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CreditSesame - Free Credit Score

Credit Sesame is a 100% free personal finance credit and debt management tool with no credit card required or trial period. Credit Sesame makes managing personal credit online, owing less in interest and saving on mortgage, loan & credit card payments easy! It gives an instant view of consumer's credit, including Experian credit score, refreshed monthly & for free, & debt analysis with personalized offers tailored to consumer’s credit profile.

So, stick to these 4 tips to make your credit score sparkle and maximize your savings:

- Pay your bills on time, all the time -- every time.
- Watch your credit card balances, use as little of your available credit as possible and your credit score will thank you.
- Avoid credit card debt, only charge what you can comfortably afford to pay off at the end of each month. Trust us, it will still build your credit.
- Maintain a good mix of credit including credit cards, auto loans, mortgage, etc., and manage them wisely. How does your credit measure up? Keep tabs on your credit with your Credit Sesame account to see how we can help you save or improve your financial situation in 2012.

Pay to Delete Unwanted Credit Report Accounts

When disputing negative credit report items isn’t enough, consider using a pay for delete. That’s when you pay off an account in exchange for having it deleted from your credit report.

Pay for delete is just one of several credit repair strategies you can use. It isn’t always successful as creditors and debt collectors aren’t required to remove any accurate information from your credit report. In fact, credit bureaus encourage businesses to leave this information on your credit report. Ultimately, it’s up to the business whether to report an item on your credit report. So that’s who you approach with a pay for delete.

Pay for delete strategy won’t work with every account. It’s a better use of your time to try this negotiation on the entries that are most likely to get a good response. For example, don’t a pay for delete on accounts that are current, but have past delinquency or accounts that have already been paid off.

The accounts that are best for a pay for delete are collections and charge-offs.

Getting a pay for delete is all a matter of negotiation. The agreement you’re looking for is this: I’ll pay this account if you remove it from my credit report upon receipt of payment.

Anytime you make an agreement with an account, you should get that agreement in writing, even if the agreement is made over the phone. Get a signed copy of the agreement before you send payment. A signed copy of your agreement is the only leverage you have to make sure the creditor or debt collector holds up their end of the deal.

You can try to negotiate a pay for delete over the phone, but it’s often better to send a letter. In your letter, state that you’re willing to pay the debt in exchange for having the account removed from your credit report. Don’t acknowledge that the debt is yours or make a promise to pay other than in exchange for deletion.

If you can’t afford to pay the entire debt, and the debt is owned by a collection agency, you can try to offer a lower lump-sum payment in exchange for deletion. Debt collectors often by debts for less than 10% of the face value, so they’re like to go for a settlement offer. This is especially true if the account has been through several collection agencies.

Here’s a sample body of a pay for delete letter. Remember to change any part of the letter to make it fit your situation.

In checking my credit report, I discovered your claim that I owe $XXX for an alleged debt. I would like to make an offer on this debt that would serve both our interests.

I am aware that your company has the right to report this debt to the credit bureaus as you see fit. I am willing to pay $XXX as full satisfaction on this debt if you agree to remove the listing from my credit report.

This is not a promise to pay or an acknowledgement of the debt. I am aware that I have the right to dispute the validity of this debt and request that you send proof of this debt. I believe my offer works in both our favor.

If you accept this offer, sign and date a copy of this agreement and return it to me. I will make payment only if I receive a signed and dated copy of this agreement.

Annual Credit Report Request

Annual Credit Report Request

An annual credit report needs to be furnished when applying for a loan, mortgage or a credit card, since it helps to determine the credit worthiness of the applicant. An annual credit report request can be made to different credit bureaus online as well as via phone or mail. You are also entitled to free credit reports from the three major national bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union, once a year, under US Federal Law.

