Fast Credit Repair

How Much is Your Identity Worth to Thieves?

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From your PayPal login to access to your Amazon and Airbnb accounts and basic financial details tied to your credit cards — among dozens of other logins — your entire online identity is worth about the price of a new iPhone X.

It’s pretty cheap for a thief to illegally buy the average person’s stolen personal information on the dark web — $1,170.74 to be exact, according to a review of fraud-related listings by the VPN review site TOP10VPN.

In what it calls the Dark Web Market Price Index, the site details how would-be scammers could spend more on going out to lunch than on getting hacked accounts such as Grubhub ($15), Walmart ($12) or Netflix ($8).

The VPN site’s security experts reviewed tens of thousand of listings on three of the most popular dark web markets. These are encrypted websites that can only be reached using the Tor browser. Once there, criminals can anonymously sell stolen personal information and other illegal things such as illicit drugs and weapons.

The experts focused on listings featuring stolen ID, hacked accounts and personal information, and calculated the average sales price for each item. To buy someone’s entire identity and have all of the items on the list, the total cost is $1,170 on average.

Stolen credit card numbers can be used immediately to buy something online, and credit card numbers and related financial details were some of the most valuable hacked items on the list.

Credit cards sell for an average of $500, the same price as bank logins. Some hacked logins come with a credit card added, such as a Costco login with a credit card for only $5. A Pizza Hut login for ordering pizzas online is only $6 and includes a credit card that can then be used to buy much more than pizza.

Selling prices for credit cards tend to be 10 percent of the available credit balance, researchers found. PayPal accounts have much higher demand, asking double that of credit cards. Verified PayPal accounts with high balances of $10,000 that come with an email address and password cost $2,000.

Bundles of “full” identifying information, called “Fullz,” cost as much as $515 for guaranteed access to a Wells Fargo online account. They can include an individual’s name, billing address, mother’s maiden name, Social Security number, date of birth and other personal data.

Setting up lines of credit in someone else’s name is the main tactic of cybercriminals. Along with credit card and personal information, they’ll buy digital proof of identity such as passport scans ($16) or a real passport ($2), selfies and utility bills. For $52, a driver’s license scan, SSN and utility bill are included as a package.

For less than $10, hacked online shopping accounts are sold and provide many fraud opportunities. If you store payment details on Amazon, Bestbuy and other online stores, hackers can order items online and sell them for cash. A hacked Amazon account is $6 and a Bestbuy is $15. For a Bestbuy login with instant delivery, it’s only $9.

Hacked eBay accounts for $15 allow criminals to dupe buyers into sending them money for fake listings or to buy expensive goods with the account owner’s funds to intercept and sell later.

If you don’t remember much about your summer vacation, thieves do. For an average sale price of less than $8, hacked Airbnb accounts can allow hackers to change hosts payment details and steal their earnings, and use accounts of highly-rated guests to book stays in premium properties and burglarize the hosts.

Uber accounts are $7, allowing someone in Russia to take free rides on your account. For $3, a booking.com account can be hacked to send fake emails to people to get them to make high payments for their travel arrangements or to steal their credit card details.

Did you order a meal delivered with Grubhub while on vacation? For $6 to $15, you could be that person who had $179 worth of food delivered in another state from a stolen account.

Facebook logins average $5.20, which is more than double other social media accounts. Facebook offers a lot of personal data to gain access to more lucrative accounts or commit ID theft.

Email accounts are cheap, mainly because there are millions of hacked email accounts for sale. An AOL email login and password is $4, five Gmail accounts are $2.59 and 10 Yahoo email accounts are $4. Gmail may be so cheap because with strong security through two-factor authentication and suspicious login warnings, access can be quickly revoked and the hacked details are useless.

You probably know many ways to protect your online identity, but aren’t following them. Start by checking your credit report for free at least once a year to look for accounts you haven’t opened. Sign up for alerts from your credit card company for suspected fraud, such as large charges in another state.

Shop only on secure websites, don’t use public Wi-Fi to shop, have strong passwords, and don’t tell any retailer your date of birth, Social Security number or income level.

Such simple steps can prevent you from being defrauded of much more than the $1,200 it can cost a hacker to get your online personal information.

About Author

Aaron Crowe

Aaron Crowe

Aaron Crowe is a journalist who specializes in personal finance. He has written for AOL Real Estate, HSH.com, US News & World Report, Wisebread, LearnVest, AOL Daily Finance, AARP, Wells Fargo, Allstate, the USC Marshall School of Business, and Credit.com, as well as other insurance, credit and investment websites. Check out his website at AaronCrowe.net.



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Consumer Credit Counseling – Why I love this program!

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Consumer Credit Counseling – Why I love this program!

Posted by Erica Steeves on October 18, 2018


Your Credit Minute Show Notes:

 

