Have questions about an entry from Account Control Technology on your credit report?
We have answers.
Account Control Technology is a debt collector, and if they’re contacting you, it means you probably let a payment slip through the cracks.
Confronting a collections agency about your debt can be stressful, especially when you’re receiving countless calls and constant messages from them.
But with the right resources in hand, you can deal with debt collectors with ease, getting them off your credit report and your phone screen.
Read on for a few quick tips to get started.
What Is Account Control Technology?
Account Control Technology, Inc., is a sizable debt collections agency that has been in business since 1993.
The agency is licensed to collect on debts nationwide, but it is headquartered in Woodland Hills, California.
ACT’s mailing address is below:
PO Box 471
Kings Mill, Ohio 45034
Account Control Technology collects on a long list of debts, including:
- Commercial debt
- Consumer finance debt
- Government debt
- Healthcare debt
- Student loan debt
- Telecom and cable debt
- Utility debt
How Does Account Control Technology Work?
If you missed a payment on one of your accounts in any of the industries above, ACT can legally call you, send letters, and place a collections entry on your credit report.
Companies opt for assistance from third-party debt collectors like ACT when they are unsuccessful at collecting payments.
These debt collectors either buy the debts from the companies (for pennies on the dollar) or they are hired to help with the collections process.
In either case, the agency reports your collections-stage debt to the credit bureaus, leading to a negative entry on your credit report.
Though a debt collector’s calls can be frustrating, they could be the least of your concerns.
A single collection entry might not kill your credit score, but multiple ones can.
While the level of damage done by this type of entry depends on other factors, the entry will stay on your report for a total of seven years.
Collections entries factor into your payment history, which accounts for 35% of your overall score.
That’s why it’s imperative to get this type of entry removed from your report ASAP.
What debt collectors don’t tell you is that paying off your debt doesn’t equate to having the entry deleted from your report. We’ll show you what does below.
3 Ways to Remove Account Control Technology from Your Credit Report
Account Control Technology has done enough damage to your credit already.
Here’s how to get the collections entry removed from your report.
1. Get Proof that the Debt Is Yours
The FDCPA has you covered here. If you request proof of your debt within 30 days of being contacted by ACT, they legally have to provide you with details that validate their claim.
You can use our sample debt validation letter to get started.
Once your request has been received, the agency has to supply you with some details about your debt, like your account name, the lender or service provider who originally owned the debt, and your balance.
Since ACT is a third-party collections agency and not a creditor or provider itself, it might not have this information on hand.
When collections agencies are unable to validate debt, they are required to withdraw their collection attempts and report to the credit bureaus, resulting in the deletion of the collections entry from your account.
Debt validation should be the first strategy you try whether you think you were contacted on accident or you really owe ACT.
There’s no harm in asking for evidence, and it could get the collections account off your report free of charge.
2. Pay to Have the Entry Deleted
Getting a collections entry off your report isn’t as simple as logging onto ACT’s website and paying off whatever you owe.
Will it stop the agency’s calls and letters? Sure. But will it result in the deletion of the collections entry from your credit report? Unfortunately, no.
In order to get Account Control Technology off your credit report, you have to get them to consent (ideally in writing) to have the entry deleted.
This is known as a pay-for-delete agreement. When you enter this type of arrangement, you should negotiate with the agency to get your debt reduced.
For instance, if you owe $90 on an old phone bill, you might negotiate to only pay $45 to settle your account.
To ensure that your pay-for-delete agreement goes smoothly, you should restrict your negotiations to letters and avoid making an agreement over the phone.
Then the agency will be held accountable to report to the bureaus when they receive your payment. Your credit report should be up-to-date within a month after your payment is made.
3. Get Some Professional Help from a Credit Repair Company
Credit repair can be complicated. If you’re working through numerous credit issues, writing letters to debt collectors may feel like an arduous task.
Fortunately, there are companies that can take on the stress of handling collections agencies for you.
Credit repair companies are experts when it comes to getting collections entries deleted.
They are well-versed in the rights granted by the FDCPA and will work to ensure that your rights aren’t violated.
These agencies can handle everything from getting your debts validated to negotiating payments.
They’ll manage more complex credit issues too, like judgments, liens, and bankruptcies.
