Credit Reports Archives | Ovation Credit Repair Services

Build, Grow & Repair Credit

By | Your Credit

Whether you’re new to having credit or you’ve had credit cards for years, growing your credit, protecting it and repairing your credit takes work. This guide can help you manage all of your debts and improve your credit score.

Topics in This Guide:

Build or Rebuild Credit at Any Age:

  • Access and Review Your Credit Reports
  • How High Balances Affect Your Credit
  • How Long Does it Take to Repair Credit?
  • How to Avoid Paying Credit Card Interest
  • How to Improve My Credit Score
  • How to Repair Credit Mistakes
  • How to Repair Credit When You Don’t Have a Job
  • Identity Theft and Your Credit
  • Using Your Tax Refund to Pay Off Credit Cards

Credit and Mortgages/Refinancing a Home:

  • How to Pick the Best Type of Mortgage
  • Refinancing a Home and How it Affects Your Credit

Let’s begin!

Build or Rebuild Credit at Any Age

If you’re in college, you might ask yourself, am I “too young” to start building credit? The best time for credit-building is when you have a reliable job and pay your bills on time every month.

Your credit report is the history of your credit payments, and items stay on your reports for up to 10 years, or longer for student loans. Typically, you’ll have credit cards, lines of credit, student loans and installment loans. To build credit, use credit moderately and pay the balances quickly.

Access and Review Your Credit Reports

You can receive a free credit report annually from AnnualCreditReport.com using a secure, private computer. You need to enter your social-security number, address and date of birth. Then you can view credit reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax and make copies of your report. Remember never to save it on a public computer.

Familiarize yourself with your credit report. It shows accounts that are open, closed, paid-off and in collections. It also gives your payment dates. It may include student loans, installment loans, bankruptcies or other accounts.

Tip: You can access a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com.

How High Balances Affect Your Credit

When you carry high debts, you can damage your credit score even if you pay minimum balances on time. High balances let creditors know that you might be struggling to make payments.

How Long Does it Take to Repair Credit?

To repair your credit, businesses have 30 to 45 days to respond to disputes. After that, disputed items like collection accounts are removable.

How to Avoid Paying Credit Card Interest

If you pay your full balance each month, then you won’t have to pay interest. Always pay on time to avoid late fees.

How to Improve My Credit Score

Your credit-card payment history makes up 35 percent of your credit score. To improve your score, keep your balances low. Pay on time and never let accounts go into collections or charge-offs that are 180-days past due. If you fall behind, then make the payment as soon as you can.

How to Repair Credit Mistakes

Maybe you’ve done a search online for “how to fix my credit.” First, review your credit reports and flag anything that you don’t recognize or anything older than seven years. To dispute credit mistakes, select the option “dispute” when your credit report is open and give the reason. For example, maybe you don’t recognize the account, or it’s older than seven years.

Creditors have 30 to 45 days to respond, but you might hear back from them sooner. If they don’t respond, then you can often remove disputed items from your account’s report.

How to Repair Credit When You Don’t Have a Job

If you’ve lost your job and fallen behind on payments, talk to the collection agencies about making smaller payments. You may be able to remove collection accounts older than seven years if you dispute them on your report. Never discuss bills older than seven years with collection agencies because any correspondence reopens the account.

For further help, check with Ovation Credit for credit-repair assistance.

Identity Theft and Your Credit

If you want to know how to dispute credit report charges you don’t recognize when you’re on a credit-report site viewing your report, then select the option to “dispute” on your screen and give further details.

If anyone has stolen your identity, then contact the credit-reporting bureau and your credit-card company. You may need to file a police report to block any further fraudulent transactions on your account. Having a company that monitors your credit is very beneficial to avoid situations like this.

Using Your Tax Refund to Pay off Credit Cards

Use tax refunds to pay off credit-card debts. The average refund is $3,000, and you’ll improve your credit score. With better credit, you can get lower interest rates.

Credit and Mortgages/Refinancing a Home

How to Pick the Best Type of Mortgage

To pick the best mortgage, talk to your bank about mortgage options. FHA mortgages or those by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs can be more-affordable options. U.S. Department of Agriculture mortgages and the first-time buyers program are also worth considering.