How to Make an Annual Credit Report Request

To process your annual credit card request you will be required to furnish various specifics, including:

  • Name

  • Current and previous addresses

  • Telephone number

  • Social security number

  • Date of birth

In order to verify your identity, you will be required to provide copies of various documents, such as bank statement, driver's license and utility bill(s).

You can put in your annual credit report request at www.annualcreditreport.com, which is the only site authorized to provide free credit reports.

Annual Credit Report Request: Issues

Although making an annual credit report request is beneficial and convenient, it is not sufficient. A better alternative is to request for a credit report every few months or every quarter. Such reports help to update the current credit status more comprehensively as well as reduce the possibility of errors. If errors are identified late, they could cause greater damage and also take a longer time to be rectified by the credit reporting company.

Another issue with the free annual credit report request is that such reports do not provide the credit score. A credit score determines the credit worthiness of an individual. If this numerical value is high, an individual can obtain credit more easily as well as qualify for lower interest rates. Hence, individuals have to put in separate requests for obtaining a credit score. Different credit bureaus use different scoring models. The most popular credit scoring method is the FICO Score, ranging between 350 and 850.

Finally, bear in mind that the three major bureaus might not necessarily share information. Hence, your credit report content may be different with each one. Therefore, it is advisable to make separate annual credit report requests at each bureau.

Annual Credit Report

Annual credit report request form is required by an individual when he wants to check his credit ratings. It is very essential to avail the annual report due to numerous reasons the prominent among them is the detection of identity thefts. It shows in detail the repayment pattern of a consumer towards the lenders to which he owes money. It is the indicator of your borrowing and repaying habits for a particular year which acts as a guide for lenders while verifying your loan application.

Ordering individual company reports at different times during the year gives you a chance to monitor your credit report more frequently without having to pay for your additional reports. Ordering it can help you be aware of your credit power or in some cases your lack of power. Ordering your free report is the first step to taking charge of your financial situation. It sounds scary, but it's not, the hardest part is getting started.

Checking your own credit, placing a fraud alert or subscribing to a monitoring service does not cause a hard inquiry. Inquiries stay on your credit report for up to two years. However if a lender or a credit card company checks your credit report, it goes down as a hard inquiry and may cost you five points.

Checking your score is necessary. Checking the information on your credit report on a regular basis can help in two ways. First, it can alert you to any fraudulent activity that has been taking place with your name or your accounts.

Check out our videos on identity theft and especially medical identity theft. Checking your credit reports should be good to tell you if everything there is OK. Checking your credit through the credit bureaus directly can cost you as much as $9 per report, although it differs from state to state. You can request that the report be mailed to you or obtain it online.

Check with your financial institution about the interchange fee that takes place. Usually, by selecting "credit," your institution collects a small fee from the merchant. Check your state laws to see what you are guaranteed! Check your credit report at least once a year to correct errors and detect unauthorized activity.

Free annual credit report is a document that contains all your relevant personal and financial information such as your full legal name, your date of birth, and your social security number. It also contains your current and previous addresses, and current and previous employment information. Free yearly credit report helps you to keep a check on your credit standings in the market. By availing this report you can evaluate your credit conditions that can prevent you from bad credit report. Free instant credit report is provided by any of the three major credit bureaus. The credit report which is basically annual report of your credit history gives you the detailed information about your financial position in your credit dealings.

The following information is on your credit report such as your residence history, open accounts, derogatory reporting, public records, open accounts, closed accounts, outstanding balances, minimum monthly payment amounts, outdated ratings and inquiries. If you find errors or questionable activity, there are additional steps you will need to take in order to get the information updated and corrected.

Identity theft is happening every second in American and if you have a credit score, it makes you a target, which means everyone is now a potential target in the arena of identity theft. Identity theft: When a person gains access to your credit card details like the PIN or the SSN, it is called identity theft. A person can use your credit card and can substantially ruin your financial life.