  • 00:00                                   What’s up, YouTubers? So, for those of you that are looking for a way to get out of debt, okay, obviously we’re not a debt relief company here, but a lot of our clients and a lot of inquiries we get here are looking for this type of help. So, I’m gonna give you an example of one program that I’m a big, big fan of and I’m gonna break down really what it is, give you the kind of, the bare bones um, or kind of the structure of what it is and then I’ll uh, make some suggestions in terms of if maybe that’s the right program for you. So, what we’re gonna talk about today is something called CCC. Another acronym. [inaudible 00:00:34]. Consumer Credit Counseling, guys. Consumer Credit Counseling I think is one of the better programs out there to help you get out of debt. Why? Number one, it is credit score neutral. Doesn’t hurt your credit score. Okay? Um, you’re not required to fall behind on the debts. Okay? It’s not a settlement program, it’s not a debt relief program. It’s a way to get out of debt. It’s a money management system. It’s a budgeting system.
  • 01:01                                   So, let me break down for you really kinda how it works because it’s pretty simple stuff actually. Okay? Let’s make a little room here. So, you owe a bunch of debt. Okay? You owe a Amex for $20,000. You owe a Capital One for $10,000. You owe, I don’t know, Visa o- Walmart for $5,000. Okay? So, you have $35,000 in credit card debt right now. Okay? You’re in this debt, you can’t get out of it, you’re not sure what to do. Okay? Also, you got minimum payments of $1,500 baby. Interest (laughs) only. Guess what? Every time you send that $1,500 none of it’s going towards principal. So, you’re stuck. You’re just literally burning $1,500 every month. Why? Because uh, you were five minutes late on making these payments one month. And, guess what? Your interest rate’s 30% on this, 28% on that, 18% on this. And, keep in mind, these are fictitious and examples, okay? Don’t quote me exactly. But, your interest rates are super, absolutely insane sky high. So, you got, you’re sending $1,500 right now and you’re just kinda sending it out into the wind. Okay? So, how do we remedy this?
  • 02:22                                   Okay, well, Consumer Credit Counseling might be the way. So, Consumer Credit Counseling agencies are typically nonprofit organizations. They’re nonprofit organizations, okay? Um, they should be fully licensed in the state that you live in to do business there. Usually, you are able to meet with someone face to face locally to sit down and do one of these programs as well. So, keep that I mind when you’re doing a Consumer Credit Counseling program. Okay? And, usually what the CCC is going to do is they’re gonna meet with you and they’re gonna come up with a budget. Okay? First thing they’re gonna do is they’re gonna say, how much do you make? Income. What are your expenses? Okay? Typically, the income is the issue. Most people that have gotten ems- gotten themselves into debt and qualified for CCC are people that have either had their hours cut at work, they’ve lost a job, or a spouse has lost a job. Okay? So, when they fill out one of these budgets, they’re gonna notice that. And, they’re gonna see that by, quickly, your expenses have gone up since then as well because, guess what? Um, the interest rates have gone up on all your credit cards too, so you just can’t afford this. Okay?
  • 03:24                                   What they’re gonna do, and typically what they already have arranged um, is interest rate deductions. Okay? So, you see these 30- 30% interest rates? These are gonna get reduced. Okay? Usually, the CCC has arrangements with Amex, with Capital One, with Walmart card, or whatever they’re gonna be. Okay? And, they have arrangements with them that if someone does fall behind, they come through one of these programs and they’re gonna offer you a lower interest rate, as long as the CCC is managing the disbursement of the payment. So, let’s say right away they approve you for a CCC program and you get all your interest rates down to a fixed 5%. Okay? Um, but, let’s say you can still continue making this $1,500 payment. Well, instead of this having the interest only, all of a sudden, you know, you got $1,200 out of the $1,500 quickly going towards principal. So, what does that do? It really just drives down these amounts. The principal balance here, uh, they start to drop pretty significantly pretty quickly and you start getting yourself out of debt. Okay? Other times, the payment is just so outrageous um, that you can’t afford this at all. So, they’ll actually reduce the payment. They’ll get you back on your feet.
  • 04:33                                   That way you have a little free money to put towards um, to put towards paying these things down, and really just quite simply to, to live and survive at this point, until you get that next job. What’s nice about this is it is credit score neutral. Okay? But, keep in mind, there will be a comment on your credit. Okay? There’s a comment section on the credit report. Okay? And, it will say something along the lines of managed by a CCC, Consumer Credit Counseling agency. Okay? That comments there, it’s a credit s- uh, it’s a credit score neutral comment. Okay? But, it’s placed there so if you try to get some credit card debt while you’re in one of these programs, they’re not gonna approve you. They’re gonna see the comments um, and they’re not gonna give you a new loan, which it really isn’t something you should be worrying about, you know, if you’re in debt and you’re trying to get more debt, don’t complain about that. It’s not a big deal. Okay? Um, also what’s nice is the disbursement. So, instead of you making payments to each of these creditors every month, they’re gonna do it for you.
  • 05:40                                   So, this is you. Happy, happy, joy, joy. Okay? And, you’re gonna be sending money to the Consumer Credit Counseling agency um, each month and they will then do the disbursements. Okay? Um, the CCA will do the disbursements for you every single month. So, you’ll only have to pay one company each month. The companies will not be calling you. They’re not gonna bug you. They’re not gonna harass you. Um, it really makes life a lot easier. You have kind of a, an extra layer of protection from your creditors. Okay? So, Consumer Credit Counseling guys, um, check out some Consumer Credit Counseling agencies. You can check out the Better Business Bureau, bbb.org. You can find a list of them local to you. I would advocate you try to get into the Consumer Credit Counseling agency’s office if they have one local. If they don’t have one near you, not the end of the world, but I think there’s a huge benefit um, you know, sitting down with the agent, going through the budget together, and really taking a hard look at what your finances are. Guys, this is Nikitas Tsoukales with Key Credit Repair, and have a great day.





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What is the fair credit reporting act and why does it matter?

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FCRA – What is the fair credit reporting act and why does it matter?

Posted by Erica Steeves on October 18, 2018


Your Credit Minute Show Notes:

  • 00:00                                   What’s up, YouTubers? This is Nik Tsoukales with Key Credit Repair, and today we’re gonna talk about one of my favorite things in the world; FCRA.
  • 00:08                                   FCRA, FCRA, FCRA. We talk about FCRA a lot here at Key Credit Repair, and if you’re wondering what FCRA, well, let me introduce you to, let me introduce to FCRA. We got the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • 00:23                                   This is the fuel. This is what allows us to repair credit. This is what allows you to challenge things on your credit report. This is something that sets the United States apart from, um, really from everyone. There’s a reason why our system is set up in a way where we get a restart button, we can protect ourselves. Um, we have the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Okay.
  • 00:43                                   There’s a reason why credit repair’s so prevalent in the United States, you can challenge things because we have rights enacted by Congress that allow us to challenge something negative on a credit report.
  • 00:52                                   So, I’m gonna give you just some basic facts, but then I’m gonna talk about why this is super beneficial.
  • 01:00                                   So, if you can read my bad handwriting here as always, ah, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, enacted by Congress in 1970. Okay.
  • 01:05                                   And these are some of your basic rights. You have the right to know. You have the right to know what’s on your credit report. Okay. Um, someone can’t mask that information, they can’t hide it from you. If they’ve used that data to make a credit decision and you’ve been declined, they have to share that with you.
  • 01:21                                   Okay. You have the right to a credit score. So, if you’ve been recently declined for something you probably got the letter in the mail referencing the Fair Credit Reporting Act and giving you a credit score, and also a range of credit scores depending on the type of credit score that’s used. They have to give that to you by law. Okay.
  • 01:36                                   Then you have the big one, a right to dispute. Anything inaccurate, incomplete, unverifiable or really just questionable, you have the right to challenge on the credit report. So, it doesn’t need to stay there because it was placed there, otherwise I’d be out of a day job, right guys?
  • 01:53                                   Um, also, last but not least, the right to legal action. So, if you send a dispute letter off to the credit agencies and you’re challenging something that’s just obviously inaccurate and they refuse to remove it or properly investigate it, you have the right to legal action. You have the right to take these guys to court, you have the right, um, to get paid, ah, to get, to get paid for damages. Okay. So, keep that in mind.
  • 02:16                                   This is the leverage that you have when you’re doing credit repair. Okay.
  • 02:20                                   Also, the FCRA is, um, something that is, um, administered and monitored by the Federal Trade Commission. Okay. So, we have a government agency that oversees this. You also have the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that’s heavily involved in making sure that no one violates the FCRA anymore. Um, and also you have advocacy groups like Key Credit Repair and other credit repair companies that can help you challenge things that could be an obvious violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • 02:45                                   Now, keep in mind there’s gonna be a follow-up video to this explaining FDCPA, another fancy acronym we use here a lot, which is the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. So, for those of you with that, that’s gonna be the acronym that you wanna follow, especially if it’s questionable debt.
  • 03:01                                   The Fair Credit Reporting Act is quite clear. Also keep in mind with the FCRA, something to think about is, you know, you have the right to challenge these things but it doesn’t have to be vague. Okay. And when I say vague it means we have some clear guidelines for how long these companies have to respond.
  • 03:19                                   So, when you send out a dispute letter, you’ll probably hear the rule of thumb that we have 30 days, we have 30 days for an investigation. Where does this 30 days come from? Well, it’s actually in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Okay.
  • 03:33                                   I’m gonna supply the link for you guys, um, to Wikipedia, okay, where you can actually see a history of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, see why it was created and why. Okay, you can see some of the furnisher information, um, some of the uses of consumer credit reports, of permissible purposes as well. Okay. So, someone just can’t pull a credit report because, ah, they want to. They have to have permissible purpose.
  • 03:54                                   So, I’m gonna list that out for you, as well as giving you a link for a free PDF download at, um, keycreditrepair.com/credit-laws. Okay. You can actually download a full PDF version of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Especially for you, for those do-it-yourselfers, if you wanna get some ammunition when you’re, when you’re creating those letters, you can get them right there.
  • 04:16                                   Thanks guys. This is Nik Tsoukales with Key Credit Repair. Have a great day.





