SWD Writer K

How Do Credit Repair Services Work?

Most of us would die to have an appealing credit report. The main reason being our credit scores and reports highly influence our financial decisions that impact our lives. 

Credit repairing services can help you sort your credit report errors. If you are having a hard time with bad credit, credit repair services can help you but at a cost. 

If you have a hard time with bad credit, you come across credit repair companies for cleaning up your credit report. That is, getting a loan, a fantastic interest rate, a competitive insurance premium, and even securing a job can be impacted by what’s on our credit reports.

All hope is not lost for those with poor credit scores, as there are plenty of better ways to rebuild your credit. 

What is Credit Repair?

Repairing your credit is done by hiring a company to fix your bad credit by removing inaccurate and harmful info on your credit reports in exchange for payment. 

You get information on your credit status by communicating with the credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) and financial companies like your bank to dispute the errors. 

There can be a lot of disputes, but the end goal is to have negative info deleted from your credit file. Therefore, improving your credit ratings. Credit repair services don’t help you manage your money. 

Management of your money is a service offered by credit counseling companies like the National Federation for Credit Counselling (NFCC) and the Financial Counselling Association of America (FCAA).

What are Credit Repair Services?

These are services that a credit repair company offers to improve your credit in exchange for a certain amount of fee. The organizations often promise to “handle all the heavy work” with credit reporting agencies.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the credit repair industry is fraught with scams. Therefore, it is crucial to investigate any credit repair organization before working with it.

How to verify a credit repair company: McClary says, “there are all kinds of ways” to vet credit repair businesses. Here’s somewhere to start.

  • Read the reviews of the company on the Better Business Bureau website.                               
  • Search for the consumer financial protection bureau’s complaint database.

If the company boast that it can do any of the following, it’s a red flag and likely a sign of a scam:

  • Guaranteed improvement of credit 
  • The organization requests you pay before it provides services 
  • Legally create a new credit identity for you 
  • Remove accurate negative info from your reports

Therefore, we recommend seeking out a credit counselor first. Counseling can help give you a better idea of what’s in your credit reports and how to improve your financial situation long-term.

How Do Credit Repair Companies Work?

Ultimately, most credit repair companies communicate on your behalf either with the credit bureaus or with the companies that reported or “furnished” your credit info to the bureaus. Most legit companies inquire for a copy of your credit report from each major consumer credit bureaus.

The organization will review your credit reports for derogatory marks, like:

  • Charge-offs  
  • Tax Liens     
  • Bankruptcies

Afterward, it will plan to dispute those errors and negotiate with creditors to eradicate those Items. 

Communications by credit repair organizations can happen via the internet, phone, or U.S. mail. The U.S. mail has historically been the method that credit repair companies have preferred for several reasons.

Mailing letters might sound unsophisticated, but it’s the only way that credit repair organizations tend to operate. Certain credit repair service providers use a technique known as “jamming,” which entails sending repetitive and often casual letters to various credit bureaus. 

Therefore, the credit company will send a large volume of dispute letters, so that either the credit bureau, lender, or debt collector will fail to process the dispute within the 30 days specified by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), resulting in the account being deleted.

The organization may also recommend applying for new accounts to add positive info to your reports. Be extra cautious here. If you’ve ever had trouble managing credit in the past, a new account may not be the best option. Also, it is not advisable to take on more credit if you don’t need it.

How Much Does Credit Repair Cost?

credit repair services

Credit repair companies are not free, but payment is made after they have done their service. These are done in two ways: Any item removed from your credit report is charged, and you are charged monthly. 

Once a month, they will charge you for the services provided during the previous 30 days. The fee per item is charged once the info is removed from your credit file. Exact fees vary by service rendered.

Credit repair organizations must first deliver the promised results then request payments afterward. For each derogatory mark removed from each of your reports, you might pay a one-time flat fee but that depends on the type of company you’re using. The pay rate can start around $35 per deletion and could range to $750 or more.

Does Credit Repair Take Time To Get Resolved?

The dispute you sent to the credit company bureau takes 30 days to investigate and verify. Typically, the credit bureau is required to send you the investigation results within five business days of the completion of the investigation. 

