Credit repair is an admirable goal, but achieving it can be frustrating when you are short on cash. High unemployment rates and the cost of living have left many families in immediate financial trouble. It may be tempting to dip into your long-term investments to temper the sting of short-term problems. Think twice before touching your retirement accounts, however. Your attempt to fix credit issues today could result in bigger problems 10 years from now. Dipping into retirement will almost certainly affect:
News, Information, and Perspectives on Credit Repair
Healthy credit is an essential bargaining tool that many Americans live without. According to Money-zine.com, over 40 percent of the population’s credit scores dip below 700. When you are focused on finding reputable credit repair services, how do you know who to trust?
Good credit can open doors and save you money. Despite these basic facts, many people choose to adopt the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when it comes to financial issues. Don’t join the group by waiting to get serious about credit repair. Improving your score could save you thousands in mortgage interest, car payments, credit card debt, and more. Consider Lexington Law as an advocate to help you navigate the road ahead. We aren’t your average credit repair law firm. During 20 years of service, we have helped over a half-million clients find better credit. Aside from our demonstrated results, client comfort and satisfaction is our top priority. We:
1. Invest in your confidence. You don’t have to pay up-front to see our credit repair services at work. We offer a free, no obligation consultation where our qualified staff will help you understand:
o The positives and negatives of your credit report
o The components of credit scoring
o The importance of good credit
o Ways to improve your score in everyday life
Moreover, clients engage our service for discrete monthly servicing periods and pay only for services previously (and completely) delivered. The bottom line: we want you to feel confident in your credit repair decisions. We want our skills to speak for themselves.
2. Design solutions to fit your needs. Different clients have different needs, and we work to fill them. Our three-tiered levels of service are designed to address your issues and suit your budget. Each level includes free support and anytime cancellation. Choose from:
o Lexington Regular—This option covers credit repair basics, including credit report consultation and credit bureau-directed investigations, challenges, and disputes as applicable.
o Concord Standard—Clients enrolled in this level enjoy everything provided in the Lexington Regular service but also benefit from the firm’s legal interventions directed to creditors and others who report information to the credit bureaus.
o Concord Premier—Lexington’s most popular and comprehensive level affords everything available in the Lexington Regular and Concord Standard services as well as TransUnion Credit Monitoring, monthly credit score improvement analyses, ReportWatch™ comparative alerts, and InquiryAssist™ for problematic credit report inquiries that can also damage your credit scores.
3. Don’t make empty promises. While other credit repair companies may offer guaranteed results, we follow the letter of the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA), which prohibits such claims. In the world of credit repair, there are no guarantees. What we can promise is exemplary service, legal and fair billing practices, and accurate representation. Our track record speaks for itself. Visit us at www.lexingtonlaw.com to learn more about our services.
We field thousands of excellent consumer questions every month. Clients want to know far more than the credit companies disclose regarding credit scores, credit reports, and how they might conduct their financial lives to improve both of those. In case you may have missed some of what we’ve covered in that regard here in the Lexington blog, we’ve put together a list of our “greatest hits” that may just comprise the information you’re seeking. Have a quick look:
1. What’s on Your Credit Report? Tackling credit repair requires all the facts, and learning how to read your credit report is Step One. Our credit repair services offer a free line-by-line evaluation of your information, allowing you to spot the problems in your own credit reporting and gain greater insight into your financial life. Read more.
2. How is My Credit Score Calculated? While it may seem arbitrary, credit scoring by The Big Three is actually determined by five distinct factors. A combination of your history, debt, reliability, new credit, and account diversity decides your scoring fate. That’s why it’s important to give each factor the attention it deserves. Read more.
3. Credit Reports and Collection Agencies: How to Combat Outdated Information. Countless people suffer from bad credit at the hands of unfair collection agencies. Unsubstantiated information and debt re-aging are among the culprits in this crime. Don’t be complacent when it comes to collection agency abuse. Fight for the credit you deserve. Read more.
