Category: Credit Repair

FTC Releases Latest Study on Credit Reporting Agencies

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on January 21, 2015 released its latest study on the 3 major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, Transunion). The study contains results about credit report errors. This was a follow up to a study issued in 2012 which discovered that, “that one in five consumers had an error that was corrected by a credit reporting agency (CRA) after it was disputed on at least one of their three credit reports. The study also found that about 20 percent of consumers who identified errors on one of their three major credit reports experienced an increase in their credit score that resulted in a decrease in their credit risk tier, making them more likely to be offered a lower auto loan interest rate.”

credit report errors

The follow-up study which surveyed consumers that had disputed one or more items on their credit report found that, “31 percent stated that they now accepted the original disputed information on their reports as correct. However, nearly 70 percent continue to believe that at least some of the disputed information is inaccurate. 45 percent said they plan to continue their dispute, and 50 percent plan to abandon their dispute, while others are undecided.

This latest study “also examined whether consumers from the 2012 study who had their credit reports modified after disputing information on their credit reports had any of the negative information that had been removed subsequently reappear on their reports”.

The study found that in only about 1 percent of the cases did an item such as credit report errors reappear after it had been removed.

The Commission issuing the study, “recommends that CRAs (Credit Reporting Agencies) review and improve the process they use to notify consumers about the results of dispute investigations, and that CRAs continue to explore efforts to educate consumers regarding their rights to review their credit reports and dispute inaccurate information such as credit report errors.

You can view the full study results here.

For information on how you can dispute credit report errors and derogatory items on your credit report contact us at: (619) 492-3040 or (727) 222-0120

Or, visit us at www.eracreditservices.com

A Free Credit Score? Look Again!

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has shut down a marketing scheme by as many as 50 websites that lured consumers into unknowingly paying monthly fees to receive a free credit score.

free credit score

“View your latest Credit Scores from All 3 Bureaus in 60 seconds for $0!”, was one pitch to get consumers to actually sign up for a monitoring service that charged them monthly fees and was extremely difficult to stop.

Some of the websites that promoted these credit monitoring programs included www.ScoreSense.com, www.freescoreonline.com, and www.freescore360.com. The FTC claims that hundreds of thousands of consumers unwittingly signed up for their ‘free’ credit score not realizing that they were also signing up for a monitoring program and were being charged a monthly fee.

How to Avoid Getting Charged for a Free Credit Score

Be aware that anytime you are asked provide payment information, you run the risk of getting charged for something other than what you intended. Free trial offers that require consumers to include credit card or bank account information can be something you want to avoid. And, always research the terms of offers. Buried somewhere may be contractual language that obligates you to pay for something you do not want and/or was not disclosed in the original offer.

How to Get a Truly Free Credit Report

If all you desire is to receive a free copy of your credit report from either Experian, Equifax, or Transunion (the 3 major credit bureaus), then visit www.annualcreditreport.com. This website will allow you to see online, print out, or save as a PDF document one free credit report from each of the bureaus once per year. However, be aware that you won’t receive a free credit score. If you want to also see your credit score you will be asked to pay a fee. You may also see an offer to pay as little as $1.00 to see your score but, as the information above describes, be asked to sign up for a monitoring program that will charge monthly fees.

About ERA Credit Services

ERA Credit Services provides a truly free credit score and credit reports ongoing to it’s clients as part of the overall service of restoring their credit. ERA Credit Services specializes in working with consumers to leverage their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and remove erroneous, obsolete and unverifiable derogatory items from their credit report. ERA Credit Services works with consumers in all 50 states and is located in San Diego, CA and Clearwater, FL. Agents are available to speak with clients about credit repair in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, San Diego, all cities in Pinellas, Hillsborough and San Diego Counties and all other states in the U.S..

Credit Worthy Clients – Florida Real Estate, Mortgage, Automobile, Banking and Solar Professionals

Do you need credit worthy clients? How often do you spend time with a prospective client, after having spent advertising dollars to get that prospect, only to find out they don’t have a high enough credit score to qualify to do business with you?

What do you then do with that prospect? You can spend further time trying to guide and help them which, in most cases is not productive. Or, you can partner with ERA Credit Services and allow us to work with that client to increase their credit score while you focus on your main business.

There are fewer credit worthy clients in Florida

Florida consumers have a lower credit score on average than those in the other 50 states. According to Experian in a 2014 study, the average VantageScore credit score in Florida is approximately 656 while the U.S. average is 669. In 2013 the Sun Sentinel reported that credit scores in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties had dropped to a 646 after it had been a 658 in 2012. Compare that to states where the average score is well over 700.

