ERA Credit Services

Category: General

Tips on Maintaining a Good Credit Score

10 Tips on Maintaining a Good Credit Score

Maintaining a Good Credit Score

Below is some great information for every consumer on first getting, and then maintaining a good credit score.

Monitor Your Credit Report

First, in order to know if you have a good credit score, enroll for an online credit monitoring system that alerts you if there are changes to your report and/or credit score. We suggest SmartCredit.

Use Credit Cards Like a Debit Card

For building and maintaining a good credit score treat your credit card like it’s a debit card. If you can’t afford to pay off a purchase at the end of every month don’t make that purchase. And, use cards with benefits (travel, points, etc.)

Credit Card Balances

If you have to maintain a balance on your credit cards make sure it is low relative to your limit. A good rule of thumb is under 30% of the limit. The credit reporting agencies all consider debt to limit ratios an impact factor in calculating a good credit score.

Use of Credit Cards

If you have credit cards use them periodically, even just once every few months. A dormant card reduces the impact on a good credit score.

Resist Department Store Cards

If you have major cards you don’t need a store card. They usually come with annual fees and high interest rates.

Resist Co-signing for Others

When you co-sign for another on any type of loan you give up control of credit history to another person. If that individual is late on a payment in can cost up to 60 points and affect your good credit score.

Expand Your Portfolio

Maintaining a good credit score requires more good credit. If you have just a secured credit card, apply for an unsecured card after 6 to 9 months. But don’t have more than 3 credit cards. It’s simply not necessary.

Keep Track of Automatic Payments

Payments that are automatically deducted every month from your checking account by giving a creditor your debit or credit card must be monitored. If your card expires they can quickly turn into late payments. Late payments can have a huge impact on your good credit score.

Note Annual Fees

If you have credit cards and other accounts with annual fees make sure you pay those fees promptly. Sometimes they go unnoticed and therefore, unpaid causing late payments and delinquencies.

Keep Inquiries to a Minimum

Hard inquiries can cost you points on your credit score. Keep inquiries from prospective creditors to a minimum. Be especially careful when purchasing a car. Some dealerships and car lots will have several finance companies run reports on you all on the same day.

If Your Credit Score is Below 640, Get Help

A credit score below 640 will not typically put you in a position to qualify for a mortgage. As well, it will cost you more in interest rates and deposits for credit cards, insurance, cable, cell phone, other utilities and more.

maintaining a good credit score

Debt Collectors Must Provide
Debt Validation Notice

Often consumers get calls from debt collectors or collection agencies stating that they owe a sum for a past due bill such as a credit card, medical bill, or other type of debt. In many cases, because of the strong stance taken over the phone by the debt collector, consumers panic and send them payment without knowing whether this company truly owns the account and legally can collect on it.

Debt Collectors

Think about it. Couldn’t anyone who simply knows about an overdue account call people and collect money if they are not forced to validate and verify information about the account and legally collect on it?

Within five days of their initial communication, debt collectors are generally required to send debt validation notices to alert consumers about their right to request proof that a debt is valid or dispute the debt. In other words, they must first, prove they own the account or otherwise can collect on it. And, they must inform the consumer of their right to dispute the debt.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has found that Syndicated Office Systems, LLC, which does business as Central Financial Control, failed to send debt validation notices to more than 10,000 consumers. During this time, the company continued to collect over $2 million from consumers who did not receive the notices. These notices can be an especially important consumer safeguard with regard to medical debt, where issues like insurance reimbursements and medical billing processes are commonly fraught with complexity, confusion, and delay, and can lead to consumers being unsure of how much to pay or even whom to pay. More than 43 million Americans have medical debt adversely affecting their credit reports, and more than half of all overdue debt on consumer credit reports is from medical debt.

Consumers, when contacted by debt collectors, can request validation of the debt. If they do not receive validation in the mail they should not send any payment.

There are companies that call consumers and try to collect money on debt that they do not have the legal right to collect on. Some consumers have made payment to these fraudulent debt collectors and have not received credit and thus lost their money.

Read the full article http://www.consumerfinance.gov/newsroom/cfpb-takes-action-against-medical-debt-collector/

For further assistance visit www.ERACreditServices.com

Identity Theft – What to Do
Before and After It Happens

It has become evident over the past couple of years that the largest companies in the largest industries simply cannot unequivocally protect our data and personal information. So, the question isn’t whether we’ll be a victim of identity theft and have our social security number, address, credit card info, etc. in the hands of criminals. It’s when will it happen.

Identity Theft

It’s not for the lack of effort that companies cannot protect our data. Typically they have fire wall after fire wall built into their system. However, hackers spend 24/7 figuring out a way around and through these protections to eventually get their hands on our information.

So, is there anything we can about Identity Theft? The answer is, absolutely yes!

We have to build on our system of protection. It starts with identity theft protection where we will be alerted when someone is trying to sell our data or open up an account in our name. We must go further, however.

We must have the ability to monitor our credit report and credit score 24/7. We have to have the ability to view our credit history to see if there is any fraudulent activity on any of our 3 major credit reporting agency reports or any significant change in our credit score.

And then we must have the ability to fix any damage that may, and as we mentioned above, will occur as a result of a breach of our personal information. In other words, we need the capability of having a professional credit restoration company on call to assist when we need it.

Is all this possible to have affordably? Yes, it is. ERA Credit Services and Financial Education Services have teamed up to offer affordable identity theft protection, credit monitoring and the nation’ s most effective credit restoration service. In addition, we also have services to add positive trade lines to your credit reports, protect your assets and your family, and save you money on every day purchases.

For more information on these and other important services that protect your identity, credit, family, finances and future visit www.eracreditservices.com or call us at 727-222-0120 on the East Coast or 619-492-3040 on the West Coast.