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[Study] Americans would take a 50% pay cut for a job they really love

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Every employer has heard the statistics about how companies with happy employers tend to perform better. But what exactly is a happy employee and how do you make them that way?

We wanted to find out what it takes to make Americans happy at work. You might guess that salary is the number one factor determining employee happiness at work. We thought so too.

To find out what people actually value in a job, we asked 2,000 Americans to weigh in.

These two main results speak volumes about Americans’ priorities when considering a career:

  • 60 percent of Americans would take a job they love with half their current income over a job they hated that doubled their current income.
  • Americans are 2x as likely to value personal interests, benefits, company culture and growth opportunities over salary when choosing a job.

To see our list of tips and tricks on maximizing employee happiness in the office, jump to our infographic.

3 in 5 Americans would take a 50% pay cut for a job they loved.

We asked Americans to choose between two extremes –– a job you love, but half your current pay or a job you hate, but twice your current pay.

We were surprised to see that nearly 60 percent of Americans would opt for a job they loved, even if it meant reducing their current income by 50 percent.

For perspective, let’s look at two hypothetical situations:

An experienced businessman receives $100,000 gross salary each year. He is unhappy with his career and opts to take a 50 percent pay cut for the job of his dreams: floristry. Now he lives on just $50,000 a year, an entire tax bracket lower than his original salary.

Now consider a recent graduate earning a starting salary of $48,000 a year. After working for a year, she realizes she chose the wrong career path and decides to take an offer to travel the world with only half her current salary. She now lives on $24,000 annually, well below the poverty line.

Clearly, Americans are willing to make drastic changes to their lifestyle and spending habits for the job of their dreams.

Broken down by gender, women are more likely than men to want a job they love, even if it means taking half their current salary. This is pretty significant, considering the average American woman’s gross annual income is only $40,040 (compared to men’s average income of $48,932).

women want a job they love more than a high salary

Age also plays a factor in determining whether Americans value money over a job they actually enjoy. Millennials and Generation X were more likely than any other age group to say they’d take a job they hated as long as it doubled their current income. However, as age increases, the preference for an enjoyable job becomes much clearer.

From the Baby Boomer generation on, Americans voted strongly that a job they love is more important than the offer of doubling their current income.

Millennials have money on their minds

Nearly 70% of Americans value benefits and company culture over salary.

If Americans really would take a 50 percent reduction in their current pay for a job they loved, salary must not be an important factor when choosing a new job or career.

We asked Americans to decide which of these factors would be the main reason for choosing a career: interests and passion, growth opportunities, benefits (other than salary), company culture and finally, salary.

Working Americans mean what they say––68 percent did not choose salary as the most important factor when choosing a career. In fact, the most popular choice across all respondents was interests and passion, with 38 percent of respondents choosing this answer alone.

Americans want a job that aligns with their passions

Money really can’t buy happiness according to Americans. The results of this study speak loud and clear: people follow a career in line with their passions and value things like company culture, benefits and growth opportunities over salary when choosing a new job. In fact, most Americans would happily cut their current income by half if they could have a career they truly loved.

What does this mean for employers? Take the time to make work an enjoyable experience for your team. Consider improving your company benefits with things like a paid-time-off program, casual dress code or a relaxing workspace. To stand out from the competition, offer even more unique benefits like “bring-your-dog-to-work day,” credit-building assistance programs and monthly catered lunches to celebrate your team’s efforts.

For more tips on keeping employees happy at work, check out our infographic below.

how to keep employees happy at work

Sources

Talent Management and HR | Business News Daily | Randstad Employer Brand Research | Harvard Business Review | O.C. Tanner Learning Group | Gallup | Inc | Entrepreneur | Forbes ErgoBuyer | The Balance | Financial Samurai | ASPE | The Power of Small Wins | Access Perks



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How Late is Too Late for Missed Payments?

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It can happen to anyone. You get busy with work, school, or family, or maybe you take an extended trip or vacation. Next thing you know, you’re staring at a late fee for that credit card bill you simply forgot to pay.

Immediately, you start to panic. A missed payment! Now your credit will be in ruins for years. Right?

Not necessarily. In general, both the credit and financial impacts of a late or missed payment will depend on exactly how late the payment is received. Payments that are only a few days past due may incur a late fee, but they won’t actually impact your credit score.

Payments Aren’t Delinquent Until the 30-Day Mark

calendar

If every payment made a day or three past the due date were reported to the credit bureaus, it’s likely the agencies would simply be mounds of paperwork with offices somewhere in the middle. After all, even the most organized person can miss a bill by a few days now and then.