Here’s the Average VantageScore in Major Florida Cities (Experian- 2014) credit worthy clients infogrpahic

Tallahassee- 643
Jacksonville- 647
Miami- 649
Orlando- 656
West Palm Beach- 665
Tampa- 659
Fort Meyers- 673

What if you could spend very little time and effort, yet build your pipeline of credit worthy clients and qualified buyers? By working with us you can. We would be happy to discuss how our credit restoration service works and how you can monitor the progress of your client’s service online. Let us do the work while you build your business. Then we’ll pass that client back when they are ready to close a deal with you.

Better yet, what if you could become an Independent Agent and earn income associated with helping your clients? Our staff does all the credit repair work, analyzing credit reports, working directly with the client and the credit bureaus. After explaining our service your job is to input the client’s information into our online system. And, you get paid the next week! This could lead to some great part-time income or even to a whole new career.

Either way we would like to speak with you and see how we can increase your bottom line. What if we could help you close just a few more sales per year? What if you could now separate yourself from your competition by having a partner that can help prospective clients when no one else can?

Give us a call at (727) 222-0120 or to read more visit Clients with a Low Credit Score

Proposed Overhaul of Credit Reporting Agencies

At the very least someone is paying attention to the practices of credit reporting agencies. Maxine Waters, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 43rd Congressional District (South LA County, CA), has proposed sweeping changes to the way the big 3 credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, Transunion) handle consumer information provided by creditors.

credit reporting agencies

Proposed Changes under the Fair Credit Reporting Improvement Act of 2014

The Fair Credit Reporting Improvement Act of 2014 proposes the following changes which would increase millions of consumer credit scores immediately:

  1. Currently creditors have the legal right to report a derogatory credit item on consumer credit report for 7 years, or 10 years in the case of a bankruptcy. The new bill, if passed, would reduce these time frames to 4 and 7 years respectively.
  2. Paid or settled delinquent debt remains on a credit report as a derogatory account. The bill would eliminate this although it is unclear as to whether the item would be deleted, upgraded to a ‘Paid as Agreed’ status, or other.
  3. When a consumer’s account has late payments their credit report reflects those late payments for the previously mentioned 7 year period. The bill would allow for a consumer to make a certain amount of on-time payments (perhaps 9 consecutive months) and have the previous late payments dropped from the report.
  4. Currently when a consumer disputes an item on their credit report that dispute is reflected on the report preventing them from closing a home loan in some cases. The bill would eliminate reporting of disputes unless the dispute by the consumer is deemed frivolous. Of course, what is deemed frivolous is controlled by the credit bureaus so this may or may not have much positive impact.
  5. The bill would eliminate the credit bureaus from offering a ‘free trial’ program to obtain their credit score and then switching consumers to a ‘paid program’.
  6. Currently consumers have the right to one free credit report per year from each of the 3 credit bureaus but they still have to pay for their scores. The bill would force the bureaus to also provide free credit scores once per year.
  7. Approximately half of all employers run credit checks on applicants. This bill would drastically reduce the number of employers able to do so by categorizing those than can. How this will be done is still unclear.

But Are Positive Changes to the Credit Reporting Agencies Really Coming?

This may be a welcomed bit of news for those in the know of current reporting practices but it isn’t cause to get excited just yet. Business Week stated that the bill is “unlikely to pass”. Business Insider goes further and states that, “the newest credit reporting act doesn’t have a chance”.

Credit Restoration- Does It Work?

Most people when they learn about credit restoration, or what most people call credit repair, are skeptical that it is possible to have derogatory items removed from their credit report regardless of the reason those items are on their report. It simply comes down to understanding the law and perhaps using logic as well.

credit restoration

What Can Be Removed From a Consumer Credit Report?

There are 3 general types of accounts or trade lines that can potentially be removed from a consumer credit report with credit restoration. Obsolete items are those items that have a date of last activity older than 7 years, or 10 years in the case of a bankruptcy. Erroneous items have incorrect information that either must be updated or deleted due to the inaccuracy. And, items that can legally be reported but cannot or simply are not verified for accuracy by the creditor.

Understanding Credit Laws

The Fair Credit Reporting Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1971. Basically, it gives consumers the right to dispute any item on their credit report. If the creditor does not respond to that dispute or cannot verify the accuracy of the specific trade line, the law says the item must be deleted from the consumer’s credit report. What is happening here is that by not responding to the dispute the creditor is not verifying the accuracy of that reported item. Therefore, consumer protection kicks in and the item must be deleted. That part is pretty simple.

But why would a creditor not respond to a dispute, especially if the debt did not get paid and the date of the last activity on the account is within the last 7 years? This largely depends on the age and type of account, and if the creditor has a certain amount of debt owed to them.