Refinancing a Home and How it Affects your Credit

Refinancing your mortgage is taking out a new loan to replace your current loan. People take this step to lock in lower interest rates. When banks run a credit report, it can lower your score slightly. If it’s only one inquiry, then it may not affect your credit that much.

Bottom Line

Credit cards often lead to debts and huge responsibilities. By paying your credit-card bills on time, you can have a good credit score and better interest rates for years to come!





Uncovering the Mystery that is Your Credit Report

By | Consumer Rights, Credit Reports, Credit Scores

A credit report can either be the key to or road block to getting access to credit. Whether you’re looking to take a trip or purchase a home, your credit history plays a big role in how much you can borrow at what rate.

While most of us are aware of how important good credit is, many of us don’t know what our scores are or how to improve them.

Luckily popular credit card companies like Discover Card and American Express have started to provide free credit reporting to customers. In addition there’s CreditKarma.com which is a completely free credit reporting service.

Credit Karma provides users with their credit score overview and detailed description of credit factors. If you’ve never dug into your credit score before you may be confused as to how the number is generated. The following are factors that impact your credit score:

  • Credit card utilization
  • Payment history
  • Derogatory marks
  • Age of credit history
  • Total accounts
  • Credit inquiries

Each of these factors has either a high, medium or low impact on your credit score. While they all impact whether you have poor, good or excellent credit some are more important than others. When attempting to improve your score it’s important to pay the most attention to those factors which have a high impact on your overall score.

High Impact

Having a high impact means that these factors can significantly increase or decrease your credit score. Factors that have a high impact on your score are: credit card utilization, payment history and derogatory marks. Credit card utilization is calculated by comparing the amount of credit you have access to and how much you are currently utilizing. In order to have excellent credit you must only utilize 0% to 9% of your available credit. Someone with a good credit score utilizes between 10% and 29% of their available credit. To have a poor credit rating means that you are utilizing 50% to 74% of your available credit. Payment history and derogatory marks also heavily impact your credit score. As long as you make your bill payments on time you should have an excellent rating.

Medium Impact

Age of credit history has a medium impact on your credit score. Creditors are interested in the age of your credit history, because it helps provide a better picture of your ability to repay debt. If you have no derogatory marks on your credit history, and you’ve never missed a payment but you’ve only had a credit card for 6 months a creditor can’t determine with absolute certainty that you’re capable of repaying debt. Here’s how age of credit history is ranked:

  • Excellent – 9+ years
  • Good – 7 to 8 years
  • Fair – 5 to 6 years
  • Poor – 2 to 4 years
  • Very poor – less than 2 years

Unfortunately there’s not too much you can do to improve the age of your credit history. It is important to keep old cards alive, especially if you are in the fair to poor range. Your first credit card may have been a store card or may not have the best interest rate, but the age of the card can help with your credit history. Keep these accounts from closing by spending a small amount from time to time, and paying debt off right away. This will help maintain your current age and keep it from decreasing.

Low Impact

There are two additional factors that impact your credit score. The total number of accounts you have open, and amount of credit inquiries performed have a low impact on your credit score. The total amount of accounts you have open include student loans, mortgages, credit cards and other loans. In order to have an excellent score you need to have 21 or more accounts active. To fall within the poor score you’d need to have less than 10 accounts open. Any time a creditor runs a credit inquiry your credit score is impacted. Applying for a credit card, car loan or any other type of funding can impact your credit score. Even just one hard inquiry can move your score down from Excellent to Good.

Staying on top of your credit report is important. Not only can it help you improve your credit and odds of getting approved for loans, but it can also help you prevent fraudulent activity. By monitoring credit inquiries you can find out if someone is attempting to take out a loan or credit card in your name before it’s too late.

Was this article helpful? How will you improve your credit score? Let us know in the comment section below.

How to Read Your Credit Report

By | Credit Repair, Credit Reports

Credit reports are scary and confusing to say the least. Once you’ve made the commitment to review your report, you may or may not understand everything in it. However, it’s critical you understand your report so that you can make educated decisions regarding your finances. Below are the items you will find in your report and how to understand them.

Personal information. This section contains your identifying information, including your name and current and previous addresses. The main reason you need to review this section is to ensure everything is correct. If you recognize a mistake, it’s important you get it corrected as soon as possible.  

