<![CDATA[Fix your credit scores here! - Blog]]>Wed, 03 Jul 2024 20:34:02 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[June 11th, 2023]]>Sun, 11 Jun 2023 22:32:32 GMThttps://750ispossible.com/blog/what-to-do-if-a-debt-collector-sues-youWhat To Do if a Debt Collector Sues You
If a debt collector files a lawsuit against you to collect a debt, it’s important to respond — either yourself or through an attorney. And remember, you have rights when it comes to dealing with debt collectors. Here are answers to some common question you might have about the process.How Should I Respond To a Debt Collection Lawsuit?Getting sued can be stressful, and many people don’t know where to start. The most important thing is to respond. That might mean writing a response and showing up to court, by any deadline listed in the court papers, regardless of whether you think you owe the debt or not.
By responding to the lawsuit, either yourself or through an attorney, you can make sure the collector has to prove that you owe the debt, that the amount of the debt is correct, and the debt collector has the legal right to sue you to collect on it. You may even be able to resolve the debt by responding or showing up in court because some collectors would rather settle than go through extended litigation.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore the lawsuit. Even if you don’t think you owe that debt. Responding to a debt collector’s lawsuit in court will likely put you in a better situation, cost you less in fees, and give you more control over how you repay the debt.
Here are the main steps to take if you get sued by a debt collector:
  1. Answer the lawsuit, which you may have to do in writing or by showing up to court — or both. The papers that say the debt collector is suing you will tell you what to do.
  1. Look over your records about the debt and any information you may have gotten from the collector, including the validation information that debt collectors must send you.
  1. Spot any issues with the lawsuit. It’s the collector’s responsibility to prove the lawsuit claims. They must prove that you’re the person who owes the debt, the debt amount is accurate, including any interest or fees, and you owe the debt to them and not to someone else. If the debt is old, make sure the time for the collector to sue hasn’t already expired.
What Happens If I Don’t Respond?Ignoring the legal notices and papers won’t make the lawsuit go away. And despite what you may have seen in TV shows, you can’t stop things by refusing to accept delivery or “service” of the lawsuit. In fact, the case can go ahead without you. That means the court can rule without hearing your side and the debt collector could win by “default” because you didn’t show up.
If the court rules against you and orders you to pay the debt, the debt collector may be able to garnish — or take money from — your wages or bank account, or put a lien on property, like your home. The debt collector can also ask the court to award them additional money for collection costs, interest, and even attorney’s fees. A judgment will likely show up on your credit report and might make it harder to get credit in the future. That can affect whether you get a job, insurance, a phone, or a home.
Where Can I Get Help?Going to court can feel overwhelming to do alone. But there are options to get legal help, including
Where Do I Report a Debt Collector for Breaking the Law?Debt collectors must follow the law when contacting you about a debt. Report any problems you have with a debt collector to
Many states have their own debt collection laws that are different from the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Your attorney general’s office can help you figure out your rights under your state’s law.
If a debt collector breaks the law, you have one year from that date to sue that collector in a state or federal court. You can sue for damages that happened because the collector broke the law — expenses like lost wages or medical bills, or compensation for the effect the debt collector’s actions had on your job or your health.
But even if a court finds a debt collector violated the law in trying to collect a legitimate debt, you may still owe the debt.

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<![CDATA[Rent Reporting to boost your scores!]]>Sun, 07 May 2023 22:17:40 GMThttps://750ispossible.com/blog/rent-reporting-to-boost-your-scoresHow to Report Your Rent to Credit Bureaus
Rent-reporting services can get payments added to your credit reports, which may help build credit.

