Your loan balances also affect your credit score in a similar way. The credit score calculation compares your loan current loan balance to the original loan amount. The closer your loan balances are to the original amount you borrowed, the more it hurts your credit score. Focus first on paying down credit card balances because they have more impact on your credit score.
Advancements in technology make it much less difficult for credit repair businesses to quickly start operating a successful credit repair business. The latest software that people use in this industry is all “cloud-based,” and automates most credit repair related tasks. Thus, you can spend more time marketing and serving your customers. Also, an easy to use customer management screen will make it easy to find any customer’s credit repair history in one place.
Most credit counselors offer services through local offices, online, or on the phone. If possible, find an organization that offers in-person counseling. Many universities, military bases, credit unions, housing authorities, and branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service operate nonprofit credit counseling programs. Your financial institution, local consumer protection agency, and friends and family also may be good sources of information and referrals.
Each time you apply for credit is listed on your credit report as a “hard inquiry” and if you have too many within two years, your credit score will suffer. In general, a consumer with good credit can apply for credit a few times each year before it begins to affect their credit score. If you’re already starting with below-average credit, however, these inquiries may have more of an impact on your score and delay your ultimate goal of watching your credit score climb.
Reducing your balances on credit cards and other revolving credit accounts is likely the better option to improve your credit utilization rate, and, subsequently, your credit scores. Consistently making on-time payments against your debt will also help you build a positive credit history, which can have additional benefits for your credit history and, by extension, your credit scores, too.
Credit.org partners with nonprofit credit counseling agencies to offer Debt Management Plans (DMPs). These plans consolidate a consumer’s unsecured credit and debt payments into one convenient monthly payment. Some of the advantages of having a Debt Management Plan include concessions from your creditors including a reduction in interest rates or elimination of late fees.
In order to analyze credit files, identify credit reporting errors, and evaluate credit scoring, credit repair advisors must be highly trained and have some level of experience. To understand the credit scoring models and how they differ from each other, one can review the most popular credit scoring model, FICO. Known as Fair Isaac and Company, FICO can help you understand the complexities of credit scoring and the credit scoring process, including identifying potential inaccuracies, duplications, merged files, unverifiable data, and outdated data.
Once you've got a list of counseling agencies you might do business with, check each one out with your state Attorney General and local consumer protection agency. They can tell you if consumers have filed complaints about any one of them. (If there are no complaints about them, don't consider it a guarantee that they're legitimate.) The United States Trustee Program also keeps a list of credit counseling agencies approved to provide pre-bankruptcy counseling. After you've done your background investigation, you will want to interview the final "candidates."
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