If the credit bureau determines the dispute is “frivolous,” it can choose not to investigate as long as it communicates that to you within five days.

What To Watch Out for When Seeking Credit Repair Services

Customers should exercise extreme caution when considering working with a credit repair company. If they ignore your questions, ask for payment before the service is delivered, or do not record its promises, turn around and look for another company. 

If you are looking forward to working with a credit repair company, consider all the warning signs and avoid potential scams. Anyway, it’s much better to confirm the accuracy of your own reports, since anything a credit repair company can do, you can do it much better.

Let Ebony Credit Solutions Help

At Ebony Credit, we offer credit repair services on flexible terms. Our process is easy, transparent, and affordable. Book an appointment to get started with us today.

How To Clean Up Your Credit Report Yourself for Free

Before turning to credit report cleanup services, have you ever thought of attempting to clean up the report on your own?

We know that can be technical, especially when you don’t know where to start.

The information listed on your credit report can make or break your next loan or credit card application. However, taking a moment to review it and clean it up can strengthen your approval odds and uncover surprising ways to save money and raise your credit score.

Why Clean Up a Credit Report?

Lenders have a look at your credit report when you apply to financial products, such as credit cards and loans, as well as apartments. The information contained in your report helps lenders determine your ability to repay debt. However, if there is wrong info on your credit report, it can risk your approval rate and affect the terms you receive.

What Does It Involve?

Cleaning up your reports means getting rid of inaccurate information, outdated information, or fixing anything that isn’t correct. Therefore, you can easily do it yourself instead of seeking credit report clean-up services to work on your credit reports.

This guide illustrates helpful tips on how to spot credit repair scams, how to fix lousy information on your credit report, and how to boost your credit score. 

A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Clean Up a Credit Report

Step One: Get Copies of Your Credit Reports

Nowadays, almost everyone will get their reports from three major CRAs: TransUnion, Equifax, Experian. You are also entitled to get a free copy of your report from the above agencies annually by visiting Annual Credit Report.com

You will need to provide your name, address, social security number, and date of birth. If you have relocated in the past two years, you also may be asked to provide your previous address.

Also, since last year, Equifax has had the right to hand you six credit report copies per year for free and one free report each from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion that you get annually at Annual Credit Report.com.

You should order your credit reports from all three, as they often contain additional info. Some might like to stagger the timing, for example, ordering one from Equifax one month and then ordering one from TransUnion four months later. The good news is that you have access to all this information: Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Step Two: Review Your Reports

Next, do a thorough review of each of your reports. Comb through each one and check that the information given is accurate. Go through the following factors:

  • Personal information, such as the name and address listed on your account    
  • Account info, such as balances, credit limit, payment history, and current status (active, Inactive, or closed)   
  • Liquidation and collection facts, if any of your accounts were marked past due for over 30 days and referred to a collection agency.

Step Three: Make a List

credit report cleanup services

Make a detailed list of everything that is inaccurate, wrong, outdated, or even missing information. Afterward, gather supporting documents. For example, if you closed an account that is still reported as open, see if you can obtain a letter or other document showing you closed the account.

Your credit score is negatively affected when you are more than 30 days past due. If you come across a balance on a card that you haven’t used in years, it could be because the account has been stolen. Inaccurate info in the accounts section troubles your credit score, so take note of all of it.

Just in case, you should also take note of the following:

  • What is my current balance relative to my available credit (credit utilization)?  
  • Do I have any open accounts that have associated late payments?

Attending these issues can help you improve your credit score moving forward.

Step Four: Dispute Any Errors

Having inaccurate info on your credit report is more common than many might think. According to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study, about one quarter(around 25%) of Americans have an error on their credit report. 

However, sometimes bad credit is just your fault. When you argue correct info, however, if you do come across inaccurate info, even minor ones, it will be much better if you cleaned them up. As illustrated below:

Once you’ve gotten the full copy of your complete credit report in hand, check your identity information (Social security number, spelling of your name, and address) and credit history.

Go through the list of credit cards, outstanding debts, and major purchases. If you encounter any mistakes or questionable items, make a copy of the report and highlight the error.

