NEW YORK CITY, NY / ACCESSWIRE / December 23, 2019 / This decade has been known for the rise of entrepreneurship, social media, technology, experts from all industries; including digital marketers, psychologists, real estate experts, and everything in between.
Today, more than ever, it is crucial that we identify the different variety of leaders the world of entrepreneurship has to offer.
This year, VIP Media Group put together an impressive list of what they consider to be some of the top entrepreneurs you need to pay attention to in 2020.
DATE OF BIRTH: December 5th, 1979.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @Millionaire_Mentor
Jason Stone is a serial entrepreneur with multiple seven-figure business ventures across various verticals of web and marketing. He is widely known by over 5 million people around the world on Instagram. Jason utilizes his experience and passion as a motivator, mentor, teacher, and social media influencer to help others create success. Jason Stone is an accomplished Senior Executive, Consultant, and Thought Leader with more than 20 years of success across the engineering, e-commerce, social media, internet, marketing, advertising, technology, automotive, blockchain, franchising, and health and wellness industries. He is an early stage startup tech investor/advisor to over a dozen companies. Leveraging extensive experience creating go-to-market strategies and viral marketing, he is a valuable advisor for an organization experiencing growth or launching new products. His broad areas of expertise include business development, mechanical engineering, global strategy, email marketing, digital marketing, automation, blockchain, organizational leadership, and growth hacking.
DATE OF BIRTH: December 13th, 1994.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @teachingmensfashion
Jose Zuniga is a Latino entrepreneur originally from Honduras who, at just 24 years old, has built an entire fashion empire for men. From over 7 million men collectively following him on social media to hear his advice, to selling thousands of his clothing items across the world, Jose’s success is an example of determination, grit, and hard work. Jose owns a basics clothing brand for men called ESNTLS. This brand sells basic pieces for men that fit well, are made with proprietary blends, and are sold at affordable prices. ESNTLS has been so successful that on launch day they sold over 1 million dollars of product in a single day and received over 600K of estimated traffic to the site. In addition, Jose’s Instagram account has become the world’s largest men’s lifestyle creator in the world on topics like style, fitness, dating, personal development, and grooming.
Cory Jean is the go-to consultant for companies on handling their most challenging and difficult financial situations. His solutions are anchored with innovative, structured and proven strategies. He has helped thousands of companies and individuals discover superior solutions that led them from the brink of financial collapse to true profit and sustainable growth. Cory wants to teach those who are truly motivated the same techniques, tools and strategies he used to save thousands of companies and to build his own businesses. Moreover, Cory takes the most pride in saving small and family-based businesses from the brink of collapse to amazing growth and success.
DATE OF BIRTH: August 31st, 1970.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @john.malott
John Malott is a serial entrepreneur who has earned over one billion dollars in global sales. However, he never got a high school diploma and since he was a teenager he had a drug problem. In fact, when he was 17 he had a heart attack as a result of consuming too much cocaine. These things held him back for a while, but when John decided to leave this behind, he was certain he could go out on his own and educate himself. He was not going to be defined by being a drug addict or a criminal. Today John is a serial entrepreneur who has diversified his business and is distancing himself from old labels, he describes himself as a world changer, collaboration expert and public speaker. John runs the 90 Day Run, an internet coaching program that is a cheat code to success in life and business. In addition, he is one of the co-founders of Build Your Empire (B.Y.E.), an event and media company focused on impacting the next generation of entrepreneurs.
DATE OF BIRTH: August 10th, 1984.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @thedreamstarter
Mike Fallat believes that a book should make you stand out, turn heads and get people’s attention. Mike started his book publishing business when he realized the power of storytelling. Before this, Mike was part of the corporate life, which he hated. He always had thousands of ideas to improve different businesses, but his ideas were stifled at every turn. His dream life constituted doing what he wanted with who he wanted whenever he wanted, so he decided he was not going to work for someone else. Mike wrote his first book “Started From Zero“, which began selling quickly and led to the founding of Dream Starters Publishing, a publishing company that is built on speed. They streamline the ghostwriting process so that people can have their own book in 30 days. Furthermore, if people decide to only publish one chapter on their life that will be a part of a book collaboration with other influencers, they can have that in just 24 hours.
