1,395 Contributions 410 People Helped Top Contributor

Member Since: July 2012

About Me: I went from a FICO score of 485 to 832. Vantage score of 852.

I have learned so much by reading the articles on this website, along with the questions and answers on the community forum.

I utilize my reward credit cards to pay most of my monthly expenses. I don't charge more than I can afford to pay off before the billing cycle, so I never pay interest. Paying interest is wasted money.

Most Helpful Contribution

your recommendations for saving money

Jun 07, 2015
Helpful to 32 out of 36 people

Advertisers pay Credit Karma. That's how this can remain a free site. You didn't read the disclaimers. You should read the articles on this site, and there is also a risk free pre-approval section.

Activity (1395 Total Contributions)

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your recommendations for saving money

Jun 07, 2015
Helpful to 32 out of 36 people

Advertisers pay Credit Karma. That's how this can remain a free site. You didn't read the disclaimers. You should read the articles on this site, and there is also a risk free pre-approval section.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Mar 21, 2016
Helpful to 11 out of 12 people

I use this card for all my grocery shopping. That's where you earn your 6% reward up to $6000 in spending, and 1% after that. Warehouse stores such as Costco are not considered grocery stores.  Purchase your gift cards and liquor at the grocery stores. On the Amex website you can attach benefits and deals to the card to earn even more.

I earned almost $600 last year. That makes the $75 yearly fee worth it.

taxliens can they be deleted once paid?five years old, if i pay it off will my Credit score increase...

Mar 09, 2015
Helpful to 16 out of 19 people

When you have an unpaid Federal tax bill with the IRS, your state, your city, or your county, a tax lien can be filed in an effort to force you to pay your outstanding tax obligation. Liens exist to protect the right of the government to claim your personal property (money or actual property) in the event you do not pay your taxes.

When a tax lien is filed it is recorded as a public record and, therefore, can be viewed by anyone…including credit reporting agencies.

Many people with tax liens on their credit reports mistakenly believe that the IRS or the state tax authority has directly reported the lien to the credit bureaus. That is a myth. Rather, the credit bureaus themselves proactively seek out tax liens plus other public records like judgments and bankruptcies, in order to include these public records on consumer credit reports. Tax authorities are not “data furnishers” to the credit bureaus like banks and collection 

Tax liens are one of the most difficult credit issues for a consumer to overcome. Since tax liens are considered by FICO and VantageScore to be a derogatory item, there is a chance that your credit scores could be lowered by the lien. Even when a tax lien is paid and released, your credit scores will likely continue to be negatively impacted by the lien for many years as long as it’s on your credit files.

Unfortunately, there is a strong possibility that an unpaid tax lien will stay on your credit reports forever. Tax liens, unlike regular collection accounts, are not required by law to be removed from your credit reports after 7 years. In fact, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the federal law which governs credit reporting) says that a tax lien is not to be removed from credit reports until 7 years from the date the lien is paid and released.

Unpaid tax liens can remain indefinitely. In layman’s terms…FOREVER.

If you currently have outstanding federal tax liens, here is some good news. There is a way to have paid federal tax liens removed from your credit reports prior to 7 years from the date when the lien is released. In 2011, the IRS introduced the Fresh Start Program, which contained a new policy regarding the way the IRS handles federal tax liens.

The highlight of the new program is the fact that if a taxpayer will pay his/her outstanding tax bill in full, then the IRS will allow for the lien to be withdrawn upon request by the taxpayer. There is even a chance for certain eligible taxpayers to have their federal liens withdrawn by the IRS once they have entered into a payment arrangement (agreeing to pay the tax obligation in full) and have made a minimum of 3 payments.

If you can have your lien withdrawn, be sure to notify all 3 credit bureaus and request that the lien be removed from your reports. The credit bureaus do not currently report withdrawn tax liens on consumer credit reports.

The IRS’s tax lien policy does not apply to state tax liens. Still, if you have paid a state tax lien then you can always request a withdrawal. While it is unlikely that you will receive a withdrawal of a state tax lien, it certainly cannot hurt to ask. If your request is approved, then you can follow the procedure above to have a paid state tax lien removed from your credit reports as well. Otherwise, you will need to wait until 7 years from the date of release for the lien to be removed from your credit reports.

Remember: paying your tax lien will immediately remove and release it, but be prepared for seven more years of credit reporting.

Getting a tax lien removed from your credit report is not always possible, and the process is complex and potentially lengthy. We’ve put together a list of the steps you should take to have the best chance of having your lien removed. The process is very similar for both federal and state tax liens, but you’ll be using different types of documents for each.

1. Request a Copy of Your Credit Report and Check for Accuracy

You can receive a free report from annualcreditreport.com. Any reported tax liens can be found on the public records section of the report. Once you have found the tax lien, you need to check the balance information. You must pay all liens in full before a credit bureau will consider removing the bad debt.

2. Contact the Appropriate Tax Office

Contact your federal or state tax office to confirm the outstanding balance and pay off whatever is left. This is a great opportunity to agree upon a repayment plan or if you have the ability, pay the debt in full. You must settle the debt in full or you will further damage your credit and will be prevented from removing the lien. Be sure to get your repayment agreement in writing.

