Credit Repair

How often should you check your credit score?

How Often Should You Check Your Credit Report?

By | Credit Repair

Your credit report is a useful tool that helps you understand what financial information is impacting your credit score. On top of that, you can also use it to detect any fraudulent activity, such as accounts in your name that you never opened or excessive balances on existing cards that aren’t from you.

While there’s no need to worry about your credit report every single day, you can impose multiple checkpoints throughout the year to make sure you’re adequately tracking your credit for your financial needs and for your identity protection. Follow these simple tips for staying on top of your credit with regular credit report checks.

Annual Credit Check-up

If you’re wondering how often you should check your credit report, the bare minimum is once every year. The three major credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, and they are required by federal law to provide you with one free credit report each year. This gives you the opportunity to review all your account information. During your annual check-up, make sure your balances are all accurate. Also, make sure there aren’t any new loans or credit cards that you never opened.

It’s also smart to ensure any negative information that’s listed is correct. Make sure any late payments are actually true. They should automatically drop off after seven years. If you see anything older than that, you can dispute the entry with the relevant credit bureau.

Other Times to Check Your Credit Report

In addition to checking your credit report on an annual basis, you may also want to give it a thorough once-over in a few other situations. They may not be common in your life and are often associated with major life events. Check out these situations so you can perform a credit report check at the right times.

Applying for New Credit

Your credit report influences your credit score, which in turn affects whether you’ll be approved for new credit. It also impacts the interest rate you’ll receive, so if something is incorrect on your credit report, you could inadvertently pay more interest for new credit you get.

Something as simple as getting a credit card is worth checking your credit report, especially if you plan on carrying a balance. More importantly, however, is when you’re applying for a large loan, such as a mortgage or auto loan. These are typically longer-lasting balances, so you want to make sure your credit report is as strong as possible to avoid getting denied or carrying high-interest balances for years to come.

Searching for a New Job or Apartment

It may surprise you, but your credit report may be pulled by potential employers or landlords when you apply for a job or rental property. New employers likely want to know that you can handle responsibilities, especially if you work in a finance-related industry or handle money in some way. Landlords, on the other hand, want to feel confident that you’ll pay your rent each month. If you have a lot of late payments on your credit report, they may not want to approve your rental application.

Checking your credit report ahead of time not only lets you ensure its accuracy but also lets you see what your new employer or landlord will see. If there is an extenuating circumstance surrounding some of the entries on there, you can write a letter of explanation. This helps them view you as more than a number and can improve your chances if you have negative information on your credit report.

How to Check Your Credit Report

You can get a free copy of your credit report from once a year. You can either get all three of the reports at the same time, or you can request to only get one of the reports at a time. This is a good option if you want to stagger the reports throughout the year if you’re on a budget.

If you need to monitor your credit reports more frequently, then you’ll have to pay. Each credit bureau offers different payment plans, where you can either enroll for monthly updates or just pay to check your report a single time.

If you’re just interested in a single report, the cost is:

  • TransUnion: $9.95
  • Equifax: $15.95
  • Experian: $14.95

Get Professional Credit Repair Help!

Not sure how to get those inaccurate entries removed from your credit report? Ovation Credit can help. Sign up for a free consultation today and find out how we can help you improve your credit score.

Are you looking to boost your credit score? Make sure you have these three accounts open first.

3 Types of Accounts You Need to Boost Your Credit Score

By | Credit Repair, Credit Reports, Credit Scores

Maintaining a solid credit score isn’t just about making on-time payments and keeping a low debt utilization ratio. Although these are two of the main criteria that credit agencies use in their formulas, they aren’t the only ways to improve credit scores. The major credit agencies also review the diversity of the accounts you have on your report—and that counts for 10% of the formula they use to determine your creditworthiness. Basically, they want to see that you have experience managing a variety of loans and accounts, such as a mortgage, a credit card, and an auto loan. People with the highest credit scores tend to boast a diverse mixture of accounts. Keep in mind that there is no magical set amount of accounts that will work for everyone, and the best blend for you will depend on your unique financial situation. Generally, you want to have at least three different types of accounts on your report. Here are three accounts that can help you improve your credit score.

Installment Loans

When you take out a significant loan for a large-scale expense, such as a home or a car, that’s known as an installment loan. You’ll generally agree to a fixed amount up front and then pay the same amount every month, with a certain amount earmarked for interest and the rest going toward the principal balance on the loan. Examples of these include a home mortgage, car loan, student loan, or home equity loan.

