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Credit Repair: How I Increased My Score 200 Points

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Credit repair is something many will have to go through at some point in their lifetime. Having personally gone through this, I have mastered the art and know with confidence this article will help boost your score. I know, you’ve heard this before from various websites offering advice on credit repair. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear from someone who actually went through the credit repair process? Do you want a perspective from someone who once had HORRIBLE credit and was/is now able to finance a newer model luxury vehicle with low interest rates? Would a 200 point credit score increase across all three major credit bureaus convince you to at least take a look at how I pulled this off? Here is graph to show just how much my score improved after taking a massive dive over a year ago:

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Since this graph was generated, my credit score has improved to above 700 points. I now have a lot more financial freedom than what I dreamed was possible in such a short time. Amazing isn’t it? I raised my score more than 200 points in a years time! Now let’s talk about how I made this happen. I’ll list what actions I took in order from most impactful to least (although each part is important). Before we start, check your score to see where it is at. The best free site with no hidden cost would be Credit Sesame. Click Here for more info and to get started with them.

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Credit Repair – Dispute Inaccurate Information

Disputing inaccurate information on your credit report is the quickest way to boost your score. Lenders will report your payment history typically to all three credit Bureaus. This includes both the good and the bad. But what if I were to tell you that not everything reported is accurate? In my case, there were quite a few items on my credit report that even I had never heard of. Also some accounts had inaccurate payment history information. So I went to the website of each of the bureaus and dispute all of the information that was not accurate to my credit profile. This alone led to a credit score increase of just over 100 points as it eliminated a lot of the payment and collection activity I had listed on my report that were not applicable to me or had inaccuracies.

To start a dispute, go to the following links for each credit bureau:

Experian Online Dispute Form

Equifax Online Dispute Form

TransUnion Online Dispute Form

I would not recommend disputing everything you see unless you know it is inaccurate. If the creditor cannot verify the debt, the credit bureau will remove it from your credit report. In my case, I had three inaccurate items on my credit report regarding missed payments. I dispute these items with all three of the major credit bureaus using their simple online dispute forms listed above. The result of the dispute was the credit item falling off of my credit report completely. This lead to a MASSIVE and permanent credit score increase.


Credit Repair – Resolve Collections

Collections can really hurt your credit score, especially if they are for a high dollar amount. I had quite a few through the years due to neglecting to check my credit and poor financial choices in college. This is not the end of the world; there are many ways to address collection accounts on your credit report. Here’s how I addressed mine.

Pay For Deletion

This would be the first option I would recommend after disputing the collection items that are inaccurate. If the collection item is valid and you know you’re liable for the full cost, simply reach out to the collection agency and ask for a “pay for delete” over the phone or through the mail. Be sure when doing this, you get the agreement in writing to avoid having the creditor/collection agency backtrack. If you would like a sample letter that you can use for this, click here.

Pay The Bill

I know, this is not what you came here to read, but this will look MUCH better on your credit report than having an open collection account with a high balance. This will show you are at least trying to fix your credit and set yourself up for a better financial future and better habits. Lenders will take note and this can be the difference between an approval or denial after a credit review.

Good Will Letter

Once the bill is paid, you can still reach out to the creditor through a goodwill letter. Basically, this is a letter explaining to the creditor what led up to the delinquent payment on the account that was sent to collections. Here you can explain your hardships or other major life events that contributed to you falling behind on the bill. Typically, creditors will show mercy if there is a valid enough reason for the credit accounts negative standing, and will remove the negative marks from your credit report. If you’re paying the bill, why not try this?


Credit Repair – Secured Credit Card

If you are unable to get approved for a traditional credit card or know your score is too low for a credit card approval, the next best thing is a secured credit card. You can easily get approved for a secured credit card loan with a small deposit. Depending on your credit score, you will either pay an amount equal to your credit line, or slightly below in some cases. In my situation, I cleared up enough items to only have to pay $50 for a $200 credit line. At the time, my score was in the VERY low 500 range (yes, I dipped deep into even the 400’s). Here are a few secured credit cards I would recommend:

Capital One Secured Credit Card

Discover Secured Credit Card

Citi Secured Credit Card

1st Premier bank Secured Credit Card

Once again, you have to start somewhere. This will help build both your payment history and overall credit worthiness. If you maintain this card well, it will be a lot easier to get a traditional credit card down the line.


Credit Repair – On-Time Payments

Paying bills on time will help your score continually grow as your payment history score grows. For example, in the FICO formula your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score. That is a lot! making payments on time even for as little as a year can have a really big impact on your credit score. If you combine this with all of the tactics used to repair your credit, you will see a VERY big score increase literally within months of starting your credit repair endeavor.

