Archive for the ‘credit education’ Category

Poor Credit Can Harm Your Chances of Good Employment

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Is that fair?  Probably not, but it’s true.

A 2012 survey by the Society of Human Resources Management indicates that as many as 47% of employers check credit before making hiring decisions. The premise is that individuals with poor credit are probably having financial difficulties and so might be more likely to embezzle funds or sell company secrets for a profit.

That has no bearing on your ability to perform a myriad of jobs to an employer’s satisfaction, but it still might have a bearing on whether you’re chosen for the job.

You can deny them the right.

Before a potential employer can check your credit, you must sign giving your permission. You can refuse, but then what are your chances of being hired? Refusal could be (to them) a clear indication that they’ll see something damaging on that report. They may not be able to turn you down based on the refusal, but it’s easy enough to find some other reason to choose a different candidate.

What can potential employers see?

They can’t see your credit scores, but they can see all of your identifying information such as address, date of birth and previous employment information. They can also see your trade lines and credit accounts and take note of the number and nature of inquiries into your report. Finally, they can see things of public record, such as information on collections, foreclosures, bankruptcies, etc.

They’ll also see any mistakes that appear on your credit report:

Credit bureaus are quick to admit that up to 70% of all credit reports contain some kind of error. It may be something simple, like a misspelling of your name, or it may be something serious. For instance, a missed keystroke could put someone else’s collection on your report just because your social security numbers are one digit apart.

“70% of all credit reports contain some kind of error”

That’s one of the reasons why it’s important for every citizen to access their credit reports with regularity, and to read them carefully. When you spot a mistake and report it quickly, it has less time to do damage.

“Thieves can open new accounts completely without your knowledge”

The second reason is identity theft. No one is immune from the threat, and one of the fastest ways to discover it and stop it is by keeping a close watch on your credit accounts and your credit report. Thieves can open new accounts completely without your knowledge. All they have to do is use a bogus address.

So be careful. Get your credit report and read it carefully. If there’s an error or an account you don’t recognize, report it immediately.

Click here to get your report today.

5 Important Reasons Why You Should Monitor Your Credit Report and Scores Regularly

Monday, September 29th, 2014

When it comes to credit scores, many consumers try to keep their head in the sand. They’re afraid to know the truth, or they think it really doesn’t matter.

But it does matter. In this case, what you don’t know can hurt you, and knowledge can become power.

Your credit score or scores play a central role in your financial life, and can even affect your personal life. That’s why you should monitor your credit report and scores regularly, and why you should develop good credit habits to keep those scores as high as possible. A bonus to receiving your credit report is the good advice you’ll get regarding ways to raise those scores.

1. Your Scores Will Determine Your Access to credit.

Lenders look at those scores to determine their risk in lending to you. Thus, when your scores are high you’ll have an easier time obtaining credit. When they’re low, you may not be able to obtain credit at any price, especially if you need money for a business start-up.

If you know you’re going to want credit in the future, get busy raising those scores!

2. Your Credit Scores Will Determine the Interest Rate You’ll Pay

With high credit scores, you’ll be offered credit at lower interest rates than those with poor scores. When your scores are low, lenders are taking an increased risk that you’ll default. They want to be well compensated for taking that risk.

Think about credit cards, whose interest rates can vary from under 5′% to 25%. In fact, I’ve seen offers made to people with poor credit with rates over 70% – combined with an annual fee reaching upwards of $200. Borrowers with high credit scores generally pay no annual fee.

Then think about home mortgage loans, where a difference of 1% on each $100,000 owed amounts to almost $60 per month.

If you want to pay the least possible interest on your next purchase, start raising those scores!

3. High Credit Scores Make You Attractive to Landlords

Low scores make you a high risk and your rental application is apt to be flatly turned down. No landlord wants the risk of tenants who fail to pay rent – or who move out in the middle of the night.

Thus, even if you treat your housing well and have always paid your rent on time, low scores could prevent you from living in the location you prefer.

If you want to live in a prime location, get your credit scores as high as you can!

