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New California Financial Watchdog Would Take Aim At Predatory Lenders Amid Pandemic : NPR

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California Assembly member Monique Limón (foreground) introduced a bill to create a financial watchdog agency for the state.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP


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Rich Pedroncelli/AP

California Assembly member Monique Limón (foreground) introduced a bill to create a financial watchdog agency for the state.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Lawmakers in California are rushing to create a new financial protection watchdog agency by the end of the month. They say it’s needed because, under the Trump administration, the main federal regulator has been paralyzed.

And they say that during the pandemic that is leaving millions of Americans who are in dire financial straits more vulnerable to predatory lenders, get-out-of-debt-scams and other wrongdoing.

One study last year found that the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s enforcement activity plunged by 80% from 2015. And money returned to consumers dropped by 96%.

“We are now as states left to do the work ourselves,” says California Assembly member Monique Limón.

Along with Gov. Gavin Newsom, she is proposing to create the new state watchdog agency, which would be called the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation. But a legislative deadline means they need to do it by Aug. 31.

“Consumer protections are an area where California wants to show that we care,” Limón says. “As the fifth-largest economy in the world we think that it is very important and it’s the right thing to do.”

The new agency would give the state broader power and ability to police aggressive debt collectors, credit repair schemes, predatory lenders and other shady financial practices.

Limón proposed the agency before the pandemic. But she says given the economic fallout, the need for more oversight is greater now.

“The timing of it is even more important,” she says, noting that since the Covid outbreak, consumer complaints about financial wrongdoing in the state are up 40 percent. State officials say some of those complaints are about mortgage companies, personal loans, and companies that promise to help people get out of debt.

A long list of fair lending and consumer protection groups are backing the proposal. With upwards of 8 million people applying for unemployment in California alone, “many people are teetering on the brink of insolvency here,” says Suzanne Martindale , who works on policy issues for Consumer Reports.

“A bad loan, a risky payday product, an aggressive debt collector, that can push someone over the edge into poverty, into bankruptcy and homelessness at the worst possible time in the middle of a public health crisis,” she says. “So, the case is even stronger now.”

At a recent legislative hearing, small business groups said they want the new agency to protect them from predatory financial practices too.

Financial firms of course are not usually big fans of additional regulation. But Beth Mills with the California Bankers Association says she supports the new agency better policing some of the banks’ competitors.

She says many online lenders for example face much looser regulations than the banks do.

“We would welcome greater regulation on them to make sure that we’re operating under the same rules,” Mills says.

But when it comes to the companies that her group represents — which she says are most of the large and small banks and lenders in the state, she says, “we would like to be exempt from the bill because the banks and financial institutions that we represent are already very heavily regulated at both the state and federal level.”

And it appears the financial firms have the ear of some lawmakers. A group of moderate Democrats is pressuring Newsom to allow for large carve-outs for many financial firms, a source close to the negotiations over the proposal tells NPR. And that could weaken the new agency’s ability to go after companies who take advantage of people.

Richard Cordray, a former director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says that would be a big mistake.

“I don’t think that the legislature should make it hard for consumers to get their money back when they’ve been victimized by unfair, deceptive and abusive practices,” says Cordray, who has been consulting on the bill.

Cordray says, if it’s done right, the new agency could be a model for other states for how to have a tough financial watchdog agency of their own. And he says Congress envisioned that when it created the federal CFPB under the Dodd-Frank financial reform act.

“The financial reform law,” he says, “had an implicit promise in it that there would be consumer financial protection at the federal level, but there would also be room for significant consumer financial protection at the state level and that the two could work in partnership.”

He says it also envisioned that, “if one was doing its job and the other was pulling back, there still would be protection for consumers.” Cordray says this new agency could live out that promise.

But, a legislative deadline means the bill has to get passed by the end of the month if the agency is to be created this year. There’s a key hearing with lawmakers over the weekend.

Technically, the new agency would be created by restructuring and expanding the size and authority of an existing agency called the Department of Business Oversight.

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Millennials Credit Scores Had A Major Boost

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New York, May 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The unpredictability of the 2020 economy had very few positives to report on. However, one ray of light across the board was that the average FICO score for U.S consumers hit a record 710 last year, with millennials leading the way, boasting an 11-point increase.

Credit scores are important for millennials. Aged between 25-34, they are the generation who grew up during a changing financial climate, where more emphasis was placed on having a good FICO score in order to be approved for the likes of mortgages, auto loans and credit cards.

Yet not all US millennials had such a good year when it came to credit. Many are still struggling to gain the financial backing they need for both their personal and business life, and as a result aren’t benefiting from lower interest rates, higher credit limits, or access to better offers. 