Request that the fraud department flag your file with a fraud alert. You may also wish to consider asking the three agencies to put a freeze on your credit reports thereby locking out anyone seeking to open an account or fraudulently establish new credit in your name. Request and receive a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The three companies have set up a central website (annualcreditreport.com), a toll-free telephone number (1-877-322-8228).

Lender that you applied with is obligated to give your name of agency from which he acquired your credit information. Also he will have to furnish you with a valid reason for loan rejection. Lenders always check your report before giving approval. And if your loan denied, you can call for your credit report anytime. Lenders looking to issue credit in the name of someone with a credit freeze will be unable to access the credit history without your explicit permission.

Errors in your credit report can affect your credit score and, in turn, your ability to get a loan or to obtain a favorable interest rate. You are not required to order your credit score. Errors on your credit report can cost you in higher interest rates. Things on your credit report can last a long time, especially if you've ever declared bankruptcy.

Thank you for taking your time to read this article. Your comments on this article will be highly appreciated. Information shared here does not constitute financial, legal, or other professional advice, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or should be formed by use of the site. This article is intended to provide general information only and does not give advice which relates to your specific individual circumstances. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Any link-listing or ad-listing on this site does not constitute any type of endorsement.

Gurmit loves travelling; he has been over 70 countries.He speaks fluent Cantonese, Polish, Hindi, Punjabi and English. Gurmit is an author, writer, insurance and mortgage expert. He frequently writes on various topics of interest to his readers. Gurmit Singh is a licensed mortgage expert with Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Villa.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2565788

Dealing With Collection Agencies on Your Credit Report

Clearing up your credit history often will involve handling collection agencies that have assumed your old debts. Collection agents are infamous for using tactics that are less-than-nice when trying to get back money owed. In many cases, a collection agent will get paid a percentage of the debt they are collecting on so they utilized no-holds-barred techniques to get a payment.

For some consumers who show collection agency information on their credit report, it can be difficult to negotiate the removal of the data from the report. But there are methods to be considered when trying to clear a collection agency debt from your consumer credit report.

Here are four options you have for handling a collection agency debt:

If the collection agency is able to validate your debt and it is a relatively small amount, it may be in your best interest to pay the balance off in full with the contingency that the debt information will be removed from your credit report. Not all collection agencies will be cooperative but many will agree to remove the data once the debt has been satisfied in full. They want to get back as much money as possible so they will be somewhat open to working with you. Too many consumers fail to ask for the incentive when they agree to pay in full so they end up with no real changes on their credit report. Get any agreements in writing.

For larger debts you can not afford to pay in full, discuss with the agent a settlement amount agreeable to both parties. Tell the agent the lowest reasonable amount you can afford to pay so you have room for negotiations if they want more. Typically, collection agencies will be agreeable to a settlement provided you agree to pay in one lump sum. When you negotiate, make sure you actually have the funds to cover a one-time payment or it may be much harder to negotiate a second time. When you agree to settle with lump sum payments, make sure to inquire about the agency agreeing to remove the information from your credit report. Again, if you are planning to pay off much of the debt, they may be willing to remove their data. If they agree, make sure you get a written confirmation.

If you are exploring your credit report and come across some collection agency information that you either do not recognize or contend you don’t owe, file a dispute with the credit reporting bureaus who must investigate the matter in 30 days. The credit bureaus have to make contact with the collection agency and will request proof of the debt owed. If they can not provide this information, the credit bureau must delete the negative information from your credit report. Once this data is gone, you can see a rise in your credit score. If the debt is legitimately yours, you will have to make good on the debt in order for a change to be made on your credit history. The good news for the consumer is that many creditors and collection agencies do not keep records for years on end so it may be difficult for them to provide proof of debts to the credit reporting agencies.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act makes it possible for consumers to dispute the information provided by a collection agency. The rights of the consumer involve the ability to request an account investigation which must be completed within 30 days of receipt of the request, much like a credit bureau investigation. If the collection agency fails to reply in the time period, the information must be removed from a credit report by law. This essentially means the collection agent can not prove you owe the debt. If they can’t prove it to you, they can’t prove it to the credit bureaus and the offending information must be deleted.