4. Poor Credit Scores Lead to Utility Deposits

Utilities such as electricity, water, gas, phone, and cable TV can’t repossess what they’ve sold you if you fail to pay at the end of the month. Thus, when your credit scores indicate that you’re a high risk, they’ll demand a deposit up front before providing you with service.

If you want utility companies to trust you, raise your credit scores!

5. Last but definitely not least – Monitoring your credit report and scores will help you avoid the huge headache of identity theft.

Identity theft is always painful, but it is MORE painful when it’s been allowed to continue for months on end.

Running regular checks on your credit scores will alert you to a sudden drop, which might indicate fraudulent activity. And when you actually read your credit report, you’ll know instantly if someone has obtained new credit, rented a house, signed up for utilities, or even gotten a new job in your name.

Reporting such theft instantly will minimize the damage and the pain.

Request your free credit report and scores from today.

Just click here

Do Your Kids Understand Credit?

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Teaching your kids to understand and respect credit could be one of the most valuable lessons you can impart. People all around you are buried in debt – you may even be buried in debt. If you can keep your children from falling into the same trap, you’ll be doing them a great service.

You really need to start when they’re very young – with savings accounts, or even a box at home where they can save up money to buy something special. As they get a bit older and proficient at math, they should learn about checking accounts and how to track expenditures. They should also learn how to balance the bank account.

Learning those things early on will make them much less apt to go crazy with spending the first time they hold a piece of plastic with their own name embossed on the front.

If you didn’t start early, there’s no better time than now. They need to understand the basics before they have access to plastic money. That said, when the time is right, you have choices in how you’ll introduce him or her to the world of credit.

A simple way is to add your child’s name as an authorized user on your own card. As long as your credit is good, it will help your child to build credit as well. But that might not be the best choice.

If you add your child’s name to a card on which you carry a balance, the lesson may be lost. It’s better if the card your child uses is used for nothing but his or her expenses. That way you can both see and track purchases, and your child can see clearly how many dollars it costs when that balance isn’t paid in full each month. This is part of the lesson you want to teach.

If your teen has an “I can’t live without this item” and wants to charge it, you should first sit down together and go over the real cost. If the item is $100 and he or she can only pay $10 per month – show him how much extra he’ll pay in interest.

This is a good time to teach budgeting, so your child can see that if he runs up debt he’ll have that much less to spend next month.

You also need to establish some clear rules about how the card will be used. Will he buy his lunch every day with the card and then pay it off in full at the end of the month? Is the card for clothing, music, or entertainment? If so, who pays the bill? And what are the consequences for not making the payment – or not making it on time?

A second method is to help your child get his or her own card. You will probably have to co-sign, however. That means you will still be liable for the debt and your own credit will suffer if bills aren’t paid on time.

Both of these methods leave you open to “spoiling” the lessons. Because you won’t want a late payment on your credit report, you will probably jump in and bail out your child if he or she gets in a mess. And as we know, being rescued from our mistakes isn’t the way to learn lessons.

Stored-value cards are another option for helping kids learn how to handle money. These are actually pre-paid cards, so have no value in building a credit report. They’re convenient, because in most cases, your teen can have their paycheck deposited directly into the card.

Stored value cards are really the same thing as a checking account – except plastic.

Several banks are offering stored value cards, but they come with a big drawback: Almost every action – such as an enrollment, a reloading deposit or a balance inquiry – comes with a fee. There’s even a fee for inactivity if you don’t use the card for a few months.

It might be safer to set up a checking account. But if you choose that route, take the time to explain the consequences of writing a check for more than your available balance.

Author: Mike Clover your resource for free credit reports, credit cards, loans, and ground breaking credit news.

Beware of credit score quick fixes.

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

During challenging times like now, it can feel very frustrating when your debts have gone to collection due to job loss, or even the company you are working for files for bankruptcy. What ever your situation is there is no quick resolution to repairing your credit report. Lots of credit repair companies will sell you on quick fixes, but depending on how bad your credit report is littered with collections and how much money you have to work with, will determine how long the process will take. Don’t get trapped into quick credit repair schemes. There is no such thing. I assure you of that. I wanted to discuss the process in this article about how to repair you credit and the FACTS about the process.

