HOW TO BOOST YOUR CREDIT IN 30 DAYS OR LESS

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1 HOW TO BOOST YOUR CREDIT IN 30 DAYS OR LESS By The Arizona Credit Law Group, PLLC A consumer rights law firm Learn how to improve your credit using 5 simple rules No tricks, no gimmicks, just facts. The AZCLG 2015 all rights reserved

2 DISCLAIMER Downloading, reading or sharing this free e-book does not create an attorney-client relationship between yourself and The Arizona Credit Law Group, PLLC ( the firm ). The firm is not your attorney. The firm does not represent you in any capacity. The firm is not giving you legal advice. This material is simply providing you with general and useful information about your rights in addressing credit reporting and debt collection matters. If you need specific information as it pertains to you, you should consult with an attorney in your area. The firm encourages you to consult with an attorney regarding your liability for unpaid debts before you dispute or negotiate them and to consult with a bankruptcy attorney if you believe bankruptcy may be an option before you begin attempting to negotiate settlements with creditors. Rochelle N. Belnap The Arizona Credit Law Group, PLLC Owner, Attorney at Law

3 INTRODUCTION People always want to know how can I improve my credit score? Great question! The answer can get pretty complicated, but this e-book gives you a list of the top 5 things you can do to build Good Credit and maintain it. But first, why should you care about credit? Well, credit is everywhere. Want to apply for job? They check your credit. Need car insurance? They check your credit. Need utilities? Want a loan? To rent an apartment? Receive a professional license of some sort? Yes, they all check your credit too. With our lives revolving around our credit, no wonder everyone wants to know How can I improve my credit score?

4 RULE NO. 1 Credit Cards are key! Credit scores are mostly based on your revolving debt aka credit cards. Your credit score will change, sometimes drastically, based on how much available credit you have. (Some refer to this as Loan to Value, LTV. ) What does that mean? It means that the fastest way to change your score is to reduce how much money you owe on your credit cards. This does not mean that you have to pay them off. Do what you can within your budget. For example, let s say you have a credit card with a limit of $1,000 and you have a balance of $750. This means that you are utilizing 75% of your available credit and this could hurt your credit score. But if your balance was only $300, then you would be utilizing only 30% and your credit score should improve. Below is a chart to help you figure out which credit cards you should consider paying down. Credit Card Credit Limit Balance % utilized The lower the percentage of credit you utilize by credit card (and overall), the better your credit score will be. However, you still have to use your credit cards, you just shouldn t over use them. If you don t have a credit card, then we can think of 850 reasons to open one.

5 RULE NO. 2 Pay your bills on time! Your credit score is based on the timely payment of debts. To improve your credit quickly, take look at how you pay your debts and see what could use some improvement. Here are a few questions to ask: Do you pay everything on time? Do you pay things 30 days late? 60 days late? 90 days late? Life happens. No one wakes up and says hey, I don t think I am going to pay my bills today. Nope. Instead, people get sick, lose their jobs, and get divorced. These life events directly impact your budget and can cause you to get behind. If you are late, it hurts your credit score. For a quick boost, get current and pay any past due balance. Your credit should improve quickly, and better yet, it will continue to improve every month as you stay current on all your debts. If you are already current with everything, great! Keep it up, because the longer you have a perfect payment history, the higher your score will go.

6 RULE NO. 3 Have multiple accounts and different types of credit! Did you know that the number of accounts you have matters? Yep. So if you only have 1 credit card that is not enough and your score may never go higher than a certain number. Well, how many accounts do you need? Rumor has it that the magic number is 20! It includes both closed and open accounts over 24 a month period. Essentially, the more accounts you have, the better- but the trick here is to not get into trouble. Only take on debt you can afford and don t spread yourself too thin. Bonus! It is not enough to have 20 of the same account. Nope, you can t just have credit cards. You need multiple types of accounts. Variety is key! To reach the highest echelons of great credit you need the trifecta: Revolving Debt, Installment Loans, and Mortgage Accounts. Revolving debts are credit cards, installment loans includes vehicles, furniture, student loans, and loans from the bank, and mortgage accounts are selfexplanatory. To boost your credit, take a look at how many accounts you have and what types of credit you have. Do you only have credit cards? Then you need installment debt. Only have installment debt? Then you need a credit card. Only have one account? Then you need multiple. It seems counter-intuitive, but it works.

7 RULE NO. 4 Fix those errors! One of the most important ways to improve your credit is to address the incorrect information on your credit report. However, not everything that is incorrect on your credit report is actually hurting your credit score. You want to spend your time on items that need your attention. There are really only three types of errors you can address within 30 days: Paid Collection Accounts, Late Payments, and Accounts that do not belong to you. Paid Collections: when you pay a debt collector they sometimes forget to update your credit report. That s why you paid them right- to improve your credit? You want to fix this oversight and call the debt collector or dispute it with the credit bureaus and provide proof of payment. Late Payments: if you weren t late but you find late payments on your credit report, then you can ask the creditor or the credit bureaus to remove the late payments. Accounts that don t belong to you: these are also called Mixed File issues or can be Identity Theft. You don t want to make these claims lightly. If the account is not yours, then dispute it and ask the creditor or the credit bureaus to remove it. Fixing these types of errors will improve your credit, and you can usually fix these problems in less than 30 days.

