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Review -In 2 Months My Scores Have Jumped Over 100 Points

“I found them online and was hesitant however based on other reviews I decided to try their services. In 2 months my credit scores have jumped over 100 points. I am in Texas and I would recommend their services for anyone trying to repair credit.”

Chris

– Texas

Review like this are what it’s all about for our team!!

Check out more like this by visiting https://keycreditrepair.com

Credit Repair Reviews – Take Them with a Grain of Salt

Credit Repair Reviews It’s just common sense: Before hiring a credit repair company, it’s a good idea to check out their online reputation. Ask for, and check, references. And, take a look at independent reviews to see if others have been happy with their service. But, when you wade into the many consumer reviews online, it’s important to examine what you see with a critical eye. While reviews can give some clues about what to expect, sometimes what you read is too good — or, too bad — to be true.

Check Independent Review Sites

The Better Business Bureau, Yelp and several other sites provide independent reviews of credit repair companies. While credit repair companies should be able to give you references, and will often have their positive reviews posted on their own site, doing a little extra legwork to see what is said elsewhere on the ‘net is a good way to protect yourself.

What Should You Look for in a Credit Repair Review?

Look for details about what sort of service was provided. A review that says that a credit repair company charged in advance and did not help remove inaccuracies, for instance, is a sign to stay away. Also, keep clear of companies that get complaints for making unauthorized charges or that have poor communication. When looking over reviews, look for companies that charged fairly, helped clean up errors on accounts and had clear and consistent communication. These are all signs that you will have a good experience, as well.

Were the Reviewer’s Expectations Reasonable?

Read negative reviews carefully to determine whether the reviewer was expecting more than a credit repair company can reasonably do. A credit repair company does not have the ability to, for instance, eliminate a bankruptcy from your credit report. They also can’t make legitimate debt disappear. It can take some critical reading to separate the reviews that give valuable information about what you can expect if you use the services of this credit repair company. No-Nonsense Review Check List People often leave reviews only when they feel strongly about their experience, whether it was good or bad. So, remember that you are often seeing outlier opinions. However, by cutting through some of the noise, you can gain valuable insights. Look for the following information:

  • How was communication? Did the company respond promptly and clearly to questions?
  • Did the company provide the services promised?
  • Were the charges reasonable?
  • Did the reviewer have reasonable expectations? Remember, credit repair companies can only do what is possible within the limits of the law.
  • Do you feel the reviewer is credible? This is subjective, but, if a review seems off, trust your instincts.

By reading credit repair reviews with a critical eye, you can get valuable information that can help you choose the company that is right for you. For additional information on how to repair your credit, please contact our office at 617-265-7900 or request a free consultation below.

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Background Checks and Your Credit – Blog

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Your credit doesn’t just matter when you want to borrow money; it has an effect on how and where you earn it, too. Many employers do credit and background checks before making a decision to hire. In some cases, they wish to ensure that you are being truthful on your resume — not surprising, as almost half of all resumes contain at least one instance of someone stretching the truth. In others, the job may require security clearances, and they want to make sure that you qualify for them. Many employers also want to see a good credit rating, since many people believe that it correlates with reliability and good job performance.

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What Can Employers Look At?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dictates what can be included in a background check. Reports are truncated so that medical billing is obscured; the reason for this is medical privacy laws. An unaltered credit report could inadvertently reveal private medical history that can cause discrimination. Employers need to get your permission before viewing your credit history.

As part of a background check, most companies will also want to verify your employment history. While this can sound intimidating, it usually just involves checking your references. This is done to make sure that the dates that you provided match up with what the employer hears when they check back with the references you listed.

In some cases, employers will also want to check your criminal history, usually in security-related jobs. Some states only allow employers to look back a set amount of years, others have records that are more open. If you are applying for a security-related position, you will generally need to submit to a check of your full criminal history.

How to Make Sure Your Background Check Brings Back Your Best You

The first step to take is to always maintain good relationships with at least a handful of people at each job. Connect on sites like LinkedIn so that you can find each other in the future to provide employment history verification for one another.

Next, pull your credit record so that you have an idea what a potential employer will see. Get inaccurate negative items removed. For everything else, provide an explanation that potential employers will see when they look at your report. This shows that you are conscientious and working to fix past errors.

If youthful indiscretions have left a criminal record or two, find out about having those records sealed or expunged. The process can take some time and some money, but, this is often made back in future earnings that you may not have access to otherwise.

By ensuring that your background check presents the best possible version of you, you increase your chances of landing the job that you want and open up your financial future.