Account information. This section will detail your account history, including credit card information. This part will include both your current and older accounts. Each account should have the name of the creditor, the date opened, type of account, balances, payment status, and payment history listed. While all of this information is likely overwhelming upon first glance, it’s important you review it closely to ensure that there are no errors. This is the section potential creditors will focus on.

Inquires. This section includes all lenders who have accessed your credit report within the last two years. It is important to note that your credit score can be affected by the number of inquires on your account. For example, if you apply for several loans within a short period of time, causing many voluntary inquiries on your credit report, future creditors will take this information into account when considering you for a new line of credit.

Public record information. Any items that are considered public record are included in your report. This includes foreclosures, bankruptcies, judgments, and liens.

Investigate thoroughly. Often times when reviewing your credit report, you will not recognize the names of the companies listed in the inquiry or accounts section. This is usually the result of the company you are associated with not being associated with the organization investigating your credit. If you don’t recognize a particular name, it’s worth investigating because it could be an early sign of identity theft. The good news is that complete contact information for the company should be listed on your credit report so that you can contact them directly.

By understanding clearly all of the items in your credit report, it can help you better determine your current financial standing. If you discover from your report that your score is suffering or if you are still unclear about the items in your report, let us at Ovation help you. There are various ways to help repair your credit and understand how to better position yourself for financial success.

At Ovation,  we offer a wide range of credit repair solutions customized to meet your unique needs. Contact us today to see how we can help.


Your Credit Report: What You Need to Know

By | Credit Repair, Credit Reports

Have you seen your credit report lately? Most likely not. According to a recent Google Consumer Survey conducted by TransUnion, nearly 33 percent of Americans surveyed said they have never checked their credit report or credit score. Knowing your credit score and understanding all of the information in your credit report is essential for you to make educated financial decisions.

First, it’s important to know what information you will find in your credit report. Look for:

  • Basic identifying information. All credit reports will include your name, address, social security number, date of birth, and employment information.
  • Accounts Summary. This section summarizes your different credit accounts including any student, home or auto loans, bankcards, and credit cards. Information on your credit limit, loan amount, account balance, and payment history are also included.
  • Credit inquiries. This section includes all lenders who have accessed your credit report within the last two years. It is important to note that your credit score can be affected if you apply for several loans within a short period of time, resulting in many voluntary inquiries on your credit report.
  • Public record and collection items. Any items that are considered public record are included in your credit report. This includes foreclosures, bankruptcies, judgments, and liens.


Now that you understand what information is included in your credit report, here’s what lenders are looking for when reviewing your credit report:

  • How many accounts you have and what kind. Creditors are seeking individuals who have several different established accounts.
  • Late payments. Lenders are looking for someone who is stable and reliable. Frequent late payments does not reflect stability.
  • Longevity of accounts. The longer your accounts are open, the better. This means you have made consistent payments over a longer period of time.
  • Collections actions. Debt collection means you are at a higher risk for not making payments on future accounts, lowering your chances to receive any new line of credit.
  • Outstanding debt. Lenders typically calculate your debt-to-income ratio. The lower your ratio, the better.
  • Public records. Adverse public records have less effect on your credit score as time passes, but they can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years based on what type of public record it is. For example, judgments remain on your credit report for seven years from the date filed.


By understanding what lenders are looking for, it can help you achieve and maintain a high credit score as reflected in your credit report. Whether you are building or working to improve your credit score, it is critical to review your credit report annually.

There are three credit-reporting agencies that can provide you with your report: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. We recommend you review your report with all three agencies to ensure there are no discrepancies since each agency receives different information about you. You are entitled to one free credit report a year from the agency of your choice. If upon reviewing your report, you find false information, it’s critical you dispute it immediately.

If you are currently experiencing challenges with your credit, there are various ways to help repair it. Let us at Ovation help you. We offer a wide range of credit repair solutions, customized to meet your unique needs.

Contact us today to see how we can help.


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.

What is a Charge-Off and How Does it Impact Your Credit Score?

