"Accurate credit scores are critically important to consumers, especially now, in a down economy," he said. "Consumers have a right to receive truthful advertising about them."
Any consumer can help them self and their credit score by disputing erroneous, inaccurate and unverifiable information directly with and to the three main credit bureaus to improve their FICO scores. It has been recognized for years that there is a need for services to repair credit report errors for individuals of all income levels. Whether it is disputing information with the credit bureaus; offering credit education; interfacing with creditors to achieve some relief on debt or becoming your advocate with those not so friendly creditors, every consumer needs to monitor their credit information and scores.
Every 12 months you are able to get all 3 of your credit reports for FREE at http://www.annualcreditreport.com/
These reports are totally FREE if you DO NOT request a credit score.
The credit bureaus are selling you a consumer score and it is not the same as what the lender pulls.
For an accurate credit score you can get your TransUnion and Equifax score at http://www.myfico.com/ for a fee.
Experian is no longer allowed to resell a FICO score. The only way to get an accurate score from Experian is to have a lender pull it.
Getting Started with your credit reports
To begin the process of repairing your credit, the consumer will need their credit reports from all three major credit bureaus. You can obtain those for free at www.Annualcreditreport.com The responses from the bureaus will go directly to you. When you receive your credit reports, you should begin the process immediately.
Evaluation of credit reports
Once your credit reports has been received, you should do a comprehensive evaluation of your credit reports. You should then decide which items to dispute and the overall direction of your credit repair. Just disputing items on your credit is not the answer BUT there are MANY, MANY, MANY errors on these reports ALL THE TIME.
Reasons for mistakes on your credit report
Credit report errors occur for a number of reasons but they can all have a negative impact on your eligibility for any future credit. Its important to stay on top of your credit report to avoid any mistakes made by the creditors and credit bureaus —Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Some common reasons for credit report errors include:
- The individual has applied for credit under several different names (i.e. John Doe and Jonathon Doe)
- Someone made a clerical error in entering or reading information (names, social security numbers, addresses, etc.) from a handwritten application.
- Mix ups with common names. For example, there is likely more than one John Smith living in New York City and often there is the chance that information intended for one John Smith might appear on another John Smiths credit report as he applies for a mortgage.
- The individual gave an inaccurate Social Security number or the number was misread by the creditor.
- Loan or credit card payments were inadvertently applied to the wrong account.
No matter what the reason, the erroneous information could reflect poorly on your credit file, thus causing approval problems when the time comes to apply for a job or obtain a mortgage. If you find errors, no matter how small, be sure you get them fixed, and make sure that you contact all three credit bureaus with your change.
The dispute process begins
You begin the dispute process by contacting the bureaus and the respective creditors and challenging the negative items. You should will repeat this step as often as necessary to achieve maximum results. How many times this step is repeated will vary depending on your specific credit situation.
Watch your bad credit disappear
The credit bureaus are required by law to investigate the items you are disputing within 30 days. It generally takes 45-60 days before you will receive your updated credit report. You repair credit reports by removing inaccurate, misleading, or unverifiable information ranging from bankruptcies, charge-offs, late payments, or tax liens.
A secured credit card can help build credit.
For more information go to www.andorracreditrepair.com and click on securecard for a list of secured credit cards. If you have enough revolving credit and need an installment line you can go into any m&I bank and ask for their “credit builder loan”. this is an excellent way to build credit and save money at the same time.
How does a Credit Builder loan work?
Loan proceeds of $1,000.00 are used to open a new certificate of deposit (CD) (They are NOT put into your checking account at this time.). You will repay the loan over two years. Over this time period of making the affordable payments on time every month, you are building/rebuilding credit history.
When the loan is paid in full as agreed, you will have:
- Built up your credit history
- Increased your credit score
- You will then have access to the funds within the CD for your personal use
Benefits of a credit builder loan
- Building Credit History
- Increasing Credit Score
- Low Interest Rate
- You save money by earning interest on the CD during the course of the loan
- Low, Fixed Payments that make budgeting easy
- Two Year term: ~ $43.00/month
The key to getting the loan or mortgage you need is to work with professionals who understand the credit process, follow the advice you are given, stay with the professional and complete your loan or mortgage process.
If you have any questions, concerns, please be sure to ask, as I am here to assist you in obtaining the mortgage you desire and are qualified to get.
Confused about your credit score? Do you where to get it? That's intentional, according to a new lawsuit filed in a California federal court.