8 RULE NO. 5 Collections: To deal or Not to deal Some negative items are simply correct, like your unpaid collections. You don t need credit repair to fix these problems. You need to resolve your liability. Resolving your liability can mean a variety of things, and not all include opening up your wallet. Sometimes you will need to negotiate a settlement and in other cases you should tell the debt collector to leave you alone because the statute of limitations expired. So before you give someone your account information, make sure the debt is yours, that you still owe it, and that you don t have any defenses to liability. Before you start this road, rule out bankruptcy, and stick to the accounts that are hurting your credit score. If it is not on your credit report then it is not a priority to boost your credit fast. You want to attack the accounts that are reporting within the last year and that you can afford to pay. Just keep thinking how do I get the most bang for my buck? Example: Let s say you have a $60 collection from an old utility bill that you know you owe. Call them up, pay it off, and ask them to send you proof of payment and ask them to remove the account as a courtesy. If they don t remove it, please remember that closed negative items on your credit report are better than open collections that may come back to haunt you (think law suits, judgments, and wage garnishments oh my!).

9 RECAP How to improve your credit in 30 days or less Credit Cards are King! Keep them open and pay them down. Pay your bills on time! You need Multiple Accounts AND a Variety! 20 is the magic number and credit cards, car loans, and mortgages are good. Fix those errors! Late payments, paid collections, identity theft and mixed file Collections need attention too! Address those accounts you know you owe.

10 ONE LAST THING The scams This e-book would be incomplete if we didn t tell you about the latest and greatest scams in credit repair. The following is an overview of the most common practices that we believe are unethical, sometimes illegal, and flat out don t work. The Truth about Authorized User Accounts Some companies will sell you authorized user (AU) credit card accounts. An Authorized User is just someone who is allowed to use the card without actually being responsible for paying the bill. But credit repair companies will sell you a slot as an AU on someone else s credit card because the account will appear on your credit report and allegedly improve your credit. They charge $500 or more per credit card! No, you don t actually get a credit card. There are 3 reason why you should not buy an AU account. First, it is bad faith and probably violates the card user agreement. Second, for most types of lending, they do not consider authorized user accounts in your credit score. Third, if you want to build credit just ask family member, friend, or significant other to add you on as an authorized user. This is the right way to use an AU account. Bonus its free. Credit Monitoring doesn t improve your Credit Score! Credit monitoring only tells you what is happening on your credit report, like when a company increases or decreases your credit limit, or when you apply for credit. It doesn t fix incorrect information or improve your credit score, it just helps you be more aware of what information is on your credit report so that you can identify suspicious activity more quickly. Think of home security systems. Do they prevent break-ins? No, they just alert you if something happens. Same with credit monitoring. It doesn t prevent anything or help you if something goes wrong. Credit monitoring does not contact the credit bureaus to dispute the accounts on your credit report, file police reports to get your bank to reverse charges, or activate fraud alerts to keep someone from applying for credit in your name without knowing the pin number. Also, there are free credit monitoring applications available. Delete, Expunge, Gone Forever! Many companies make millions of dollars on gimmicks, scams, and credit repair programs aimed at selling you on how to increase your credit score, so it s hard to know what actually works.

11 Step One: Do not pay companies to dispute everything on your credit report in hopes of improving your credit score. Unfortunately, this tends to be the mantra of your run of the mill credit repair companies, including the big ones you see all over the internet. The problem is that you are probably disputing correct information, and you should not do that. The truth is, items will be deleted. The catch is, those items are not gone forever. When items are deleted, its usually only from 1 credit report and you have 3 credit reports (Equifax, Experian and Transunion), and once removed most of these accounts will be sold, transferred, and re-reported within 30 to 90 days. Disputing everything on your credit report can actually hurt you, and worse if they are collection accounts- it could trigger increased collection efforts, like a law suit! So if a company throws around words like delete, expunge, gone forever, don t hire them because they will promise you everything and deliver on nothing. Clean Slate Scams Some companies claim to be able to delete items from your credit report in 3 days, 7 days, 10 days, 30 days, etc. Beware! In many cases, they are really issuing a fraud alert to dispute accurate accounts on your credit report. These accounts will pop back up! Worse, by paying them and allowing them to do this- you are committing fraud. Companies charge $250 to $7,500 for this service and if you get ripped off, you have no one to complain to because you committed a crime by allowing them to do it in first place. New Credit Identity Some companies also try to get you to apply for a new social security number and tell you it is a new credit identity. Then they add you on to several good standing accounts as an authorized user to artificially boost your credit score- they charge $500 to $5,000 per account. Then the company disappears. The problem is that your new credit score is temporary, and you can t use this new social security number without committing fraud against the IRS. Yep, it s a crime and one with harsh penalties. Final Words The lesson here, if it sounds too good to be true, it might be. Do your research and google the company and google the program they are trying to sell you. If you need better credit, you can get there faster than you think by doing it the right way. Thanks for reading! Rochelle

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