Why they help: Installment loans are an excellent way to boost your credit history. With a history of on time, regular payments, you’ll show potential lenders that you can handle larger loans.

Revolving Credit

As opposed to installment loans, you do not have a set payment schedule with revolving credit. Two common types of revolving credit are credit cards and lines of credit from a bank or credit union. Although you have a limit that dictates how much you can borrow—and minimum guidelines for monthly payments—it’s up to you to decide how much you want to pay. (Debit cards are not considered revolving credit, as they are treated like cash and therefore do not get reported to the credit bureaus.)

Why they help: As with installment loans, these types of accounts give your credit score a boost when you build a history of timely payments. However, moderation is key here. Lenders don’t want to see numerous credit cards open with several significant balances, which could indicate you’re overextended and in financial trouble. Revolving credit tends to be the area that causes the most trouble for consumers, but when used appropriately can be essential to establishing a solid credit record.

Open Credit

You pay your water and electricity bill each month, which typically varies depending on your usage. These examples, as well as other utilities such as sewer and phone bills, are what agencies consider open credit. The amount you pay is different from month to month, but you’re always expected to pay in full. These types of accounts are basically a cross between revolving credit and installment loans.

Why they help: You won’t see any difference in your credit score if you make these payments on time every month. However, missed payments will almost certainly appear on your credit report if you’re delinquent for 30 days or more. That’s why you should always make it a priority to budget for these bills first.

The Bottom Line on Improving Your Credit

It does help to have variety in your accounts. You’ll be proving to potential lenders that you’re able to responsibly manage several different kinds of accounts, making your credit risk fairly low. However, experts caution against opening up new accounts just to achieve that perfect mixture—especially if they come with high fees or you don’t intend on using them. Paying your bills on time and being mindful of your spending habits will go a long way toward improving your credit score as well.

When you’re trying to build up, fix, or repair your credit, it’s best to focus on only a couple of different accounts. Then, once you’ve established a solid payment history, you might consider a low-interest personal loan, or a CD-secured loan, to add some variety to your credit mix.

The factors that determine your credit score can be confusing to even the savviest consumers. If your credit report could use a tune-up, contact us for a free consultation. The professionals at Ovation Credit are here to help guide you through the process of repairing or building up a positive credit history, as well as complex issues like credit errors and credit disputes.

How does rate shopping impact our credit score? Don't be confused. Find out how.

How Rate Shopping Impacts Your Credit Score

By | Credit Repair

There can be quite a bit of confusion surrounding how shopping for loan or credit card rates actually impacts your credit score. In reality, the effect depends on what type of credit you’re applying for and what kind of scoring model is being used to determine your credit score. It may seem complicated, but it’s actually quite easy to create a smart strategy that preserves your credit while you search for the best deal for your next loan or credit score.

Ready to learn more? Keep reading to find out how to effectively rate shop for any type of credit.

How Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score

In general, an inquiry on your credit report from a lender or credit card company causes a dip in your credit score. In most cases, it should only take away somewhere between 5 and 10 points. Since new credit only accounts for 10% of your overall FICO score, it won’t have a huge impact overall. The problem comes in when you continuously apply for financing, particularly on revolving credit platforms such as credit cards. Applying for certain types of installment loans may not have such an enormous impact. Here’s why.

You actually get a bit of a credit grace period when you apply for installment loans such as a mortgage, student loan, or auto loan. These inquiries are ignored for the first 30 days that they appear on your credit report. As you’re applying for a major loan, the inquiries shouldn’t impact your score at all, even marginally, if you complete the loan application process within that period.

Unfortunately, you don’t receive this luxury when applying for credit cards. As soon as those inquiries are received by the credit bureaus, they’ll be listed on your report and start affecting your score. Whether you’re applying for credit cards because you need access to emergency funds or because you’re playing the rewards points game, be wary of the damage you may be doing to your credit score. You may be setting yourself up to require some major credit repair in the future.

How to Check Rates Without Hurting Your Credit

There are a couple of different ways you can check your rates without hurting your credit at all, which can save you a headache when it comes to fixing your credit. Just as you have a 30-day window to apply for an installment loan, the FICO scoring model now also offers you a way to rate shop as much as you want — within a few parameters, of course.

