My husband and I are looking to buy a house in the upcoming year. We have run into some trouble looking for a lender because our credit is, for lack of a better term, crap! I am looking for ideas on how to raise our scores. We pay our bills on time, so that isn't the problem. My husband has a very generic name, and has been the victim of fraud 3 times in the last 10 years. He has found a recent fraudulent claim on his credit report. What should we do?
Actually, I was in the same position a few years back and I wrote a hub on how I managed to undig myself. You're welcome to read it to see if it would help.
I suggest that your husband continue to do all he can to correct this fraudulent claim on his credit report. Secondly, for example,When you go around shopping for a home equity loan just to see what rate you can get; FICO tires to account for similar credit inquiry activity, all falling within a small window(approx.45dys)such as when you go shopping for mortgage, but it still make sense to limit your activity in this area. This will further hurt your credit.In the meantime, try to keep a few of your old credit cards open (use them occasionally)for as long as possible.
What raised mine was getting a couple of credit cards and using them for small amounts and paying them off every month. I got a huge boost from that.
Also, order your credit report and dispute every single item on it. Even if you owe it, dispute it. Sometimes the creditor won't respond in the time allowed and the credit agency has to remove that item from your report.
One of the main things is how much available credit you have. If you have credit cards with lots of charges on them, then just paying them on time won't do it. However, if you don't have a credit card, I would suggest getting one. Don't get too many as that goes against your credit. Hold onto the credit card and only use it for something you can pay off that day. I would charge my gas for my car on my credit card and then go home and pay it off. That helped me have great credit. However, my husband had 7 credit cards when I met him. We had to have him close down enough to where he only has 3 now. You might want to consider life lock. We use them to protect our names from fraud and they will send us letters every once in a while telling us the accounts that were open on our names. It's worth spending the $100 a year for it.
I have been in the sales and finance industry for a long time but it's hard to help with such limited information. If you need a quick 100 point boost in your credit score find a relative that will put you on their credit card as an "authorized user". Make sure it's got a decent credit limit $10,000 plus, with at least 2 years of great payment history. They will send them a card with your name on it, just tell them to cut it up, you only want the credit boost.
As far as your husbands generic name. Credit reporting agencies do combine files of like names but only when the address's are similar, or same town etc. There has to be some simularities to combine a file. A lot of married women have two files. One with their maiden name and another with their married name. A quick letter to the agency will combine the two.
Give me more information and I will be glad to help more. There is a fix that involves taking all the negative credit reporters to court. But thats more than what I should post here.
There is very affordable, highly effective help available to deal with the identity theft, and help you prevent further occurrences. We offer a service that will assign a licensed private investigator from the largest, most effective, best known service in the world, to work actively on your behalf to get things restored and back to normal. Cheap @ $9.95/month for both you and your husband. Reply privately at swsw (dot) ppl (at) gmail (dot) com for more info.
I would caution you with using a relative's credit card as Sales scoop has recommended doing because with the new credit scoring system, that may actually hurt your scores (according to a recent MSN article about the new credit scoring system coming out). If your husband has been a victim of credit fraud it may take some time to get it resolved. I would first talk with an attorney and find out what they would suggest you do, especially if this has been an ongoing issue (with credit fraud). If you have been paying everything on time that is half the battle. I would definately look at paying off your debt (or getting it down to at least 50% of your available limits) as quickly as possible. Then dispute the fraudulent charges with the bureaus. I would pull all 3 bureaus (go to www.annualcreditreport.com it is free once a year) you will get the reports but not the scores. Then make notes as to which ones are in dispute. I would then file a dispute with the bureaus(on line) and then wait. It takes about 45 days to get an answer back (bureaus have to investigate the claims) but if you provide them the police report and any pertinent information it may not be as bad as it used to be with disputing fraud cases (because it happens so much). I would also call up the companies that are in dispute and see what you have to do from their end to dispute the account. Companies are very good these days with working with people who have been victims of credit fraud. This again may take some time because of the laws but looking on the bright side of things, home prices won't be going up anytime soon, so you have time.
