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A credit score is a 3 digit number that tells a creditor how creditworthy you are and how likely it is that you'll repay the credit once it is extended to you. These scores affect the interest rates you receive on mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, etc. In addition, when you go for an insurance policy or apply for a job, the insurer or employer may look at your credit scores. Even when you're looking to rent, your landlord would prefer it if you have a good credit/FICO score.

What is FICO score?

A FICO score is calculated on the basis of the FICO Scoring Model developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation. In most cases, when people talk about their credit scores, their FICO credit score is what they mean. Consumers can access different versions of the FICO score at the 2 bureaus - Equifax and TransUnion. These scores are known as the Beacon score and Empirica score.

Consumer FICO scores calculated by Experian are sold to lenders only and consumers can't access them. However, consumers can find their credit scores (based on Experian data) online at Experian. They can even request a free credit report from Experian, just like from other bureaus.

What is a good credit score?

Usually FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850. The higher your score is, the lower the risk to the creditor is when offering you a loan. A FICO score equal to or above 700 is considered a good credit score which will qualify you for some of the best deals at affordable rates.

What is a credit score chart?

A score chart helps you get an idea of credit score ratings based on the credit scores you have. The credit score chart is given below:
  • 730+ - Excellent
  • 700 - 729 - Good
  • 670 - 699 - Needs a closer look
  • 585 - 699 - Higher risk
  • Below 585 - Limited credit history

Can you get a free credit score?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), anyone is entitled to a free copy of their credit report once a year from each of the bureaus; but free credit scores are not available. You'll have to place an order with the bureaus and pay a fee (set by the Federal Trade Commission) if you'd like to get your credit score. You may apply for your credit scores online at www.annualcreditreport.com or contact them at their toll free number 877-322-8228.

What is the Credit Scoring system?

It's a system where the credit bureaus figure out your scores based on the information that is available from your credit report. The bureaus use a statistical program to compare the loan repayment history of consumers with similar profiles. Then they award points for each item that helps find the consumers who can easily pay down a debt. The total number of points adds up to your credit score.

Why do credit scores or FICO scores vary?

The major credit bureaus - Equifax, and Trans Union follow the FICO scoring model (developed by Fair Issac Corporation) to calculate a FICO score. But scores differ because they use minor variations in the FICO Scoring Model as well as assign different points to each item on your credit report.

Not all lenders/creditors and collection agencies will report your credit information to the same credit bureau. Therefore, the credit score you get from one bureau may differ from what you receive from another. In addition, your credit scores changes from time to time based on your credit transactions. So, make sure that your creditors update the bureaus with your latest credit details.

Do credit score ratings differ?

Credit ratings may vary from one lender/creditor to another depending upon the items (such as late payments on revolving accounts, mortgages, credit card balances,) they consider after reviewing your credit report. For instance, an auto loan provider may leave out an item that a mortgage lender would consider while providing credit score ratings.

Is Mortgage Credit score similar to the regular score?

Mortgage lenders consider the median score - the one that comes in between the maximum and minimum scores you receive from the bureaus. But often lenders may not use the median score in order to evaluate your creditworthiness because the credit report you pull from the bureau is based on the Consumer Model, where your lender may prefer to calculate the score using a different scoring system - the Mortgage Model.

The information used for both Models may be the same but the importance given to each tradeline account may vary. The Mortgage Model gives more emphasis to the tradelines that can affect your mortgage loan. Thus, your chances of getting a mortgage at a favorable interest rate may depend more upon your mortgage credit scores instead of your regular score.

Are there alternatives to FICO scores?

Apart from the FICO Scores, there are Alternative scores developed for consumers with poor credit. The Alternative scores are based on your payment history, outstanding loan balances, the type of credit accounts you have, and other factors.

As lenders pull your credit report from different bureaus, every lender will probably show different scores. Therefore, you won't get the same offers from different lenders. To avoid these discrepancies, the Vantage score has been introduced. A Vantage score ranges from 501 to 990 and is calculated the same way by each bureau thus giving you the same credit score, provided similar information is reported to each bureau

With the increase in the number of consumers who find themselves delinquent on their bills, lending standards have gotten tighter. Therefore, qualifying for a loan has become harder, especially if you don't have a good credit report or score. Especially when it comes to getting a mortgage, even those that are not supposed to be score driven require you to have a minimum 580 credit score. So, it's important to protect your credit standing and maintain a good score.
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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

are scores treated the same for all mortgages and loans?