DATE OF BIRTH: February 18th, 1991.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @investwithjsj
Jesse DiLillo is a Real Estate Investor and Business Owner. Jesse continues to improve his knowledge and expand his expertise in all aspects of real estate. Jesse has over 12 years of real estate knowledge and experience between his two Real Estate Investment Companies. With a B.S. in Business Management and Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Jesse continues to passionately pursue his business and real estate education, all while working on becoming a top professional in real estate investing. JSJ Sustainable Investments, LLC is based on a fusion of intense passion and continuous education. JSJ has developed a solid foundation of real estate knowledge, with the integrity to follow up on promises, and the ability to make successful deals happen.
DATE OF BIRTH: July 8th, 1973.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @John_Trautman
John Trautman is the founder and CEO of the Real Estate Knowledge Institute (REKI). John Trautman has spent his entire adult life in real estate. Purchasing his first property at 23, he learned the process of flipping and real estate holding from the ground up. John is also an author, entrepreneur and longtime real estate investor, he is committed to inspiring and helping other aspiring real estate investors who have an interest in everything from home flipping to buying and selling rental properties to earn passive income through various real estate investments. REKI is the fulfillment of Trautman’s ambition to act as a credible and responsive expert who is available to mentor and counsel individuals about the fundamental rules of real estate investing in an intelligent and straight-forward manner.
-McDonald “Don” Worley
DATE OF BIRTH: October 1st, 1967.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @mcdonaldworleypc
Don Worley is an award winning trial attorney with clients all across the country. For more than 20 years, he has represented real people who have been injured by the negligence of others. Don currently represents thousands of clients across the country who were injured by the side effects of dangerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices which were known by the companies who make them but were not disclosed to the client. Don was trained as an actor and was a standup comedian for many years. This background and training helped Don become a successful trial lawyer who is comfortable in the courtroom before a jury. Don now has offices in Houston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City and Washington D.C, and has earned the trust of attorneys across the country to refer clients, including their friends and family members.
DATE OF BIRTH: June 1st, 1968.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @drjoshk
Joshua Klapow is a licensed clinical psychologist, a performance coach and the Chief Behavioral Scientist for ChipRewards, a health engagement technology company. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Klapow is the author of more than 100 professional articles, abstracts, and book chapters in the area of behavioral medicine and health psychology. Dr. Klapow is also the author of “Living SMART: Lifestyle Change Made Simple” a consumer focused book on lifestyle change.
Dr. Klapow works extensively with individuals and organizations in the area of performance optimization. His work focuses on leveraging behavioral science strategies to help both individuals and organizations achieve strategic goals. From job performance to performance indicator maximization to overall well being, Dr. Klapow works with individuals and organizations nationwide to help bring the power of behavioral science to human performance.
In addition to his corporate and individual work, Dr. Klapow works extensively with media outlets as a trusted Psychological Correspondent. He routinely provides expert commentary in the role of psychological, behavioral and social factors across a broad range of news topics. Dr. Klapow brings psychological insights to topics including health and well-being, mental health, sports, politics, crisis and disaster, parenting, relationships and more.
DATE OF BIRTH: November 24th, 1982.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @officialbobbykim
Bobby Kim is a Michigan native, whose family originally came from South Korea, and runs one of America’s biggest credit restoration companies across the country. Before getting into the world of credit, Bobby was very involved within the world of sales, dedicating over 80 hours a week working for an indoor air and water quality company during a period of over 10 years. It was there that Mr. Kim learned the sales skills that he still uses today. After enduring a divorce in 2016, Mr. Kim’s credit took a big dip — it was there — through his challenging times with bad credit, that he began to understand the importance of credit and how it can make or break someone’s life. It was during these challenging times that Bobby began to realize that one of his true life callings is to ensure people have the financial freedom to realize their dreams, which is what he has been doing ever since.
DATE OF BIRTH: November 15th, 1980.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @brianbreach
Brian Breach is a creator, entertainer, entrepreneur, recent Ted Talk speaker and a social media influencer. His journey started off in the world of music where he spent a decade performing and opening for some of the biggest names in hip hop, as well as having his song air nationally as the intro to a TV show for 3 years. In the process of making music he was able to co-found GTPS independent label and a highly successful hip hop blog getthatpaperson.com. Brian then also created Sikey Clothing and co-founded GTPS printing. Eventually, he stepped away from music and made a name for himself in the world of viral videos and sketch comedy. Brian plans to continue making his mark on earth while empowering others through motivational and positive content. He has also recently started working to launch his own TV show called America’s Gone Viral with his partner in the endeavor Christine Curran the current host of Dining Divas. It will be the first ever viral competition show for content creators and it will be launched in 2020.