What Is Bad Credit?

Good credit and bad credit determines many things for individuals when it comes to finances. In order to buy a home, car or receive any type of credit, a person must have good credit. It is very easy to both develop good credit and wind up having bad credit. It is a wise decision to not apply for credit of any kind, if you cannot afford to pay it back. This will help to maintain your good credit. 

Bad credit
Bad credit can develop rather quickly and is hard to repair. If you have credit cards that are not paid on time, go over the limit or late fees accrue, your credit is likely to turn negative. It is very important to pay all of your payments in a timely manner. The creditors will report to the credit bureau just as they do when you pay on time, but this time the report will be negative. It is true that many creditors will give you a chance to be late a couple of times, but this is normally their limit before reporting you to the credit agency for bad credit. This will cause your credit score to plummet.

Good Credit
Good credit is easy to obtain. This process consists of borrowing money and paying it back in full. When a credit card company receives prompt payment in full for your purchases, they will report positive remarks to the credit bureau. The better the credit reports the better your credit, resulting in a high-credit score. Prompt car payments, mortgage payments and other financed loans must be paid on time, to develop good credit. Good credit will establish your financial potential and assist in making you a responsible person. It is always best to make payments on time, every time.

Bad Credit
Credit is important in every aspect of your life. Many employers actually do a credit check when you apply for a job. This will help them to understand what kind of person you are, meaning responsible or not. If you have bad credit you may be hindered from renting a home or simply buying a cell phone. It is best to make payments on time and maintain a good credit score. Creditors do check your credit score every time you apply for a credit card rent a home/apartment, buy a car, rent-to-own property and many other occasions. It is amazing the impact credit has on your life.

Secured Credit Cards for Credit Repair

You may have trouble getting approved for a new credit card when you’re trying to repair your credit. It creates a dilemma since you need to add new positive information to your credit report. Fortunately, there’s a product that can help you.

A secured credit card is a type of credit card that requires you to make a security deposit against the credit limit. Other than the security deposit, the secured credit card acts like a regular credit card. If you make your payments on time for several months, you can get your security deposit back. When you choose a secured credit card, there are several features you should consider.

When it comes to secured credit cards, this is one of the most important things to consider. Any credit card you choose for credit repair must report to the major credit bureaus – at least one of them. Otherwise, your timely payments aren’t doing anything to help your credit history. The major credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. There are other credit bureaus out there, but they’re not the major ones that most lenders consider when they’re calculating your credit score.

A certain number of fees are expected with a secured credit card, but these fees shouldn’t be excessive. An annual fee is the only reasonable fee to pay for a secured credit card and that fee should be less than $40 per year. Watch out for high upfront processing fees that take away from your security deposit or create a credit card balance before you ever make a charge on the credit card. Other outrageous fees include high monthly maintenance fees and credit limit increase fees.

Ideally, 100% of your security deposit will go toward your credit limit. So, if you make a $1,000 security deposit, you’ll get a $1,000 credit limit. Beware of credit cards that don’t give you full credit for your security deposit. There are plenty of secured credit cards that give you a credit limit equal to your security deposit, so keep looking until you find one.

Secured credit cards don’t have the most competitive interest rates since they’re aimed at people who are a credit risk. But, there are still some secured credit cards with decent interest rates. Interest rate shouldn’t be a big factor with a secured credit card and here’s why. To rebuild your credit and avoid creating debt, you need to avoid carrying a balance on your credit card. To do that, you’ll need to pay your balance in full every month. That means you won’t be paying any interest.

The best secured credit cards will convert to an unsecured credit card after 12 to 18 months of on time payments. Even if you end up with a credit card that doesn’t convert, you may qualify for an unsecured credit card after a year of making timely payments and maintaining a low balance.