Like | Dislike | Share | Posted: Thu, 02/04/2016 - 23:50 | Post subject:

Caron's picture
Caron | Joined: July 19, 2005 08:37 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Mar tin.J
Welcome to the forums.

There are various loan programs that require different scores to qualify for a given rate and term. A mortgage loan requires a higher fico score than a credit card for the same rate. This is because it includes higher loan amounts and repayment periods.

The score required to qualify for a loan also depends on the nature of the loan. For example, a borrower having low credit point and applying for a 15 year fixed rate mortgage with 25% down payment may get better rate than an individual applying for a 1 year adjustable rate mortgage.

Lenders also consider all risks involved while they ask for a certain range of score to qualify for a particular rate. Those having greater number of risky clients may require you to have high points to qualify for a prime interest rate than lenders with less number of risky clients. Therefore, it is quite possible that for a particular credit score, you can get a prime rate with one lender, but a less suitable rate with another.

Hope you have benefited from this information.

Please feel free to post further queries.

Regards,
Caron.

Like | Dislike | Share | Posted: Thu, 02/04/2016 - 23:50 | Post subject:

jameshogg's picture
jameshogg | Joined: December 20, 2005 02:58 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi,

Hope I can add some more information.

The resulting score that comes out after analyzing the credit report is compared with that of other consumers with similar profiles and the lenders can thus predict, using this score, about a person's ability to repay.

The most common method to determine score is FICO developed by Fair Isaac and Company along with three other major credit bureaus - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Today everyone can access their credit score at a number of websites including the websites of the three major bureaus and Fair Issac. Your lender can be asked by you for an access to your score too, while you apply for a loan.

James

Like | Dislike | Share | Posted: Thu, 02/04/2016 - 23:50 | Post subject:

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

How can I improve my score?

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jerry's picture
jerry | Joined: October 17, 2005 03:24 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi,

Please go through the section on credit repair. I hope it will help you with the required information.

Thanks,
Jerry

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

my bankrupcy is almost 9 years. when will it remove from my record? will my credit increase when it is removed?

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adonis's picture
adonis | Joined: October 22, 2005 05:04 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Generally it will take 10yrs to me removed from your report.

Once the 10yr is over, it will be automatically removed from your report.

Basically it wont lay any impact on your report, though it will be good for you.

Like | Dislike | Share | Posted: Thu, 02/04/2016 - 23:50 | Post subject:

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

what is the average score in america, because mine is 672 at the moment?

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jameshogg's picture
jameshogg | Joined: December 20, 2005 02:58 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Anything above 650 is considered as a good score to grant a mortgage loan. So yours can be considered good although you must be aware that the higher your score the lower will be your rate.

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Samantha's picture
Samantha | Joined: September 16, 2005 11:59 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi ldbeez,

Welcome to MortgageFit Forums.

Each lender maintains their own criteria depending on the loan type in order to approve a borrower.

In general 650 and above is a good score to qualify. Considering all other things meeting the requirement a borrower with points of 650 or higher will have a good chance to obtain quality loans at the best interest rates.

Feel free to ask if you have any more queries.

God bless you.

For MortgageFit,
Samantha

Like | Dislike | Share | Posted: Thu, 02/04/2016 - 23:50 | Post subject:

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

How to apply an agency to get my report. Please help me.

Thank you

Uma

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adonis's picture
adonis | Joined: October 22, 2005 05:04 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi, Umadevi

Welcome to the forums.

you can apply for the credit report to any of the 3 credit agencies. They will give you the complete report with detail information. You can try http://www.experian.com/

Adonis

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

How much do medical accounts and/or other disputed items affect your score and mortgage loan potential? I read somewhere-forget where-that medical or disputed items do not factor in when deciding a mortgage. Is this true?
My roomie and I are in the process of fixing errors on his CR as well as getting other things paid off and in good standing etc., and as we qualify ( I am disabled and we meet the income criteria) for WA state bond program help with down payment and closing costs, does that also affect the process in regards to risk?

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

[quote:da4083343c]How much do medical accounts and/or other disputed items affect your score and mortgage loan potential?[/quote:da4083343c]
Outstanding medical bills can affect your credit score but disputing any account information does not affect your score.

