credit score in record time.
All November and December profits brought in by these books will go to build a church in Ethiopia. It is high time that prayers sent to heaven for 10 long years get answered!
If you know someone who could use it, why not purchase a book as a gift for them, knowing you will be helping families living far, far below the poverty line?
Thank you for considering being a co-partner with me in this worthy endeavor.
The shocking results of a customer service survey showed that people with low credit scores receive more disrespect and bad service than people with high scores.
It’s not enough that people pay higher rates and higher premiums for having bad credit! Now they get treated like second class citizens, too.
I’m not making this up.
Cable One, an Internet company that services almost a million customers, fully admitted that they spend less time and resources helping their customers who have low credit scores. Here’s what CEO Thomas Might said:
We don’t turn people away,” Might said, but he added that the cable company’s support staff isn’t going to “spend 15 minutes setting up an iPhone app” for a lower-value customer.
Did you get that? If you have a poor FICO score, you are considered a “lower-value” customer.
They flag a person’s file so that the customer service reps know not to spend too much time on you.
This is just one example. Who knows how many other companies provide inferior service to people with subpar credit?
Listen, friends: You don’t have to take this garbage! Take control of your credit, starting today.
Request your free annual credit report so you can check for errors and unverifiable derogatory information. Check your balance-to-limit ratios and pay down those high balances that are docking your score. Pay all your accounts on time. Don’t ignore those statements that come in the mail, because there might be something important inside the envelope. Keep your good credit open, even if you don’t use the credit card (assuming you’re not wasting money on an annual fee).
If you’re not sure where to start, pick up a copy of Repair Your Credit Like the Pros here. Make sure you get the Expanded Edition, not a used copy of an old version of the book. That way, you’ll get all the newest info and all the letters that accompany it.
Refuse to be a victim of a low credit score! Take charge of your life and earn the respect from the financial community that you deserve.
If you’d like to read more about Cable One’s credit discrimination, see here.
Last Thursday, a new Bill (H.R. 3622) was introduced to the Financial Services
Committee. This bill would shorten the time period that negative information can report on a person’s credit report.
Currently, late payments, collections, charge-offs, and other adverse credit can remain in your credit file for seven years. This bill, if passed, would reduce that to four years.
Is four years long enough for consumers to have their credit scores docked for a mistake or hardship of the past?
Is four years long enough for creditors to have leverage in collecting past due funds?
The bill was sponsored by House Representative Rashida Tlaib, Michigan on July 5, 2019.
Thank you to Credit Repair Services, LLC for bringing this to my attention.
“With your help and the ease of understanding your book, I was able to get a $2,500 deletion off my credit, among others. This book is a life saver, well, credit saver! (smile)
Warning! Closing credit cards you don’t use could lower your credit score.
Do You Have Unused Cards Like Jesse? Learn From His Mistake
How many credit cards do you own? Jesse had six credit cards: Alaska Air Visa, MasterCard, Sears, Home Depot, Paypal, and Target.
He read that only three credit accounts are needed to qualify for the best conventional loan. He also read that three credit cards are optimal for achieving a high credit score. So he took a look inside his wallet to see which cards he could get rid of without missing anything.
He quickly identified Sears, Home Depot, and Target as unnecessary. He almost always used his Visa for everything anyway, because he liked racking up the points for free flights.
So, he called customer service at the three store cards and instructed them to close the cards “at consumer’s request.”
Consequently, his credit score dropped by 15 points. Jesse was stunned and dismayed!
Length of Credit History Accounts for 15% of Your Score
Jesse’s Sears and Target cards were five years old. His Home Depot card was four-and-a-half years old.
His Visa and Paypal cards were both less than two years old.
By closing out three long-standing cards, Jesse had lost points for longevity.
What Should You Do With Old Credit Cards You “Never” Use?
If you have a major credit card with a bank or credit union, you should use that for a small random purchase (grocery item, gasoline) once every quarter to keep it active and prevent the bank or credit union for shutting it down.
On the other hand, individual store cards remain open indefinitely (most of the time). Even if you don’t shop at Sears for three years, Sears keeps your credit line open in hopes that you might stop in and shop a sale.
There is no harm to your score in keeping old, unused cards open.
If you don’t want to handle the cards, cut them up, shred them, or burn them; but whatever you do, don’t call and instruct the creditor to shut them down! Keep those “long history” cards working for your credit score.
For more vital information about building A+ credit in the shortest amount of time, see here.
Thank you for reading this post. My aim is to help good folks achieve A credit and gain respect in the community.
What happens when you don’t pay your credit card?
When a person doesn’t make payment on a credit card for six months, it becomes a “terminal delinquency.” At that point, the creditor may charge it off and try to collect money via their own bad debt department, or they can sell the account to a collection agency.
Depending on either of those actions, it becomes a charge-off or a collection on the credit report.
Points are deducted from your credit score based on the date the account went delinquent. The more recent the Date of Last Activity, the more it hurts your score.
Here’s what can happen.
If Visa sells a charged off account to Paradox Collections, Visa is supposed to change the balance to $0, because you now owe payment to Paradox. If Visa still shows an open balance of $1,500 (or whatever sum), that is a violation of the Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act. You no longer owe Visa; you now owe Paradox.
If Visa shows the charge-off with a $0 balance and Paradox shows the collection with a $1,500 balance, then it is posted properly. Your score is docked twice for the two negative entries on your report.
But hold on! Paradox might show your balance as $1,700, because they have added $200 in fees. They are within their legal rights to add interest rate charges and fees, per the state law.
The balance may keep increasing each month if state law allows it.
And it could get worse!
