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How to get something off your credit report? agency bills finance #mini #credit

#how do you get your free credit report

How to get something off your credit report?

Credit Agency/Debt Collection Filter. I just received my free credit report and found that a cable company has turned me over to a collection agency.

I checked my credit reports about 18 mo. ago, and it was clean. Last night I was able to get my annual free credit report. I had a collection, and it took me by complete surprise!

The entry is for a $99 cable bill and the Date of 1st. Delinquency is 05/2000 with a Balance Date of 04/2004. It has a Status of Unpaid. I travel doing contract labor, but have had the same home address for about 8 yrs. I have never received a bill for this amount.

I have a couple questions.

1. How do I prove they never sent me a bill? In four years you would think I would have received something via mail or phone.

2. Do I contact the cable company, Equifax or the collection agency? Once I contact one of the above, what do I say?

3. If I am presented a bill and I pay it, will it be taken off, or will it always be there?

4. My Quicken does not go back that far (or any of my records). What do I do now?

I don’t know how hard they tried to get the bill to me. I’m not hard to find, and someone is always at my permanent address to receive my mail. (In fact, my address is public knowledge if you know where to look on-line).

How do I get this taken care of and off my credit report? I’m trying to get my ducks in a row to buy a house.

Thanks for all suggestins/advice in advance. If this post seems fragmented, I’m a bit frazzled.

Additional note–Experian doesn’t have the collection on, at least not at this point. I had problems logging onto Trans Union to see if it was on theirs, but am working on getting into their system. I have filled out the on-line dispute form on Equifaxes site.

Just dispute it on their site. The burden of proof isn’t on you, it’s on your cable company. If they don’t respond in a timely fashion (most creditors don’t), it’ll be removed automatically. You don’t even have to talk to anyone, just go to Experian’s site (and the other two, if the bad mark is on their reports) and file a dispute. It’s fairly quick and painless.

posted by Merdryn at 5:22 AM on August 27, 2005

Ah, read your follow up. You’re done, since you disputed it. That’s all you need to do. I’ll lay odds that the bad mark is gone in six weeks.

posted by Merdryn at 5:22 AM on August 27, 2005

If the debt is already five years old, I recommend the same thing — challenge the debt. If the cable company has no record of it, and they may not, the credit reporting agency will remove the record from your account, whether you actually owe the money or not. The cable company will have to call off their collection agency on your behalf. I advise you not to call the collection agency, but ensure the cable company does so, or this might pop up again.

Sometimes, and this will seem completely counterintuitive to most people, paying a debt like this hurts your report more than leaving it alone. Paying it acknowledges it, refreshes it, and it remains on your report another five to seven years as a delinquent account brought current instead of a collection, which is barely better.

Not receiving a bill is not a legitimate defense for not paying for subscribed services, so I wouldn’t bother trying to prove one hadn’t been sent. Most companies label your bill as a statement of account rather than an invoice or bill for this reason, and service terms will make it clear that its presence or absence has no effect on whether you owe for the service.

If this is your only unaligned duck, it shouldn’t make much of a difference to your house-buying.

posted by Sallyfur at 5:38 AM on August 27, 2005

I just called Cox Cable. I was in one city for three months, and I had their service. I moved 20 mi. away and had their service for an additional few months. They had the second address, but never contacted me at that address, (even though I had an active account with them). Of course, they say they attempted, yadda yadda yadda. I agree that paying it may make it worse. They state they turned it over to the credit agency in 2000, but the report makes it look like it was turned over in 04/2004 (if I am reading this correctly). I am having my bank search their records to see if I had written a check for that particular amount in this time frame.

So, they have record of it.

posted by 6:1 at 5:51 AM on August 27, 2005

Five years old? Do not have any more contact with the creditor or collection agency until you’ve read up on the applicable statute of limitations. At this point, depending on what state’s laws govern the debt, it may well be uncollectable (i.e. they can’t force you to pay). Whereas what you say or do can potentially reopen your liability.

The negative should disappear from your report in two years, and anyway that last activity date is something to specifically dispute (old debts hurt your score less than new debts) besides objecting to the listing generally.

NCM–Thank you. I will wait and see what Equifax has to say about it and challenge it that way. (I am in Florida, BTW).

Sallyfur–also, thank you.

This took me all by surprise, and it’s been stressing. I appreciate the two of you taking the time to answer. -)

posted by 6:1 at 10:56 AM on August 27, 2005

Merdryn–thank you, also.

posted by 6:1 at 11:30 AM on August 27, 2005

The art of credit forums are essential reading, especially this thread.

posted by evariste at 9:47 PM on August 27, 2005

The same thing happenned to me! After I attempted to deal with the cable company and their inability to find a record of what I was talking about, I was told that another closed account also had charges on it! So after getting that taken care of, I kept calling back every month or so to make sure there weren’t any more charges. Eventually it stopped. But WTF?

So yea, I reported it to Equifax and it disappeared immediately. Don’t deal with the cable company unless you want to make sure there aren’t any other charges waiting to go to the collector.

posted by scazza at 6:34 AM on August 28, 2005

Late to the game so I dunno if anyone will see this but it’s important – depending on where you are, you need to be very cautious in your contacts with this collector. Folks in the Pacific North unfortunately have had their rights to challenge and demand verification by the 9th Circ Courts – you have got to request information in the first 30 days after initial contact or you aren’t entitled to it at all.

Someone above mentioned Art of Credit, you’ll find information there on requesting validation and how you can protect yourself against unscrupulous collectors.

You also want to make sure you don’t pay that bill without promise of deletion. One of the ugly catch-22s of the credit biz is that information lives on your credit report for 7 years from last activity. So that 5 year old entry will fall off your report in 2 years if you do nothing. If you pay it today and they update it’ll be around for 7 more years. And for purposes of credit scoring you’re better off with a 5 year old unpaid collection than a new paid one. Unfair but true. Don’t play along. Law requires all reporting to be accurate but it doesn’t require reporting – any claims by a collector that they can’t delete are a bald-faced lie.

posted by phearlez at 8:49 AM on August 29, 2005

Older Splash! – Graphics software fr. | I am looking to buy an ibook /. Newer

How to Get No Credit Check Loans #credit #score #free

#loan no credit check

How to Get No Credit Check Loans

Payday Loans // Kelvin Wilderman // August 22, 2012 // 1 comment


No credit check loans provide access to instant funds for urgent life events such as emergencies, car repair, and urgent payments of important utility bills. People with less than outstanding credit score find it hard to apply for a personal loan with traditional lenders namely banks and credit unions. Aside from the tedious and painstaking application process, these entities check on the credit score and rating of applicants prior to approval.

Sadly, people with average to poor credit score are denied of access to instant cash. This occurs especially when needs arise in between salary schedules. No credit check loans or bad credit loans however solve this dilemma by facilitating the fastest, easiest, and most convenient means by which everyone- people with good credit standing or otherwise- can apply for a loan and get cash in a matter of hours (even within 1 hour).

Majority of us have experienced the financial difficulties brought about by the economic collapse a few years back. A large portion of the population is still in the process of recovery, but there are still individuals who experience occasional problems with finances, especially in between paydays. Getting loans without a credit check provides a sense of relief to borrowers through small, but very useful cash to cover for events and situations that need urgent funding.

Payday loan lenders have been around for many decades and have helped millions of borrowers with their respective emergency financial needs. New features in recent years have made it ever more popular during these financially-embattled times. For instance, online payday loans are very trendy now that Internet access is at its all-time high and still growing. It is due to online payday loans and cash advances that faxless payday loans were also introduced to the public. This payday loan service became a hit due to the fact that borrowers were not obligated to send in the loan application requirements, thus saving them time and money.

Benefits of No Credit Check Loans

  • The absence of credit check (Experian. TransUnion and Equifax ), one which is a routine performed by traditional lenders, encourages people to get extra cash without hesitation. This makes it relatively hassle-free, even for people with poor credit score, to pay off outstanding debt right away.
  • By paying off important financial obligations such as auto loans, mortgage, credit card debt, and insurance policies on time, borrowers avoid unnecessary late fees and penalties altogether.
  • Paying off outstanding debt for other secured and even unsecured loans by using the cash from this short term loan assists in improving the credit score of borrowers, thus enabling them to be approved of new loans from traditional lenders.
  • With these outstanding benefits, why wouldn t you take advantage of this lending service?

    Loan Features

    • Easy application process
  • No need to submit requirements

  • Get approved in 24 hours or less

  • How to Get Something Removed from Your Credit Report #neighbors #credit #union

    #how to get my credit score

    How to Get Something Removed from Your Credit Report

    Luckily, it is possible to remove something off your credit report without having to wait 7 years for it to delete automatically. It s smart to remove something from your credit report if you re trying to clean up your credit report for a mortgage or car loan. Perhaps the negative entries are just bothering you!

    Whether you re dealing with late payments, collections, charge offs, or foreclosures, there are several effective techniques that will clean up your credit report rather quickly.

    Start With a Credit Dispute Letter

    Before you try anything else, you should first make sure the negative entry on your credit report doesn t have any inaccuracies. Studies have shown that most people s credit reports contain errors.

    The trick here is to look for any errors whatsoever on each negative entry. Just because the entry itself is accurate doesn t mean the details about the entry on your credit report don t contain errors. In fact, you ll find out that it most likely does.

    The first step is to get a copy of your credit report and closely look over each entry and check each detail against your records.

    You should check the following things:

    • Account number
    • Balance
    • Date opened
    • Account status (e.g. Closed)
    • Payment status (e.g. Collection)
    • High Balance
    • Credit Limit
    • Anything else that appears to be inaccurate

    Every time you find an error, note what is inaccurate along with the accurate value. Next, you want to write a detailed dispute letter using my advanced credit dispute letter template. You will send this letter to the credit agencies asking them to correct the inaccuracies or remove the entry. The best part is that many times they can t verify each detail about the entry so it s removed.

    Write a Goodwill Letter

    If disputing the negative entry doesn t work (that is, either there weren t any errors or the credit agencies verified them as accurate), your next step should be writing the creditor or collection agency asking them to remove the negative entry out of goodwill. This is most effective when you re trying to remove late payments, paid collections, or paid charge offs.

    A goodwill letter is really easy to write and you can use my goodwill letter template as a starting point. You will basically explain your situation to the creditor or collection agency. While this may seem like a long shot, you d be surprised how often it works. This is especially true if you re a current customer because they want to keep your business.

    Negotiate Pay For Delete

    If you have any unpaid collections or charge offs, the best way to get them removed is to negotiate with the creditor or collection agency and offer to pay the unpaid debt if they agree to delete the negative entry from your credit report. This is very effective as long as you get everything in writing. Therefore, never do this over the phone. Rather, use my Negotiate A Complete Removal letter template .

    Have a professional remove the negative entry

    Lastly, if you’re the type of person who would rather have a professional handle it and just be done with the whole thing, I suggest you check out Lexington Law Credit Repair. They’ll take care of you.

    How to Improve a Good Credit Score #credit #card #score

    #how to improve credit score

    How to Improve a Good Credit Score

    In the last few years, the importance of credit scores and the publicity of that importance has shot up tremendously. With the loose credit era behind us, and banks fearful of taking on more under and non-performing loans (ie. loans not being paid on time and in full), your credit score and your credit report have become more important than ever.

    So it s natural that more and more people are asking what they can do to improve their credit score. If your score is low, then there are plenty of things you can do to improve it and plenty of places that will explain what you need to do.

    But what if you have a decent or good credit score? What can you do?

    What is a good credit score?

    I consider any score in the first three groups on myFICO (so a FICO score of 680 and up) as a good credit score.

    If you re in the 760 to 850 category, the highest tier according to myFICO for mortgage rates, let me save you some time stop reading. Your score is good, in fact it s great, and there really is no reason for you to focus on trying to get it better. I d give you that same advice if you re in the second tier too. Instead, I d look at the other aspects of your personal finances to see if there are some quicker wins there.

    Your credit score is important but it s not so important that you should focus all of your energy on it. If you are planning on buying a home or need a loan for a car, then it s important to improve your score. If you aren t, then I d recommend focusing on other areas.

    Assumptions of a Good Credit Score

    If you have a good credit score then we can make some basic assumptions about you and your relationship with credit:

    • You make your payments on-time all the time. You might miss one a year by accident, but it s so infrequent you have no trouble asking the credit card company for forgiveness and they grant it.
    • Your credit utilization is low, probably under 10% and definitely under 20%.
    • You have a nice healthy credit history of the above two points, plus no adverse actions like collections or bankruptcy, giving creditors confidence that you can handle credit wisely.

    If you re that good, it doesn t seem like you have much to do right?

    Avoid Bad Things

    It s clear that what you re doing is working so the key to keeping or improving on your good score is avoiding the land mines in the credit score game. The three biggest ones are:

    • Don t cancel any credit cards. Canceling credit cards will naturally bump up your credit utilization, so it s important that you don t cancel any of them. With credit card companies looking to cut lines of credit, they may be tempted to cut your limit or cancel your card even with your high credit score. You can combat this by making charges to some of your inactive cards, just so they don t get swept up in these inactivity slashes.
    • Don t make any large spikes in purchases. Credit utilization is calculated based on your statements, not how much debt you carry from month to month. If you start making lots of large purchases in consecutive months, you might see your score suffer as your utilization increases.
    • Avoid new debt. When you apply for a new credit card or new line of credit, the creditor or lender will request a hard inquiry of your credit report. This hard inquiry can drop your score by double digits my wife s credit score dropped 14 points because of a credit card inquiry .

