Background - Raise My Credit Score

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FAQ - General Credit

Question - Why is having good credit important?

Answer - Credit can be an extremely important issue in some peoples lives. If you ever need to get a loan your credit worthiness which is reflected by your credit scores will be used to determine acceptance and the interest rate that you are charged. Some employer's use a credit report to determine how reliable of an employee you will be. Insurance companies may also request credit information to determine your premiums. If you are looking to rent a home or apartment the landlord may look at your credit report to determine if you are a good risk to have as a tenant. Some people don't necessarily need good credit, because it isn't important for them to live their lives (i.e. self-employed wealthy individuals because cash talks). However, a vast majority of Americans need to have good credit scores in order to be approved for loans, to avoid paying too much in interest, to keep low insurance premiums, or to rent a property. Return to FAQ

Question - When I pay off a past-due account, that will no longer be a negative, right?

Answer - That is not an accurate statement. The act of paying off a debt can actually hurt your credit due to the way the credit bureaus keep score. Negative credit is allowed to stay on the credit report for a maximum of seven years, except for bankruptcy, which may remain on the credit report for ten years. This seven-year clock begins ticking on "the date of last activity" or, in other words, when the last action took place on the account. By paying an outstanding, delinquent debt you will change the account status to "paid collection," "paid was late," or "paid was charged off" - which will still stand out as a very negative listing. Furthermore, you will create a new date of last activity on the day you settle the account. The seven-year clock will reset and begin all over again. When you have outstanding debt, you should seek professional help so that you may settle your debts without further damaging your credit. Return to FAQ

Question - Disputing credit reports seems easy, why can't I restore my credit myself?

Answer - I understand why many people believe that the dispute process seems easy, but the reason that it is difficult to do is because of the cat and mouse game played by the credit bureaus. If you ask any person who has attempted to dispute his or her own credit report they will tell you that it isn't as easy as it sounds. According to federal law, the credit bureaus can dis-allow your dispute under a variety of different conditions. The credit bureaus goal is to sell as much credit information as possible to third parties which will ensure revenue. They hate disputes, because it costs them money to verify the information in dispute. Therefore, they use every loophole in the federal law to dismiss disputes.

Our long experience in the industry and proprietary program have been tested and re-tested to make sure that the credit bureaus cannot dis-allow any of our dispute requests. By ensuring that the credit bureau cannot immediately dis-allow our dispute request we have cleared the first hurdle and now the credit bureaus must begin an investigation into the different items we are disputing. If the bureaus choose not to investigate items in the dispute letter or don't verify the items in a certain period of time they must comply with federal law and remove the disputed items. Please note that although we ensure that the bureaus cannot immediately dis-allow our requests we cannot guarantee specific removal of certain items.

Many prospective customers ask how they are informed of changes on their credit reports once the Credit Mechanics system is underway. The answer is simple. The credit bureaus send copies of your credit reports to you through the mail whenever changes are made. It's important that you mail us a copy of this new, updated report so that we can continue our process. Return to FAQ

Question - If I declare bankruptcy, isn't my credit report wiped clean?

Answer - Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a last resort for many people and this option is not to be taken lightly. If you decide to go this route your debts that you are discharging will remain on your credit report. The creditors will show your debt as unpaid and charged off and once this item is entered onto your credit history it will remain for 7 years from the date of entry. The bankruptcy itself will be entered onto your credit history and will remain for 10 years from the discharge date. So no there is no such thing as a credit report that is wiped clean. Return to FAQ

Question - Doesn't building good credit, offset my bad credit and make me credit worthy?

Answer - Although good credit will definitely help your credit score any amount of bad credit drastically reduces your chances of being approved by a credit grantor. Remember, every item listed in your credit report either improves or reduces your credit score. I can tell you that the formulas used by the credit bureaus punish bad listings much more than they give higher scores for good listings. The most important thing is the score that is calculated. Credit grantors rarely look at your actual credit reports. They are most concerned with the score. If the score is above a certain threshold the grantor will offer you credit or a better interest rate if the score is below that threshold you are either rejected or subject to much higher interest rates. Return to FAQ

Question - What factors inflluence a credit score?

Answer - Factors that influence your credit score include the following: outstanding debt; number of inquiries, payment history; severity and frequency of derogatory credit information (such as bankruptcies, charge-offs, collections, etc.); the length of credit history; and the amount of credit used compared to amount of credit available. All of these factors go into a formula and that formula makes your credit score. Return to FAQ

Question - What is a FICO score?

Answer - FICO stands for Fair Issac and Co. The Fair Isaac and Company developed the first credit scoring methodology. FICO was originally used by all of the credit bureaus. However, recently Equifax and TransUnion changed and came up with their own scoring models. FICO continues to be the standard that most creditors will look at to evaluate creditworthiness.

FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation. Return to FAQ

Question - What is VantageScore?

Answer - In 2006 the three bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) developed a uniform credit scoring methodology which they called VantageScore. So now the bureaus all calculate credit scores the same way. However, all of your scores will be different, because each credit report contains different credit listings. The reason that each report is different is because some creditors report to only one or two of the bureaus and not all three.

It is important to ask a lender who is using your credit score what credit bureau they use or if they take the median score of all three. This information is nice to know when determining your credit restoration goals by giving Credit Mechanics an idea of the most important bureau to focus on. Make no mistake we stay on top of all three bureaus, but if you tell us your goal is to increase Experian the most we will pay extra attention to improving this credit report. Return to FAQ

Question - What is the difference between FICO and VantageScore?

Answer - An issue of growing concern is that VantageScore has reassigned score values based on letter grades. This deviates from the already established credit score values that were developed by Fair Issac and Co. over two decades ago, otherwise known as FICO. It remains to be seen how VantageScore will play out in the marketplace and what it will mean for FICO scores. However, the Big Three bureaus are heavily marketing VantageScore to lenders and creditors and are avidly pushing for an entire conversion. This collaboration was to benefit the bureaus, not the consumer.

VantageScore

  • 901-990 = A
  • 801-900 = B
  • 701-800 = C
  • 601-700 = D
  • 501-600 = F

FICO Score

  • 720 and above = Excellent
  • 680-720 = Good
  • 620-680 = Fair
  • 620 and below = Poor

FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation. VantageScore is a registered trademark of VantageScore Solutions, LLC. Return to FAQ

Question - Will paying my bills on time fix my credit report?

Answer - Paying your bills on time will definitely help over time by keeping negative listings off of your record. However, paying your bills on time is just a small portion of the formula used to create your credit score. Negative credit is allowed to stay on the credit report for a maximum of seven years, except for bankruptcy, which may remain on the credit report for ten years. Return to FAQ