DATE OF BIRTH: October 28th, 1993.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @itschrisdiaz
Chris Diaz got his bachelor’s degree in 2016 and then got experience working sales for the most luxurious car dealership in Miami, FL and in a banking position at J.P Morgan Chase. He then saw the opportunity in the digital marketing space so he decided to invest into courses, mentors, books, and materials that would teach him how to grow his social presence. Chris then started his own agency, pursued his passion, and is now fulfilling his life’s purpose. Chris is a consultant, marketing expert, and CEO of Chris Diaz Agency. He is well known for his innate ability to revolutionize the way a brand is seen. He provides digital consulting for 6-7 figure entrepreneurs and elite businesses looking to grow their social presence and scale beyond their current standing. He also runs a 100M+ digital network filled with artists, entrepreneurs, athletes, influencers, and more which he leverages to drive more traffic to his clients businesses.
DATE OF BIRTH: April 8th, 1993.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @qbstew
Jason Stewart went to college as a potential football superstar. He thought football was the only way he was going to make it until he found entrepreneurship. For his first business he decided to blend the two things he loved most: faith and football. This gave birth to G2G (Glory 2 God). He would go on to design for Odell Beckham Jr, Von Miller, Larry Fitzgerald, Mark Ingram Jr, Lamar Jackson, and many others. After college, Jason was depressed with low hopes of working in what he wanted, instead working early morning or midnight shifts at his stocking shelf job. This changed when he decided to start Forex Trading. Fast forward two years later to Nov. 2019, he is one of the most talked about FX Traders in the world. Jason now has five businesses generating revenue monthly from his laptop.
DATE OF BIRTH: April 15th, 1994.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @Impact__Don
Donta Lewis grew up in the city of Philadelphia and did not come from a lot of money or wealth. After high school he was accepted and then attended and attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania but did not get any scholarships so was forced to pay school tuition out of pocket. He soon started to notice how the majority of his friends who were graduating were moving back home with family and were unemployed. This motivated him to drop out of school to save money and join the workforce full time. For two years he was in corporate America, until he started studying how to trade forex manually and started to struggle with it. Addressing those struggles, he created a company called iMPACT; an acronym for “I Make Profit a Common Thing”. Their goal is to connect people who are looking for opportunities to make additional income with proven innovative vehicles to do so! They now have 2,000 clients in over 40 countries and bring about 250K in sales monthly.
DATE OF BIRTH: September 8th, 1993.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @brand0ngr0ce
Brandon Groce is a college dropout out turned Designer & Digital Strategist. He uses Design & Social media to create sales funnels & gain massive attention for brands such as Adobe, Disney, Dannon, Hilton, and LG. Over the past year, Brandon Groce has focused on helping other creative entrepreneurs grow their personal brands and gain attention because great creatives deserve attention. Mr. Groce offers 1-on-1 and group coaching for creatives and individuals who want to build/grow a brand online and gain the attention their craft deserves. Brandon also runs his podcast Design Huddle with co-host Ryan Warrender.
-Miles Ambrose Bank
DATE OF BIRTH: June 29th, 2000.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @MilesBanks.ig
When Miles Bank was 11, he had a vision of building a parent friendly GPS mapping system for the iPhone. It was called I-Track. While the app was not an instant success, it did create the foundational knowledge on which his current company, Learn Elite, is built. As an 11 year old, Miles set up a partnership with a developer in China and worked through multiple iterations of a detailed design. Through this experience he gained an appreciation for having a vision, sharing that vision with a team and creating the detailed plans to bring that vision to life. Fast forward seven years and he is now the CEO of a company on the precipice of going nova. Within a short period of time, Learn Elite has begun its quest to transform how people educate themselves utilizing the knowledge and experience of elite educators, and their millions of followers to influence. They have developed courses with the likes of world renowned bodybuilders, and are extremely excited for their newest launch, the first ever TIK TOK educational platform, taught by TIK TOK SUPERSTAR, Trevor Bell. Miles’ mission is to shape a whole new learning experience to those who have rejected or doubt the value of traditional learning, and lead them on a new path.
