Credit Repair for Couples

Credit Repair for Couples

If you’re in a serious relationship or are married, chances are you have merged almost everything together. Naturally, many new newlyweds assume their credit scores will be legally combined as well. But this is not true. Even if you’re married, you can’t combine your individual credit history with your spouse’s. Credit repair for couples can be tricky, since there are two credit scores to take into account.

How Credit Scores for Couples Actually Works

Even though your credit scores do not merge, you would be negatively impacted by your significant other’s bad credit score. For instance, if you and your spouse are considering purchasing a house together, both of your credit scores impact the loan offer you’ll receive. So even if you have perfect credit, if your spouse has poor credit, you won’t be able to get the best interest rate on your loan. In fact, if one score is really low, you might not qualify for any joint financing at all.

This is why it can be difficult to build a financial future together. It can be even more challenging when you have a very different credit history from your significant other.

Steps to Repair Credit Together

Thankfully, there are ways that you can work with your significant other or spouse to repair your credit together.

  1. Start by pulling both of your credit reports from all three reporting agencies. Go through all three credit reports thoroughly, item by item, to make note of anything that is a negative listing. If there is a negative listing, send a letter to the credit bureau requesting validation for this debt. This is a process that can take months, but if you do it, it will be well worth it. Even a single negative removal may significantly impact your credit score
  2. Pay off any debt that you and your significant other have. This can be a touchy subject to broach. In some cases, one person in the relationship might have a significantly higher debt than the other. Working to pay off any debt that either party has can be beneficial for both of you. This is especially true if you are able to collectively pay off any debt that hasn’t been sent to collections.
  3. Once you have removed any negative listings from your credit report that you can, and paid off any of your recent debt, consider cosigning a credit card with your partner. If you do this and you keep the card in good standing (e.g. by paying off each of your monthly balances on time), your credit scores may improve.
  4. Naturally, you want to make a budget together and stick with it if you haven’t already. Record every penny. Get a good sense of where your money is being spent so that you can allocate funds as necessary.

Getting Help from the Best Credit Repair Companies

There are companies out there that can help you repair your credit. They’ll go through all of the credit repair steps for a small fee. These companies can provide a great deal of benefit for couples. They provide an even bigger benefit if you sign up together because in most cases you get a great discount for signing up as a couple. There are a handful of reputable credit repair companies that offer couple programs, which you and your spouse might want to use.

  1. Ovation Credit offers couples a 20% discount for both parties signing up.
  2. Sky Blue Credit gives you a couples discount upwards of 16% off the monthly plan, charging you only $99 per month instead of the normal $118 per person.
  3. Lexington Law offers 50% off the first work fee for you and your spouse when you sign up together.
  4. The Credit People give you $20 off when you sign up with a spouse.
  5. CreditRepair.com lets you sign up for just $50 each, and with that you can sign up family or friends too.
good-credit-score-in-your-20s

How to Get a Good Credit Score in Your 20s

How to Get a Good Credit Score in Your 20s

If you’re in your 20s, now is the time to charge forward and work towards a good credit score. Far too few people in their 20s give any consideration to a credit score let alone the steps necessary to acquire credit. However, the foundation you build early on will carry on for the decades to come, from when you purchase a car to when you apply to rent an apartment.

Tips for a Good Credit Score in Your 20s

Ensure rent payments are on file

When you first start renting, encourage your landlord to sign up for electronic payments so that each of your rent payments will be on file. Do this even if you’re using someone like a parent to be your cosigner.

Turn on automatic payments

Sign up for automatic payments when you pay things like your electricity bill or your health insurance. By setting up automatic payments, you can avoid any type of late payment.

Pay bills on time

Following the second point, pay all credit card bills on time. A credit card is not meant to be used as a way to pay for things that you cannot afford. When you’re in your 20s, your interest rate on your credit card is likely to be very high. This is because you have little to no credit history. Don’t fall into the credit debt trap, which can quickly spiral out of control.

Use your credit card wisely

Use your credit card to pay for the things you would purchase anyway. One such example is to set up your regular bills like Internet, cell phone, or electricity. You can pay them with your credit card each month and then immediately pay your credit card bill that same month. This gets you double the credit, so to speak, because it shows that you paid your all your bills on time.

