|Posted on December 15, 2018 at 12:25 AM||comments (1)|
In 2015, we published a report finding that 26 million Americans are "credit invisible." This figure indicates that one in every ten adults does not have any credit history with one of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. An additional 19 million consumers have “unscorable” credit files, which means that their file is thin and has an insufficient credit history (9.9 million) or they have stale files and lack any recent credit history (9.6 million). In sum, there are 45 million consumers who may be denied access to credit because they do not have credit records that can be scored. People who are credit invisible or unscorable generally do not have access to quality credit and may face a range of issues, from trying to obtain credit to leasing an apartment.
Credit reporting company
Credit reporting companies, also known as credit bureaus or consumer reporting agencies, are companies that compile and sell credit reports.
A credit report is a statement that has information about your credit activity and current credit situation such as loan paying history and the status of your credit accounts.
A credit score predicts how likely you are to pay back a loan on time. Companies use a mathematical formula—called a scoring model—to create your credit score from the information in your credit report. It is important to know that you do not have just “one” credit score and there are many credit scores available to you as well as to lenders. Any credit score depends on the data used to calculate it, and may differ depending on the scoring model, the source of your credit history, the type of loan product, and even the day when it was calculated.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies (such as agencies that sell information about check writing histories, medical records, and rental history records). Learn more about your major rights under the FCRA
A fraud alert requires creditors who check your credit report to take steps to verify your identity before opening a new account, issuing an additional card, or increasing the credit limit on an existing account based on a consumer’s request. When you place a fraud alert on your credit report at one of the nationwide credit reporting companies, it must notify the others. There are two main types of fraud alerts: initial fraud alerts and extended alerts.
Identity theft occurs when someone steals your identity to commit fraud. Stealing your identity could mean using personal information without your permission, such as:
Social Security number
Credit card number
Military active duty alert
Members of the military (such as members of the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard) can request an active duty alert. When you place an active duty alert on your credit report, creditors must take reasonable steps to make sure the person making the request is actually you before opening an account, issuing an additional credit card on an existing account, or increasing the credit limit on your existing account. Active duty alerts last for 12 months. Your name also will be removed from the nationwide credit reporting companies' pre-screen marketing lists for credit offers and insurance for two years.
A "security freeze" on your credit report prevents new creditors from accessing your credit file and others from opening accounts in your name until you lift the freeze. Because most businesses will not open credit accounts without checking your credit report, a freeze can stop identity thieves from opening new accounts in your name.
Specialty consumer reporting company
Specialty consumer reporting companies collect and share information about your employment history, transaction history with a business or repayment history for a specific product or service.
Thin credit file / No credit file
A thin credit file or no credit file means that a person does not have a credit history or not enough current credit history to produce a credit score. See: Credit invisible
|Posted on December 14, 2018 at 7:55 AM||comments (0)|
All furnishers of consumer reports must comply with all applicable regulations, including regulations promulgated after
this notice was first prescribed in 2004. Information about applicable regulations currently in effect can be found at the
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's website,
NOTICE TO FURNISHERS OF INFORMATION:
OBLIGATIONS OF FURNISHERS UNDER THE FCRA
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681-1681y, imposes responsibilities on all persons who
furnish information to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). These responsibilities are found in Section 623 of the
FCRA, 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2. State law may impose additional requirements on furnishers. All furnishers of information to CRAs
should become familiar with the applicable laws and may want to consult with their counsel to ensure that they are in compliance.
The text of the FCRA is set forth in full at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection's website at
. A list of the sections of the FCRA cross-referenced to the U.S. Code is at the end of this
Section 623 imposes the following duties:
The banking and credit union regulators and the CFPB will promulgate guidelines and regulations dealing with the accuracy
of information provided to CRAs by furnishers. The regulations and guidelines issued by the CFPB will be available at
when they are issued. Section 623(e).