The fact of the matter is that missed payments need to be at least a full billing cycle — generally considered to be 30 days — past due before they’ll show up on your credit reports.

So, if your bill is due on July 5, for example, and you forget to pay until July 13, you’ll likely see a late charge, but you shouldn’t see any credit score impacts. However, if you fail to pay your bill before the next due date — August 5, in this example — then your creditor will be able to report the payment as delinquent to the bureaus.

Degrees of Delinquency

delinquencies

Once your missed payment hits delinquent status, it can show up on your credit reports. At this point, you’ll likely start feeling the negative impacts to your credit scores.

And it will only get worse from here if the bill continues to go unpaid.

That’s because there are degrees of delinquency, and the more delinquent your payment becomes, the likelihood of more damage it will do to your credit scores. Creditors typically report late payments in a specific category based on the length of time they’ve been delinquent.

  • 30-Days Late
  • 60-Days Late
  • 90-Days Late
  • 120-Days Late
  • 150-Days Late
  • Charge-Off

Each new category comes with more extreme credit score impacts — and, likely, more late fees and interest fees, depending on the type of account. A 90-day delinquent debt is worse than one that is 30 days delinquent, and an account that is 150 days delinquent is on the cusp of default.

Once your account is 180 days past due, it is generally considered to be a loss by the creditor and charged off, which basically means the creditor moves it from the “expected revenue” column to the “loss” column.

Once it hits charge-off status, your account will be closed by the creditor. The debt will then likely be turned over to an internal collection department or sold to a third-party collection agency.

The account will also be reported to the credit bureaus as a charge-off or default and could show up on your credit reports. Defaulted debts can cause your credit score to drop by dozens of points, and the higher your score started, the farther it will fall.

Other than the potential for credit damage, the most important takeaway here is that you have up to six months to get your account current before a charge-off to avoid default. The best way to go about this is often to contact your creditor directly to work out some sort of payment plan.

Avoiding Late Payments

late-payment

Of course, the absolute best way to avoid credit damage from late or missed payments is to avoid missing the payment in the first place. While this may be easier said than done, a variety of tools exist that can make it easier to stay on top of your bills.

The simplest solution for many people may be to set up automatic bill payment through their checking or savings account. Check with your financial institution but most offer this service free of charge or for a minimal fee. Most banks allow automatic bill payments, and they can typically be set up and customized online through the online banking portal or your mobile banking app.

Another way to help avoid late or missed payments is through the use of third-party budgeting and personal finance software. Dozens of options are available for both desktop and mobile devices that can include tools like transaction tracking and payment reminders.

Disputing Incorrectly Reported Late Payments

disputing incorrect items

Nobody’s perfect, not even the credit bureaus, so, in rare cases, you may wind up with an incorrectly reported late payment on your credit reports. This can lead to credit damage and higher rates and fees that you really don’t deserve, so it’s important to address these mistakes — and any other mistakes, for that matter — as soon as possible.

Depending on the complexity of your issue, you may choose to file the credit report challenges yourself. You’ll need to file a separate challenge for each credit bureau where the mistake is reported.

If your credit reports have multiple issues, the above seems like a lot of work, or you simply feel more comfortable hiring a professional, you can find a reputable credit repair company to help you work to fix your credit reports. Be sure to thoroughly research any prospective companies before getting started.

 

 

You can also carry on the conversation on our social media platforms. Like and follow us on Facebook and leave us a tweet on Twitter.





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What credit score is used when applying for a home loan?

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What credit score is used when applying for a home loan?

Posted by Erica Steeves on October 16, 2018


Your Credit Minute Show Notes:

  • 00:00                                   What’s up YouTubers, this is Nick Tsoukales with Key Credit Repair. And today’s credit question of the day is gonna be “Which credit score is used when I am applying for a home loan?” So pretty simple stuff, okay.
  • 00:10                                   So let’s say for example we have a 750 credit score for Experian, okay. We have a 732 for Equifax, and then we have a 740 TransUnion, okay. A lot of people are gonna think, well Nick, it’s the middle credit score. Well, it sometimes is the middle credit score, so that’s not entirely incorrect, but in this case, the middle credit score would have been a 732, which is technically the lowest credit score, okay. So it’s definitely not the 732, okay. I mean it’s definitely not the lowest credit score, and it’s definitely not the highest credit score. A home loan um or a mortgage lender is gonna use something called the median credit score, or middle of three values. So in this case, what you’re gonna look at is you’re gonna stack up the three credit scores, okay. And you’re gonna look for middle of three values. So in this case, we have 740. So this is obviously the lowest, this is the highest, and this is the middle of three values.
  • 01:01                                   So again guys, if you’re pulling your credit score, wondering which one is used for a home loan, it’s always gonna be the middle of three values. The credit score that you need for a home loan is always gonna be a FICO score, and the place to get that FICO score, aside from a mortgage lender is gonna be myfico.com.
  • 01:15                                   Guys have a great day.

 





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Debt settlement-Does it hurt your credit score?

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Debt settlement-Does it hurt your credit score?

Posted by Erica Steeves on October 15, 2018


  • Debt settlement-Does it hurt your credit score?

Your Credit Minute Show Notes:

  • 00:01                                   YouTubers, what’s up? This is Nick Tsoukales with Key Credit Repair. Today we are talking about debt settlements. So the big question that we’re getting asked all the time is debt settlement, de-debt relief. Is it, is it hurting my score? Will it hurt my credit score? So let’s actually break down what a debt relief plan is, what debt settlement is, how it happens, and whether or not it hurts your credit score, okay?
  • 00:23                                   So typically a debt settlement plan, okay, is a plan where you are going to start setting aside a certain amount of money into a special purposes savings account, okay? Now with the savings account, as the money starts building up, okay, that money that-that savings, okay, is gonna start being used to settle each of your debts, okay.
  • 00:50                                   Now what are the major pros with a program like this? Well the first big thing is the savings, okay. Now let’s say you have a ten thousand dollar debt, okay. The debt settlement company typically is gonna negotiate a pretty aggressive settlement with this company, okay. So let’s say we have a debt collector, okay. Um that-that settling company is technically is going to be settling the debt somewhere between four and six thousand dollars, or somewhere between forty and sixty percent, so you have major savings.
  • 01:28                                   Now what is the downside, um with a debt settlement plan? Okay, well really there isn’t. As long as you’re in collections. So let’s say you-you’ve already fallen behind on all of your … uh on all of your accounts, okay? You’ve gone through some hardships and all of these accounts are currently in collection status. Paying the off through a settlement, bringing them to zero is going to help your credit score. It’s a positive thing for your credit, okay. These accounts are already in default.
  • 01:55                                   Now let’s say these accounts are all up to date, and you fall behind, okay. You go ninety, a hundred and twenty days late, to use that at leverage to possibly negotiate a settlement, something like this later on, obviously that’s gonna have a damaging affect on your credit score, okay. Keep in mind guys, we talked about this, thirty five percent of your credit score is payment history. So the second you go ahead and you fall behind on those debts, that thirty five percent is gonna be affected pretty dramatically. We’ve seen clients go from 750 to 550 in one month from falling behind on all of their accounts.
  • 02:32                                   Now if you’re looking to file for bankruptcy, this is an alternative, okay. This is a a great alternative, okay. Also, let’s break down why this can actually happen. Okay? Typically when these debts go ninety to a hundred and twenty days behind, these debts are gonna get sent over to a collection department at a bank, okay. They will start aggressively reaching out to you to try to get you to pay on the debt, okay. Usually you can get something off with each of those accounts, so if it’s a ten thousand dollar debt, maybe you’re gonna get a couple thousand dollars off, okay. But if some additional time passes by, those debts are then gonna get sold, okay. And when they get sold, this is where you can start saving the bucks. Okay.