Beware of the fine print

Understand the fine print of your credit card. Make sure you don’t accept any additional services or fees that you don’t understand or want. If you aren’t 100% aware of what you are agreeing to, you might end up with $60 per month in service fees for services you don’t need. This is where many young adults get into trouble. They might leave the credit card in their pocket thinking that it’s something to save for a rainy day or an emergency. In such cases those regular monthly fees add up.

Create a budget

Create a budget, and stick to it. At a simple level, if you’re making more money than you’re spending, then you’ll be able to achieve a good credit score in your 20s. By having a budget, you can ensure that you’re always in the black, not the red.

Why establishing credit in your 20s is important

It’s important to realize why getting a good credit score in your 20s is a good thing. The other way to ask this question is: what happens if you don’t? This is detrimental in three ways.

Build credit

The first is that you’ll miss out on the opportunity to build imperative credit. Usually when you’re in your 20s, you might have some in helping you out to get a car. Or, you live in student housing paid by your parents. In all these cases, you might fail to learn why your credit is important. However, once you no longer have a crutch to lean on like your parents’ wallets, your credit score will be used to judge your worthiness to take out loans or to rent a new place.

Avoid mistakes

The second way that it hurts you is if you make mistakes. Many credit-based mistakes, like not paying credit card bills regularly and letting your credit card go to collections, will haunt you for 10 years. These “small” things can severely hurt your credit score when you set out into the real world and try to get your first car, or even get a job. Though it’s possible to repair your credit score, it’s much easier to avoid these mistakes in the first place.

Help your job search

The third way is that it can impact getting a job. Today more than ever before, companies check the credit score of the people they might consider hiring to determine if they are responsible. This is particularly true if you want to get any job related to finance. Even an entry-level position like that of personal assistant or legal secretary might task you with the responsibility of verifying different receipts, keeping track of payments made in a ledger, something which requires you to handle financial data.

Takeaways

Ultimately, it’s important to realize the seriousness of establishing a good credit score in your 20s. Even more fundamentally, you’ll develop solid personal finance habits that will carry you for the rest of your life.

Married couple discussing credit repair companies

How Marriage Affects Your Credit Score

How Marriage Affects Your Credit Score

Marriage is a wonderful thing, and yet in one instance it can bring with it a serious problem: credit. Marriage affects your credit score, but it’s often not an issue that newlyweds think about.

How Both Scores Are Taken Into Consideration

When you get married, your credit scores do not combine. However, your spouse’s credit score impacts your ability to get a good interest rate. For instance, if you have very poor credit and your spouse has very good credit, both of these scores are considered when you apply for a joint loan. In the worst case, you might not get a loan at all. In slightly better cases you get the loan but with extremely high interest rate.

Financial Liability

Another major problem is the fact that you can become financially liable if you choose to combine assets. Consider, for example that you have worked tirelessly over the past few years to cultivate a great credit score. You have finally reached the 800 mark, but your spouse has done the exact opposite. If you fail to discuss personal assets and debts before you get married, it can land you in a tight spot. You don’t want to wait until after the honeymoon is over to learn that your spouse has three different accounts sent to collections and a myriad of bills that are not regularly paid on time.

Be Honest

The main learning is that you should have honest conversations. Then, carefully choose whether or not to put both of your names on things. You might think to put both of your names on a car will make it easier to pay the regular bills. But in so doing so, you might not realize that now your credit will be negatively impacted. Doing so without realizing this ahead of time may subsequently drop your credit score as a result.

What’s more, couples who are brand-new to marriage and might not necessarily talk about every aspect of monthly bills might set aside money for a specific mortgage or electricity bill but then one of the parties forgets and doesn’t pay on time. Even small things like paying a bill a few days late can negatively impact your scores.

How Credit Repair Can Help

There are other options if you and your spouse need help. There are organizations that help you to repair your credit as a married couple.

Incorrect negative marks on your credit history and many other things can all be rectified within a few months to help you improve your credit score. This is wonderful news for new couples, especially those who are looking to purchase their first home or maybe their first car together. By taking a few months to work with a professional service and improving both scores, you can set yourselves up for better interest rates when you go in to make a decision.

