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Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act or (FCRA), was enacted to ensure consumer protection, fairness and the privacy of information assembled by the credit reporting agencies.
The following are important consumer protection rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- You as a consumer are allowed to challenge the accuracy of your credit report at any time.
- The credit bureaus by law have to investigate anything that you challenge.
- The credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate disputed information. The only exception to that rule is if the consumer has any additional contact with the credit bureaus within the 30 days. If that happens, the time period may extend an additional 15 days.
- If the credit bureaus find errors, they must delete the incorrect information from its files.
- If the credit bureaus are unable to confirm the disputed information within the 30 day time period, they also must delete that information from their files.
Top 3 Credit Myths
Myth: Pulling your own credit report will hurt your score
Fact: Pulling your own credit report does not hurt your credit score. Your credit score is only affected if the pull is originated by lenders and/or creditors.
Myth: Paying off a collection account will raise your credit score instantly.
Fact: Paying off a collection account will NOT raise your credit score instantly. Paid collections need to age before impact to the credit score is adjusted. Only agree to pay a collection if the creditor agrees to remove it from the credit bureau.
Myth: Closing credit card accounts will impact a credit score in a positive way.
Fact: Closing credit card accounts is a sure way to harm your credit score. 30% of the FICO score is based on amounts owed. Credit cards with low balances will have a positive impact on your credit score. Closed accounts lower the balance to credit ratio since they no longer factor into the credit score.
5 Credit Score Factors
- Amounts owed
- Length of credit history
- New credit
- Types of credit used
Negotiate your financial affairs
Credit education enables you to save money on financial products. Save money, by negotiating the following financial items.
- If the interest rate on a credit card is too high, make a call and negotiate it down. If the creditor refuses, transfer the balance to another card that carries a promotional rate.
- Charged-Off credit card balances can be negotiated for less than the full balance. If funds are not available to pay the debt off in full, make a call and negotiate a Settlement. Start negotiations low, and do not go above 50% of the balance. Calling at the end of the month when Debt Collectors are close to hitting their goal is the best time to get a great deal.
- Overdraft charges should be avoided at all times if possible. Most banking institutions offer online banking with a reminder system if the balance reaches a certain point. However, if an overdraft charge is incurred, make a call and speak with a manager. Most often than not, the overdraft charge can be removed.