Here are the proper steps………..

Step 1: Credit Education
The first step is to be aware of what will destroy your credit while you are trying to repair your credit. Collections and late payments are the ultimate death of good credit scores. If you are in the process of trying to figure out how to fix your credit, that would be a good start. Make sure you don’t have any late payments ever, and definitely make sure nothing goes to collection. It does no good to work on your credit if you continue to have obligations go to collections and / or late payments on stuff. This is the first step before you start any type of credit repair.

Step 2: Pull your credit report
Don’t be scared; pull a recent copy of your credit report to determine what you need to work on. Pulling your own credit report does not hurt your credit scores.

Step 3: Review your credit report
Determine what is accurate and inaccurate. If you find stuff on your credit report that is not yours, dispute it with’s on-line dispute process. These are links that take you to each credit bureau so you can dispute inaccurate information.

Step 4: Negotiate collection accounts
After you have determined what collection accounts you have acquired, you will need to figure out what your budget is to pay off these collections. Most collection companies will take pennies on the dollar for debts owed. Phone numbers for these creditors will be on your credit report somewhere. You will need to look for the collection company’s number. The number is usually on towards the back of your report.
For example: If your credit report says you owed $300.00 to so and so collection company, you will offer them $150.00 dollars to settle. You may offer less, depending on what your budget is. You need to start with the most recent collections and the smallest collections on your report. Once you come to a agreement with a collection company whether its payment arrangements or settlement, make sure you follow through on the agreement.

Step 5: Get letters from Collection Company of agreement terms
Once you have paid a collection, the collection company is suppose to mail you a letter stating what you did, and report that to the credit bureaus. Make sure you get these letters from these collection companies. Put those letters in your file cabinet and remember where they are. You may need them if the credit bureaus don’t update properly. That is your proof to cover yourself.

Step 6: Re-Establish your credit
In order for your credit report to score you, your credit report needs credit reporting on that report. If all your obligations went to collection, you will need to re-establish credit. The quickest way to establish credit is to apply for a secured credit card. These types of cards usually require a deposit from you in the amount of $200.00 to $300.00 in an account of the banks choice. The terms and fees are usually not good, but it is what it will take to re-establish your credit. Make sure you are not late on any payments, and pay off the card as soon as possible, even though it was your money that secured the card. Ideally you need a couple of these cards, so get two. While you have this card, charge small purchases on these cards, and pay it in full every month. With good payment history these credit card companies will extend credit to you over time. You will need at least 3 lines of credit on your credit report. Get a couple of secured credit cards, and if you don’t have a third, apply for a small personal loan that reports to all 3 credit bureaus.

Step 7: Re-check your credit report
After you have paid off collections and/ or re-established your credit, pull a copy of your credit report to see the progress. This is not a quick process and can take up to a year or so. The timeline depends on how much negative information is on your credit report. Don’t get frustrated, this process that I have discussed will work. Eventually your credit report and credit scores will progress depending on how quick you pay off your obligations and re-establish new credit. If you see inaccuracies on your credit report, especially for those obligations you have paid, use our “Fix credit report errors” article.

Good luck. your resource for free credit reports, credit cards, loans, and ground breaking credit news.

Beware of Credit Repair Scams

Monday, January 12th, 2009

2009 may go down as the year when more Americans resolve to fix their credit than at any time in history – because high scores are now a requisite for getting any kind of decent interest rates.

In fact, without good scores, consumers might not get any loans at all!

Banks are running scared in the face of mass foreclosures and defaults on credit card debt, so want to feel very certain that you’re going to pay them back before they let you have their money.

In response to this need to raise credit scores, bogus credit repair companies are popping up all over. You’ve probably already found them in your in-box or your postal mail box.

But don’t bite.

Unless you’re dealing with a non-profit credit-counseling company who will help you take control of your finances through various kinds of counseling, you’re probably hearing from a scam artist.

Some of the credit repair companies will do one thing for you: they’ll help you remove errors from your credit report. But at a hefty price for something you can do yourself.

