Continue reading Accurate Credit Reports — Your Key to Financial Health →
You may think an identity theft hacker may not notice you. That’s not true. The ways identity thieves pick their targets are more about accessibility. They don’t care about your financial situation. Cybercriminals look for weak spots in personal financial security and privacy they can exploit for profit. Too often, the way we find we’ve been financially hacked is when credit report errors are revealed. It’s never at a good time, either. Most often it occurs when we’re about to seek credit for a home mortgage, car or personal loan.
Continue reading Identity Theft During Economic Crises: Look for Credit Report Errors →
Just as a yearly check-up with your doctor is good for your physical health, taking an annual look at your credit report is good for your financial well-being.
Continue reading How to Get a Copy of Your Credit Report →
It’s something that’s drilled into our heads over and over: You must maintain a good credit score.
But sometimes errors can pop up on our credit reports through no fault of our own. When that happens, it’s important to take steps to fix these errors as soon as possible.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how to do that using the example of one of the three main credit reporting services, Experian. Here’s how to deal with an Experian dispute.
Continue reading How to Deal with an Experian Dispute →
Credit reports must be kept accurate because they affect so many aspects of our lives. Yet errors on credit reports are common. The Federal Trade Commission has conducted studies that show errors may continue to appear on a credit report, even after they’ve been disputed.
Continue reading What is a Credit Dispute Letter? →
Military life is one of frequent transitions. Each deployment, promotion, and change in duty status brings the need to make money-related decisions. These financial decisions can have long-term effects on family life, mission readiness, and security clearances.
Service members often run into trouble because of the irregularities in their daily life. They may tend to overspend and receive contact from debt collectors. They may fall for financial scams and become a victim of identity theft. Or, due to errors on credit reports, they may be denied loans or have a vehicle repossessed. Learning more about consumer credit and how to build a strong credit history can help servicemembers and veterans improve their financial health.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you’re allowed one free credit report from each bureau – Transunion, Experian, and Equifax – within a twelve month period. Send a letter to one of the bureaus and request your reports. Review them carefully to ensure that there are no errors and that you recognize all of the listed accounts.
Credit reports include personal information, credit history, credit inquiries, and public records. Credit cards, mortgages, and loans are all listed along with the payment status. If you fall behind on payments or default on a loan, your credit report will list this negatively. Negative entries may make it more difficult for you to open a new line of credit, be approved for a new loan, or receive a promotion or security clearance. It may also mean that you will be approved for a loan, but with a higher interest rate.
Regular credit report checks help you monitor your accounts and determine whether someone has accessed your credit report without your permission or opened accounts in your name. If you notice suspicious activity, information that does not belong to you, or believe you have become a victim of identity theft, follow these steps:
-Contact the Bank or Creditor
-File a Police Report
-File a Fraud Alert
-Request your current credit reports
-File an Identity Theft Affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission
-Keep an organized file with all correspondence and records
-Protect your personal information. Keep it private.
A budget helps you see where you can cut back on spending and create a workable plan to pay off debt.Take the time to set a budget. Divide your regular expenses into categories for housing, food, transportation, health care, personal & family and finances. Determine how much you can afford to spend on each category every month. Use a spreadsheet or online tool to keep track of all of your accounts and expenses.
Follow your gut. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Unfortunately, service members are frequent targets for various scams. Companies or organizations could call and claim to belong to a veterans group or another legitimate sounding organization. Be sure to research the organization, find out where they’re located, see if there is a complaint board online, and investigate whether the company is reputable.
Be cautious. If you receive a call from someone, do not provide any personal identifying information, such as your social security number or date of birth, or access to bank accounts or credit and debit cards. Require them to provide you with something in writing that states who they are and where they are located.
Remember, you’re not alone. There are many services offered through the Department of Defense and veterans organizations to help service members keep finances on track. Do your research and make a financial plan that is right for you.
Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that assists victims of identity theft that have suffered from credit report harm, abusive debt collectors and wrongful vehicle repossessions by aggressive lenders and repo agents. Contact Us for a no cost consultation to discuss whether your consumer rights have been violated.
Your credit history plays an important role in your ability to get approved for new lines of credit, whether it’s a new credit card, a personal loan, or another type of borrowing agreement. It also affects your ability to rent an apartment, or possibly be hired or promoted in your job.
