Credit Repair

26 Replies

Hey guys I am new the the forum and I was wondering if anybody would know a good credit repair company. I have some clients that need to have the credit repaired so they can buy a home.

Thanks
Ken

Be really careful hiring this done. There are a lot of outright scams out there, but even the above-board companies can be expensive and ineffective.

As a real estate investor, you're in business. Almost ALL of the credit advice is geared towards consumers- and much of the advice designed to help undisciplined consumers will KILL a business.

There are a handful of good resources out there-- one is the book "From Credit Repair to Credit Millionaire" by Donna L. Fox, Esq.

Thanks Paul. I heard alot of these companies are scams. I know a couple of people that went through Lexington Law and they are very unhappy with them. I am going to pick that book up today.

Most of the companies out there have NOT kept up with the changes in the credit reporting industry. For example...

Almost everyone can tell you how to get an 800 FICO score 7 to 10 years from now. Some people can even teach you to fix your FICO score in 2 to 5 years. But what if you're a business owner where the name of the game is to be able to build extensive lines of credit in the name of your business as quickly as possible?

Leaves those offering "Cut up all your credit cards and pay off all your debts" advisors slack-jawed and drooling. They simply haven't a clue, an they represent 99% of the advice you're going to get.

If your goal is business credit, and/or the ability able to walk into a bank and borrow a million dollars on your signature- or better yet- nothing but a handshake, your FICO score will only take you so far. FICO is but one component of the overall picture if you're re a credit builder.

Therefore, EVERYTHING you think you know about good credit mgiht be useful if you're the typical, undisciplined consumer, but way wrong if you're a business-builder.

FIX IT

If you want to STOP BAD CREDIT and put yourself on the ROAD TO GOOD CREDIT, you need to remember the Three Magic Words for Credit Repair (Say it like Hillary Clinton now): I DON'T RECALL.

Contact the credit bureau- especially on old lates but DO NOT do ANYTHING to confirm or deny the remark. For old, closed accounts simply state, "I do not recall being 30 days late on my Discover Account in August 2003. Will you please look into it? If you cannot verify this information in 30 days, please remove it." They will likely not even research this. They'll just remove it. (Hey, they're just employees doing a job- they don't want to have to work. I'm not telling you to lie, so don't anybody get off on a tangent and miss the point: So you remember- tell the truth. "I noticed that my report says I was 30 days late on my Discover acct back in August 2003. It's not like me to be late. Will you please look into it..." It's true: you noticed it, and it's not like you to be late- is it? OK then. Remember, you're innocent until proven guilty- it is not incumbent upon you to admit fault. It's their job to document it- if they can't then don't make it your problem.

INVEST in credit repair. Don't cheap out and wait for that Government mandated "freebie" blended score thingy. Get individual reports- reports from each of the individual credit bureaus. When you do, it's free to handle much of this on line. If you're just that cheap- you may be entitled to a free credit report direct from the bureaus under at least one circumstance. You may know that identity theft is the number one non-violent crime in the country. It's more likely than any other non-violent crime to happen to you. Given that identity theft is so prevailent, do you believe you may be a victim of identity theft? (Are you worried, yet?) If so, the credit bureaus must, by law, send you a free copy of your credit report.

Here's how to contact The BIG Three

Equifax 1-800-685-1111
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
www.equifax.com

Experian 1-888-397-3742
PO Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013
www.experian.com

Trans Union
PO Box 1000
Chester, PA 19021
www.tuc.com

The FIVE components of a credit decsion:

Character: Probably the most important that you have control over. Your FICO score is a part of Character- but not all. Other examples include documented paid private notes, and letters of recommendation, as well as other factors like your standing in the community. There are ways to defend your character as well. For example, to defend against a few minor dings in your credit report- you might want to walk in armed with the credit report of your lender? How are THEY doing? What's their track record? Debt ratio? etc. (If you're tactful, this can be extremely effective. Knowledge born of research gets respect).

Capacity: Capacity is your ability to repay the loan- it's generally your income. Lenders like you more the better your capacity to repay. One way to enhance capacity is to explain any expected future income, or increase in income.

Collateral: Specific asset used to securitize a loan. To enhance Collateral- you could offer cross collateralization- like a "blanket" mortgage that covers more than one property.

Capital: How much are you worth? The loan may not be secured per se, but the lender may want to know there's something behind you.

