Credit Score Range

Credit Score Range- How do I stack up?

Your Credit Minute Show Notes:

  • 00:01                                   Hey, guys. This is Nik Tsoukales with Key Credit Repair. I’m taking you through a quick credit minute talking about the different credit score ranges. So, I’m going to break it down in three different ways for you. Okay.
  • 00:11                                   The first credit score that we have is something called the Vantage score. Vantage score 3.0 or 4.0. Okay. Then, we have your FICO score. Um, typically what you’re seeing online is FICO 8 and FICO 9, and then I’m going to give you an additional FICO score as a bonus round. This has a little house on it, and I’m going to explain in a second why this matters.
  • 00:40                                   So, the first thing we’re going to talk about is the Vantage score. Okay. What is a Vantage score? Where do you get it? Okay. Vantage score is the credit score you’re going to find on It’s a free credit score that you can access. Okay. The Vantage score is owned by the three credit agencies. It’s owned by TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Okay. Um, it is an educational purposes only credit score. Most banks and lenders don’t use it, but for the purpose of credit repair, monitoring your credit, it’s a really good range.
  • 01:11                                   So, I’m going to actually read off some notes here for you guys and give you the exact break down directly from FICO in terms of where we should be. Okay. So, to me directly from Vantage score. So, you have, okay, let’s see. We’re going to go from 300 to 600, that is considered a poor credit score in their eyes. Okay. Then, you’re going to have 601 to 660, which is considered a fair credit score. Okay. Then, we’re going to go 661 through 780, which they consider good, and then 780 plus, which they consider excellent.
  • 02:04                                   Now, keep in mind, this is for educational purposes only. So, if you’re in these ranges, um, you’re doing pretty good. If you’re in this range, you’re really doing amazing. Okay. Uh, let’s move on to FICO score. Okay.
  • 02:23                                   So, one of the most commonly found FICO scores online for educational purposes only is FICO score 8.0 or 9. Okay. And, their range is going to be fairly similar with a few exceptions. 300 to 579 is going to be what they consider as poor, and then we’re going to say 580 to, let’s see here, 669, and by the way I’m going to show you in a second why I could care less what they say. This is an important part of this. I could care less what these numbers are. 670 through 739 is considered good. 740 plus is considered excellent. Okay. And, by the way, this score caps out at 850.
  • 03:22                                   Now, I could care less what Vantage score says is a good credit score or a bad credit score, and I could care less what FICO score or FICO 8 says is a good or bad credit score. So, we’re going to go ahead and we’re going to throw all of this out. We could care less. What we care about is what we can get with our credit scores, and most of my clients are trying to eventually buy a home, and if you’re buying a home, you’re not using either of those two credit scores. Those are just for educational purposes only.
