Factors that could be affecting your Personal Credit
Making sure that your name is spelled correctly, your address is updated, your date of birth, phone numbers, previous employers, and even your social security number could be a major factor before you even begin working to improve your credit.
This information should be 100% correct you would think, however, our experience has shown us that that is not always the case. If your information is incorrect there also could be other information that could be merging with someone else's file and reviewing your report carefully is key before even begging on the journey to repairing your credit.
Revolving Accounts Utilization
Every account that reports to your credit file that when you pay off the balance, you have access again to use the credit limit will report as a revolving account.
One of the most common types of revolving accounts is credit cards. This is why using these accounts correctly is key for having an excellent credit score.
You will find in most of the sources talking about credit advice to maintain a balance under 30% of the credit limit. This means that if you have a $1,000 credit limit on a credit card, then $300 will be the maximum balance you want to carry over a 30 day period.
However, you don't want to carry a 30% since that is the MAXIMUM recommended balance. Ideally, you will pay off your balance in full or carry 10 to 15 percent if you have to maintain a balance for a 30 day period.
Maintaining low balances represent 30% of your overall credit score and by just been proactive about this will make a positive difference in your credit score.
We understand that life happens, and sometimes people can forget to pay their bills on time; some people might lose their job, get sick or even get on an accident, and if they didn't have their bill on auto-pay, then late payments can start to build.
This particular factor is the single most important action that will impact your credit score since 35% of your score is allocated here.
This is why if you ever come to a position where you might start paying your bill late, there first thing you should always do is contact immediately the company you have an agreement with to see what options they have before it happens.
You will be surprised how some companies are willing to help you since they want to make sure you finish complying with your contract and they know that they have a better chance of getting pay if they help you that if they don't. Just don't ignore the situation since then it becomes an uphill battle.
Collections, Charge-offs, Repossessions, Foreclosures, and Shortsales
If the situation got off your hands and you were unable to get into an agreement with the original creditor there is a chance your account went into collections.
If even then you didn't come to an agreement then your account could be sold to another a collection company that most likely bought your debt for pennies on the dollar for it.
If it was a vehicle they probably took the vehicle back and maybe even re-sold the car.
Even at this point is important that you keep good records of everything since companies do sometimes mistakes and you want to make sure that what they are reporting to your credit file is correct and fair. For example, if you owed $20,000 on a vehicle and they repo the car and sold it to someone else for $10,000 then you want to make sure your new balance reflects the correct amount since they did receive another $10,000 for the same car even if they are some other fees involved. Keep good records of all communication.
Your rights as a consumer
It will be impossible with the number of clients, big banks, credit card companies, and retailers have to report all the information to the reporting agencies 100% correctly. However, this is what the law says, the information they report it most be 100% correct and verifiable.
This is why it is your job as a consumer to lookout any mistake that could be affecting you personally.
Since there have been a large number of consumers that have complained in the past and have not been listened to resolve and correct these issues, certain laws came into place to make sure these big organizations actually do what they are supposed to.
The (FDCPA) Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, (FCRA) Fair Credit Reporting Act & (FCBA) Fair Credit Billing act are some of the laws that came to be to make sure that you have the rights to protect you against unfair practices when it comes to how information is reported to your credit file, how companies are allowed to collect for the debt you owe or even for things you returned or were charged incorrectly.
Knowing your rights is a big help when you are looking to resolve issues on your credit file, and everyone has access to the information.