Category: Credit Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New Tampa Area Credit Repair Company Getting Great Results for Clients

Clearwater, FL – June 19, 2015 – ERA Credit Services, an Agent for United Credit Education Services, has expanded its operation and is now representing a new credit repair company in Tampa and is getting rave reviews. They now provide credit repair services in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Largo an as well service the entire state of Florida.

New Credit Repair Company in Tampa

Dale and Shirley Guiducci began assisting consumers with removal of derogatory items from their credit reports in San Diego in 2012 after trying to find a reputable company to help clients of their accounting business.

“We introduced United Credit Education Services to the San Diego market and it really took off just by word of mouth. We told friends and business associates that began using the services and shortly after we started getting calls from real estate and mortgage professionals who had clients that needed help with their credit score.” says Dale Guiducci.

Late in 2014 the Guiducci’s made a decision to move cross country to the Tampa Bay area and have now settled in Largo, FL. Shirley explains, “Because of the success we had in San Diego and the people we had working with us there we were able to make the decision to move wherever we wanted. We saw a need for a new credit repair company in Tampa. And, what better area in the country to move to than the Gulf Coast of Florida?”

Credit repair or credit restoration is the removal of erroneous, obsolete and/or unverifiable items from credit reports produced by the big three credit reporting agencies (CRA), Experian, Equifax and Transunion.

One ERA Credit Services client, Bryan Fallucca, told us, “What they did for me is nothing short of a miracle. I had the worst credit possible for years & it really took a toll on me both mentally & financially! They took my score from the high 500’s to a 748. Not only was I able to get a new car with nothing down & a very low monthly payment, I was also able to move me & my daughter into a better area of town & school district.”

A mortgage professional, James Hooper of Capital Line Mortgage shared, “ERA Credit Services helped one of our clients improve their credit from a 645 mid score to a 700 mid score on the dot. Our client now has the ability to refinance at much better interest rates 6 months after starting to work with ERA. Dale and ERA will be getting all our customers that need credit repair in the future.”

The owners of ERA Credit Services, now a new credit repair company in Tampa Bay

Dale and Shirley Guiducci are owners of ERA Credit Services, an Agent of United Credit Education Services. ERA Credit Services now has more than 280 Agents providing credit repair and other financial services to consumers in all 50 states.

Contact:

Dale & Shirley Guiducci
ERA Credit Services

4500 140th Avenue North
Suite 101
Clearwater, FL 33762

727-222-0120
619-492-3040

Email: info@eracreditservices.com
www.eracreditservices.com

FICO Adds to Consumer Credit Scores

In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that soon consumer FICO credit scores will reflect payment history on utilities, cell phone accounts, and cable bills. How often someone moves will also be a factor in their FICO credit score.

FICO credit score

It is unclear at this point how many consumers have already seen a change in their FICO credit score as a result of FICO working with 12 credit card issuers to test the new scoring model in lending decisions. The new scoring model is slated to be used nationwide by the end of 2015 providing a credit history for 53 million more consumers that currently don’t have one.

It is also unclear how this may affect consumer FICO credit scores. It may help those people with little or no credit history to establish one. It may also help those with an established credit history to bolster their score if they have an on time payment history in these areas. Currently, the only time payment history for utilities, cell phones or cable bills is reported is when there is negative information such as delinquent or unpaid amounts.

The new FICO credit score model will also report on how many times a consumer changes addresses. Frequent changes of address may lead to a creditor deciding that someone is unstable financially.

This represents an opportunity for the credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax & Transunion) to grow their business. Bringing into the fold 53 million more consumers will mean more data being submitted by creditors, more credit reports being pulled, and more consumer FICO credit score data being purchased by companies for marketing purposes. All of which generate revenue for the 3 agencies. It also means that companies will now have more data on more consumers allowing them to expand marketing efforts to these consumers.