Many consumers who think they are buying a peek at their credit scores are being defrauded, according to a lawsuit against credit bureau giant Experian. The case, which seeks class action status, claims that Experian is intentionally confusing customers, engaging in false advertising and not giving consumers what they pay for when they sign up for services at the firm's popular FreeCreditReport.com and FreeCreditScore.com Web sites.
"It's a classic consumer fraud case," said David Woodward, one of the lawyers who filed the case. "The law is designed to prohibit exactly this kind of egregious advertising practice. ... The defendant is profiting from deception."
Experian, through its ConsumerInfo brand, aggressively markets access to credit scores as a benefit of subscribing to its credit monitoring service. Knowing your credit score, ads suggest, is essential before borrowing money and could save consumers thousands of dollars.
The vast majority of lenders use a three-digit number called a FICO score to make lending decisions. Developed by Fair Isaac and Co., the FICO score takes data from credit reports maintained by the nation's three credit bureaus -- Equifax, Trans Union and Experian -- and boils it down into one three-digit number for each bureau report to provide a quick assessment of a consumer's creditworthiness. All consumers in the system have an Equifax FICO score, an Experian FICO score and a Trans Union FICO score.
The credit scores that Experian sells to consumers, however, are not the Experian FICO scores, the lawsuit contends. Instead, subscribers who sign up for a $14.95 per month service at FreeCreditReport.com get access to a similar three-digit number developed by Experian using its so-called PLUS Score model. While the value is meant to give consumers a sense of their creditworthiness, Plus Score ratings are not sold to lenders, and are not used in lending decisions, the lawsuit alleges.
It's unclear how much the Experian FICO score and the PLUS score can vary. But that is immaterial to Woodward, who says Experian intentionally blurs this distinction in its advertisements.
"It's simple. ConsumerInfo doesn't sell PLUS Scores to lenders," he said. "Fraud is inherent in the advertising."
Experian currently has 3.1 million credit monitoring subscribers through its ConsumerInfo group, which has also doled out 20 million credit reports, the company says.
An Experian spokeswoman said the firm would not comment on the accusations because they stem from ongoing litigation.
The plaintiff in the case is David Waring, a California consumer who signed up at FreeCreditReport.com and now says he was duped.
In one advertisement cited by the lawsuit, a notice on Experian site FreeCreditScore.com says, "Only One Number Matters! Your CREDIT SCORE." Later in the text, the site says that membership includes "credit score alerts," which allow consumers to "find out when your score changes. This could help you qualify for better interest rates."
Text on FreeCreditReport.com uses similar language: "Lenders use credit scores to help them determine the 'credit worthiness' of consumers applying for credit cards, lines of credit, or loans."
In each case, the sites suggest that consumers will receive access to the score lenders use when making credit decisions, and that's misleading, said attorney Woodward.
"The defendants represent that they are selling a credit score, a number to determine credit worthiness. But it's not that. It's a score based on an in-house model that lenders do not use," he said.
Experian sites do indicate in various places that the score they are selling is not a FICO score. Accessed this week, FreeCreditReport.com indicates towards the bottom of its home page that the "Experian Credit Score indicates your relative credit risk level for educational purposes and is not the score used by lenders."
But Woodward says Experian's disclosures are not "clear and conspicuous," and many consumers who view the marketing materials are left with the impression that they are buying a score used by lenders.
Experian's FreeCreditReport.com has been the target of many legal actions and accusations of deception, including several run-ins with the Federal Trade Commission. Accusing the firm of tricking consumers into paying for credit reports that they could obtain for free, the FTC last year forced Experian to add a link atop FreeCreditReport.com that sent consumers to AnnualCreditReport.com, the congressionally-mandated website where consumers can obtain their credit reports for free. In turn, Experian changed its business model for the site and began focusing on selling credit scores and credit monitoring services.
For years, credit experts have warned consumers that not all credit scores are created equal, and that many outlets selling credit scores aren't selling the real thing. In 2006, Fair Isaac sued the nation's three credit bureaus over the creation and sale of such alternative scores. In 2009, a jury ruled against Fair Isaac, in what became essentially a trademark violation case.
Still, consumers could buy their three FICO scores using a Fair Isaac Web site named MyFico.com -- until February 2009, when Experian stopped letting Fair Isaac sell Experian FICO scores at the site. That means today, there is no way for consumers to obtain this number, unless they receive it as part of a mandatory disclosure from a lender following a negative credit action.
Purchase of Experian's PLUS Score is a poor substitute, Woodward said. More important, the resulting marketing blitz for Experian's score has led to great consumer confusion, he said.