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jameshogg's picture
jameshogg | Joined: December 20, 2005 02:58 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Kwaker,

Welcome to the forum.

Medical accounts will not directly affect your getting a mortgage. Instead, it will affect your credit score negatively thereby bringing it down.

If there is a medical bill that has gone for collection, this will affect your payment history and hence have an adverse influence on your score. Or else, if you have made any late payment on medical bills or still have to pay for some of the bills, your score is likely to go down.

Thanks,
James.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

My Credit score with Trans Union is 672, experdian 634, equifax 623. Would I qualify for a morgage with these scores and would they take an average of these scores. I was looking at buying a home now, should I wait or just re finance when my score improves.

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blue's picture
blue | Joined: October 21, 2005 09:17 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Darren,

Welcome to Mortgagefit discussion board.

Your scores are reasonably good and would be able to qualify for good rates with these scores. Lenders will make an average of the scores you have to see if you can qualify for a loan.

In addition to your score, lenders will also look at your income, job status, and debt to income ratio while considering your loan application. If other things are also good then you can shop with a few lenders to see what rates they are offering. And if the rates offered are good then you can go for the purchase.

But you can also wait for some more time and let your score improve further then rates will be the best one can avail. It also depends on the other factors I mentioned above. So you have to calculate and then decide what would be good for you.

Do let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks
Blue

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miller_st's picture
miller_st | Joined: January 17, 2007 04:47 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

[quote:364d53e784]My Credit score with Trans Union is 672, experdian 634, equifax 623. Would I qualify for a morgage with these scores and would they take an average of these scores. I was looking at buying a home now, should I wait or just re finance when my score improves.[/quote:364d53e784]

Darren, I would say your scores are what can help you get a good rate. If other points that Blue mentioned are favorable then start looking for the house. But what range you are looking to buy the house in? Need to calculate if with your income you will be able to [url=http://www.mortgagefit.com/Mortgage-Basics/do-i-qualify-for-a-mortgage.h... for a mortgage[/url] for that amount.

Miller

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Caron's picture
Caron | Joined: July 19, 2005 08:37 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Darren,

It's not that the lenders would take an average of your credit score. They would consider the score provided by each of the credit reporting agencies and the middle score especially. The middle score is the one between the maximum and the minimum as provided by the agencies. In your case, it will be 634.

You may get better rates at this score but it is somewhat difficult. I feel you should wait for some more time before your score improves. And, in the meanwhile you may start taking steps to repair your credit on your own.

Good luck :)

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webmaster3's picture
webmaster3 | Joined: October 3, 2007 02:29 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi,
Its a great post.I found it is very interesting and more informative.But i want to know how can i contact the agency to get my report?

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adonis's picture
adonis | Joined: October 22, 2005 05:04 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

The three agencies use one website/ toll free number ad one mailing address where you can contact and order for a free report annually. To order, you may click www.annualcreditreport.com or call up 1-877-322-8228.

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webmaster6's picture
webmaster6 | Joined: November 26, 2007 11:26 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi,
Great explanations about Credit score and its importance.Awesome post!I can provide some tips for Raising Your Credit Score.Pay all your debts on time.

Keep your debt levels down. The less outstanding debt you have relative to your overall credit limits, the better.

Use your credit cards but pay down the balances. Don’t let them mount up. Many credit scores compare the amount of debt you have to your credit limits. The closer you are to your credit limit, the more likely that your credit score will be negatively affected.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

One thing to remember about credit scores is that in most cases it represents that you are good at borrowing money and paying interest. The only real good time to borrow money is when buying a home. If you have a steady job and have paid your bills on time and can save up to put 20% down on a home, in most cases you can get a good interest rate through manual underwriting. Paying cash for cars and other purchases is easy if you want to do it. Start with a 1000 to 2000 dollar car then save the money you would make payments with and move up in car 2 to 3 years. Keep saving the payment like a steady bill. You can do this with all other purchases. Think about it, if you can borrow and pay interest you can save and earn interest.

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larry2's picture
larry2 | Joined: June 27, 2007 02:50 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Guest,

Welcome to the forum.

Excellent information and excellent suggestion too :)

Are you a lender? Why don't you join this community and help people with your knowledge and experience :) That will be really great.