    Find Areas for Improvement

    Start by getting your credit score from Credit Karma and hitting up their Report Card. The inquiry is a soft inquiry, since it s not used as a lending decision, so your score won t suffer. For the card, you need to be logged in and you ll need to have pulled your TransUnion report at least once for it to make a determination. For our purposes, the score itself isn t as relevant as the report card.

    The report card will give your grade on a variety of metrics used in the FICO credit score formula. Identify the factors where you do not score an A and see if there s anything you can do, or avoid, to improve that grade. For example, I have a 733 score on Credit Karma and the following are non-A grades:

    • Average Age of Open Credit Lines 5 Years, 7 Months C What are my options? I can close newer cards to increase the average age (my oldest is 10 years, 4 months) but each of my credit cards serves a distinct purpose so that s not an option. I don t let my credit score dictate what I should do if I have other competing interests. The only thing I can do is avoid opening any new credit lines.
    • Hard credit inquiries 2 B Two inquiries and it s already a B, showing how important inquiries can be on a report. I can try to have the hard inquiries removed if they were unauthorized but otherwise the only action item is to avoid inquiries.

    If your credit card gives you recommendations, try implementing them to give your score a boost.

    Find Errors

    Finally, you need to request your credit reports via and review them for errors, regardless of how minor they may appear. If you are planning on getting a loan in the future, these errors can cause you some heartache, even if they are seemingly irrelevant address errors, if you don t resolve them (and errors can take months to fix).

    I hope this article was helpful in identifying steps you can take as someone with good credit. If you have any strategies or suggestions of things you have done to improve your score, please share them in the comments!

    How to Get Your Free Credit Report Online: A Step-by-Step Guide #how #to #get #a #credit #card #with #bad #credit

    #free credit report canada

    How to Get Your Free Credit Report Online: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Modified on March 3rd, 2015

    This article is by GRS staff writer Adam Baker.

    The statistics on credit reports errors are staggering. A 2004 U.S. PIRG survey showed that 79% of credit reports contained either serious errors or other mistakes of some kind. 79%? Seriously? How can that be?

    I guess it doesn t help that as of 2006. 27% of adults had never checked their report for errors. Not once. Ever.

    Getting your hands on a free copy of your credit report and checking it for errors is one of the easiest ways to help your financial health. Correcting even a small mistake can make a huge difference to your score. A higher score means lower interest rates, insurance quotes, and can even help you land some types of jobs. And it s never been easier to get a copy of your free credit report. is a government-approved site that enables most people to gain access to their reports within minutes. Under law, you have the right to obtain a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once every twelve months. Courtney and I stagger our requests so that we are able to access a different bureau every four months.

    Warning: There are many scam sites that try to rip-off Stay away from the cheesy commercials and catchy jingles. is safe, approved, and regulated.

    I don t think people realize just how simple it can be to check your report! Below, I ve taken step-by-step screen shots of each leg of the process:

    How To Get Your Credit Score Free #apply #credit #card

    #how to get your credit score free

    Just be sure are out of work, it s distinct that without the outer financial assist, you might fight, although resolving the dilemma. You won t need to publish several and hard to protected forms How to How to get your credit score free get your credit score free because you require to be considered only with the fundamental criteria which includes.

    What you need to do is assurance a great amount of cash in the settlement deal cost you the corporation you will get the development from and you will then have the wanted sum typically inside twenty four hours.

    You shouldn t go door-to-door of loan providers you can easily send information and we ll create a sleek transfer of funds by word uk incredibly smoothly and promptly. Nokia s that make claims to specialise in these kind of financial loans will advise you that if offer them a How to get your credit score free charge straight up they ll fully handle your case you need to dialogue with all your financial institutions that How to get your credit score free will substantially reduce the debt you borrowed from.

    These financing options may help the lender to extend the credit status for the debtor.

    How to Get Your Free Annual Credit Report from Experian #consolidation #loans #for #credit #cards

    #credit report canada free

    How to Get Your Free Annual Credit Report from Experian

    Under federal law you are entitled to a copy of your credit report annually from all three credit reporting agencies – Experian , Equifax and TransUnion – once every 12 months. Every consumer should check their credit reports from each of the 3 bureaus annually. Doing so will make sure your credit is up-to-date and accurate. Each reporting agency collects and records information in different ways and may not have the same information about your credit history.

    How can I request my free statutory annual credit file disclosure?

    1. You may contact the Central Source by visiting
    2. You can request by phone and call 877 FACTACT
    3. You can complete the Request Form and mail it to:

    Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

    When you order, you will need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. To verify your identity, you may need to provide some information on your credit report, such as the amount of your monthly mortgage payment.

    Your free annual credit report does not include your credit score. A credit score is an additional service that can be purchased when getting your credit report. Along with knowing your credit score you will learn what factors positively or negatively impact your credit risk.

    What is the FACT Act?

    The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) was signed into law in December 2003. The FACT Act, a revision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, allows consumers to get one free comprehensive disclosure of all of the information in their credit file from each of the three national credit reporting companies once every 12 months through a Central Source.

    Is everyone eligible to get their free statutory annual credit file disclosure?

    Yes. As of Dec. 1, 2005 all consumers are eligible to request their statutory annual credit file disclosure once every twelve months.

    How often can I get a free credit file disclosure?

    The FACT Act entitles consumers to get one free statutory credit file disclosure from each of the three national credit reporting companies every twelve months.

    What is a credit report?

    Your personal credit report contains details about your financial behavior and identification information. Experian collects and organizes data about your credit history from your creditor’s and public records. We make your credit report available to current and prospective creditors, employers and others as permitted by law, which may speed up your ability to get credit. Getting a copy of your credit report makes it easy for you to understand what lenders see when they check your credit history. Learn more .

    Need to check your credit

    How to Get Your Free Annual Credit Report from Experian #free #credit #report #and #score

    #100 free credit report

    How to Get Your Free Annual Credit Report from Experian

    Under federal law you are entitled to a copy of your credit report annually from all three credit reporting agencies – Experian , Equifax and TransUnion – once every 12 months. Every consumer should check their credit reports from each of the 3 bureaus annually. Doing so will make sure your credit is up-to-date and accurate. Each reporting agency collects and records information in different ways and may not have the same information about your credit history.

    How can I request my free statutory annual credit file disclosure?

    1. You may contact the Central Source by visiting
    2. You can request by phone and call 877 FACTACT
    3. You can complete the Request Form and mail it to:

    Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

    When you order, you will need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. To verify your identity, you may need to provide some information on your credit report, such as the amount of your monthly mortgage payment.

    Your free annual credit report does not include your credit score. A credit score is an additional service that can be purchased when getting your credit report. Along with knowing your credit score you will learn what factors positively or negatively impact your credit risk.

    What is the FACT Act?

    The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) was signed into law in December 2003. The FACT Act, a revision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, allows consumers to get one free comprehensive disclosure of all of the information in their credit file from each of the three national credit reporting companies once every 12 months through a Central Source.

    Is everyone eligible to get their free statutory annual credit file disclosure?

    Yes. As of Dec. 1, 2005 all consumers are eligible to request their statutory annual credit file disclosure once every twelve months.

    How often can I get a free credit file disclosure?

    The FACT Act entitles consumers to get one free statutory credit file disclosure from each of the three national credit reporting companies every twelve months.

    What is a credit report?

    Your personal credit report contains details about your financial behavior and identification information. Experian collects and organizes data about your credit history from your creditor’s and public records. We make your credit report available to current and prospective creditors, employers and others as permitted by law, which may speed up your ability to get credit. Getting a copy of your credit report makes it easy for you to understand what lenders see when they check your credit history. Learn more .

    Need to check your credit

    Your Credit Score: Getting a Totally Free Credit Score #credit #union #loans

    #free score credit

    Get Your Free Credit Score

    These days the most influential document that is affecting your finances is your credit report. The details contained therein dictate to your current and potential creditors how risky you may be to extend future credit to. It is paramount that you make every effort to stay on top of your credit report, or it will cost you big. Today s economic credit crunch is drying up borrowing opportunities in nearly every place it was once given out freely.

    For this reason alone, credit providers are able to be much more selective in whom they deem fit to take a loan. Credit card companies are even raising interest rates on existing customers or lowering their available credit limits. This is being done everyday here in America, and those with damaged credit reports are feeling the pinch first and the most significantly. By finding out what is contained in your credit report, you can start looking at ways to improve your credit profile and avoid these costly credit problems.

    Free credit reports are now available to every citizen in the United States provided for by the Free Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This law obliges the major credit reporting bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, to provide copies of consumer s credit reports free of charge. The reports are offered on a once-annual basis, but the request must be made by the consumer themselves. To get your credit report the process has, thankfully, been simplified to aid credit report access to all. Simply contact the three major credit reporting bureaus via phone, website or mail.

    Credit Scores

    Credit scores are the mathematical representation of the data contained in your credit report, plain and simple. The FICO, or Fair Isaac Corporation . may seem more complex than it is, but in reality it has a fairly simple percentage-based system to calculate your credit score.

    Video: Your Credit Score – Bloomberg

    While the system for calculating your credit score is not wholly publicized, the make up of your credit score is:

    35% of your score is made up of how you pay your bills. If you pay your bills on-time, late, or not at all, this information has a massive impact on your overall score.

    • 30% of your score is determined based on how much available credit you have. The system is looking to see how much of your credit you rely on to live. People who tend to use all the credit made available to them tend also to be poor credit risks. If however you are only using 10-25% of the total credit you have access to, your score will benefit substantially.
    • 15% of your score is made up of the length of your credit history. If you started early with a student credit card or your parents started an account in your name as a minor, you are going to have a significant advantage over your peers. The longer the credit history you possess, the better for your score.
    • 10% of your score is your credit mix. Meaning lenders like to see that you have a little variety in your credit life. Having multiple means of credit, such as some revolving credit card accounts, a vehicle loan, mortgage . etc. is much more advantageous than just a single credit source.
    • 10% of you score is based on inquiries into your credit report made by people other than you. Inquiries, especially when they are significant in amount and frequency, tend to negatively impact your credit score. This is because these inquiries look to the FICO credit score system that you are credit shopping, looking to get as much loaned money as possible. A sure fire indicator of a poor credit risk.

    Final Word on Credit Scores and Reports

    These percentages all combine to give you your final credit score. This score is available through all the credit reporting bureaus, but it will cost you. The bureaus while obligated to give you a free credit report copy each year, do not have to supply you with the number. If you want your actual credit score, contact the bureaus or 3rd party online credit score companies and request it. More importantly, pay attention to the reasons your credit score is impacted, both good and bad, and keep on top of your credit report. A good credit report means a good credit score, every time.

    How To Improve Your Credit Score #personal #credit

    #credit score canada

    How To Improve Your Credit Score

    One of the most important aspects of your financial life is your credit score. As a savvy consumer, you need to know how to get your credit report  and how to calculate your credit score. Once you understand where you stand, you can take steps to improve your situation.

    It s vital that you take steps to improve your credit score. The difference between fair credit and good credit can mean thousands of dollars in interest saved over the course of a loan. If you can improve your credit rating so that it is considered excellent, you can get the best terms on many of your financial products and services, from mortgage loans to insurance policies.

    Tips for Improving your Credit Score

    If you want to improve your credit score, it s a good idea to approach your efforts systematically. Here are some tips that can help you improve your credit score:

    • Pay your bills on time. Payment history is the most important aspect of your credit score. Late payments are one of the biggest hits to your credit score. If you pay late repeatedly, you are likely to see a rapid decrease in your score.
    • Keep your debt balances low. Don t max out your credit cards. When you are close to your available credit limit, it sends up red flags and can lower your score. Try to keep you balances lower than 50% of your credit limit. It s even better if you can keep it to 30% of your credit limit.
    • Maintain a long credit history. The further back your credit history goes, the better. When you can show that you have a long history of using credit (especially if you use it responsibly), you can boost your score. You might not want to close a paid off credit card that you no longer use if it’s your earliest source of credit. Put a charge on it on occasion to keep it active and then pay it off immediately.
    • Have various types of credit. You don t want all of your credit to be in one category. Mix it up a little. Some different types of credit include credit cards, credit lines, car loans, RRSP loans, and mortgages. The variety of revolving credit and installment credit can help reinforce your credit history, and show that you can handle different credit situations.
    • Don’t apply for more credit than you need. The more credit applications you have in your recent history, the more credit hungry you look, and the lower your credit score will be.

    Following these steps should help you improve your credit score fast. although fast is usually a relative term. It usually takes at least 60 days to see any improvement, and it could take longer (90 to 120 days or more) to see substantial improvement.

    Once you establish good credit habits, though, and follow them consistently, you will be able to to improve your credit score, and then maintain this higher score. You ll get access to better financial products and services, and even save money over time.

    Sign up today to be the first to know about all the latest topics on one of the top personal finance blogs in Canada.

    What is the best way to improve my credit score? #credit #reference #agencies #uk

    #my credit score

    What is the best way to improve my credit score?

    While there is no best way to improve your credit score, as each of the three main credit reporting bureaus may give a higher value to one type of action over another, there are several steps you can take, which done together, can potentially raise your score 75 points or more. These steps are not difficult, but they do take planning and perseverance. You don’t necessary have to pay off all your debt, but rather you may need to reposition some debt, while paying down higher balances on other obligations. The reward is great, and can potentially save you thousands of dollars in lower-interest rate loans and time saving qualifying requirements. Most lenders base the interest rate they offer on the FICO score derived from the results found in the borrower’s credit report. The higher the FICO score, in most all cases, the better the interest rate offered. Although determining your FICO score may seem arbitrary and complicated, there are still things you can do to improve your over-all score.

