July 5, 2022

How To Use A Credit Monitoring Service To Monitor And Improve Your Credit

Credit is a very valuable resource for most people. Although we might want it to be, money is something that we do not always have just lying around waiting to be used for anything. This is why we need to have credit in our lives. Though, the use of credit cards can often lead to things like identity theft or just bad credit. A great way to get rid of these things is through a credit monitoring service.

Almost everyone in the world uses credit, since it is necessary for our lives. Buying big purchases like houses, cars, and others is usually not possible without credit. We don’t have the cash to simply buy such expensive items with a lump sum of on hand money. This is why credit cards are essential in modern life.

Unfortunately, credit cards can also be used for bad things. Some people steal credit cards and use them for their own personal gain. They can use them to spend the money that will not be charged to them. Also, they could also use the credit card to commit identity theft. Both of these things are dangerous and scary, and it is best to prevent them.

Aside from that, it is also very easy to be pulled into the temptation of spending money that you do not have through credit cards. Credit cards give us the ability to buy things without needing to pay for them right away. Though, this also means that it is easy to lose track of how much you have bought and spend more than you can pay for. This results in bad credit, which can hinder you in the future.

In order for people to keep track of their credit, a monitoring service is very useful. It can be used to monitor your credit so that you can keep it safe. Also, if you have bad credit, then you will be able to fix it easily with credit monitoring.

Credit monitoring is great, since it allows you to be sure that your identity is safe. The credit monitoring company routinely checks to make sure that the identities of the people using their services are correct and that no one has access to the accounts without permission.

Another great feature is that is alerts you daily as to the state of your credit account. If anyone attempts to get into your credit count without your knowledge you will be notified right away. You won’t have any problems with your credit account since you can fix everything easily and quickly.

With a monitoring service, you will be able to get outlines on your credit state. This way, you’ll be able to keep track of your credit account. You won’t have to worry about losing track of your credit, since you will be reminded of it often.

When using a credit monitoring service, you will find that it is a lot easier to fix your bad credit. You will be given an outline of how your credit is. Also, you will be given some tips on how to fix your credit so that you don’t end up having bad credit and you will also improve your credit.

Reading Your Credit Report and Understanding Your Credit Score

One of the basic steps in repairing your credit and taking charge of your financial life is accessing and understanding your credit report and credit score.

Not only can poor credit weaken your chances for getting a loan from a bank or lender, but it can also impact your employment and approval for various service providers—think utility company, landlords and rental properties, and more.

Reading Your Credit Report

Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, enacted in 2001, you are eligible to request a free credit report once each year from all three national credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.*

Your credit reports contain a summary of your credit accounts, detailed account histories and important personal information. Review them carefully and note any discrepancies you find in the following information:

  • Personal identifying information, including birth date, address, social security number
  • Credit and loan accounts, which will include both open and closed accounts
  • Account histories for each credit line and loan, including the original loan amount, the date it was opened, date it was closed if applicable, the current balance owed, minimum monthly payment required, notice if the account is delinquent or past due, and a payment history.
  • Collections summarizes any account that might be in arrears and turned over to a collection agency.
  • Public record, which could include information such as a bankruptcy filing or arrest record.

What happens if you find incorrect information? According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have a right to request that both the credit bureau and the lender that provided the inaccurate data correct the information. Send corrections in writing to both and make sure to include any documentation you can – statements, cancelled checks, payment confirmation numbers, etc.

Your Credit Score

Don’t confuse your credit score with your credit report. Your score is calculated using a financial algorithm and the data culled from your credit report. Banks and lenders use credit scores to measure your debt risk and to determine how much they will charge you to borrow money—think interest rates and additional fees for example.

Since your credit score is calculated using the data in your credit report, you might see why reading your report and reporting any errors could deeply impact you financially.

So what’s a good credit score and what’s a bad score?

Most financial experts suggest that 700 and above is a good credit score, while anything below 600 is poor, at best. If you’re not in the above 700 realm you can improve your score by making prompt payments on your accounts and curbing any irresponsible spending and financial habits that could be contributing to a poor credit history.

*To request free credit reports visit www.annualcreditreport.com. This is the only FTC authorized site. Beware other sites that promise “free” reports then charge you fees.

For more information, visit http://www.idcredit.org/

Repairing Your Credit: A Bad Credit Overview

Financial industry analysts estimate that as many as 25% of all Americans have poor to bad credit.* But do you know what “bad credit” actually means?

• What is meant by “bad credit”?

• Is your credit bad?

• What can you do to fix poor credit?