Do not wait until you’re ready to apply for a loan to check your credit. Monitor your credit reports regularly to see that your information is accurately reported. If there is an error, send written disputes to the credit bureau. You do not want to be denied for a loan because of someone else’s error. Credit applications are considered hard inquiries on your credit file, and denials could result in lowering your credit score.
Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that represents victims with credit reporting privacy and accuracy problems. Contact Us for a free consultation to discuss errors on your credit reports.
Your credit report plays a critical role in your overall financial health. The information that it contains will affect your ability to get new lines of credit for auto or personal loans, rent an apartment, and sometimes even get a job or promotion. It’s important to understand all of the information on your report and what types of negative listings may appear.
Every person’s credit report has the following:
-Monitor your credit reports
-Dispute errors with the credit bureau and credit furnisher
-Pay your bills in full and on time
-Make a budget and stick to it
These positive actions will help improve your credit and show that you’re on the right track, even while the negative listings remain.
Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that represents victims of car repossession, credit reporting errors and unfair debt collection practices. Contact Us for a free consultation to determine whether your consumer rights were violated.
Finding a new job can feel like a full time job in itself. First identifying companies and positions, then prepare your resume and cover letters.
The next most important step is to check your credit reports.
Employers usually check credit reports during the hiring process as a means to gauge the applicant’s responsibility with finances. Not all employers check credit reports during the employment screening process. But those that do, often check for positions that involve a security clearance, access to money, sensitive customer data or confidential company information.
An employment screening report only includes your account payment record, how much you owe, and your available credit. Potential employers can’t see your credit score. Follow these steps to prepare your credit before applying for a new job.
When you start looking for a new job, get a copy of your credit report. You should know appears on your report before a prospective employer obtains a copy. You can get a free report every 12 months from each of the three credit bureaus – Transunion, Experian and Equifax.
Review your reports for accuracy. If you see errors, dispute them directly with the reporting bureau. If you have negative listings like a car repossession or defaulted account, these should only stay on your report for 7 1/2 years.
If you have negative credit listings and you’re concerned about the role they’ll play in your job search, contact your target companies anonymously and ask if they check credit as part of their candidate screening process. If you think it will be an issue, you might choose not to spend time on applications for a company that asks for your credit history.
Potential employers can ask for a copy of your credit file. However, there are guidelines that must be followed.
1) You must provide written permission for a company to request your report.
2) The company must notify you of the company that provide the employment screening report.
3) You may write to the screening report company to request a copy of the report that was used in the employment hiring process.
Your job search will be easier in the future if you don’t have to worry about how your credit might affect your eligibility. Be proactive and evaluate your credit before applying for that new job.
-Review your credit file in advance.
-Make bill payments in full and on time.
-Use less than thirty percent of the credit that’s available to you.
-Maintain a healthy debt-to-income ratio.
-Dispute errors on your credit reports.
Flitter Milz is a nationally recognized consumer protection law firm that represents victims with credit reporting accuracy problems. Contact Us for a free legal review of your credit reports and an evaluation of whether your consumer rights were violated.
If you hear the term “credit invisible” it means that you may not have credit files with the nationwide credit reporting agencies — Transunion, Experian and Equifax — or that the information that exists on your credit reports is very limited.
Credit invisibility doesn’t only apply to young individuals who haven’t built up their history yet. It can also apply to older individuals who have stopped using credit, or to Americans who live abroad and don’t keep their U.S. credit accounts active.
Credit invisibility can be detrimental for a number of reasons. Lacking credit history can make it difficult or impossible to secure new lines of credit. This means you may not be able to get a loan for the house or car you want, or open a new credit card account. It could also make it more difficult for you to rent an apartment or get hired for a job.
Stay up to date with your credit standing by checking your report regularly. Consumers may obtain credit reports from Transunion, Experian, and Equifax every twelve months for free. We recommend that you request your reports from the credit bureaus in writing and have them mailed to you. You should enclose two forms of identification, such as a current driver’s license and utility bill, with your request. Once you have your reports, review your information to make sure that all of your information is accurate.
Flitter Milz is a nationally-recognized consumer protection law firm that represents victims of inaccurate credit report listings. Contact us for a free legal evaluation of errors that appear on your report.
We at Flitter Milz, P.C., hope that you and your loved ones remain healthy and safe throughout this difficult time. We want you to know that our firm is open to serve your legal needs. Our staff is available by phone, email, or video conference. Please feel free to call with any questions or specific concerns.
Take care and be safe.
Cary Flitter & Andy Milz
Toll Free: 888-668-1225