The biggest benefit is that any inquiries within the same loan type are counted as a single inquiry if the credit check is performed within a set period of time. The period you’re eligible for depends on the scoring model used by the organization pulling your credit score. For older FICO models, the grace period for lumping together inquiries is just two weeks. In new models, however, the grace period is a full 45 days. That can be extremely helpful if you’re house hunting over time or searching for a specific car to buy.

If you’re applying for a personal loan or credit card, you may still be able to check your offer terms without doing damage to your credit. Oftentimes, creditors allow for a preapproval using just a soft pull on your credit. Those don’t have any effect on your credit score, so it may be worth considering a preapproval before filling out a complete application for new credit.

What to Do About Unauthorized Inquiry Credit Errors

Unfortunately, not all creditors in the world are honest and act with your best interests at heart. This fact is evident by the potential for having unauthorized credit inquiries listed on your credit report. Be sure to monitor your report for credit errors such as these. If you see one or more entries for credit offers that you never requested yourself, it’s time to initiate a credit dispute. Your credit could be unfairly damaged through no fault of your own — and you may not even realize it.

You can initiate this process yourself by contacting the credit bureaus. Alternatively, you could hire a credit repair professional to review your entire credit report for you and execute the credit dispute process on your behalf. At Ovation Credit, we offer a free consultation to help you decide how to repair your credit. It’s a fast and easy way to determine whether or not you could benefit from a team of credit repair professionals.

Ovation Credit Services can help your repair your credit and maintain a good credit report.

5 Ways Credit Repair Can Help You Now

By | Credit Repair

If you’re dealing with debt problems, you aren’t alone. According to a 2018 report from WalletHub, the average U.S. household is currently grappling with $8,284 in credit card debt. Although many of those debt-laden consumers have probably considered possible debt reduction strategies, they likely are not aware of the many benefits of credit repair services. Far from being a last resort, a credit repair service can address your credit crisis more quickly and effectively than your own solo efforts. With debt levels climbing higher and higher, now is the ideal time to consider a credit repair service as part of your overall credit-boosting goals. Here are the five ways credit repair can help you now.

1. Removing Negative or False Items

A whopping 54 percent of credit reports contain information that is outdated, incorrect, or fraudulent, according to research from Ovation Credit. You could dispute that information with the credit bureaus yourself, of course. But the average consumer lacks the technical know-how to spot those erroneous items — not to mention the most effective strategies of disputing them with the credit bureaus. Credit repair can help you save the time of writing letters and gathering documentation to prove your case to the credit bureaus. The credit specialist assigned to your case has the professional expertise — and knowledge of the litany of federal consumer protection laws — to guide your case to a more satisfying end result.

2. Boosting Your Credit Score

You might eventually achieve a higher credit score with diligent efforts on your own, but it would probably take a much longer time — and involve more failed attempts. Working with a professional credit repair service will typically secure you faster, more impressive results than you would see through your own efforts. When a repair service successfully manages to remove negative items from your credit report, your credit score will bounce back. The improvement in your score could open you up to a host of other benefits — like improved eligibility for larger loans for houses or cars.

3. Saving You Money on Interest

When your credit score rises, you will then go on to qualify for more favorable interest rates when you apply for loans and credit cards. Lower interest rates add up to thousands of dollars in potential savings — a substantial return on your initial investment of credit repair. You’ll be able to apply the money you saved on interest in building emergency savings or funding other everyday purchases (without having to resort to using plastic). By hiring a credit repair service, you will likely be able to achieve lower interest rates in a much shorter amount of time.

4. Solving Complex Credit Concerns

Disputing erroneous credit card charges isn’t the only benefit of a credit repair service. The most highly regarded companies will also advocate on your behalf on more complex and serious credit issues. This could include sending your creditors goodwill letters, which prove your good standing and request that they review your account as a courtesy, recommendation letters, and requests for validation of certain charges. A credit repair service may also offer to monitor your credit report for any changes that could affect your credit score. They may counsel you on ways to head off future problems with any of your accounts, like paying down balances on any cards that are approaching the credit limit.

5. Opening up More Job Opportunities

More employers than ever utilize a credit check as part of the job application process. If you have lingering credit issues, you might be concerned that they are holding you back from achieving a more financially and personally rewarding position. Credit repair can help you attain your credit score goals faster than you would on your own. And that means you’ll be able to apply for jobs with a clean credit record — so that it doesn’t distract from the rest of your application.