Regarding items that are not obsolete or erroneous, there are those that have a higher probability of the creditor not responding, and those that have a lower probability. Nothing in this category is a sure thing that a creditor won’t respond, and therefore the item will remain. Yet, there is always a possibility.

Other Factors to Consider with Credit Restoration

In my experience as a professional in credit restoration it usually, but not always, comes down to the age of the account and the debt amount. An older account, at least 2 years but better when it is 4+ years, has a higher probability even if money is still owed by the consumer. The reason is that the account was charged off years ago by the creditor. In many cases the creditor wrote the unpaid debt off against income in a particular tax year recovering a significant portion of the debt. Then they perhaps sold the account to a collection agency recovering even more. Why would they, several years later, spend the time, energy, effort and money to respond to a dispute to all three major bureaus? Of course, an account that has a zero balance because the consumer eventually paid it but still shows up as a derogatory trade line, has a much better chance of the creditor not responding because there is no monetary incentive to respond.

However, an account that is less than 2 years old has a lower probability that the creditor won’t respond. Or, the collection agency that purchased the account from the original creditor may now be the creditor of record and they may respond.

Accounts that are still open but have late payments which is the reason they are showing as derogatory will not be deleted because the creditor is reporting on that account on a regular basis. The hope here is that the consumer has a recent history of paying the account on time and that the creditor will update the account to a “paid as agreed” status.

Consider the Value of a Higher Credit Score

What is stated above are generalities. There are no steadfast rules as to why a creditor will and will not respond to a particular item that can legally be reported for 7 years. Credit restoration is an attempt to restore credit regarding these type items. Given the disposition of the item and the creditor it works a significant amount of the time and therefore, is very much worth the attempt especially considering the value of a higher credit score.

Visit CREDIT REPAIR to Learn How We Can Help

Do You Need Qualified Clients to Close More Business?

If you’re in a profession or industry such as real estate, mortgage, auto, banking, solar or other situation where you need qualified clients with a good or specific credit score for financing, this article can help you close more business and earn more money.

qualified clients

What Do You Do With Unqualified Clients?

You talk to people on a regular basis that do not have the credit score necessary to qualify to be your client. What do you do with them? We have found that in many cases, professionals in the industries listed above would rather just move on to find someone that can qualify instead of trying to help someone that can’t. If it only took you 10 additional minutes or less to help these people why not do both? In other words, take 10 more minutes to assist your unqualified client to see if they can become qualified in the future, and then move on to find someone that qualifies now.

How do you do that? How can you help someone that can’t qualify due to a low credit score become qualified? By developing a relationship with a trusted credit repair professional that has a stellar track record of helping people raise their scores. All you have to do is say to your unqualified client that you’re getting ready to lose, “I know someone that can potentially help you. Would you like me to give them your information and have them contact you?” That’s it. It’s actually less than 10 minutes of your time.

Upsides and Downsides of Partnering with a Credit Repair Company

What’s the downside? Assuming it’s a reputable credit repair company and they have proven to previously have helped thousands of people, the only downside is that this client isn’t a candidate for credit repair, or the client goes somewhere else to buy your product or service once their score is higher because you didn’t stay in touch with them.

What’s the upside? The credit repair company you chose has a system to keep you informed of the progress of your clients score improvement allowing you to know when to call them back. You, of course, do so and you close a transaction with someone you otherwise would have lost. All for an investment of less than 10 minutes of your time.

We Help You Have More Qualified Clients

When business is good we sometimes lose sight of these type opportunities to build our pipeline of future business. But this is so easy and time efficient it truly is something everyone in a credit related industry should do.

If you are looking for a trusted company with a proven track record and an A+BBB rating visit ERA Credit Services . We work with professionals all over the U.S. helping their unqualified prospects become qualified clients, and helping them close more business.

Fix Your Credit Through the Credit Bureaus

All 3 major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax & Transunion) give consumers the ability to fix your credit and dispute derogatory or negative trade lines through their websites. This is required by the federal government. However, because the credit bureaus give us the ability to do this doesn’t mean they are an advocate of the process or are working on our behalf to help us clean up our credit reports. Fix Your Credit

Here is why and its basic logic. The credit bureaus do not generate revenue or make a profit by having to address negative items on our credit reports even if they are erroneous or obsolete. This process is a huge expense for these companies. It’s simply a downside of their business. Therefore they are not going to make it easy to fix your credit.