  • 03:48                                   What we care about is another [inaudible 00:03:53] FICO. We’re going to call this the house FICO score. Okay. So, when you go to get a mortgage, uh, the mortgage lenders going to pull something called a trimerge credit report. Okay. That data- When they pull that data in, they’re going to push it through, uh, the FICO algorithm and issue you a score, okay, but the way the scores presented to you is going to vary between the three bureaus. Okay. So, you could have the exact same data between all three bureaus, and there’s a variation natural algorithm that’s used that’s why no three credit scores are exactly the same. Interesting stuff here.
  • 04:32                                   Experian, they’re using a version two. Okay. Equifax is using- using version five, and TransUnion is using version four. If you’ve ever heard of a Beacon score, guys … Some of your old school bankers will know this. They’ll say, “Hey, what’s your Beacon score?”. Okay. In the old days, your Equifax credit score was called a Beacon score. Now, these credit scores are all from FICO. Okay. These are the scores that matter. This is what the banks and lenders are using.
  • 05:05                                   Now, let’s talk about the ranges. In terms of what is considered good or bad, I mean, it’s kind of arbitrary. What I care about is what I can access with my credit score. Okay. So, I’m going to give you a few numbers to focus on. 640, 680, and 740. Okay. Goal number one, goal number two, and goal number three. Okay. Now, obviously, these scores range from about 300 to 850, but again we could care less about that.
  • 05:35                                   What I care about is this … 640 is a goal number one for the majority of my clients. Why? Because that’s going to allow them to access most, um, FHA back loans. So, essentially, you’re getting a house around 640. Now, there are some banks and lenders that will go lower than that. They’ll go to 600 or even 580, but there’s usually contingencies and more complicating factors that they want to get you that loan, but 640 you’re- you’re in. You’re approved. You’re getting something pending all the other things are- are working out in your favor. Okay.
  • 06:04                                   680 is just about the national average. Okay. I care about that. I want to know that I’m at least average. I don’t want to be below average. Okay. Also, that’s technically the beginning of most conventional findings. Conventional findings means basically what they’re not looking for the Federal Housing Administration, conventional money. Uh, they’re not looking for the Federal Housing Administration to back your mortgage. Okay. So, usually the rates, the fees are going to be lower. Okay. You’re just going straight to the bank. They’re saying, “Hey, you’re- you’re average. You’re making a living. Let’s give you a regular loan”. Okay.
  • 06:42                                   And, then 740. 740 is considered really that crème de la crème at the bank level. When they see a 740 plus at that FICO score, that Beacon 5.0, that FICO two or that version four, that’s a credit score that’s going to get you the lowest interest rates. That’s what you’re going to be able to really competitively shop from one bank to another. That’s when you’re getting the best interest rates on things like credit cards, the zero percent APR offers, zero percent on a Cadillac for 12 months offer, all that good stuff. That’s where you want to be.
  • 07:15                                   So, regardless of what a website is telling you guys. Good, fair, bad, excellent, green light, red light, 10 stars or none, we can care less. What we care about is what is your credit score getting us? Is it getting us a house? If not, then who cares. Guys, this is Nik Tsoukales with Key Credit Repair and this is your credit minute. Have a great day.