DATE OF BIRTH: February 2nd, 1983.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @andrewgoligowski
Andrew Goligowski was a K9 handler in an Air Force Base in North Dakota. There he met his business partner Aaron Christensen. After serving in their duty locations, Andrew retired in 2013 when Aaron contacted him to work together in Aaron’s dad’s Automotive Repair business. Andrew had a degree in Business Science and soon after became the Chief Operations Officer of the Automotive Repair business in 2015. They soon after started Double Lincoln Enterprise so they could help people on many different levels other than automotive repair. They specialize in coaching and consulting people of all walks of life and business. They have a proven track record of being able to solve many personal and professional problems that people have. They have taken the skills that they have developed over their long history in the United States Military and in the private business sector and transformed them into Double Lincoln Enterprise.
DATE OF BIRTH: December 27th, 1983.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @aaron_christensen1
Aaron Christensen was an in-flight refuel (boom operator) on the KC-135 refueling aircraft stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota when he met his current business partner Andrew Goligoski. They both thought alike and always had a positive attitude, they discussed dreams of “making it” in their 20’s, and after they both served and retired, Aaron started working with his dad in the automotive repair business. Aaron and his brother soon bought the business from his parents and called Andrew to join him in this venture. After a while, they started specializing in coaching and consulting people of all walks of life and business through Double Lincoln Enterprise. Together have a proven track record of being able to solve many personal and professional problems that people have. Aaron also takes pride in Christensen Automotive abilities to give back to the communities through various donations.
DATE OF BIRTH: September 25th, 1983.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @kimorthomas
Kimo Thomas runs a very successful Credit Repair business and has helped hundreds across all 50 states improve their credit, he’s also focused on growing and mentoring Individuals in business and showing them how they too can start their own credit business. He also hosts weekly credit seminar, free of charge, in Brooklyn, NY, as well as in all New York districts where people can participate and be educated about the Power. The immigrant entrepreneur is the perfect example of what it means to work hard, persist, and never give up in the process.
DATE OF BIRTH: May 15th, 1997.
INSTAGRAM USERNAME: @thekenconklin
Ken Conklin founded his consulting company, Gravel to Castle Accelerator, at age 19. Since its creation the company has been recognized by Forbes and has served hundreds of clients (some worth up to $100M) in over a dozen industries. Ken’s expertise in turning 6 and 7 figure businesses into predictable and scalable selling machines by implementing a specific 7-step framework, has led to his massive success. Ken frequently speaks at events throughout the United States to teach audiences what they can do to grow their businesses quickly. Having seen what can happen when you simply focus on developing a skill set that others truly need rather than focusing on fitting into the traditional education system of just getting a degree because it’s what most people say you need, Ken feels it is his obligation to help set the tone for the next generation. Through his various online social channels, he puts out content that helps people build up their professional skill sets and create a system around to sell it to those who need their help.
About VIP Media Group
VIP Media Group is a hybrid PR agency. Their diverse client base include top class entrepreneurs, public figures, influencers, and celebrities.
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How Much Do Credit Repair Services Cost? – News Anyway
Post Views: 195
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.
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.
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.
How Long Will It Take to Fix My Credit Score? – News Anyway
Post Views: 195
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.
- 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.
How To Fix Credit Report Errors – Forbes Advisor
The coronavirus pandemic has been a mental and physical drain for Americans. And during this global crisis, many consumers faced the added stress of dealing with financial services companies that didn’t always follow the rules or were slow to move when the federal government suspended certain loan payments during the pandemic.
The CFPB’s annual consumer response report reveals that credit report inaccuracies more than doubled during the pandemic, signaling dissonance between the laws that were introduced to help consumers during the pandemic, and how servicers reported suspended payments to the credit bureaus.
And it sometimes left consumers to deal with the consequences on their own.
Pandemic Forbearance Periods Caused Credit Report Headaches
The CARES Act, passed in March 2020, gave legal protection to consumers by providing loan forbearance periods on federal student loans and federally-backed mortgages.
