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Late Payments Archives | Ovation Credit Repair Services

5 Credit Mistakes You Need to Avoid

By | Your Credit

It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to improve your credit or build a positive credit history from scratch, there are a few financial moves you should almost always avoid. Even one small misstep can result in lasting damage, undoing all the hard work you’ve already achieved.

Take a look at five of the most common credit mistakes and how you can prevent them from hurting your own credit report.

1. Making Late Payments

The largest factor determining your credit score is your payment history, making it extremely important to avoid paying any of your bills late. Obviously this includes any type of financing payments, like credit cards, student loans, mortgage, car loans, and any other kind of personal loan. But even things like your cell phone bill or utility payments have the potential to impact your credit report if you leave them unpaid for too long.

How much leeway do you have with your payments?

Your creditor can of course charge late payments according to your user agreement, so it’s always smart to pay by the due date. If you do happen to miss that, you have 30 days until the late payment can be reported to the credit bureaus. Once a negative item like that appears on your report, it can stay there for seven years, unless there’s been some type of credit error.

2. Reaching Your Credit Limit

Another credit mistake to avoid in order to fix credit or build it is to balance your credit utilization. How much you utilize each line of credit available to you also has a major impact on your credit health.

For instance, maxing out $5,000 on a single credit card is generally more harmful to your credit than spreading that same amount over multiple cards. The is because your finances seem more precarious if you don’t have much of an emergency buffer through your various lines of credit.

A quick credit repair tactic is to either pay down your maxed out cards or ask for a credit limit extension. If you take that route, just make sure you don’t actually use the extra room on your card.

3. Closing Accounts for the Wrong Reasons

When you have problems with accumulating credit card debt, your immediate reaction may be to shut down your accounts. But that can actually hurt you instead of helping to improve your credit. Here’s how:

First, your average account age is part of the calculation determining your credit score. When you close a credit card, the card eventually drops off your credit report and lowers the length of your credit history.

Second, when you close one line of credit, that automatically increases your overall credit utilization if you still have outstanding balances on other accounts.

Avoid this credit mistake – when is it a good idea to close an account?

If you’re paying an annual fee and not getting any kind of benefit, it might be time to say goodbye. Additionally, you may want to close a card after a credit dispute over a fraudulent account.

4. Applying for Multiple Credit Cards or Loans at Once

Every time you apply for any type of financing, you’ll see a new inquiry appear on your credit report. Some lenders or credit card companies start off the pre-approval process with a “soft check,” which doesn’t hurt your credit repair efforts. But once you fill out a formal application, they’ll usually perform a hard check.

These inquiries stay on your credit report for two years and can damage your credit for one year. Even though the drops are usually just minor, several inquiries can really start to add up. If you want to fix your credit, pay attention to how many hard pulls are being done.

5. Ignoring the Need for Credit Repair

Getting help with the credit repair process is oftentimes a good choice for many Americans. In fact, the FTC has performed lengthy studies indicating that at least 70% of the population believe they have unresolved credit disputes plaguing their reports.

At Ovation Credit, it’s easy to find out if you would benefit from professional credit repair services. See if it’s the best option for your personal situation by signing up for a free consultation on our site.

Sources:

https://www.myfico.com/credit-education/whats-in-your-credit-score/

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2015/01/ftc-issues-follow-study-credit-report-accuracy

How Long Does It Stay on My Credit Report?

By | Credit Reports

If your credit report includes some negative items, it’s important to know how long they will remain there. Every negative mark on your credit report has some impact on your overall credit score, so the sooner a negative mark no longer shows up, the better. If you’re trying to improve your credit score, take a look at some of the most common types of negative items and how long they will stay on your credit report.

Credit Report Lifetime

Late Payments

If you paid a debt more than 30 days late, your creditor may have reported it to the credit bureaus. It will take about seven years from the date of your late payment for it to come off your report.

