• Things That Hurt Your Credit Score

    Many factors can reflect poorly on your credit trustworthiness, including at least one that is not your fault: identity theft. Identity thieves can open new accounts in your name, accrue significant debt, and, of course, fail to pay back these debts. Since it can be difficult to fix your credit score by yourself, it is advisable to seek counsel from a credit lawyer in Fairfax if you have been the victim of identity theft. A credit lawyer at a consumer credit law firm can advise you and help you restore your credit history.

    Aside from identity theft, there are four main things that can adversely affect your credit score. You can hear about them by watching this video, which features a personal finance reporter. She explains the two most significant problems for a person’s credit score and debunks a common myth regarding closing your credit card accounts.

  • Why You Cannot Trust the Results of a Furnisher Investigation

    Your credit report rights include the right to dispute erroneous information in your credit reports. Unfortunately, it is not likely that the problem will be corrected in a timely manner and quite often, erroneous information is not corrected at all. This is why so many consumers turn to a credit lawyer for guidance. At a consumer credit law firm near Fairfax, a credit lawyer can explain why the results of the furnisher investigation may not necessarily be accurate.

    The furnisher is any entity who supplies information to a credit reporting agency, such as Experian. When a credit reporting agency notifies a furnisher that its information is being disputed, the furnisher is required by law to conduct a reasonable investigation. Unfortunately, furnishers can consider a reasonable investigation to be one that can take as few as 60 seconds. Furnishers then submit electronic responses to the credit reporting agencies. Even when the investigation takes longer than one minute, it is unlikely to result in a favorable outcome for the consumer, since some furnishers do not allocate sufficient resources or training initiatives for the purpose of conducting investigations.

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  • What to Do When Debt Collectors Call About Money You Do Not Owe

    You are protected from abusive debt collection practices and related inaccurate credit report items under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act in Fairfax. Unfortunately, this does not mean that you are guaranteed to never become the target of these abusive debt collectors. It is important to fully understand your debt collection and credit report rights and how you can best exercise these rights. For help, you can rely on a credit lawyer.

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    Do Not Pay A Debt That You Do Not Owe

    Credit lawyers strongly advise clients against paying a debt that they do not owe. If you are not sure whether you owe the debt, you should request documentation of the amount that you owe, who was the original creditor, and how the debt collector determined the amount owed. Paying a debt that is not yours makes it difficult to dispute at a later date that the account should not be on your credit file because your payment can be inferred as an admission that the debt is yours.

    Request Proof

    By law, a debt collector is required to tell you the name of the creditor, amount of the debt, and how you can dispute the debt or request verification. Within 30 days of being contacted, you should send a letter to the debt collection agency requesting that the agency validate the debt. Make sure to date and sign the letter, and make a copy for your records before mailing it with a return receipt requested. Keep the receipt for your records. Debt collectors are required to cease collections activities until they fully address your verification request.

    Review Your Credit Report

    After requesting proof of the debt, you should obtain all three of your credit reports. Check for signs of fraudulent activity, such as accounts that you did not open or loan applications that you did not initiate. If you find any erroneous information, you should file a credit report dispute promptly. You might also contact a credit lawyer for help clearing your name if you have been the victim of identity theft.

    File a Complaint

    There are many circumstances in which it may be wise to file a complaint with the help of your credit lawyer. You can file a complaint if the debt collector fails to validate the debt, yet continues its collections activities against you. You could also file a complaint if the debt collector uses abusive language, makes false threats, discloses your personal financial information to third parties, or otherwise violates your rights.

  • Get a Better Understanding of Your Credit Score

    Your credit score is integral to your financial health. It can persuade lenders to extend a loan or line of credit, and it can influence the rate you receive. There are many different credit scores sold to consumers, and those scores can differ in scoring models from the scores used by a lender who is underwriting a loan. The best path to a higher credit score is to review a copy of your credit file for inaccurate items. You do not need to pay for your credit score from a credit reporting agency to obtain a copy of your credit file. If you find an inaccuracy, your credit reporting rights include the right to file a credit report dispute in the Fairfax area. A credit lawyer can discuss with you the nature of the dispute that you need to make with the credit reporting agencies, which can ultimately boost your credit score if the inaccurate item is removed. If the inaccurate item remains on your credit report, the credit report lawyer can assist you in taking legal action.

    When you watch this video, you will learn more about your credit score with the help of Leslie and Andy, two fictional characters who earn the same salary. Leslie is financially responsible and never misses a payment, whereas Andy lives beyond his means and does miss payments from time to time. As you might expect, Leslie will get a better rate from lenders than Andy. However, both of these characters could benefit from consulting a credit lawyer if their credit scores are affected by errors.

  • Defining Good Credit Scores

    With credit scores, a high number is desirable. If your credit score is less than 720, you can expect to pay more in interest over the life of the loan. Or, you may not be approved for a loan at all. It is advisable to check your credit reports and your scores before applying for a loan. If your credit reports contain errors, you may need to contact a credit lawyer who can serve as your consumer advocate. A credit lawyer in Fairfax can help you successfully dispute the erroneous information to restore your credit history.

