Identity Theft and Online Scams

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Identity Theft (noun) The fraudulent acquisition and use of a persons private identifying information, usually for financial gain.

Scam (noun) A term used to describe any fraudulent business or scheme that takes money or other goods from an unsuspecting person.

Identity theft is not a good thing to have happen to you. It can cause all sorts of troubles like monetary problems, heartaches, stress, and financial difficulties. It’s always important to stay ahead and be aware of scams that may be trending. Nowadays with so much technology, there are a bunch of scams out there and the sad thing is that even though some of these scams may be old but some people still fall for them.

Did you know that you can be a victim of Identity theft in more ways than one? There is Identity theft when someone without your permission or knowledge utilizes your social security number and other personal information to open new accounts and make purchases. This is why it’s always important to make it a habit and verify your credit report three times a year (every 4 months). When your identity has been compromised or kidnapped by a thief it is sad to say but the chances are they are going to drain your bank account, make purchases on your credit cards and even open un new charge accounts.

Not only should you protect your personal information but also be aware that thieves can also commit identity theft and scams via email. Upon doing my research for my blog I found that according to the Internet Crime Complaint Center 73% of fraud contact occurs through email.

A perfect example of this is when out of the blue you receive an email stating you have inherited a large sum of money from a long distant relative in which you are the only traceable family member so the money is all yours. Then they proceed to ask you some personal information about yourself in order to be able to pull off the scam.

They usually ask for the full name, date of birth, residential address, and phone number. Some go even further and ask for your banking information because the transaction will be performed via a bank transfer. If you still believe you have a long lost relative in Nigeria or Zimbabwe let me tell you don’t get too excited just yet eventually they will send you an email to let you know everything is in order BUT to receive the inheritance money you need to pay the bank transfer fee. This right here should be a RED FLAG.

Another scam out there is getting a call or voicemail from an agent that supposedly works for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This supposed agent calls and openly and upfront states that you owe the IRS back taxes and if you do not pay up you will be arrested in about 30 minutes. The funny thing is they take Itune and or gift cards as a payment form. REALLY? This should be a RED FLAG. I advise you be more careful and DO NOT give out your personal information of any kind to anyone under any circumstance.

Here are some tips to avoid identity theft and online scams:

  • Do not store or keep your social security card in your wallet or purse.
  • When withdrawing money at an ATM watch out for over the shoulder lookers.
  • Do not send money to strangers. (Walmart to Walmart, Moneygram, Western Union).
  • Detect online imposters trying to offer too good to be true deals or investments.
  • Shred important and sensitive documents.
  • Men carry your wallet in upfront pockets.
  • Be careful with free trials.
  • Do not deposit in your bank account mystery checks that come in the mail.
  • Be careful when clicking links on the Internet.

It’s easy to be a victim of Identity theft and online scams these days with so much technology but be aware If it sounds too good to be true it probably is just a smoke screen and the reality will hit you eventually. Take adequate precautions and do your research before making any decisions about buying something or investing your money. Its always good to double check and corroborate the information given to you as facts. Never rush into quick decisions or let anyone hurry you to act fast. Some of these scammers are sweet talkers and know what to say to get you excited and hyped. It’s better to make sure and research then have regrets because your judgment was cloudy.

If you need any help with your finances or credit remember the Warrior Chick Credit Repair Specialist is here to guide you through the credit journey by Preparing your future for the next level.


Bad Credit boooo!

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First of all, having bad credit is not cool. Obtaining bad credit may not be in your plans or on your To Do list but it can happen. Maybe you got fired from your job or they closed down the department you work in, you got sick or you simply had to quit because the kids need you to be a full-time parent. These things can happen to anyone at anyone at any given moment. For these reasons, every household should have a backup plan in case something like the events mentioned above do happen.

Did you know that late or missed payments can hurt your credit score? What do late payments have to do with my credit score?

When you do not pay on time or miss a payment that action can lower your credit score substantially. In some cases, your score can go down up to 100 points. let me tell you paying on time and an excellent credit score has in common more than you think. By paying on time and having a high credit score you can enjoy benefits like low-interest rates on your credit card and loans VS high-interest rates on your credit cards and loans just because your credit score is low.

A low credit score on your credit report indicates you are a possible risk. What does that mean? It means there is the possibility you may default on your payments. You may be approved a credit card or loan with a bad credit score but there is a probability you may be paying a high-interest rate. Having bad credit can get you denied.