A lot of people who don’t have much of a credit history do have a history of paying rent on time. But that information doesn't show up on their credit reports and doesn't help their credit scores.
You can’t report rent payments yourself. But rent-reporting services can get your credit reports to reflect your rent payments fairly easily, although the cost can depend on the service — some are free and some cost renters or landlords a fee.
To use a rent-reporting service effectively, you’ll need to know which credit bureaus it will report your payments to — and which credit scores take those payments into account.
It's important to understand that this may not be the most cost-effective way for you to build your credit with all three credit bureaus, and there are alternatives.
Do rent payments affect credit?All three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — will include rent payment information in credit reports if they receive it.
Credit reports, in turn, provide the data that goes into your credit scores. The two major credit scoring companies, FICO and VantageScore, vary in how they handle rent payment information:
  • Some commonly used versions of the FICO score don’t use rental payment information in calculating scores.
  • Newer versions of FICO, such as the FICO 9 and FICO 10, do consider rental information if it is in your credit report.
    VantageScore also considers rent payment information. 
Which services will report your rent payments?There are several ways to get records of your rent payments in front of lenders.
Positive Rent Payment pilot programFannie Mae launched a pilot program in September 2022 with the goal of helping renters build their credit history and grow their credit scores. The Positive Rent Payment program links Fannie Mae-financed owners of multifamily properties with three vendors — Esusu, Jetty and Rent Dynamics — to allow landlords to report tenants' on-time rent payments to credit bureaus for one year. Fannie Mae will reimburse the vendors, and no costs will passed along to renters.
Fannie Mae says it hopes that rent reporting will motivate more on-time payments, help renters find housing in a wider range of neighborhoods, and possibly reduce the amount they’ll have to put down as a security deposit on future rentals.
The focus of this program is on Black and Latino communities, which are disproportionately represented among those with little or no credit profile.
Free services
  • Piñata: The service is free to renters, no matter their landlord. It reports to TransUnion. If your landlord signs up for a specific partnership with Piñata, your rent payments can be reported to all three bureaus.
Services that charge rentersYour landlord may need to verify your rent payments; some services may not be able to report your payments if your landlord won’t verify.
  • Rent Reporters: There is a one-time enrollment fee of $94.95, which includes up to two years of reported rental payments. From there, you can enroll in a monthly plan ($9.95 per month) or an annual plan ($7.95 per month). Rent Reporters reports to TransUnion and Equifax.
  • Rental Kharma: Initial setup is $50, and the service is $8.95 per month. Reports include all past history at your current address. You can include your roommate or spouse for a $25 one-time fee and an extra $5 per month. Rental Kharma reports to TransUnion and Equifax.
  • LevelCredit: Previously known as RentTrack, LevelCredit charges a $6.95 monthly fee to have your rent, cell phone and utility payments reported to the credit bureaus. Rent is reported to all three bureaus, while utility payments are reported to TransUnion only. A look-back of up to 24 months is available on your current lease for a one-time fee of $49.95.
  • Rock the Score: There is an enrollment fee of $48, and ongoing service costs $6.95 per month. There is a $65 fee for reporting up to two years of rental history. Rock the Score reports to TransUnion and Equifax.
  • CreditMyRent: This service charges a monthly fee of $14.95, with no setup fee. There are additional charges if you want past rent reported. CreditMyRent reports to TransUnion and Equifax.
  • PaymentReport: A $49 setup fee gets you two years of rental history reported to Equifax and TransUnion. Ongoing reporting is free for the flat-rate plan, and you can add a roommate or spouse for free. Ongoing reporting for monthly plans costs $2.95 a month, but there is no setup fee. (PaymentReport also has a version offered through landlords that requires electronic rent payments.)
  • Boom: For an enrollment fee of $10 and a monthly fee of $2, users can get their rent reported to all three credit bureaus. For a one-time payment of $25, users can also get up to 2 years of past rental payment history reported.
Services paid for by landlordsWhile the services listed above can be initiated by renters regardless of where they live, the following rent reporting services are available only if landlords or property managers opt into the services. Sometimes, renters are even automatically enrolled when they sign their lease, and these services are typically free to renters.
  • ClearNow: This service debits your rent from your checking or savings account. There’s no cost to you as a tenant, but your landlord must be signed up. If you opt in, payments are reported to Experian.
  • PayYourRent: Fees are typically paid by management. PayYourRent reports to all three credit bureaus. Residents can opt in or out at anytime.
  • Esusu: This service reports your rental payments to all three major credit bureaus. It’s free to you as a renter if your landlord has a service agreement and if you’re not part of the Positive Rent Payment program. Esusu sends an enrollment email to renters to initiate the set-up.
  • Jetty Credit: Also part of Fannie Mae's pilot program, Jetty is free to renters who live at participating properties. Jetty reports rental payments to all three credit bureaus, and tenants are automatically enrolled.
  • Bilt Rewards: This program lets renters at participating Bilt Alliance properties earn rewards by reporting their rent through the app for free. This service is optional, and renters should receive an invitation when they move in. Renters who do not live in one of these properties can still earn by using the Bilt Mastercard. Renters can earn points to go toward future rent payments or can transfer points to airlines and hotels. Benefits accrue based on tier status, ranging from blue to platinum. The service reports rent to the three major bureaus.
  • Rent Dynamics: A service aimed at multifamily landlords and property owners that is part of the Positive Rent Payment pilot program. It reports on-time paid utility bills to all three credit bureaus and can retrieve up to 24 months of payment history. Renters should contact their landlord for information about enrollment.
How to choose a rent-reporting serviceFirst, check to see if your property manager already works with a service. If not, here are questions you should ask rent-reporting service providers before choosing one:
  • What would my total costs be for a year of service, including any setup fees or fees for reporting rental history? (Some services can go back as far as 24 months.)
  • How do you protect my personal data?
  • Which of the major credit bureaus do you report to? (All three is ideal.)
  • Do you provide free access to credit scores, and if so, which score(s)?
  • How soon should I expect the information to appear on my credit report?
  • How can I cancel the service?
  • What happens if I have a dispute with my landlord or break my lease? In some states, renters have a right to withhold payment if the landlord fails to keep the unit repaired and habitable. Find out whether rent withheld during a dispute is reported as nonpayment or a negative mark.

Know how your credit is scored
See your free score and the factors that influence it, plus insights into ways to keep building.

