Credit Bureau Archives | Ovation Credit Repair Services

Somebody’s Watching You…

By | Consumer Rights, Credit Laws, Credit Repair, Credit Reports, Credit Scores

No, we’re not reminiscing about the 80’s hit by Rockwell…this is more sinister. From hacking computer systems to trapping codes at ATM machines, identity theft is rampant and can have a devastating impact on your life. It can affect your ability to buy a car or a home, it can prevent you from getting a job, and there have been (albeit rare) cases of innocent people being arrested for crimes committed by an identity thief. Keeping a close eye on credit reports is an excellent way to detect fraudulent activity, and credit monitoring can be a helpful tool to do just that.

The three credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian – are required by the federal government to provide an annual copy of your credit report at no charge. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to order it and monitor your own credit by reviewing it carefully to ensure all information is accurate. Doing this once a year is the first step toward thwarting thieves.

The next step would be to hire a company to monitor the credit reports real time and inform you, probably via email, of any changes. Most notices would regard changes in account balances on credit cards or an inquiry for a line of credit at a retail store. In an identity theft scenario though, a thief might use your social security number, stolen while dumpster diving at a local bank, to apply for a new credit card. The timely credit monitoring service notification of this fraudulent application for credit could mean the difference between a small hassle and full-blown, financially crippling identity theft.

Sadly though, not all credit monitoring services are created equal. The ones managed by the three credit reporting agencies are typically pretty good, and the timeliness of the information is excellent – which is the most important element in the detection of fraud. Some of the second tier services though report outdated information since they have to pay for the data and retrieve it periodically from the primary agencies. Another potential problem with the second tier services is that they may offer a free credit report (mimicking the government-mandated service), but once the consumer accepts the free report, they are unwittingly enrolled in a potentially expensive service. What a sneaky and underhanded thing to do – it sure doesn’t make us want to trust them with our financial information.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a program called “Deter, Detect, Defend: Avoid ID Theft.” It is a good program, especially in its education about how to protect personal information (and thereby deter ID theft). Combine this with credit monitoring by a high quality provider and good financial decision-making, and we will stop letting the identity thieves bully us.

You’re Ready. Is Your Credit?

By | Consumer Rights, Credit Repair, Credit Reports, Credit Scores, Personal Finance, Your Credit

Armed with an impressive resume and knowledge of the company you are interviewing for, you confidently approach the interviewer and begin to craft the inspiring ‘first impression’ you envisioned last night as you went to bed.

You may feel prepared for the interview and qualified for the new job, but there is a strong possibility that the interviewer has already formed an opinion about you – through information contained in your credit report. 

Increasing numbers of companies are requesting credit reports to assist them in the job hiring process.  Essentially, your credit report is your financial resume and employers use it as an indicator of your personal integrity and how and how you conduct your life.  With that in mind, it’s alarming that seventy none percent of all credit reports contain errors.  A qualified job seeker simply can’t afford to have credit report errors sabotage an excellent employment history.

In the competitive job market, an accurate credit history may be the decisive factor in gaining a job interview.  Inaccurate credit reports can torpedo the most impressive resumes, and you won’t have a second chance to make a first impression.

The labor market is not only intense form the job seekers standpoint, but employers also are striving to gain a competitive advantage in the hiring process by accessing all the information available to improve the quality of the workforce.  Employers are also more likely to check the credit history of prospective employees who will be involved in some aspect of the company’s finances.

You can use this trend of employer credit checking to your benefit by repairing and/or maintaining a clean credit history.  Your credit report is your financial fingerprint, so check it frequently and keep it accurate so you are prepared to jump on the dream job opportunity should the occasion arise.

Information on Credit Reports

By | Consumer Rights, Credit Laws, Credit Repair, Credit Reports, Credit Scores, Fair Credit Reporting Act

Credit Reports generally contain five types of information:

Identification Information: Information such as the name of the individual, current and previous residential addresses, and Social Security number.

Trade Line Information: Detailed information reported by creditors and other furnishers on each current and past loan, lease, or other debt (such as utility and medical debts).

Public Record Information: Information derived from financial-related public records, such as records of bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens, garnishments, and other civil judgments.

Collection Account Information: Information reported by collection agencies regarding credit accounts and other debts.

Inquiry Information: Identities of individuals or companies that have requested information from an individual’s credit file; the date of inquiry; and an indication of whether the inquiry was by the consumer, for the review of an existing account, or to help the inquirer decide on a potential future account or relationship.

Unfortunately, an alarming number of these files (credit reports) contain serious errors and could cause the denial of credit, a loan, or a job, so monitor your credit report and minimize or eliminate future credit problems.  A recent study of consumer credit found that 3 out of every 4 credit reports contain errors, some large enough to cause credit denials.

  • Twenty-five percent (25%) of the credit reports contained errors serious enough to result in the denial of credit;
  • Seventy-nine percent (79%) of the credit reports contained mistakes of some kind;
  • Fifty-four percent (54%) of the credit reports contained personal demographic identifying information that was misspelled, long-outdated, belonged to a stranger, or was otherwise incorrect;
  • Thirty percent (30%) of the credit reports contained credit accounts that had been closed by the consumer but incorrectly remained listed as open.

Your Rights Under The Fair Credit Reporting Act

By | Consumer Rights, Credit Laws, Credit Repair, Debt, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Your Credit

Fair Credit Reporting Act

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies (such as agencies that sell information about check writing histories, medical records, and rental history records). Here is a summary of your major rights under the FCRA.

  • You must be told if information in your file has been used against you.

Anyone who uses a credit report or another type of consumer report to deny your application for credit, insurance, or employment – or to take another adverse action against you – must tell you, and must give you the name, address, and phone number of the agency that provided the information.