General Prohibition on Reporting Inaccurate Information
The FCRA prohibits information furnishers from providing information to a CRA that they know or have reasonable cause to
believe is inaccurate. However, the furnisher is not subject to this general prohibition if it clearly and conspicuously specifies
an address to which consumers may write to notify the furnisher that certain information is inaccurate. Sections 623(a)(1)(A)
Duty to Correct and Update Information
If at any time a person who regularly and in the ordinary course of business furnishes information to one or more CRAs
determines that the information provided is not complete or accurate, the furnisher must promptly provide complete
and accurate information to the CRA. In addition, the furnisher must notify all CRAs that received the information of any
corrections, and must thereafter report only the complete and accurate information. Section 623(a)(2).
Duties After Notice of Dispute from Consumer
If a consumer notifies a furnisher, at an address specified by the furnisher for such notices, that specific information is
inaccurate, and the information is, in fact, inaccurate, the furnisher must thereafter report the correct information to CRAs.
If a consumer notifies a furnisher that the consumer disputes the completeness or accuracy of any information reported by
the furnisher, the furnisher may not subsequently report that information to a CRA without providing notice of the dispute.
The federal banking and credit union regulators and the CFPB will issue regulations that will identify when an information
furnisher must investigate a dispute made directly to the furnisher by a consumer. Once these regulations are issued,
furnishers must comply with them and complete an investigation within 30 days (or 45 days, if the consumer later provides
relevant additional information) unless the dispute is frivolous or irrelevant or comes from a “credit repair organization.” The
CFPB regulations will be available at
. Section 623(a)(8).
Duties After Notice of Dispute from Consumer Reporting Agency
If a CRA notifies a furnisher that a consumer disputes the completeness or accuracy of information provided by the
furnisher, the furnisher has a duty to follow certain procedures. The furnisher must:
•Conduct an investigation and review all relevant information provided by the CRA, including information given to the
CRA by the consumer. Sections 623(b)(1)(A) and (b)(1)(B).
•Report the results to the CRA that referred the dispute, and, if the investigation establishes that the information was,
in fact, incomplete or inaccurate, report the results to all CRAs to which the furnisher provided the information that
compile and maintain files on a nationwide basis. Sections 623(b)(1)(C) and (b)(1)(D).
•Complete the above steps within 30 days from the date the CRA receives the dispute (or 45 days, if the consumer
later provides relevant additional information to the CRA). Section 623(b)(2).
•Promptly modify or delete the information, or block its reporting. Section 623(b)(1)(E).
Duty to Report Voluntary Closing of Credit Accounts
If a consumer voluntarily closes a credit account, any person who regularly and in the ordinary course of business furnishes
information to one or more CRAs must report this fact when it provides information to CRAs for the time period in which the
account was closed. Section 623(a)(4).
Duty to Report Dates of Delinquencies
If a furnisher reports information concerning a delinquent account placed for collection, charged to profit or loss, or subject
to any similar action, the furnisher must, within 90 days after reporting the information, provide the CRA with the month and
the year of the commencement of the delinquency that immediately preceded the action, so that the agency will know how
long to keep the information in the consumer's file. Section 623(a)(5).
Any person, such as a debt collector, that has acquired or is responsible for collecting delinquent accounts and that reports
information to CRAs may comply with the requirements of Section 623(a)(5) (until there is a consumer dispute) by reporting
the same delinquency date previously reported by the creditor. If the creditor did not report this date, they may comply with
the FCRA by establishing reasonable procedures to obtain and report delinquency dates, or, if a delinquency date cannot
be reasonably obtained, by following reasonable procedures to ensure that the date reported precedes the date when the
account was placed for collection, charged to profit or loss, or subjected to any similar action. Section 623(a)(5).
Duties of Financial Institutions When Reporting Negative Information
Financial institutions that furnish information to “nationwide” consumer reporting agencies, as defined in Section 603(p),
must notify consumers in writing if they may furnish or have furnished negative information to a CRA. Section 623(a)(7). The
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has prescribed model disclosures, 12 CFR Part 1022, App. B.