Defining Bad Credit

If you have a car loan, student loans, a mortgage, a boat or motorcycle loan, or a credit card of any type, then you make some of your purchases on credit. Simply put:

• On-time loan and credit card payments, including pre-payment = good credit.

• Late payments, default, home foreclosures and short sales, long-term unemployment, and bankruptcy = bad credit.

Financially speaking, bad credit is defined as a low credit score (599 or less) and a poor credit rating, while 700 or higher is usually considered a good score and equal to good credit. These numerical indicators give banks and lenders a standardized measure of consumers’ debt risk.

How to Check Your Credit

Good or bad credit aside, each of your credit accounts and associated transactions are all documented by the three major credit reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. This record of your credit is aptly called your credit report or your credit record.

• Check your credit reports: According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 2001, you have a legal right to request one free credit report from each of the above three bureaus annually, by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. Beware other websites that promise you “free” credit reports then charge you a fee.

• Check your credit score: Before you pay money for your credit score, find out if your bank offers any access to your score if even a one-time look. What’s “good” or “bad” is not written in stone, but most sources suggest that anything below 599 is a poor score and anything over 700 is good.

Fixing Your Bad Credit

You have your credit reports and your credit score, now what?

• Admit that you have bad credit and a poor credit record

• Review each of your credit reports. Make sure all account information is correct, including your personal information as well as account balances and payment histories. Contact the agencies to make any corrections.

• Create a personal or family budget

• Write down everything you buy

• Make all your credit payments—at least the minimum required–on time or before

• Cut up credit cards and either pay cash for purchases or don’t buy

• Talk to a financial advisor—your bank may actually provide one that offers free consultations.

Making on-time payments and steadily making progress toward paying off your credit accounts will surely help raise your credit score, moving you from “bad credit” to good.

For additional details on getting your free credit reports, read the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) guide, “Your Access to Free Credit Reports.” (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtm )

*Marketplace, American Public Radio, http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/07/16/mm-american-credit-scores-plummet/

Improve Your Credit Score

A good credit score is essential in today’s modern world where so many things are purchased on credit. As a result, one feels like they are under a microscope with every financial action taken. These scores will reflect late or missed payments, bad checks and a number of other things to do with making good on one’s promise to pay in a timely manner.
Credit Score

Any application for credit, whether purchasing a car, store merchandise, or something else, will require a credit score report. If this report is bad it will result in one of two things. Either the application will be refused or one will be able to make the purchase, usually at higher interest and higher payment.

Credit reporting companies receive reports from banks and merchants who are dealing with anyone purchasing on a payment plan. These reports will be carefully put together and scanned for such things as payment history, new and active credit and outstanding debts. These will be analyzed to produce the score that is reported to any business making a request.

The most prominent credit scoring companies are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each company has a report on individuals so there are actually three reports. A merchant or bank can use any of them for a request. The scores may vary from one company to the other because of their procedures in reaching the total. Any report below 620 is considered risk, 800 excellent, with a median of 723.

For many years it was difficult and expensive to obtain a copy of one’s report. Today, under the law, a person is entitled to one free report a year. This has made it easy to check for errors or identity theft on a periodic basis. If an error is discovered, one should immediately go to the merchant, bank or credit card company involved and have a correction made.

It is possible to locate companies, on the Internet, who will keep a eye on one’s credit reports. This is an excellent way to be sure that identity theft or unusually activity is occurring. These companies often offer such things as instant email notification, of unusual activities, as well as insurance against identity theft.

Strange as it may seem, if one goes through life paying cash for everything and never purchasing on a payment plan, they will have a poor credit score. This is because no history, with the possible exception of utility bills, has been established regarding their paying habits. Since a person never knows when such a score will be required, it is important to establish a credit history. This can be done very simply by such things as having a credit card, making a small purchase each month and immediately paying it off.

If one has a bad credit score and wants to repair it there are services such as credit counseling, mortgage brokers and others, listed on the Internet, who can get a person on the right track to a good record. These people are experts in the field of finance and can analyze the situation and outline a solution. It is not easy to repair credit history but it can be done with perseverance and sticking to a program.

Find out more: http://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/fivetips_creditscore.htm

Bad Credit Loans – How To Get A Loan If You Have Bad Credit

When a person becomes overwhelmed with bills it becomes a very stressful situation. It can cause family problems, health problems and even lead to a nervous breakdown. When things get this bad, many people seek the option of obtaining bad credit loans.
Bad Credit Loans

Credit scores can hit a low mark for a number of reasons. A job loss, reduction in pay, a serious illness are just a few of the factors that can cause one’s score to tumble. A good number of people do not have this score because of failure to make good on payments but because circumstances over which they had no control caused it. Loans are available for anyone who has a bad credit rating.