Conditions: Conditions are generally out of your control. Conditions could be the market at large, or it could just be the conditions of a particular lender. A guest of the Windy City Round Table got a $1M loan to start a business back in 1973 when a million bucks was real money. When they made the last payment in 1980 something- the loan officer that made it was still there. He said, "We never really expected you to last more than a year." Really? "Yes, we had two weeks to loan that sum and you were our chance to do it" Amazing, isn't it? You can "enhance" conditions through intelligence. If you have first hand knowledge of the lender, you may know something that will help you, banking and lending journals and trade publications are a great source.

USE IT OR LOSE IT

This is the one that will absolutely kill you if you're of the "pay off all your debt and close the accounts" mindset. If you don't USE credit, you're going to LOSE credit. Idle accounts may result in your creditors arbitrarily lowering your limits, or even closing the account. The optimum use of credit for credit building is between 30% and 60% of each available line. Under 30%- think again. Creditor may reduce credit line, or even revoke it altogether. Between 60% and 75% is not bad, but it is not in the credit building range. 75% to 100% is a giant red flag and will likely be detrimental to your FICO score as well.

What is that SUPER-SECRET FICO FORMULA anyway?

Well it is a proprietary algorythm but there are some general guidelines. They can vary from creditor to creditor, but it helps if you know them generally:

Your Payment History: 35% Goes to Character
Your Credit Use: 30% Use it or Lose it
Length of Credit Hist: 15% Closing that old acct. could shorten it!
Your New Credit: 10% To many new accts? Not enough?
Types of Credit: 10% The more the merrier- car, house, cc's

Credit Leveraging- or, When Rate Doesn't Matter:

You get a credit card, or cards with a nice line of credit. People bring you their deals. You qualify them and their deals. They pay three times the min. payment for three months, and make a final balloon payment at the end. This allows you to build credit at someone else’s expense. You make an aggreement to loan the money secured, you get points, and you set the rate above what you have to pay by say…3%. This exact repayment plan gives you AAA credit that you get paid to build.

Three Banks, Three Months, Three A Credit

Here's a great strategy Donna gave us that uses the very definition of AAA credit to give yourself better credit. The amount used in the example was $3,000. You could use $1,000, or $10,000 just as easily for slower, or faster results depending on your goals, and what's available to you.

Walk in to Bank Number One and open A savings account, or short term CD at Bank Number One with your $3,000. Wait four or five days. Walk back into bank Bank Number One and tell them you have a short term situation and you'd like a loan for 1 year secured by your deposit at their bank. They will make you a 12 month 100% secured loan at 5% interest-only with a balloon at the end.

Walk into Bank Number Two and make a $3,000 deposit. Four or five days later, do the same thing you did at Bank Number One.

Go to Bank Number Three and deposit $3,000. Do the same thing. Now, you'll proceed to make three times the min. payment at Bank Number One, then Bank Number Two, Then Bank Number Three and you'll repeat this until you've made three tripple payments on each loan. The next payment you make on each loan will be the full amount of the loan. You have now fulfilled the precise definition of AAA Credit, and the next time you walk into those banks- you'll likely get an unsecured or signature loan. Pretty neat, huh?

These are my notes from a talk that Donna gave at WCRT awhile back before the book was ready. That's the extent of my notes. I hope this is beneficial to all who read it. If you have comments, critiques, suggestions, or testimonials about how well any of this has worked for you- please feel free to pass them on to me.

Thank you Paul for your excellent explanation!

Thanks for the great info Paul. I will definately tell that to some people I know that needs help with credit. On the $3k secured loan once you pay them off what is the amount you want to ask for when you walk into the bank the second time to ask for a loan?

I am new the real-estate and what i just started was a S-Corp. What is the fasted way to build business credit? how can I get a line of credit to buy homes under my corporation?

Well, at the risk of stating the obvious- the fastest way to establish business credit is to establish a business. You should sit down with a professional and discuss which entity is right for your business. I have my own opinions on the subject and use an LLC, but for a variety of reasons what works for me may not work for you.

It's my opinion that an S-Corp is just this side of a sole proprietorship in terms of establishing business credit. It's the small time, and to use the Kiyosaki terminology "S Quadrant" person's business. It's the do it all, keep it small, and keep it all kind of lone-ranger entreprenuer's entity.

I use a C-Corp as a marketing/servicing corporation. The first $50K in a C Corp is taxed at just 15%, it allows for retained earnings vs. "pass through", can own other corporations, and offers the ability to have a "Cafeteria" plan- that is, you can (provided you meet all the requirements-- namely offering the SAME package to ALL employees-- again, see your tax / legal professional) pay for things like your health club membership, an automobile lease, and other benefits with pre-tax dollars.