Others will take your money and give you no results at all, so your best move is to say “Thanks but no thanks.” Many require payment up front, which is against the law. If you’ve dealt with a credit repair company and paid them before they showed you results, call the FTC at 877-FTC-HELP and report them.

Reading your report and taking action to remove incorrect information is important, and the chance of finding errors is high. In fact, one in four credit reports contain errors. These include data entry errors along with old information that should have been removed after 7 years.

To have incorrect information removed from your file, you must file a dispute with each of the credit bureaus that lists that information. They must then investigate and will report back to you in about 30 days. The business reporting the disputed information must also look into the claim. Then when a mistake is confirmed you can request the credit bureau send a corrected report to any prospective lenders.

Of course it is best to keep a close eye on your credit report so that you have any errors corrected long before you need to show your scores to a prospective lender. Be sure to get a credit report with scores, so you know where you stand.

The way bogus credit repair companies propose to repair your credit is to repeatedly file disputes with the credit reporting bureaus until they get tired of responding and remove the information from your file. Even if this worked, it would take many, many months of repeatedly filing the dispute.

The best plan is to steadily work at paying off that debt.

If you are struggling under a heavy debt load due to job layoffs or illness, do contact your creditors and try to negotiate better terms for repayment. Many will work with you on lowering your interest rate, removing late fees, etc.

If you don’t feel capable of handling these negotiations on your own, check with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies to find a reputable credit counselor. Often these services are free. your resource for free credit reports, credit cards, loans, and free credit repair advice.

Repair your free credit report for FREE.

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

With all the credit repair companies getting in trouble with the FTC, you might wonder why? The main reason is most credit repair companies sell a service they cannot deliver. The reason is you cannot delete an item on your credit report that is a valid debt you owe. Credit repair companies claim they can delete bankruptcies, foreclosures, late payments and charges off by flooding the bureaus with dispute letters. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act the credit bureaus have 30 days once they have received a dispute to respond. If they don’t respond within the 30 day window it is suppose to be removed from your credit report. Let’s face it; the creditor that you owe will still report to the credit bureaus that you owe them money. So the collection will eventually show back up if this loop hole takes place. I would not be surprised if this loop hole eventually gets changed, because it causes unnecessary work for the credit bureaus, especially if it’s a frivolous dispute Now that I have got that out of the way, here is the steps to repair your own credit report without paying someone for a task you can do for FREE yourself.

1. Get free copy of your credit report.
There are several options here, you can go to and get your free credit report with no credit scores. Also you get this credit report only once year for free with no credit scores. I always suggest getting your credit report with your score for each credit bureau. The reason is you need to be educated about where your credit scores currently stand. To get your credit scores you can go to a number of credit report sites that offer your credit scores on a free trial. Make sure you get all 3 credit scores with your credit report.

2. Review your credit report for collections and inaccurate information.
It is very common to have many mistakes on your credit report that will affect you overall credit score. So review your credit report and notate any incorrect information being reported. Typically most collections will report for 7 years from the collection date. Also review the actual collections that you owe. Write down the amount you owe along with getting the creditors name and number. The name and number will be on the credit report so you can start calling these creditors to make arrangements to settle on the debts you owe. If you thought disputing stuff you owe was a good practice you are wrong. You are wasting your time disputing stuff you actually owe.