There are a number of services offered, at various locations, to assist a person in getting a loan to straighten out their debt problems. With a bad credit score one should be realistic and expect to pay higher interest than if the score were good. Comparing continuing the current situation with being able to pay off the bills and resume a normal life makes obtaining a loan a good choice.

When consulting with someone regarding obtaining a loan there are certain things that must be done. It will be necessary to completely outline one’s financial situation. This will include, income, assets, current loan payments and monthly expenses. In addition, copies of bills, statements and pay stubs need to be part of the package.

There are two different types of loans. One is a secured loan, which means there is collateral such as one’s home, car or property. This loan will require a first lien if the collateral’s title is clear or a second if it is not. The other type is a straight loan, based on proof of one’s ability to pay. Higher interest costs should be expected on either loan, with a bad credit history.

There are many options for obtaining a loan with a bad credit score. There are banks, credit unions and other institutions that will be happy to discuss this possibility. In addition, there are a number of options, on line, that offer this service. The ones on line have the advantage of reduced overhead and can usually offer loans at a lower rate, after making an analysis of the situation. In addition, they will clearly lay out all information, regarding the loan, prior to one making a commitment to take out the loan.

Obtaining such a loan usually means making payments, regularly, over a long period of time. A loan will free up more money for one’s daily use, however it is important not to be carried away and start making unnecessary purchases. This will put one back in the same predicament, with past due bills and harassing telephone calls. How a person makes the payments, i. E. On time and regularly, will mean all the difference in the world regarding re-establishing a good credit score.

There are also other options that could be taken, such as bankruptcy, debt consolidation, debt management, debt counseling and others. However, having a straight loan, and clearing all obligations, makes it possible for a person to start fresh and re-establish their reputation as a reliable customer. For many people, this has been a way to start a new life, free from worrying about too much debt.

Understanding Your Credit Score

Whenever a person makes a purchase that requires regular payments their credit score will be checked. This score will indicate how reliable they were in past purchases. It will also show credit accounts with various companies and any irregularities, such as payments made with insufficient funds or not made on time.
Credit Score

Having a good credit score is essential in today’s world when so many purchases are made with long term payments. Unfortunately, this also opens a wide avenue for purchasing goods with a large number of vendors. This will also show up on a credit report and may be detrimental as indicating that there is too much outstanding debt.

A credit report, when looked at by a rating company, will be scanned for payment history, outstanding debts, new credit, credit history and credit currently active. All of these have certain percentage points that are combined to arrive at the rating total. Ordinarily, this score can range from the lowest of 300 to a perfect 850.

Merchants and lenders sent reports to certain reporting companies. The ones most used are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, with reports available from any of these companies. Although scores may vary somewhat between these companies, scores below 620 are not good and are considered a risk, with 723 the median score.

Under the law, a person is entitled to one free credit report a year, simply by asking. With the high event of identity theft and the possibility of error, it is a good idea to check one’s report every year. Many times there are errors that need to be corrected in order to keep one’s good credit record.

There are companies located on the Internet that provide a service which keeps a person informed of their credit score, analyses the report regarding anything that affects it, monitors and alerts the client of any suspicious activity. Many also will send an immediate email if something appears on the record that looks unusual and provides an identity theft insurance with no deductible. A number of people are engaging this service because of the identity theft activity of the past few years.

A number of things can influence a person’s score. Such a thing as ‘no debt’ can be a detriment because there is no record showing that one would be good at making regular payments. So, if in the habit of paying cash for everything, taking out something like a credit card and paying it in full each month will establish a credit record. Even if the purchases are as little as $10.00 each month, it will set the pattern.

Some people have found the services of a mortgage broker or another service good way to repair credit. Their experts will analyze the situation and map out a strategy to bring the record back up, into an acceptable range. If there is a problem of a low rating, changes will not take place over night. It takes time to make changes in financial activities as well as for payment reports to reach a rating company and the score be changed.

An Introduction To Credit Repair

Having a bad credit rating makes it difficult to get loans or make purchases that require long-term payments. Once a person’s credit rating is determined it seems as if nothing can be done about it. The very first thing that must be done before credit repair can even be started is to get a copy of one’s credit report.
Credit Repair

Under Federal Legislation, credit reporting companies, must supply anyone who asks, a copy of their credit report. This report shows a credit rating as well as reports that have been sent in regarding your dealing with different businesses. Although the various companies such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, might have a slightly different score, the one company that has the combined totals of all companies is FICO (Fair, Isaacs & Co). FICO takes the ratings from all the companies, combines them and comes up with a final rating.