Bad credit is not easy to live with and it can affect your everyday life. Having bad credit can even affect something simple like trying to move to a new apartment or house. It can make it more difficult than it needs to be. In case you did not know the majority of landlords verify your credit report and credit score in some cases they also do background checks.

The landlord does this to know if you have the capability of paying the rent and to see the past history you had with other landlords. There are places that do rent to people that have bad credit or no credit history. BUT expect to pay a high-security deposit. Other ways bad credit can affect you is by having to put down deposits on utility services or when requesting a cell phone with a company that requires a credit check to approve the service.

Bad credit can also when trying to purchase a vehicle and purchasing car insurance. A low credit score can get you a vehicle BUT once again the interest rates can be sky high. You can also get insurance for the vehicle BUT insurance companies do check your credit and if your credit score is low you can bet they will charge you a higher premium.

Bad credit can even affect you getting a job. There are certain jobs like jobs in the financial industry where you can be denied employment because of your past or present credit history, Can you imagine not getting that dream job because of your credit report and credit score? This is serious so its best to take action now and get your financial responsibilities in order and work hard maintaining them in good standing.

But don’t worry bad credit can become excellent credit. There is hope. But how? you may ask yourself. Let me tell you. You can turn things around with hard work, determination, and discipline. Convert the bad into good. Make a list of your debts and due dates. Start a budget and plan out your payments. paying on time and paying down debt will help you in the long run. Do not borrow more than you can afford.

If you have missed payments try to catch up as soon as possible. It may not be an easy process but you can do it. Be true to yourself start with small steps and increase those steps as you go. Having excellent credit is a powerful thing. So work hard, be disciplined and NEVER GIVE UP.

If you need help with your credit contact me! Remember the Warrior Chick credit Repair Specialist is here to walk you through the credit journey by Preparing your future for the next level.

Rebuilding Your Credit

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It’s not easy getting back up after going through financial difficulties. You may be thinking of ways to start over and obtain new credit. You might also be researching credit card offers or loan requirements but remember requesting new credit usually means getting approved. To get approved the creditor will request your credit report which means you will have an inquiry on your credit report. A new inquiry on your credit report will subtract a few points from your credit score. There is a possibility you will be approved but with very high-interest rates and fees. I advise you to wait and instead of getting new credit you should work on the credit you already have.

Opening a bank account is always a good idea most creditors see this action as having stability. When a creditor evaluates an application from a person with a not so good credit history they then move on to determine what their past history looks like and focus on how and if they have maintained a savings or checking account.

If you still have credit cards I suggest you utilize them carefully. Buy something small or inexpensive and pay it off. This way your credit report will show a steady and proper use of your credit card.

Do not utilize your credit limit more than a 30% at one given time. Creditors look very closely to the utilization ratio. This is an example:
You have a credit card in which your credit limit is $1,000.00 dollars. In this case, you should never charge more than $300.00 dollars on that particular credit card. Staying under the 30% utilization is best. I recommend maintaining the utilization under 10%.

There is also the option of obtaining a secured credit card to build credit. A secured credit card requires you to place a deposit (refundable) of X amount. That sum you used as a deposit would be your credit limit or spending limit. This option prevents you from spending more than you can afford to repay.

It is always of great importance and benefits to pay all bills on time. Even one late payment can bring your credit score down up to 100 points. Gather your monthly bills make a list of what bill gets paid on what day if necessary use a calendar or an app that will remind you of when the payment is due. Paying your bills on time will help you rebuild your credit but it will also help you to get an increase on your credit limit. Come close I will tell you a secret sometimes it takes just three payments on time to get your credit limit increased. Thats what I call rewarding.

Have you made out your list of what bill gets paid and when? I invite you to take time and put effort into paying your bills ontime. After you have done it for at least 3 to 6 months come back and tell me about your experience I would really love to know your results. Remember the Warrior Chick Credit Repair Specialist is here to guide you through the your credit journey by Preparing your future for the next level.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

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Fair Credit Reporting Act is the act that regulates the collection of credit information and the access to credit reports. This act was passed in 1970 to help ensure three things: fairness, accuracy, and privacy of the personal information contained in the files of each credit reporting agency.