03:17                                   A ten thousand dollar debt, a credit card, okay, is typically sold to a collection agency for about a thousand bucks, I’m not kidding you. Ten cents on the dollar, okay. Now keep in mind, a lot of these debts never get collected, okay. So they’re usually not gonna give you a thousand dollar settlement. But when you end up paying them back-

  • 03:42                                   Sometimes you don’t.
  • 03:42                                   Five thousand dollars, or fifty percent, okay, it works out for everyone. The collection agency made some money, technically. They’ve made four thousand dollars, okay. They’ve recovered some money from you for all the debts they’re not gonna collect, for all the people that are filing for bankruptcy, you’ve saved a ton of money, um they make some money, everyone is happy. The original creditor up here um they took a write off on the loss, okay. So they took a tax deduction for their loss as well, so it all works out well in the end for everybody.
  • 04:16                                   But again, if you’re up to date on these debts guys, a debt relief program is something you’ve really gotta think about. It should only be deemed as something to avoid bankruptcy, um if the debts are-have already fallen behind, um whether you paid it off in full or settling the debt, it’s a net positive, the account is already in default, it’s already in negative balance, bringing it up to date in any way shape or form can only help you.
  • 04:38                                   Guys this is Nick Tsoukales from Key Credit Repair, thanks for checking out our uh our YouTube channel and our Facebook channel, um everyday we’re producing uh new content regarding credit. If you have any questions that you’d like me to answer, you can email me at info@keycreditrepair.com. Thank you.

 





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Money Management Guide for Veterans

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Veteran and military service members are likely well-versed in organization to a high degree. As they begin the transition to civilian life, they’ll need to start organizing their finances in order to provide stability for themselves and their families.

This guide offers applicable advice on things veterans should consider when planning their retirement from the military. We’ll help navigate benefits available to veterans, health care, financial responsibilities and the unique perks veterans are granted in return for their service.

home with american flag

Just as the decision to join the military is a major life event, so is separating from it as a veteran. To ensure the transition into civilian life is streamlined, there are things to consider and prepare for.

These tips can help veterans simplify the transition process and leave them fully equipped to navigate civilian life and employment.

Attend a Transition Assistance Program workshop

The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides informational support to military members and their families on all matters related to the transition into civilian life, including the pursuit of further education, finding a job or starting a business.

TAP gives service members and their families access to educational resources. Counselors are available to assist with the transition and guide veterans through benefit options. Through these services, counselors can help veterans get in touch with companies who actively hire veterans and have dedicated programs to promote career opportunities in the military community.

Emphasize transferable skills

Service members perform many duties throughout their time in the military. As a result, veterans’ skills and experiences are unique, making them highly qualified for a number of careers.

When preparing for a civilian job interview, be sure to highlight skills gained during time in service such as:

  1. Leadership. Service members are given opportunities to demonstrate and practice leadership skills. The ability to manage a group is a skill which is in high demand by companies.
  2. Planning. Military life revolves around a structured schedule. Service members closely follow a daily plan that guides their every activity, from eating breakfast to getting into bed at night. The experience most veterans have with planning is highly desirable to employers wishing to achieve long-term goals.
  3. Integrity. In military service, trustworthiness is necessary to survival in many cases. Employers look for candidates who demonstrate their own trustworthiness with punctuality, promise fulfilment and discipline.
  4. Teamwork. Military service requires constant collaboration with others. Working in a team is a valuable skill to employers in any civilian industry.
  5. Conflict resolution. In the military, officers are often tasked with negotiations, persuasion and management of interpersonal conflict. Demonstrate an ability to handle these situations effectively to an employer.
  6. Flexibility. The military has prepared veterans to calmly handle unexpected changes in plan. This is an essential skill to the fast-paced corporate world.
  7. Communication. The military relies on communication for streamlined operations. Employers also view communication as a necessary skill in civilian positions.
  8. Problem solving. The ability to analyze and manage a conflict is a necessity to survival in the military. Civilian work also relies on individuals with exceptional problem-solving skills.

When seeking a career after retirement from the military, emphasize a mastery of these skills and how to apply them to a prospective career. For assistance transitioning to a civilian job, there are employment resources and programs for veterans that can help launch a new career.

dollar bill and coins

When navigating civilian life, it’s important to have organized finances. Veterans have access to many resources for financial management, so be sure to make the most of veteran status by utilizing these services.

Boost your savings with the Savings Deposit Program

The military’s Savings Deposit Program allows service members deployed to combat zones to invest as much as $10,000 and receive 10 percent annual interest for up to three months after their return from service. Though this program is only available to active service members, it provides exceptional savings at minimal cost and can be used long after retirement to supplement income.

Plan for retirement using a Roth IRA

Even if a veteran served in the military long enough to earn a military retirement and pension, it may not fully cover retirement. Because of this, it is essential for veterans to take retirement planning into their own hands.

A Roth IRA is a specialized retirement account funded with post-tax income contributions. Because income has already been taxed, the accounts are eligible for tax-free withdrawals in retirement after age 59 ½. These accounts are particularly helpful for newly-transitioned veterans who may need an extra cushion of savings to hit the ground running in civilian work and retirement. Additionally, these accounts take the guesswork out of retirement planning because the money in the account will not be subject to tax. Roth IRA accounts do not require distributions, so veterans can leave the money in their account and let it grow.