GET STARTEDDoes paying rent build credit?Simply paying your rent will not help you build credit. But reporting your rent payments can help you build credit — especially if you are new to credit or do not have a lot of experience using it.
Having rental payment information in your credit report can be useful if you rent again in the future. Landlords prefer tenants who can show a history of paying on time.
But other strategies to build credit are more efficient than rent reporting because they influence all types of credit scores and usually report to all three credit bureaus. They also can cost less or, in the case of being an authorized user, nothing at all.
  • You can become an authorized user on someone’s else credit card and benefit from their good credit history.
  • You can get a secured credit card, which requires a deposit; the deposit often serves as your credit limit.
  • You can get a credit-builder loan at many credit unions or community banks. Your loan payments are reported to the bureaus, and you get access to the funds only after you have paid the loan off.
<![CDATA[Understand where credit scores come from.]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2023 05:45:44 GMThttps://750ispossible.com/blog/understand-where-credit-scores-come-fromIf you are going to improve your credit score, then logic has it that you must understand what your credit score is and how it works.  Without this information, you won’t be able to very effectively improve your score because you won’t understand how the things you do in daily life affect your score.  

If you don’t understand how your credit score works, you will also be at the mercy of any company that tries to tell you how you can improve your score - on their terms and at their price.

In general, your credit score is a number that lets lenders know how much of a credit risk you are.  The credit score is a number, usually between 300 and 850, that lets lenders know how well you are paying off your debts and how much of a credit risk you are.  

In general, the higher your credit score, the better credit risk you make and the more likely you are to be given credit at great rates.  Scores in the low 600s and below will often give you trouble in finding credit, while scores of 720 and above will generally give you the best interest rates out there.  However, credit scores are a lot like GPAs or SAT scores from college days - while they give others a quick snapshot of how you are doing, they are interpreted by people in different ways.  Some lenders put more emphasis on credit scores than others.  

Some lenders will work with you if you have credit scores in the 600s, while others offer their best rates only to those creditors with very high scores indeed. Some lenders will look at your entire credit report while others will accept or reject your loan application based solely on your credit score.

The credit score is based on your credit report, which contains a history of your past debts and repayments. Credit bureaus use computers and mathematical calculations to arrive at a credit score from the information contained in your credit report.  

Each credit bureau uses different methods to do this (which is why you will have different scores with different companies) but most credit bureaus use the FICO system. FICO is an acronym for the credit score calculating software offered by Fair Isaac Corporation company.  This is by far the most used software since the Fair Isaac Corporation developed the credit score model used by many in the financial industry and is still considered one of the leaders in the field. 

In fact, credit scores are sometimes called FICO scores or FICO ratings, although it is important to understand that your score may be tabulated using different software.

One other thing you may want to understand about the software and mathematics that goes into your credit score is the fact that the math used by the software is based on research and comparative mathematics.  This is an important and simple concept that can help you understand how to boost your credit score.  In simple terms, what this means is that your credit score is in a way calculated on the same principles as your insurance premiums.  

Your insurance company likely asks you questions about your health, your lifestyle choices (such as whether you are a smoker) because these bits of information can tell the insurance company how much of a risk you are and how likely you are to make large claims later on.  This is based on research.  

Studies have shown, for example, that smokers tend to be more prone to serious illnesses and so require more medical attention.  If you are a smoker, you may face higher insurance premiums because of this.  

Similarly, credit bureaus and lenders often look at general patterns.  Since people with too many debts tend not to have great rates of repayment, your credit score may suffer if you have too many debts, for example.  Understanding this can help you in two ways:

1) It will let you see that your credit score is not a personal reflection of how “good” or “bad” you are with money.  Rather, it is a reflection of how well lenders and companies think you will repay your bills - based on information gathered from studying other people.

2) It will let you see that if you want to improve your credit score, you need to work on becoming the sort of debtor that studies have shown tends to repay their bills.  You do not have to work hard to reinvent yourself financially and you do not have to start making much more money.  You just need to be a reliable lender.  This realization alone should help make credit repair far less stressful!     

Credit reports are put together by credit bureaus, which use information from client companies. It works like this: credit bureaus have clients - such as credit card companies and utility companies, to name just two - who provide them with information.  

Once a file is begun on you (i.e. once you open a bank account or have bills to pay) then information about you is stored on the record.  If you are late paying a bill, the clients call the credit bureaus and note this.  Any unpaid bills, overdue bills or other problems with credit count as “dings” on your credit report and affect your score.  

Information such as what type of debt you have, how much debt you have, how regularly you pay your bills on time, and your credit accounts are all information that is used to calculate your credit score.  

Your age, sex, and income do not count towards your credit score.  The actual formula used by credit bureaus to calculate credit scores is a well-kept secret, but it is known that recent account activity, debts, length of credit, unpaid accounts, and types of credit are among the things that count the most in tabulating credit scores from a credit report.

If you would like a no commitment evaluation to see how your credit report is looking, Please reach out!
Email: Credit@750ispossible.com
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