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Quick Credit Repair Fixes: Are They Legit?

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It’s tempting to consider a quick fix for anything, including your credit. However, some things are too good to be true. Good credit can’t be rushed, but you can create a good credit history with some strategy.

Slow and Steady Wins the Credit Race

Time heals most things. It sounds cliché, but this also applies to your credit score. Time does heal your credit, and it can take a while before you can really build a good credit history and credit score.

However, many borrowers wonder if there’s some quick, magic shortcut to fix their credit. The bad news? There isn’t one. If you see advertisements for companies claiming they can boost your credit overnight, proceed with caution.

There are legitimate services that can help your credit, called credit repair companies. However, they don’t go through your credit reports and remove all your past negative accounts or add points willy-nilly to your credit score.

The purpose of a credit repair company is only to assist you in removing inaccurate accounts – not just those that are causing a lower credit score. Inaccurate accounts listed on your credit reports can bring down your credit score, but you can remove them through a dispute.

It can be a long process depending on the severity of the error, but there are several reasons why working with one of these companies can be beneficial.

How Credit Repair Companies and Disputes Work

Credit repair companies can be helpful to borrowers who had their identity stolen, those with incorrect names or addresses listed leading to incorrect information, or old accounts that were never removed.

If you work regular business hours and don’t have time to call debt collectors, creditors, or the credit bureaus to dispute inaccurate accounts, a repair company can get you on the right track. Legit ones have training in credit reporting practices, and they can contact creditors and the credit bureaus for you.

When you file a dispute with a credit bureau, they have 30 days to look into it. Often, you’re asked to provide proof that the account is incorrect. A dispute also puts a hold on an account for that 30-day period, so reporting action stops temporarily. If the credit bureau finds that the account is indeed accurate, the reporting action begins again. If it’s found to be wrong, the credit bureaus remove it.

Don’t go disputing every negative account on your credit reports, though. This is a misuse of the process, and there could be consequences. If you hire a credit repair company to dispute accounts for you, have them only do so to those that you believe are incorrect, and be prepared to have proof that they’re wrong.

Before you hire a credit repair business, do some research on their practices and policies.

Spotting a Credit Repair Scam

While there are legit credit repair companies out there, that doesn’t mean scams don’t exist. Some telltale signs of a credit repair scam include:

  • Quick Credit Repair Fixes: Are They Legit?Tells you not to contact the big three credit bureaus – The big three credit reporting agencies are Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. If a business tells you to not contact these credit bureaus, walk away. You can dispute accounts on your own through these bureaus without the help of a credit repair company. Disputing errors on your credit reports is a right of yours under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Guarantees a specific amount of points – If a credit repair company promises that “your credit score will increase by 112 points within six months,” look out. There’s no real way to promise a specific point increase (unless there’s fraud involved).
  • Promises to remove all negative accounts – You and the credit repair business can only remove accounts off your credit reports that are incorrect. Removing correct accounts (even if they’re negative) is fraud. Additionally, the credit bureaus are going to notice and place that account right back on your reports, so it’s not possible. Any business that says they can remove all negative accounts off your credit reports should be avoided.
  • Asks you to pay before providing services – Most credit repair companies do charge for their services, but they can’t ask you for an “up-front” fee, or ask you for any money until they’ve shown results. A good rule of thumb to follow is don’t pay anything until the company has proven results.

There’s no quick, easy fix that can boost your credit score overnight. However, there are steps you can take yourself that can help build a good credit history and increase your credit score over time.

Good Ol’ Fashioned Credit Repair

If you have poor credit, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that around 30% of Americans have bad credit. So, how do you fix it? We’ve got some quick tips:

  • Dispute errors yourself – Comb through your own credit reports and look for anything that could be lowering your credit score. If you find something that’s inaccurate on one of your credit reports, you can dispute it online. If you find a lot of errors and aren’t sure where to start, consider a credit repair business. You can request your credit reports for free once a week until April 2021 from www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Pay all bills on time – It may sound simple, but payment history has the biggest influence on your credit score. If you miss any payments, it can harm your credit for up to seven years. Stay current on all your accounts and you can avoid repos, defaults, and accounts being sent to collections – all of which also hurt your credit score.
  • Pay down your credit card(s) – Whether you have one credit card or multiple, pay down the balances to at least 30% of their spending limit(s). Any higher, and lenders may assume that you’re overextending yourself. Keeping high credit card balances can lower your credit score, so the lower you can get those balances, the better.
  • Add some variety – Spice up your credit reports by having both revolving credit, such as credit cards, and installment credit, like auto loans. Lenders like to see borrowers with credit variety. If you manage different kinds of credit well, it can increase your credit score.
  • Keep old accounts open – Your credit score is influenced by the average age of all your accounts. If you close old accounts (even if you don’t use them), it can lower the average age of your credit history, and your credit score.