Create an emergency savings fund

Life can be unpredictable. An emergency fund is useful to anyone planning their retirement, particularly veterans who may be struggling with disabilities, financial instability or dependent family members who need support.

To ensure veterans are fully prepared for life’s can’t-plan-for moments, consider saving three months’ worth of pay or put aside a percentage of monthly income.

There are many ways to build an emergency budget. To conceptualize what an emergency fund will need, take these steps:

  1. Track monthly spending. Spending money without careful thought can be dangerous to anyone’s wallet. To avoid unnecessary expenses, consider keeping receipts and writing down all expenses in a journal. It may be easier to cut down on unneeded expenditures once all transactions are written in one place.
  2. Pick a place to house the emergency fund. Ideally, the emergency fund should be kept in a savings account where it will not be tempting to spend. Many banks and credit unions offer free savings accounts that accumulate interest, offering an easy way to store and grow money.
  3. Set up automatic contributions. Using an automatic withdrawal from a checking account is an easy way to contribute to an emergency savings fund. Ask a financial service to set up automatic deposits to a savings account on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The more often veterans contribute to their emergency funds, the faster they’ll build it. For example, to save $1,000 in 90 days, contribute $11.11 to a savings account daily.

bank graphic

Veterans have earned special benefits and services for their financial needs. It is helpful to capitalize on these unique services for financial well-being.

Financial institutions with special veteran benefits

There are a number of financial institutions who cater to military service members and their families. They offer perks like competitive interest rates, free services and discounts and locations around the world.

Financial institutions with services for military members and their families include:

best banks for military

These banks provide support and financial assistance to their military members. With the often complicated financial situations of military families, these services can help veterans achieve stability.

Take advantage of government initiatives for financial support

In 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched the Financial Coaching Initiative, targeting transitioning veterans and economically unstable consumers to help with their financial goals.

Financial transition into civilian life can be difficult. The Financial Coaching Initiative provides veterans with coaches in organizations around the country who are trained in finance and are accredited by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education. A financial coach can give one-on-one help with personalized plans to address individual goals and needs.

Additionally, there are many online resources to help with financial management and strategy. The Veterans Financial Coalition is an online source for transitioning veterans and offers free educational tools to help navigate the unique situations faced as a veteran. Resources offered by the Veterans Financial Coalition include budgeting and savings tips, tax break information and even educational games to build money knowledge.

Other online resources for financial management include services provided by VeteransPlus and the Foundation for Financial Planning.

supporting veterans

Military veterans are eligible for a broad range of benefits and programs provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) provides many services to active service members, veterans and military families.

Utilize these services for many needs, including health care, insurance and pensions, education and family support. By enrolling in these programs, veterans may qualify for low-cost or cost-free health care services and can save money on insurance policies, education and home loans.

Apply for disability benefits and assistance

The VA provides compensation to those affected by disability, disease or injury sustained during military service. A disability recognized by the VA can apply to physical limitations or injury, as well as mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This compensation is tax-free, graduated according to the severity of the disability and is meant to help make up for economic loss and physical and emotional stress.

To be considered for disability compensation, the VA looks for these eligibility criteria:

eligibility critera for VA loan

In order to be approved for disability compensation, the following documents are required:

  • Medical evidence of a current physical or mental disability
  • Documentation proving the relationship between a disability and an event in military service

Next, to apply for disability benefits, work with an accredited representative or agent, visit a regional VA office or follow these steps on the eBenefits online portal:

  1. Create an account on eBenefits.va.gov.
  2. Collect all relevant documents for evidence.
  3. Scan and upload all documents then press “Submit.”
  4. Track the status of the claim via eBenefits.va.gov.

Take advantage of services for housing and home loans

Veterans have access to unique home loans and housing-related services. Home loans provided by the VA may be used towards homes, condominiums or manufactured homes. They can also be used to refinance an existing loan or to install energy-saving improvements to a current residence.

The VA offers three main types of guaranteed loan benefits:

loans from VA

The VA also offers assistance with home adaptations for disabled veterans and support for homeless veterans or those at risk of becoming homeless.

Requirements for eligibility of home loans or housing-related assistance include:

  • Proof of suitable credit and sufficient income to maintain home ownership
  • Certificate of Eligibility (COE) proving verified eligibility for a VA home loan
  • Record of military service (DD-214, OMPF or medical)
  • Certification of intent to occupy the home alone or with family (if applicable)

Utilize pensions and life insurance plans curated for individual needs

The VA offers pensions to provide income and make life more secure for veterans and their families. A pension is a need-based benefit with limited or no income for those who are age 65 or older and have a permanent, non-service-connected disability. Pensions can also be distributed to qualifying survivors or dependents of a veteran.

Eligibility requirements for pension application include:

  • Proof of income and net worth information
  • Private medical records and any relevant treatment records
  • Completed program applications:
    • Veterans Pension–VA Form 21-527EZ
    • Survivors Pension–VA Form 21-534EZ

The VA also provides life insurance for veterans and their families. In fact, over $1.3 trillion a year is used in insurance coverage for veterans. There are many life insurance options to choose from, and Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage is automatic for most service members.

Take care of military spouses, dependents and survivors

There are many resources and support services for the families of military service members. Family members of a service member who have died or were seriously injured in the line of duty may be eligible for many of the same benefits veterans enjoy including disability compensation, educational training, employment services, home services and health care.

One of the most notable benefits provided to the family of service members is the GI Bill, designed to help service members, veterans and their families cover educational expenses.

The following trainings are included in the benefits of a GI Bill:

  • College degree programs
  • Vocational or technical training
  • Licensing and certification reimbursement
  • National testing programs (SAT, CLEP, AP)
  • Flight or correspondence training
  • Work-study programs
  • Tuition assistance

medical tools

Under VA benefits, veterans may be eligible for low-cost medical services and health care, including dental, vision, mental health and home services as well as preventative and primary care, prescription medication, medical equipment and prosthetics. The VA provides elite health care services to eligible veterans with more than 1,200 sites of care around the country.

Most veterans qualify for cost-free health care services under VA benefit enrollment, though a modest copay may be required for certain health care or prescription medications.

To be eligible for VA health benefits, be sure to meet these criteria:

  • Must have served in active military, naval or air service and discharged under any conditions other than dishonorable.
  • Must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty.

When applying for health care benefits, provide proof of discharge papers, such as a DD-214, additional health insurance information and any financial information, including gross income reports for the veteran, their family and any dependents.

debt ratio

Many veterans who have been in military service for the majority of their adult lives have not built a favorable credit score and have accumulated significant debt. As veterans begin to transition to civilian life, it’s important to act quickly to stabilize credit, manage debt and begin rebuilding financial strength.