Free Credit Report

Free Credit Report-How do I get one? 

Your Credit Minute Show Notes:

  • 00:00                                   What’s up, YouTubers. Today, we’re gonna talk about a subject that we, uh, we talk about a lot here at Key Credit Repair, and it’s probably one of the most searched, uh, credit queries on Google, and it’s, uh, and excuse my bad handwriting, uh, free credit report. Okay. Where do I get my free credit report? How do I get one? What website do I go to, or you think you’re getting a free credit report, but actually you’re not, so let’s talk about free credit reports, guys.
  • 00:28                                   So, I’m gonna give you guys where you can get your free credit report, how to get it, what the catches are, what the gimmicks are, because, trust me, there are a lot of them. Okay.
  • 00:41                                   So, what’s the deal with these credit reports? Well, number one, the United States government has allowed you, the consumer, access to your credit reports through the three credit agencies, once per year, for free, unless you’ve recently been declined, which you can actually request them again. Okay?
  • 00:56                                   Now, where do you access this? Well, technically speaking, there’s only one website. There’s only one, guys, where you can access all three credit agencies completely free of charge, but I’m gonna give you the catch. Okay? So, that website is going to be Okay. Okay.
  • 01:24                                   Now, when you get to this website, it’s gonna give you the ability to pull your Equifax, okay, your TransUnion, and your Experian credit data. Okay. You’re gonna get everything. Every nook and cranny of that data, you can get once per year for free. You can download it as a PDF. You’ll have access to it forever and ever. Okay. It’s a great thing, and it’s extremely detailed.
  • 01:46                                   Once again, what’s the catch, though? The catch is no one said in any of these laws that your credit score is free. There’s no credit score. Okay. No score. Okay. Now, there is the option, through each of the bureaus when you’re, when you’re accessing that free data, to upgrade and pay somewhere between eight and ten bucks per credit score, okay, but if you’re just looking for the data, you wanna see what’s on there, it’s very much recommended. Okay.
  • 02:14                                   Now, if you wanna go one step further, you wanna get some of your data or as much data as you can, plus credit scores, okay, or some sort of credit score, and you have another site that’s super popular these days, and one we tend to recommend a lot because we like how usable it is, and you have Credit Karma. Okay. Credit Karma’s gonna allow you to access your TransUnion credit data 100% free of charge, okay, your Equifax credit data, and you’re not getting your Experian data. That’s one of the catches. Okay. Also, you are getting credit scores in the form of something called a Vantage Score. Okay. So a Vantage score is a credit score that’s used for educational purposes only. It was created by the three credit agencies. It’s owned by the three credit agencies. Banks and lenders do not use it. 90% of credit decisions are made using what? FICO scores. So Credit Karma’s a good report. We like the monitoring. We like it, but realize you’re not getting everything. Okay. You pay for what you get, and you’re not paying anything here, so you don’t get everything. Okay.
  • 03:28                                   The other website that we like is, but another catch. Here’s the other catch, guys. It’s or You are only getting free Experian data. Okay. Equifax, you get nothing. TransUnion, zero, zip, zilch. Okay. And, usually, you’re gonna get some sort of a score. Um, I’ve seen them offer FICO or usually FICO 8 or 9, which banks and lenders, of course, they’re not using it yet. Most mortgage companies using FICO 4 or FICO 5, um, or they’re using their plus score. Okay.
  • 04:27                                   So, if you want the free data, just the data, Okay. You can get an upgrade and you can pay for it to access scores, but there are no scores. Credit Karma’s gonna give you TransUnion, Equifax, and a Vantage score, which is really good for educational purposes only. Um, you get a free app, as well, and the credit monitoring alerts are really good. Okay. Um, another thing negative with Credit Karma, something I don’t like is the fact that I’m constantly being marketed. Okay. Keep in mind they’re not charging you anything. They need to make money. So, every time you log in, guess what? There’s a banner for Amex, there’s a banner for Visa, there’s a banner for this, that, and the other, and I don’t like the fact that my data is out there in that way, although it’s out there anyway somewhere, right? Um, and then we have, which is giving you Experian data, plus one credit score. Okay.
  • 05:15                                   Now, that’s where you’re getting some free credit reporting. Now, what is the common theme here? If you want it all, you must pay. Okay.
  • 05:29                                   One thing I tell every single one of my clients, “Stop being cheap. Pay for credit monitoring. You will pay for all types of warranties, all types of things. You will pay all types of counselors, advisors, and coaches, but you will not shell out 20 or 30 bucks per month, $360 per year, to monitor all three of your credit agencies, to check all three of your credit agencies, and to look at and monitor all three of your credit scores.” That’s financial insanity. Okay.
  • 05:58                                   If you wanna look at exactly what the banks are, uh, and lenders are looking at at all times and you’re willing to shell out the cash, and credit is important to you, then my suggestion, and you guys will see this a lot, this is not for cheap people, is Get on there. I think their three-in-one membership right now is somewhere in the ballpark of 30 bucks. All three credit agencies, all three FICO scores in every variation of the FICO score. Remember, guys? FICO 4, FICO 5, banks and lenders, mortgage companies, that’s what they’re using. FICO 8, FICO 9, they’re not using it. We could care less if we’re getting that score for free. Um, you also have auto lending scores, credit card scores, insurance scores. You got everything on there.
  • 06:46                                   So, guys, that is your explanation about free credit reports. All right? This is Nik Tsoukales with Key Credit Repair, and this was your credit news for the day.


Good-Will Intervention-How asking nicely will help you improve your credit.

Your Credit Minute Show Notes:

  • 00:00                                   What’s up guys? This is Nik Tsoukales with Key Credit Repair. Today we’re going to talk about something a little outside of the box, something a lot of people really aren’t talking about in the credit repair field, um, and it really is a creative way to help you start repairing your credit. Okay?
  • 00:15                                   So, obviously, we get the question a lot. “Late payments. Late payments. What do I do with my late payments? I can’t get them off. I can’t get them removed.” Um, well there is a way to get this done. Okay? Keep in mind, one of those ways is by challenging the data. Okay? Is it verifiable? Is it accurate? If it’s not, it’s gotta go. Okay? Being persistent with your attempt at getting these things removed when they can’t be verified, when it’s garbage. Okay? The item shouldn’t be on your credit report.
  • 00:44                                   Well, let’s say, you’ve have some siter, some sort of minor blip with a company. Okay? They placed the late payment on your credit report, but really is more for technical reasons that it was late. Maybe one of their systems wasn’t working, but the account did, in fact, go late. You don’t have much you can necessarily challenge. Well, what do you do then? Okay. The, we got a question, actually, yesterday from a client who’s dealing with some student loans in this way. Where there’s really more of a technical issue that created the lates.
  • 01:09                                   The lates were, in fact, lates. Okay? The money didn’t get to them on time. But really, should that affect their credibility? And that was kind of a question mark? Um, also, this outright disputing the account really hasn’t worked, um, for this client. They’ve actually attempted to do it themselves. And they wondered what is a plan B? And that’s what I want to lay out for you guys, which is something, again, a little outside the box. Okay?
  • 01:35                                   And what we’re going to talk about here is something called a good will intervention. Okay. We are taught to fight, we are taught to never surrender, we are taught to go after the big, bad credit agencies and our creditors. We’re taught to take ’em down, right? But you don’t always have to. Sometimes, you can actually ask nicely. Okay? If you’ve had a really good run with a creditor, um, a bank, a lender, everything’s been going well, but because of some sort of technical issue or something really in the gray, a late was incurred, okay, you don’t necessarily need to challenge their record. What you can do is you can challenge the creditor to be nice to you, in the form of something called a good will intervention.
  • 02:22                                   And what a good will intervention really is, asking the creditor to remove the late out of their good will. Okay? Understanding that the issue was really technical and has nothing to do with your credibility. Okay. This is an option in the way we help clients all the time, when the late isn’t something they really agree with, but it’s not necessarily black and white. Where instead of just challenging the record, disputing it outright, when that’s really not the way to do it, um, we’re asking the creditor politely, “Hey, can you make this adjustment? This didn’t, in fact, uh, uh, really feel like it should be a late payment, and it’s something that’s really fallen into a gray area.”
  • 02:57                                   So a good will intervention is a great way to approach this. And it’s extremely effective. And, if a company’s doing really good business with you, okay, and you’ve been a client of theirs for a long, long time, they’re really going to want to help expedite you. They’re really going to want to help, uh, accommodate you when, uh, when a mistake like this happens, from whether it’s their fault or yours, long as your in agreeance that you were, uh, actually, in fact, able to make that payment, um, and that there is not effect in terms of credibility here.
  • 03:25                                   So good will intervention is going to be the way to go, guys. There’s a lot that goes into this, so keep in mind, something you definitely want to speak to one of our credit experts about. I really wouldn’t go at this specific approach alone, okay? Letters gotta be written a certain way, um, you want to appeal to them a certain way, so I would definitely, um, this is not one of those do-it-yourselfer tips. I would reach out to one of our credit experts. You can click on one of the links below. There’s probably a few consultation link below, or learn more link below, if this is on Facebook. Or you can check us out at\freeconsultation. Give us a call. Ask specifically about the approach with the good will intervention, and we’ll discuss it with you and see if that’s actually something, uh, that is an option for you. Because we don’t want to just start doing this stuff blind.
  • 04:11                                   Guys, this is Nik Tsoukales with Key Credit Repair. Have a great day.


Why did my credit score drop even though nothing changed?

Your Credit Minute Show Notes:


  • 00:00                                   Hey what’s up guys, Nik Tsoukales from Key Credit Repair. We are gonna go through the credit question of the day, which is, why did my credit score drop even though nothing changed? Well, I have to tell you, something did change. Uh, just things you might not realize. So the credit report, keep in mind, is constantly changing. The credit score when you’re pulling it up online, or whether a lender is pulling it up, um, is going to pull data or it’s going to be a snapshot of the data in that moment. Now keep in mind from one moment to another things can change. Okay? And let me elaborate a little bit on that, ’cause some of the things you might think of haven’t changed, but I’ll actually break down some of the things that could have.
  • 00:43                                   So, you’re going to notice here, I included a little chart here of what makes up your FICO score. Okay? So at 35 percent which is payment history, we 30 percent is amount owed or debt, 15 percent length of history, 10 percent new credit, and 10 percent credit mixed. So let me give you an example of some things that may have changed that you haven’t realized. Um, first thing is payment history. Okay? You might not have a new lay payment so you’re wondering, Nik why should my credit score change if I don’t have a new lay payment. Well maybe you’ve had a few more positive payments. That could actually cause your credit score to go up. Okay? Um, if you’ve had a recent lay payment obviously the credit score is going to go down. Okay?