Credit Repair Companies That Work With Couples

These companies offer great programs for couples who want to work together to repair their credit. The top five companies that you might want to consider include the following:

  1. Ovation Credit offers couples a 20% discount for both parties signing up.
  2. Sky Blue Credit gives you a couples discount upwards of 16% off the monthly plan, charging you only $99 per month instead of the normal $118 per person.
  3. Lexington Law offers 50% off the first work fee for you and your spouse when you sign up together.
  4. The Credit People give you $20 off when you sign up with a spouse.
  5. CreditRepair.com lets you sign up for just $50 each, and with that you can sign up family or friends too.
credit-card-companies

Increase Your Credit Score: 5 Things to Ask Your Credit Card Company

Increase Your Credit Score: 5 Things to Ask Your Credit Card Company

The average household has just over $16,000 in debt. However, this doesn’t mean that you are out of luck. There are things you can do to improve your credit score and help reduce some of your debt. How? Simply ask your credit card company to help you with one or two of these five things.

1. Waive late fees

Everyone panics when they realize that the deadline for payment has passed. The issue that credit cards charge you an average late fee between $10-$49. What most people don’t know is that many banks will erase the first late fee if you simply ask them.

In fact, 89% of people who ask will get get the fee waived. This is something very important for you if it is your first time being late. It’s always best to have a pristine record, but sometimes there are legitimate reasons. There might have been a family emergency or an illness. Obviously, don’t make a habit of calling to ask for forgiveness, but every once in a while if something goes wrong, simply talk to the credit card company or the bank. Ask them if they can get rid of that fee. They are people too, and you may be surprised by how often they are willing to make exceptions.

2. Lower minimum payments

Ask for a lower minimum payment. If you have currently fallen on hard times, do not hesitate to call your credit card company and ask them about this If, for example, you have recently become unemployed, calling to ask about a forbearance agreement or long-term repayment plan something like this to help you press pause essentially on the deck below until you find another job. This will help me to stay in good standing without breaking your bank.

3. Reduce your APR

Ask your company to reduce your APR. But, be prepared to make a case. There are a negotiation tactics you can use.

If you receive mail from other credit card companies asking you to sign up now, don’t necessarily throw it away. While you might not plan on using it, keep it to negotiate with your current credit card company. This proves to your existing credit card company that you have other options and that other companies want your services. For instance, show them that the competing credit card is offering you a 15% interest rate and that yours is currently at 20%. Be polite, but ask them clearly if they can match that 15%.

If you have been a longtime client, reminds the company that you have been a loyal customer.

If your bank offers to reduce your APR by a few percentage points, but don’t hesitate to ask for a little more than that. 78% of people that ask for a lower APR end up getting one. This makes a big difference. With $5000 of credit card debt and an APR of 18%, it would take eight years to pay it down with a $100 monthly payment. On the other hand if you get your interest rates dropped by just 3%, it would only take a 6.5 years.

4. Change your due date

If you have an odd due date for your bills, call the company to change it. A lot of people end up having bills at various times throughout the month because of when they signed up for service. If you forget to pay your bill regularly because your credit card payment comes in between your two paychecks, just ask the company to change it. It’s all about making your payments on time, each time. If you only get paid once a month at the first of the month, ask them to set a due date at the beginning of the month before your money has gone to other needs.

5. Ask about bonuses

While you are calling your credit card company company, also ask if they have any additional rewards that you might be able to use. A lot of people miss out on unused and untapped potential with a credit card. Today, almost every single credit card out there as an option for a perk. These perks are things that give you rewards for each dollar you spend. If you’re smart about it, you can use a credit card to help rebuild your credit score will simultaneously earning points that get you free plane tickets or free meals at your favorite restaurant.

Takeaways

After all of these changes, you may feel like you’re getting back on track. However, perhaps there are incidents before calling your credit card company that leave a stain on your credit report. What can you do in that case? You always have the option of choosing a top credit repair company in that situation. A reputable credit repair company can also increase your credit score. Often, some combination of credit repair options is needed for optimal results.

Mortgage Affects Credit Score

How Getting a Mortgage Affects Your Credit Score

How Getting a Mortgage Affects Your Credit Score

Having a good credit score is important for major life purchases like mortgage. But what a lot of people don’t realize is the reverse: getting a mortgage affects your credit score. Here’s why.

Each credit score inquiry and loan application may hurt your credit score, so many people wonder whether getting a mortgage is actually good for them. This is not an unwarranted fear. However, the degree to which you worry might be unwarranted.

Overall, there are some potential negative ramifications. Getting a mortgage affects your credit score. At first, you may see a small decrease, but over time your credit score will rise beyond where you started.