Take control of your credit score

Check credit scores regularly and take any necessary steps to fix report errors or pay outstanding debts. Making sure the credit report accurately reflects individual history is crucial to building a good score.

It’s important to note that repairing a credit score takes time. Quick-fix efforts to improve a score may backfire, so beware of any services claiming to offer immediate results. The best way to build credit is to manage it responsibility throughout the transition into veteran life.

Consider using a credit card with perks for military members. Many credit cards offer rewards for active-duty service members, veterans and military families.

Here are a few credit cards designed solely for veterans and military members:

military credit cards

Understand your options for debt relief and control

According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, service members have more credit cards and display more costly spending behaviors than civilians.

However, service members have access to unique programs to help ease debt:

  • Service Member’s Civil Relief Act: caps interest on loans taken out by active military members and regulates loans for credit cards, auto loans and other financial services
  • Military Lending Act: guarantees that military service members can not be charged more than 36 percent interest for credit products and personal loans
  • Veterans Housing Benefit Program: offers home loans to veterans at low rates
  • Nonprofit Credit Counseling: offers credit counseling services by nonprofit companies to veterans struggling with debt

Additionally, there are many debt management resources online and through financial institutions to help veterans properly navigate the process of reducing their debt-to-income ratio.

veteran with grad cap

Aside from educational benefits provided by the VA, there are many ways to further education as a veteran. Colleges and universities may offer discounted rates to veterans and their families, and there are a variety of scholarships to apply for.

top 5 scholarships for vets

Learn important money management skills

The National Financial Literacy Educators Council provides military members and veterans with important financial literacy resources, support and training to achieve financial success.

Military members may have higher debt and fewer assets than civilians. Additionally, many military families experience stress due to their financial situations and feel insecure about their financial futures. Increasing financial literacy can help veterans and their families alleviate stress caused by financial problems.

As service members transition from a military career into life as a veteran, they may face challenges unique to their situation. We hope this guide helps veterans navigate successfully through the obstacles life brings and puts them on the path towards financial stability and strength.

If a service member is struggling with poor credit, money management or wants to learn more about the benefits they are entitled to as a veteran, reach out to a financial service, support counselor or a family member or friend for help.

We thank all veterans and military members for the gift of their service.

 

Sources

Investopedia | Military | Experian | Forbes | Kiplinger | Explore VA | US News | VeteransPlus
Defense Finance and Accounting Service | Consumer Finance | Veterans Financial Coalition
Foundation for Financial Planning | myFICO | FINRA | Debt | Consumer Credit | Mental Health
National Financial Educators Council | USAA

 

 



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One Year After the Equifax Breach – Is My Identity Safe?

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Last year the credit reporting agency Equifax discovered that its server containing personal information on 143 million Americans had been hacked. The information obtained during the breach included social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, tax-ID information, name, dates of birth, and even credit card numbers.

Equifax executives were called before Congress concerning the hack. Calls for more regulation of the credit reporting agency were heard, and a class-action lawsuit was filed. Some regulations have gone into effect in 2018 in response to the breach. Free credit freezes are a result of the breach, but your data may not be particularly safe without taking certain steps. This article will cover some steps that you can take to protect your identity.

Two Steps to Take

The Equifax breach might not have led to any penalties or fines for Equifax, but it did lead to a new law meant to protect consumers. This law states that credit freezes must be free for consumers and that fraud alerts will have a longer duration. This law was passed in May of 2018 and took effect at the end of September. Here are two measures passed by the law that can help you.

Credit Freezes

Credit freezes are the most important part of the legislation and one that consumer groups wanted the most. The freeze itself already exists, but there was a cost associated with it that varied by state. The new federal law makes these free for consumers in all 50 states.

credit freeze

A credit freeze does not allow anyone to access your credit report which effectively blocks scammers from opening an account in your name because lenders will not be able to perform a credit check. Remember, you will also not be able to open an account yourself if you set up a credit freeze. This makes freezes a good option, but there are some drawbacks. However, you will not have to pay for a credit freeze anymore, so if you decide to go this route, cost is no longer an issue.

Fraud Alert

Another new part of the law is the ability to add a fraud alert for up to one year. Previously, fraud alerts were only active for 90 days. A fraud alert is different from a credit freeze because it requires a business to verify your identity before offering a loan, line of credit, or anything other financial instrument. A freeze and a fraud alert are two completely different things. A freeze can be more effective at preventing fraud since it does not allow anyone to open a new financial account. However, it can make life more difficult if you want to apply for a home loan or new line of credit.

Quick Tips to Stay Secure After the Equifax Breach

The best way to keep your identity stay safe is to monitor your credit report and financial records. There are services that do this for a fee, but you can easily monitor this yourself for free. Here are some quick tips to keep your identity safe following the Equifax breach:

  • Sign up for a free credit freeze. If you are truly worried about identity theft, and don’t have any plans of applying for new credit, this can be especially useful for you. You do have to contact the three major credit bureaus for a credit freeze. Just remember to unfreeze your account before getting a loan, credit card, or any other service that requires a credit check.
  • Put a fraud alert on your credit reports. You only need to contact one bureau, and they will alert the others. This is valid for one year and will alert you if anyone tries to open a new account in your name.
  • Track your credit reports. Americans can get one free credit report from each of the credit reporting agencies, which means you have three free reports per year. Check your credit reports for any inaccuracies or information that doesn’t look right.
  • Check your financial statements. Credit card companies and banks allow you to monitor your accounts online. Now, they all have great fraud detection, but some fraud can still slip through. If you see any unfamiliar charges, then you should alert your bank or credit card company. Identity thieves sometimes use small amounts as test charges.
  • File your taxes early. Hackers were able to access Social Security numbers, birthdays, and addresses, which means they can file a fraudulent tax return. This means that they can file before you and steal your tax return. Filing your taxes early can help you avoid identity theft and potentially prevent your tax return from being taken.
  • Protect against fake checking accounts. Some identity thieves will open a checking account in your name, which they will then use to write checks and overdraft the account. This will have a negative effect on your credit score, but you will not know about it until after the fraud occurs. A service like ChexSystems, a credit reporting agency for banks, can provide a free report about any bank accounts in your name

data-breaches

Final Thoughts

Overall, the threat posed by the Equifax breach is a big one. People have already had their identities stolen because of the breach, and it is possible that more identities will be stolen. Remember, your social security number and birthday do not change, which means that you can be at risk for a long time if that information was stolen during the breach.