Whatever it is that’s bringing down your credit, one of our top credit repair companies can help.
Dealing with Account Control Technology
Account Control Technology gets its fair share of complaints from consumers who’ve had to deal with the agency.
Two key places to look for honest reviews and complaints regarding debt collectors are the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Some of the most commonly cited complaints against collections agencies like ACT are concerned with:
- Inaccurate reporting
- Aggressive collection attempts
- Failure to validate the debt
Since collections agencies are notorious for the issues above, it’s important to educate yourself on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The FDCPA ensures that debt collectors deal with you ethically and respectfully and that they present you with evidence of your debt.
To give you a few specific examples, the act:
- Only allows collections agencies to call between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- Keeps debt collectors from contacting you at your workplace
- Limits agencies from sharing details of your debts with anyone else
- Prohibits acts of violence or threats of illegal actions
Another of the biggest advantages of the FDCPA is that it allows you to put a stop to ACT’s calls and communicate by letter instead.
You should try to get everything in writing when you converse with representatives of a collections agency as it could prove key to getting a collections account off your report.
Solano Small Business Development Center offers Covid recovery webinars
FAIRFIELD — The Solano Small Business Development Center has several upcoming virtual webinars on website building, business planning and Covid-19 recovery.
A class on “Covid Recovery: Leadership Principles and Practices” will begin at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Participants will build confidence by learning to take the lead. Lisa Bishop is the instructor and has taught leadership training for more than a decade.
“Covid Recovery: Credit Repair/FICO and Credit” will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Solano Small Business Development Center adviser Janeene Bier teaches secrets on how to build credit and fixing negative FICO scores.
A course in “Business Planning” is available from 2 to 4 p.m. June 24. Participants will learn how to create a business plan that meets their needs. The interactive webinar will help provide simple tools to create a plan.
“Websites Made Easy” will be taught from 4 to 6 p.m. June 28. Participants will earn how to build websites for new businesses or improve existing ones.
All webinars are free. Links are provided at the Solano Small Business Development Center Facebook page.
5 Tips for Getting the Best VA Loan Rate
VA loans are a great benefit for eligible veterans, active duty service members, and their spouses. However, don’t take it as a given that you will be automatically offered the lowest rate just because you qualify for the program. Getting the best deal on your VA loan involves doing your due diligence and learning how to navigate the system.
Although the VA loan program offers favorable terms like no down payment and no private mortgage insurance (PMI) to those who qualify, the loans themselves are still issued through private financial institutions, just like any other mortgage. And while it is true VA loan rates are generally low compared to conventional mortgages, they will still fluctuate depending on your personal info and changes in the market.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to make sure you are saving money and making the most out of your well-deserved VA loan benefit.
1. Understand VA loan types
The VA benefit includes several loan options available for purchase, refinance or home improvements for those who meet the service requirements and have their certificate eligibility (COE).
Interest rates for VA loans can vary significantly depending on the type of loan you choose. That’s because most lenders have different eligibility requirements tied to fixed and adjustable rate loan products.
Like other home loan programs, refinance rates for VA loans generally tend to be higher than purchase loans. Your mortgage term, or the length of time you have to repay the loan, also influences your interest rate.
If you opt to repay your mortgage over a short period, with a 10- or 15-year mortgage, these terms often have a lower interest rate and overall cost. However, shorter term loans have higher monthly payments.
Meanwhile, a traditional 30-year loan may have lower monthly installments — but the overall cost and interest rate will be higher because the bank is taking on more risk.
Additionally, the VA has several other programs that may prove a better deal. Make sure to ask your lender about rates on the following items if you are interested and believe you qualify:
- Energy Efficient Mortgage: allows qualified borrowers to bundle the cost of acceptable home energy improvements into their purchase, refinancing or VA streamline refi.
- Native American Direct Loan: If you or your spouse is Native American, you can get a loan to buy, build, or improve a home on federal trust land.
- Cash-Out Refinance: With a cash-out refi, you can replace your current VA loan with a new term and rate. You can also borrow against your home equity and use the cash to fulfill other financial goals.