Leave Credit Repair to the Pros

Most of us wouldn’t try to fix our own cars when the transmission is acting up. The same logic should hold true for your credit. When you are ready to seek out a credit repair service, consider the friendly team here at Ovation Credit. Hundreds of thousands of customers have reached out to us for a free consultation and ended up with higher credit scores and better credit lives. Learn more here.

Why Do I Have 3 Credit Scores?

By | Credit Repair

If you’re starting to think about the best way to navigate the credit repair process, it may surprise you to find that you have not only one, but three credit scores. In order to truly achieve improved credit, you need to understand why three credit scores exist and what you can do to make each one as strong as possible.

Here’s everything you need to know about your three credit scores so you can fix your credit in the most effective way possible.

The 3 Major Credit Bureaus

The reason you have three credit scores is that there are three major credit bureaus in the United States: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Creditors report information on your accounts (such as credit cards and loan balances). Other creditors and lenders then use that information to evaluate your creditworthiness to see if they should approve your application, how much of a credit line they should offer, and how much interest they should charge.

The better your credit history is, the better loan terms you’ll receive. That’s why it’s so important to know how the credit reporting process works; otherwise, you’ll have no way of knowing how to improve your credit and qualify for better financial terms.

Your Credit Report vs Your Credit Score

Now that you know why you have three credit scores, it’s important to understand the difference between a credit report and a credit score. Your credit report is pulled together by either Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion (or a combination of some or all of these) and shows a detailed listing of all your credit information, including amounts and payment history for your loans and credit cards.

While the reports are compiled by the credit bureaus, they don’t actually provide you with your credit score. That information is provided by a separate scoring model. The credit bureaus have partnered to create the VantageScore, but the most widely used credit score model comes from FICO.

How to Access Your 3 Credit Scores

As a consumer in the U.S., you’re entitled to request a copy of your three credit reports for free once every 12 months. You can get them through the website There’s flexibility in that you can either request all three reports at once or spread them out over a 12-month period.

Remember, however, that your credit score isn’t included with your credit report. While you can get a free “educational” credit score from a number of websites, you can also pay to see your FICO score from the company itself. Another option is to see if your bank or credit card company offers a free FICO score to members.

Why They Are Different

Once you access your three credit scores, you may notice that the numbers vary. That’s because not all creditors report to all three credit bureaus. As you review your credit reports, it’s possible that there is different information on each one. This is important to realize because lenders typically still look at all three credit scores. Since your interest rate is determined by which credit category you fall in (excellent, good, fair, or poor), your three credit scores may impact your loan term.

Lenders usually handle these discrepancies by using the middle number of your three credit scores. If you’re applying as a couple, (for example, to apply for a mortgage) the lender typically uses the middle score of the person with lower credit.

Why They Change Over Time

If you’ve been monitoring your credit score over a period of time, you may wonder why your three scores don’t stay the same. The answer is that your credit is not static. Each month, new information is added to each of your credit reports. A loan balance might lower, or your credit card balance might go up if you had to make an expensive charge. Any late payments are also updated, and on-time payments are beneficial over time.

Each time your credit score is pulled, it’s simply reflecting a snapshot of your credit as it stands today. It could rise or fall the next month based on how you’re doing with your debt, payments, and even the age of your accounts. The credit scoring process is complicated, so it’s important to stay on top of it so you can continue to improve your credit.

Get Professional Credit Repair Help

Need professional help to fix your credit? Contact Ovation Credit for a free consultation today.

Man decides to rent and fix his credit with rental reporting

Rental Reporting Services: How They Can Help You

By | Credit Repair

As anyone who has ever signed a lease knows, renting an apartment requires on-time, regular monthly payments. But unlike mortgages and car loans, those payments rarely appear on a credit report and won’t lift your credit score — that is, unless you enlist the help of rental reporting services. These services report your rental payments to some or all of the major credit agencies, for a fee that could range from a few dollars to up to $100 per month. Although more unconventional than the typical methods of building credit — like installment loans and credit cards — rental reporting services are nonetheless growing in popularity.