These changes reflect a major change in the existing FICO credit score model. How much it will affect existing consumer credit scores and how many more consumers will now have access to credit remains to be seen.

For more information on applying rental history to your credit report, visit www.ERACreditServices.com or call 619-492-3040.

Good News for Credit Consumers – But Just How Good?

Help for consumer credit may be on the way

The 3 large credit reporting agencies (CRA’s), Experian, Equifax & Transunion have collaborated on and announced the creation of the National Consumer Assistance Plan which they say will change the way unpaid and paid medical debt will be reported on a consumer’s credit report. This self imposed plan will also require the CRA’s to gather more and accurate information from creditors when an item is disputed by the consumer. This should help consumer credit.

Consumer Credit

The CRA’s will now wait 180 days before reporting unpaid medical debt allowing more time for the consumer and their insurance company to arrange for payment. In addition, paid medical debts will be removed from consumer reports, which is a change from the current 7 year reporting policy.

Also the CRA’s will hire and train employees to address and respond to consumer disputes. Currently the practice is automated in that over 85% of the disputes are simply sent to the creditor to address the issue.

This is certainly a step in the right direction.

However, it remains to be seen if Experian, Equifax and Transunion are committed to providing accurate information on consumer credit reports or of this is simply a measure to slow down the scrutiny of the federal and some state governments.

No Change as of June 2017

We originally posted this blog in March of 2015 when the report first came out. However, as of June of 2017 there has been no recognizable change to the way paid or unpaid medical debt is being reported. And, certainly no help for consumer credit scores. Since PR News Wire reported this there has been no follow up. We’ll assume that’s because of the difficulty in getting 3 separate $billion companies on the same page. Or, we’ll chalk this up to an attempt by the CRA’s to get good press back in 2015.

For information and advice on your credit score visit www.ERACreditServices.com

Credit Repair May Be Needed by Many Boomerang Home Buyers

According to a January 26, 2015 article published on RealtyTrac.com, more than 7 million people will fall into the category of Boomerang buyers and enter the housing market over the next 8 years. People that lost their homes prior to 2007-2008 are now in a position to start looking to be a home owner once again. Part of the reason is that they are now past the 7 year period where a foreclosure or short sale (or any derogatory item) should show up on their credit report but still may be in need of credit repair. Credit bureaus do not always remove these items in a timely manner. And, over the next few years more people will be past that 7 year period and will once again, have the opportunity to buy a home.

The article also shared that these consumers still may have other derogatory items on their reports and may need to utilize credit repair in order to raise their credit score to the level required by mortgage lenders. Individuals can attempt to do it themselves by contacting the credit bureaus directly. However, it is time consuming and requires knowledge of the law. An alternative is to hire a professional, reputable credit restoration company.

Las Vegas, Northern & Southern California, Florida and Detroit, MI are markets that are likely to see the most activity.

Credit repair for Boomerang Home Buyers Infographic

What consumers must realize is that time is required to go through the credit repair process.

It can take anywhere from 60 days to several months to effectively clear a credit report of derogatory items. We have offices in Clearwater, FL and San Diego, CA to help people repair their credit.  And, we work with independent Agents around the country that can assist consumers in any U.S. market.

For San Diego credit repair call 619-492-3040. For Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater credit repair call 727-222-0120.

We offer a free, no obligation consultation. Together we will determine whether credit restoration can help you by discussing your individual situation. We will then give you details on the process and time frame.

Get ready for the opportunity to be a home owner once again by taking action now to restore your credit and your overall financial health.

Visit http://eracreditservices.com/credit-repair/

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”.

Consumer Debt is Still a Big Problem

Even though most recent reports signal a recovery of the U.S. economy from the worst financial crisis in close to 100 years, delinquent consumer debt is still a major drain of individuals and the economy as a whole. Reports indicate that there is a bigger problem in this area than experts previously thought. And, many consumers don’t even realize they owe this delinquent debt.