If you’re a millennial looking for credit repair, the team at Credit Planned is helping your generation get back on track:

1. Who are Credit Planned?

Credit Planned is a platform that educates users on financial literacy to help them improve their credit and better plan their financial lives. A pioneer in credit repair, personal and business credit building, and funding solutions, they offer free online advice and how-to guides, alongside free over-the-phone consultations, to help people repair, improve, and maintain great credit.

With over 1,500 happy clients, each month they secure over $50,000 in funding and boost over 100 credit scores.

2. How can Credit Planned help millennials improve credit scores and access financial funding?

Above all else, Credit Planned can provide clear, actionable consultation on a case-by-case basis. As they experts when it comes to the financial industry, you will be given help and advice that will truly make the difference.

If your credit score has become a barrier to entry and approval for the likes of mortgages and loans, there are basic things you can do to quickly improve your score. While some are achievable from your side, some will need expert knowledge of the financial industry, both of which Credit Planned can help with.

Securing funding from banks can be made more achievable with an improved credit score. However, where real gains can be made is through leveraging the relationships Credit Planned have with these banks to secure 0% interest funding (anywhere from 50-150k) for 1-3 years.

  • Corporate Credit Blueprint

Many business owners aren’t aware of the power of business credit, and some don’t even know how to affects your personal score directly. Credit Planned can help optimize your business credit, no matter the size of your business, and open the doors to help your business grow.

3. Put past decisions and improper financial education behind you

Credit Planned are helping millennials who didn’t receive a financial education build the knowledge to prosper once more. From debunking credit mythics to posting great tips via their Facebook page, their online resources are an invaluable addition for anybody who is looking to improve their credit score and secure funding.

Book a free consultation and get your credit score on track

A good credit score indicates that you know how to manage your budget and make good financial decisions. Woven into most key systems in our society, it’s something that needs to be addressed should it be halting your progress in any walk of life.

Book a free consultation via the website, or by calling (877) 650-5116

 

More information:

Credit Planned are a pioneer in credit repair, personal and business credit building, and funding solutions. Don’t be afraid to scale your business or become financially independent. Read our advice, speak to us via a free consultation, and start building your credit today. Learn more via the website: https://creditplanned.com/.

https://thenewsfront.com/credit-planned-millennials-credit-scores-had-a-major-boost-in-2020-but-if-yours-didnt-heres-what-to-do/

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How Much Do Credit Repair Services Cost? – News Anyway

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On average, one in five Americans has an unfair credit score. Mistakes on reports from bureaus are quite common. They range from misspellings to events that never happened. A false bankruptcy may tarnish your records for up to a decade! Experts may have such errors erased, so your FICO total will rise immediately. These services are not free, but what is the best value for money?

Credit repair is a highly competitive industry. As a result, the best credit agencies on Credit Fixed     have to offer reasonable pricing. Customers are always charged depending on the length of the billing cycle (e.g., 30-45 days). In addition, there could be an upfront fee.

Cost vs. Duration

Repair is a lengthy process. Although professionals speed it up, you still need several months (between 2 and 6) to clean your records. The most complex cases linger for a year. Trusted companies allow you to stop using their services at any time. Still, the longer — the more expensive.

Today, monthly rates from the most popular providers range between $79 and $129.95. If the upfront fee applies, it may be equal to the monthly payment or different. For example, with Sky Blue Credit, you pay $79 upon enrollment and $79 monthly.

Compare Service Levels

As you can see from this Sky Blue Credit vs Lexington Law review, not every company divides its services between packages. The first provider offers a universal solution that is also modestly priced. The competitor has three tiers, from basic to advanced.

This second scheme is the most common in the industry. Consumers choose cheaper or more expensive bundles depending on their needs. The tiers often include different numbers of disputes. For example, you may be able to disprove five items per bureau per billing cycle.

In addition to analysis and disputes, premium clients may get identity theft insurance, score tracking tools, and personal budgeting solutions. The biggest firms provide their proprietary apps — for instance, the Lexington Law app is highly rated in both Google Play and App Store. On the other hand, almost every company will let you track the status of your case through their web portal.

What You Are Paying For

While add-ons vary, the core services are the same. Any company will collect your reports from three major bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The staff will scrutinize the records in search of debatable inaccuracies. Next, they will collect evidence and send dispute letters to bureaus on your behalf. Eventually, the errors should be eliminated, which pushes the total up immediately.

This describes the mission of any repair firm. It will help you fix your status more quickly. After all, experts can identify the most damaging mistakes and collect sufficient evidence from the get-go. In the process, they may also send different types of correspondence to lenders and collectors. This includes:

  • debt validation letters asking the lender to prove that you owe the specified amount;
  • goodwill letters asking them to stop reporting particular items;
  • cease and desist letters to collectors, do they stop bothering you.

Repair companies may eliminate different types of mistakes. However, only some of them can delete hard inquiries. Ideally, such items are created when you apply for a loan and the lender checks your credit history. Too many hard inquiries over a short period are damaging to the total.