3. Negotiate your collection balances
Everyone is selling the easy way to do things when there really is no easy way to repair your credit report. Once the damage is done you have to get a little dirty to fix your credit issues. The first step is to find all the collections you can take care of with in your budget. Determine how much money you have to either arrange payment arrangements or to settle on an account. I recommend settling on the accounts you owe for pennies on the dollar., For instance if you owe $300 dollars offer them $150, you will be surprised what these collection companies will settle for. While you are calling these creditors be sure to ask for a letter to delete the collection from each credit bureau. This applies to whether you paid your account in full or settled. Typically the creditors will not give you a letter to delete, but it does not hurt to pressure them for this letter. Normally they will mail you a letter either saying you settled on the account or you paid it in full. Regardless of what takes place make sure you get some sort of letter for your records. Once these updates start taking place with the credit bureaus your credit scores will increase. The reason for this is the balance owed now is $0. This has the tendency to increase your scores. Most will argue that this process does not help and they are dead wrong. Your credit scores will increase as your creditors report these accounts with zero balances owed
4. Dispute inaccurate information
It is very common to have inaccurate information reporting to your credit report. This can affect your credit scores and your financial life. Comb your credit report for information that is incorrect. Once you have determined what you are absolutely sure is wrong dispute it with the credit bureaus. Example, if the collection is reporting to one credit bureau and is over seven years old, then disputes that collection with that credit bureau. There are two ways to dispute an item on your credit report.
a. Dispute on line here
b. Dispute with a dispute letter select this link.
After you have disputed all inaccurate information and re-establish credit go to step 6.

5. Re-establish credit
If all your good credit went to collection and you have no good credit reporting to the credit bureaus you have to re-establish good credit. The quickest process is to get a couple of secured credit cards. I would recommend a couple secured cards. Most secured credit card companies usually require around $200 to $300 dollars put into a account of there choice. This process will secure credit in your name. Once you do this the secured credit card will report to all 3 credit bureaus. This process immediately starts the credit score rebuilding process. With good payment history you will start getting new credit card offers in the mail. Remember to make your payments on-time and to pay off the card as quick as possible. You don’t want to keep high credit card balances even though its your money that secured the card. I know this sounds strange but its the quickest way to re-establising good credit history.

6. Re-Pull your credit report
Once you have paid or settled on most of your collections re-pull your credit report. Make sure the creditors have reported to the bureaus what has been done. If they have not call the creditors back and ask them why they have not updated with the credit bureaus. Also make sure each creditor or Collection Company you settle with sends you a letter stating what you have done. Usually after you have paid or settled on your accounts your credit report should be updated to bureaus by the collections company within 60 days maximum.

By paying off your collections and re-establishing your credit, your credit will increase a lot quicker than the desperate person depending on a credit repair company.

FTC Targets 33 credit repair companies.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

I thought this was good information about credit repair companies selling something that they cannot deliver. Like I have wrote before credit repair companies prey on the desperate and with our current economic situation there are lots of desperate people. Don’t let someone steal your money.

Read below what the FTC is saying and doing about credit repair companies.

The Federal Trade Commission and 24 state agencies today announced a crackdown on 33 operations that deceptively claim they can remove negative information from consumers’ credit reports, even if that information is accurate and timely. In the seven FTC actions announced today the Commission seeks to halt the defendants’ allegedly unlawful business practices, prohibit further violations, and make them pay consumer redress and give up their ill-gotten gains. In addition, the FTC announced three related credit repair cases earlier this year.

‘Companies that promise they are able to scrub your credit reports of accurate, negative information for a fee are lying – plain and simple,’ said Lydia Parnes, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. ‘Under federal law, accurate, negative information can be reported for up to seven years, and some bankruptcies can be reported for up to 10 years.’

In response to thousands of complaints from consumers throughout the nation, the FTC launched ‘Operation Clean Sweep’ with 24 state agencies in 22 states. In the cases announced today, the Commission charged seven operations with violating the FTC Act and the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) by making false and misleading statements, such as claiming they can substantially improve consumers’ credit reports by removing accurate, negative information from their credit reports. The agency also alleged that the defendants violated the CROA by charging an advance fee for credit repair services. The 26 state actions include alleged violations of state laws and the CROA.

According to complaints filed by the FTC:

Nationwide Credit Services, Inc. and James R. Dooley, based in Florida, advertise their credit repair services on and in the Yellow Pages, stating, for example, that bankruptcies, judgments, slow pay history, repossessions, and collection accounts ‘CAN BE LEGALLY ERASED!’ The defendants charge from $300 to $1,000, including an advance fee ranging from $75 to $150, and a monthly fee that they often debit from consumers’ bank accounts. After paying the fees, consumers find that the defendants rarely, if ever, deliver the promised results. In many instances, they take consumers’ money without providing any services. Consumers often find their cancellation requests ignored, and their refund requests are almost always denied.