A credit rating can range from 300 to a perfect score of 850. Lenders consider score of 690 to 720 as excellent, with 723 as the median. A score below 620 is considered risky and might cause one not to get a loan or item that requires payments.

Many times, there are mistakes on a person’s credit report. This is why it is important to obtain a copy each year and check what has been reported. Errors are made by banks and people doing business, which reflects on that report. In addition, identity theft has caused havoc with people’s credit as well as their reports.

If a mistake is found on the report, the first thing a person should do is contact the merchant, or bank, which sent in a negative report. One should not try to do this by phone, talking in person and getting something in writing is important. If they agree there is an error, this proof is paramount for the long process that is required to clear up such a problem. Taking any receipts or other proof, to the meeting, is essential, however the originals should never be surrendered. Let them make copies if they ask for them.

The next thing a person should do is contact the credit reporting agency. This will be by registered letter with a return receipt requested. The letter should state that one disagrees with the report, list the reasons, add that the lender or merchant has been contacted and enclose copies of any receipts.

If a person is in the right, and has proof of regular payments, payment in full or whatever the negative report is about that should be the end of the matter and bring a change in the credit report. If it does not one can always contact a lawyer which, unfortunately, is usually quite expensive. Many people have solved their problem by filing a consumer’s complaint with the state’s attorney general’s office.

When this is done, that office will contact both the person filing the bad report and the credit rating company, asking for an explanation as to why the matter has not been cleared up. Most people do not have to go this far but, on occasion, it does happen. There are a number of companies, on the Internet, that advertise they do credit repair. As with any other business one deals with, it is important that their credentials be checked carefully, ask for references and take every precaution to be sure it is a reputable company.

Find out more: http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/ccc/repair.html

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How Bankruptcy Affects Your Credit

Sometimes debts pile up, starting small at first and then getting bigger as time goes on. That is when it is time to find a way to take care of the problem. There are very few people who have not heard of filing for bankruptcy but many do not understand what it entails. It is not something to be taken lightly. While it can cancel some obligations, it will not cancel them all.

With the abundance of credit cards and easy credit with merchants, it is not difficult to get overwhelmed with bills. What seems like a small obligation can turn into a big one when combined with a number of others. When the situation gets to the point of putting off necessities, like utility bills, to pay another bill that is past due, it is time to start thinking of finding a way out, such as bankruptcy.

In the United States, the U. S. Bankruptcy Code was originated to help people who simply become so swamped with debt that there seemed to be no other solution. Taking this route does give people a chance for a fresh start without bills continuing to pile up. Not paying creditors ruins a person’s credit rating. Contrary to popular belief, this is one way to bring that rating back to the ‘good customer’ category.

There are two different types of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 eliminates unsecured debt but does not relieve secured debt, such as a car or a house.

Chapter 13 is an arrangement where the lenders or merchants are paid off over a set period of time, in specified interest free payments.

Chapter 7 clears debts such as credit cards, medical, utility, store credit cards, payday and some personal loans and parking tickets. It does not clear student loans, mortgages, car loans or anything that is secured by collateral. This is the type of bankruptcy many people take.

Chapter 13 does not pay anything off but stops harassment and may also stop foreclosure/repossession of one’s home, automobile or other collateral. Under this plan payment arrangements are made, through an interest-free repayment plan over a period for three to five years. This has been an excellent plan for many people as it not only relieves the pressure of the debts but helps re-establish their credit rating.

There is nothing worse than to have one’s wages attached in order for someone to collect a debt owed. Called wage garnishment, this can be embarrassing and can be as much as fifty percent of one’s salary. This can very well leave a person without sufficient funds for daily living. This will be stopped when filing either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.

The filing fees are set by the U. S. Bankruptcy Court at Chapter 7, $299 (Discharge of unsecured debts), Chapter 13, $274 (Structured interest-free repayment plan), Conversion, $25 (Changing application from a Chapter 13 to a chapter 7). Although some people file these papers on their own, there are a number of very good companies, on the Internet, who are well acquainted with all the ins and outs of taking this kind of action. They will, of course, have a fee for their services. However, by shopping around, one can be found that can take care of all the paper work quickly and efficiently, relieving the applicant of that responsibility.