  • You have the right to know what is in your file.

You may request and obtain all the information about you in the files of a consumer reporting agency (your “file disclosure”). You will be required to provide proper identification, which may include your Social Security number. In many cases, the disclosure will be free.

  • You are entitled to a free file disclosure if:

a person has taken adverse action against you because of information in your credit report; you are the victim of identify theft and place a fraud alert in your file; your file contains inaccurate information as a result of fraud; you are on public assistance; you are unemployed but expect to apply for employment within 60 days.  In addition, as of September 2005 all consumers will be entitled to one free disclosure every 12 months upon request from each nationwide credit bureau and from nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies.

  • You have the right to ask for a credit score.

Credit scores are numerical summaries of your credit-worthiness based on information from credit bureaus. You may request a credit score from consumer reporting agencies that create scores or distribute scores used in residential real property loans, but you will have to pay for it. In some mortgage transactions, you will receive credit score information for free from the mortgage lender.

  • You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.

If you identify information in your file that is incomplete or inaccurate, and report it to the consumer reporting agency, the agency must investigate unless your dispute is frivolous.

  • Consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information.

Inaccurate, incomplete or unverifiable information must be removed or corrected, usually within 30 days. However, a consumer reporting agency may continue to report information it has verified as accurate.

  • Consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information.

 In most cases, a consumer reporting agency may not report negative information that is more than seven years old, or bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old.

  • Access to your file is limited.

A consumer reporting agency may provide information about you only to people with a valid need — usually to consider an application with a creditor, insurer, employer, landlord, or other business. The FCRA specifies those with a valid need for access.

  • You must give your consent for reports to be provided to employers.

A consumer reporting agency may not give out information about you to your employer, or a potential employer, without your written consent given to the employer. Written consent generally is not required in the trucking industry.

  • You may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report.

Unsolicited “prescreened” offers for credit and insurance must include a toll-free phone number you can call if you choose to remove your name and address from the lists these offers are based on.

  • You may seek damages from violators.

If a consumer reporting agency, or, in some cases, a user of consumer reports or a furnisher of information to a consumer reporting agency violates the FCRA, you may be able to sue in state or federal court.

Consumers May Soon Have Free Access to Their Credit Scores

By | Your Credit

For many years now consumers have been able to get a free copy of their credit report.  This report was available through annualcreditreport.com or through the credit bureau that was used to deny a loan.  Earlier this year the Senate passed an amendment that would give individuals the right see their scores if they were used against them in a financial transaction.  So if you were denied a mortgage or insurance because of your score then you would be allowed to see that score.

In the past you were allowed to review your credit report but you could only see your score by paying for it.  The three major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) have withheld those scores from consumers.  Any lender who investigated your credit would be given your score but you would not know what that score was unless the lender gave it to you.  This number often carried a high price tag.

Each of the bureaus has a different calculation for figuring your score based on the information provided to them by your lenders.  That is why you generally will have three different scores for the three different bureaus.  Since the bureaus do not share their formulas and your lenders may not report to all three bureaus your scores may vary widely.

It is possible that you may have two good scores and one bad score because one lender is reporting negative information to only one of your credit bureaus.  It might also be that your score is reflecting inaccurate information that is negative.  Negative information could range from late payments to collection accounts.  This is why it is important to know what is on your report.  You should review your credit report at least once every year and dispute any information that is inaccurate or misleading.  Having an accurate credit report is crucial in today’s market.  Getting a mortgage, automobile loan, insurance or even a job could trigger an investigation regarding your credit.  It is important to know that if you have a low score it could cost you substantially.  Being denied a loan is bad and paying higher interest rates is even worse.  Correct any mistakes on your reports so that you will be in the best possible position financially.

Why Do Ovation Credit Services Disputes Succeed, When My Disputes Don’t?

By | Ask a Credit Expert

Initially, for a consumer to start disputing items on their credit reports it can take a lot of time.  To get started, you will need to order your credit reports, review your reports for errors, and if errors are found, do the research to dispute the specific issues you are having on your credit reports and find out who and where to send the disputes.  You will want to research the credit bureaus and the best way to contact them for disputing. As a consumer you will want to research different techniques consumers have used for disputing information on a credit report and the different laws pertaining to disputing such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  For example, you would not dispute personal information (addresses, employers, alias’, etc.) the same way you would dispute a late payment or an inquiry.  You will need to know how to handle any letters and/or updated credit reports the credit bureaus send back in response to your disputes.  Understanding the dispute process is your best weapon against the credit bureaus and your creditors.  Disputing on your own can work very well when you only have one or two items that need to be corrected on your credit reports. However, if you have more than 3 items per credit report that you want to dispute then it is definitely worth it for you to hire Ovation Credit Services and let us handle all of the hassle for you.

At Ovation Credit Services our disputes and programs are successful because we stay current on consumer credit laws, and economic issues.  We also utilize the newest technology and proven techniques to ensure successful removal of inaccurate credit report information for our clients.  At Ovation Credit Services, our experience (and dedication to our clients) in working with the credit bureaus facilitates the credit repair process because we are more likely to anticipate the tactics and responses of the credit bureau. Members of our professional team have experience in interacting with the bureaus and creditors and have gained insight in regards to efficiently and effectively disputing credit report errors. We understand that everyone’s credit report and financial situation are unique. This is why we offer comprehensive, personalized and proven credit repair programs. When you become an Ovation client, we will customize your credit repair program to your exact credit situation and goals. Click the following link to see our customizable programs to fit your credit repair needs – http://www.ovationcredit.com/services/services.php.

You can count on Ovation Credit Services, for our experience, expertise, and excellent customer service.  Click here – https://secure.ovationcredit.com/Signup.aspx to get signed up today and get started towards a better financial future!

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