What your credit score is made out of

First, it’s important to understand that your credit score is made up of five areas:

  1. Payment History (35%) Whether you pay your bills on time and how much you pay them off every month.
  2. Debt (30%) How much debt you have versus the credit limit and original loan amount.
  3. Length of Credit History (15%) Based on your age, the age of your accounts and the age of each individual account on your credit report.
  4. New Credit (10%) If there’s any new credit such as a newly opened credit account.
  5. Credit Mix  Lenders want to see that you were able to handle many types of credit responsibly. Having a good mix of credit including an auto loan, credit card, and a mortgage will help.

 

How your mortgage may lower your credit score

The mortgage itself will add a credit application inquiry to your new category credit. Once you have a loan, it will count as a new account. Only inquiries from the past year are considered with your credit score. So, that negative impact of checking your credit won’t last for very long.

You might be worried about these inquiries, because naturally you’ll want to shop around to find the best interest rate. There’s a special rule for this particular case. If you apply for more than one mortgage in a two week timeframe, so as to find the lowest interest rate, it only counts as one inquiry. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about shopping around trying to find the best rate. Just make sure you do it quickly within those two weeks.

The new mortgage will also hurt the category of “length of credit history.” So, at first, the mortgage will likely lower your credit score. However, the mortgage will eventually it will look like much less of a new account.

How your mortgage may increase your credit score

For all that negativity, there are also positive impacts, particularly long-term. In fact, getting a mortgage can help all five categories that comprise your credit score.

Provided that you make every monthly payment on time, your payment history category will start to take care of itself. With time, the amount you open your mortgage relative to the original amount you borrowed begins to lessen.

What’s more, with time the mortgage starts to become more of a positive factor in your length of credit history category. It will not stay in the new credit area for very long. Finally, if you’ve never had a mortgage before, getting a mortgage for the first time I have an immediately positive impact on your credit next category. While this category does only account for 10% of your total credit score it can still help you.

Parting thoughts and takeaways

The only way to know how your credit score is going to be impacted is to know what the formula for your credit score is. You might find that on average, your credit score dropped by 20 points when you first buy a home. Yet, it will start to rise after the first few months. After one year, your credit score will more than likely be higher than it was before you took out the mortgage. The reason for this is that, as discussed, the negative impact is immediate but after the first year or so all that negativity becomes a more positive impact.

That said, the most likely impact on your credit score when you take out a mortgage will be minimal but negative at first. With time, it will become much higher and much more positive. As a result, the overall long-term positive benefits will surely outweigh the short-term negative impact. If you’re still worried, you can speak with a credit specialist from a reputable credit repair company. They will be able to assist you in determining how your credit score will change after taking out a mortgage.

buying a car with bad credit

Tips For Buying a Car With Bad Credit

Tips For Buying a Car With Bad Credit

Having bad credit can put you in a bind. Without a good credit score, you can’t obtain support financially for the most common adult purchases like that of a house or a car. Here are a couple of tips to consider when buying a car with bad credit.

1. To improve your credit score, don’t pay for everything with cash

Paying for a car in cash is not going to help you prepare your credit. The only way for you to improve your credit is to take out a loan and make small payments on a regular basis. You can subsequently improve the interest rate that you receive on any loans. Understand that by taking out a car loan for a new or used vehicle, there’s a chance for you to repair your credit or build up some credit out of nothing. Every step you take toward improving your credit score will help you later on down the line.

2. Lower your interest rate with a cosigner

The second is doing something to combat the interest rate you receive. Obviously people’s biggest concern here is the fact that if you have a bad for you were going to get slapped with a higher interest rate. You want to consider getting a cosigner in this situation.

If your a parent or spouse has a very good credit score, ask the auto dealer to give you an estimate for your interest rate if both of you were owners of the car. Having cosigners generally means that they take the average of your two scores which can help you. Even viewpoints can help you reach the next level.

3. Have a high interest rate? Consider a higher down payment

If you need to take out a loan with a high interest rate, you’ll be better off in the long run if you can afford a higher down payment. The more cash you can pay upfront, the better the interest rate and deal you will get on the car itself.