    Consult your credit lawyer for information about credit report disputes or watch this brief video for further guidance on credit score ranges. These credit experts discuss some of the factors that can affect the minimum credit score needed for a loan.

  • Steps to Take to Correct a Credit Report Error

    Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act you have the right to request a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus once every 12 months. The annual reports are free of charge. Reviewing one of your free credit reports every three or four months allows you to quickly detect any erroneous information that may adversely affect your credit score and your ability to obtain lines of credit. If you do find an error, you can contact a credit report lawyer in Fairfax to assist you with any inaccurate credit report items.

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    Submitting a Credit Report Dispute Letter

    Your credit lawyer can review your credit report dispute letter that you intend to send to the credit bureaus. The dispute letter should clearly identify the erroneous information and concisely explain why it is inaccurate. It should state that the inaccurate information should be removed or corrected. A credit report attorney will recommend that the dispute letter is accompanied by all necessary documentation to support your claim. For example, it may be a good idea to enclose copies of your credit report, account statements, or receipts. Do not send original documents. Your credit lawyer will advise you to mail the dispute letter via certified mail, return receipt requested. Be sure to sign your dispute letter and keep a copy of the dispute letter for your records.

    Contacting the Furnisher

    The furnisher is the creditor or other entity that reported the erroneous information to the credit reporting bureau. You may submit a similar dispute letter to the furnisher with copies of your credit report and supporting documents, but do not fail to send a notice of dispute to the credit reporting agencies as you need to notify them to protect all of your rights.

    Receiving Written Notices

    Credit reporting bureaus are required to investigate disputes within a reasonable time period. Usually, this is 30 days. Likewise, the furnisher must investigate the dispute and report its findings to the credit bureau. Sometimes credit reporting agencies send consumers a letter stating that a credit dispute is frivolous, suspicious, or irrelevant. If you receive a letter like that after initiating a credit dispute, you should contact a credit report lawyer immediately. After investigating the information, the credit reporting agency will send you written notice regarding its findings.

  • What Happens When Credit Reports Are Merged?

    There are many different types of credit report errors that can adversely affect your credit history and score. It is not uncommon for a credit report lawyer to discover that a client’s credit report contains information from another person’s file. Occasionally, two separate files may become an inaccurate mixed credit file. This is a serious problem that often requires the intervention of a credit report lawyer.

    When your credit report is mixed up with that of another person, it is possible that your credit score will be reduced. The other person’s file may contain a history of late payments, defaulted accounts, collection actions, and other information that may jeopardize your own credit score. This can create problems when you need to take out a line of credit, purchase a new car, or become qualified for a mortgage. The most effective way to deal with this problem is to seek the counsel of a credit report lawyer who is well-versed in consumer rights. A Fair Credit Reporting Act law firm can protect your financial interests and your good name.

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  • What Goes Into a Credit Dispute Letter?

    It is advisable to check your credit reports regularly and to promptly submit a credit report dispute near Fairfax if you detect any errors. You have the right to consult a credit report lawyer for Fair Credit Reporting Act guidance. One common mistake people make when submitting a credit report dispute is failing to sign the document. Always sign the letter and type your name below your signature. Make sure to include all documents supporting your dispute as to why you have an inaccurate credit report in Fairfax. Additionally, send the letter via certified mail with a return receipt request.

    For more information on writing a credit report dispute letter, watch this video or consult your credit lawyer. This video discusses which information you should include, such as the contact information of the creditor associated with the error. It also provides a sample statement for describing erroneous information.

  • Understanding the Role of Credit Reporting Agencies

    Credit reporting agencies assemble information about consumer credit histories and evaluate that information on behalf of third parties. Banks, landlords, and other creditors supply information about financial behavior – such as payment histories – to credit reporting agencies. They also may request information about consumers’ histories with other creditors when they are making decisions about extending credit. If you have errors on your credit report, your credit report attorney near Ashburn will dispute that information with the credit reporting agency that is reporting it.

    Credit reporting agencies track an extremely large amount of information, and mistakes are common. However, they can also be reluctant to fix errors, which is why having a credit report lawyer on your side is so important. Your credit report attorney has knowledge of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and can insist on fair and fast corrections of your credit history. If your credit report has merged files, incorrect information, or outdated debts, let a credit report lawyer challenge the reporting agencies on your behalf.

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  • Cleaning Up Your Credit Score for a Mortgage

    If you are thinking about buying a home, one of the first factors to consider is whether your credit score is adequate. You should regularly request copies of your credit history to keep an eye on your score. As a credit report lawyer in Ashburn can explain to you, you are entitled to receive one free copy of each of your credit reports every 12 months under consumer law. Your credit lawyer will advise you to carefully review each report to see if there are any errors that might be adversely affecting your score. If so, a credit report lawyer at a consumer protection law firm can help you correct these errors.

    You can also use your credit reports to find ways of improving your score, such as paying off old accounts. Watch this video to discover how high of a credit score you may need to obtain a mortgage. This financial advisor explains that the ideal range can vary depending on the type of lender and the amount of the loan.