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Controversies Regarding Credit Scores and Credit Reports

Credit scores are a quick and handy shorthand that banks and other potential creditors use to assess their risk before loaning money. But, as is common with shorthand systems, they are also prone to a number of flaws that can negatively affect you, the consumer.

There are actually a number of controversies surrounding the use of credit scores and credit reports. Some states have proposed legislation to give consumers more protection. Some of the issues with credit scores that can hurt consumers:

Possible Errors in Credit Reports

Experts estimate that 79% of all credit reports contain errors. While most of these are innocuous errors regarding employment or past addresses, others contain negative marks that can lower your credit score. And, when there is an error in your credit report, you are presumed guilty. You, or a credit repair specialist working on your behalf, must initialize investigations into erroneous reportings. In some cases, inaccurate data has stayed on credit reports long enough to begin legal action.

Non-Credit Uses of Credit Scores

Credit scores are not just used for assessing credit. They are also more and more commonly used when you are seeking employment. This has become even more common, and more damaging during the economic downturn. Many worthy applicants are turned away because economic hardships have left them with less than perfect credit histories. At least seven states have put laws into place banning employers from pulling applicants credit reports or limiting what information employers can see.

Further, there is little evidence that credit scores and credit reports are a good indicator of employment performance. Representatives from TransUnion admitted that they had no figures correlating credit score and worth as an employee. A study done by the New York Times failed to find any relation between the two.

Complexity of Credit Scoring Process

The truth is, no one knows exactly how the credit scoring agencies arrive at your credit score. The work involves complex computations that are largely kept secret to avoid gaming the system. Credit reporting agencies have shared the how each section is weighted; however, the exact figures are kept secret. This has led many consumer advocates to criticize credit reporting agencies for a lack of transparency.

Variations Between Different Agency’s Scores

The version of your credit score that you can access is not the same one seen by potential creditors. And, your score can vary depending on which credit scoring agency is used. According to a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, one in five people are getting credit score reports that are significantly different from what retailers see. This can cause many consumers to pay a higher interest rate than they should because they fail to shop for a better deal on credit card interest rates. In other cases, consumers inadvertently lower their own scores by applying for loans that are beyond what they can qualify for.

In the end, the best thing you can do is arm yourself with knowledge. As you work toward home purchase plans, stick with accepted best practices for credit health. By keeping your eye on your financial health, you can find your way through this complex and sometimes unfair system.

Click here to request a free consultation from one of our certified credit experts.

Bankruptcy and Your Credit Score

Bankruptcy and Your Credit Score
Bankruptcy and Your Credit Score
There’s no way around it: a bankruptcy will unavoidably negatively impact your credit scores. However, there are a number of factors that will affect just how severe the effect is on your score, some of them unexpected. While there is no straightforward formula regarding how many points any one person will lose in a bankruptcy, there are a few factors that can help you make a healthy guess.

A few things to consider:

How High Was Your Score Before?

Ironically, someone with a higher FICO score will see a bigger drop as the result of a bankruptcy than someone with a lower score. In a mock scenario released by FICO in 2010, they compared two hypothetical scenarios: one person with a 780 and one person with a 680, both of whom file for bankruptcy. The person with the higher score lost 240 points while the person with the lower score lost only 150, leaving them both with scores in the mid 500s.

However, bankruptcy usually occurs after a long stretch of failing to pay bills on time, so, it is likely that late payments already negatively affected your score by the time that you file.

How Many Accounts Are Involved?

The more accounts that are included in your bankruptcy, the larger the effect on your credit score. The discharged debts each count as a negative filing. However, these will drop off your credit record seven years after filing, so, your credit rating will start to improve even before the bankruptcy is gone from your credit records.

How Long Ago Was the Bankruptcy?

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing stays on your credit record for seven years, while a Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays for 10. The longer it has been since you filed and the more responsible you have been in the interceding time, the less your bankruptcy will depress your credit score.

Rebuilding After Bankruptcy

After a bankruptcy, you can rebuild your credit and achieve goals that include a home purchase. Some methods to use during your credit repair journey to improve your score:

  • Review your credit reports. Make sure that all debts that were discharged in the bankruptcy are reflected accurately. As many as 79% of all credit reports have at least one error, so, it is worth it to check.
  • Pay every bill on time. Late payments can snowball and destroy your credit over time. Try automating payments so you never forget one.
  • Look for a secured credit card. Cautiously add revolving loans so that you can show creditors that you can be trusted with credit.
  • Use cards sparingly but regularly. Build up a regular habit of responsible use. One good way to do this is to charge a small, regular bill like a gym membership to your card and pay it off in full each month.
  • Do not close old credit card accounts. If you have any credit card accounts from before your bankruptcy, keep them open. The age of your credit accounts is a factor in your credit score, and the older your accounts, the better.