If you’re concerned about this, you should monitor your credit reports. You can also have fraud alerts or credit freezes in place. Other tips include filing your taxes early, monitoring your account balances, and monitoring your bank accounts.

These are just some of the ways that people can steal your identity. Congress may pass more laws related to preventing identity theft as more and more security breaches occur. Until then, the tips listed above can help you protect your identity after the Equifax breach. If you see questionable negative items on your credit reports as a result of identity theft, give our credit specialists a call for a free consultation to see if we can help you leverage consumer regulations available to help you post theft.

 

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Credit Score Range- How do I stack up?

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Credit Score Range- How do I stack up?

Posted by Erica Steeves on October 12, 2018

Your Credit Minute Show Notes:

  • 00:01                                   Hey, guys. This is Nik Tsoukales with Key Credit Repair. I’m taking you through a quick credit minute talking about the different credit score ranges. So, I’m going to break it down in three different ways for you. Okay.
  • 00:11                                   The first credit score that we have is something called the Vantage score. Vantage score 3.0 or 4.0. Okay. Then, we have your FICO score. Um, typically what you’re seeing online is FICO 8 and FICO 9, and then I’m going to give you an additional FICO score as a bonus round. This has a little house on it, and I’m going to explain in a second why this matters.
  • 00:40                                   So, the first thing we’re going to talk about is the Vantage score. Okay. What is a Vantage score? Where do you get it? Okay. Vantage score is the credit score you’re going to find on creditkarma.com. It’s a free credit score that you can access. Okay. The Vantage score is owned by the three credit agencies. It’s owned by TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Okay. Um, it is an educational purposes only credit score. Most banks and lenders don’t use it, but for the purpose of credit repair, monitoring your credit, it’s a really good range.
  • 01:11                                   So, I’m going to actually read off some notes here for you guys and give you the exact break down directly from FICO in terms of where we should be. Okay. So, to me directly from Vantage score. So, you have, okay, let’s see. We’re going to go from 300 to 600, that is considered a poor credit score in their eyes. Okay. Then, you’re going to have 601 to 660, which is considered a fair credit score. Okay. Then, we’re going to go 661 through 780, which they consider good, and then 780 plus, which they consider excellent.
  • 02:04                                   Now, keep in mind, this is for educational purposes only. So, if you’re in these ranges, um, you’re doing pretty good. If you’re in this range, you’re really doing amazing. Okay. Uh, let’s move on to FICO score. Okay.
  • 02:23                                   So, one of the most commonly found FICO scores online for educational purposes only is FICO score 8.0 or 9. Okay. And, their range is going to be fairly similar with a few exceptions. 300 to 579 is going to be what they consider as poor, and then we’re going to say 580 to, let’s see here, 669, and by the way I’m going to show you in a second why I could care less what they say. This is an important part of this. I could care less what these numbers are. 670 through 739 is considered good. 740 plus is considered excellent. Okay. And, by the way, this score caps out at 850.
  • 03:22                                   Now, I could care less what Vantage score says is a good credit score or a bad credit score, and I could care less what FICO score or FICO 8 says is a good or bad credit score. So, we’re going to go ahead and we’re going to throw all of this out. We could care less. What we care about is what we can get with our credit scores, and most of my clients are trying to eventually buy a home, and if you’re buying a home, you’re not using either of those two credit scores. Those are just for educational purposes only.
  • 03:48                                   What we care about is another [inaudible 00:03:53] FICO. We’re going to call this the house FICO score. Okay. So, when you go to get a mortgage, uh, the mortgage lenders going to pull something called a trimerge credit report. Okay. That data- When they pull that data in, they’re going to push it through, uh, the FICO algorithm and issue you a score, okay, but the way the scores presented to you is going to vary between the three bureaus. Okay. So, you could have the exact same data between all three bureaus, and there’s a variation natural algorithm that’s used that’s why no three credit scores are exactly the same. Interesting stuff here.
  • 04:32                                   Experian, they’re using a version two. Okay. Equifax is using- using version five, and TransUnion is using version four. If you’ve ever heard of a Beacon score, guys … Some of your old school bankers will know this. They’ll say, “Hey, what’s your Beacon score?”. Okay. In the old days, your Equifax credit score was called a Beacon score. Now, these credit scores are all from FICO. Okay. These are the scores that matter. This is what the banks and lenders are using.
  • 05:05                                   Now, let’s talk about the ranges. In terms of what is considered good or bad, I mean, it’s kind of arbitrary. What I care about is what I can access with my credit score. Okay. So, I’m going to give you a few numbers to focus on. 640, 680, and 740. Okay. Goal number one, goal number two, and goal number three. Okay. Now, obviously, these scores range from about 300 to 850, but again we could care less about that.
  • 05:35                                   What I care about is this … 640 is a goal number one for the majority of my clients. Why? Because that’s going to allow them to access most, um, FHA back loans. So, essentially, you’re getting a house around 640. Now, there are some banks and lenders that will go lower than that. They’ll go to 600 or even 580, but there’s usually contingencies and more complicating factors that they want to get you that loan, but 640 you’re- you’re in. You’re approved. You’re getting something pending all the other things are- are working out in your favor. Okay.
  • 06:04                                   680 is just about the national average. Okay. I care about that. I want to know that I’m at least average. I don’t want to be below average. Okay. Also, that’s technically the beginning of most conventional findings. Conventional findings means basically what they’re not looking for the Federal Housing Administration, conventional money. Uh, they’re not looking for the Federal Housing Administration to back your mortgage. Okay. So, usually the rates, the fees are going to be lower. Okay. You’re just going straight to the bank. They’re saying, “Hey, you’re- you’re average. You’re making a living. Let’s give you a regular loan”. Okay.
  • 06:42                                   And, then 740. 740 is considered really that crème de la crème at the bank level. When they see a 740 plus at that FICO score, that Beacon 5.0, that FICO two or that version four, that’s a credit score that’s going to get you the lowest interest rates. That’s what you’re going to be able to really competitively shop from one bank to another. That’s when you’re getting the best interest rates on things like credit cards, the zero percent APR offers, zero percent on a Cadillac for 12 months offer, all that good stuff. That’s where you want to be.
  • 07:15                                   So, regardless of what a website is telling you guys. Good, fair, bad, excellent, green light, red light, 10 stars or none, we can care less. What we care about is what is your credit score getting us? Is it getting us a house? If not, then who cares. Guys, this is Nik Tsoukales with Key Credit Repair and this is your credit minute. Have a great day.

 





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