Additional resource links: http://www.azb.uscourts.gov/

How To Get Bad Credit Mortgages

With the abundance of low priced homes on the market today it is the opportunity of a lifetime for a person to own their own home. Unfortunately, two things are usually required to take advantage of this break. One of them is an income and the other is a good credit score. However, if a person has a steady source of income there are ways to get around the poor score by using bad credit mortgages.
Bad Credit Mortgages

A number of unscrupulous scam artists have taken advantage of people in this situation, wanting to purchase a home, and will make attractive offers they have no intention of following through on. When investigating the possibility of this kind of a mortgage, it is important to do a thorough check up of the site, if online, and be sure they are legitimate. There is a site available, online, that lists information regarding lenders from every state.

Once a good and legitimate site is found one will be shown the greatest courtesy in trying to provide the proper information and explain the options available. This will include such things as interest rates, locations where down payments may be obtained and any changes that might occur.

In some states there are state and local groups that help low income people get into housing. They will usually pay some or all of the down payment, which may or may not have to be paid back over the years. A poor credit mortgage site, while arranging the loan, will assist the borrower in the paperwork required for this assistance.

Having a bad credit rating is not the end of the world. Millions of people, in this country, fall into this category. It may be caused by many things, such as medical expenses, an accident, loss of some of one’s regular income and many other things. That is why things such as bad credit mortgages have come into being.

In waiting for a loan, everything possible should be brought into play to upgrade the credit score. This might involve talking to lenders or others and try to arrange for lower payments or an adjustment to the amount owed. If an agreement is reached, it is essential that no payment be late or missed. When the person owed sees good intentions by the borrower they will give a better report to the credit rating company.

A mortgage given to a person with bad credit is called a sub-prime mortgage. Contacting a reputable mortgage online, will start the application process going. To do this all necessary verifications, such as pay stubs, must be provided. The loan officer will then shop around for the best loan possible under the circumstance. One should expect to pay the mortgage broker a fee, depending on the work to be done, and this should be clearly confirmed before any type of work is begun.

The mortgage broker will also assist in filling out the necessary application and other paperwork. Different loans may have different requirements. If, for example, the loan is to purchase a home, that is on the market, proof of the home’s value might be required. There are a number of costs when purchasing a home, such as appraisal, closing costs and others. These costs are usually added on to the total amount of the loan.

Additional information at: http://commerce.wi.gov/CD/cd-boh-Home.html

Understanding The Meaning Of Bad Credit

Having a good credit rating is essential if one is trying to obtain a loan, buy a house, car or merchandise which is to be paid off over a period of time. Lenders take this rating as an indication of the individual’s habit of making their payments regularly and on time. This has a great deal to do with whether one’s application for the purchase is approved because of being labeled a bad credit risk.

When bills are not paid in a timely manner, it is noted and, if continued, a report is sent to the credit reporting company. These reports are calculated to form an overall score and, if there are a number of negative reports, one is tagged as a bad credit risk. This score is what lenders look at when considering contracts that require regular payments.
Bad Credit

Some people, who become overwhelmed with debts they are unable to pay, choose to file for bankruptcy. Chapter 7, of this law, will wipe out unsecured debt but will not eliminate fixed debt, such as mortgages, child support and student loans. Chapter 13 is for people who can repay the debts within three to five years. Under this chapter there is a limit on how much debt is involved. Going either route will have a negative effect on one’s credit score.

Reports from lenders and merchants, regarding one’s record of payment, is sent to a number of credit reporting companies, such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These companies report these scores to FICO (Fair, Isaacs, & Co), who combines them to reach a final credit report score. This score can range from 300 to a perfect score of 850. A score of 723 is the median with scores below 620 considered a risk. Scores of 690 to 720 are considered excellent for securing credit.

The scores are based on a number of things. Mainly, they are payment history, outstanding debts, new credit, credit history and credit currently being used. The scores from the various credit reporting companies may vary according to their scoring system which is why, if checking with more than one company, they may not match.

On FICO ‘s system each facet receives a certain percentage to reach the overall score. Payment history counts 35%, outstanding debts-30%, length of credit history-15%, kinds of credit-10% and recent credit-10%. All of these are factored in to determine if one has a bad credit rating.

While having bad credit will not necessary keep one from being able to obtain a loan, or make a purchase, it certainly will result in higher interest. This can be very costly and is usually extended for a long period of time. Even with this kind of financial transaction, the lender wants to be sure that they are going to receive the payments in a timely manner.

There are many different sites, on the Internet, that state they will repair bad credit or help one consolidate their bills to get their credit score back in good standing. When considering going this route it is very important to check these sites out carefully to be sure they are a reliable company and have a good track record.

Additional resource links: http://www.housing.ne.gov/