      Obtain a free copy of your credit report from You can also call them at 877-322-8228 or write at Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. If you have recently been denied credit, you have the right to request a free credit report from the bureau who reported your bad credit. Check and repair incorrect information. Look over the report carefully for errors or information which is outdated or not correct. Are there collections or past-due debts which have been paid off? If so, contact the creditor and ask that they send a correction to the credit reporting agencies. Are there items listed in which you perhaps were a co-signor on a credit card, for example with a parent or former spouse? Can these be removed? Are there items listed as open, yet you have closed out those accounts? Are any previous mortgages which have been paid noted as paid in full? Are there any late or delinquent payments which you can dispute? Are there any creditor items which you can write a letter of explanation to be attached to your credit report? If you failed to pay off an account and it went into collection, pay it off as soon as you can. These accounts hurt your score and remain on your report for seven years. Keep your balances low in relation to your credit limit. Do you have any credit cards in which the balance owing is close to the credit limit on the card? If so, try to pay down this balance. Try to limit the balance owing to no more than 40% – 50% of the credit limit. Make payments when due. Even if you carry roll over balances on a credit card, be sure to make that payment on or before the due date. Set up an automatic payment for at least the minimum payment. Your credit card company will send you a form to sign up for this feature. This will prevent you from ever being late on a payment. Delinquent payments, even if only a few days late can have a major negative impact on your FICO score. When possible, pay more than the minimum amount due. Even a payment of $20 or $20 over the minimum due will be helpful. Pay down any large credit balances. Paying down a balance is one of the fastest ways to improve your credit score. Can you tap into your savings to pay down or pay off a high interest or high balance card? This step can improve your credit score by up to 100 points by paying off some credit items completely and paying down the balance on others. When you pay off a credit card, don t necessarily close it down but rather keep a small balance so that your positive payment history will continue to show up on your credit report. Note that closing an account doesn’t make it go away. A closed account will still show up on your credit report, and may be considered by the score. Prevent numerous credit report searches. A credit search can be performed on your report without your knowledge. Chose to op-out by contacting ( ) and request that unauthorized persons not be allowed to access your credit report. Oftentimes repeated credit searches will lower your over-all FICO score. Your score is not affected when you check your own credit. Credit checks by prospective employers also do not count. These types of inquiries may appear on your credit report, but they are not included in your FICO score. Payoff or renegotiate bad credit debt. These could include such as medical collections, delinquent credit cards or past-due school fees. Work with the creditor and request a new pay-off figure which they will accept if you pay off the debt in full. If that is not possible, request a lower interest rate and realistic due date. Get any promise to remove bad credit in writing from the creditor. Only apply for credit cards which you absolutely need. Resist the temptation to take advantage of any offers for credit unless you are sure you need that extra credit. Opening new cards can lower your score and will result in additional credit searches showing up on your report.

    Copyright 2012 Sandy Gadow. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be resold, reprinted, resyndicated or redistributed without the written permission from Escrow Publishing Company.

    Related Question

    Can you give me an example of how a better FICO score will save me money?

    Lenders base their lending criteria on your FICO score. The higher the number, the easier it will be for you to obtain credit. Preferred borrowers with FICO scores of 720 and higher, may typically pay less in closing costs, and be allowed to provide less documentation than a borrower with a lower credit score. Certain requirements may be waived for the preferred borrower, such as prepayment penalties and required reserves or escrows held by the lender.

    For example, on a $300,000, fixed rate mortgage, for a 30 year term (rates may vary as to current market conditions):

    How to improve your credit score: The facts and myths about credit ratings – Mirror Online #credit #score #calculator

    #credit score uk

    Get your credit rating sorted to improve your chances of borrowing

    Tough times mean banks are getting meaner and stricter about who they are prepared to lend to.

    It’s more vital than ever that you check your credit record, understand what affects your credit score and then get it as squeaky clean as possible. That will give you a fighting chance of getting that mortgage, loan or credit card – and at the very best rate.

    Lenders use credit reports to help them decide who to dole out cash to and at what price. You need to show you’re a safe bet or you’ll pay way over the odds in interest.

    There are lots of mistaken beliefs about how credit reports work and what affects them.

    Research by CreditExpert shows eight out of 10 of us believe that being unsuccessful with one lender will harm how others score you. While a ‘footprint’ of lenders’ searches is recorded, the fact that they declined you credit is not. But if you rapidly apply elsewhere, too many footprints will set alarm bells ringing that you are in financial difficulty.

    Around a quarter of people believe that missing a mortgage or credit card payment will not have an impact on their credit rating – but these are two of the biggest negative factors on a credit score.

    On the other hand, paying off a mortgage has a major positive effect – the bigger the amount of credit, the better repayments are for your rating. But the worse it will be if you miss one. The order of importance for things that affect your rating are: mortgage, followed by loan, credit card, store card, overdraft.

    Peter Turner, managing director at Experian Consumer Services, says: “Your credit report is used by lenders to gauge how well you manage credit, if you pose a creditworthiness risk, and it influences the rates you get.”

    By knowing what’s in your credit report you will see what potential lenders see and can take steps to improve how you are rated.

    Make improvements

    One way to improve your score is to take out a credit card and make regular repayments.

    UK customers with past debt problems or a limited credit history can get cards from Luma and Vanquis with rates well below payday loan levels.

    Vanquis charges an APR (annual percentage rate) of 39.9% and Luma 35.9%, with maximum credit limits of 1,000 and 1,500 respectively.

    Borrowing 400 at 39.9% will cost 13.55 interest for a month. With Wonga you’d pay 125.48 interest and fees at 4,214% APR.

    You need to build up a history of using the card and making payments on time EVERY month. Repay the balance each month to boost your score without paying any interest.

    For example, buy petrol on it once a month then pay off the bill in full.

    ‘I took out a card to buy a home’

    Dad Chris Reid got himself in debt when he was younger and has spent the past four years improving his chances of getting the mortgage he really wants to buy a family home.

    “Meeting my wife in 2008 kicked me into action to get my life back on track,” says Chris, 31, from Maidstone in Kent.

    “I saw an advert for CreditExpert and checked out my credit file. I had a score of just 320. I knew it wouldn’t be great but I was a bit shocked when I realised it was so low and I was in the bottom end of the very poor category.

    “I took out a high-interest credit card so I could try to rebuild my rating. It wasn’t to spend on everyday things, it was just for emergencies and to prove I was reliable and could make regular repayments.

    “I spent around 50 on it each month and paid the bill off in full. I know it’s been four years but my score has now reached 881, which is great as I’m well on my way to achieving that mortgage goal.

    “You have to stick with it. These things definitely don’t happen overnight. But, it has paid off for me. Even though I’m still paying off debts it feels good to be more in control of my finances. I don’t have to worry I will be turned down.

    “I’m feeling much more

    confident and thinking about changing my mobile phone con- tract and applying

    for a mainstream credit card.”

    Sign up and check your credit file at CreditExpert or Equifax – both offer a 30-day trial.

    5 steps to improve your credit score

    Make sure you are registered on the Electoral Roll at your current address. If you are not it can cause delays when you apply for credit, and some firms may turn you down flat if they can’t confirm where you live.

    Make sure all your credit report info is fully accurate and up to date. Dispute it if it’s not.

    If you have had previous credit problems and there were special circumstances such as losing your job, family bereavement etc, explain this on your report by adding a notice of correction to any late payments from this period.

    If you had financial links to other people which are no longer relevant (such as an ex-partner) ask for them to be removed from your records.

    Close accounts you no longer use. A lot of unused credit you can access without further checks may negatively affect your rating. It can also make you more vulnerable to fraud.

    Facts and myths about your credit score

    Here are the myths versus the reality about what will and won’t harm your credit rating:

    Myth: Being turned down for credit will harm your rating.

    Reality: Being turned down for credit is not held on a credit report so has no effect on how you’re rated. What does have an impact is if you’re unsuccessful and then repeatedly apply elsewhere without finding out what the problem is.

    Every search on your file that lenders make when they assess you leaves a footprint. Too many in too short a time can look like you’re in financial trouble, which makes you look like a risk.

    Myth: Regularly paying off utility bills will improve your score.

    Reality: You should, of course, always pay your utility bills. But not all utility companies share their information with credit reference agencies, so don’t assume that lenders will know that you’ve

    had a faultless history with your energy company.

    Myth: Working in a salaried job will improve your score.

    Reality: The fact that you have a job that pays a regular salary is not on your credit report. However, it will form part of a credit application and being employed and paid monthly is a sign of stability, which lenders like. They will also ask about your income to ensure that you can afford any new borrowing.

    Myth: Being arrested or having a criminal record will harm your rating.

    Reality: This sort of information is not on your credit file.

    Myth: Being on the electoral roll won’t improve how you’re rated for credit.

    Reality: This is one of the easiest ways to improve how you’re rated. It lets lenders corroborate your address and identity and is a sign

    of stability.

    Myth: Having several cards will harm how you’re rated.

    Reality: It comes down to how you use them. If you’re struggling to juggle payments, lenders will see this. But if you’re using less than 50% of your available balance, can afford payments and are making them on time, these are signs of someone who can sensibly manage their credit.

    It’s often better to have several cards with a lower balance on each than the same total amount all on one card. For example, if you had five cards with 1,000 credit available on each and each card was 100 in debit, but you transferred all the balances to one and cut up the others, it would probably have a negative impact. That said, some lenders may perceive a risk if your available balance is far, far more than you could ever afford to repay.

    Myth: Missing a credit card or mortgage payment won’t harm your score.

    Reality: Missing repayments is one of the most harmful things on your credit report. Lenders want to know you are reliable and not always making repayments says the opposite. Missing one or two may not make too much difference, but if it looks like regular behaviour, lenders will shy away.

    And remember that missed payments stay on your account for six years – so you could be storing up real problems for the future.

    Myth: Paying off a credit card on time has no impact on your rating.

    Reality: A strong history of regular payments and settling of accounts is exactly what lenders want to see.

    Myth: Having a credit card will harm your rating.

    Reality: If you don’t use credit, lenders find it hard to assess whether you would be a good person to lend to. Remember, they are looking for evidence that you are a safe bet.

    How to Improve Your Credit Score by 100 Points? #apply #for #credit #card #with #no #credit #history

    #how to improve credit score

    Credit Score Range

    How to Improve Your Credit Score by 100+ Points?

    Your credit score has a huge impact on your loan application. It is a very important number lenders use to determine whether or not you’ll qualify for new credit, and at what interest rates and terms of credit. Those with the highest scores get the lowest interest rates.

    Back in the good old days, 620 was considered a decent credit score but in the post crisis economy (and most lenders continue to tighten credit requirements), even a 720 credit score isn t good enough to get the best loan terms. These days, lenders typically demand a FICO score of 740. (Please refer to the FICO Score Chart )

    According to myFICO, a 100 point difference in your FICO score could mean over $25,000 extra in interest payments over the life of a 30 year mortgage on a $300,000 home loan.

    What can you do if you are on the lower end of the credit score scale. And how can you raise it up to 740?

    Well, there are a few things to can you do right now to raise your credit score by 100 points (or whatever number you have in mind).  In fact, these are do it yourself credit repair tips that could easily save you a significant amount of money. Without further ado, let s review the other possibilities.

    #1 Check your score periodically for errors

    Don t assume that the information on your credit report is error free. That s why it pays to review and make sure everything is up-to-date and accurate.

    Here s the good news. By law, you re entitled to for free credit report from once a year; keep in mind, though, that this free report only shows your credit history, not your credit score.

    The following are possible errors which you can be fixed by way of dispute

    • Accounts that aren t yours due to possible cases of identify theft.
    • Reports of late payments when you have already paid on time.
    • Bankruptcies older than 10 years or accounts that are listed as still due.
    • Other negative information that s older than 7 years.

    If you uncover any error, you can file dispute it by writing a letter to the bureau and requesting that the negative entries be removed. Though each credit reporting agency has its own rules regarding challenging the incorrect information. While it might seem like a daunting task, you ll be glad you did.

    Another tactic you can use to clean up your credit report is to dispute a negative item even if you believe it is accurate. Unethical? It works sometimes.

    #2 Pay your bills on time

    Your score is very sensitive to whether you pay your bills on time. One missed payment could lower your score significantly. In fact, missing just one payment can lower your credit score by as much as 100 points. So stay on top of your credit card, loan, and utility bill deadlines.

    If possible, set up automatic payments that take an amount you specify every month from your checking account, making at least the minimum payments. Don t blemish your credit report with late payment.

    #3 Lower your debt-to-credit ratio

    Try to keep a low debt-to-credit ratio the ratio of your credit card balances to credit limits, meaning that if you own a credit card, your card balances should be only a small fraction of your available credit. For instance, if you have a limit of $1,000, your balance should stay well under $300.

    Aim to keep your balance below 30% of your limit on each card or if you re a customer with a good history, ask your current credit card issuers to raise your limits. Most will oblige.

    Most lenders look at both your total debt-to-credit ratio as well as the debt-to-credit ratio of each credit card, the less you utilize your credit, the better. Do your best to maintain favorable ratios for both.

    #4 Don’t apply for new credit unless necessary

    Though new credit is the least important factor in your score, it is still an important issue to consider. Unless it is necessary, don t open credit accounts you don t intend to use as it will lower your credit score.

    This is because it has been statistically proven that those acquiring more credit are a bigger lending risk than those who are not. Make sense?