Who can see my credit report?
Not everyone can see your credit report. A business or person with a permissible purpose can have access to the credit report. The following individuals or businesses that may have a reason to access your credit report:

Creditors and potential creditors – Creditors verify your credit report for the following reasons:
Capacity – They want to determine if your capable of paying back the money that was borrowed. They determine your capacity by looking at your job stability, your debt VS your income. They also determine if you work in a stable industry.
Collateral – They review what assets you may own or have in the case you cannot fulfill your debt.
Character – Creditors review once again your stability like how long you have been at the same employment, whether you rent or own a home and they also review if you have a checking and or savings account. These factors give them a sense of what kind of a character you have.

Employers – Employers may request your credit report while others may not. Why does an employer request a credit report in the first place anyway? It’s simple its due to the nature of the position you are applying for like a bank job where you will be working with money frequently then it makes sense as to why they need to do a credit check. Other positions that may require a credit check would be a government position, a financial institution, and money managing positions.

Government Agencies – When applying for certain government benefits or a certain license that requires a background check of your finances

Insurance Companies – Request to do a credit check to help determine rates (Not applicable where prohibited by law).

Collection Agencies – A collection agency can check your credit report when they purchase a debt that you owe. For the sole purpose of collecting on that debt owed. This is permitted under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Judgment Creditors – Judgements are no longer included on a credit report just bankruptcies can appear on a credit report.

Landlords – Landlords can run a credit check to evaluate those prospective tenants past or current rental history.

Mortgage Lenders – Lenders usually pull a credit check prior to the application process in order to see if they pre-qualify for a mortgage loan. The lender has to have written permission from the borrower.

Utility Companies – Some states have rules prohibiting utility companies to deny you service even with bad credit.

Notice how having a positive and clean credit report helps you out with simple things in our everyday life that sometimes are taken for granted by not having the knowledge that certain agency or employment does require a credit check. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recommends checking your credit reports once a year. I personally recommend checking your credit reports every six months.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to comment remember The Warrior Chick Credit Repair Specialist is here to help you walk through that bumpy credit journey by Preparing your future for the next level.

Late Payments

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Did you know that a late payment can affect your credit score significantly? Your credit score will be affected if your payment is not on time and has not been received before 30 days of its due date. Many companies attach a late fee if your payment is not on time this does not hurt your credit score it just hurts your pocket.

Federal Law states your payment cannot be reported as late until its at least 30 days past due. If a company reports a late payment on your credit report without it being late or it doesn’t meet the 30 days past due rule then that company is violating federal law.

It is best to have a calendar, a bulletin board or any other method that can help you keep track of your bills and their due dates. Paying on time is always good it shows you are responsible, have integrity, you are trustworthy, you have your debts and bills under control. It also shows that you are not a high risk when requesting a credit or extending it.

A late payment is also known as a delinquency and can stay on a credit report for seven (7) years from the original delinquency date. A delinquency is a failure to pay an outstanding debt. If you made a late payment on October 2017 that late payment will remain on your credit report until October 2024. Wow, that’s a very long time for a late payment to remain on your credit report. A 30-day late payment is bad but even worse is a 60,90,120 day late payment.

Making a late payment can knock off of a credit score up to 100 points if your credit score is excellent. If you already have multiple late payments and your credit score is already low another late payment won’t hurt it as much.

People ask can I get a late payment off my credit report? The answer is Yes and No.
Yes, you can get it removed if it was reported wrongfully. You can dispute the error with the credit bureau that is reporting the late payment or directly with the creditor.

No, it cannot be removed in such case it is being reported accurately which means you did make a late payment in which case as I mentioned before it will remain on the credit report for seven years (7).

How to avoid late payments
1. Schedule payments to be automatically withdrawn from your checking account.
2. Select payment due dates most convenient for you.
3. Set up notifications like a text, email or a call reminder.
4. Download an app that helps manage and notifies of upcoming payments.

Do you have your debts and due date prioritized?

Now that you know the effects a late payment can have on your credit report and score I recommend you write sit down and write down all your debts and due dates. Use a calendar and organize your payments so that they can be made on time.

Remember the Warrior Chick Credit Repair Specialist is here to help you walk through that bumpy credit journey by Preparing your future for the next level.

Feel free to leave any questions or comments.

What is a credit dispute?

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In a credit card or debit card account, a dispute is a situation in which a customer questions the validity of a transaction that was registered to the account.

When a credit report is requested and received it’s very important to go over carefully every piece of information it contains. It’s important to verify that the name the address, date of birth, the social security number (If it’s listed on the report) employer, loans, and accounts are all being reported as accurate. Make a list of the inaccuracies found in the credit report make sure to keep clear which credit bureau has the inaccuracy listed.
You can have Transunion reporting an inaccurate account but they are reported by Equifax and Experian correctly. After you have listed all the inaccuracies and know to which credit bureau you will submit the dispute to you should write a letter that contains your contact information you should also explain what the error is and why you are disputing, for example, X credit bureau is reporting I have been late paying X credit card but I have proof that I have never been late.