A payment that was 90 days late affects your score more negatively than a payment that was 30 or 60 days past due. In addition, the older your late payment is, the less it affects your credit score. So while it might take seven years to get a late payment off your report, its impact will gradually lessen as you get closer to that seven-year mark.

Collections

Any debts you haven’t paid on time may go to collections, and these will stay on your credit report for seven years plus 180 days from the date of the first missed payment. Even one account going to collections will reduce your credit score, as will any subsequent accounts that you leave unpaid. Even after you pay an account that has gone to collections, it may remain on your credit report unless you contact the creditor or a credit repair agency for help removing it.

Charge-Offs

Many creditors decide that your debt is a lost cause once your payment is more than 120 days late, so they mark it as a charge-off. Essentially, it’s a negative item on your credit report at that point, and it will stay there for seven years plus 180 days from the date of the first missed payment. This is the case even if you pay this debt off eventually. Keep in mind that you may still owe the debt after it has been charged off, because the creditor can still sell it to a collections office that will contact you for payment.

Bankruptcy

The amount of time a bankruptcy stays on your credit report depends on the chapter you filed. For a discharged chapter 13 bankruptcy, it will stay on your report for seven years, since you had to repay at least some of the debt you owed. For chapter 7 or 11, the bankruptcy will show up for 10 years, since debts are not repaid with these chapters.

Foreclosure

Before you foreclose on a home, you should know the foreclosure will stay on your credit report for up to seven years from the date you file. This timeline also applies to a short sale, which will be reported as a negative mark on your credit report and will therefore make it more difficult for you to buy another house for at least seven years.

Tax Liens

If you have a tax lien on your credit report due to not paying your taxes, this negative item will remain on your report for up to seven years after the IRS filed it. This is the case even after you’ve paid it off. If you want it to come off sooner, contacting the IRS to see if you qualify for withdrawal of the lien. This is a good step to consider if you need to get a loan or mortgage soon and do not want an old tax lien affecting your credit score and thus your chance of obtaining the loan or mortgage.

Inquiries

Credit inquiries may show up as negative marks on your credit report, but they’re not as damaging to your score as many of the other negative items discussed above. In fact, soft inquiries do not damage your credit score at all. An example of a soft inquiry is when a current creditor reviews your account to see if you’re eligible for a better interest rate or increased credit limit. Checking your own credit score is also a soft inquiry.

On the other hand, hard inquiries occur when you apply for a new credit account, such as a car loan or credit card. This will damage your credit score slightly, but only for up to one year. Luckily, the effects of either type of inquiry are minimal, since inquiries stay on your report for up to two years.

Clearly, with most types of negative items on your credit report, the magic number is seven. So any time you make a mistake when it comes to your finances, you could be suffering the consequences for the next seven years. The good news is that you may be able to reduce the amount of time the typical negative mark stays on your report, because you have the option of hiring a credit repair company to help. This could get items removed much sooner and is worth looking into if you plan to make any big purchases soon that require you to have a good credit score.

Sources:

https://www.credit.com/credit-reports/late-payment-secrets-revealed/

http://blog.equifax.com/credit/faq-how-long-does-information-stay-on-my-credit-report/

https://www.credit.com/credit-repair/how-long-do-things-stay-on-your-credit-report/

http://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/how-long-do-paid-public-records-remain-on-your-report/

5 Biggest Credit Score Myths Debunked

By | Credit Scores

Credit Score Myth

Your credit score plays an important part in your life. Whether you realize it or not, that three-digit number can impact whether you are hired for a job, the interest rate on your credit card, and even your mortgage payment. Yet, around 40 percent of Americans never bother to check their credit ratings, and many people simply don’t understand how credit scores work.

Let’s put a stop to that. Here are five of the biggest credit score myths, and the truth behind the lies.

Credit Score Myth 1 -You Only Have One Credit Score

One of the biggest credit score myths is that each person only has one credit score. The reality could not be further from that misconception. The truth is that each credit reporting agency has its own method for calculating your credit rating, and many lenders have their own system, too.

