Improve Your Credit Score After Identity Theft

It’s no secret, everywhere you look you are told of the dangers and increasing volume of identity theft.  Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to improve credit score after falling victim to this horrific crime. Unfortunately, this crime happens far too often.  Perhaps when you’re waiter swiped your credit card he also kept the number for his own personal use.  Or maybe the thieves lifted your information when you used your credit card at the gas pump, or they simply intercepted your mail and are now living the high-life on your good name.  The scenarios are too numerous to count, but the devastation can have an impact for years to come.  If you have been victimized you must take action to not only limit the immediate financial impact, but you must also take measures to improve your credit score as well, as it has likely taken a beating through no fault of your own. The credit bureaus and creditors are not going to know that you were a victim, and they will report all of the activities of the thieves on your credit report unless you are proactive and take action to improve credit score calculations by eliminating this negative information.  While the time and effort involved in this process can be overwhelming for most, you, fortunately have the option of enlisting professionals to assist you in working with the bureaus to fix the problem and improve credit score. We will now outline some of the steps that you must take immediately upon recognizing that you have been a victim of identity theft. 1.    Order a copy of your credit report from all 3 bureaus. The first thing you must do is figure out how much damage has been done.  In most cases, the item that tipped you off to the problem is not the only instance of the problem.  The thieves have likely used your identity to secure credit from multiple creditors, running up the balances, and leaving you to suffer the impact.  After obtaining a copy of your 3-in-1 report, go through each account making note of which are your legitimate accounts and which are fraudulent.  These fraudulent accounts will have a negative impact on your credit score and knowing will guide you as you fight to improve your credit score going forward. 2.    File a police report. The next thing you need to do is file a police report.  This will become very important as you work to improve credit score.  Because the problem has become so prevalent, today you can likely just phone your local police department and file the report over the phone.  Make sure to get the report number from...

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Credit Clean Up For One Please. Credit Repair After Divorce.

A divorce can be devastating on so many levels.  You may be emotionally, and physically drained from dealing with such a tumultuous experience.  You are left trying to put back all the pieces of your life and starting anew, but there is one important thing to clean up in addition to all of the relationship and personal issues, you must also do a credit clean up. There are several important issues to consider when doing a credit clean up after divorce.  This article will attempt to delve into some of the major issues and what can be done about them.  We will focus on doing a credit clean up based on a time line of when problems may have occurred. To start, let’s first look at the time while you were still married.  During this period, it is very likely that you and your former spouse obtained a variety of loans and credit from multiple sources.  Perhaps you purchased a home as husband and wife, where each of you were named on the mortgage.  Additionally, you may have obtained a variety of credit cards.  Here we need to investigate whether you were jointly responsible on the account, or if you or your former spouse were simply an authorized user. Looking at these in-marriage scenarios, we need to determine if there were any late payments, charge-offs or other damaging issues that need to be addressed during your credit clean up during this period.  Like most negative information, if it does not meet the federal guidelines it can and should be challenged and removed from your bureau report. Now, let’s move to the more distressing period, and a prime time for a vindictive ex to take out revenge, or simply be unable to live up to their responsibilities, the separation and actual divorce.  When looking at your credit clean up during this period of time, you may feel comfortable with the fact that the two of you have come to an agreement on your own.  You may even have a judicial order mandating that your former partner take on that responsibility.  Great, you’re home free, right?  The unfortunate answer is no, you are likely on the hook for that debt with the creditor themselves in the same capacity as before the agreement or judicial decree. An agreement between you and your spouse, or even a judicial order that the other spouse must make the payments on a debt incurred as a joint liability, does not automatically relieve you of the obligation to the original creditor.  Without the original creditor amending the agreement between themselves and you and your ex (which is very difficult to accomplish), then often your only recourse, when...

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How To Fix Your Credit Problems In This Economy

Now is the time to start to fix credit problems to position yourself for the future.  The global recession, unfortunately, has touched almost every American consumer and business in a negative way.  Perhaps you have felt the effects personally, having lost your job, having your employer go out of business or possibly reducing your hours or wages. The result of these events can be devastating.  You may have started by cutting back on going out to eat and reducing other expenses as much as possible.  But as time goes on, there simply is no more to cut back on and there just isn’t enough money to satisfy all of your obligations.  At this point you start to juggle the bills, missing the electric bill this month hoping to pay it next month, while you pay your auto loan this month and skipping it next month.  All the while trying to pay your mortgage, but little by little things slip away.  One month turns into three and finally there is just no way to do it all.  Then things really take a turn for the worse and the repo man shows up, and your house gets foreclosed on.  Unfortunately, this is the story of too many hard working individuals who are trying to do the best that they can.  The problem is that these unfortunate problems will haunt you through your credit report and credit score for years to come unless you take action and start to fix credit problems now with an eye to the future. So what are some of the things that you can do to start to fix credit problems now? 1)    Don’t be an ostrich! You need to understand your current financial situation and where you stand before you can develop a plan to fix credit problems for the future.  First, review your credit reports from the three major bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  Know what you owe, who you paid late, who charged-off your account and all the other derogatory information.  With this knowledge comes power. 2)    Know your objectives. Once you know your current situation, you can develop a plan to fix credit problems in the priorities that make sense.  For example, if your house has been foreclosed, the immediate concern is where do you live.  Sure staying with relatives or friends is a good temporary solution, but long term you need to have a plan.  Perhaps that plan involves renting an apartment.  So now you know to prioritize what items you need to work on first to fix credit problems to rent an apartment.  Generally, when renting an apartment the landlord or management company is not looking for perfect credit, only good...