There are a number of different rental reporting services available, and the fees and enrollment procedures vary for each one. In some cases, you as the renter will be the applicant; other services may require your landlord or property manager to sign up. Whichever type of service you choose, make sure the benefits justify the additional expense. Here are some of the top ways a rental reporting service can help you.

It Boosts Your Credit Profile

You won’t see as much change to your credit score as you would by opening a credit card and making regular payments on it. Even still, when you’re trying to improve your credit standing, even just a few extra points here and there will help your cause — and it is certainly possible to enhance your credit rating with a pattern of on-time rental payments. In turn, these records may allow you to qualify for credit card offers or loans that might otherwise be outside your reach.

It Builds a Longer History

The length of your credit history is one critical factor in your credit score calculation. If your history is particularly scant, you may want to consider a service that offers to certify past rental payments. That’ll provide a longer history of payments — and the longer and more positive your history, the more your credit score stands to benefit.

Change Can Happen Fairly Quickly

Once you sign on with a rental reporting service, you can generally expect to see your rental payments start showing up on your credit report within a couple of months. Some services may take longer, such as ClearNow, which requires four on-time payments before it’ll begin submitting them to the credit bureaus. As far as the credit-building process is concerned, that is a fairly swift turnaround. If you have a specific time-sensitive goal in mind, such as qualifying for a loan, this can help you build a positive history in your credit report in a relatively short amount of time.

It Enhances Future Renting Prospects

If you rent in the future, you will be able to easily provide a record of documented, timely payments to potential landlords. References from other landlords can be helpful, but concrete evidence of on-time payments will most definitely give you an edge — even if your credit history is relatively limited.

It Encourages On-time Payments

If you know that a rental reporting service is going to send your payments to the credit agency, you’re much less likely to slack off on payments. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be even more vigilant than usual that you’re paying on time. Some services facilitate the payment process by offering to deduct the payments automatically from your bank account. That’s one benefit worth taking up to your landlord — who might even decide to take on the cost of the rent reporting service if it will guarantee timely electronic deposits.

The Downside

Although using a rental reporting service will get your rent payments to appear on your credit report, they might not be calculated as part of your credit score. Not all credit scoring models, especially the more established, older ones, will consider rent payments, even those reported to the major bureaus. However, some credit cards do cater to those whose rental history is listed on their credit report, so it’s worth doing your research to find the best offers available. Cost of the service is another concern. Your best bet is to seek out a budget-friendly option that reports to all of the credit bureaus — and will certify past payments, if possible — which gives you the best chance of increasing your score.

If you’re weighing whether to sign up with a rental reporting service or you’re looking for an additional way to boost your credit profile, you already know that every little bit helps. At Ovation Credit, we specialize in helping consumers target the inaccuracies that may be dragging down their credit score. Check out our free consultation, and with our assistance, you may be able to dispute some of these errors and improve your score.

Women trying to repair credit

This Change Could Come to Your Credit Report — and Boost Your Credit Score

By | Credit Repair

This Change Could Come to Your Credit Report — and Boost Your Credit Score

Reliably paying your cell phone and utility bills month after month never used to mean anything to your credit score. The same is true for maintaining a healthy bank account. But thanks to groundbreaking credit report changes that could be on their way as early as this year, your financial efforts outside of the credit realm could soon be rewarded. FICO and Experian recently announced plans to launch two unique new programs that could instantly lift your credit score — likely without changing anything that you are already doing. Here’s what you need to know about the programs and how these credit report changes could affect your credit health.

UltraFICO: The Basics

Fair Isaac Corp, the architect behind FICO scores, is expected to roll out a pilot program this year called UltraFICO. With UltraFICO, you can opt in to allow access to basic information about your bank account — such as average balances, age of accounts, and level of activity — to be factored into your credit score calculation. The information would be used to demonstrate how well you manage your bills and whether you have accumulated any savings. When you opt in to share your personal banking information, the new credit scoring model will evaluate your bank account on a one-time basis. The data from your account will then be calculated alongside the other factors that comprise a credit score. The other criteria that decide your score, such as payment history and age of accounts, will still be considered. FICO will just have an additional piece to evaluate.

Experian Boost: The Basics

Major credit bureau Experian is also set to usher in a pilot program of its own, titled Experian Boost, later this year. As with UltraFICO, consumers will be able to opt in to share additional information — but this time, the only data Experian will pull is the payment history for cell phone and utility bills. True to the program’s name, the focus here accentuates the positive. If you miss a payment or two, this negative information will not show up on your credit report. There is a limit, however. If you lapse on payments for three months, Experian will no longer pull the information from your phone or utility bill — which means that any increase you had seen from the data would disappear.