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the complaint was 4-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Clean Credit Report Services, Inc., Ricardo A. Miranda, Daniel R. Miranda, and Ruthy Villabona, based in Florida, advertise on radio, television, and, which has testimonials, such as one purportedly from an Atlanta woman, stating, ‘. . . When I lost my job and simply didn’t pay my credit cards and when I needed to get my car loan they said I needed at least a 600 credit score but I had a 480. I got into the CCRS club and did what they told me to do . . . When I pulled my report online I realized that I had a 621. I couldn’t believe this really works.’ Consumers who responded to the defendants’ ads on syndicated radio talk shows were told that the defendants would help remove all the negative remarks that appear on their credit, and that even current debt could be removed.

Once consumers pay $400 in advance for services, the defendants often debit the money from their bank accounts before receiving a signed contract, and then do little, if anything, to fulfill their promises. When consumers reach them to complain, they’re told a variety of excuses, and those who persist are sometimes hung up on, put on hold, or ignored.

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the complaint was 4-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division. The FTC thanks the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida for its invaluable assistance.

Successful Credit Service Corporation, also doing business as Success Credit Services, and Tracy Ballard, also known as Tracy Ballard-Straughn, based in California, promote their credit repair services primarily through appearances at seminars offering real estate investment or other business opportunities. They also promote themselves via audio podcasts on third-party Web sites and through their Web sites, and They claim to have special relationships ‘with every creditor, collection company, public records provider and credit bureaus,’ and that because of this, they can perform ‘hard’ or permanent deletions of all kinds of derogatory information from consumer’s credit reports. Consumers typically must pay advance fees ranging from $3,000 to $4,000 per person.

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the complaint was 4-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division. The FTC thanks the California Attorney General’s office for its invaluable assistance.

Advantage Credit Repair LLC and Mark D. Solomon, based in Illinois, advertise on and Yellow Pages ads, stating, ‘We would never charge a large fee up front, or make you wait a long period of time to refund your money if we do not get results. You WILL see results in 60 days, or your money will be refunded in full . . .’ The defendants charge $495 per person and $665 for a couple, and they require $219 or $269, respectively, in advance. Refund requests are almost always denied.

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the complaint was 4-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

RCA Credit Services, LLC, Rick Lee Crosby, Jr., and Brady Wellington, based in Florida, advertise on and Their ads state, ‘Boost Your Credit Score Into The 700s’ in as little as 30 days’ and claim that RCA can remove ‘ANY or ALL Negative Accounts From Your Credit Report.’ They state that a credit expert will ‘coach you on ways to remove negative remarks and unpaid debts from your credit report while adding new positive reporting accounts to your credit file.’ The defendants charge from $500 to more than $3,000, and they require at least partial payment in advance of providing any services. In many instances, the defendants allegedly provided consumers no services at all.

These defendants are also charged with violating the CROA by failing to provide, before contracts are signed, a written statement of ‘Consumer Credit File Rights Under State and Federal Law;’ failing to include in their consumer contracts conspicuous statements about consumers’ right to cancel without penalty or obligation within three business days; and failing to provide a written ‘Notice of Cancellation’ form.

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the complaint was 4-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Latrese & Kevin Enterprises, Inc., also d/b/a Hargrave & Associates Financial Solutions, Latrese Hargrave, also known as Latrese V. Williams, and Kevin Hargrave, Sr., based in Florida, advertise on and, and on radio stations with rhythm & blues, hip-hop, and gospel formats. They charge $250 to $270 per person and $450 per couple, half or all of which they require in advance. In a radio script, the defendants state, ‘They specialize in erasing bad credit! Hargrave & Associates covers all three major credit bureaus, slow pays, charge-offs, repossessions can be erased for two-hundred, fifty dollars.’