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Credit Disputes – Go it alone, or get Professional help?

One of the questions we are often asked is should I do my credit dispute by myself, or get some help?  There are many things to keep in mind when deciding what is the best answer for you.  Let’s walk through some of the things to consider before making your decision. We have developed a 3-part framework for you to walk through in determining what is the best option for you and your personal circumstance.  The 3 parts are: Are you prepared to do a significant amount of legal research? Are you prepared to develop a set of strategies and a plan to effectively beat each of the three credit bureaus? Do you have the time, and the willpower to follow through and stay on top of your plan for as long as it takes to achieve your credit dispute goals? 1. Are you prepared to do a fairly substantial amount of legal research?  The process of doing a credit dispute is predicated on a number of Federal Laws passed by Congress giving you, the consumer, the right to do a credit dispute on any of the information contained within your credit report maintained by the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.  The primary laws include the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). As these laws were written by Congressional Legislators (the same people who write the IRS Laws) you can bet you’ll have to do a good bit of research to make sure you understand not only your rights, but all the hoops you’ll have to jump through and hurdles you’ll have to clear.  It is precisely these hoops and hurdles that can stop you dead in your tracks and turn a slam-dunk credit dispute into a blocked shot. 2. Once you understand what the laws say do you have a set of strategies and tactics to be able to have a high success rate with your credit dispute?  Think about it this way, if you are going to build a house, and this is your first time building a house, do you think it will go as easy as say, the contractor who has been building thousands of houses over the last 10 years.  Will you know how to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible to make sure that the house will not only be safe and comfortable to live in, but also to pass the requirements of the local inspector on the fewest number of tries? 3. Finally, do you have proper systems in place and the time to keep up with the constant flow of paperwork...

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Your Credit Score Range – What It Means, What It Costs.

Unfortunately, in our fast paced technology centric society your credit score range means everything to your finances and possibly your quality of life.  Lenders, banks, employers, insurance companies and a host of others look at what credit score range you fall within.  Lenders and Banks use this to determine if they will actually make you a loan and what interest rate you will receive.  Employers also look at your credit score range as a measure of how good of a person you are, and whether you are trustworthy with maintaining the companies assets and may actually use this to determine whether to hire you or not.  Insurance companies, as well, use your credit score range to determine whether to insure you and to determine how much to charge you for your premiums.  While not fair, this is the reality.  Therefore it is important to know what your credit score range is and to take all measures to improve it. How your credit score range is calculated. So let’s start by taking a look at what your credit score is.  Your credit score range is determined byapplying a complex mathematical equation to the data in your credit report to determine how likely you are to pay back that loan, or in some instances how “good” of a person you are.  Your credit report records almost all of your financial dealings for at least the last 7-10 years, every loan, every credit card, every financial transaction in which someone has extended you credit.  It also attempts to record every time you paid on time, every time you made a late payment or missed a payment, every account defaulted on, in addition to how much credit you currently have available and what is the balance you owe and how much your monthly payments are. Based on this comprehensive amount of data the complex mathematical equation is applied to determine your credit score range.  In general 35% of your credit score is comprised of your payment history (were you late on a payment, or have paid everything on time every time).  The amount you currently owe, and how much available credit you have outstanding accounts for an additional 30% of your credit score.  The length of time that you have had credit accounts for approximately 15% of your score, while new attempts to obtain credit (inquiries) makes up 10%.  The final 10% of your score is made up of what type of credit you currently have (i.e. do you have a mortgage, do you have major credit card, do you have an auto loan, etc.). Contrary to popular misconception however, there is no single credit score.  Instead the mathematical formula used is different...

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The testimonials and results provided, although exciting, are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not typical, your results will vary. We promise only to perform the work agreed to in the terms and conditions of our retainer agreement with you, the client, and to charge each month only for work already completely performed. As with any legal services, no specific outcome is promised or guaranteed. The services of, backed by Centurion Law Firm may not be available in all states. No guarantee of, nor representation that YOUR credit score will increase is made by these illustrative past results, your credit can only be improved in accordance with federal laws requiring the information on your credit report not be inaccurate, unverifiable nor misleading. YOUR RESULTS WILL VARY.

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