    Last but certainly worth a mention is that the length of your credit history accounts for 15 % of your score. Those with long, established credit histories fare much better than those who are just becoming financially established. Sure there is little you can do about this, except to maintain a solid track record of using borrowed money wisely by sticking to the above tips.

    In summary, your credit score can either save you money or cost you money. Therefore, if you have a low credit score, it may be in your best interest to take proactive steps to raise your score to the higher scale (preferably above 740 mark), even if that means you put off applying for a loan.

    Failing which could easily cost you hundreds or thousands of extra dollars paid for higher interest rates, especially when you go to apply for a large loan, like a mortgage. After all, when it comes to mortgages, auto loan and credit cards, the higher your score, the lower the interest rate you re going to pay.

    It is therefore upon you now to see to it that you maintain the only score that matters. It might not be easy and it won’t happen over night. It takes discipline, sacrifice and patience, but the results will be worthwhile.

    You may seek advice from financial advisers on how to rescore it, but ultimately you play the biggest role by sticking to the advice and most importantly, taking action .

    Although by law, you’re entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report annually from any of the 3 credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, this free report will not reveal your actual credit score.

    To view the actual score that the lenders are seeing, get your score (plus 3 in 1 credit report) from Free Score Finder and know know where your credit score stand.

    Private, Graduate – Undergraduate Student Loans #credit #card #information

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    Education Loans

    SunTrust offers multiple resources, tools and financing options that can help students and families who need to pay for college.

    Getting ready for school? We can help.

    Private Student Loans

    If savings, federal student loans, scholarships and grants don t cover college costs, consider a SunTrust private student loan to cover education related expenses such as transportation, housing, a computer, etc. With money-saving benefits, competitive rates and flexible repayment options, a SunTrust private student loan may be the right solution for rounding out your financing needs. 1

    More savings for SunTrust clients

    • If the bank account is a SunTrust checking, savings or money market account, the discount is 0.50%. 2
    • If the bank account is a non-SunTrust account, the discount is 0.25%. 2


    1 SunTrust recommends you compare all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, federal loans and SunTrust private student loans prior to applying for private student loans.

    Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue these programs without notice. All loan programs are subject to approval and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.

    How to Obtain a Credit Card Without a Job #mortgage #lenders #for #bad #credit

    #credit cards for people with no credit

    Other People Are Reading

    Credit Cards and Income

    Banks are wary of extending a line of credit if a consumer doesn’t have the resources to pay down purchases. In fact, the federal government prohibits it. The Credit CARD Act of 2009 required banks to evaluate the income of the borrower when extending credit. In 2013, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection amended the act to allow banks to consider both borrower income and any income or assets they have a reasonable expectation of access to if the applicant is over 21.

    Income From Other Sources

    You don’t need a job to get a traditional credit card. However, you do have to show some sort of income stream or assets you can use to pay off purchases. If you work as an independent contractor or receive unemployment benefits, alimony or child support payments, you may list that income. If a parent, family member or spouse provides you funds to pay bills, you can also list that allowance as income. If you have no current income stream but a large balance in your checking and savings accounts, a bank may still issue you a credit card. However, the credit limit will be lower for consumers with no income or low income.

    Student Credit Cards

    If you’re a student, you often can obtain a credit card without a job. Lenders understand that it’s difficult to attend school and work at the same time. That’s why most banks have credit cards especially designed for students that often have lower credit score and income requirements. Students can list expected student loan disbursements as a form of income to obtain a line of credit.

    Secured Credit Cards

    If you truly have no sources of income or support that you can list on a credit card application and don’t have a lot of savings, you may consider a secured credit card. This can be especially useful to consumers who are trying to build up a credit history. With a secured credit card, you’ll turn over a security deposit to the bank and use that to fund your credit card purchases. For example, if you give the bank a security deposit of $400, you will only be able to charge $400 until you pay off some of the balance. As your credit improves and you obtain new sources of income, you can request an unsecured credit card.

    How to Order a Free Credit Report With No Subscription #apply #for #credit #card #online

    #get my credit score

    How to Order a Free Credit Report With No Subscription

    Fortunately, there are several ways you can order a free credit report with no subscription.

    You can order all three of your credit reports once a year without entering a credit card number and without a subscription. There are three ways to order your annual credit report – through the internet, by phone, and by mail. Make sure you type the URL correctly as there are imposter websites that play on common misspellings of those words. Remember – if you have to enter a credit card number or enroll in a subscription, it s not really free.

    You order your Experian credit report and credit score for free twice a year with no subscription.

    States With Free Credit Reports

    Certain states have laws that let you order a free credit report with no subscription. These states include Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and Vermont. Use these links to order your free state credit report.

    Special Situations for Free Credit Report

    How To Increase Your Credit Scores #credit #check #australia #free

    #how to improve your credit score

    How To Increase Your Credit Scores

    Your credit score is a numerical interpretation of your past credit behavior. The creator of the FICO credit score, the Fair Isaac Corp. divides your credit score into five categories — payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit used. Each category covers a range of factors that affect your overall score. Simultaneous improvement in all categories is the fastest way to improve your score. Typically, if you damage your score by missing payments, it can take months or years for your score to significantly improve.

    Other People Are Reading

    Make timely payments. At a 35 percent weighting, your payment history is the most important part of your FICO credit score. Consistently making at least your minimum payments on time is the single best thing you can do to help your score. Missing payments or having an account go to collections will be a major drag on your score.

    Keep debt levels low. FICO assigns 30 percent of your score to the category of amounts owed. If any of your accounts carry a balance, paying down the amount you owe will provide a boost to your score.

    Avoid using a substantial amount of your available credit. Creditors like to see a lot of room between your credit limit and the amount of debt you have. Credit utilization, or the percentage of your credit you are using, falls under the category of amounts owed in the FICO scoring model.

    Extend your credit history as long as possible. Every month that you can demonstrate responsible credit behavior adds to the 15 percent of your FICO score devoted to the length of your credit history. The longer you can maintain open and satisfactory accounts, the more it will help your credit score.

    Stick with your current credit. Applying for new credit results in a credit inquiry, which remains on your credit report for two years and can lower your score. The FICO model assigns a 10 percent weighting to new credit.

    Keep a diverse blend of credit. The final 10 percent of your FICO credit score comes from the types of credit you have. Having only one type of credit, such as credit cards, can limit your score. If you can convert one of your outstanding credit card debts to a personal or installment loan, you may see a score bump as your credit mix improves.

    How to Monitor Your Own Credit, For Free, Forever #getting #your #credit #report

    #best credit monitoring service

    How to Monitor Your Own Credit, For Free, Forever

    When retailers like Target get hacked and lose million and millions of customers’ data, they usually apologize and offer a year or so of credit monitoring services to make amends. With Neiman Marcus , Michaels and Home Depot also struggling with data breaches, there’s no reason to wait for them to throw you a bone. Here’s how you can monitor your own credit, for free, for as long as you want.

    According to investigation by KrebsOnSecurity, Home Depot has been a victim of the same type of… Read more Read more

    Credit monitoring services keep an eye on your credit report and alert you to any significant changes or suspicious activity on any of your accounts that could influence your credit score. It’s not the same as transaction monitoring or fraud alerts, but it’s great at catching identity theft, as long as it happens while your accounts are being monitored. If someone opens a new account in your name, or maxes out one of your credit cards before you notice it, a monitoring service can alert you and your banks to take the appropriate action.

    Why Temporary, Company-Offered Credit Monitoring Sucks (but It’s Better Than Nothing)

    Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number That Shapes Your Financial Future (4th Edition) (Liz Pulliam Weston) #credit #watch

    #which credit report is best


    From the Back Cover

    Wall Street Journal Online

    “A great credit score can help you finish rich! Liz Weston gives solid, easy-to-understand advice about how to improve your credit fast. Read this book and prosper.”

    David Bach. bestselling author of The Automatic Millionaire and The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner

    “Excellent book! Insightful, well written, and surprisingly interesting. Liz Weston has done an outstanding job demystifying an often intimidating and frustrating topic for the benefit of all consumers.”

    Eric Tyson. syndicated columnist and bestselling author of Personal Finance for Dummies

    “No one makes complex financial information easy to understand like Liz Weston. Her straight-talk and wise advice are invaluable to anyone with a credit card or checkbook–and that’s just about all of us.”

    Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D.. author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office and Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich

    “In a country where consumers increasingly pay more when they have bad credit, Liz Weston’s book provides excellent tips and advice on ways to improve your credit history and raise your credit score. If you just apply one or two of her insightful suggestions, you’ll save many times the cost of this book.”

    Ilyce R. Glink. financial reporter, talk show host, and bestselling author of 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask

    “Your credit score can save you money or cost you money–sometimes a lot of money. Yet, most people don’t even know their scores, much less know how to make them better. Liz Weston can help you fix that. In this easy-to-understand guide, you’ll learn how to make sure your score helps you get the best deal on loans and insurance. You can’t afford not to read it.”

    Gerri Detweiler. consumer advocate and founder of

    America’s Most Trusted Guide to Improving Your Credit Score.

    Now Completely Updated!

    • Boosting your score: what works now, what doesn’t–and what you should never do!

    • Detailed new charts: How short sales, foreclosures, and missed payments impact your score

    • Must-have information about credit score abuse–and how to fight back

    • By award-winning MSN Money/AARP financial columnist and public radio contributor Liz Weston

    Your credit score is more important than ever: not just for getting loans, but for getting jobs, insurance, rentals, and fair rates on all financial services. Now, more than ever, you need America’s #1 guide to credit scores: Your Credit Score. by MSN and AARP columnist Liz Weston.

    Accurate, expert, and proven, this book tells you the truth–and it’s already helped many thousands of people take control of their credit scores. Now, it’s completely revamped for today’s massive changes–from FICO 8 to “FAKO,” short sales to employer abuse of credit scores.

    Whatever your score, you need this information–to defend yourself, and to get the credit, rates, work, and home you deserve!

    Product Description

    Today, a good credit score is essential for getting decent terms on credit–or for getting credit at all. But that’s just the beginning: Your credit score rating can be reviewed by everyone from employers to cell phone carriers. Now, MSNBC/L.A. Times journalist Liz Weston has thoroughly updated her best-selling guide to credit scores, with crucial new information for protecting (or rebuilding) yours. Your Credit Score, Fourth Edition thoroughly covers brand-new laws changing everything from how your credit score can be used to how you can communicate with collectors. This edition also adds simple graphics revealing exactly how much skipped payments, bankruptcies, and other actions will lower your credit ratings, and how long it takes to rebound. You’ll find new information on FAKO alternative scores, expanded coverage of short sales, foreclosures, the new FICO 8 Mortgage Score, and when to walk away from a mortgage. Learn how to protect yourself against new credit risks from social networking and mobile banking and how to safeguard against unethical or illegal use of credit scores by employers. Weston updates her expert guidance on using FICO 08 to raise your score, fighting lower limits and higher rates, maintaining the right mix of cards and balances, bouncing back from bad credit, choosing credit solutions that help, not hurt… and much more!

    About the Author

    Liz Weston is a personal finance columnist whose twice-weekly columns for MSN Money reach more than 10 million people each month. She writes a money column, “My Two Cents,” for AARP the Magazine. the largest circulation magazine in the world with 22 million subscribers, and authors the question-and-answer column “Money Talk,” which appears in the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers throughout the country.

    Liz is a regular commentator on American Public Media’s Marketplace Money and has contributed to NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” and “All Things Considered.” She has appeared on Dr. Phil. Today Show. and NBC Nightly News. and was for several years a weekly commentator on CNBC’s Power Lunch .

    Her advice on credit and finance has been featured in Consumer Reports. Marie Claire. Parents. Real Simple. Woman’s World. Woman’s Day. Good Housekeeping. Family Circle. and many other publications.

    Formerly a personal finance writer for the Los Angeles Times. Weston has won numerous reporting awards, including the 2010 Betty Furness Consumer Media Award by the Consumer Federation of America, designed to honor individuals who have made “exceptional progress in American consumerism.”

    Her other books include The 10 Commandments of Money. which the New York Times praised as “a wonderful basic personal finance book…[with] enough counterintuitive ideas to keep even people who know a bit about personal finance reading further.” She is also the author of Deal with Your Debt and Easy Money. both published by Pearson.

    Weston is a graduate of the certified financial planner training program at University of California, Irvine. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. She can be reached via the “Contact Liz” form on her Web site,

    How to Pay Down Credit Cards to Boost Your Credit Score #instant #credit #report

    #how to increase credit score


    Getty Images Moving a balance to a zero percent APR transfer card could be a good strategy for paying down your pile of debt. By Abby Hayes

    If you know anything about credit scores, you know carrying high credit card balances is a big no-no. In fact, your debt-to-credit ratio (how much you owe versus your total available credit) makes up about 30 percent of your overall credit score. And revolving debt — like credit cards — weighs heavier than other outstanding debts — like your mortgage or car loan. So if you’re carrying a bunch of maxed-out credit cards, your credit score is likely in the tank.

    The most straightforward way to improve your debt-to-credit ratio is to simply pay down those balances. But chances are if you’re in a lot of debt, you can’t pay off all the balances right away. (That’s how you got here in the first place, right?)

    Here’s the good news: You don’t have to pay your credit cards off to boost your credit score. But to get the most credit score traction out of every extra payment, you do need to come up with a plan for paying down your credit cards in a certain way.

    The Snowball Method

    The snowball method is excellent for paying off debt quickly and efficiently. Basically, you throw extra money at one debt, and when it’s paid off, put the extra plus the old debt’s minimum payment toward the next debt. Repeat this until you’re debt-free.