I use separate LLC's for buy and hold, and quick-turn or "Dealer" properties to avoid the risk of the IRS calling ALL my properties "dealer" properties.

Rule of thumb you're going to need two years of business history (at least be established for two years) to start applying for business credit-- but depending on the credit worthiness of the owners, or a collateral, etc. you may be able to get a line of credit sooner.

From Credit Repair to Credit Millionaire describes this in detail, and a guy named Tom Kish has a good product on this, too. He recommends using multiple entities, and multiple small lines of credit. That is, if you have 5 LLCs, each with a $10K line of credit- you now have $50K to work with in total.

I'll warn you this though- if you get on his e-mail list you're going to get like 5 e-mails a day. Not sure why he thinks this is necessary (or effective) but he does it.

if you can't fix the dings....
try do things that can improve it..such as a loan
use a co-sign person to help get the loan and repay the loan...
you will see improvements

sunsmicro

That's actually a great tactic to instantly improve your credit. You don't even have to borrow money- you can simply have someone with great credit make you a "responsible party" (responsible party is key- not simply a "card user") on one of their accounts. You instantly get that account reported on your credit-- INCLUDING the length of credit history. So, if your mom or dad (for example) have a great, LONG credit history- you can get credit, pardon the pun, for it. It's also a great way for those of you who have good credit to gift good credit to your children.

Originally posted by "Paul Strauss":
That's actually a great tactic to instantly improve your credit. You don't even have to borrow money- you can simply have someone with great credit make you a "responsible party" (responsible party is key- not simply a "card user") on one of their accounts. You instantly get that account reported on your credit-- INCLUDING the length of credit history. So, if your mom or dad (for example) have a great, LONG credit history- you can get credit, pardon the pun, for it. It's also a great way for those of you who have good credit to gift good credit to your children.

Hey Paul,
I had posted about piggybackin on credit earlier. some people are charging a fee for others to become a auth signer or user on their credit card accounts. Have you heard of this and would it be legal or something that would help someones credit scores?

We do some credit repair for our clients. We are a mortgage company and decided that we would help people with their credit. We only charge $125 because our main goal is to turn the client into a mortgage customer.

Call me if you need anything
Danny

I've never heard of this in Australia... All that I've heard of over here is companies that provide loans to people with bad credit.

This is a great thread! I believe we all no someone who can benefit from this information.

Thanks guys!

Originally posted by "sidewaysae86":
Thanks Paul. I heard alot of these companies are scams. I know a couple of people that went through Lexington Law and they are very unhappy with them. I am going to pick that book up today.

I actually used lexington law for a year. My score went from 560 to about 708 in that time. Some of that was lexington some of it was me paying bills over time. It is awfully expensive if you think about it (I think it was like 80 per month) but I can't say that I was unhappy. I had a some accounts remove late payments. I would really like to know how much it really helped though as I did pay on time for a year while using them and that was the third consecutive year of on time payments.

Have your clients go to myannualcreditreport.com and pull there credit for free. They can dispute on line and send letters disputing items on there credit report. The agencys will have to respond or delete the items. Some times items come off only to reappear. If they reappear dispute the items again and ask them to send you your signature authorizing the item and if they can't prove it will be deleted for ever but if they can,t you need to contact the creditor and settle for 10% of the obligation.

This post has been removed.

Although Paul has shared some valuable advice, it's incomplete and not as easy as it appears (otherwise, why bother paying your bills on time? Just blow it off and dispute it later?).

I liken the FCRA guidelines to a two edged sword; one side for the consumer---laws are in place that require the creditor to prove accuracy of everything on your report...one side for the credit bureaus---frivilous dispute guidelines.

There is a right way to say it, do it and document it...I offer a free e-course of this very subject if anyone is interested.

Regards,

Scott Miller

:superman:

I work with a Mortgage Broker who is very upfront about what he can and cannot do as far as helping people get the qualifing loans.

I myself, provide some great tips and programs THAT we stand by for addressing your credit concerns.

Really to raise your scores, mortgage brokers or lenders can (if they can be so bothered) to help you rescore(rapid rescoring) and get those fico scores at a place acceptable to a lender.

I usually term our services, by credit optimization. It can be fustrating to both a broker and consumer, because the process is different for each person dependant on their credit background.

Ultimately, if "repairing" your credit means a few months away from the deals and learning step by step how to back track by following guidlines in the program, you can bring scores up effectly to were you can recieve proper funding -

You do have to becareful of scammers out there. Use good judgement. I usually offer my clients Life Lock membership so they feel secure when working with me.