There are three main credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – but they aren’t the only ones in the game. There are lots of credit reporting agencies in the United States. Then, there are the companies like FICO and Beacon that have their own systems for figuring your credit score. The worst part is that, depending on the algorithm each one uses, your credit score could vary significantly.

Credit Score Myth 2 – The Fewer Credit Cards You Have the Better

Another popular credit score myth is that the fewer credit cards and loans you have, the higher your credit score will be. People, believing the lie, close their accounts and pay off loans early in an effort to boost their credit scores, but when the dust settles, their credit scores are often lower than they were before they closed those accounts.

The reason comes down to the amount you owe relative to the available credit you have. It is called credit utilization, and it has a major impact on your credit score. If you close your accounts, the amount of available credit you have also goes down and your credit utilization rate increases in response. In turn, your credit score takes an unnecessary hit. Ideally, you want to have a large amount of credit available and be using a small percentage of it.

Credit Score Myth 3 – Your Credit Score Is Affected by Your Income

The idea that your credit score is impacted by your income is a common myth, and it couldn’t be more false. Your credit score is calculated using many different factors. Whether you have paid late or missed a payment, how much you owe, your credit history, the number of new accounts you’ve opened, and the types of credit you carry all figure into your credit score to varying degrees. Income is not part of that picture.

While a creditor or lender may use your income in tandem with your credit score to make a decision about whether to grant your loan or allow you to open a credit card, if someone such as your insurance company or a potential employer runs your credit score, your income does not come into it. In fact, credit reporting agencies do not even have access to that information.

Credit Score Myth 4 – One Late Payment Isn’t a Big Deal

The mail gets lost. You misplace your statement. The dog eats your bill. Late payments happen. However, they have a bigger impact than you might expect. “Payment history is typically the single largest factor in a credit score,” explains Discover. Your payment history makes up about 35 percent of your credit score, and some places may weight it even higher – the penalty can be severe. According to Discover, “Missing one payment could wind up on your credit report for up to seven years. What’s more, in the short term, it can drop your score by more than 100 points.” That’s enough of a drop to cost you an opportunity or at least qualify you for a far less advantageous interest rate.

Credit Score Myth 5 – Your Credit Score Is Accurate

One of the most dangerous myths about your credit score is that it will always be accurate. After all, why check your credit score if you can’t change it? As it turns out, there are some pretty big reasons to keep an eye on your credit score.

According to a 2013 study by the Federal Trade Commission, “one in four consumers identified errors on their credit reports that might affect their credit scores,” and for around 5 percent of people, those errors were significant enough to result in paying higher interest rates. The FTC also found “slightly more than one in 10 consumers saw a change in their credit score after the CRAs modified errors on their credit report.”

Moreover, the study found that one out of 250 people had an error on their credit report that resulted in a change of over 100 points after the inaccuracy was corrected. It is for this reason that the government allows you to check your credit report from each major credit reporting agency once a year. It is also the reason that so many companies provide assistance in correcting credit report errors.

With this much misinformation out there, it can be hard to know what to do about your credit score. You need a trusted adviser who knows what goes into a credit score, as well as how to correct errors in your credit report. Ovation Credit Services can help you make sure your credit report is accurate and provide you with the guidance you need to improve your score and reach your financial goals. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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.

When I pay off a collection or charge off account, will it start reporting as paid in full and as a positive account?

By | Ask a Credit Expert, Collections, Consumer Rights, Credit Cards, Credit Laws, Credit Repair, Debt, Payment, Personal Finance, Your Credit

When you pay off a collection or charge off account on your credit report that is great. It is always in a consumer’s best interest to pay off their debt. However, a lot of consumers think that once the account is paid that it is no longer negative and has actually become positive. That would be great, unfortunately that is not the case, and it is still a negative account. The creditor should update your account on your credit report to show that it is paid in full or paid collection/charge off.  By updating that information it will have a positive impact on your credit report and more importantly on your credit score. The amounts owed on your accounts is 30% of your credit score, so as you pay accounts off it will help to raise your credit score. By paying accounts off they no longer have such a bad impact on the credit score.