- Interest Rate Reduction Refinance (IRRRL): An IRRRL requires less paperwork than a cash-out refinance, and often doesn’t require an appraisal. This can save you underwriting fees and time, hence it being regularly referred to as a “streamline refinance.”
2. Lower your debt-to-income ratio
To calculate your VA loan rate, lenders will take a holistic look at your monthly expenses to determine your ability to repay a mortgage. Unlike other home loan programs, the VA considers your residual income, or your monthly income after taxes and debts are paid off.
Similarly, lenders in the VA home loan program also look at your debt-to-income ratio, which is your total debt divided by your gross income. Your DTI generally includes major installment debts such as mortgages, student loans, credit card debt, and car loans pulled from your credit report.
As a rule of thumb, the VA recommends a debt-to-income ratio of at most 41%, including your mortgage. However, lenders set their own maximum for DTI on VA loans and may be willing to accept a higher DTI in exchange for a higher interest rate. They may also have some guidelines in terms of credit scores they are willing to accept.
To lower your DTI, you can start by paying off debts such as your credit cards and minimizing expenses.
You can work on your credit by evaluating your credit report from the three major credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You can obtain a free copy of each bureau’s credit report annually at AnnualCreditReport.com. (Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, free reports will be available weekly until April 2022.) Having your credit report on hand can help you identify any errors or negative marks you can change and repair your credit, if need be.
A low credit score can negatively impact your mortgage application and interest rate.
The good news is that credit repair companies, such as Credit Saint, may be able to help you increase your credit score in within a few months!
3. Determine whether or not you should make a down payment
VA-backed loans don’t require a down payment. However, there are circumstances in which a down payment may be necessary or worthwhile.
- Lower your interest rate: A down payment could reduce your interest rate and save you money over the life of your loan. Subsequently, a lower interest rate will lessen your monthly mortgage payments.
- Reduce your VA funding fee: VA-backed loans require first-time home buyers to pay a funding fee between 1.4% and 2.3%. If you’re a second-time homebuyer, your VA funding fee could be up to 3.6% of the loan amount. Providing a downpayment can encourage your lender to reduce your funding fee amount.
- Start building home equity from day one: By making a down payment, you’ll start building home equity right off the bat. This can be a worthwhile investment if you’re interested in funding other financial goals through a cash-out refinance or home equity line of credit down in the future.
- Stand out in a competitive market: A down payment can let sellers know that you’re a serious buyer, and strengthen your offer. This can be an advantage worth having in a competitive housing market.
- Your lender requires it: You may have to offer a down payment if your home’s cost exceeds its appraised value, you didn’t get full entitlement, the home costs more than the conforming limit or you don’t qualify for a large enough loan.
Whether this is your first or subsequent time purchasing a home, your COE will show if you have full or remaining entitlement. Your VA entitlement is the amount the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees on your loan, it will also determine if you need to provide a down payment.
Eligible borrowers with full entitlement no longer have to provide a down payment on loans over $144,000. In the case of default, the VA provides a federal guarantee that will reimburse the lender, 25% of the entire loan amount for those with full entitlement.
Borrowers that have less than full entitlement are subject to the conforming loan limits in their county. The VA guarantees 25% of the county loan limit for those with remaining entitlement as long as they purchase within the conforming loan limit for their county. However, if borrowers with less than full entitlement borrow above the county’s loan limit, they must provide a down payment.
4. Consider applying for state loan programs for veterans
In addition to the federal assistance available for eligible veterans to purchase homes, borrowers can apply to special home buying assistance programs in their state. These programs can provide rate discounts, down payment or closing cost assistance.
One example, Florida’s Salute Our Soldiers Military Loan Program, offers qualifying veterans or active military members 30-year fixed rate mortgage loans below market rate. The program includes several down payment assistance options that are available in all 67 counties throughout the state of Florida. These could include up to $10,000 in down payment or closing cost assistance.
Most states and counties provide similar state-run veteran home loan programs to help eligible VA borrowers purchase a home at an affordable rate.
5. Compare lender rates before settling on a VA home loan
A mortgage is one of the most expensive investments you’ll make in your life, as such it’s important to compare VA loan lenders and consider all options in order to get the best deal.