A few questions and need advice. Completely unaware.

May 29, 2017
Helpful to 8 out of 9 people

 I will try to answer your questions and will also provide information which may not pertain to you at this point in time, but you may find helpful and interesting. I encourage you to copy and paste this information in an email to yourself for future reference.

The purpose of this website is to assist in educating yourself. I encourage you to read the articles on this site and others, and to read other questions and answers on this community section. I continue to read and learn about credit even at my age.

Let me start out by stating paying interest is wasted money. Always pay your credit cards in full each month, and only charge what you can comfortably pay off. The only exception to paying interest is a mortgage loan where interest can be deducted if you file long form on your taxes.  Try to avoid all other loans.

I started out with a $300 secured card, and over time have established an excellent credit rating with a total credit limit in the 6 figure range. 

Vehicle :  I suggest you save money to purchase a vehicle, and purchase a pre-owned or end of year close out. A new vehicle depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot.  Your interest rate will be enormous with your current credit rating. Never pay more than 2% or 3%.  

Credit cards: charge no more than 30% of your limit. At $500, charge no more than $150 before paying it off. Whether you pay more often than once a month; that's up to you.  I use my credit cards for almost all my monthly expenses for the rewards, and then pay them off in full when I get paid.  Even though I have high limits, I generally pay them in full mid month. This way in case I miscalculated my expenses, my credit balance will be extremely low and I won't have an issue paying it or them in full when due.

I encourage you to access your credit cards and banking online. You can set up account alerts, from payment due, limits charged, unusual activity, card not presented, etc. These alerts can be sent in a text message and/or email to you.  

One of my credit cards was compromised, and because I had set up alerts with the creditor, I was able to contact the lender within five minutes and received immediate reimbursement and a new card was issued. Most of my shopping is done online, so my card is not physically presented. I set up email alerts so I know whether I made the charge or my information was hacked.

Credit card limits are important. A higher limit means lower utilization. I had a large expense which caused 50% usage on one of my cards.I requested a credit limit increase, which was granted, and now my utilization is at 24%.  I will still pay the balance in full.

Inquiries: don't count so much as time goes on. Credit scoring is determined as follows: 

35%   payments

30%   credit utilization

15%  credit history

10%  new credit

10%  mix of accounts

One late payment can make your score drop 100 points! 

I'm not very familiar with collections, but google pay for delete agreements.

I hope you find this information helpful, and best wishes on your credit journey.

CREDCO is showing on my credit report. I never authorized this and I do not know who they are.

May 14, 2017
Helpful to 8 out of 9 people

Did you apply for a mortgage? Credco is a creditor side monitoring service. Your existing creditors may use them to watch for "triggers" on your reports

Overwhelmed! I don't know what to do first to raise my credit score??

May 29, 2015
Helpful to 8 out of 9 people

Your credit score will slowly begin increasing after collections get cleared off. You need to be responsible and pay your debts. Never apply for credit or loans you can't comfortably afford. Paying interest throws you further into debt and is wasted money. Have the collection creditors offered a settlement amount? You may wish to look into a debt settlement company such as Lexington Law to assist you. I used them  years ago when I was overwhelmed by debt and my creditors refused to lower the interest  rates so I could get ahead.  You may find it beneficial to take on extra work for added income to help pay your debts.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Mar 21, 2016
Good addition with some odd quirks
Helpful to 4 out of 4 people

I've never had a card take so long for transactions to clear.  All my other cards' transactions generally clear within a couple days.  You need to be careful to make your payments after the transactions have cleared, not in a pending stage, or you won't earn the extra 1% on the payment end. It can take up to two billing cycles to earn the 1% on your payment. Citi is also stingy with their credit limit. I've never been given such a low limit on a card. A couple months after using it, I asked for an increase and received it.   I never carry a balance and always pay the card off every month.

Should we buy an annuity

May 17, 2016
Helpful to 4 out of 4 people

I had given a lengthy reply, but apparently this website didn't approve it. 

In a nutshell, I believe the advisor to be incorrect.  Do some research and read up on investments, keep looking.  The current advisor seems to be more on top of things.. 

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Sep 26, 2015
Helpful to 4 out of 4 people

Card lenders will reduce the limit if you've carried a large balance, or a large debt to income ratio, over a good period of time. They become concerned a person could file bankruptcy and leave them with a large balance. Never charge more than 10% of your credit limit on a card, and if you do, pay it off quickly. Generally never charge more than you can afford to pay off before interest accrues.

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express

May 14, 2015
Worked well for me at one time.
Helpful to 18 out of 22 people

When I was purchasing new appliances and purchasing a lot of home improvement items, the card worked very well for me. After a year I'm finding it difficult to make the 30 required purchases. The no interest perk has also ended, so just isn't for me anymore. I am transferring my credit limit to my newly approved Blue Cash Preferred  where I'll earn 6% back on grocery shopping up to $6000 per year. I can also purchase gift cards at the grocery store as well as wines, and earn the rewards, and 3% fuel rewards. 

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