Also, on and in radio ads, the defendants offer an advance-fee credit card, for $100 to $300, claiming that applicants will be approved for a guaranteed credit limit ranging from $500 to $10,000. These defendants are also charged with violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule by requesting or receiving a fee in advance of consumers obtaining a credit card when the defendants have guaranteed or represented a high likelihood of success in obtaining or arranging for the acquisition of a credit card. In addition, they are charged with violating the FTC Act by falsely representing that consumers will receive a credit card after paying a fee.

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the complaint was 4-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

ACE Group, Inc., also d/b/a as American Credit Experts, Inc., The Ace Group, Inc., The Ace Group, and ACE; Legal Credit Repair Center, Inc., also d/b/a LCRC, Michael Singer, Melvin Kessler, and Gerald Roth, based in Florida, advertise on,,,, and pop-up Internet ads. One ad states, ‘ . . . ACE has developed a methodology which starts to show results in as little as 60 days.’ In telephone calls responding to the ads, FTC investigators posing as consumers were told, ‘. . . everything surrounding your bankruptcy will be removed from your credit report . . .’ and late payments ‘are easy to remove.’

The defendants typically charge $39.95 to $59.95 initially, then $59.95 per month for their promised services, which they indicate may take up to six to eight months. They send the major credit reporting agencies repeated dispute letters on consumers’ behalf, with vague statements about each disputed debt or bankruptcy record, but with no further explanation or documentation. The defendants dispute items repeatedly, even after the credit bureaus have verified them.

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the complaint was 4-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Operation Clean Sweep also includes three FTC cases announced earlier this year: Home Buyers Consulting Network, Inc., Payneless Credit Repair, LLC, and Lee Harrison Credit Restoration (see press releases dated May 22, July 17, and September 10).

State law enforcement efforts involved the attorney general offices in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia; the justice departments of North Carolina, Oregon, and Wisconsin; Idaho’s Department of Finance; Louisiana’s Office of Financial Institutions; Vermont’s Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration; and Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions.

The FTC appreciates the participation of every state agency involved in this effort.

Advice for Consumers

How can you avoid turning credit repair into credit despair? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Avoid any company that wants you to pay for credit repair services before they provide any services. It is against the law.
  • Avoid any credit repair company that will not tell you your legal rights and what you can do, yourself, for free.
  • Avoid any credit repair company that tells you not to contact a credit reporting company directly.
  • Avoid any credit repair company that advises you to dispute all of the information in your credit report.
  • Avoid any company that suggests creating a ‘new’ credit identity – and then, a new credit report – by applying for an Employer Identification Number to use instead of your Social Security number. That is against the law. If you follow illegal advice and commit fraud, you also may be subject to prosecution.

The FTC advises that only time, a conscious effort, and a personal debt repayment plan can improve your credit report. The first step is to learn what information is in your credit report. If you find errors or mistakes, federal law gives you the right to have them corrected – free of charge. Federal law requires that the nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months, if you ask for it. To order your free report, visit, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete and mail the Annual Credit Report Request Form. Other credit repair information is available on the FTC’s Web site,

If you think you have been the victim of a credit repair scam, contact the FTC. You can file a complaint at or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. You can also ask for free information about recognizing credit repair scams and building a better credit record.

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has ‘reason to believe’ that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant has actually violated the law. The case will be decided by the court.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. your resource for free credit reports, credit cards, and free credit repair advice.

Paid Collections Q & A

Monday, October 6th, 2008

How long will it take for my credit score to come back up after paying 17 bad debts off my report? And why did my score drop much lower than go up after paying the debts off?

Marietta, GA

Hi Shannon,
Typically when you pay off debts your credit score will increase between 50 and 75 points with each credit bureau. You want to make sure that the collections you are paying off report to all 3 credit bureaus. The reason for this is you want the paid status to affect all three bureaus. I have personally found the reason for this is the amount owed status changes to a $0 balance with the reporting creditor. IN some cases your credit score will drop if you pay off very old collections. I typically recommend paying off only collections from the last 2 years. Nether less paying off collections will increase your credit score in the long term. your resource for free credit reports, credit scores, and free credit report repair.

Credit Management-I wish someone had told me.

