IMCUSA

88 Contributions 381 People Helped Top Contributor

Member Since: July 2013

About Me: Director of marketing for Improve My Credit USA (Consumer voted #1 credit improvement company in America), National Best Selling Author, Award-Winning radio show host, husband of 21 years, and father to two brilliantly amazing children.
joe@improvemycreditusa.com
866-302-3470

My Website: http://www.improvemycreditusa.com

Most Helpful Contribution

Collection Agency Still Reporting as "Open" after Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Jan 13, 2015
Stop the abuse
Helpful to 200 out of 219 people

Yes, unfortunately, that's a common issue with collection companies who I've experienced breaking the law on numerous occasions.  Providing a copy of the bankruptcy information showing the creditors in question to the bureaus should get that straightened out.  If that fails to resolve the issue, legal action against the creditors may be necessary.

Most reputable credit improvement experts provide a complimentary evaluation (such as ours) I'd be happy to assist you further if you need professional guidance.  

PS.  yes, you are correct also that it is hurting your credit which in turn is grounds for demonstrating financial harm and legal grounds for suit but you must show that you've provided reasonable opportunity for correction and establish a good paper trail in that effort.

Activity (88 Total Contributions)

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Collection Agency Still Reporting as "Open" after Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Jan 13, 2015
Stop the abuse
Helpful to 200 out of 219 people

Yes, unfortunately, that's a common issue with collection companies who I've experienced breaking the law on numerous occasions.  Providing a copy of the bankruptcy information showing the creditors in question to the bureaus should get that straightened out.  If that fails to resolve the issue, legal action against the creditors may be necessary.

Most reputable credit improvement experts provide a complimentary evaluation (such as ours) I'd be happy to assist you further if you need professional guidance.  

PS.  yes, you are correct also that it is hurting your credit which in turn is grounds for demonstrating financial harm and legal grounds for suit but you must show that you've provided reasonable opportunity for correction and establish a good paper trail in that effort.

how can i raise my credit score on a really tight buget?

Jan 13, 2015
Improve credit score on a tight budget.
Helpful to 11 out of 12 people

There are quite a few ways actually.  The answer is quite lengthy but I will give you a break down on it.  There are 5 main categories that impact your credit.  

#1.  Payment history.

#2. Credit Utilization

#3. Length of Credit History

#4. Mix of credit

#5. Inquiries

Based on these 5 categories, here are some basics on what to do:

#1.  Pay your bills on time.

#2.  Keep credit card balances below 30% of your limit (ideally keep them @ 7% of your limit which seems to be a magic number)

#3.  Maintain a MINIMUM 2  and ideally 3-5 revolving (credit card) accounts and NEVER close those accoutns out.  The LENGTH of time you have a payment history accounts for 15% of your score.

#4.  You will also want to have an installment loan of some type.  Any loan that has a set payment for a set length of time qualifies (IE. Car payment, home, etc.)

#5.  Avoid hard inquiries. IE.  Any application for the consideration of extending a loan.  Inquieries from sources like Credit Karma have no impact.

Finally... understand that you are already PAYING heavily for a poor credit score.  You are paying more in obvious places like interest rates but you are also paying more in places that many are unaware of:  Car insurance, home insurance, health, Job promotions and Job Applications (Yes, employers are more and more regularly checking credit for employment and promotions.)  I JUST called my insurance guy because despite an improved credit score and better driving record, my insurance was going up over $30 a month.  Having a much better credit scor enow, he ran my credit and DRASTICALLY improved my insurance coverage while dropping my payment $57 a month!  You are already PAYING for that poor credit score.  Why do I say that?  Commit to the cost of employing an expert.  Do without the starbucks, the cigarettes, the netflix channel, WHATEVER... but you are already trapped in credit prison and FREEDOM feels much better.  Let me tell you.

Seek the counsel of a credit expert on strategies to improve your scores (such as my company).  Consultations are free.  Hope that helps.  Let me know if you need further assistance.

Thanks,

Joe

I'm 18, and I 've never had credit, want to start building. Where should I start?

Feb 16, 2015
building credit
Helpful to 6 out of 6 people

The best thing is to do 2 things.


  1. Authorized user - if your parents have good credit and are willing, have them add you as an authorized user on a credit card account with good payment history.  This will give you their history and immediately boost your scores tremendously.  If they are leary of doing this, tell them you don't even need a card.  Explain that you are building credit and once you have obtained 2 additional cards on your own, they can remove you from their account.
  2. If they haven't such an account or are unwilling, you will likelyu need to build credit via a secured credit card.  Do a  little reaserach on the best secured cards before applying.  Some companies check credit and may even deny you even though it's a secured card.  You will have to put a minimum of $200 down and usually $300 is the standard.
  3. Once you have at least 2 accounts maintain balances below 30% of your credit limit.  Never exceed that.
  4. In 90 days you will start scoring and in 12 months you will have establish a good enough score to get unsecured cards.  
  5. You may also wish to take out a small installment loan (any loan with a set payment and set time fram.)  Conn's for example might approve you for a little $300 TV purchase or something and have a set payment of $40 for 12 months or something.  