    This is an excellent way to get out of debt, if just getting out of debt is your goal. But what if your goal is to get out of debt while also boosting your credit score as quickly as possible? Maybe you’re hoping to apply for a mortgage soon, or a car loan?

    In this case, the snowball method probably isn’t how you want to start. Eventually, you might switch to that, but you may want to begin by evening out your credit card balances.

    Lowering Your Debt-to-Credit Ratio

    When FICO calculates your credit score. it looks at not only your overall debt-to-credit ratio, but also the individual debt-to-credit ratios of your various credit cards and other revolving debt accounts.

    Here’s an example:

    • Card 1. $5,000 balance/$10,000 limit = 50 percent debt-to-credit ratio.
    • Card 2. $4,500 balance/$5,000 limit = 90 percent debt-to-credit ratio.
    • Card 3. $500 balance/$1,500 limit = 33 percent debt-to-credit ratio.
    • Overall. $10,000 balance/$16,500 = 60 percent debt-to-credit ratio.

    In this case, your overall 60 percent debt-to-credit ratio will ding your credit score pretty severely. A “good” debt-to-credit ratio is around 30 percent, and you’re nearly doubling that.

    But since your score also accounts for individual credit cards, you can see that Card 2 is hurting you the worst — it’s nearly maxed out, which is not good. Card 3 is posing the smallest problem, since it is nearly in that “good” range.

    How to Raise Your Credit Score to Get Approved for an Apartment – US News #federal #credit #union

    #how do i get my credit score

    Is your credit too low to rent?

    When you apply for a new rental, your credit score can have a big impact on whether or not you’ll beat out the competition and land the apartment. In fact, a recent survey of property owners and managers found that after income-to-rent ratio, a potential tenant’s credit score was the second most important factor to a landlord leasing a rental.

    However, it’s not a very surprising finding – a high credit score indicates that you pay your bills on time and are likely to continue doing so. Property managers look for candidates with high scores because they feel they can trust those renters to pay their rent.

    If you’re having trouble securing a new apartment because your credit is less-than-stellar, there are things you can do. It will take some work and some time, but you can bounce back from a low credit score. Here are some tips to move you in the right direction:

    Apply for a credit card. If you don’t have a credit card, consider getting one. When used wisely, a credit card can help you build a credit score from the ground up or improve the one you already have. The key here is “a” credit card – as in one. When you have several credit cards, each with a balance, you accumulate nuisance balances. For instance, you might have $50 on one card, $30 on another and $60 on a third. If you have all these little balances and don’t pay them off on time, it can lower your credit score.

    Stop using your credit card for everything. Credit cards can be sneaky. Even if you’ve managed to pay all your balances in full and avoid interest, you could still be hurting yourself with your credit card. Ideally, you should use no more than 20 percent of your credit limit. The amount you use versus your credit limit is called your utilization. Having a utilization of 20 percent or lower reflects well on your credit. A 30 percent utilization is still good, but 10 percent is the absolute best.

    You can reduce your utilization by limiting your credit card use. Instead of using it for everything, only use it strategically. Or you can make several payments on your card throughout the month rather than paying one lump sum. Every time you use your card, pay it off with money from your checking account. This will help manage your utilization percentage.

    Pay your bills on time. Though you may think paying your gas balance a few days late isn’t a big deal, even that small negligence can negatively impact your credit score. If you have a difficult time making payments when they’re due, consider setting up an automatic system with your bank. You can also set reminders for yourself with calendar alerts. When you plan your budget, make sure you take necessary payments out first. Make sure you have the money you need to cover your rent and bills before you make unnecessary purchases.

    Check your credit score and credit report. If you don’t know your credit score and haven’t seen your credit report, it’s time to get informed. It’s hard to improve your score if you don’t know what it is or what is affecting it. Be sure that you request your credit report directly from one of the three credit reporting agencies – Experian, TransUnion or Equifax – or an organization authorized to provide credit reports like, which is authorized by the federal government.

    Clean up your credit report. See if you can strike bad reports from your record. This may include reports made by collection agencies or utility companies for late payments. Old information is typically removed from your report every seven years, but you can request removal between those periods. And if you spot any mistakes on your credit report, make sure to dispute those errors. For instance, a credit card showing the wrong credit limit could lower your score.

    How to Prepare Your Credit to Buy a Home #poor #credit #mortgages

    #buying a house with bad credit

    7 Steps to Prepping Your Credit for Buying a Home

    As the housing market heats up and more consumers consider buying a home, it’s important to consider the role that your credit score plays in your ability to secure a mortgage. Conventional mortgage lenders will typically want a FICO score of at least 720, or in some cases 740, but those with a score below 700 may still qualify for an FHA loan.

    With that in mind, here’s a look at the steps you should take to prepare your credit before applying for a mortgage.

    Get your free monthly credit score! No credit card required!

    1. Review your credit report .

    Several months before you plan to get a mortgage, check your credit report for any issues. If you generally pay your bills on time, then check your credit two to three months in advance just in case you need to correct any mistakes, says Carolyn Warren, author of Mortgage Rip-Offs and Money Savers and Homebuyers Beware. For those who know they have late payments or other derogatory items on their account, Warren suggests starting six to nine months in advance to clear up those issues.

    2. Dispute any inaccuracies.

    If your credit report contains errors—for instance, there’s an unpaid item that you’ve actually paid or an account showing up that isn’t yours—you’ll want to file a dispute with the credit reporting agency. A report from the FTC earlier this year shows that roughly a quarter of the reports examined by the commission contained at least one “potentially material” error.

    3. Make sure you have several tradelines.

    Conventional loans require at least three tradelines (any combination of credit cards, student loans, car loans, and so on) that have been active within the past 12-24 months. FHA loans require two tradelines. It’s fine to have more, but if you have fewer, you won’t qualify for a mortgage. If you need to open additional tradelines, Warren suggests getting a major credit card like a Visa or a Mastercard (not a store credit card) at least six months before you apply for a mortgage and using it for items you would buy anyway. “Never charge more than 30 percent of your allowed limit, and pay it off in full every time you get your bill,” she adds.

    4. Leave older credit lines open.

    Older, more “seasoned” tradelines help boost your credit score, so leave those credit cards open even if you don’t use them all the time. “A lot of people think, ‘I’ve got six credit cards, I’m going to close the four that I don’t use,’” says Warren. “But that’s a big mistake because your good accounts are adding positive points to your score.” Try to use those credit cards every few months and pay the balance in full so those tradelines remain active.

    5. Avoid opening new credit lines.

    Once you’re six months away from applying for a mortgage, stop opening new credit lines, as this can temporarily lower your score. “The credit bureau doesn’t know how you’re going to handle that new credit, so because there’s that uncertainty, it’s a risk factor,” says Warren. “Lowering your credit score is not worth that 10 percent discount you’d get from a department store for opening a new credit card.”

    6. Stop buying on credit.

    In the excitement of buying a house, some people rush out to charge new appliances or furniture before closing. But even if you’re in escrow, having a debt utilization ratio above 30 percent right before closing could disqualify your loan. “Unless you’re gonna pay cash, have patience for your new furniture until after your loan is closed,” says Warren. Also hold off on getting a car loan, as car financing tends to be more lenient than mortgage criteria.

    7. Don’t shuffle money around.

    When you apply for a mortgage. you’ll need to provide several months of bank statements for your checking and savings accounts. “If you suddenly shut an account or have a large transfer from one account to another, then you’re going to have to paper-trail that whole account too,” says Warren. “Leave your money and your accounts the same for at least three months. It won’t disqualify you but will make a paperwork hassle.”

    What Is the Purpose of the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

    #what is the fair credit reporting act

    What Is the Purpose of the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

    The Fair Credit Reporting Act was passed in 1970, and was designed to protect consumers by restricting businesses from freely accessing private information. While credit reports exist primarily to assist companies in making financially sound business decisions, the FCRA ensures that consumers have the right to review their credit information, ensure its accuracy and fight fraudulent reports.

    Other People Are Reading

    Protecting Private Information

    Under the FCRA, a business must possess “permissible purpose” before pulling an individual’s credit file from any of the three credit bureaus. Any business that requires a consumer’s credit report to make an informed lending decision has permission to access that person’s credit record. Businesses and individuals that do not intend to use a consumer’s credit information in a lending situation—such as employers or insurance companies—must obtain the individual’s permission before requesting a copy of his credit file. Thus, the FCRA preserves each individual’s privacy.

    Current Records

    The credit bureaus’ goal is to maintain not only accurate information, but the most current information as well. The more recent an entry on an individual’s credit report, the more weight it carries in the credit scoring formula. Because of this, the FCRA notes that credit bureaus must remove obsolete data after a pre-set period of time. This time period varies depending on the type of debt. Most closed accounts, however, become obsolete after seven years.

    Accurate Records

    Not all reports businesses make to the credit bureaus are accurate. Credit errors often result in consumers being rated a higher lending risk and paying steeper interest rates—if their applications are approved at all. The FCRA provides consumers with the right to dispute credit errors. Each credit bureau must investigate consumer disputes and attempt to verify the data with the company that originally reported it. If the information provider cannot verify its claim, the credit bureaus must amend the individual’s credit records and provide him with a free copy of his credit report reflecting the changes.

    Consumer Legal Rights

    The FCRA provides consumers with legal recourse should an information provider knowingly report or verify inaccurate information to the credit bureaus. Should this occur, the consumers reserves the right to sue the information provider and request up to $1,000 in damages for each infraction. Forcing businesses to suffer financial consequences as a result of reporting inaccurate information promotes more careful credit reporting practices and provides consumers with a greater sense of security. The FCRA also grants consumers the right to sue any business or individual who obtains a copy of their credit report under false pretenses. Like inaccurate credit reporting lawsuits, the FCRA restricts damages to $1,000 for each infraction.

    How to Remove a Charge-Off From Your Credit Report #credit #card #for #students

    #where can i get a credit report

    How to Remove a Charge-Off From Your Credit Report

    By LaToya Irby. Credit/Debt Management Expert

    Welcome to s Credit/Debt Management site, led by your guide, LaToya Irby. LaToya has been the credit and debt management guide since 2007. Read more

    A charge-off  is one of the worst types of credit report entries. It s the result of not making your credit card payment for several months  – usually six months in a row. The creditor writes off the debt as a loss (in their own accounting books), cancels your account, and demands the past due balance  in full.

    Continue Reading Below

    Once a charge-off is on your credit report. it will remain there  for seven years from the date it was charged off. In total, the account remains on your credit report for seven and a half years. That s a long time to have such a negative entry on your credit report.

    Charged-Off Doesn t Mean Forgiven

    Don t let the name fool you. You re still responsible for paying a charge-off. As long as the charge-off remains unpaid, the creditor can continue attempts to collect on the account and that may include suing you for what you owe.

    Future creditors and lenders take charge-offs seriously, to the point that they may deny any future credit card and loan applications, so it’s in your best interest to remove charge-offs from your credit report. Negotiation is your best tactic for reducing the effects of a charged-off account.

    Talk to the Creditor

    Often, charge-offs are passed on to a third-party debt collector soon after the charge-off date. But, when it comes to charge-offs, it s better to deal with the original creditor (who reports the charged-off status ) than a debt collector.

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    A collector can’t do anything about what the original creditor reports to the credit bureaus .

    To remove a charge-off, you should contact the original creditor to start negotiating removal of the charge-off. You want to convince the creditor to remove the charge-off from your credit report in exchange for payment. Before you make the call, know how much you’re able to pay on the account. The more you can pay and the sooner you can pay it, the more negotiating power you have. If you can pay in full, you re in a better position to negotiate. Ask to speak to someone who has the authority to remove the charge-off from your credit report.

    Let the creditor know you’re interested in paying the account and would like to make payment arrangements in exchange for having the charged-off status removed from your credit report. Speak politely and professionally. Avoid blaming the creditor, making excuses, or giving your life story. Keep it short and to the point. Best case, the creditor will agree to remove the charge-off from your credit report.

    Sending a pay for delete letter is another way to negotiate a charge-off removal. The letter essentially asks the creditor to remove the account from your credit report in exchange for full payment. The key to a successful pay for delete letter is getting it in the right hands. Try to get the name and direct address of someone who works in the company, a manager or other higher-up employee, rather than sending your letter to general correspondence address.

    Credit card companies are contractually bound to report credit information to the credit bureaus. so it can be difficult to get a creditor to agree to remove the charge-off from your credit report. Even so, some cardholders have been successful in making a pay for delete agreement. If you can’t get the creditor to agree to remove the charge-off completely, try for something less negative like a simple “Closed” rather than Charged-Off.

    Get the Agreement in Writing

    When the creditor agrees to remove the charge-off from your credit report, get the agreement in writing. You can do this in one of two ways:

    1. Have the person you spoke with fax you a copy of the agreement on company letterhead.
    2. Alternatively, get the name, mailing address, and phone number of the person you spoke with. Send a copy of your agreement to that person via certified mail with return receipt requested. Request the person sign and return a copy to you.

    Avoid making payment until you have the agreement in writing and can prove beyond the shadow of doubt someone from the creditor’s office made the agreement.

    Once you have fulfilled your part of the agreement, check your credit report to make sure the creditor has removed the charge-off.

    When You Can t Get Your Way

    If your negotiation fails and you can’t get the creditor to budge, decide if you want to pay the account or not. Even though the account will continue to be reported as charged-off until the credit reporting time limit is up, it will affect your credit score less as time passes. However, some lenders will not grant you new credit or loans until you’ve taken care of all past due account. So, if you plan to get a mortgage or auto loan in the next seven years, it’s better to pay the account. Once it’s paid, make sure your credit report reflects payment.