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Being a lender I see bad credit management all the time. The amount of credit reports I pull; you would be amazed how many people don’t know how to manage their money. I have come to the conclusion that most Americans don’t know the value of a dollar. I am 35 and know for a fact that my generation has been spoiled to the point of no return. My generation is called the generation X.

The newer generations are even worse. They have never gone with out. Their parents just like mine always bought what their kids asked for. This is part of the problem. Our country is extremely rich and we have no idea what it is like to go with out. We have not had rough times since the “Great Depression.” If we want someone these days we just go out and charge it on our credit cards. You cannot turn on TV without someone enticing you with “no payment for 3 years.” Its kind of the “buy now pay later philosophy.”

I honestly think our kids and parents need to get back to the basics. Just because you have the money does not mean your kids need it. Buying your kids everything they want is a bad choice. All this teaches them is they can have just about anything they want.

The problem is once your kids get out on there own they will not know how to manage their money. This is because parents have bought their kids what ever they want most of there young lives.

Once your kids are gone off to college, they will have a rude awaking. Instead of saying no they will buy and get into debt to get what they want.

Most of this education starts at home by saying NO, you don’t need that Xbox. No you don’t need that etc……….

The next step is to have mandatory credit education classes in school and college. These classes should teach young people how to manage there credit, credit cards, money and overall credit report education. They also need to teach the affects of bad credit management and how it will affect your life for 7 years.

If this starts taking place I personally believe that there would be less bankruptcy, less credit card debt, because in the end its just stuff.

Author:Mike Clover

Beware of Illegal Credit Repair Scams

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

When you want to buy a home or a car and your credit score causes would-be creditors to shake their heads and escort you to the door, it’s tempting to respond to those high-volume hucksters on TV who promise to repair your credit.
They all make the same claims:
• “Credit problems? No problem!”
• “We can erase your bad credit — 100% guaranteed.”
• “Create a new credit identity — legally.”
• “We can remove bankruptcies, judgments, liens, and bad loans from your credit file forever!”
The truth is, they can do none of that. They can’t erase bankruptcy, judgments, or overdue bills. The only thing they can do is help you get errors removed. Unless everything negative on your report is in error (such as when you’ve been a victim of identity theft), only time, a conscious effort, and a personal debt repayment plan will improve your credit report.

While there are free and low-cost services available to help you, you won’t see them advertising. The only reason a credit repair company spends the money to advertise is to get you as a customer – and to enrich their own bank accounts at your expense – sometimes by many thousands of dollars.

By using them, you’ll only make your financial situation worse by paying them to do something you can easily do yourself. But even worse than losing money is the fact that you could be subject to prosecution if you follow some bad advice. (See items 4 & 5 below.)

If you think you need help removing errors and do decide to respond to a credit repair offer, look for these tell-tale signs of a scam:
1. Companies that want you to pay for credit repair services before they provide any services. (This is a violation of the Credit Repair Organizations Act.)
2. Companies that do not tell you your legal rights and what you can do for yourself for free.
3. Companies that recommend that you not contact a credit reporting company directly.
4. Companies that suggest that you try to invent a “new” credit identity — and then, a new credit report — by applying for an Employer Identification Number to use instead of your Social Security number.
5. Companies that advise you to dispute all information in your credit report or take any action that seems illegal, like creating a new credit identity. If you follow illegal advice and commit fraud, you may be subject to prosecution.
You could be charged and prosecuted for mail or wire fraud if you use the mail or telephone to apply for credit and provide false information. It’s a federal crime to lie on a loan or credit application, to misrepresent your Social Security number, and to obtain an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service under false pretenses.
If anything a credit repair company suggests doesn’t feel right to you – just don’t do it.

Mike Clover:
CreditScoreQuick.comYour Resource for free credit score reports, fico scores, loans, credit cards, insurance and identity theft protection and credit repair advice.

Disclaimer: This information has been compiled and provided by as an informational service to the public. While our goal is to provide information that will help consumers to manage their credit and debt, this information should not be considered legal advice. Such advice must be specific to the various circumstances of each person's situation, and the general information provided on these pages should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.