Steps To Fix Your Credit

First, they are going to require that you prove your identity. If you cannot prove you are who you are they are not going to allow you to submit a dispute. There is actually a very valid reason for this, identity theft. The bureaus are not going to send updates on your credit report giving out personal financial information to someone that they are not sure is you. Therefore, be prepared to answer random questions that will give the bureaus enough information to validate that you are who you say you are.

Then you will have to provide a valid reason for the dispute. What is valid to you is not necessarily valid to them. For instance, because you co-signed for a loan or credit card for someone and they didn’t pay is not a valid reason to have the item removed from your credit report, nor is being deployed on active duty in the military, or going through a divorce. There are valid reasons for disputing an item such as, the account wasn’t yours. But the credit bureaus are not going to publish this information. This is further evidence that they want to make it as difficult as possible for consumers to fix your credit.

If you are successful in submitting a dispute through the credit bureau website or writing a letter, and you receive an update from the bureau verifying the accuracy of the account on your report and thus stating that the information will remain unchanged, don’t give up there. This is the biggest mistake consumers make when trying to dispute items on their own. Dispute it again. Make the credit bureaus contact your creditor and have that creditor respond again. Do it several times. In some cases when the creditor sees that you are not giving up they will simply not respond to the bureau(s). When this occurs the item must be deleted from your report.

A Professional Service Can Save Lots of Time and Frustration

As you can tell this is a lot of work and most of the time leads to failure and frustration. Many consumers make the decision to pay for a professional company with a good track record to go through all of this for them. Companies that have been in business for several years know exactly how to navigate through this process, the proper dispute reasons and codes, the acceptable proof of identification needed, and will not give up.

If you decide that your time is worth far more than trying to fix your credit on your own give us call. We have been in business since 2004, have helped over 250,000 people, work in all 50 states and have an A+ BBB rating. We will work on all 3 bureau reports, dispute as many items as you have, all for a one time activation fee of just $188 and $89/month. We also give you online access to view your items and see the progress we are making on your behalf.

The High Cost of a Low Credit Score

A very good credit score is 720 or above. If you have this kind of score you still may want to increase it if you can to insure you are getting optimum credit opportunities and the lowest interest rates. However, the vast majority of people have a score of lower than 720. And, creditors love it! They simply make more money by being able to charge higher interest rates and deposits. This is when you experience the high cost of a low credit score.

Low Credit Scores and Mortgages The High Cost of a Low Credit Score

Regarding a home mortgage a small difference in the interest rate you pay can cost tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. For example, on a $200,000 loan a 1.25% difference in the interest rate will cost about $1,800/year and $9,000 in 5 years. With a very good credit score a borrower could save as much as $250/mo, $3,000/year and $15,000 over 5 years in interest payments.

Low Credit Scores and Car Loans

A car loan is even more dramatic due to the wide range of interest rates being offered depending on credit score. Someone with stellar credit can get close to 0% interest or perhaps less than 2%. However, interest rates up to and over 20% can be charged to borrowers with credit scores as low as the 500’s. The difference on a car that costs $15,000 is dramatic. 2% interest on a $15,000 car loan is about $25/month while 20% is $250/month just in interest. This is another example of the high cost of a low credit score.

The High Cost of a Low Credit Score

A low credit score may also cause people to have to pay utility deposits and deposits on mobile phones while others with higher scores pay no deposits at all.

And a low credit score can cost people employment opportunities. Approximately 60% of employers now do some sort of credit check on applicants.

Did you also know that a lower credit score can, depending on your insurance company, cause higher premiums for auto and home owners insurance?

Know Your Rights! Get Derogatory Items Removed

Based on the high cost of a low credit score it is a smart move to see if your score can be increased by removing derogatory items such as erroneous and obsolete items. As well, it is possible to challenge other items on your report to see if the creditor can or will verify the accuracy of the item. If they cannot or choose not to, that item must by federal law be deleted from your credit report thus increasing your credit score.

Call us today at 727-222-0120 or visit ERA Credit Services

The Big 3 Credit Bureaus Are Not in Business to Fix Your Credit

In the last few years the amount of advertising on television and other media platforms by credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, Transunion) and credit monitoring companies offering services to consumers regarding their credit has skyrocketed. credit bureaus

The reason for this is simple. Consumers have seen their credit scores rapidly decline due to tough economic times and are searching for ways to quickly and easily monitor their score. The credit bureaus and the companies they own are happy to oblige while making billions of dollars along the way.