You can also include in this letter supporting documentation or proof of what you are disputing. Do not send originals copies are sufficient. You should never send originals that should stay with you at all times. You can also submit a dispute two (2) ways online or by mail. I recommend by mail so you can have a paper trail. I also recommend sending all disputes certified mail.

What errors can be found on a credit report?

Identity- A name spelled incorrectly, a wrong address listed or personal information merged with another person’s credit record.

Accounts- Accounts stated as delinquent when indeed are current, closed accounts being reported as open or open accounts being reported as closed, wrong balances or credit limit errors.

When submitting a dispute the credit bureau or credit report agency has forty-five (45) business days to investigate and respond back. After receiving their response review the results of the investigation. The credit bureau the dispute letter was sent to must provide the results of their investigation in writing. This is why its best to submit all disputes via mail instead of online (disputing online forfeits some of your rights).

If their investigation states your dispute is frivolous that means you did not submit sufficient supporting documentation or proof or did not submit any at all to prove the inaccuracy disputed. The credit bureaus can also state it’s a frivolous dispute if you keep submitting the same inaccuracy over and over without any further proof of why it’s an error. if the credit bureau determines the inaccuracy is indeed correct then it should be removed from the credit report. In some cases, it may take up to sixty (60) days to be removed and the credit report updated. When submitting a dispute to one or all of the credit bureaus does not impact or affect your credit score.

Have you verified your credit report lately? Do you need to dispute inaccuracies? If you have any questions or concerns feel free to comment remember The Warrior Chick Credit Repair Specialist is here to help you walk through that bumpy credit journey by Preparing your future for the next level.

What Is A FICO Score?

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What does FICO mean? What do does letter stand for?
F Fair
I Isaac
CO Corporation
FICO is a credit score lenders utilize to analyze and determine if they can extend credit to an individual. They need to determine if that individual is going to be a risk and if they have the capacity of paying back the amount that was borrowed plus interest.

A FICO score ranges between 300 and 850 points.

How is a credit score calculated?

As shown on the chart above:
Payment History 35%
Amount Owed 30%
Length Of Credit History 15%
Types Of Credit 10%
New Credit 10%

Payment History is when lenders look at the payment history to determine if the borrower pays the accounts on time or is late making a payment. A credit report has recorded when each payment has been made and the time frame the payment was received 30, 60, 90, 120 or more days late.

Accounts Owed is when lenders analyze the amount of money owed and if there is an outstanding amount of debt. An individual that owes the sum of $6,000.00 dollars in debt has his credit cards close to the max amount can have a lower credit score than an individual that owes the sum of $60,000.00 dollars in debt but is not close to his limits on any of the credit card accounts. You may ask How can that be $6,000.00 VS $60,000.00? It’s simple that borrower that owes the $6,000.00 is more of a risk than the borrower that owes $60,000.00 because at any given moment he can default on making the required payments as stipulated on the contract.

Length Of Credit History is when lenders evaluate how long the borrower has had credit. The longer the time you have credit history the better chances you have of a maintaining a high FICO score.

Types Of Credit is when the lender analyzes the credit report to determine if a variety of accounts are registered on the credit report. It is important to have a good amount of mixed credit accounts like an installment loan. A mortgage loan, an auto loan and a department store credit card fall under an installment account. It’s also good to have a revolving account this is when you have a line of credit that you can borrow from but you have a credit limit. A good example would be a credit card or a home equity line.

New Credit is when lenders evaluate how much how much new credit you have applied for recently. It’s very important to avoid opening multiple new credit accounts such as credit cards this is not beneficial for your credit score. It would be more beneficial and useful if you just call the lender or credit card company and ask for a limit increase.

Another important tip is to not close any accounts you may have this will affect your credit score dramatically. Closing an account is never recommended or a good idea. If you have multiple open accounts it’s best to maintain your spending under the 30% limit. Let’s say you have a credit limit of $1,000.00 dollars you should never at any given time utilize more than $300.00 dollars (Under 10% of utilization would be your best option). It’s also recommended that you pay your credit card bill on time and in full.