Then gather all the information you have to back you up, that is, bank account statements, and make copies of them which is crucial since the credit bureaus won’t work without proof.

Please write a letter to communicate with the specific reporting agency that shows the falsehood, whether it is Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Illustrate the mistake and include a copy of the highlighted report along with your documentation. 

Although specific bureaus now let you hand in disputes online, it’s not a lame idea to send this letter by certified mail and keep a copy for yourself.

The reporting agency has 30 days from the receipt of your letter to respond. Below are the contact numbers and websites for the three credit bureaus:

Step Five: Keep Track of Communications and Reports

Keeping track is very important. That is, you should collect all documents that support your claim; bank statements, credit card statements, or emails.

It is vital because the person making the dispute is responsible for making sure it gets filed and that they’ve taken all the action necessary to clean up their credit.

Step Six: Pay Bills on Time and Pay Off Debts

Working towards rebuilding your credit little by little is the last critical step you can take in the clean-up process to take control of your finances. You can begin improving your credit once you’ve cleared up any mistakes or issues that appeared. Below are several issues to watch out for:

  • Avoid late payments    
  • Avoid applying for too many loans in a short space of time   
  • Maintain a low balance on your credit card, so you have ample available credit   
  • Monitor your reports and scores regularly. 

Sum up

By keeping track of your credit score, history, paying your bills on time, and staying in touch with your lenders to resolve any credit disputes you may have, you can clean up your credit and move forward. If you need further help, contact a credit repair service.

How Credit Report Cleanup Services Can Help

Look, we get it. At times, you’re just too busy to go through credit reports or prefer to let an experienced credit repair expert do it on your behalf. If this sounds like you or you’ve been trying to clean up the report but haven’t seen much progress, we can help. Contact Ebony Credit Solutions today at 347-404-5753. Prefer dropping us an email instead? Leave a message here.

Credit Repair Service-12 Factors to Consider before Choosing One

Are you having a bad credit score or a hard time monitoring your credit services? That’s where a credit repair service comes in handy.

With a clear picture in mind of what you need from the company, you won’t have a hard time choosing one.

Keep reading to find out everything you ought to know before settling on a credit repair service provider.

Let’s get started.

1. Features 

credit repair service

Look at all the features of the repair service. Make sure that the features match what you would want; they vary from company to company.

Check the model of the credit score used; FICO and VantageScore are the standard models. Note that most companies use the FICO model for lending decisions.

2. Customer Support

When making inquiries in various credit companies, listen keenly to their response to customers and potential customers. 

How they listen and respond to customers will tell you the kind of company they are and are respectful enough to work with.

A company that has a website is better; on this website, you can ask your questions. Make sure to check if they have responded to other questions before. 

Most of these websites have a section about the company where there is a helpline that you can always use to reach them. Now that you are ready to call their helpline, ask all the questions about credit repair you have in mind. 

If you are satisfied with the way all your questions are answered, then there are chances that they will give you a reliable credit repair service.

3. Beginner Fee

You ought to ask how much a company charges as a startup fee; this way, you can compare the fee from different companies and the services they provide for the amount. 

Contacting about ten companies will give you the range you are supposed to spend on your credit card. The research will help you rule out companies that are charging extremely high startup fees.

The beginner fee mainly includes the amount needed to repair your credit card and the analysis cost of repairing it.

Remember, credit repair scam companies will use this opportunity to obtain your credit details and make payments on your behalf without your knowledge. 

Most of these companies charge meager beginner fees, and by the time you get to realize, all your money is gone—enough reason why you should scrap off companies with a meager startup fee from your list.

Keep the focus on companies that charge a reasonable amount as a beginner fee.

4. Service Charges

credit repair company

After discussing the monthly fee with your company of choice, it is time to talk about the service costs. 

Most companies charge a monthly fee. Here you need to evaluate the monthly fees just as you did with the beginner fee above. Make sure you settle for an affordable and high-quality package. 

Once the company conducts an assessment on the state of your credit card, the monthly fee will cater for the repair.