    Pros and Cons of Joint Credit Card Accounts #free #credit #report #online #no #credit #card

    #joint credit card

    Pros and Cons of Joint Credit Cards

    By LaToya Irby. Credit/Debt Management Expert

    Welcome to s Credit/Debt Management site, led by your guide, LaToya Irby. LaToya has been the credit and debt management guide since 2007. Read more

    When two people have a joint credit card account, both people can make charges to the credit card and the card s history is included on both people s credit report. Both people are also liable for the credit card payments. If the payments become delinquent, the credit card issuer can go after either cardholder for payment.

    Advantages of Joint Credit Cards

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    Having one less bill to pay can let you make the most of your income. Plus, when it s time to pay off your debt, you ll have an easier time deciding which card to pay back first.

    Help one person get better credit. Adding a spouse or family member with bad credit to your credit card can help them get better credit. But it will only work if the credit card is managed right – the bill is paid on time and the balance is kept low.

    Help one person get a credit card/good interest rate where they otherwise wouldn t.

    Being added as a joint user might be the only way to get your spouse a credit card, or to get her a low interest rate.

    Disadvantages of Having a Joint Credit Card

    Both people are legally responsible for making the payments. That means the credit card issuer can take legal action against you for charges you might not have made. You could even be sued and have your wages garnished.

    Credit card disagreements could cause relationship problems. In a 2008 poll conducted for 19% of respondents who shared a credit card said they had arguements with the other person about the account.

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    Seven percent said they d cancelled a shared credit card because it caused relationship problems.

    Breakups or divorce make it hard to manage the credit card. No matter what a divorce decree says, the credit card issuer holds you to the original credit card agreement. So if your ex-spouse isn t paying his or her share of the credit card bills, your credit can stil be affected. It s even harder to manage the credit card bill if you sever ties with someone you were dating or even a friend or family member.

    One person could use the credit card to hurt the other. It sounds childish, but it happens, often after a breakup. One cardholder could go on a revenge spending splurge, leaving the other cardholder with the bill. If the revenge-seeker already has bad credit, she (or he) has nothing to lose from a maxed out credit card or a few more late payments.

    Should You Share a Credit Card?

    It s wiser to keep separate credit cards. Before you make the decision to get a joint credit card, evaluate your reasons for sharing a credit card. In the survey, only 9% of respondents said they felt closer to the person after sharing a credit card. Similarly, 9% said they felt more in control of the relationship.

    Discuss the pros and cons of having a joint credit card. Make sure both people undertand the effect a breakup could have on your credit history.

    How to raise your credit score #poor #credit #car #finance

    #how to raise your credit score


    Personal finance columnist

    We’d all like to land lower-interest mortgages, higher-paying jobs and nicer apartments. And we know that getting and maintaining a good credit score is essential to attaining those goals.

    But what if you have no credit, or worse yet, bad credit?

    Why tweeting can help your credit score

    Startups are rethinking how to calculate creditworthiness by analyzing data from social networks and other factors to reach people who have a hard time getting loans. Evelyn Rusli and Lenddo s Jeff Stewart join digits. Photo: Getty Images.

    “Obviously, neither of these situations is ideal,” says Bill Hardekopf, chief executive of, a credit-card comparison site. “In both cases, it’s going to take you some time to build up your credit score.”

    Good credit must be earned. It’s no easy task to prove to lenders that you are trustworthy and financially responsible enough to pay your bills in a timely manner — that you aren’t one of those people who walk away from a pile of debt because you lost your job or got lazy about sending payments. Even some rich, successful people have lousy credit.

    Lenders use sophisticated algorithms to determine how you really handle debt. Do you pay bills on time? Is your debt-to-credit ratio at an acceptable level? Do you overuse one credit card?

    If you’re a risky bet, they know — it’s all spelled out in the algorithms. If you have no credit, they don’t have a clue. But according to Odysseas Papadimitriou, chief executive of, a marketplace for credit, prepaid and gift cards, that’s a good thing, because they’re more likely to take a chance on you than on that guy with the black mark next to his name. (See also: 10 things credit bureaus won’t say. )

    “With no credit, lenders are willing to give you the benefit of a doubt,” he says. “Especially if you are also a student, because of your increased future earning potential.”

    But if you have lousy credit? No one is going to give you the benefit of the doubt, he says.

    Hardekopf thinks the treatment of those with bad credit scores is sometimes unfair because there are countless reasons a person’s number can plummet. After years of perfect payment cycles, for instance, you may have hit a rough patch (during the depths of the recession, perhaps) but are now recovering.

    What s the worst thing for your credit score?

    We were all taught as children that patience is a virtue. What no one told us is that it s good for our credit scores too, Chuck Jaffe argues on Lunch Break. Photo: Getty Images.

    “If you went bankrupt or were completely negligent at paying back your bills, that might be a deeper hole to dig out of,” he says.

    The good news is that you can build or rebuild your credit score if you put your mind to it — and mind your p’s and q’s along the way.

    “It is a slow process, but it is well worth the time and effort since so much in our financial lives depends on this very important credit score,” Hardekopf says.

    Here are some tips on managing your debt and raising your credit score:

    • Make a budget and stick to it. You can’t begin to build a credit score if you aren’t keeping tack of the ebb and flow of dollars in your budget. Rank your expenses by order of importance: debt payments, emergency fund contributions and other savings, and trim the fat. “Once you develop your budget,” Papadimitriou says, “stick to it, or else you’ll have wasted your time.”
    • Pay your bills on time . Payments that are late, even if only by a day, are a big neon minus sign on your credit score.
    • Pay off debt quickly and cheaply. The snowball method is as old as the debt trap that credit cards created. Use the majority of your monthly debt-repayment budget to pay down the balance on the card with the highest interest rate. But don’t ignore the others. Make the minimum payments of those and then move down the line, ticking off the cards — and not reusing them — as you pay them off.
    • Keep balances low on credit cards and other revolving debt. Lenders like to see the debt-to-credit ratios at 20% to 25% of the available credit. And that’s per card. They don’t like it when one card is maxxed out and others are low or empty.
    • Don’t close unused cards. Closing unused cards will not help raise your score. This goes back to the debt-to-credit ratio. The more available credit you have with the least amount of debt on the books, the better you look.
    • Use credit cards. But pay them off monthly. It’s your best line of defense.
    • Don’t apply for a bunch of new credit cards. For one, opening cards all at the same time will hurt because your score gets dented each time there’s a credit check on it. Lenders also are weary of a rapid build-up in credit. They think you’re preparing for a personal apocalypse.

    More from MarketWatch

    How To Read A Credit Report #annual #credit #reports

    #credit bureau report

    How to read a credit report

    OK, so now you have your credit reports and wow — there are an awful lot of numbers, abbreviations and terms you’ve never seen before. Trade lines, charge-offs, account review inquiries — how do you read this thing?

    First, there are three major credit-reporting agencies in the United States: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Everyone is entitled to a free copy of their three credit reports — one from each of the credit reporting agencies — every 12 months under federal law.

    Get all of them

    “Looking at one is a useless endeavor; you need to look at all three,” says Howard Dvorkin, president of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “People tend to pull one and think everything is the same on all of them. That’s not normally the case.”

    The reports will have different information because it’s a voluntary system, and creditors supply credit information to whichever agency they want — if any at all.

    Maxine Sweet, vice president of consumer affairs at Experian, recommends ordering the report directly from the credit bureau instead of asking a buddy who works at a bank to pull one for you. Those are written for the credit industry. The one you get from the credit bureau is “much more consumer-friendly,” says Sweet.

    The report is easier to read because it won’t list the creditor’s member numbers and other information relevant to only the lender. A lender’s report also will lack a complete list of every company that’s pulled your credit information for promotional purposes, like preapproved credit card offers.

    “If you compared the two reports side by side, the consumer one will have a couple more pages of information,” says John Ulzheimer, credit expert at

    Understanding the setup

    A credit report is divided into four sections: identifying information, credit history, public records and inquiries.

    information is just that — information to identify you. Look at it closely to make sure it’s accurate. It’s not unusual for there to be two or three spellings of your name or more than one Social Security number, Sweet says. That’s usually because someone reported the information that way. The variations will stay on your credit report; “If it’s reported wrong, we leave it because it might mess up the link. Don’t be concerned about variations.”

    Other information might include your current and previous addresses, your date of birth, telephone numbers, driver license numbers, your employer and your spouse’s name.

    The next section is your credit history. Sometimes, the individual accounts are called trade lines.

    Each account will include the name of the creditor and the account number, which may be scrambled for security purposes. You may have more than one account from a creditor. Many creditors have more than one kind of account, or if you move, they transfer your account to a new location and assign a new number. The entry will also include:

    • The kind of credit (installment, such as a mortgage or car loan, or revolving, such as a department store credit card).
    • Whether the account is in your name alone or with another person.
    • Total amount of the loan, high credit limit or highest balance on the card.
    • How much you still owe.
    • Fixed monthly payments or minimum monthly amount.
    • Status of the account (open, inactive, closed, paid, etc.).
    • How well you’ve paid the account.

    How to Read Your Credit Report. #shell #credit #card

    #credit report check

    How to Read Your Credit Report

    from on 25 Feb 2010

    You know you should get a copy of your credit report every year and check it over for any inaccuracies.

    But do you actually do it?

    Most people don’t because they’re confused by all the numbers and terms. Once you’ve learned what all that information means, you’ll have no trouble reading your credit report. And since 79% of all credit reports contain some kind of error. it’s important that you not only get an annual copy of your credit report, but that you check it over to make sure everything is correct.

    Obtain a copy of your credit report from the three major credit-reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You are allowed one free copy every year from each of the agencies. The reports are not automatically mailed to you; you must ask for them.

    There are four parts to any credit report:

    Identifying Information

    This section lists your name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and other information used to identify you. Read through the information carefully. It isn’t uncommon to find your name misspelled or the wrong address listed.

    Credit History

    The bulk of the report is in this section. It’s a list of your open and paid credit accounts. It also shows any late payments on your part. Things like total loan amount, high credit limit and how well you’ve paid the account are included as well. Read and re-read this section to make sure all information is correct. If you’ve closed a credit card account, double check to see if it’s noted. Thirty percent of credit reports contain credit accounts that were closed by the consumer but are still listed as open on the report.

    Public Records

    You want this part to be blank. Financial activity like bankruptcy. tax liens and judgments are listed here. Everything given is public record, and you want to keep this section as clean as possible. It’s not about saving your credit score; it’s about saving your financial life. The smarter you are with money decisions, the better financial life you will have.


    Everyone who has asked to see your credit report will be listed in this section. If anyone checks out your report, a detailed inquiry will be posted. This is extremely beneficial for you as the consumer. The inquiries are in two sections soft and hard. Soft inquiries are from companies who want to send you promotional materials or from current creditors who are checking your account. Hard inquiries are made when you fill out a credit card application.

    Visit or call 877.322.8228 to order your free annual credit report. Remember to obtain your report either through that website or phone number. If you order it directly from the agency or any “free” report scam sites, you will be charged a fee.

    For more helpful information, check out Financial Peace University . Dave devotes an entire lesson to teaching you about credit bureaus and collection practices.

    How to Set a Credit Bureau Fraud Alert #credit #score #calculator

    #credit bureau fraud alert

    How to Set a Credit Bureau Fraud Alert

    Fraud alerts on consumers’ credit files prevent other people from opening a new credit or loan account in their name or charging items to a credit card without their authorization. Creditors, lenders and others who see fraud alerts on a consumer’s credit file should verify that person’s identity before allowing any financial transactions. There are three types of fraud alerts offered by the three major credit-reporting companies, which are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Fraud alerts processed at one company automatically go on the corresponding consumer files at the other two companies.

    Other People Are Reading

    Access the fraud-alert section on the website of one of the three major credit-reporting companies to set up a fraud alert with that company. Follow the instructions provided for choosing the appropriate alert for your situation. For example, set up an initial alert if you’ve lost a credit card but haven’t detected any fraudulent charges. Fill out any online form provided by the company with your name, address, Social Security number and other personal information. Ensure that you select “initial alert” on the form. Expect an initial fraud alert to remain on your credit reports at all three credit-reporting companies for 90 days.

    Use the same fraud-alert section of the websites of the three major credit bureaus to set up an active-duty fraud alert if you’re on active military duty. Simply select “active duty” on any fraud-alert form provided instead of “initial alert.” Expect an active-duty alert to remain on your credit files at all three bureaus for one year. Bear in mind that the three bureaus also automatically remove consumers’ names from their lists to receive credit card and insurance offers for two years after active-duty alerts are applied to their files.

    Report any identity theft incidents to your local police department if you have evidence that your identity has been stolen. Set an extended fraud alert on your credit files for seven years as a victim of identity theft. Fill out any required forms for an extended alert provided on one of the three national credit bureau websites. Send the forms with your police report and other information requested by the bureau to the address or fax number provided. Be aware that all three bureaus will remove your name from their lists to receive credit card and insurance offers for five years after they set an extended fraud alert on your files.

    Protect your credit report rights – Consumer Reports #credit #score #report #free

    #free credit check report

    7 tips to help you avoid pitfalls and manage your credit files

    Many consumers never peek at their credit reports until driven by desire (for a mortgage or car loan) or panic (credit denial, an insurance rate hike, or identity theft). At that point, they’re forced into a system that might seem more intent on exploiting rather than serving their needs.

