credit monitoring Archives | Ovation Credit Repair Services

How to Fix Credit Report Errors

By | Credit Repair, Credit Reports

fix-credit-report-errorsThe number of errors that occur on credit reports might surprise you. In fact, as we’ve previously mentioned, “79 percent of all credit reports contain some type of error” and 25 percent of those errors are serious enough to prevent you from getting the loan you are seeking!

While some errors are simple spelling mistakes or an incorrect house number in your address, errors about whether or not you’ve paid a loan or paid a debt on time can be devastating to your credit rating. The effort to keep your credit report as accurate as possible requires ongoing vigilance. There are three steps you must take to keep your credit report(s) as accurate as possible.

You Can’t Fix What You Don’t Know About

To be able to repair your credit, you need access to your credit reports. You are legally allowed to request a copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union) once per year for free. You can also obtain a free credit report from the reporting agency if you are denied credit. At least once a year (and whenever you are denied credit) you should request those reports and carefully review them for inaccuracies. To order copes of your report from each of the three reporting agencies, visit annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228.

Dispute Inaccuracies

When you find inaccuracies, which you inevitably will, request that the reporting agency correct the errors. Send a letter to the reporting agency and copy the creditor in question. The FTC has a list of guidelines as well as a sample letter that will help.  Provide copies (not originals) of the documentation that backs up your claim, whether it’s a copy of a utility bill verifying your address or a receipt for a loan payoff that is not reflected on your account. Often, credit report agencies will try to use delay tactics to postpone action, even automatically issuing a letter requesting more information, but you can preempt that by providing the necessary proof with your dispute. Disputing inaccuracies can become extremely time-consuming and quite frustrating. Often times, people still do not get the results they were hoping for when taking on such a feat. If you find yourself in this situation, where you’ve grown tired of all the time you’ve spent trying to fix your report, or you’d rather leave it to the professionals, we’re happy to be of assistance.

Managing your credit report requires vigilance, but an accurate report can open doors to lower interest rates and better purchasing power. We offer credit monitoring through services like our Essential Plus program, so contact us today to get the credit report you deserve.


Credit Monitoring: What, How and Why

By | Fraud Protection

We can’t all go to the extreme measures Jason Bateman takes in the movie “Identity Thief.” While it might be nice to think about personally chasing down the person who steals your hard-earned credit to go on shopping sprees, the likelihood of ever discovering who the culprit is may not be as easy as Hollywood makes it look. Of course, if Bateman’s character had a credit monitoring service, he might have known much sooner about his stolen identity.

Credit monitoring gives you the opportunity to monitor your finances proactively, so you know before something or someone ruins your credit entirely. Identity theft can happen very quickly, often without you noticing. Rather than keeping constant tabs on your credit report, a credit monitoring service will monitor financial activity for you and trigger alerts if something happens out of the ordinary.

You should monitor your credit for the same reasons that you don’t purchase that brand new car that you can’t quite afford: A new credit card or loan opened in your name, likely without any payments made toward the debt, can wreak havoc on your credit score. Without credit monitoring, you may not discover that anything is awry until a legitimate application of yours is denied.

Even if there has been no fraudulent activity credit, monitoring will notify you of any mistakes on your report, which could also harm your credit. If there is incorrect information, you have every right to dispute. Credit monitoring reduces the impact of any identity theft that does transpire, and it alerts you to account fraud much sooner than you would discover it on your own. By monitoring all three credit agencies, you gain access to information more frequently than your yearly free credit report.

There are multiple types of credit monitoring services, all with the same goal of detecting and preventing any fraudulent activity. One-bureau credit monitoring keeps tabs on one of the consumer credit reporting companies, and three-in-one credit monitoring tracks information reported to all three major credit bureaus. We now offer credit monitoring through our Essential Plus program, which is all the benefits of the Essentials program, in addition to TransUnion credit monitoring as well as additional advantages.

Since each credit reporting agency operates independently of the others, it is more beneficial to you to take advantage of the option to monitor all of them. Cost will vary depending on how often you want your report scanned, what kind of alerts you would like, and other additional benefits.

Credit monitoring is your opportunity to protect your credit. With all of the hard work you’ve done to build your credit score, it would be devastating to discover that someone else has gone on a shopping spree with your name on the card. Take charge of more than just your spending, and protect your information with the tools available to you.

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.

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.

Can I Get My Credit Scores for Free?

By | Ask a Credit Expert, Credit Laws, Credit Repair, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Personal Finance, Save Money, Your Credit

Currently, consumers CANNOT get their credit scores for free.  Generally, the only way to get your credit scores is to buy them, or get them through a credit monitoring service.  There are several websites available to purchase your credit scores.  It usually costs about $15-$30.  You can also get your credit scores and credit reports, directly from the credit bureaus.  Their websites are: www.Experian.com, www.Equifax.com, and www.TransUnion.com. Plus, you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the credit bureaus every 12 months and the credit bureaus set up a specific website for consumers to use: www.annualcreditreport.com.  Once you get your credit reports, you will only have to buy your credit scores from the credit bureaus or a third party.

As for credit monitoring, there are several options out there for consumers to do a FREE trial of credit monitoring, usually 7-14 days, which usually includes your three credit reports and your three credit scores.  Credit monitoring can be a good service to have if you have had identity theft or you are working on your credit and trying to fix items on your credit reports.  However, it is not a necessity and usually when you dispute items on your credit reports the credit bureaus will send you updated credit reports back via the mail.

Ovation Credit Services sends their clients to GoFreeCredit.com to sign up for a FREE trial of credit monitoring to get their credit reports and credit scores.  You can obtain all three credit reports and scores by clicking here. This site offers consumers credit reports and scores with a FREE seven-day trial in monthly credit monitoring. You will not be charged for anything if you cancel the service during the free seven-day trial membership.  If you need any assistance ordering your credit reports, getting your credit scores, or would like a FREE Credit Consultation please call 1-866-639-3426 option 2.

If you have a question for our Credit Expert Kristi Thornton, send an email to [email protected]

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