A report by the Urban Institute from late July, 2014 revealed that about 77 million adults have delinquent debt on their credit report. This excludes mortgage debt and takes only into account unpaid medical bills, credit cards, utility bills and other forms of consumer debt.

consumer debt

Income Level and Consumer Debt

This report also found large differences in the amount of consumer debt owed based on income level. Areas with lower incomes, such as the South, had collection rates as high as 40%. They also found concentrations of past due debt in Texas and Louisiana amongst other regions.

What was also interesting about this report is that creditors don’t seem very active in seeking payment of this debt. Many consumers discover that they have unpaid bills only when they go to purchase or lease a car, rent an apartment, buy a home, or make some other type of purchase that requires a check of their credit report.

Our Advice to You

Based on these findings our advice is to get a copy of your credit report. You can obtain a free copy of your Experian, Equifax or Transunion credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you do have unpaid debt you can either call the creditor and negotiate a payment, or you can call us. Through our industry best credit repair service we can potentially get it removed from your credit reports on all 3 bureaus.

ERA Credit Services
www.eracreditservices.com
619-492-3040
727-222-0120

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.

Pull Your Credit Report and Check These 5 Items

One of the most important things to do regarding one’s finances is to pull your credit report periodically. Learning how your credit usage and payment history impacts your credit score can help you keep your credit score as high as possible. Understanding the factors that can lower your credit score can help you set financial goals.

You can get a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled by law to a free credit report each year from each of the 3 major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and Transunion. Pull Your Credit

When reviewing your credit report, pay close attention to these five areas of information to make sure your score isn’t being adversely affected:

What You’ll Find When You Pull Your Credit

Personal Information

Check your full name and any variations, your spouse’s name, birth date, Social Security number, current and past addresses. If there are misspellings or an incorrect address, these items might have been listed when a lender reported the data inaccurately, and can be corrected. It is important to correct these items especially if you have a more common name as creditors of another person with a similar name, even a relative, may wrongly report their information on your credit report.

Current Accounts

Each of your active accounts, such as mortgage loans and credit cards, will be listed along with the date the account was open when you pull your credit. They will appear as “in good standing” if you’re current on your payments, or “delinquent” if you haven’t paid your full monthly payment due or even show late payments from previous months or years. This information can remain on your credit report for up to 7 years.

Closed Accounts

Closed and inactive lines of credit frequently still appear on your credit report. These items will stay on your credit report for different lengths of time but also up to 7 years.

Inquiries

Hard Inquiries occur when a lender checks your credit as part of the approval process. Having too many hard inquiries could mean that you are overextending yourself which could potentially lower your score. Furthermore, hard inquiries are the result of you requesting additional lines of credit from a lender. If you didn’t authorize the inquiry, this could be a sign of identity theft.

Soft Inquiries are typically made by companies that want to check your credit score to make a decision to market to you their line of credit such as credit card companies, retailers, and car dealers or manufacturers. These soft inquiries do not affect your credit score.

Negative or Derogatory Accounts

When you pull your credit you might see items such as past due accounts, bankruptcies, foreclosures, judgments, charge offs, late payments, tax liens and more. They will almost always appear on a credit report and are typically in a separate section on the report. These items can drop your credit score significantly. Time will lessen the impact these items have on your credit score as they can appear up to 7 years, or in the case of a bankruptcy 10 years. However, this is where going through the credit repair process and leveraging your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act may help.

You can find Dale Guiducci of ERA Credit Services on Google+, on Facebook, on Twitter or on LinkedIn

Credit Report Monitoring Services- Are They Worth It?

If you want to keep tabs on your credit report to catch errors, improve your score or keep an eye out for fraud, you might be tempted to sign up for a credit report monitoring service.

A credit report monitoring service tracks your credit report at one or more of the three major credit bureaus and immediately sends you an alert if any change or suspicious activity occurs.