Banks like to see that you have a few lines of credit (3-5)-- this includes auto loans, department stores (revolving credit), visa/MC/Amex (revolving credit). One of the elements to determining scores is your "ratio". A ratio is a percentage of available credit to how much you have used. Under 30% is best.
ie- you have 3 cards each with a limit of $2500- don't allow more than $825 balance on any card to extend into the next month. You don't want to "carry balances" higher than 30%.
Don't close accounts unless you have more than 5. If you close accounts, close the newest ones and the ones with the smallest credit lines. Pay them way down to $50 or so or down to 0, but don't close them. Closing accounts reduces your "total" available credit.
Credit card companies are now charging yearly fees again just like they used to years ago so people are closing accounts. What many don't realize is this can bring your score down.
Some banks will charge fees no matter how much you spend- like American Express ($150 and up yearly fee), others won't charge the fee if you charge a certain amount on the card over a years time- like $2500 min.
Banks also like to see cards "seasoned" (the longer you have them the better).
One way to boost your line of credit is to put all of your purchases you would normally make in a month (up to your limit on the card of course) on your card, and then paying that off ON TIME. you can usually pay things like car insurance on your card too. pay everything you can think of.
Keep doing this for several months on each card. You should be able to either request an increase in credit line or get one offered automatically. Just be careful you don't get too much in open lines of credit ($40K or so)because then it can start to work against you).
This shows on the "HIGH OF" section on your credit report and tells the bank that you can handle your money.
Just make sure that you have the discipline and the resources to actually pay it off- otherwise you will hurt your score.
ALWAYS pay on time. It really is a big deal to miss a payment. It doesn't matter if it is $10 or $1000. It is not the amount that counts it is the missed payment. This is true for any consumer account that reports to a credit agency.
Pay off the smallest balanced card first. Then apply the amount you used to pay on that card each month to pay down the next highest balanced card, until that one is paid off. Keep this up until you are tackling the biggest balance or a car loan.
In essence you are paying the minimums on all the other cards except the one you are paying off. Doing this sequentially will help you get rid of debt faster.
I hope this helps! Congrats on getting ready to buy a house- word of wisdom- use an experienced Realtor, not your aunt Jane or friend Martha who just got a license- if you are buying a short sale, probate, country property with wells, or REO bank owned property. Also- get references for both your Lender and your agent...bad idea to use the same agent for both the mortgage and the loan.
Good luck. If you have any other questions-contact me OK?
Laura @ BAGT
Great advice. This is what I did to get all of my cards paid off. I paid slightly over the minimum on all except the one I was working on paying off. Then moved to the next card. I found it easier to pay off the one with the lowest amount owed first.
As for correcting any and all fraudulent claims, you want to pull your credit score, see what is fraudulent and contact those companies to figure out how to file a dispute.
You motivated me!! I wrote a hub about your question with links to where you need to go. As far as Carlo Dall'Olmo comment, for the lack of better words, he is wrong. I have been doing this for 18 years and I know what it takes to repair your credit. Becoming an authorized user HELPS A TON!! I also know of a company that will purchase the house for you and sell it on a land contract. I don't know if I am allowed to give the link so just email me and I will be happy to give it to you.
The best way to help your credit is to do what you are doing..paying bills on time. Take out a credit card or a secure card and pay it on time. My suggestion is to get a credit card and buy a music cd or something one a month and pay it off to build up good payment history. As far as the credit fraud, if you have proof of the credit fraud you can provide that proof to the lender so they can look past that. I have been a victim of ID fraud in the past. I recommend going forward to sign up for LifeLock, its a great service and can save such headaches in the future. I have info on my hubs as well.... take what you learn from all of us, and let us know when you purchase a home. I haven't posted it yet on my blog but there are programs to help you purchase your home even with bad credit...... let me know if you are interested...... have a great day
Credit score basically depend on how much and how long you have being taking debts and how is your history of repaying them back and also the proportion of debt that you use from your limit.Therefore, you have to take debts at maximum but within your repaying capacity and have a history of debts as long as you can.So that, you should not cut off and cancel your previous cards especially which are older.Now you have to think of your repayment capacity and furthermore, we have to understand taking debts is habitual if not addictive like to narcotics;thus,you should use only one or two credit cards only and and pay them full or at least 50-70% of the bill.If you are addicted on debts gradually increase your paying proportion and replace debt taking habit with saving habits from saving money from the top of your income but not at the end.You should not take loans to pay your debts in the credit card, because it will only top up your debts and only remedy is control over the habit of debt taking. Remember banks survive with our debts and credit score is there to enforce compulsory repayment to them with linked punishment. Read My hub on liabilities in hubpages.com/dpsusanthan
Do you know what your score is? If it's not over 700 or very close to it you don't have much of a chance of getting a mortgage until this housing/credit mess clears up nationally. I mean, it's really, really hard to get a mortgage right now without good credit.