What Consumers Need to Know About The Three Credit Bureaus

Consumers need to be aware of some facts regarding the credit bureaus and understand that they are billion dollar profit centers. Because we call them ‘bureaus’ many believe them to be government agencies created to help consumers. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Experian, Equifax and Transunion each generate over $1 Billion a year in revenue. Here’s how they do it:

  • Credit Services- They sell consumer information to prospective creditors. Lenders of money to consumers pay the credit bureaus to get a copy of a consumer credit report to make a decision of whether that person is credit worthy.
  • Consumer Decision Analytics- Creditors want to know the propensity a consumer has to respond to an offer of credit allowing them to better target their marketing efforts.
  • Marketing Services- Creditors also want to know what consumers meet their approval criteria so they can market pre-approved credit offers. Consumer information is also sold for non-credit related marketing efforts.
  • Consumer Services- This is the newest and fastest growing revenue stream for credit bureaus. Credit bureaus make money by selling services directly to consumers. Credit monitoring services, fraud protection, and identity theft solutions as some of the services they provide.

Beware of The Credit Bureau’s Consumer Services

Beware of the consumer services being offered by the credit bureaus. And, understand that the bureaus own some of the companies offering consumer protection and credit monitoring services on television. For instance, Experian owns FreeCreditReport.com.

Experian is also marketing a credit monitoring services called ProtectMyID. When hackers stole personal information from 70 million to 110 million people who shopped at Target during the 2013 holiday shopping season, Target rolled out what’s become a common response for corporate hacking victims: an offer of free credit monitoring for a year, courtesy of Experian which may seem like the right thing to do and bring back favor to Target.

However, ProtectMyID tracks only what’s known as “new account fraud,” which occurs when someone uses stolen information to try to get a new line of credit, such as with a credit card, car loan or mortgage.
The far more likely type of fraud, though, is “existing account fraud” – when someone uses the credit information they’ve stolen to buy luxury items like Rolex watches and Gucci bags, which they then sell on the street for cash. The Experian service will not detect this type of fraud.
And, it only tracks the credit inquiries that are sent to Experian, ignoring those made to the nation’s two other major credit bureaus, TransUnion and Equifax.

Credit Bureaus Do Not Fix Consumer Credit

Another point to be made about the credit bureaus is that they do not make money fixing consumer credit. Consumers can dispute items on their credit report that are erroneous or obsolete but this can be a frustrating process gaining little or no results.

In February, 2013 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that one in five consumers had an error on at least one of their three credit reports. The credit bureaus pay large fines for failing to update and correct consumer credit reports. It is widely held that the credit bureaus would rather pay these fines than correct the process they use to maintain accurate consumer credit information.

San Diego Credit Repair – How to Choose the Best Credit Repair Company in San Diego

So, you used Google or YahooSearch to find a San Diego credit repair company and you’ve found many. How do you choose which ones to even call? Every one of them tells you they’re the best and most effective. Here are some tips that will help you sift through all the marketing hype.

Big National Credit Repair Company vs.
a Local San Diego Credit Repair Company san diego credit repair company

This can be a tough choice. It’s seems a good thing to work with a local company. But you have to beware of local companies. Many local San Diego credit repair companies are one person operations that have limited resources in their abilities and have no backup should something happen to that one person such as illness, vacation, closing their business and worse. What happens to your account and money? The national companies typically have poor or no personal customer service. And, what’s your recourse should you not get the results you’re looking for?

Solution– Our company is local and national. We have the personal customer service you should expect from a San Diego credit repair company. However, if something should happen to us locally you have a national company with 14+ years experience and phenomenal customer support backing us up. You get the best of both worlds. And, you get our Customer Satisfaction Guarantee that will be honored no matter what happens to us locally.

Pricing– This really comes down to overall cost. What you need to be aware of is that most companies will not address all your negative items immediately. They do this with one goal in mind. That’s to keep you paying monthly fees longer. We do business differently. We address all items immediately. Our goal is to get you the highest credit score as quickly as we can. Why? because you’ll get great results and save money. Then you’ll tell people about us. Also, we do business with many of the top real estate and mortgage companies in San Diego. They want us to get that client qualified as soon as possible. We charge a $99 account set up fee and just $89/month.

How Can You Stay Informed About the Progress of Your Credit Restoration?

Most companies, once you sign up with them, do not communicate with you after that unless you call them. You do not see what they are doing nor see the results on a regular basis. How will you know what’s going on with your account? What are you getting for your money? In fact, they hope you forget you even signed up for the service so they don’t have to keep you informed or worry about your satisfaction.

Solution– When you begin service with our company we analyze your credit reports and upload all your derogatory items to an online, password protected account. You can then log in 24/7 and see your items and then follow the progress of what items have been deleted, upgraded to paid as agreed, and what items remain for us to work on for you. You are not in the dark. You see us working for you every step of the way.

For more information and an assessment of your specific situation

ERA Credit Services

Call 619-492-3040
Email us at info@eracreditservices.com