Your credit scores will improve when you pay off accounts because your reports will show you owe less money to creditors, it will stop the account from updating every month that it is not paid and it’s late, and it will keep the date of last activity as when it was paid.  When the account is paid off it stops the activity on the account so that it will fall off of your credit reports 7 years (for most items) from the date of last activity.  All collection, charge off, and late payments should come off your reports 7 years from the date of last activity. If you have accounts that have not updated as paid or have not come off your reports when they were supposed to, then give us a call.

If you have any other questions about items on your credit reports, how items are reporting, and when items will come off your credit reports, please call one of our Experts at Ovation Credit Services.  Call 1-866-639-3426 and schedule a FREE credit consultation! Check out http://www.ovationcredit.com/howItWorks/howWeHelp.php to see other ways we can help! We are here to guide you to a BETTER Financial Future!

Can I dispute an account on my credit reports that I know is my account?

By | Ask a Credit Expert, Bankruptcy, Collections, Consumer Rights, Credit Cards, Credit Repair, Payment, Your Credit

Yes, you can dispute accounts on your credit reports that belong to you.  Just because an account is yours, does not mean that it is reporting accurately or that all of the information reporting on the account is correct. Statistics show that 79% of credit reports in the United States contain errors.  If an account has incomplete or inaccurate information then you would want to dispute the account and any information reporting on it that is incorrect.  You can dispute the balance of the account, any incorrect dates reporting with the account, whether the account is open or closed, or any other information that is listed incorrectly. For example, if you have an account that is reporting as being 90 days late and you know it was never late, then you would dispute the late payment to get the late payment updated/removed from your report, not the entire account.  That is exactly why you want to review your report at least once a year.

As a consumer it is in your best interest to go through your credit report once or twice a year and review all of the accounts and the information reporting on each account. That way if you find inaccurate information and/or accounts, you can dispute them right away. Too many consumers wait and then review their credit reports when they are trying to finance a car or a home and then it is too late. If there are negative errors on your credit reports you run the risk of being declined or being approved but with a high interest rate or needing a co-signer. So, check your report and review each account that is reporting to make sure everything is accurate. If something is inaccurate or incomplete at that time then you can dispute the information and get it corrected before you need to use your credit.

If you need help disputing your credit reports, contact the Experts at Ovation Credit Services where you will get First Class Customer Service! Go to www.ovationcredit.com for more information, or call 1-866-639-3426!

As long as I pay my bills on time every month I should have high credit scores, right?

By | Ask a Credit Expert

When we were in the dark about credit and credit scores (just 15+ years ago), someone would have told you YES.  However, now that it is almost 2011 we have some more light on the subject and know that just paying our bills on time every month does NOT give us a high credit score.  It helps our credit scores, but it is not the only factor.  There is a balance to having an optimal credit score, one that takes work.   Credit scores are calculated by an algorithm created by Fair Isaac Company to rate consumers on how much of a risk they are when it comes to paying back borrowed money.  Although we have not gained access to the algorithm we have gained some insight into the categories that make up the credit score and how some things can affect our scores.

Our credit scores are broken up into 5 categories: Payment History (35%), Amounts Owed (30%), Length of Credit History (15%), New Credit (10%), and Types of Credit in Use (10%). Making your monthly payments on time is a big part of your credit score (35% to be exact), but it is not everything.  It is important to: keep a good balance of the types of accounts that you have, keep your accounts in good standing as long as you can – the older the accounts the better, keep your balances paid off each month or keep the balances under 50% of the line of credit, if possible.

If you are going to be applying for credit soon, make sure you don’t open any new accounts right before because that can make your credit scores drop.  You also don’t want to pay off your cards and then start closing them out, this shortens your Length of Credit History and will actually make your credit scores go down as well.

Reaching and maintaining a high credit score takes work and understanding of credit.  But you are not alone. Ovation Credit Services is always here to answer your questions and help you achieve your credit goals!

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