Everyone has come up with great ideas here. If you want a fast answer, call a realtor you trust, explain your situation, and ask who he or she works with on financing. Any realtor worth spit will get you a name and number so you can get prequalified and they can try to sell you something. BUT you don't have to do anything more than go in and talk to the lender you get set up with. You can stop there, with just the info.
You'll instantly find out your FICO score and what you need to do to get in better shape, as well as what your current financing options are or if you even have any. It doesn't hurt to build relationships before you are actually ready to buy. Make these people earn their money.
You can also go to the websites of Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax separately and find instructions for disputing whatever looks wrong on your report. I did it several years back and was semi-successful.
You can also google 'letter of explanation' and learn how to attach comments explaining why something on your report is hurting your score even though you feel you are a good risk.
These are all good answers how to boost your credit and credit scores but there is no fast fix. It sometimes takes years to dig out of the credit quagmire. I know it took me 10 years after my business went belly up. I did all the right things, such as paying off what I could and only taking credit for what was left over. I made all payments on time. It only takes one month for someone to report you late on a payment to drag you down again. You need to have at least a year's worth of on times and minimum payments made. You can't spend more than 30% of your available credit without that taking you down. So, my suggestion is to do what you are doing and try to write your current debt down.
What I suggest is that either you go for prevention or treatment.
Prevention is to learn the legal steps you must take to improve the credit report and beware of credit-repair scams.
Treatment is to pay the loans on time.
Still there are some money lenders are there who offer payday loans to the bad credit scores.
MoneyMonkee says DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, go to Payday Loan -- in Monkee Opinion that is the banana peel slippery slope that lead to living in a tree (or under a bridge). Predatory interest rates (think Lion under tree, waiting for Monkee to make mistake) is only the beginning. According to people who know these things (Monkees could not care less), MOST people who borrow from Payday Loan places cannot pay back within the time allowed and then, helpfully, the Payday place will add in the accrued interest and re-lend THAT amount for another two-week or month period. Even Monkees know this is paying interest on interest and going around in such circles make Monkees dizzy and fall down.
Its not much difficult to Raise Credit Score..If you'll notice these 3 items concerned paying down credit balances, Your Credit Score will definitely gonna raise..
1. Pay down your credit cards.
2. Don't use credit card issuers who don't report your credit limit..
It is as simple as that..
Some good advice here. However, I will tell you that disputing everything on your credit report is not a good idea, and it doesn't work the way it did a few years ago. The credit bureaus and creditors have become wise to that, and it's never a good idea to make fraudulent statements. Disputing accurate credit information is fraud. I'm a bankruptcy lawyer, and most of my clients obviously have awful credit. The advice I give them is to continue making on-time payments on their existing debt (particularly vehicle payments), get a secured credit card or low-limit unsecured card and pay off the balance each month, and save up as much cash as possible. Money always talks, and if you have a large down payment, you will get a much better interest rate on a mortgage, car loan, or any other type of credit.
always pay bill on time - i do direct debit - so i wont worry about late paying my bill .
if there was fraud on the report you can report it with the police. once you have a police report number you can then contact the creditors and the credit bureaus and let them know. if they are aware that a charge was done fraudulently, then they HAVE to remove it. most often times you will need to produce the police report.
best of luck!
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