Even with these tips, it can still be hard to build a good credit score. If you have past negative accounts, they can remain on your credit reports for up to seven years. That can be a long time, depending on your perspective and how soon you need to take on new credit.

If you start working on your credit score now, the results will start to roll in. You can check your credit reports every week until April 2021 because of the coronavirus (after that, it reverts back to once every 12 months). Take this opportunity to keep track of your spending habits and what’s being reported, and when it’s being reported, to work on your credit.

Repairing Your Credit With an Auto Loan

Car loans are installment loans, which have the potential to boost your credit in many different ways. Since they are long-term loans, with auto loan terms averaging between four and eight years, you can start a long-lasting and good payment history that can do wonders for your credit if you handle it well.

Having poor credit can make it hard to find lenders that can approve you for financing, as not all lenders can work with people in challenging credit situations. But we know what dealerships are signed up with bad credit lenders here at Auto Credit Express. To get matched to a dealer in your area that has the lending connections you need, fill out our free car loan request form.

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4 QC agencies receive emergency help

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Four Quad-City area agencies are among 35 in Iowa that will receive Emergency Solutions Grant Program funds.

In Scott County

  • Family Resources will receive $142,092 for shelter and outreach and $75,600 for homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing, for a total of $217,692.
  • Humility Homes and Services, Inc. will receive $200,000 for shelter and outreach, and $273,335 for homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing; for a total of $473,335.
  • The Salvation Army Quad Cities Family Services will receive $75,000 for shelter and outreach and $229,119 for homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing, for a total of $304,119.

In Muscatine County

  • The Muscatine Center for Social Action (MCSA) will receive $200,000 for shelter and outreach programs, and $140,568 for homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing, for a total of $340,568.

About the program

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Friday that a total of nearly $9 million in assistance is available to assist eligible low-income Iowans at imminent risk of eviction and individuals who have lost housing to quickly regain housing stability, a news release says. The funding also will provide support for homeless-shelter operations. The funds are made available through a supplemental appropriation to the Emergency Solutions Grant program through the federal CARES Act.

“Throughout the pandemic, our focus has always been on protecting the lives and livelihoods of Iowans,” said Reynolds. “The funds announced today will assist those at risk of eviction while also providing support to homeless shelters supporting Iowa’s homeless population at this critical time. I appreciate the continued collaboration with our federal partners in support of the state’s pandemic response.”  

“Providing housing assistance for Iowans in need remains a top priority,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director Debi Durham. “The ability for Iowans to thrive and prosper begins with a safe, stable place to call home and the program announced today will be essential in helping Iowans get back on their feet.”   

The Emergency Solutions Grant program will help to prevent households from becoming homeless because of eviction, assist Iowans who have lost their homes to eviction regain rental housing, and provide homeless shelters with financial support to assist with operations and outreach while they work to serve Iowans in need and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  

To be eligible for eviction-prevention assistance to avoid homelessness, Iowans must have an income of 50% of the area median income or less and be at imminent risk of eviction, in addition to meeting other eligibility criteria. To be eligible for assistance in rapidly regaining housing, Iowans must currently be experiencing homelessness.   

Examples of assistance available to eligible individuals include rent and utility payments, including in arrears, legal assistance, application fees, security and utility deposits, moving costs, case management and credit repair. All financial assistance is paid directly to landlords and service providers.    

Individuals in need of assistance must apply through the Coordinated Entry help line in their area, available along with additional eligibility and program information at iowahousingrecovery.com.   

Thirty-five agencies were awarded a total of $8.8 million in Emergency Solutions Grant Program funds. The full list of awards is available here. The assistance will remain available until all funds are exhausted or Sept. 30, 2022.   