However, some credit repair service providers like Ebony Credit only charge a lifetime fee and another charge per deletion. Such providers give you more flexibility and help you save more because you don’t have to pay every month.

5. The Number of Disputes It Can Solve

A reliable credit company should make clear the number of disputes they can solve. 

A company with an unlimited number of disputes to solve is the best, though it comes at a higher price.

With a low credit score, a company will tend to restrict the number of disputes it can solve. Make sure that you settle for a company with unlimited services.

6. The Credit Repair Service’s Years of Service

Before settling on a credit company, it would be best to consider one that has provided the service for many years. 

This way, you will be confident that they will solve all your credit situations. Being in the industry for a long time is an additional advantage since they have experienced numerous credit problems.

Ask about the experience of their workers and agents. Through the inquiries, you will avoid being in a situation where the company has been in the market for a long time, full of new employees.

Having an experienced employee handle your situation will improve your credit score.

7. Credit Monitoring Services

Choose a credit repair company that offers monitoring services for free. This way, you will be able to keep an eye on how your credit is fairing. 

Free monitoring services can allow you to make payment while the repair is still on.

8. Safeguard From Identity Theft

Are you worried about your personal information safety?

A lot of personal information is required when accessing credit repair services, the repair company must put in place measures that protect your details.

With a safeguard identity, you won’t feel nervous about the safety of your data.

9. Personal Loans

When you have credit issues, it is not easy to get loans from companies. 

The good news is some companies will offer personal loans even when your credit is being repaired; you can purchase a commodity and continue with your daily business.

10. Refund Guarantee

choosing a credit repair service

Your main aim of looking for a credit repair service is a significant repair. I am sure you won’t like it when the credit remains the same after investing your money in it.

A credit repair service with a compensation plan allows you to get your money back if the desired services are not delivered. This way, you can find another company to work on the credit.

The compensation pan gives the company the morale to deliver quality service. Losing money because of poorly delivered service is not fun for them.

11. Online Reviews

Companies that are confident of their work value their customer’s feedback will have a review section on their website.

When you land on a company’s website, remember to check the reviews; they are vital in your decision-making. In most cases, the customer is always right.

Reviewing websites will also help in finding objective reviews. Here you can have access to the low-rated reviews.

When going through negative reviews, don’t ignore the red flags; if you notice identity theft cases and failure to fix credit services, you should consider another company.

Some companies will fake their reviews to impress you. To avoid this, remember that we can’t have a review with only positive comments.

12. Discount for Couples

In cases where you and your partner want to repair the service, a company with a discount for couples will help you save a lot. 

The money saved can be used in fulfilling other tasks such as debt payment.

Final Word

Now that you are aware of most considerations when choosing a credit repair service, go ahead and find a repair service that will cover all your needs. Ensure that you ask all the necessary questions; this will enable you to make a sound decision. All the best.

9 Easy Tricks to Boost Your Credit Score Fast (#6 Works Like a Charm)

Are you worried about your low credit scores and how you can boost your credit score fast? You’re not alone; many people are looking for ways to improve your credit score quickly.

A higher credit score means building up the confidence of financial institutions in your ability to pay loans or your credit card.

The best part is with a higher credit score; you will enjoy low interest on your loans.

Keep reading to find out dead simple ways to achieve a better, if not an excellent, credit score.

1. Pay Your Bills on Time

Paying your bills on time is an effective strategy for raising your score. Late payments will cost you. They can last on your credit report for up to 7years.

If you miss the payments for 30 days and above, communicate with your creditor and have a plan to make payments as soon as possible this way, they may consider excluding the late payment on the report.

Some creditors won’t include the report; however, make your payments without delays to avoid hurting the score.

Setting a reminder will help you avoid missing payments; adopting automatic payment methods will help you cover the most payments.

Payment of bills plays the most prominent role in determining your credit score when working with VantageScore or FICO.

Adding positive credit to your account will improve your score significantly; the best part is the impact of late payment fades with time, depending on how many days you were late with the payments. 

2. Report Errors on Your Credit Report

When you acquire your credit report, look at it carefully and ensure that there are no mistakes.