By | Credit Cards, Credit Repair, Credit Reports, Credit Scores

The jargon used by creditors can be just as troublesome as that used by lawyers. Things are not always as they seem, and it is important to know the specifics of any credit situation to avoid undue stress. If a creditor informs you of a charge-off imposed on your account, it does not mean that they have decided to cancel your charges out of the goodness of their hearts. If only, right?

In reality, a charge-off means that the creditors have labeled your debt as a financial loss for the company. It is akin to a foreclosure in the mortgage world, but because credits are unsecured debt (there is nothing the company can take back from you when you don’t make the payments), they simply mar your credit so that you cannot do it again. This negative mark is placed on your credit report for seven years. Generally an account is charged-off after six months of either less than minimum payments or no payments at all.

There are ways that you can repair your credit after receiving a charge-off. The best way to do this is to pay the debt – but only after contacting the lender and obtaining an agreement (preferably in writing) that they will change what they’ve reported to the credit bureaus upon receipt of the payment. Because a charge-off is an indication that you either did not have the means to make reliable payments or simply were irresponsible with your commitment, it will make it much more difficult to get credit in the future.

Fortunately, once the debt has been paid in full, the charge-off will be updated to a “paid” or “settled” mark, and if you can negotiate with the creditor, it may be removed entirely before the 7 years is up. Unless you can find a way to repair your credit, you are stuck with a lower rating that can impact everything from the interest rate you get on future loans to the cost of your monthly car insurance.

The best course of action is to avoid a charge-off entirely. Do your best to make more than minimum monthly payments every month, but at the very least, make the minimum payment on time. Talk to your creditor about any struggles you may be having. They do not want to admit financial loss any more than you want a negative mark on your credit, so it is likely that an agreement can be reached. There are also several tools available to help with credit repair. With dedication, you can soon rid yourself of debt completely.



Unraveling the Credit Rating Mystery

By | Credit Repair, Credit Reports, Credit Scores

Just thinking about your credit score can be daunting, and knowing how to manage it can be downright frightful! You might know that there are three credit reporting bureaus, and you may even know that you have a credit score that combines these three reports into one tidy number rating, but what can you DO about it?

The first thing to keep in mind is that you are allowed, by law, to obtain a free copy of your credit report from the three major reporting agencies every year. At minimum, you should review your credit report for discrepancies or to discover any accounts that you did not open. If you’ve recently picked up your free annual credit report and have started to look it over, you may feel like they left out the secret decoder ring!

Understanding what all of that credit lingo means can be difficult. What is the difference between revolving and installment accounts? How does your rating affects your present and future financial well-being? What do you do if there is a problem with your report? Worse yet, how do you handle it if you discover someone has stolen your identity?

They say that our greatest fear is that of the unknown, but you can make that fear a thing of the past by requesting a copy of your credit report and getting to know what the major credit agencies are reporting about you. Knowing how to understand and manage your credit report can help you keep your credit score in a place that gives you better purchasing power and lower interest rates on everything you finance.

If you are confused about the information contained in your credit report, we invite you to speak with our credit specialists, who can help you decipher your credit report and provide you with a no-charge consultation. What to expect from your consultation:

  • A thorough review of your credit reports.
  • Learn about negative accounts, such as items in collections.
  • Learn about positive accounts, like those in good standing.
  • A discussion about how it all ties together & what affects your score. Who has requested your score, public records, new vs. established credit accounts and much more are all in the mix.


  • How long can negative items affect your rating?
  • How can you improve your credit standing moving forward?

We also offer a variety of tools that can help you manage your finances and keep your credit under control. Whether you’re trying to pay down debt quickly or figure out which credit card to pay off first, our tools can help you decide what will be the best approach.

You can schedule a consultation with one of our specialists by calling 866-639-3426. Take control of your credit today!

How Long Can Information Be Reported On Your Credit Reports?