Under the act, consumers were given the option of not making payments on their loans without suffering any credit-related consequences, like late payments and delinquencies (both of which can decrease your credit scores by dozens of points). These lapsed payments were to be treated simply as payment suspensions—or, in some cases, still count as payments, such as under the PSLF program with federal student loans.
Although the federal government created these new guidelines to protect consumers from negative credit implications during the pandemic, some servicers were slow to implement new processes for how to properly report the suspended payments. Wells Fargo, for one, went as far as providing blanket forbearance; some customers saw their loans marked as negatively impacted by Covid-19 and their credit scores drop even though they didn’t request the forbearance and continued making payments.
Credit reports are the official record of your credit history and include a detailed look at loan balances, credit utilization and payment history. These reports are used by credit scoring companies and lenders to determine your credit scores, which is a number that may be used by lenders (along with your reports and other factors, like your debt-to-income ratio) to determine whether they should lend money to you, and at what cost.
Your credit may be important for other big life decisions, too. Landlords may access a version of your credit reports when deciding whether to rent an apartment to you. Some employers may check your credit before offering you a job.
Before the pandemic, the CFPB handled approximately 350,000 consumer complaints annually. In 2020, the bureau received more than 540,000 consumer complaints.
The CFPB report says that consumer credit reporting complaints increased a staggering 129% from the prior two years’ monthly average, for a 2020 average of more than 23,400 per month. Complaints specifically about credit report inaccuracies increased 147% from the prior two years’ monthly average.
The CFPB report also found that student loan borrowers and eligible mortgage borrowers both saw their credit scores drop during the pandemic, either for being automatically enrolled in forbearance without asking or for their continuing payments not being accurately counted during the forbearance period.
For consumers who opted into these forbearance programs but ended up with errors on their credit reports, inaccuracies like these could have a huge impact on their lives. In some cases, potential lenders view these marks negatively and may decline to lend to these consumers.
Some servicers, such as student loan servicers, corrected the inaccurate reporting on their own—but consumers should still review their credit reports to be sure.
Filing a dispute with a credit bureau can be a time-consuming task that doesn’t always guarantee having the error removed from a report. But when successful, doing so results in having the error removed, which can increase your credit scores.
The credit reporting industry refutes the CFPB report’s findings, stating they’re the product of third-party spam in the complaint portal.
“We do not believe the complaints in the CFPB database are an accurate reflection of consumers’ experiences with credit reporting agencies,” says Francis Creighton, president and CEO of the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), which represents the major credit reporting agencies, in a statement emailed to Forbes Advisor. “Over the last year, America’s credit reporting agencies have seen an increase in complaints submitted by organizations like credit repair companies. Many of these companies misrepresent their ability to help consumers through unfair, deceptive and abusive practices. They essentially spam the complaint portal, making it difficult to help consumers with legitimate problems.”
The CFPB report, however, addresses third-party abuse of the complaint portal, stating “The Bureau takes steps to identify third parties who may be misusing the Bureau’s complaint process and, when appropriate, discontinues processing future complaint submissions from those sources.”
The CDIA continues to dispute the CFPB’s report, though, saying the credit reporting bureaus have processes in place to determine whether something is a legitimate dispute, including systems to examine IP addresses, the ability to determine spoofed email addresses, measures of the volume of complaints coming from the same fax number or the use of identical form language.
How to Check Your Credit Reports
The CFPB report’s findings signal how important it is to be aware of what’s on your credit reports. Though millions took advantage of automatic payment suspensions, their credit reports could portray a much different reality—and cause serious harm to their financial wellbeing.
Pulling your credit report used to be a once per-year, per-credit bureau privilege, as mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). During the pandemic, however, consumers can now access their credit reports from the three main consumer credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—once a week. The free weekly pulls are available now through April 2022.
Though it might sound like a tedious and stressful process, obtaining your credit reports can be simple—if you know the correct information.
After heading to AnnualCreditReport.com, click “Request your credit reports.” You’ll then be directed to a new screen to fill out a form for one, two or all three of your credit reports. Each bureau requires its own request form/process.
You’ll need to provide information including your Social Security number, current address (and a previous address if you have not lived at your current address for two years or more), and then choose which report you wish to pull, if not all three. The credit bureaus will then ask questions about loans or credit accounts you may have opened to verify your identity.