    If you do a Web search for “credit report,” for example, the big three credit reporting bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—will link you to promotions for their credit-monitoring services, which can cost hundreds of dollars a year, rather than information on how to get your credit report.

    Unfortunately, many people are unaware of their credit-bureau rights, according to a survey of ID-theft victims by the Federal Trade Commission released in March. If you’re a victim of ID fraud, or reasonably believe you’re about to become one, you’re entitled to place fraud alerts on your credit reports (they alert potential creditors to verify your identity before extending credit), get a free copy of your file, and block fraudulent information from appearing in your report. Several respondents to the FTC survey complained that when they contacted the bureaus to deal with the theft of their identity, they felt pressured to buy ID-fraud-protection products.

    Don’t be taken advantage of by companies that have a lock on your information. Instead, make managing your credit report part of your ongoing financial maintenance. Here’s how:

    How to use a free credit score, and what to do with it. #mortgage #bad #credit

    #how do i get free credit report

    How to use a free credit score, and what to do with it



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    Americans are obsessed with their credit scores.

    Everyone wants to know their number and for good reason: The scores determine your ability to obtain credit and how much you will pay for it. A bad score could prevent you from getting a credit card, mortgage or car loan. It might even stop you from renting an apartment.

    Getting a free credit score has never been easier, but what do you do with that number once you have it?

    LARRY DOWNING / Reuters

    Want to buy a home? You ll need a solid credit score.

    “There’s a lot of confusion about this,” said Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education at “People know the number is important, but they really don’t know what it means once they get it.”

    The first thing you need to know is the difference between a credit report and a credit score. A credit report is a record of your credit history. It includes your current and past credit accounts and debts, current balances and payment history, including late payments, defaults and collections.

    Your credit score is a numerical way to show a potential lender your creditworthiness based on what’s in your credit report. Different lenders use different algorithms to create the score they use, so that score will vary from lender to lender. (See Credit Score vs. Credit Report: What’s What? )

    “There’s this myth, which has now taken on a life of its own, that everyone has a single credit score, just like we have a cholesterol number,” said John Ulzheimer, credit expert at “In reality, there are countless credit scores based on all sorts of different metrics that can be used to assess your creditworthiness.”

    How do you use that free score?

    These scores give you a sense of where you stand in terms of your general creditworthiness, especially when the site shows the range of scores for excellent, good, fair or poor credit.

    Get a free score from a lender that takes part in FICO’s Open Access program (Barclaycard, Citibank, Discover, First Bankcard, Hyundai/Kia Auto Finance, PenFed and Sallie Mae) and that is the FICO score used by that lender to manage your account. But again, it may not be the same score used by other potential lenders.

    Whatever the source, don’t get hung up on the specific numbers.

    “It’s more important to understand the risk factors that go into generating that number, because that will empower you to do something about that score,” said Rod Griffin, director of public information at Experian. one of the big three credit reporting agencies.

    There are often things you can do rather quickly to boost your scores, if you understand what’s dragging them down. For example, paying bills late or maxing out your credit cards can really hurt.

    Remember, these scores are a snapshot in time. If there’s a significant change in your credit report, your credit scores will also change.

    A quick way to spot mistakes or fraud

    Don’t assume that just because you pay your bills on time that your credit scores are strong. A mistake in your credit report could drag them down.

    “It’s garbage in and garbage out,” said Anthony Sprauve, senior consumer credit specialist at FICO. the company that created the credit score. “If there are errors in your credit history, that’s going to produce a score that is not accurate.”

    To find out if there’s a problem, you can get a free copy of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) by going to By law, you’re entitled to those free reports every 12 months.

    The only time you really need to check your credit score is before you apply for a big loan. You want to spot any potential problems in advance that could prevent you from being approved or that could drive up the interest rate.

    But it’s not a bad idea to see where you stand every few months, even if you don’t plan to borrow.

    “It’s good credit management, a simple way to keep an eye on the foundation of your financial house,” Sprauve said.

    Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center says it can also help you spot potential fraud.

    “If you suddenly see that score plummet, and you haven’t done anything that would make it drop – you haven’t stopped paying your bills or overextended your credit limits – that is a huge red flag for you to follow up on,” she said.

    Sites that provide free credit scores will need to get a good deal of sensitive personal information from you – including your Social Security number and date of birth. That’s how they verify your identity. So make sure you use a reputable site, such as CreditSesame. CreditKarma. Quizzle. and

    You don’t want to land on a fake site run by criminals who are trying to collect personal information to commit identity theft.

    How to Use a Credit Card to Build Credit #credit #bureau #of #canada

    #credit cards to build credit

    How To Use a Credit Card to Build Credit

    By Miriam Caldwell. Money in Your 20s Expert

    Miriam Caldwell is a freelance writer with a specialty in personal finance. She believes that you can lay a solid foundation by starting to manage your finances in your twenties.

    Continue Reading Below

    If you want to build your credit using a credit card you need to follow these four steps to do so safely.

    Time Required: Several Months

    Here s How:

    Limit the Number of Cards You Have

    You do not need more than one credit card. This includes gas cards. store cards and any other type of credit card. One credit card is all that you need. If you have too many credit cards it reflects poorly on your credit report. You may justify your store cards because of the discount. The stores are not offering the discount to be nice. They know that the majority of people do not pay off the balance in full each month, and they make a lot more in interest than they offer you in savings. It can be tempting to spend money you do not have when there is a sale. Don’t tempt yourself. Be sure that you choose a good credit card with low fees and penalties.

    Limit Your Credit Limit

    You can call and request that your bank will not automatically raise your credit limit. This will stop you from getting out of control with your spending as well. You may consider setting your limit at $500.00 or $1000.00. This should be plenty to handle any spending that you may need to do in one month. If you focus on paying off these lower amounts, you should be able to fairly easily.

    Pay Off Your Balance in Full Each Month

    You build your credit history by showing that you are responsible in meeting your monthly payments on time, regularly. Pay on time and the full amount each month. By staying within your budgeted amounts on all your spending, you should be able to do this. You can avoid carrying a heavy debt load by simply never charging something that you can not pay cash for. This is the most important thing you can do to show that you can manage your finances and build your credit history.

    Avoid the Free Offers That Come with Credit Card Applications

    You may be offered free pizza, t-shirts and numerous other gifts for applying for a credit card. You may figure that signing up just once will not hurt anything. You will cancel the card as soon as you receive it. These canceled cards do show up on your credit report. Save yourself the trouble by simply not applying. This will save you money and time in the long run.

    Another option is to consider using a prepaid credit card. This gives you the chance to handle your money responsibly and show that you are ready to apply for a credit card with a line of credit after a few months.

    You need to be sure you are financially ready to handle a credit card before you apply for one. This means you are able to stick to your monthly budget, and that you know you will be able to pay it off in full each month.

    It is important to realize that credit cards are not really bad. However, they can be easily mismanaged, and if you do not handle them properly you can end up in a lot of financial trouble. If you know that you will not be responsible with them, it is best not to have them at all.

    How to Understand Your Credit Utilization Score. #credit #report #card

    #credit card score

    How to Understand Your Credit Utilization Score

    Of all the different components of FICO scores, a consumer’s credit utilization ratio is perhaps the most elusive and least understood.

    More than three out of four Americans know that making a payment more than 30 days late will lower your credit score; but only about 59 percent are aware that maxing out credit cards can drag your score down as well, according to a survey by the Consumer Federation of America.

    Even fewer realize that, when it comes to your credit utilization ratio, you don’t have to max out your credit card for it to affect your FICO score. According to some experts, using more than 30 percent of the available credit on your credit cards can dent your score.

    As a result, it’s important to understand the credit utilization component of FICO scores in full. There are many subtle aspects to credit utilization that impact scores, and not knowing about them could affect your credit. If you already have excellent credit, you may still be able to improve your credit by making small adjustments that will favorably impact your credit utilization ratio.

    What is credit utilization?

    Credit utilization is a measure of credit card debt in relation to the credit available. It is calculated by dividing your outstanding balance with your credit line. This ratio accounts for 30 percent of your FICO score. Carrying high balances across credit cards or other lines of credit detracts from your credit score because it is viewed as a sign that you are under financial duress and/or you are unable to handle credit responsibly.

    The general rule of thumb for credit utilization is to keep your utilization ratio below 30 percent. That means that your credit card debt should not exceed 30 percent of your credit limit. But this is where things get dicey. If you have multiple credit cards, does this mean that you should keep it below 30 percent of the credit limit on each card? Or should you keep it below 30 percent of the credit limit across all cards?

    The answer, not surprisingly, is both. The percentage requirement applies to each individual credit card, as well as to your overall level of debt. The FICO scoring model tracks both total utilization across all accounts, as well as utilization within each individual account. FICO also takes into account other revolving credit accounts, such as installment loans, but these tend to be weighted less than credit cards.

    Your credit utilization ratio: What not to do

    The credit utilization ratio on individual cards is where even credit savvy cardholders often go wrong and inadvertently hurt their credit score. For example, consider a consumer with a total credit line of $30,000 across four credit cards.

    At first, the person carries a $2,000 balance on a credit card with a $10,000 limit well within the utilization recommendations. But then the person runs up $6,000 in charges and transfers the balance to another credit card with a 0 percent balance transfer offer and a credit limit of $10,000.

    The total utilization ratio is now at $8,000/$40,000 still below the ideal 30 percent total credit utilization. However, the utilization on the 0 percent APR card now stands at 60 percent potentially creating a negative impact on the person’s FICO score .

    FICO is mum about the relative contribution of each component, but it is highly likely that having one credit card with a high balance will have as great an impact on your score as having high total credit card debt in relation to the total available credit limit.

    As a result, you are better off having small balances spread across several cards, rather than having a large balance on one card. Your credit utilization score is based on a snapshot of your credit utilization each month, so the good news is that your utilization ratio only affects your score for one month. Once you pay down the card balances to a lower utilization ratio, your score will go back up.

    Finally, the ideal utilization ratio may be much lower than the 30 percent commonly believed to be acceptable. According to recent indications are that although 30 percent is okay, lower is even better. People with the best credit scores have utilization ratios as low as 7 percent.

    How to Use Your Card in Ways to Raise Your Credit Score #consolidation #loans #with #bad #credit

    #my credit score

    How Much Should I Use My Credit Card To Have A Good Credit Score?

    Posted on Jan 20, 2011

    We are always looking for ways to raise your credit score. Thanks to a smart LearnVester’s comment (thanks Lavanya!), Credit Karma thought it would be helpful for you credit-savvy consumers out there to know how credit use affects your credit score.

    Is it okay to rack up credit debt if you pay it off by the end of the month? How often should you use your credit card to improve your credit score? Should you stop using credit cards altogether?  Let’s dive in.

    The Magic Number.

    A significant component of your credit score is your credit utilization rate —the ratio of your total credit card balances to your total credit limits. Lenders pay attention to your credit utilization rate because it’s a reflection on whether you are responsible or risky in handling credit.

    For example, a credit utilization rate of 85% may reflect that you are credit desperate or financially unstable (after all, you are spending tons of money that you don’t have); a credit utilization rate of 0% may also have a negative impact since you need active credit management in order to build credit. The magic number for credit utilization rate happens to be under 30% for a good credit score (find out why here ).

    Credit Score Savvy Rules To Using Your Credit Card.

    The #1 cardinal sin is thinking that not using credit cards at all will help your credit score. Credit cards are one of the best tools to build your credit, as they consistently demonstrate every month how responsible you are with credit. The key here is to use your credit cards the right way to benefit your score.

    1. Consistently Manage Your Credit Utilization Rate.

    Stay under 30% of your total available credit at all times during the month. Don’t rack up your credit use to 75% and promise to pay it off at the end of the month. Your credit score utilization rate is calculated as a snapshot at the time of scoring, so it may catch you at your peak credit use. Plus, letting yourself max out your credit card, even if you can pay it back, is a good way to practice a bad habit.

    2. The Lower Your Credit Utilization Rate, The Better Your Score.

    Lower credit utilization suggests to lenders that you manage credit responsibly by not being over your head in debt, even when you have available credit on hand. Remember that your credit utilization rate is relative to your total credit. If you have a $300 balance on each of your $500 limit credit cards, you are utilizing a big 60% of your credit—no good. If you are utilizing $2,000 each on two $10,000 cards, you are utilizing 20%—great. Know your credit limits and how much you are using.

    3. Don’t Keep A Balance On Your Card!

    A big, big misconception around credit cards is that you must carry debt from month to month in order to have good credit. No! We advocate using credit cards to build credit, but we definitely don’t encourage you to stay in debt. When your credit card statement comes in, the absolute best thing to do is to pay it off in full (having high credit utilization typically comes from people keeping debt on their card and piling more purchases month to month). Once you pay your credit card off, your credit utilization rate is now 0%, so continue to put small purchases on your card. Continue purchasing only what you can pay off at the end of the month and up to 30% of your total available credit.

    The golden rule with credit cards? Only purchase what you can afford to pay back in full at the end of this month, not by next month or by next year. Do that, and your credit score and your credit card can coexist in financial peace—and that’s just good credit karma.

    2015 U. S. Credit Card Satisfaction Report #credit #cards #for #good #credit

    #credit card report

    2015 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Report

    This report provides objective, industry-level insights on credit cards based on a nationwide survey conducted by Credio. The survey highlights consumer preferences and behaviors. Along with a behavioral review, the report identifies opportunities for issuers to improve credit card services and to further understand the preferences of their consumers.