Money-Back Guarantee

No company can guarantee specific results. The professionals will not promise to increase the total by a certain number of points. However, you may get your money back if the firm is inefficient. Check the conditions of its money-back guarantee (if it exists).

Most commonly, clients are paid back if no entries are deleted within the first 60 or 90 days. Removal of a single item voids this guarantee. In exceptional cases, the policy is unconditional. At the moment, it is only provided by Sky Blue Credit Repair. You may stop using the services for any reason within the first 90 days and get a refund.

Choose Wisely

As there are so many companies, choosing the right provider is not easy. Consider the BBB ratings and genuine feedback from consumers on sites like TrustPilot. Check if the firm delivers on its promises. It must provide excellent support, while the absence of a money-back guarantee is a legitimate deal breaker.

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How Long Will It Take to Fix My Credit Score? – News Anyway

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Your FICO or VantageScore status depends on the contents of your credit reports. Unfortunately, data stored by TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian may be inaccurate. Correction of mistakes will make your score rise. However, this is not an overnight process.

The duration depends on the number of false entries, the bureaus involved, and the quality of the evidence submitted. Experts from top-rated credit repair companies at https://creditrepairpartner.com/ will give a tentative evaluation. If you open disputes by yourself, resolution may take longer. It may require a couple of months or half a year. Here are the basics of credit repair in the US in 2021

Why You Need a Higher Total

Many consumers suppose their credit score only affects borrowing. The lower the total — the more difficult and expensive it is to take out a loan. In reality, the consequences are more varied. Aside from banks, your credit history is accessed by landlords, insurers, and even employers. You may fail to land your dream job because your score is far from perfect.

Causes of Deterioration

This may happen fairly or unfairly. In any case, deterioration stems from negative information on your credit reports. Items like missed payments or evictions pull the score down. Some consumers have to remove bankruptcies and judgments that never happened. Even your personal details may be flawed, although correcting the wrong spelling does not affect the total.

Both systems (FICO and VantageScore) look at similar factors for the calculation. The three most influential elements for the first method are:

  • history of payments (35% of the score)
  • how much you owe in total (30%)
  • length of credit history (15%)

Your credit mix (use of different types of credit) and new accounts affect 10% each. As you can see, late or missed payments, bankruptcies, and defaults are extremely damaging. Another crucial aspect is your ‘credit utilization ratio’, which applies to revolving credit — i.e., credit cards.

The lower your balance in comparison with the total amount of credit — the better. For example, if the limit is $5,000, and you have used $2,500, the ratio is too high (50%). Experts recommend keeping it below 30% or 11%, depending on who you ask.

The Fixing Process

So, what should you do if your reports contain wrong amounts or false entries? First, you are not alone. On average, every 5th consumer in the US has mistakes on their official records. Fortunately, everyone can have errors deleted to raise the total. There are two ways to go about it. You could try doing everything by yourself or hire repair experts. Either way, here is what the process involves.

1.   Collection of Data

Every US citizen may get a free annual copy of their report from each of the three major bureaus. Due to the pandemic, the service is now accessible every week. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to collect data from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian at once.

Downloading it online is the fastest way, but you may also call the organization or send them a request by mail. If you hire a fixing company, they will collect this information for you. You may also get a free introductory consultation.

2.   Identification of False Derogatories

Next, you (or the expert) will need to establish inaccuracies. Note that credit reporting agencies do not share data with one another. Any or all of your reports may be flawed, which complicates the process.

As you can see from the score breakdown above, different categories of items affect the total differently. Credit repair professionals will prioritize the mistakes to fix the score faster.

  1. Collection of Evidence

When the report is inaccurate, it is your job to prove this. A repair firm will gather evidence on your behalf. This includes bank statements and other documents showing that the damaging entries are false. Professionals also send debt validation letters to your lenders. These ask them to prove that you owe the amount specified in the reports. As you can imagine, the duration of this stage varies. The more mistakes you want to be removed — the more evidence must be gathered.

4.   Formal Disputes

Armed with the evidence, you may now send formal dispute letters to the reporting agency (or agencies) involved. The bureau will investigate the claim and reply to you within 30 days. It may accept or reject the changes. Alternatively, additional proof may be required.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, fixing the score in under 30 days is next to impossible. You need to collect the reports, analyze them and gather evidence to support your claims. It is crucial to provide conclusive proof, so there is no back and forth between you and the bureaus.

The simplest cases may be resolved and just over a month. The most complex repair may last a full year. Generally, delegating this job to professionals will accelerate the result. The key is to choose a reliable firm that delivers on its promises. Check websites like BBB and TrustPilot for customer feedback, and make sure the company has a money-back guarantee for your peace of mind.

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