  • 01:27                                   Amounts owed. This is the big one. I would say this is the biggest culprit. Um, we get people that call us all the time and they will say my credit score has dropped five thousand points, five million points, I don’t know why. I haven’t been late, I haven’t done anything wrong. And in fact they really haven’t done anything wrong, but typically what we’re seeing is this part of the credit score is being affected because of something called, uh, credit card utilization rate. The proportion of your credit card balances compared to your credit limits affect this 30 percent of your credit score.
  • 02:02                                   So let’s say, um, two months ago you pulled up your credit report and it was almost identical with the exception to the fact of, oh, with the exception to the fact that your credit card balance was 100 dollars. Okay? And when we pulled it up this time, the credit card balance was 300 dollars, and that credit limit is, is 500 dollars. Okay? Um, that utilization rate, okay, your proportion of balance compared to credit limit, um, is, has gone up considerably higher. Okay? And that will affect the 30 percent of what makes up your credit score. And obviously if, if that credit card utilization rate has dropped, this part of your credit score will benefit. Okay? So if you’ve pulled up your credit report recently or you’ve pulled up your credit score and there hasn’t been really any adverse change or new negative, uh, uh information, this is the first thing I would check out. Okay? It’s, it’s really the quickest opportunity to grab some points too. Okay?
  • 03:03                                   Um, the next thing is, length of history. Okay, the length of history for your active accounts really affects your credit score in a pretty big way. It’s 15 percent of your credit score. So let’s say you have had a couple accounts that have just dropped off, some older accounts that were closed out a decade ago and they just fell off your credit report because of the statutes of limitations. Well that could adversely affect this part of your credit score as well. Okay?
  • 03:28                                   The other thing is new credit. Let’s say if you’ve got a bunch of new, uh, credit cards recently, um, typically that will, you’ll see a small drop on your credit score. Okay? Um, probably if it just happened, you might see a quick 10 point drop in your credit score, but really over the course of 90, 120 days it should actually help your credit score pretty substantially because you’re gonna start getting on time payments on those cards. Which will positively affect the 35 percent of you credit score that’s payment history. Okay? If they’re credit cards, um, and you keep the balances at zero, it should help your credit score which is amounts owed. Um, because your credit card utilization rate, theoretically, should drop because your proportion of balance to limit has now dropped. Okay?
  • 04:16                                   Um, and then we have credit mix. This is one no one is really talking about. Okay? Let’s actually circle this. The ideal mix is real estate number one. Uh, you have installment credit number two and revolving credit number three. Revolving being things like credit cards, lines of credit, overdraft protection. Installment credit is things like student loans, care loans, car leases, um, personal loans. Okay? And real estate credit being home equity lines of credit and mortgages. Okay? So let’s say your entire credit picture has stayed the same, um, but maybe you don’t have a car loan anymore. Maybe that balance was already down to like your last payment. The last time you checked your credit report recently was closed out. Um, this 10 percent of your credit score could be affected, ’cause you no longer have that perfect mix. You no longer have any installment credit. Um, maybe you have, uh, you know length of history maybe is gonna be a little more adversely affected if that auto loan was 10 years old and it just dropped off. Okay?
  • 05:21                                   Um, so that could have an affect. Amounts owed really shouldn’t have an affect. Um, you could see an adverse affect from payment history, because now you have one less account reporting an on time payment. Okay? So there’s a little bit more than what’s, than what meets the eye with your credit score. There’s a lot that goes into it, but keep in mind the culprits typically are right here. Okay? The culprit is typically right here in amounts owed. So if you’ve seen your credit score drop or there’s been an adverse change, um, obviously if you’ve had a new late it would show up inside of payment history. If you haven’t and all of your accounts are intact, I want you to check your credit card utilization rate. Again, proportion of credit card balances to the available credit limits.
  • 06:04                                   Guys this is Nik Tsoukales with your credit minute. Check us out at for anything credit related. If you have any credit questions you’d like me to answer, uh, I’d be happy to, uh, drum out here on my fancy new little white board. And um, thanks for checking us out guys. Have a great day. Peace.