4. Can’t Make Payments? What You Should Do. The economic recession has been difficult for many families, resulting in missed payments and plummeting credit scores. Despite financial hardship, not every blunder should result in a ruined reputation. First, there are ways to protect yourself. Second, the credit companies must follow the rules of credit reporting, or they can’t do it at all. Read more.
5. Five Reasons to Say ‘No’ to Cosigning. When times are tough, many people turn to their friends and family for help. Although cosigning may help your loved one secure a loan, it’s not the only way to show your support. Consider the downsides and your own credit repair efforts before offering your signature. Read more.
6. Lower Your Credit Utilization: Tips and Tricks. Credit utilization is a frequently overlooked aspect of credit repair. While you may have manageable debt, the amount you owe vs. your total credit limit could be dampening your credit scores. Our credit repair services teach you how to maintain a healthy balance, ratios included. Read more.
7. A History of Consumer Rights and Improvements. The evolution of consumer protection is a fascinating and important process. Gaining knowledge about the laws that govern credit repair is a great way to see your financial life from a new perspective and assert yourself when necessary. Learn more.
8. How and Why Credit Impacts Employment. Unemployment surged to record highs during the recent economic troubles, making it imperative to leverage every possible competitive edge in the job market. Unfortunately, your credit history is a factor in the hiring process in most locales, and your score could make or break your employment chances. Learn more.
9. Student Loans and Credit Scores: Three Things to Consider. Student loans seem to always be among the many issues raised during difficult economic times. Rising education costs and limited federal assistance sometime force students to confront a dismal selection of exploitative private lenders. Despite the benefits of education, taking on a mortgage-sized debt poses a lasting threat to young Americans. Read more.
10. Three Steps to Lowering Loan Interest Rates. The recent recession did afford one small benefit: lower interest rates. Those with good credit scores have been able to cash in on refinancing options and bargains within the world of lending. For that reason, if your credit is less than perfect, consider pursuing credit repair before the market rebounds—a lower rate could save you thousands in the long run. Read more.
Unfortunately, many Americans will see a bill from Uncle Sam instead of a refund this tax season. Underpaying throughout the year can lead to a hefty sum by April 17, one that is difficult to bear. If you are wondering, “How can I fix my credit and pay my tax bill?” you may be looking for a way out. In the height of panic, some people use their credit cards to stifle anxiety. Don’t let stress overshadow your judgment, however.
Working toward credit repair is a multifaceted process, one that can be sabotaged with poor decisions. In that regard, choosing to pay bills with a credit card is risky, especially as a means to an end. Taking on one debt to cover another is never the answer. That said, there are certain benefits and considerations to doing so. Consider the following dos and don’ts of charging your tax bill.
• Consider the long-term commitment. The main benefit of charging your tax bill is time. If you cannot afford the full balance today, smaller credit card payments may be the answer you seek. Although this is true, you will also be paying interest on the total balance, stretching your debt further and leading to a larger commitment over time. That means less money for savings and credit repair. If you can’t afford to pay your taxes, consider a credit card as your last resort.
• Remember your credit utilization ratio. Even if you can afford to pay off your credit card balance in a timely and efficient manner, there is another factor that threatens every credit score. Your credit utilization ratio, or the amount you owe on all revolving credit accounts vs. your summed credit limits, accounts for a large portion of your financial reputation. Ideally, you should never charge more than 25% of your total limit. Do the math to determine how charging your taxes will affect that ratio. If your debt exceeds the recommended percentage, your credit score is at risk.
• Review the perks. Some taxpayers choose to charge their bills for the sole purpose of rewards. Airline miles, “cash back,” and corporate status are all valid reasons to whip out the plastic. If you are part of the latter group, make sure to pay off your balance immediately. Without proper execution, even the best laid plans can result in unforeseen trouble.
• Forget about the mandatory fees. The IRS isn’t selfless in their payment options. Expect a mandatory processing fee of about 2.5% when you pay by credit card. Therefore, if your tax bill is $5,000, the final tally will actually cost $5,125. Before charging your tax bill, compare the fees you’ll pay to the perks you’ll accrue by paying your tax due with plastic. Unfortunately, you could end up losing money.