Some of these mistakes include a late marked payment while you paid it on time when your report is mixed with someone else and an outdated negative report.

A single mistake on your report affects your score immensely. Once you note any mistake, report it.

Even if the process of disputing the errors may take plenty of your time, it is worth it. It will improve your chances of acquiring a larger loan. 

If you need a mortgage, make sure you resolve the disputes early enough.

Some credit companies act fast on correcting the errors to improve your score. The credit bureau takes up to 30 days to respond to the complaints.

3. Boost Your Credit Score Fast by Adopting a Payment Strategy

To attain a low balance for reporting by your card provider to the credit bureaus, you must implement a strategy. 

Using 30% or less of your limit is a great idea; the lower the credit utilization raises your score; for example, people with excellent credit scores use less than 7% of their limit.

Your credit utilization is vital to your score.  For a low credit utilization, set a reminder on your card to notify you once you reach a specific limit.

A good payment strategy highly influences your score. It will lead to a good credit report to the bureaus and boost your credit score fast.

4. Request for Higher Limits

A higher limit on your score reduces your entire credit utilization, and your balance remains the same.

Talk to your credit provider, and they will advise you on how to get a higher limit. Try to avoid hard inquiries that drop your credit score points.

Once your provider reports the higher limit, your credit utilization will lower, provided you avoid using up the extra advantage on your card.

5. Have an Extra Credit Account

An extra credit card will improve your credit. Consider another type of card apart from the one you have.

The new card can help where you have a loan; it will improve your credit score by reducing your credit utilization by availing more credit.

However, before getting the extra card, think about what and how to pay the fees and interests if the card is strictly for improving credit.

The card starts benefiting you immediately after the credit bureau approves it.

6. Consider a Secured Credit Card

boost your credit score fast

A secured credit card is a great way of rebuilding your credit. 

It allows you to make a cash deposit as a backup; once you make the advance payment, the deposit acts as your credit limit. It means you can use it just like your typical credit card.

Despite improving your credit score, the card mostly helps you in timely payments and keeps your balances low.

The card adds more positive information to your report and allows you to correct mistakes such as delayed payments you made on the other cards.

7. Be Added as an Authorized User

This idea works well for newbies.

It only requires a relative or a friend who has a better experience with their card to add you as an authorized user.

For example, if you have a new card with a credit limit of $2000 and your monthly usage runs to about $600, it means you are using 30% of your credit limit, thus a higher credit utilization. If your dad has a credit card with $20000 with a bit of usage, you will love the fall in your credit utilization if he adds you as an authorized user.

Before considering an account to be added to make sure it reports to the credit bureaus.

Note that you don’t need the account holder’s personal details such as their account number or credit card to improve your scores.

8. Pay Off Collection Accounts

Dealing with all your collection accounts reduces the threat of being sued for failure to pay the debt. 

You can agree with the collection agency to stop reporting any debt payments.

The good news is the latest FICO and VantageScore allow you to remove the collection accounts; after reporting the paid-off status to the credit bureaus, the scores benefit much.

However, if the negative mark on your credit report is significant, convincing your collecting agency to stop reporting the account might be a big deal.

9. Limit new Account Applications

As much as you would like to have additional credit accounts to boost your credit file, more accounts may lead to a hard inquiry that affects your score. 

The average age of your credit card is reduced when you have additional accounts; this may compromise the scores.

Even if accounts and inquiries are minor factors affecting your score, you need to be cautious and reduce the number of new applications you make.

Final Word

All the tips above will help improve your score. However, there is a need to be patient with each process. Remember there is no limit for time to rebuild your credit. It all depends on what is affecting your score. Establish the cause and work on it, and before you know it, you will be ranking at an excellent credit score.

Can Your Web History Impact Credit Score?

You might be wondering, can my web history impact credit score? Well, the short answer is yes. Keep reading to find out more.

Have you ever considered your web history as important to your financial life? 

Well, very soon your internet habits just may be. In the near future, your web history could impact credit score and, therefore, the kind of house you buy or even what you pay on your car loan. 

Currently, the credit score is a three-digit number that is arrived at from assessing your debt level and payment history. 