Negative Accounts – Can They Reappear On Your Report After Removal?

Erroneous entries on your credit report can drag your score down. And, that is why federal law requires that debts be either validated or removed when they are challenged. But, can the debt come back to haunt you after you’ve gotten it removed? The answer is that it depends on why and how the account was deleted in the first place.

The one reason a debt can come back.

If a creditor fails to validate a debt within 30 days, it is removed. But, in certain electronic dispute processes, there is an exemption that can allow an account to be put back on your report without notice. In these cases, if the lender researches and finds that the account information is accurate, the account can be put back on your credit report. However, there are processes that can protect you from having this happen.

Debts that must stay deleted.

Accounts that are deleted through a dispute that specifically requests permanent removal protect you against those accounts coming back. In processing over 14,000 removals, Key Credit Repair has not yet seen a single item re-instated.

But, what about a collection agency that suddenly contacts you about a debt that you know has been rightfully removed? Don’t let them bully you into paying a debt that you don’t owe, especially if it was removed for any of the following reasons:

The debt is too old. Most records fall off your credit report after seven years. If something comes off your credit report because of age, do not respond to creditors trying to collect the debt. It cannot be added back without new action because it has passed the deadline for removal.

It isn’t yours. If the debt was erroneously put on your credit report, it cannot be readded. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, it is against the law for collection agencies to report debt that they know is inaccurate.

It’s a duplicate. Sometimes, a debt will show up more than once on your credit report. Once you have shown that the debt is a duplicate, the entry should be removed and should not be added back.

When you are in the process of repairing your credit, check your credit report regularly to ensure that it is up to date. You can get one report free per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, as well as free access to limited versions of your credit report through sites like CreditKarma. By knowing what can and cannot be put back on your report, you can protect your credit and your good name. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you restore your credit and enjoy the opportunities you deserve.

Credit Repair Mistakes

Online Credit Disputes – Top reasons to stay away.

Top Reasons To Write Your Disputes

Reason #1:- As most of you know, one factor you have on your side when disputing credit is time. The legal thirty-day limit is not a lot of time for a credit bureau, creditor, or collection agency to properly investigate a dispute. The Credit Bureaus online dispute system is set up in such a way that when you use it, it makes their job not only that much easier but cost efficient. The information you put into their limited dispute fields falls right into their electronic verification system. The online dispute system is making the process easier for the credit agencies therefore cutting down your chances of deleting the record drastically.

Reason #2: Zero Paper Trail: Any good attorney will tell you that “documentation beats confrontation”. By challenging something online you do not have a paper trail of the correspondence. This does not help you when the response you receive is not favorable and you need to challenge it again.

Reason #3: When the FCRA was amended a few years ago a few provisions were added in for our friends (me being ironic) at the credit agencies called “Expedited Dispute Resolution” Section 611a(8) the on-line dispute system. See below….

“…the agency shall not be required to comply with paragraphs 2, 6 and 7 with respect to that dispute if they delete the tradeline within 3 days.” You are probably wondering what this means so let me explain….

Paragraph 2 requires the CRA to forward your dispute and all related documentation you provide to the furnisher. This rarely happens and is a violation of the FCRA. This is additional ammunition that we can use to challenge something.

Paragraph 6 requires the CRA to provide you with written results of the investigation.

Paragraph 7 requires the CRA to provide you with the method of verification on request from the consumer.

Have you heard of something called a “Soft Delete”???

The Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) can delete a disputed trade line for 30 days, then, the trade line can reappear when the furnisher (creditor or collector) reports it again in the next cycle. That is because the CRA is not required to tell the furnisher you disputed it thanks to section 2 being omitted. This is sometimes called a “soft delete” and it is not permanent. This can be a major shock right before a mortgage refinance or purchase closing for many consumers when their credit is pulled right before a closing.

In addition, the consumer loses their right to request a “Method of Verification” (MOV) so you lose this powerful tool in the dispute process thanks to Paragraph 7 being omitted.

As always feel free to contact our office with any questions regarding the prospect of repairing your credit.

Nikitas Tsoukalis, President

Key Credit Repair