While a bankruptcy is a challenge, it is not the end of your financial life. Educate yourself about your credit, and carefully rebuild to restore your financial future.

 

Click here to request a free consultation from a certified credit specialist.

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FICO & Vantage Scores – Different Systems

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Different Systems, Different Scores

Those three little digits that control so many of your financial opportunities. Your credit score can be pulled when you apply for a job, shop for insurance, during the home purchase process and in many other circumstances. But, it might surprise you to learn that there are actually a number of different agencies that create credit scores, and your scores will vary depending on which one is used. Some financial institutions even have their own internal credit scores that they use in place of independent ones.

Some of the most common credit scores used to determine your credit worthiness:

FICO

The FICO score is the one that people are most familiar with. It uses information from the three major credit bureaus to assign a three digit score that estimates credit risk. The score uses a number of weighted factors that include payment history, age of the accounts, ratio of available credit to debt, types of credit used and how recently you’ve searched for new credit. Your FICO score might vary depending on which credit bureau’s records are pulled to estimate your score.

Vantage Score

This credit score was created through a joint effort between Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. The advantage of the VantageScore is that your score is the the same no matter which credit bureau’s information is pulled to calculate it. The score can range from 501 to 990 and also comes with a letter grade. It has not been adopted by many creditors and is currently only used for about 6% of credit score pulls.

PLUS Score

This score was created by Experian to give consumers an easy to understand their credit health. It is not used by lenders; instead, it is intended as a consumer tool. The scoring range goes between 330 and 830, with a higher score indicating lower credit risk. Since this is not the score that creditors use when considering credit-worthiness, do not be surprised if your PLUS Score is different from the score that your bank says that you have.

TransUnion New Account Credit Score

This credit score is available for free from financial monitoring site Credit Karma. (As an aside: Credit Karma is a great resource for those undergoing credit repair. They allow you to check your credit score in real time and also to test what affect different actions will have using their credit score simulator.) The TransUnion New Account score is used by many lenders to decide how risky it is to extend credit to you. This score ranges from 300 to 850. It is based on information from TransUnion. It is made up of a number of factors that include the age of your accounts, our payment history and other factors.

Auto and Home Insurance Scores

These scores are used by the insurance industry to determine risk of a claim if you are insured by them. The results can affect the rates that you are extended when you shop for a policy. The scores range from 150 to 950. While the use credit scores for insurance is controversial, industry members defend the policy because of a correlation between credit scores and insurance risk.

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How to Spot a Fraudulent Credit Repair Service – Education

If you are working toward a home purchase, it’s important to get your credit into the best possible shape. Credit repair companies can help, but, you need to pick one that will do the work that you want. There are, unfortunately, many unscrupulous agencies making promises that make oversized promises or ones that charge far more than they should. Here are some warning signs to look for when looking for a company to help you fix your credit:
  • They promise they can erase a bankruptcy. No company can erase a legitimate negative issue with your credit. If you encounter a company that promises that they can make a bankruptcy go away, they are not telling you the truth. Only time and responsible credit management can remove a bankruptcy from your credit history.
  • They say they can eliminate debt. No company can erase a debt that you legitimately owe. It is legal and possible to get erroneous accounts removed and to negotiate settlements. However, there is no magic wand that will simply make legitimate debts disappear.
  • They promise a new credit identity. If someone promises you a clean, new credit identity, they are breaking the law. When a company promises this, what they give you is a number that looks like a Social Security number. However, it is in reality an Employer Identification Number that has specific legal uses. It cannot be legally substituted for a personal Social Security number, and anyone who says that it can is putting you in danger of breaking the law.
  • They tell you to lie on credit applications. This is something that can leave you with expensive fines or worse and no honest company would do that. If you encounter a company that encourages you to be dishonest when applying for a home loan, do not do business with them.
  • They fail to explain your legal rights. When dealing with credit repair agencies, you have a few specific rights under the Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA). For instance, you have the right to cancel the service within three days without being charged. You have the right to know, in detail, what services they are offering. You are entitled to know how long the process will take. Any company that refuses to supply this sort of information is in violation of federal law.
  • They try to charge you before they’ve done anything to help. The CROA also forbids charging for credit repair before services have been rendered. If a company is looking for money in advance, this is a good sign that their service is a scam.

If you encounter any of the red flags above, walk the other way. These are clear signs of an expensive and ineffective credit repair scam. When it comes time to fix your credit so that you can move forward with home ownership dreams, entrust your financial future to a company that is reliable, trustworthy and has your best interests at heart.