Personal finance experts are divided about whether these services are worth the cost, but many say signing up can help some consumers. But it’s important to be able to distinguish exactly what these services offer, how much they cost and what you can expect in return for your payment.

The company we highly recommend and provide to our clients as part of our service is Smart Credit. Click Smart Credit to find out more.

credit report monitoring

Here are some tips to help you navigate the pros and cons of credit monitoring services:

The Basics About Credit Report Monitoring

Basic credit monitoring services usually track your credit reports at one, two or all three of the major credit bureaus –Experian, Equifax, and Transunion — and send you an e-mail, text message or letter, depending on your preference, if there’s an inquiry or other activity. Many also offer unlimited access to your credit report from at least one of the bureaus, tracking of your credit score, telephone help with fraud resolution and even reimbursement of some out-of-pocket expenses incurred while trying to resolve identity theft or other fraud.

Credit monitoring services can be helpful for spotting certain problems, such as if somebody opens a new credit account in your name using your stolen information. But they don’t necessarily alert you to every type of identity theft you could encounter. For example, if somebody is using your stolen personal information to get a job or a cell phone, something that wouldn’t necessarily be reported to a credit reporting agency, then credit monitoring isn’t going to pick that up.

Credit Report Monitoring versus Identity Theft Protection

For that reason, more providers have begun offering broader identity monitoring services that typically include credit monitoring along with other features — such as monitoring of public records, databases and websites for use of your personal information.

Total identity monitoring will check bank accounts for unauthorized changes to personal information and informs consumers of changes to account contact information or attempts to add new account holders to existing accounts. Ii also issues alerts for new credit account applications being made against your credit file so you can act quickly to resolve fraudulent activity.
It should also give you unlimited, 24/7/365 online access to all three annual credit reports and scores so you can check to see if information is accurate and up to date to better manage your credit, and help you identify important changes and see how your credit is trending over time.

Is Credit Report Monitoring Worth the Money?

Consumer advocates don’t all agree on whether credit monitoring, which typically costs $10 to $15 or more per month — a total of$120 to $180 a year — is worth the money. Some say it’s an extra layer of protection that’s smart to have, while others say it’s unnecessary.

Here’s our take. If you want to simply monitor your credit score and activity being placed on your credit report, perhaps not. However, if you also want to protect your overall identity than it most definitely is. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Having your identity stolen without any protection or insurance coverage can cost you thousands of dollars to recover from.

If You Want Credit Report Monitoring Only

Instead of shelling out cash for just credit monitoring, consumers could simply get their free annual credit reports from the three major bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com and closely watch activity on their bank and credit card accounts. A consumer who wants further protection could place a 90-day fraud alert on his credit files or even pay a one-time fee to enact a credit freeze which prevents creditors from accessing the credit reports until the consumer lifts the freeze.

If You Want Full Protection

There are several companies that go beyond just credit monitoring and offer full identity protection. We recommend LifeLock. If you want identity theft protection only they have LifeLock Identity Theft Protection that we can set you up with for just $9/month or $99 annually. Or, for full coverage including credit monitoring they have LifeLock Ultimate. LifeLock Ultimate provides identity theft protection and unlimited, 24/7/365 online access to all three major bureau credit reports and scores so you can check to see if information is accurate and up to date to better manage your credit. The cost for LifeLock Ultimate is just $25/month.

60 Minutes Reports that 40 Million Americans Have Inaccurate Credit Reports.

In a segment that aired on Sunday February 17, 2013, Steve Kroft from 60 Minutes reported that a recent Federal Trade Commission study shows that an estimated 40 million people have errors on their credit report. To further the problem the credit bureaus are difficult to reach and there is no one there to help consumers fix their problem. Our company knows how to contact the credit bureaus and fight for you. Watch this 60 Minute report and then give us a call and we’ll explain how we have successfully helped over 160,000 Americans get items removed from the Experian, Equifax and Transunion credit reports.

Watch the Video