The Positive: Better Credit Opportunities

If your credit history lacks some positive entries, these credit report changes will likely prove particularly helpful. After all, paying a cell phone or utility bill every month, or maintaining a healthy bank account, can speak volumes about your financial health — perhaps even more than the value of your current credit score. You’ll stand a much better chance of qualifying for loans and credit card terms from lenders that might have snubbed your application in the past. The credit report changes could provide some useful evidence of your ability to manage ongoing bill payments, which could help a lender decide whether to approve you for a loan.

The Negative: Exercise Caution

Either of these programs could easily bump up your credit score, boosting your loan approval odds and saving you thousands in interest payments every year. Having a higher credit score puts you in position for higher loans with more favorable terms, and even more tantalizing credit card offers. Just make sure you don’t use the higher credit score as an excuse to apply for loans you cannot afford. A higher credit score can expose you to more opportunities for loans and credit cards — but if used improperly, you could end up saddled with excessive debt. And the flip side of these programs is that they are specific to a certain credit-scoring model and a credit bureau. If a lender chooses to work with a different scoring model or credit bureau, you won’t reap the benefits of these programs.

Another Helping Hand

If credit-building is among your 2019 resolutions, these credit report changes could prove to be a very positive development. While you wait for the programs to launch to the general public later this year, take some time

Repairing your personal credit score as an entrepreneur can open up new opportunities for financing your business and growing it to a new leve

Credit Score Repair for Entrepreneurs

By | Credit Repair

As an entrepreneur, your credit score is as valuable to you as how many goods you’re able to sell or services you’re able to provide. The reason is simple: your credit score tells investors and lenders whether you’re trustworthy and responsible with money. Should you ever need help financing a large order or need extra cash to expand your team, a weak credit score may very well prevent you from getting the capital you need.

For entrepreneurs, both gross profit margins and credit scores decide the longevity of their businesses. Know your credit could be improved? Here are some steps you can take to fix your credit score.

Credit Repair Begins With Automatic Payments

If you need to fix your credit, the first thing you need to do is set up your bills for automatic payments. 35% of your credit score is made up of payment history. It is the largest contributing factor to your credit report and score. Therefore, the most important thing you can do is ensure all monthly payments are made on time.

More Ways to Fix Your Credit

While on-time payments prevent your score from getting any worse, there are also a few things you can do proactively to help repair your credit. If done successfully, you could start to see your credit score quickly improve.

Improve Your Credit Utilization

Credit utilization makes up 30% of your credit score. It’s the second largest contributing factor coming just under payment history. Credit utilization takes into account how much money you owe credit companies versus how much you have available to you. If your balances are too high, both FICO and Vantage (the two biggest credit score companies) will think you’re overspending. If this is the case, they’ll consider you a sinking ship and drop your score.

To improve your credit utilization, there are a few things you need to do:

  1. Pay down your debts. The more credit you have available to you, the better. The lower the balance, the more you could spend if you had to. Lenders and credit companies like this.
  2. Request a higher credit limit. For the same reason as above, this increases the amount of credit you have available to you, and improves your credit utilization ratio.
  3. Refinance. Use a personal loan to pay off your credit card debt and there will be a few different benefits. For starters, you’ll likely have a lower interest rate, which means more of your monthly payments will go toward paying off the principal — meaning you’ll get out of debt faster. Secondly, you’ll only have to stay on top of one monthly payment (which you should set up on an automatic payment schedule). Keep the cards open, and you’ll have more credit available to you. Many people think that the temptation of an empty credit card is too much and get rid of it. Don’t do this. Keep it open for your credit score. Put the cards in an envelope and hide them from yourself if you have to.
  4. Get another credit card. Another credit card increases the amount of credit that is available to you. This means a better credit utilization ratio.
  5. Use your credit cards, but keep the balances below 30% each month before you pay them off. Credit cards need to show activity so they’re not closed. Credit scoring companies also like to see that credit is being utilized or used. As the old saying goes, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

Become an Authorized User Where You Can

Authorized users on existing accounts get all of the history that is associated with that account. For this reason, only become an authorized user on an account where there has never been a missed payment and the credit utilization has stayed at or below 30%. The older the account the better (two years old at least). At the moment, there are companies that sell access to strong accounts for only a few hundred bucks. It doesn’t help that much if your credit score is poor, but if it’s good you’ll see a pretty sizeable jump.