Before you begin shopping for rates, you should know the type of loan and length of term you want. You should also know the loan amount, the rate type (fixed or adjustable) you prefer, and if you are going to offer a down payment.
The next step is to contact several lenders you are considering and request a loan estimate. For a mortgage loan, requesting a pre approval letter from three or more lenders will give you a realistic report on what a lender is willing to loan you based on a thorough credit check and information regarding your finances.
Pre approval letters are generally valid for 30 to 60 days and include information regarding the type of loan, purchase price, qualified interest rate and loan amount you would get.
For a pre approval letter, you’ll need to provide the following information to your loan officer:
- Your name
- Your social security number (to be submitted for a credit check)
- Your income (W-2 or 1099)
- Proof of employment
- Tax returns
- Bank statements or assets
- Monthly debts (or other court mandated payments, such as alimony or child support)
- Bankruptcy discharge documents (VA loans are available two years after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or foreclosure, and one year after filing for a Chapter 13)
- The address of the property you plan to purchase
- The property’s sale price
- The loan amount you want
When shopping for a mortgage, multiple credit inquiries within a 14 to 45-day period will be reported as one single hard credit check on your credit report.
To narrow down your search, make sure to take into consideration upfront costs, origination fees, closing costs, interest rates, loan terms, eligibility requirements, and any products or discounts they may provide.
Ready to take the next step and buy your new home?
For veterans, active-duty service members and surviving spouses, VA Home Loans can help make buying a home more affordable.
Summary of Money’s 5 Tips for Getting the Best VA Loan Rates
VA loans feature lower interest rates and flexible credit requirements when compared to conventional loans. Here are Money’s main takeaways on how to get the best VA loan rate:
- Familiarize yourself with the types of VA loans available and their respective eligibility requirements
- Your credit score won’t dictate whether or not you’re approved for a VA loan, but a good score could still translate into a more favorable rate. Lowering your DTI and minimizing your debts can also improve your mortgage application.
- You can further lower your interest rate and closing expenses by offering a down payment on a VA loan.
- There are state programs that provide exclusive rate discounts and closing cost assistance to eligible veterans, military members and surviving spouses.
- VA loans are issued by private lenders. Like other home loan programs, it’s best to compare mortgage rates and shop around before settling on a lender.
To learn more about VA loans, check out Money’s 7 tips for getting a VA home loan
Diamonds Blue Group Completes Transition to New Business Model
DALLAS, TX / ACCESSWIRE / June 17, 2021 / Diamonds Blue Group is pleased to announce that they have finished the transition to a new business model. Formerly a premier advertising agency in the Dallas area focusing on clients in the entertainment industry, they are now known as Diamonds Blue Credit Repair. Their services now focus on their mission to help people get control of their credit through education. After starting the process in January of 2021, they are now fully operational and ready to accept new clients.
Diamonds Blue Group actually began in early 2019, but after the pandemic hit in 2020 the entertainment business became virtually nonexistent. Diamonds Blue had to adapt to the new business climate, and formed a plan to rebrand and relaunch. Instead of closing their doors completely, they found a new purpose in helping people regain control of their finances and credit rating through education and counseling. In addition to information about the company, their revamped website also allows clients 24/7 access to their accounts.
Diamonds Blue CEO and Founder Walter Rickett III is excited about his company’s big step, “We are thrilled to launch a product that provides real value to Americans. Our goal is to help as many people as possible through credit repair and financial education. Our flat rate pricing, lack of long term contracts, and money back guarantee show that we stand behind our service. We look forward to making a huge, positive impact on the financial industry, and the lives of individuals.”
ABOUT DIAMONDS BLUE CREDIT REPAIR
Diamonds Blue’s leadership team has many years’ experience in evaluating credit and guiding consumers to assert their legal rights. Their flat rate pricing model is unique in the industry, with a low initial fee and a low monthly fee. They believe that credit repair firms can’t do anything that you couldn’t do yourself, but they can help you to achieve results in a fraction of the time without making costly errors. For less than the cost of a few hours with an attorney, they help and guide their clients from start to finish and prepare all of the documentation for the various credit agencies. There are NO long binding contracts. They guarantee results or your money back!
Walter Rickett III
EMAIL: [email protected]
SOURCE: Diamonds Blue Credit Repair
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