By | Bankruptcy, Collections, Consumer Rights, Credit Cards, Credit Laws, Credit Repair, Credit Reports, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Your Credit

One of the first credit repair steps involves removing information that is outdated.  The problem is that many consumers cannot tell when information is outdated.   On the surface, it seems like a simple exercise – just compare some dates.  While that is correct, the more difficult part involves determining which dates to compare.  The answers are provided in The Fair Credit Reporting Act, section 605.  According to section 605, the following items may not be reported on your credit reports:

  1. Bankruptcy: Cases under title 11 [United States Code] or under the Bankruptcy Act that, from the date of entry of the order for relief or the date of adjudication, as the case may be, antedate the report by more than 10 years.
  2. Civil suits, civil judgments, and records of arrest:  Civil suits, civil judgments, and records of arrest that from date of entry, antedate the report by more than seven years or until the governing statute of limitations has expired, whichever is the longer period.
  3. Paid tax liens: Paid tax liens which, from date of payment, antedate the report by more than seven years.
  4. Collections and Chare Offs: Accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss which antedate the report by more than seven years.
  5. Other Adverse Items: Any other adverse item of information, other than records of convictions of crimes which antedates the report by more than seven years.

So What Are The Exceptions?

There are exceptions to these general rules.  Most of the exceptions are based upon the use of the report.  The general rules are not applicable in the case of any consumer credit report to be used in connection with the following:

  1. Credit transactions involving, or which may reasonably be expected to involve, a principal amount of $150,000 or more;
  2. Underwriting of life insurance involving, or which may reasonably be expected to involve, a face amount of $150,000 or more; or
  3. Employment of any individual at an annual salary which equals, or which may reasonably be expected to equal $75,000, or more.

If you have ever wondered why there are so many different credit scoring models, this is one of the primary reasons.  The information that is permitted to be included on the credit report can vary depending on what the credit report is being used for.

So When Does The Time Period Start?

In regards to bankruptcy, the 10 year period starts at the date of entry of the order for relief or the date of adjudication.   In regards to the other items, the 7 year period begins, with respect to any delinquent account that is placed for collection (internally or by referral to a third party, whichever is earlier), charged to profit and loss, or subjected to any similar action, upon the expiration of the 180-day period beginning on the date of the commencement of the delinquency which immediately preceded the collection activity, charge to profit and loss, or similar action.   Clear as mud, right?

So What Does This Mean?

In order to understand if items on your credit report are outdated, you need to understand how the dates are calculated.  Remember, you should review your credit reports frequently for errors and signs of identity theft.  It is not uncommon that dates are incorrect.  In fact, in the case of debt collection, errors in the proper dates are very common.  These errors may result in negative items being reported longer than necessary.  Check the dates on your reports and verify that the information is correct.  If you need help, give us a call – we would be happy to assist you.


Credit Repair: What is a Credit Report Anyway?

By | Credit Repair, Credit Reports, Fair Credit Reporting Act

Understanding your credit report and credit score can help you manage and improve your credit situation.  By knowing what affects your credit report and credit scores, you will be able to take positive actions that may lower your credit risk and increase your credit score.

There are three major credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Together, these three bureaus compile and maintain credit files on nearly 90 percent of adults in the United States.

A common public misperception is that these bureaus are government agencies or extensions of the federal government.  In fact, the bureaus are private, for-profit companies that gather your credit history information and sell it to businesses that are legally permitted to see your report.  The businesses allowed to request your credit report include creditors such as banks and credit unions, credit card companies, mortgage lenders, and retail stores, in addition to employers, landlords, and insurance companies.

A consumer credit report is a document prepared by the credit bureaus that provides the following: Personal Information, Credit History, Public Records (bankruptcy, judgments, etc.), and Inquiries.  Other than inquiries, all of the above information remains on your credit report for seven to ten years.  This information is documented and sold to current and/or potential lenders, employers, landlords, and insurance agents for the purpose of providing the consumer’s payment history and credit worthiness.

Based upon the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit grantors are permitted to review your credit report to objectively determine your credit worthiness.  There are 190 million credit active people in the United States who have a credit file, meaning they have applied for credit in some form since they were eighteen.   As consumers pay their bills, most lenders report the payment and account information to at least one of the three credit bureaus.  However, a recent study shows that up to 79% of all credit reports contain inaccuracies.

While a bankruptcy, judgment, or late payments can lower your credit score pretty quickly, improving your score takes time.  It is best if you check your credit scores and credit reports at least every 6-12 months, especially prior to applying for a loan.  This way, you have no surprises when a potential lender views your report. You’ll have time to work on improving any inaccuracies on your credit report and work to increase your credit score, if needed.


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