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Follow these tactics and I know you will have a respectable credit score. You will finally feel financially enabled to apply for a loan or line of credit you’ve always wanted. Financial mistakes from the past become only lessons and no longer affect your life. Please do not abuse the system; try your best under any circumstance to pay your bills. But if you pay them and want to repair your credit, by all means try these tactics. You have nothing to lose! If you would like to learn more about how credit scores work, please visit my article discussing the FICO credit score. This article breaks down the components of your FICO credit score and explains it in depth. Having this information will help a lot during the credit repair process.

If you do not wish to repair your credit yourself, check out my review of our Top 3 Credit Repair companies. These companies have been reviewed by real people and feedback is based on actual customer experience (not just internet reviews). click HERE to see this article.

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Is it Advisable to Pay Off Collection Items?

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Pay off collection items

The majority of consumers appear to believe that if they pay off collections, their credit scores will improve and become better. A shocking truth has emerged: this is not actually the case. Just so you’re aware, negative items can remain on your credit reports for a maximum of seven years, and your credit score will only begin to improve once the negative item has been removed.

What are Collection Accounts and How Do They Work?

Collection accounts are entries on a credit report that indicate that a debtor has fallen behind on previous obligations. Original creditors may have sold the defaulted debts to a debt buyer or may have assigned the debts to collection agencies after the default occurred. It should come as no surprise that the collector’s ultimate goal is to work on the client’s behalf in order to have the defaulted debt collected from the debtor or as much of it as possible.

The majority of the time, these collection accounts are reported to credit reporting agencies. According to the FCRA, or Fair Credit Reporting Act, these are permitted to remain on credit reports for up to seven years from the date of the initial debt’s first delinquency.

The Consequences of Paying Off Collections on Your Credit Score

The ramifications of completely paying off collection accounts will not disappear in an instant, however. You will still need to wait until the statute of limitations has expired before this information can be removed from your credit report. As previously stated, this will typically take approximately seven years. Fortunately, information from the past will have a smaller impact on your credit score.

Despite the fact that paying off collections will not improve your credit score, there are several ways in which you can take advantage of this situation:

Credit card or medical bills can result in debt collection lawsuits, which you can avoid if you take the proper steps.

As a result, you will be able to avoid paying interest fees to debt collectors. A debt collector is constantly selling and buying accounts, and he or she may continue to charge you fees and interest on the accounts that have been purchased.

In the event of a settlement or payment in full, the credit report will reflect this. When it comes to lenders, it can have a positive impact because they are likely looking beyond your credit score and instead of looking at your credit history and other factors. Comparing those who successfully repay an extremely past due account to those who never managed to do so, the former will demonstrate greater financial responsibility.

You will eventually be able to benefit from the most recent FICO Score model. Despite the fact that the FICO 9 is still in the early stages of implementation, the vast majority of lenders will eventually adopt it. Medical bills will be given less weight in this model, and paid accounts will be completely ignored when it comes to collections.

According to the law, the majority of negative credit information, such as collections, should be removed from credit reports over time. The fact remains that attempting to settle or pay off your debt as quickly as possible will be in your best interests. Not to mention the fact that, in contrast to older models, the newer models for credit scoring do not take into consideration collections with zero balances. If you don’t think you’ll be able to handle it on your own, you can always enlist the assistance of professionals who can simplify the entire process for you.

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How Bad is an Eviction and How Long Does it Stay on Your Credit?

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eviction on your credit report

Every time someone mentions a record during an eviction, what they are really referring to is a background check as well as your credit report and history. In general, an eviction will appear on your credit report for up to seven years.

That is correct; you read that correctly. It will be there not for 7 months, but for as long as 7 years, according to some estimates. Eviction is, therefore, a major issue in this community, and it is treated as such. Landlords, in particular, are wary of renting to tenants who have a history of evictions on their records. If you are ever evicted, this fact will follow you wherever you go for the next seven years, no matter how hard you try to forget it.

For landlords to know that you have been evicted in the past, there are two ways to find out.

If the reason for your eviction was non-payment of rent, your landlord may have forwarded this account to a collection agency, which will then appear on your credit report as a result of your actions.

When the courts were involved in your eviction, the case judgment is considered public record, and landlords who use tenant-screening services will be able to see this information if they conduct a background check on the tenant in question.

Is it possible to have an eviction removed from your credit report?

Anything that is accurate on your credit report will remain on your report for seven years. If there is ever a mistake, you will have the opportunity to contest the decision.

This error will be removed from your credit report if you can provide proof to the credit reporting agency that a mistake was made. If you were successful after being served with an eviction notice, you should provide proof of your victory to the reporting agency. There are landlords who will attempt to evict people even if they do not have a legitimate or acceptable reason to do so.

How Can You Find a Place to Rent if You Have an Eviction on Your Credit Report?

It is important to understand that just because you have an eviction on your credit report does not necessarily mean that you will be unable to rent for the next seven years. However, even though your report contains an eviction, there are still several options available to you for finding a place to live in the meantime.