There will be more to follow regarding Secure Credit Cards and great companys to work with!!!

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What is Good Credit?

Good credit is issued to individuals who take pride in their credit payments and make sure that their payments are paid in full. Good credit is determined by a set of terms that the credit bureau goes by in order to produce a score that allows lenders to decide on whether or not to loan you money or decline the application for the loan. Good credit is perhaps the number one decision maker when it comes to applying for car loans, mortgage loans, credit card loans, and other forms of credit loans, if you are able to maintain a good-credit standing. Good credit is determined by the following guidelines: 

What Determines My Credit Score?
1. The history of payments. Were these payments and are these payments paid on time. Are there any late fees related to these payments.
2. Your outstanding balances are reviewed by the lender in order to process your application. If your outstanding balances are high or have been maxed out, this factor will go against your credit.
3. The length of your credit history will determine the time that you have maintained good credit standing.
4. Short-term accounts that have been opened and exist in multiple amounts will not help you to maintain good credit.

Good credit is usually a score of 700 to 720. This score will always gain the attention of lenders and help to reduce documentation and paperwork for the borrower as well as introduce the position to receive lower payments and interest rates. A medium score is considered to be an average credit score and not a good credit score. Good credit scores are what make the lenders offer the 0% interest deals and no payment deals. The individuals who have good credit are able to take advantage of these offers because the lender realizes there good credit establishment and feel that they will be paid back in a timely manner.

It is wise to start with one credit card that has a small limit. The limit should not exceed what you can afford. When trying to build good credit, the purpose of getting a credit card is to establish good credit, not to purchase items. Continue to maintain a balance, but make sure to pay more than the minimum payment to allow the creditor to be aware of the work you are doing to build a positive credit history.

Building good credit will make a big impact on your future. If a person has good credit, there future will flow much smoother when trying to buy a home or finance a car. Good credit is determined by a mathematical equation that determines the credit score for the lender. A credit report is able to be purchased by a borrower in order to view their credit history and get their credit score. If the credit report has a discrepancy, this may give you the chance to repair it and help you to build good credit once again.

Q & A of Credit Repair

What is credit repair?

Credit repair is the preparation of a record of an organization’s or client’s history of borrowing and repaying including aspects like bankruptcy and late payment details.


Does credit repair work?

Yes it does! Credit repair cleans up all credit report errors, improves your credit scores and assists you in attaining all your monetary objectives.


How do I understand problems associated with credit repair?

Some credit repair errors are relatively simple to fix. However, many errors result in victims paying high interest rates or, in some instances, victims fail to get financing.


How do I examine my credit report?

Obtain all the three credit report copies or good tri-merged reports and carefully proofread. Cautiously go through all the lines of the credit repair if you would like to get a successful credit repair service. Look for subtle issues such as duplicate accounts and underreported credit card limits.


Is there anything else I need to do about the credit report errors?

Immediately after completing the credit report proofreading stage, you should fix the errors found. All credit
report errors should be disputed in writing, which has to be done in a clear and simple manner.


How do I plan for my loan application?

Credit repair efforts are designed for a reason. When you reach the stage of applying for a loan, get an outstanding financing option. Therefore, you have to finish the repair and assessment of your credit report prior to applying for the loan.


What happens when I do not understand my credit report?

If you have struggled to come to terms with the credit reports with no success, don’t give up, instead reach out. Look for a trustworthy credit repair firm for consultation services. Numerous specialized services that are reasonably priced offer monthly membership and easy termination procedure.


When does a person receive a disclosure under the Credit Repair Organization Act?

Credit repair firms must give a client a copy of the “Consumer Credit File Rights under State and Federal Law” prior to signing a contract.


Can erroneous bad credit be removed from my credit report?

Absolutely, especially if a creditor has wrongly submitted bad credit details to a credit bureau. Credit bureaus are obligated by law to get rid of any erroneous information in a very expedient manner.