    The 2015 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Report provides objective, industry-level insights on credit cards based on a nationwide survey conducted between October 2014 and January 2015 of over 6,600 credit card consumers. The report is the first credit card intelligence report of its kind published by Credio, a FindTheBest site. The report highlights consumer preferences and behaviors across the main issuers (American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Barclays, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Discover, and USAA) in the U.S. credit card industry.

    Customers identified card rewards, benefits, and low interest rates as the main reasons for satisfaction with their current credit cards. Cardholders generally prefer to apply for a credit card with a financial institution where they already have an existing account (e.g. another credit card or a checking account).

    How we helped CallCredit improve its customer service frontline while reducing costs by 200%. #how #do #i #get #free #credit #report

    #call credit

    How we helped CallCredit improve its customer service frontline while reducing costs by 200%.

    The UK’s second biggest credit rating agency, Callcredit, has deployed a storm solution that helped it reduce its cost base by 200% versus its previous, on-premise system.

    Callcredit is a leading provider of marketing and credit solutions and also offers frontline communication for major brands and public sector organisations. The company’s multi-channel contact centre deals with the full spectrum of services such as handling incoming enquiries, complaints, changes of address and problems with online registrations.

    However, under Callcredit’s old system it used to take administrators a number of days to make service changes and adapt call flows to the needs of its diverse portfolio of customers.

    Meanwhile, maintaining on-site Interactive Voice Response equipment added to Callcredit’s already substantial IT overheads and took up the time of its in-house IT staff, distracting them from the business’ core objectives.

    The contact centre outsourcer needed the benefit of owning and controlling the intellectual property contained in its call flows and its multimedia content, without the cost and burden that comes with managing an installed base of on-premise equipment.

    storm ® ’s cloud model gives us the best of both worlds,” said Cyril Law, Information Services Delivery Director for the Callcredit Information Group. “The solution provides us with the flexibility to adapt services to the precise needs of any customer organisation, quickly and efficiently.”

    Changes to Callcredit’s customer service frontline can now be implemented in a matter of minutes. New call flows can be designed quickly and easily, using the intuitive graphical user interface of storm FLOW ™. Callcredit enjoys the versatility of a hybrid managed and self-managed service. With storm . the company benefits from the freedom and efficiency of being able to provision its own call flows but, during busy times, administrators can email a diagram of the desired call flow to Content Guru’s support team, which implements the service within a 24-hour turnaround time.

    storm s cloud model has helped us eliminate maintenance that we used to pay for our on-site equipment, not to mention all the resources we devoted to supporting them, which can now be deployed on more strategic tasks,” Cyril Law noted.

    “And as well as the capital investment we made when buying the IVR system in the first place, we were locked into a cycle of upgrades that also required further capital investments. When all these direct and indirect savings are taken into account, our cost base has dropped 200%.”

    Central to the cost benefits of the solution was the IT synergy that storm created with Callcredit’s existing contact centre infrastructure. No equipment needed to be upgraded or replaced when storm was deployed. In addition, storm services are delivered from a platform distributed across two secure data centres, with multiple points of fail-over and redundancy built into every software and hardware layer. This fully resilient architecture ensures that the customer frontline for all of Callcredit’s clients is always secure and eliminates the need for the company to build this level of resilience themselves, within their own network.

    Meanwhile, real-time reports on all enquiries are displayed on the storm dashboard so that Callcredit has the business insight it needs to immediately respond to changing patterns of contacts, optimising call flows so that customers always get to the desired information in the shortest possible time. In a contact centre setting, ease of access is a vital ingredient of customer satisfaction. The ability to provision changes over a secure web portal to a remote IVR system designed for 99.999% guaranteed uptime, gives Callcredit real-time control over its business-critical communications, ensuring that it can deliver quickly and cost-effectively for its customers.

    To learn more about the CallCredit solution, please read our case study .

    2015 List of Black Credit Cards Available #credit #repair #software

    #credit cards compare

    Black Credit Cards In 2015

    by CreditCardGuru

    There was a time when a Gold credit cards was considered to be elite. Not long after that, platinum was the new standard. In recent years, however, both gold and platinum cards are both accessible and commonplace and there is therefore little prestige attached to those precious metal plastics anymore. Currently, the most prestigious, elite, and exclusive credit cards available on the market are usually black. But that doesn t mean every black-colored card is equally prestigious or even prestigious at all. Their benefits vary, and sometimes, a color is just a color. Regardless, black is the new platinum.

    Here s a quick comparison of some of the best-known black cards in the industry. This list has been updated for 2015. Spoiler alert the final card listed is probably the only one most of us would ever consider in terms of annual fee or for which we might even be eligible!

    Merrill Lynch Octave

    This is an American Express-branded product (American Express is a CreditCardForum advertising partner) and was added to Merill Lynch s line-up in early 2015. It s invite-only, will cost you $950 a year and offers benefits designed for travelers, including an airline fee credit and airfare discounts. Points earned can be redeemed via Merrill Lynch s rewards program for travel, gift cards, statement credits and more. By redeeming strategically for travel, you can get an impressive (up to 5 percent) return on your spending.

    American Express Centurion Credit Card

    You can get a Centurion card if you spend over $250,000 a year and it attracts a very high annual fee a one-time initiation fee of $5,000, plus $2,500 annually. It has no preset credit limit. You also need to pay your outstanding balance every month. This is by far the most popular and sought-after black credit card out there, and when people say The Black Card, they re probably talking about this one. American Express is a CreditCardForum advertising partner.

    Merrill Accolades American Express Card

    2015 update: This card is no longer available to new cardholders. Previously branded as the Bank of America Accolades, it was switched over to the Merrill Lynch label a few years back, after BofA acquired them during the recession. The card comes with a spending limit of up to $500,000 and has a relatively reasonable annual fee of $295 (which is waived if you keep at least $250k in your Merrill brokerage account). Even though this is a black card by color, the benefits and perks are more comparable to the American Express Platinum. Even though the Accolades has been out for several years, it has yet to gain much prestige or popularity.

    Natwest Black Credit Card

    In a nutshell, this black credit card can be thought of as the UK-version of the previous two mentioned. In addition to the concierge, airport lounge access, etc. this one also comes with some additional insurance benefits such as home emergency cover which offers help round the clock with plumbing, heating/AC, locksmith services, and the like. When I first read that I assume it must just be a lame phone support line, but it says includes labour, call-out charges and parts and materials up to £750 (including VAT) per call-out. That s pretty impressive! Too bad this card is only available in the United Kingdom. The annual fee is £250 (about $420).

    Dubai First Royale MasterCard

    Out of the bunch, this is definitely the most flashy it has a diamond embedded in it! The First Dubai Bank website labels it as a super premium credit card that is by invitation only. It was launched in 2008, which was bad timing considering the financial meltdown was merely months after its debut. Only a few hundred are said to be in circulation and I know you re dying to know the annual fee, right? Well there have been rumors of a modest fees (ranging from the hundreds to a couple thousand) but my sources have confirmed the fee is waived for qualified applicants. Benefits include a personal relationship manager, the Royale rewards program, and various VIP privileges.

    Visa Black Card

    Within the black credit cards niche, this one has already gained quite a bit of press, mostly bad. It s issued by Barclays and has a $495 annual fee. It offers airport lounge access, some complimentary gifts and the usual travel insurance benefits. The rewards program earns 1 point per dollar. All in all, this card is black in color, but it doesn t even compare with the Platinum from American Express.

    Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

    Chances are, you probably won t qualify for most of the above cards or even if you do qualify their high annual fees just aren t worth it for most lifestyles.

    The solution? Try this one out! This card looks prestigious because it s black in color. Yet unlike the cards above, this one is geared towards anyone with excellent credit. So, while you have to be qualified to get it, it s not exclusive in an invite-only kind of way.

    This card is made out of real metal. However unlike the Centurion, which costs $7,500 for the first year, this one has an Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $85.

    With that price tag, obviously it doesn t have the same scope of benefits as the others on this list. However, from my experience, other people are still impressed by it. They see the black color and hear the cling of the metal on the countertop when you use it to pay and seem to assume you must be some VIP multimillionaire.

    Qualifications? If you have excellent credit, my recommendation would be to try for this one.

    And right now they re running an enticing offer: 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in first 3 months from account opening. Here is the link to to get this card offer

    Many cardholders expect to get star treatment and with some black cards they get just that. There s personal assistance from the concierge to help you with your business, personal, travel, gifting, and entertainment needs. Some of them offer VIP access at airport lounges across the globe. Cardmembers are wooed by luxury brands as they shop at invite only private events at stores like Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Tiffanys. Last but not least, there s once-in-a lifetime opportunities to experience the unthinkable (like a zero gravity flight which was offered to AmEx Centurion cardmembers).

    While some black credit cards are only available by invitation, others are only available through nomination by an existing card holder. But generally speaking, you will probably have to be a big spender to qualify. Most are set up as charge cards (which require the balance to be paid in full every cycle) but sometimes they offer financing capabilities, in case you want to stretch out payments on your new yacht or Gulfstream jet!

    Last updated November 2, 2015

    2015 Credit Card Landscape Report #poor #credit #auto #loans

    #credit card report

    2015 Credit Card Landscape Report

    by Alina Comoreanu. Research Analyst | Sep 28, 2015

    Not only do credit card offers regularly fluctuate in value, corresponding to changes in the economic climate or issuer strategy, – but credit card market trends are also extremely revealing about the health of the country’s economy and that of its consumers. Keeping track of this information is therefore essential to finding the best deals and truly understanding the financial climate.

    Main Findings

    Interest Rates

    • With the Federal Reserve waiting for more data before making a move on interest rates, credit card rates were in a holding pattern during the third quarter – rising by a mere 0.06% on average.

    Initial Perks (0% APRs Rewards Bonuses)

    • Q3 data reinforces CardHub’s hypothesis that issuers appear intent on attracting the balances of consumers already mired in debt while gradually reducing incentives for people to incur new debt in a recovering, yet uncertain economy. The length of the average 0% introductory balance transfer period has increased 3.70% relative to last year, while the intro term on cards offering 0% on new purchases have gotten 3.23% shorter over the same time period.
    • The value of initial rewards bonuses appears to have stabilized near record highs during the third quarter. Bonuses offered in the form of points or miles have more than doubled in value since Q3 2010.


    • Credit card companies continue to exploit the weakness of cash-hungry customers, increasing cash advance fees by roughly 60% since the end of 2010. The average cash advance fee is now the greatest of 3.98% or $14.11.
    • The average annual fee fell slightly during Q3, but at $17.44, it is still 5.12% higher than at the end of 2014.

    Complaints Satisfaction

    • Consumer complaints regarding “delinquent accounts” as well as “identity theft / fraud / embezzlement” saw the greatest uptick in Q3 – rising roughly 39% and 29%, respectively.
    • The majority of consumer credit card complaints still apply to the billing process, and this category experienced a 21.47% increase in complaint volume during the third quarter.
    • The issuer with the lowest consumer satisfaction in Q3 2015 was Synchrony Financial, with a CardHub Satisfaction Score of 75. Navy Federal Credit Union had the highest Satisfaction Score: 95.

    HowDoYouGetYourCreditScoreBack Up #how #do #i #get #a #free #credit #report

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    Punjab National Bank Global Gold Card #how #to #check #my #credit #score

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    Purpose: Punjab National Bank Global Gold Card

    The PNB Credit Card can be used for all your requirements, be it shopping, eating out, holidaying, and fuelling up your vehicle, railway ticket reservations – just about any financial requirement, planned or on desire.

    Earn While You Spend: Punjab National Bank Global Gold Card

    With PNB, money spent is money earned. For every Rs. 100 you spend, you earn 1 reward points. You can redeem these accumulated points for exciting offers from PNB exclusive rewards program.

    Add On Cards: Punjab National Bank Global Gold Card

    Get up to 2 add-on cards for your spouse, parents, son and/or daughter (over 18 years) and allow them to enjoy the many benefits of the PNB Global Credit Card.

    Lost Card Liability: Punjab National Bank Global Gold Card

    In case your credit card gets lost, report it immediately to PNB 24-hour toll free call centre. After you do this, you carry limited liability on any fraudulent transactions on your card.

    Widely Accepted At Merchant Establishments ATMs Worldwide

    Accepted at over 3,80,000 merchant establishments over 30,000 VISA ATMs across India and at over 29 million merchant establishments and over 1 million VISA ATMs around the world.

    Utility Bill Payment Facility: Punjab National Bank Global Gold Card

    You can also pay your utility bill payments i.e. electricity bills, telephone / mobile bills, etc. through PNB credit card.

    HowardForums: Your Mobile Phone Community – Resource #military #credit #cards

    #credit check online

    Pass T-Mobile credit check online without actually buying the phone?

    lazyn00b said: 12-16-2010 10:01 PM

    Pass T-Mobile credit check online without actually buying the phone?

    I just had a frustrating conversation with a T-Mo chat employee on their website. I was trying to get as far through the ordering process as possible (without actually buying anything) to see if I was eligible for a subsidized G2 with a 2 year EM contract.

    After entering my address, DL#, CC#, etc, I got as far as the Review page where it tells you the price of the phone plus tax and gives you a Place Order button. Does this mean I was approved or not?

    Since I was unsure, I started a chat with a T-Mo rep and she made it sound like the only way I could see if I was eligible was to go ahead buy the phone! She was kind of strangely insistent that I press the order button, so I asked her again point blank, and she said that I could only back out of the order after clicking the button if I was NOT eligible.

    I really don’t want to go down to the T-Mobile store to buy this phone unless I know ahead of time I won’t be rejected – this is a small, country town full of curtain-twitching busybodies, if you know what I mean.