Whatever you do... DO NOT EXCEED YOUR INCOME!  Spend less than you make.  Keep extremely minimal debt.  Put 10% of your income aside for savings every month.  Personally, I recommend giving 10% to God but that's another subject.  :-)

Sincerely,

Joe Orsak

How to build your credit from scratch

Feb 26, 2015
Helpful to 67 out of 89 people

@Twinkyet,

You stated,  "I can't even get approved for a secured credit card so how is that suppose to work if I can't get either??"

This happens when you apply for secured credit with a company that checks credit.  Wells Fargo and Captial one, for example, have good secured cards.  However, they check credit and do often deny people.

I'd recommend finding a good card with a company that doesn't check credit.  We have a good option on our home page.  Just click on my user name and my contact info is there.  I'd be happy to assist you further if needed.

Closed accounts

Jan 13, 2015
How long
Helpful to 3 out of 3 people


  1. Closed accounts with no negative payment history: remain 10 years from the date they are closed. Positive accounts remain on your credit report longer than negative accounts. Late payments remain seven years from the original delinquency date. A single late payment is deleted at seven years.

Lump sum student loan repayment?

Jan 12, 2015
Repayment of debt
Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

Paying off debt is usually a good thing.  It's always a GREAT thing when it is revolving (Credit card).  However, installment loans have a far lower impact on your scores when paid off.  Here's a piece that Equifax had to say on it:  (http://blog.equifax.com/credit/does-paying-off-an-installment-loan-early-affect-my-credit-score/)  

More than a credit impact would be a financial impact.  By that I mean this:

#1.  Being debt free is a great pyschological boost.  However, having money (Emergency fund) in the bank is also a huge boost.  It would be wise to speak with a financial consultant about your long term goals to see what best accomplishes them.

#2.  Interest rates.  Student loans can be VERY low on the interest rates side and consequently, your money may accomplish more being put to work in other arenas.  Again, I'd recommend speaking with a financial counseler in this area.

Conclusion:  Paying off installment loans has little impact.  The bigger conversation for you will be how will the money best serve you to reach your goals.  Hope that helps.

how do i go about fixing my credit ?is it a good idea to pay some delinquencies off?

Jan 13, 2015
CAUTION!
Helpful to 12 out of 15 people

Paying of creditors, while morally good, will do nothing to improve your credit score once the account has gone to collection.  It will get them to stop calling you but there are better ways to accomplish this.  Additionally, when you pay an old collection account it updates the date of last activity and restarts the 7 year clock on how long that item will appear on your credit.  All of this can be extremely painful both on your pocket book and credit score.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to speak to a credit expert before moving forward.  Most reputable credit expert organizations will provide you a complimentary review of your situation and give you some guidance (like ours).  Thankfully we live in a day and age where it's easy to find out the reputation of those you're working with online.  Check the reviews of the credit improvement coimpanies before engaging their services and then seek out their professional help.

Hope that help & let me know if you need further help,

Joe

Recently Married - How do I get my report to reflect my new Legal name?

Jan 13, 2015
Updating credit report
Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Nothing to worry about.  your credit reports will update automatically as you update your name with existing and new creditors who provide th einformation to the bureaus. 

It might take a few weeks or even a few months for that matter but will happen automatically.

Thanks for asking and congratulations and best wishes for many years to come. :-)  (I'm going on 17 years with my best friend and girlfriend of 21 years).

Blessings,

Joe

Why is my credit score not improving?

Jan 13, 2015
Changing score
Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

There are quite a few reasons actually.  The answer is quite lengthy but I will give you a break down on it.  There are 5 main categories that impact your credit.  

#1.  Payment history.

#2. Credit Utilization

#3. Length of Credit History

#4. Mix of credit

#5. Inquiries

Within each of these areas there are "Score cards" that calculate in great detail the impact of these categories based on the information reporting on your credit.  IE.  The maximum score on a FICO score is 850.  However, if you've filed for a bankruptcy at some point in your history, your MAX possible score will likely no longer be an 850 but rather an 800 (No idea on the actual score as that i smore secret than the Coke formula.)  Never the less, you get the idea.  So...  based on what has happened on your credit in the past, your score in the future is impacted.

Having said that, the basics of continuing to improve your score are this:

#1.  Pay your bills on time.

#2.  Keep credit card balances below 30% of your limit (ideally keep them @ 7% of your limit which seems to be a magic number)

#3.  Maintain a MINIMUM 2  and ideally 3-5 revolving (credit card) accounts and NEVER close those accoutns out.  The LENGTH of time you have a payment history accounts for 15% of your score.

#4.  You will also want to have an installment loan of some type.  Any loan that has a set payment for a set length of time qualifies (IE. Car payment, home, etc.)

#5.  Avoid hard inquiries. IE.  Any application for the consideration of extending a loan.  Inquieries from sources like Credit Karma have no impact.

Finally... seek the counsel of a credit expert on strategies to improve your scores (such as my company).  Consultations are free.  Hope that helps.  Let me know if you need further assistance.

Thanks,

Joe

Whats my Fico score?

Jan 12, 2015
Credit Karma vs FICO
Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

Credit Karma is an excellent service and I highly recommend it.  I use it personally and I must say they continue to get better and better over time.  I'm not just saying that and I don't work for or get paid by them at all.

Having said that, your FICO score comes from only one source and that is the Fair Isaacs Corporation (FICO).  It is proprietary to them and as such you must get it from them.  You can find your FICO scores at MyFico.com and will pay $19 a month there to have them regularly updated.  It also is a great service and I also use it.

Let me know if this answered your question.

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