Duties When Furnishing Medical Information
A furnisher whose primary business is providing medical services, products, or devices (and such furnisher's agents or
assignees) is a medical information furnisher for the purposes of the FCRA and must notify all CRAs to which it reports of
this fact. Section 623(a)(9). This notice will enable CRAs to comply with their duties under Section 604(g) when reporting
Duties when ID Theft Occurs
All furnishers must have in place reasonable procedures to respond to notifications from CRAs that information furnished is
the result of identity theft, and to prevent refurnishing the information in the future. A furnisher may not furnish information
that a consumer has identified as resulting from identity theft unless the furnisher subsequently knows or is informed by the
consumer that the information is correct. Section 623(a)(6). If a furnisher learns that it has furnished inaccurate information
due to identity theft, it must notify each consumer reporting agency of the correct information and must thereafter report
only complete and accurate information. Section 623(a)(2). When any furnisher of information is notified pursuant to the
procedures set forth in Section 605B that a debt has resulted from identity theft, the furnisher may not sell, transfer, or place
for collection the debt except in certain limited circumstances. Section 615(f).
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website,
, has more information about the FCRA.
Citations for FCRA sections in the U.S. Code, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.:
15 U.S.C. 1681
15 U.S.C. 1681a
15 U.S.C. 1681b
15 U.S.C. 1681c
15 U.S.C. 1681c-1
15 U.S.C. 1681c-2
15 U.S.C. 1681d
15 U.S.C. 1681e
15 U.S.C. 1681f
15 U.S.C. 1681g
15 U.S.C. 1681h
15 U.S.C. 1681i
15 U.S.C. 1681j
15 U.S.C. 1681k
15 U.S.C. 1681l
15 U.S.C. 1681m
15 U.S.C. 1681n
15 U.S.C. 1681o
15 U.S.C. 1681p
15 U.S.C. 1681q
15 U.S.C. 1681r
15 U.S.C. 1681s
15 U.S.C. 1681s-1
15 U.S.C. 1681s-2
15 U.S.C. 1681t
15 U.S.C. 1681u
15 U.S.C. 1681v
15 U.S.C. 1681w
15 U.S.C. 1681x
15 U.S.C. 1681y
|Posted on October 29, 2018 at 10:15 PM||comments (0)|
What is Credit Repair?
According to Experian here is your answer:
When people mention credit repair, they are often referring to organizations that charge a fee, promising to remove negative information from your credit report. The most important thing to know about these organizations is that there is nothing they can do for you that you can't do for yourself.
If you feel there is inaccurate information appearing on your credit reports, you have the right to contact each of the three credit reporting agencies and dispute that information for free. You can dispute information on your Experian credit report online, by phone, or by mail. The easiest, fastest and most secure way to dispute information is online at www.experian.com/dispute.
Credit repair companies do not have any special rights or privileges when it comes to disputing information on your credit reports. They are regulated by the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). Before paying for services with any organization promising to fix your credit, be sure you understand your rights under this federal law. Here are just a few of the things the law requires. The organization:
- must provide a written contract specifying the services it will provide
- must allow three days for you to withdraw from the contract
- cannot advise you to make false claims are alter your identity, which could make you guilty of credit fraud
- cannot take any payment until it fulfills all of the terms of the contract
- cannot promise to remove accurate information from your credit report in return for payment
The single most important factor in credit scores is paying your bills on time. If you are trying to improve your credit scores, it may be more beneficial to use the money that would be spent on hiring a credit repair firm to pay down any outstanding debts on your credit report and bring any past due accounts up to date.
Once your accounts are current, the most important thing you can do is make sure all of your payments are made on time, every time.
You may also want to consider ordering your credit scores from each of the three credit reporting agencies.
When you receive a credit score, it should come with a list of the elements in your credit report that are most affecting your score. Paying attention to this list will help you determine what changes you can make to further increase your credit rating going forward.
|Posted on October 29, 2018 at 9:50 PM||comments (0)|
6 SECRETS ABOUT YOUR CREDIT MAYBE HURTING YOUR CREDIT SCORE - Some factors affecting your score might be obvious, others are sneaky and easy to overlook. Make sure you consider all of the factors that affect your small business credit score.
Whether you’re in the market for a new credit card or a business loan, you probably already know that potential lenders will scrutinize your business’s history and financials. But did you know that your personal credit score can affect lenders’ decisions about whether to extend you those loans and lines of credit?