A working paper posted on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) website, however, hints at companies possibly widening their scope of data collection to get a better picture of borrowers and the risk they carry. 

New Credit?

web history impact credit score

The researchers say lenders could soon take a look at your search, browsing, and shopping history to obtain a more accurate credit score. This may be the future of lending.

Citing other studies, the researchers show that using both credit information and your ‘digital footprint’ offers better loan default predictions. 

Most of this digital information is readily available but what is not can be provided to credit bureaus. 

It may sound rather odd and spy-like, with someone watching your every digital move but that isn’t the case. 

Machine learning and artificial intelligence would instead be tasked with scraping this data and then turning it into information suitable for a credit report.

Who Benefits when Web History Impact Credit Score?

On one end, some may not like the thought of lenders looking at their browsing data. This feels very personal and possibly a violation of private space if nothing else. On the flip side, those who don’t have a good credit rating from traditional financial institutions could benefit from this. 

Consumers who have been ‘unscorable’ could access credit and those with a credit score teetering between medium and low could either increase it or lose access altogether. This is according to a 2018 study by the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

The pandemic, for instance, hit many people and left them with late loan payments thus denting their credit rating. Lenders were therefore not quick to give good deals even though mortgage rates significantly dipped to historic lows

With this other system, lenders could look at your browser history and your purchases would let them know how trustworthy you are. This would be viewed as the bump it is and not a negative character trait of your doing. 

Considering people’s digital footprint would essentially bolster financial inclusion for those that have had difficulty getting credit in the past. 

Are There Any Risks Involved?

While these changes remain speculative and seem far off at the moment, they could potentially come to pass. They provide quite the advantage but at what price? The biggest worry would be privacy and data security. 

The researchers admit there would be an ‘efficiency-privacy trade-off.’ With an increase in the use of private data in financial services, the government would have to set standards for data collection and use, the researchers say. 

The paper notes that the U.S. does not allow the use of race or gender information to make lending decisions but this still leaves room for other kinds of data to be misused. What data is important and what isn’t? How will the information collected remain in the right hands? 

Big Tech is not as highly regulated as the banking industry but data privacy would have to be monitored for this to work. That poses a problem in itself since the industry is very fast-paced and governments may take time to come up with necessary policies.

How Do You Build Your Credit Score?

steps to build credit score

Before they figure out how much your web history could impact your credit score, you need to build a solid credit score. It will increase your borrowing limits, a mortgage, lower interest rates, a credit card, and personal loans. 

Some landlords look at your credit rating before deciding to offer their house to you too. The old-fashioned way is the way to go for now and the best approach to this is:

  1. Regularly Check Your Score

It may seem pointless but knowing where you lie will keep you on the right track. Stay aware and alert on your progress. It becomes much easier to spot any odd activity too. 

There are services you can use that will allow you to access your score at no cost and send you alerts whenever a change occurs. That way you can adjust your habits before things go too far.

  1. Build a Good Track Record

A good record begins with making payments on time. Ensure you pay your credit card as expected to build a good credit history. If regular cards are not an option, specialized credit cards will still serve the purpose.

  1. Debt Consolidation

Having many small debts with high-interest rates poses a big challenge to your credit score. The debt level is very critical for the credit score decision. The best option is taking a low-interest debt consolidation loan to pay off all the high-interest debt accrued. 

That leaves you with one loan to pay off that is more manageable. It also looks much better on paper.

  1. Be On the Lookout for Fraud

This is why regularly checking your credit rating is necessary. A little fraudulent activity and your credit rating could take a beating. 

It can easily ruin all the hard work you’ve been putting in over the years. Any suspicious activity caught in good time could save you a lot of unnecessary trouble.

Get Ready, Do It Right

Life as we know it keeps changing and technology will keep offering newer and better ways of doing things to accommodate the changing landscape. Whether web history can impact credit score is still up for research but preparing for it won’t hurt. 

Keep shopping wisely and keep your online activity in check. Fill out your LinkedIn profile and show off your skills while you’re at it. 

We’ve seen bigger and crazier innovations within the Big Tech space and who knows where this could end up?    

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