Take the initiative.

Inform the property manager or landlord of your intention to evict them prior to submitting your application and explain your circumstances to them. Even if the eviction took place years ago and you have maintained a good tenant record since then, there is a chance that the landlord will rent to you again.

Look for someone who will sign on as a cosigner for you.

It is possible for you to obtain a rental unit if you have a co-signer who has good credit and can vouch for you. Your parent or another person with good credit can serve as your co-signer. If, on the other hand, a payment is not made on time, your landlord has the right to and will almost certainly ask for the money from your cosigner.

Pay in advance if possible.

A high probability of obtaining a rental unit exists if the landlord recognizes your willingness to pay the rental value in full upfront for a period of 3 to 6 months.

What’s the bottom line?

It is preferable to avoid being evicted in the first place if you want to avoid having any eviction information on your credit report.

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Why did House Prices Go Up in 2020 During the Pandemic

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The pandemic brought with it a lot of surprises, one of them being the rise in house prices. The US economy plummeted with millions of Americans finding themselves out of work and without food. No one would have predicted that at the time when times were hard for everyone, home prices would become overheated, mortgage rates would skyrocket, and the supply for houses would not meet the demands and consumer confidence in the housing market was reducing. The housing market was booming.

Right at the beginning of the pandemic, no one was willing to buy a house or even sell one. This was because of the uncertainties of the time brought about by Covid-19. In a span of a few months, most day-to-day activities were confined to the available properties. Houses became a key asset and prices began to rise.

The US real estate market in context

The American real estate market suffered a huge blow as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. The recession saw the prices of houses fall by a big margin and the world’s largest real estate market was affected in ways no one would have imagined. This was as a result of subprime mortgages that were given in large numbers to help as many Americans as possible to become homeowners. Homeowners found themselves mortgages that were higher than the value of their houses. By 2013, the market was showing signs of recovery. From 2018 to 2019, the market began to fall slightly.

For many Americans, owning a home is very important to them as it allows them to build up their wealth, make it easy for them to access credit, and be able to save more as they no longer have to pay rent. A large percentage of homeowners rely on mortgages to acquire homes after raising the down payment from their savings or with money from their families. It was expected that the pandemic would lead to foreclosures especially since the economy took a downward spiral at the start of the pandemic. Many people also lost their source of income and were unable to keep up with their mortgage payments.

The most expensive real estate in the USA is found in San Francisco, California. San Francisco has a booming economy fueled by the presence of tech companies like Apple, Facebook, Intel, and Tesla that have their headquarters in the nearby Silicon Valley. The city also has been at the forefront in matters progressive culture which attracts more people to relocate to it. As a result of the thriving tech economy that brings billions of dollars into the city, and rising housing demand, the city is the most expensive place to buy a house in the US. On average, the price per square foot is $1,100.

Why do house prices go up in general?

The value of a house is usually expected to depend on the demand for living in a particular area, but things like recessions and pandemics are known to have an impact that can either be positive or negative. House prices go up when the supply does not meet the demand. One of the key factors that affect the supply has to do with the regulations that restrict the number of housing units that can be built. For example in a single-family zone, it’s illegal to build townhouses or apartments, or condos on any spaces designated for single units and parking minimums must be met. This forces contractors to make provisions for parking spaces even in places where it’s unwarranted.

Some local governments allow groups of people to block developments they feel will have a negative impact on the overall value of the entire estate. These local zoning regulations are making it impossible for most Americans to move to better estates due to the shortage of housing.

Why did house prices go up during the pandemic?

The price for houses is determined by the existing demand and supply dynamics. The fewer the number of houses available, the higher the prices for the available units would be. If the number of buyers is fewer, then the house prices would be lower. The prices went up because the pandemic affected both supply and demand. A lot of people were in a rush to take advantage of the falling mortgage rates which made it easier to acquire homes at a cheaper price.

As a result of the falling mortgage rates, houses were not staying on the market for long. Among those who bought the homes were first-time homebuyers or those who were buying a second home. These put a lot of pressure on the market as were not putting another home on the market as they took one out of it. In some instances, others chose to refinance their mortgages based on the lower rates instead of acquiring a new home.

Because of the pandemic, people who had plans of listing their homes did not do so and those who had listed their homes took them off the market. As a result of the social distancing rules at the height of the pandemic, not many people were willing to show their houses.

Home developers did not anticipate a surge in the demand for housing during the pandemic. A number of them had let go of their employees and had shut down. At the same time, prices for materials like lumber also added to the construction costs alongside the scarcity of skilled workers.

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Why did House Prices Go Up in 2020 During the Pandemic

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Why did House Prices Go Up in 2020 During the Pandemic

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The pandemic brought with it a lot of surprises, one of them being the rise in house prices. Read why did house prices go up in 2020 during the pandemic.

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Jason M. Kaplan, Esq.

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The Credit Pros

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