Address Credit Errors

Credit errors on credit reports happen more often than you’d think, and unfortunately, these negative entries hurt your credit score. Take a look at all three of your credit reports (you can get a free copy of each credit report once a year at Comb through them. If you see something that never happened, it’s time to engage in some credit disputes.

Don’t call or email. You need to do everything through snail mail. Write both the credit bureau and the organization that provided the information to the bureau. Tell them what you’re disputing, why you’re disputing it, and ask them to correct their error.

Don’t Be Afraid to Contact Professionals

Your credit score impacts both your personal life and the future of your business. For a free consultation on additional steps you can take to improve your credit score, sign up for a free consultation at Ovation Credit.

Credit Repair Myths Busted

7 Credit Repair Myths Busted

By | Credit Repair

The first step toward repairing your credit is educating yourself on credit repair myths. For most people, the Internet is the easiest way to access that information. But as with any other common financial problem, you’ll find that the Internet abounds with misinformation and services that, unfortunately, might actually cause more harm than good. We’ve rounded up the most popular credit repair myths so you can save yourself from more unnecessary financial angst.

Credit Repair Myths:

Myth #1: If you pay off your debts, those negative items will dissolve from your credit report.

Paying your debts will increase your credit score, but the damage may already be done. Negative credit items remain on your credit report for seven years, which is a very long time to wait. Especially when you’re facing denials for loans or higher interest rates because of your credit history. The only other way to get an item removed is if you believe it to be inaccurate or outdated. In that case, you can hire a service to dispute the information with the credit bureau or undertake the process yourself. Resolving to pay your debts on time will go a long way toward boosting your credit profile, but it won’t rid your score of the effects of the “bad” debts.

Myth #2: Credit repair companies are a scam.

This is the most popular question when it comes to credit repair myths. Not all credit repair companies are created equal, but legitimate and well-respected companies do exist. Successful and reputable credit repair companies will have a trained analyst review your credit report, discuss any questions and concerns you may have, and go to work on your behalf with the credit bureaus to dispute incorrect or outdated information that is hurting your credit rating. Although you could commence the process yourself, you may choose to save considerable time and energy by handing the reins to a trained professional.

Myth #3: Bankruptcy is my only option.

Bankruptcy should be viewed only a last-resort. Bankruptcy might provide an immediate fix to a devastating financial situation, but your credit score will take a while to recover. Before you take this leap, make sure you have investigated all of the possible options available to you — and better yet, speak with a trained credit counselor who can possibly point you in a direction better suited to your financial situation.

Myth #4: You won’t see improvements in your credit score for a very long time.

Change isn’t going to happen overnight, but it may happen faster than you think. Credit bureaus will generally make marks to credit scores every 30 days, and hard inquiries (a credit check done by a lender when you’re trying to open a new account, for instance) are reported soon after they occur. You might see some small changes if you check your credit report once a month, and more significant improvements will be visible within the first year of working to repair your credit situation.

Myth #5: Negative items can be added back to your credit report.

You may have heard that credit bureaus can add negative events back on your credit report after they’ve been removed due to a dispute. The only way that can happen following a dispute is if the credit bureau finds out that a debt may be valid after it has been contacted to remove the item for being incorrect or outdated. But in most cases, items erased from your credit report won’t make a reappearance.

Myth #6: You’re better off repairing your credit on your own.

You can, of course, gather all of the necessary information, write to the credit repair companies, and request removal of any items that you believe to be erroneous. This does, however, require a great deal of patience, as well as legal and financial finesse. That’s why it’s a good idea to hire a professional, who is trained to negotiate with the credit bureaus and secure the best possible outcome for you.

Myth #7: Credit reports are generally accurate.

Errors are more common than you’d think. A 2012 study from the Federal Trade Commission revealed that one in five Americans have been plagued with an error on their credit report. Most people make it a habit to review their credit card statements monthly to ensure they recognize all charges. The same should be true for your credit report — because you never know what incorrect and damaging information could be affecting your credit score.