I sell a solid step by step credit optimization plan. I am not a credit repair person...but I do take what I do seriously and I am always in contact with my customer as a reminder to stay on track.

I am also in process of getting onto the credit agencies credit repair services. I think the small "mom and pop" businesses do a nice job of really providing a one on one service to people, but a few bad eggs ruin the potential to run a profitable win win business by NOT being upfront and
there for the client- every step of the way all the way to funding if need be.

Newbie here..
Cyndi

Cyndi,

Let me be the first to welcome you to the forum...

I am a direct lender/mortgage broker and I'd be interested in learning more about your product/service.

Regards,

Scott Miller

The process of clearing credit can be laborious and frustrating, but your efforts will be paid for in better financing. Your rights are protected by laws, but you need to take reasonable actions toward your goal of clearing credit discrepancies. You can get the credit reporting agencies to help you instead of hindering your excellent credit quest with these tips.

1. Order credit reports.

2. Check for discrepancies.

3. Note problems and discrepancies in your Credit Dispute Log.

4. Contact disputed companies by telephone. (Contact original debtors, not collectors.)
5. Follow up with certified letter to original company.

6. Write letters to collectors, dispute bill, send documentation of payment to original company.

7. Fill out dispute form provided by credit bureau.

8. Write separate letter for each disputed item to credit bureaus.

Regards
Stella

Originally posted by "salesgirl":
:superman:

I work with a Mortgage Broker who is very upfront about what he can and cannot do as far as helping people get the qualifing loans.

I myself, provide some great tips and programs THAT we stand by for addressing your credit concerns.

Really to raise your scores, mortgage brokers or lenders can (if they can be so bothered) to help you rescore(rapid rescoring) and get those fico scores at a place acceptable to a lender.

I usually term our services, by credit optimization. It can be fustrating to both a broker and consumer, because the process is different for each person dependant on their credit background.

Ultimately, if "repairing" your credit means a few months away from the deals and learning step by step how to back track by following guidlines in the program, you can bring scores up effectly to were you can recieve proper funding -

You do have to becareful of scammers out there. Use good judgement. I usually offer my clients Life Lock membership so they feel secure when working with me.

I sell a solid step by step credit optimization plan. I am not a credit repair person...but I do take what I do seriously and I am always in contact with my customer as a reminder to stay on track.

I am also in process of getting onto the credit agencies credit repair services. I think the small "mom and pop" businesses do a nice job of really providing a one on one service to people, but a few bad eggs ruin the potential to run a profitable win win business by NOT being upfront and
there for the client- every step of the way all the way to funding if need be.

Newbie here..
Cyndi

Now nowhere in this post does it mention that rapid rescoring cost a fortune. You are charged roughly $25 to as much as $150 per line, depending on the credit line/circumstance. And these are the fees that the CREDIT BUREAU is charging the broker. once the broker throw in his/her fee, it becomes outrageous. If someone has an extensive credit history, rapid rescoring will cost them a couple hundred, maybe even a couple thousand dollars. Yes you get results in 72 hours, but the cost is astronomical. And let me state that inquiries start at $10 a line, per instance…
And while I am on the inquiry kick, if you are shopping for a mortgage, don’t apply online. If you are not talking and dealing with the company directly, then wherever you filled out the application, they will shop it. and if your credit report isn’t current, within 7-10 days, then you will get hit for another inquiry from another company and so on and so on…that goes double for car loans. Research, review, and react, please.

If you are still looking for a credit repair company, I use Trinity Credit Services of California. They are one of very few companies who are registered with the Secretary of State and bonded. They have strict guidelines which make them operate according to the FTC. That's probably why they have been around so much longer than a lot of the no name companies I dealt with in the past. I have referred them to several friends. It takes away a lot of the fear some of these companies present knowing that they are registered and bonded.

They are affordable, knowledgeable, fairly priced and have an excellent tracking system where you can view your clients progress so you know when they are where they need to be to get approved for a loan...

You can visit them at www.trinitycreditca.com

Good Luck...

John Norson

hi, ken!

hiring a credit repair company may be a good and bad idea. it is good because, you're guided properly from day 1 to the final. However, it may also be bad because most of the credit repair companies are scams and your clients may just have their bank accounts robbed by these companies. i wish you good luck, though. :D

thanks for all of the help everyone!!

You should check Better Business Bureau and various other agencies that will tell you whether you are dealing with the right service provider or not. Once you have all this information in your hands, then and only then should even think of proceeding ahead and getting the problems and flaws in your credit history removed. To learn more on how to choose good credit company. You can visit this site [LINK REMOVED]

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