You can introduce yourself and let us know about yourself at http://www.mortgagefit.com/introduce-yourself.html

Hope you will keep on helping people with such informative posts.

Best of luck,
Larry

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

I have cleared most of my bad credit, resulting in my fico score increasing by 14 pts. The question I have is, "I still have about three charge off I am currently working on and a lien from the IRS. What are my chances of getting approve for a home loan.

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Jessica's picture
Jessica | Joined: June 8, 2004 01:06 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi guest,

It's good that you could increase the FICO score by some points. But I still feel you should wait for some more time, settle the charged-off debts, pay off the lien and then go for the home loan. By the way, what type of lien is it? any property tax lien or what? In short chances are feeble, not just because of your score but due to the fact that you have been through 3 charge-offs and an IRS lien thereby having negative marks on your credit report.

Regards,

Jessica

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charles.armbruster's picture
charles.armbruster | Joined: October 12, 2006 04:26 pm | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

[i:5109c51043]I have cleared most of my bad credit, resulting in my fico score increasing by 14 pts. The question I have is, "I still have about three charge off I am currently working on and a lien from the IRS. What are my chances of getting approve for a home loan[/i:5109c51043].

Well, you are making progress. I would say that a loan officer would need much more information in order to help you decide if you can qualify for a home mortrgage loan.

I'd encourage you to investigate with your local bank -- walk in and ask! Take with you some information, such as income figures, W-2 tax forms, rental history (if any), employment history. This is relatively simple. Try to avoid paying money to make application -- it is not necessary. Also, take your credit report with you. LOOK INTO IT!! Good Luck!!

If you are not happy with the response you get, try a mortgage broker who has a wider range of products to offer. Still, first-time home buyers may do better at the bank. If income is a real problem, there are non-profit organizations available to assist with down-payment money.

Certain lenders, including FHA-insured, may allow the payment of the lien at closing, even out of seller's contribution. Good Luck!!

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jbarto65's picture
jbarto65 | Joined: November 4, 2007 04:09 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Those are some really good scores and I am sure that you have worked hard to keep them that way. I would say that they are good enough to get a descent loan, and get a descent home for a good price in todays market. Make sure that you shop for a good deal, explore all options and try to get the best rate that is possible for you. Goodluck and good job on your scores, I am hoping mine will be that high some day. I have been working hard trying to get them up and plan to check them one year from now to see if I have any improvement. You set a good example, goodluck, hope you find what you are looking for.

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patricia's picture
patricia | Joined: January 16, 2008 08:00 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

If you have collections on your record and pay them off ,how long will it take for your credit score to go up?

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helping_user's picture
helping_user | Joined: March 31, 2006 03:39 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Hi Patricia,

You need to settle the debt after which the FICO score will increase by 40-100 points depending upon the number of collections. For this, you'll have to send the collection agency a letter offering to settle the debt for a certain amount.

To keep your score up to the level, see that you have good payment history for 2 years after the settlement. Also the debt to available credit on your credit cards should be below 30%.

If you've paid off the collection accounts, then simply dispute them off your report.

Thanks.

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jbarto65's picture
jbarto65 | Joined: November 4, 2007 04:09 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Will they automatically take them off after you have paid them if you file a dispute? I have like 3 that I have paid off and would like to have them remove from my report. Have you had that happen, will they remove them?

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jbarto65's picture
jbarto65 | Joined: November 4, 2007 04:09 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

I just went to my report with experian and diputed the ones that I have paid in full.

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adonis's picture
adonis | Joined: October 22, 2005 05:04 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

OK, if you have paid them and they still exist, then request the bureau to remove it. You may to write a letter for this. But in general, such accounts are automatically deleted once you pay off the debt.

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patricia's picture
patricia | Joined: January 16, 2008 08:00 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

It was actually my son's credit I was thinking of. He had a cell phone and lost his contract because he lost his job.They turned it over to collections. As of yet he still cannot afford to pay the what they charged him for ending his contract before it ran out.I really don't know if they put it against his credit I am assuming they have.Was wondering if he settles it would they take it off if it was indeed on there. If you pay a settlement and not what was the actual cost will they still take it off?