Paradox might file a motion in court to claw money right out of your bank account, or to garnish funds straight out of your paycheck.
For doing this legal work, they might add $500 in attorney fees. (Again, per state law. In Washington state, it happens all the time.)
As you can tell, the debt can snowball into a avalanche.
You must never ignore a bill or a debt that you owe.
If you move to another address and don’t receive the bill and forget all about it, that does not excuse you or exempt you. You are responsible to inform your creditors of your new address and to keep abreast of your financial obligations.
If you were on auto-pay and close the bank account and move to a credit union, so that the creditor doesn’t receive payment, the delinquency will be on your credit report. You don’t get to forget to make payments.
If you go on vacation or get married or sail off to Survivor Figi, you don’t get to skip payment.
The credit card companies are not your nice grandma. They won’t give you grace and forgiveness (except in rare circumstance, and don’t count on that).
If you want to get ahead in life, you must take responsibility for tracking all your debts and pay on time. Have a savings account as a safety net in case you’re out of work for a period of time.
Live within your means. Don’t use your credit card to buy stuff you can’t afford to pay with cash.
Don’t go on so-called retail therapy spending sprees if you get depressed. If you do, you will be digging yourself into a deeper depression later.
Dear Nice Person…
I hope this post doesn’t sound too harsh. Please take it as helpful advice from a licensed mortgage advocate who cares about helping people get ahead credit-wise. It’s a good feeling to have A+ credit and receive the respect from everyone you do business with.
Make that your goal, and you will get there. If you had mistakes in the past, dust yourself off and move forward. America loves a come-back!
Stage your own come-back and build the awesome credit report you deserve.
Pick up a copy of Build and Protect Your Credit Like the Pros here.
This week the big three reporting agencies TransUnion, Equifax and
Experian spent six hours giving testimony to Congress. They were asked questions regarding every aspect of their companies ranging from dispute resolution practices, cyber-security and the fact they have no other competition in their space.
With Maxine Waters, a long time consumer advocate at the helm of the financial services committee, you can bet the farm that this is not going to be a comfortable year for the bureaus.
Waters has already introduced a bill that would require yet another overhaul of the credit reporting system as well as amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Subscribe for updated information as it becomes available.
Many thanks to Chad Kusner, Credit Repair Resources LLC, for this information. CCCR offers a credit report analysis and consultation service for people who need credit advice without a full credit repair. More info here.
Build and Protect Your Credit Like the Pros guides you to achieving A+ credit in the shortest time possible.
Having a top tier credit score saves you money on insurance premiums, interest rates, and gains you respect in the community.
“Must have” for every American. Available on Amazon here.
What you don’t know about collections can hurt your credit score.
Here are two facts most people don’t know:
1) The balance does not affect your credit score.
Whether you owe $100 or $10,000, it makes no difference in your credit score. A collection is a collection is a collection. Why?
Because a large balance might indicate a person has a high income; whereas, a small balance might indicate a person had a low credit card limit and therefore has a low income. Since it is illegal to consider income for credit scoring, the credit reporting agencies are barred from making a difference in score due to the balance.
This is important to know, because if you’re thinking your score will go up as you pay down the balance, you are in for a disappointment. The only way you will get your score to go up is by the collection aging older and older, until eventually it is off your report. (Unless you get it removed early.)
2) Paying off a collection will lower your credit score.
This is counter-intuitive and unfair. Nevertheless, that is the way the system is set up. As per above, your score cannot go up by lowering your balance on a collection account. On top of that, when you make a payment it updates the “Date of Last Activity” (DLA) to current, and that reduces your score.
A lot of good people try to do the right thing by paying off an old collection account — and then they are penalized for it!
The Best Way to Handle a Collection Account
If your collection account is old, then let it age off.
If your collection account is medical or less than $2,000, then you will not be required to pay it off in order to get approved for a home loan.
If your collection account is large and/or the collector is contacting you for payment, then negotiate a settlement with the stipulation that it will be removed from your credit report when it has been paid in full as agreed.
If you receive notice of legal action, do not ignore it! Work out a settlement, or if necessary, go to the court hearing and explain your situation. If you blow off a court hearing, then you automatically lose by default, so that is the worst thing you could do.
There are reputable, licensed credit repair companies that can help you with negotiations and legal issues. I do not recommend attorneys or lawyers (especially if they advertise all over the Internet–those are usually the worst). I recommend credit repair specialists who have over 10 years’ experience, because, in my opinion, they work faster, better, efficiently, and get better results.
Thank you for reading and passing on this info to others via shares.
New credit leniency and protections for our highly respected U.S. Veterans have been signed into law. Here are the important points to know:
- Medical debts/collections incurred cannot be reported to a veteran’s credit report for one full year from the time the medical service was provided.
- If any medical debt has been reported as delinquent, a collection, or a charge-off, it must be removed from the veterans credit report once it has been satisfied.
- If a medical debt is in the process of being paid by the VA, and the Veteran provides the proper documentation to the credit bureaus, it must be removed from their credit report.
- Veterans on active duty are to receive free credit monitoring that will alert them to any material changes on their credit reports.
Thanks to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act initiated by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) and signed into law May 2018.
Thanks to Credit Repair Resources, LLC, for this information.
Thanks to every United States Veteran and Service Member for protecting our great nation.
Please pass on this important information to every U.S. Veteran, because many have medical accounts and are unaware of this law. Thank you.
Elisabeth is best known for her work on Good Morning America, The Washington Post and Dr. Oz.
Easy Money is full of surprising ways to MAKE more, SAVE more and find YOUR unclaimed money.
I shared my story about the benefits of improving your credit score . Let me know what you think of my episode!