Every time you apply for new credit the lender needs to verify your credit report with one or all of the credit bureaus. This is called an inquiry or hard inquiry. A hard inquiry can take up to five (5) points off of your credit score and not only does it takes your credit score down but it stays on your credit report for 24 months (2 years). Inquiries impact your score the first twelve (12) months out of the twenty-four (24) they are on your credit report.

Just as hard inquiries exist so do soft inquiries. A soft inquiry is also known as a soft pull is when an individual checks their own credit report, when they authorize an employer to pull their credit report or when a financial institution they do business with check their credit so they can send them pre-approved offers in the mail.

A FICO score is a very important part of our financial obligations. It’s very important each individual takes care of their scores and check their credit report every so often so they can know how the score is. If it needs work or if it’s in a positive score range. Take the time to nurture your credit score so you can obtain the credit you need when you need it. There is nothing worse than having an emergency and having all the credit cards you have in your purse or wallet maxed out or close to being maxed out. When you have your credit under control this makes lenders realize you are trustworthy and responsible with your credit and nothing can stand in your way to obtain financial freedom and achieve your goals.

Remeber the Warrior Chick Credit Repair Specialist is here to help you and guide you through that bumpy credit journey by Preparing your future for the next level.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to leave me a comment and I will gladly help you.

Obtain Your Free Credit Report

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Did you know you can receive a free credit report once every twelve months? You can obtain a free credit report for one or all three credit bureaus if you have not requested one at in the last twelve months. It’s a simple process you can do online.

You can also obtain or qualify for a free credit report:

If you are or have been a victim of identity theft.
If you are on public assistance (welfare).
Recently had a credit application denied for example loan, credit card or car loan.
If you are unemployed and seeking employment.

When you request a credit report by mail you should enclose a copy of your driver’s license and a recent utility bill with The Annual Credit Report Request Form. The driver’s license confirms your identity and the utility bill confirms your address. You can send this information to the following address:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO BOX 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

The request may take up to 15 days for you to receive your credit report(s). This website is the only one that is authorized to provide you with your report(s). Some people can immediately see the report online while others may have to go through the process of downloading the request form and mailing it out with the documents mentioned above. The other option available is to order the credit reports via phone at 1-877-322-8228.

Learn about your rights as a consumer and the laws that guarantee those rights. You can visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website and you can also get valuable information at the Federal Trade Commissions website.

If you need any help requesting your free credit report feel free to contact me I can help you. Any questions or comments you may have you can contact me at Remeber The Warrior Chick Credit Repair Specialist is here to help you walk through that bumpy credit journey by Preparing your Future For The Next Level.

What Is a Credit Bureau And Who Are They?

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Credit bureau (noun) A company that collects information relating to the credit ratings of individuals and makes it available to credit card companies and financial institutions.

The three most popular credit bureaus are:

PO BOX 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000

PO BOX 1000
Chester, PA 19016-1000

Fax Numbers

Consumer Attention
PO BOX 9701
Allen, TX 75013

PO BOX 4500
Allen, TX 75013

Fax Numbers

PO BOX 74256
Atlanta, GA 30374

PO BOX 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374

Fax Numbers

These companies have details about your credit history like for example when you applied for credit, account numbers, payments made, late payments made, missed payments, how much you were approved for and how much of the amount you are utilizing. They also detail if any of your accounts have gone to collections for non-payment or soon will be referred to a collection agency.

The credit bureaus also report if you have on your credit report any tax liens, judgments, evictions, repossessions, foreclosures, and bankruptcies. It’s important to always verify your credit report just in case there are any inaccuracies or errors concerning your personal information. These bureaus also have information on you like your name, actual or previous address and your actual or previous employer.

Even though the personal information is not calculated in your credit score it is highly recommended you make sure your information is correct so you are not a victim of identity theft. I have witnessed cases where a father and son have the same first and last name and their personal information was mixed up between them. These errors can lower the credit score and there is a possibility information not regarding you can be added to your credit report by the credit bureau. Information in which you would have to dispute to get removed.

Did you know that landlords, employers, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, and utility companies all use the credit bureaus to request your credit information? This may be why you receive via mail or email letters and offers to state you are pre-approved for some type of credit card or loan. These companies buy their prospect clients from the credit bureaus.

Now you know a little bit more about the credit bureaus and can identify who they are and where they are located. If you have any thoughts or questions please feel free to comment remember The Warrior Chick Credit Repair Specialist is here to help you walk that bumpy credit journey by Preparing Your Future For The Next Level.