If that seems unfair, consider this: Until you’ve established a solid line of business credithttps://www.crilegal.com/credit-guide" target="_blank">, the only history available for potential lenders to assess is your personal credit score. And while some of the factors affecting your score might be obvious (failing to pay bills; maxing out credit cards), others are sneaky and easy to overlook.
But before we dig into the surprising pitfalls that could lower your score, let’s get the basics out of the way.
What’s my credit score, again?
Think of your credit score like a debt management report card. A high score tells potential lenders that you’re responsible and trustworthy—someone who can be relied on to pay back their debts. A score of 700-749 is considered good; anything above 750 is excellent.
When you were a kid, your parents might have rewarded you with money for stellar grades. That’s kind of how your credit score works, too—except that money comes in the form of you getting approved for more types of loans, with the best possible rates. Lenders determine if you’re credit worthy by checking your FICO score—a decades-old system that’s now used by all sorts of lenders to estimate your creditworthiness.
The Sneaky Reasons Your Credit Score Might Be Tanking
Maintaining solid credit is one-part diligent maintenance and two parts careful balancing act. Sure, you’ll want to pay your bills on time, in full, every month. You’ll also want to use your credit cards—but not too much. You’ll want to maintain a healthy mix of credit accounts, like a mortgage, car loans, and credit cards—but don’t go overboard, opening a slew of accounts.
Monitoring your credit-related activities so closely might feel like overkill but trust us—soon it’ll be second nature. Remember to follow the two ground rules: Pay your bills on time and pay off your debt. And be on guard against these 6 surprising reasons your credit score can take a hit.
1. Library and Other Rental Fees
Been holding on to that battered copy of “Who Moved My Cheese?” for so long, you think it’s not worth returning? Think again. The 2008 recession inspired libraries and media rental companies (like Netflix and Redbox) to keep track of delinquent accounts. They report these accounts to collection agencies, who in turn rat on you to the credit bureaus. So, round up those overdue books and movies and prepare to settle up.
2. Your Gym Membership
Gym contracts’ stringent canceling policies seem downright cruel, with many requiring you to send a letter or cancel in person. But if you’re not using the membership, cancel it. Don’t let monthly unpaid fees pile up, and don’t even think about simply closing the account from which you paid those fees. Defaulting on your dues could trigger the collectors to come after you—but closing your account will lower your score even more.
3. Opening New Accounts
Whenever someone requests your credit information, it shows. Called “credit inquiries,” these requests come in two varieties: “soft” and “hard.” Soft credit inquirieshttps://www.crilegal.com/credit-guide" target="_blank"> occur when a non-lender, such as a future employer, requests your credit score. Most of the time, this doesn’t affect your score.
A hard inquiry happens after you’ve applied for some type of credit, triggering the lender to request your score. These types of inquiries can lower your score. That’s because your request is a red flag, signaling to credit bureaus that you need money and could possibly default on your debt.
4. Changes to Current Accounts
Like opening a new account, requesting a change to a current account—like increasing your credit limit, or lowering your annual interest rate—is considered a hard inquiry. Your credit card company will need to check your credit, resulting in a lowering of your score.
5. Parking and Speeding Tickets
It’s amazing how these seemingly minor violations can dog us for years. If you fail to pay a ticket and it ends up in collections, you’re delinquent. Your debt will be reported to the credit bureaus, where it can cause your score to drop dramatically—sometimes by as much as 50 to 100 points.
6. Failing to Use Your Credit Card
Credit bureaus like to see that you have access to a lot of credit but don’t use it all. Experts suggest targeting a credit utilization ratio below 30% (i.e., you’re using only that percentage of your available credit).
Rather than trying to hit that ratio, it might seem easier to simply not use your card at all. But paradoxically, an unused card is terrible for your credit score. If your account shows six months of inactivity, your bank may stop reporting your card information to the credit bureaus. Or they might close your account, full stop. Either situation will tank your score.
But don’t be discouraged: A healthy credit score is achievable with a little time and effort. Monitor your credit (and snag your free annual report from AnnualCreditReport.com) and pay your bills in full. Than get that small business loan—and use it to expand your hiring, purchase new equipment, or move into a larger space. Because the ultimate reward of a healthy credit score is the opportunity to dream bigger.