For more information on legitimate credit repair services click here to request a free consultation.

What is an FHA Loan? – Tips

When you start shopping for a mortgage, the number of types available can almost be overwhelming. If you have gone through a bankruptcy or foreclosure or if you don’t have a lot saved for a down payment, one option to explore is an FHA loan.

What Is an FHA Loan?

FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Authority. The program was established in the 1930s in response to the massive number of foreclosures that occurred during the Depression. The guaranteed loans meant that lending was less risky for banks and mortgages more accessible. Since the loans are backed by the federal government, they are less risky for lenders. These loans can be a good match for people who have recently gone through credit repair. They require lower down payments and even people who have had serious credit issues such and bankruptcies and foreclosures can be approved.

What Are the Benefits of an FHA Loan?

An FHA loan requires only a 3.5% down payment. The money for the down payment can be a gift from a friend or relative, which can be a boon to young first-time buyers. FHA loans are often available even to people who have had bankruptcies or other credit issues.

Another interesting benefit of an FHA loan is that it is an assumable loan. What that means is that, when selling a house, the next owner can simply pick up payments where the last owner left off. This can make the house more desirable to buyers if you ever choose to sell.

Are There Drawbacks to an FHA Loan?

While FHA loans have a lot of qualities that make them an attractive home purchase option, there is also one big potential drawback to this sort of loan. Because an FHA loan has more lax requirements, it comes with hefty insurance payments.

To get an FHA loan, you’ll need two types of insurance. The first is an upfront mortgage insurance premium (MIP) that is equal to 1.75% of the mortgage. This is either paid at closing or can be added to the loan amount. The second is an annual mortgage insurance premium which is paid monthly. The cost of this insurance varies depending on the term of the loan and how much you are borrowing.

Do You Qualify for FHA?

FHA borrowers have to meet a number of requirements. Some are very rigid, but others can be worked around if the lender has justification. A few key qualifiers:

  • You must be over the legal age to sign a mortgage in your state and have a valid Social Security card.
  • You must be steadily employed. For the FHA, this usually means that you have been with the same employer for two years or more or that there are no gaps in your work history.
  • To qualify for the 3.5% down payment, you need to have a credit score of 580 or better.
  • You need to be two years out of bankruptcy and three years out of foreclosure.

FHA loans make home ownership a much more attainable dream. When looking for a loan, check all your options to find the one that works best for you.

For more information on FHA loans feel free to contact our office at 617-265-7900 or feel free to request a free consultation you can click here.

The Fastest Fixes for Your Credit Score – Tips

Are you this close to approval for a home loan? It can be frustrating to go to so much work in your credit repair efforts but still fall just a bit short. Luckily, there are a few tactics you can use to increase your credit rating fast:

The Fastest Fixes for Your Credit Score

Go over your credit report with a fine tooth comb to ensure that there are no errors that are lowering your score. You can request copies of your report from the three major reporting agencies. This can be done free once a year or after being denied credit or for a small fee at any other time. Common errors include:

  • Failing to remove old negative reports. If these linger after they are resolved, they can lower your score. Contact the credit bureau to get these removed.
  • Failing to report increased credit limits. If the limits shown on your credit report are too low, it can look like you are maxing out a card when you are not.
  • Failing to show accounts that have been paid off.
  • Duplicate report entries. If a debt has been transferred from one creditor to another, it can sometimes appear twice on your credit report, making it look like you owe more than you do.

Contact creditors and the credit reporting agencies, in writing, to get these potential negatives fixed. There are also errors that matter less, such as outdated address or employer information. These do not negatively affect your score, so correcting them is not worth your time.

Pay Down Balances

This is one of the quickest way to increase your credit score. The ratio of available credit to balances makes up about a third of your credit score. If you are carrying a high balance on one of your cards, it can be worthwhile to dig into savings to pay it off. Experts recommend carrying a balance equal to no more than 10% of your available credit. That means, if you have a $10,000 credit limit, keep your balances under $1,000 at any given time.

Use an Old Credit Card

The age of your accounts is one of the factors that go into your credit score. Lenders like to see that you have had an account for a long time; it is a sign of stability. But, if you stop using an old card, your credit card company might close it for lack of use or stop reporting on it. If you have a credit card that you haven’t used in a few years, put one of your recurring payments like a health club or your Netflix account on it. This way, a small amount gets charged to the card each month without affecting your regular spending habits. Just remember to pay it off in full every month.

Don’t let minor credit issues hold you back from your home purchase goals. By finding the problems and correcting them, you can increase your score and get lenders to take a second look.

For more information on professional credit restoration services you can reach out to us monday through friday between 9am and 8pm.

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