It can be tough to separate fact from fiction when you’ve resolved to repair your credit. At Ovation Credit, we are standing by to help answer your questions about your credit score and reports. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build a stronger financial future.

repair your credit

4 Simple, Effective Ways to Repair Your Credit

By | Credit Repair

Anyone can make mistakes — and some of those mistakes can impact your credit standing. Even if you’ve always taken great care with your credit, unforeseeable crises can easily undo all your good work. Just as a few serious problems can torpedo your credit rating, a few smart strategies can help you bring it back to life. Fortunately, you don’t have to carry that burden indefinitely.  Here are some simple, effective things you can do to repair your credit.

Repair Your Credit Tip 1 – Start Over With Secured Credit

The worst-case scenario in the credit world is bankruptcy. This last-ditch move can indeed give individuals a fresh financial start, but in the process, you can expect to lose your credit. Oddly enough, you may start receiving credit card offers in the mail sooner than you’d expect. But this can prove a dangerous kind of trap. The creditors making the offers know that you won’t be permitted to file for bankruptcy again for at least 7 years, meaning that you’ll be stuck with paying them back even if you get into trouble.

Still, there is one kind of credit card you definitely should look into: a secured credit card. This card is backed up by a cash deposit, with the credit limit typically equalling the deposit amount. Use this card carefully and pay it off in full every month. By doing so, you’ll be rebuilding a positive credit history that can set the stage for your successful credit repair journey.

Repair Your Credit Tip 2 – Reduce Outstanding Credit Balances

You could have an excellent credit payment history, with multiple lines of credit going back many years, and still get turned down for a loan because of a high credit utilization ratio. This term refers to the amount of your credit tied up in outstanding balances. Lenders generally recommend that you keep your credit utilization ratio under 30 percent of your total credit limits. If you need to reduce your outstanding balances, you may want to try either of two popular debt payment techniques:

  • Snowballing – Snowballing involves paying down one credit line at a time, starting with the lowest balance. For instance, you might pay $25 above a $25 minimum payment (or $50 a month total) to accelerate repayment until the balance hits zero. You then take that $50 monthly payment and add it to the monthly minimum payment on the next-lowest balance. Repeat this process, and you’ll see that credit utilization drop at an ever-faster pace.
  • Stacking – Stacking is the same basic technique as snowballing, except that it involves paying the credit lines down in order of interest rate, with the highest interest rate going first. This may be less satisfying than seeing those smaller balances disappear quickly, but in the long run it’ll save you more money.

Repair Your Credit Tip 3 – Go Easy on the Applications

If you’re tempted to obtain a new credit card to make your credit utilization ratio lower, take care. While your utilization will indeed drop as your total available credit rises, that new credit line will require what’s known as a “hard pull,” or credit review. This type of review can temporarily make a bad credit score even worse. Actually using the card will compound your troubles if you don’t make certain to pay it off faithfully each month.

Other types of loan applications can also ding your credit, at least in the short term. Each car loan, home loan, or other kind of bank loan application will result in a hard pull. Too many of these inquiries can seriously disfigure your credit score. The fewer credit lines or shorter credit history you have, the more damage your score will take. If you need to shop around for the lowest rate among multiple lenders, make all those credit applications within the same 30-day credit cycle. Creditors recognize rate shopping when it occurs in this pattern, and they will score those multiple applications as a single hard pull.

Repair Your Credit Tip 4 – Watch Your Credit Report

Consumers who struggle with credit issues are only human — but so are the people who enter information into creditors’ databases and credit reports. It’s always possible that inaccurate data is depressing your credit score unfairly. You may also be suffering the effects of a co-signer or other party who has damaged your credit without your realizing it.

You can catch these issues by requesting and studying copies of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). You’re legally entitled to one free copy of each report per year, and you can also purchase additional copies. If you see something wrong, you can dispute that entry and possibly get it expunged from your record. Once you’ve sent a written dispute letter, ideally via Certified Mail, the reporting agency is required to investigate the possible error within 30 days’ time.

As you can see, there’s no single “magic bullet” to repair your credit. But the right combination of best practices, implemented with patience, intelligence, and consistency, can give you the power to fix those nagging credit issues and prevent them from recurring. Last but not least, you’ll enjoy the tremendous feeling of accomplishment and empowerment that comes from taking control of your own destiny — and that’s surely something worth taking credit for!


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