• Forget about IRS extensions and payment plans. Inability to pay is among the top reasons for charging a tax bill. However, the IRS offers other, more credit repair-friendly options.
o Extensions. Filing for an extension provides several months of relief, allowing you to pay last year’s taxes as late as October. The best part? A fee of only 1% is added to the balance due, meaning that you’ll only pay an extra $20 on a $2,000 tax bill. Not only will you have time to save, but your credit repair efforts are protected.
o Payment plans. If an extension won’t cover your needs, signing up for a payment plan could be the solution. Rather than relying on your credit card, establishing a payment schedule with the IRS can help you chip away at your debt in manageable increments. After a one-time fee of $105, monthly interest is applied. Compare the IRS terms to your credit provider’s to determine the better deal.
Real estate is a double-edged sword in the world of credit repair. When leveraged properly, real estate can breathe life into your credit score and portray you as a worthy borrower. When managed poorly, it can ruin your credit score and prevent new financial opportunities. Fix credit related worries by learning more about how selling your home could impact your financial future.
How Does Real Estate Affect Credit Repair?
While owning a home is a huge responsibility, it is also one that carries significant weight when it comes to credit scoring. While foreclosures are known to be devastating, few people understand how even a short sale can cause lasting damage. If you decide to sell your home at a loss, your lender will likely report the difference as a credit deficiency to the credit bureaus, affecting your score in similar ways as a basic foreclosure. And the reason for this is simple: You can’t simply borrow the money to buy a home, then sell it for less, and then expect your lender to forgive the difference and eat the loss. If you are in the market to sell and wish to protect your credit, increasing your home’s worth and upping your asking price is critical. Accomplish these tasks by:
1. Focusing on cosmetics. First impressions are difficult to shake, and the same is true for real estate. Inexpensive improvements can add thousands of dollars to your home’s sticker price. Consider investing in :
• New light fixtures or recessed lighting
• Better landscaping and an attractive fence for the yard
• Updated kitchen cabinets and counters
• A fresh coat of neutral-colored paint on the walls
2. Updating the necessities. A leaky roof or furnace won’t impress your buyers’ home inspector. If you are worried about how to fix credit issues, avoid them by fixing your home’s safety issues first. Hire your own inspector to assess your home and offer improvement advice. Covering your bases early will help you stand firm with your listing price.
3. Cutting energy costs. An inefficient home can wreak havoc on your utility bills, reducing your savings and your home’s worth in the process. Focus on your own credit repair and real estate needs with this task. Ask your inspector to check your windows and doors for air leaks. If you suspect an insulation problem, ask them to test the ceilings and floors for leaks as well. The modern buyer wants a house with eco-friendly updates—a requirement you should not ignore.
4. Maintaining the basics. Within the caveat of cosmetics is basic maintenance as well. Sure, your bathroom faucet works fine, but can you fix that slight drip? Is the exterior of your home looking dingy? Would a power wash help restore its curb appeal? While it’s normal to overlook the everyday imperfections, paying attention to the details could set your house apart from the competition. Focus on maintenance to ensure your house remains in top condition.
5. Checking the square footage. Space is an important factor for any buyer, so it is important to provide accurate measurements. Ask your inspector or a floor plan company to assess your home’s overall size and room measurements. The bigger the space, the greater potential for a more profitable—and credit score enhancing—listing price.
You are currently browsing the archives for the Fix Credit category.
over 1,297,226** negative
items removed from their
combined credit reports.
How can we help you?
Call now to discuss
what we can do
for you through a
*Important: While the testimonials and other information on this website may be exciting, Lexington Law promises only to perform the steps we've agreed to in each client's case and to charge each month only for steps already completed. As with any legal work, no outcome is promised. Your results will vary. **The number of items removed represents the combined removals for all three credit bureaus. For example, if a single questionable negative item is removed from all three credit reports, it is counted as three separate removals. REF# Confirm