The Emergency Solutions Grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Iowa Finance Authority in partnership with participating Iowa service agencies.  

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Gov. Reynolds announces assistance to low-income Iowans in preventing eviction or regaining housing

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DES MOINES, Ia. (KMTV) — Statement from the office of Governor Kim Reynolds

Governor Reynolds today announced that a total of nearly $9 million in assistance is available to eligible low-income Iowans who are at imminent risk of eviction and individuals who have lost housing to quickly regain housing stability. The funding will also provide support for homeless shelter operations. The funds are made available through a supplemental appropriation to the Emergency Solutions Grant program through the federal CARES Act.

“Throughout the pandemic, our focus has always been on protecting the lives and livelihoods of Iowans,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The funds announced today will assist those at risk of eviction while also providing support to homeless shelters supporting Iowa’s homeless population at this critical time. I appreciate the continued collaboration with our federal partners in support of the state’s pandemic response.”

“Providing housing assistance for Iowans in need remains a top priority,” said Iowa Finance Authority Executive Director, Debi Durham. “The ability for Iowans to thrive and prosper begins with a safe, stable place to call home and the program announced today will be essential in helping Iowans get back on their feet.”

The Emergency Solutions Grant program will help to prevent households from becoming homeless due to eviction, assist Iowans who have lost their home to eviction to regain rental housing as well as provide homeless shelters with financial support to assist with operations and outreach as they work to serve Iowans in need and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

To be eligible for eviction prevention assistance to avoid homelessness, Iowans must have an income of 50% of the area median income or less and be at imminent risk of eviction in addition to meeting other eligibility criteria. To be eligible for assistance in rapidly regaining housing, Iowans must be currently experiencing homelessness.

Examples of assistance available to eligible individuals include rent and utility payments, including in arrears, legal assistance, application fees, security and utility deposits, moving costs, case management and credit repair. All financial assistance is paid directly to landlords and service providers.

Individuals in need of assistance must apply through the Coordinated Entry helpline in their area, which is available along with additional eligibility and program information at iowahousingrecovery.com.

Thirty-five agencies were awarded a total of $8.8 million in Emergency Solutions Grant Program funds. The full list of awards is available here. The assistance will remain available until all funds are exhausted or September 30, 2022.

The Emergency Solutions Grant program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Iowa Finance Authority in partnership with participating Iowa service agencies.



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Dovly, the Credit Repair Engine, Welcomes Todd Davis, Co-Founder and Former CEO of LifeLock, to Advisory Board

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PHOENIX, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Dovly, the credit repair engine that tracks, manages, and fixes your credit, today announced the appointment of Todd Davis, co-founder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of identity protection leader LifeLock, to its board of advisors.

“Todd is one of the most innovative marketers and business leaders in the personal finance industry,” said Nirit Rubenstein, CEO and co-founder of Dovly. “His unique understanding of consumer mindsets and financial technology enabled him to create and scale a transformational business. His insights will help us take Dovly to the next level.”

“Millions of Americans have at least one serious mistake on their credit reports,” Todd Davis, co-founder and former CEO of LifeLock, explained, “yet far too many of those people aren’t even aware of it, nor do they understand the impact these mistakes have on credit scores. Dovly is a game changer.”

After launching his career with Dell in the early 1990s, Davis co-founded LifeLock in 2005. Five years later, the company ranked eighth on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest growing companies in America, and in 2012, the company went public. By 2014, LifeLock had over three million subscribers and 700 employees. Symantec acquired the company in February 2017 for $2.3 billion. Davis now serves as chairman of the board of Kadenwood and Aesthetics Biomedical.

Dovly also welcomed Jacky Chiu, the former vice president of product of LifeLock, to its advisory board. Chiu is the co-founder and chief technology officer of Brightside, a financial technology company that recently secured a $35 million series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz.

About Dovly

Dovly is an advanced credit repair engine that tracks, manages, and fixes your credit. Dovly’s fully automated technology enables customers to get ahead financially by leveraging credit intelligence to repair credit scores. The company is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, and has increased its customer base by 160% this year alone. In June of 2020, Dovly raised a $2.25 million round of seed funding led by NFX, with participation from 1984 Ventures.

Learn more at www.dovly.com.

SOURCE Dovly

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