You cannot access the report you viewed after closing your browser, so make sure you save it to your desktop.
Be sure to read each page carefully. An Equifax report, for example, breaks down credit history by revolving accounts (such as credit cards), then mortgage, installment and other types of accounts. You’ll want to review each account to make sure your payments have been recorded correctly and that accounts have not been closed without your consent.
It’s also important to take a close look at hard and soft inquiries: Soft inquiries occur when lenders review your credit report for preapproval, but they don’t affect your credit score (it’s also what a service like Credit Karma does when you check your scores and reports through its platform). Hard credit inquiries are the official check when you apply for credit, and usually drops your credit score a few points.
If you see something unfamiliar, it could be a sign that someone has obtained your personal information and is conducting fraudulent activity by opening accounts under your name.
No, Your Credit Scores Won’t Be on These Reports
The most important thing to keep in mind, though, is that you want your credit report to be completely accurate so your credit scores are accurate, too. A credit score is a rating of your creditworthiness, which is how lenders determine what type of loan terms you may qualify for.
While reviewing your credit reports, you might be flipping the pages wondering, Where is my credit score?
The answer is a bit counterintuitive: Your credit scores aren’t recorded on your credit report.
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are private companies that collect and maintain information about consumer credit. This information is then used by credit score modeling companies, such as VantageScore and FICO, to determine your credit scores. You can have multiple credit scores, and each company has their own way of calculating scores, so not all of your credit scores will be the same (although they typically use the same underlying information on your reports to calculate your scores).
Lenders may also have their own credit scoring models.
How to Fix Errors On Your Credit Reports
Errors relating to pandemic forbearance programs include incorrect recordings of missed payments or deferments, which can be found in each account section of a credit report. Some forbearance programs started as early as March 2020 and are still applicable, including federal student loan forbearance.
If you find an error on your credit report, get ready to roll up your sleeves: Errors can be tough to remove. The FCRA gives consumers the right to dispute incorrect or incomplete information on their credit reports, and requires bureaus to correct it.
The FCRA makes credit reporting companies and information providers responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information on a credit report. The Federal Trade Commission lists the steps consumers can take to correct credit report errors:
Write a dispute letter to the credit reporting company. Include the information you think is inaccurate on your credit report, such as a recording of a missed payment during the forbearance period. This information will be found on your credit report under the payments section for the specific loan or credit account. The FTC provides a sample dispute letter template here and advises consumers to include copies of any documents that support your dispute, while also explaining why you dispute the information and explicitly request that it be corrected.
Be sure to send this letter by certified mail with a return receipt requested so you know exactly when the credit reporting company received it. All three of the major credit bureaus also have online options to file credit report disputes, and third party credit monitoring apps including Credit Karma sometimes allow you to file disputes directly through their platform.
The credit bureau must investigate the items in question, usually within 30 days, unless it considers your dispute to be “frivolous”—meaning it’s not a serious or real dispute. The credit bureau is also required to forward your information about the inaccuracy to the organization that provided it, such as a credit card company or loan servicer. If that organization finds the disputed information is in fact incorrect, it must notify all three bureaus so they can fix the information in your credit report.
Obtain results from the credit bureaus investigation. Credit bureaus are required to give you the results of their investigation in writing, as well as a free copy of your credit report(s) if your dispute results in a change.
Request notices of correction. If your dispute is successful and a change to your credit report is made, you can request the credit reporting company to send notices of any corrections to anyone who received your credit report in the past six months. You can also request a corrected copy be sent to anyone who received a copy during the past two years for employment purposes.
Request a statement of the dispute be included in your file and future report. If your dispute is unsuccessful, meaning the credit reporting company doesn’t resolve the error, then you should request a statement of dispute to be included in your file and future reports. This statement will indicate that you do not agree with the recorded information and you made an attempt to have it removed from your report.
Write a dispute letter to the information provider. In addition to the steps listed above, be sure to inform the information provider (such as a credit card company or loan servicer) that you’re disputing incorrect information on your credit report. Use the same sample letter as the one used to inform the credit reporting companies. The process of investigation will be the same, and the information provider will have to inform the credit reporting company of your dispute if it’s found to be correct, and it will also be required to tell the credit reporting company to update or delete the inaccurate item.
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