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fireyone_02's picture
fireyone_02 | Joined: March 20, 2008 08:44 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

First your son needs to pull his report and see if it is there. Even if it isn't he should try to make some payment plan with the company before it does appear. I think once its on there they still list it but it will also say account paid. It still shows as a negative which isn't helpful. I know it costs alot when you terminate a contract. I hope he can work something out to his benefit.

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jbarto65's picture
jbarto65 | Joined: November 4, 2007 04:09 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

[quote:ab46f309e3]OK, if you have paid them and they still exist, then request the bureau to remove it. You may to write a letter for this. But in general, such accounts are automatically deleted once you pay off the debt.
[/quote:ab46f309e3]

I have things on there that wer paid a long time ago, they show paid, but they are still there. I am trying the dispute way first.

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fireyone_02's picture
fireyone_02 | Joined: March 20, 2008 08:44 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

I thought they still stayed part of your credit record? Are you getting anywhere with the dispute process Jbarto?

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jbarto65's picture
jbarto65 | Joined: November 4, 2007 04:09 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Just got back some results on my husbands disputes, they say updated on the paperwork that i got in the mail, but nothing has changed on the report, it is still showing one month late on the same bill that it shows under positive as never being late and paid off, does not make any sense to me, I think I am going to have to write them a letter on top of the dispute.

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jbarto65's picture
jbarto65 | Joined: November 4, 2007 04:09 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Do they do a seperate update or is what is there now, the only one that I will see?

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fireyone_02's picture
fireyone_02 | Joined: March 20, 2008 08:44 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

I have no clue on this jbarto. You think it would have reflected on the credit report immediatley. It sounds like a real hassle. You would think the dispute would have cleared it up.

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jbarto65's picture
jbarto65 | Joined: November 4, 2007 04:09 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

I just talked to someone today and he told me that he used lexington law firm to clean up his credit, he said that they wrote all these dispute letters on his behalf to the credit reporting agencies and they removed alot of his negative items. I don't know how this would be any different than when the regular consumer disputes, but he said that it works. Has anyone done this.

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fireyone_02's picture
fireyone_02 | Joined: March 20, 2008 08:44 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Never heard of them. Its good though to see someone is getting some positive results. Any price quote on them?

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jbarto65's picture
jbarto65 | Joined: November 4, 2007 04:09 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

I have heard the name, I am just curious about what they charge, especially since credit repair has become so popular.

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fireyone_02's picture
fireyone_02 | Joined: March 20, 2008 08:44 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Credit repair is definately popular. This is why I think people need to be very careful when choosing this option. Look at how popular junk debt collectors became and then look at how many of them are actually creditable. When the good and bad become a mixed bag it quickly becomes a maze.

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jbarto65's picture
jbarto65 | Joined: November 4, 2007 04:09 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

I got back some results on mine today, two of them stated update, one is now reading paid in full while the others remains about the same, still have a few more open ones out there so we will see what happens. Hopefully get some more good news. I think having the one state paid in full is a good start, don't know what effect it will have on my score, will have to wait and see. :D :D

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fireyone_02's picture
fireyone_02 | Joined: March 20, 2008 08:44 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Which of the three reporting credit agencies usually carry the greatest likelihood of banks using them?

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erb1953's picture
erb1953 | Joined: May 24, 2008 10:03 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

There is no certain one that any one financial institution uses, I have had one use experian one time and the next time using transunion, you just never know.

You need to make sure that each of the three have accurate information because you do not know which of the three they will use. If any of the three have the wrong information, you can file a dispute with that particular one and try to get it straightened out. You will need concrete proof to send in to them to provide as proof.

They will contact the other party and get information from them, if you don't send in anything then they will take what they have as proof and it is obviously wrong if it had originally been provided that way. So send in the information with your dispute.

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jbarto65 | Joined: November 4, 2007 04:09 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

good points made you guys, I have filed some disputes and got some information updated and other information just remain the same. I am thinking that you are right about sending in the proof instead of taking the easy way out and filing the dispute online with the credit reporting agency.

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fireyone_02 | Joined: March 20, 2008 08:44 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

Thats a better way. Sometimes presenting the proof in the begining saves the hassle, time and energy.

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jbarto65 | Joined: November 4, 2007 04:09 am | Posts: 0 | Location: New Jersey | 00 Dollars($)

You will get results much quicker if they have the proof on hand when you file the dispute.

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