Understand that a lot of people do not buy their cars in full. Most people go to a dealer and pay their minimum and then get charged a ridiculously high interest rate for the next 10 or 15 years. You can avoid this by offering a $5000 down payment instead of the asking price of $2000. Something like that shows that you’re good for the money and that clearly you are getting the loan to help your credit.

4. Don’t splurge on your purchase

If you can, consider saving up the cash you need for a lower rate car, perhaps one that is used and only cost a few thousand dollars. If you can do this, you can show the dealer that you have the full price in cash but that you still want to take out a loan. By paying a higher down payment and already having the money set aside, you can give yourself financial peace of mind while potentially lowering the interest rate your will be charged.

5. If all else fails…

Remember to take into account whether or not you are able to afford the interest rates offered to you. Try different dealers. If nothing pans out, postpone leasing your car for six months and use that time to really work at improving your credit score and saving money to make a bigger down payment.

Why debt is important for a good credit score

It may seem counterintuitive, but in order to prove that you are worthy of receiving credit, you have to take out of debt. Most people, especially those who went to college after 2009, have been taught that debt is bad. And yet, the one secret that the credit-savvy know is that debt is necessary to build credit.

The trick is how you look at it. More financially savvy individuals will see that minimal debt that you can pay back is helpful. The word “debt” is not necessarily a bad word. The more financially savvy individuals will tell you a completely different story. In order to prove you are worthy of receiving credit, you have to prove that someone can give you money and you can pay it back in a timely fashion.

The more you borrow money and pay about a timely fashion, the better your credit score looks because you have built a reputation for paying that. So remember, controllable debt is good.

Takeaways

Review these 5 tips when buying a car with bad credit:

  1. Don’t pay for the entire car in cash. Rather, take out a low-interest loan to show that you are credit-worthy.
  2. If you are given a high interest rate, consider getting a cosigner.
  3. If you put down a higher down payment, your loan will be smaller. Therefore, the total interest you’ll pay will be lower as well.
  4. Get an economical car. This is not the time to be buying a new high-end luxury car.
  5. If all else fails, try different dealers or even hold off on getting a car. Instead, work on getting your credit score back up and try again. You can use one of our recommended best credit repair companies to help improve your credit score and get you back on track.
legit-or-scam

Is Legit Credit Repair Real?

Is Legit Credit Repair Real?

If you find yourself with a credit score lower than what you really want, it can be all too easy to jump at what appears to be the first chance to fix your credit. The sad truth of the matter is that many websites which post articles on credit scores or which have links to credit card companies often don’t have your interests in mind. Some of these ads might boast the ability to help you repair your credit instantly. There are many scams out there, but there is also such a thing as legit credit repair. The trick is to know how to identify which ones are which.

If you are able to do this and find a great credit repair company, you can avoid getting scammed and you can start saving thousands of dollars in the long run. It’s important to know how to distinguish the legit credit repair companies from the scams.

Debt management organizations

Credit repair agencies will help you improve your score in one of two ways. The first is by helping you manage and pay off your debt. The second is by disputing any negative items on your credit report which are not true.

First of all, repairing your credit score by managing and paying off your debt has no shortcuts. This is the type of credit repair that usually involves a lot of hard work and a lot of time. If you are truly serious about improving your credit score you might need to get better about managing her finances. These are the groups I can help you do that. Most of the debt management organizations are nonprofit which means that their goal is not to make money off you like other companies but to help you and educate you.

These groups encourage you to engage in self-help so that you can repair your own credit. This starts with understanding what makes up your credit score and what things build better habits and how you can repair your credit in the long-term. All things in life worth having will take a lot of effort and a lot of time. Nothing worth having is acquired easily.

What it’s like working with them

When you work with these companies, they’ll first want to get a sense of your comprehensive financial picture before they advise you. So, they’ll probably start by looking at your credit. And if your credit is really bad, chances are you have that. Effectively managing that that will help you to increase your credit score. These organizations help you set up repayment plans with your creditors. They act as a Coordinator between you and the creditors. They can help you lower any interest rates are facing and help you to change your total monthly payments.

Another perk to setting up a plan with a debt manager is that they might let you pay off your debt with a lump sum. When you pay off your debt with a lump sum, something that you can typically do if your bills have been sent to collections, you won’t have to keep track of dozens of bills or each different due date. Instead you can have it managed in one day.

For a lot of people, especially people who are faced with bad credit and a lot of debt, working with different companies, getting everything straight, sifting out old stuff from current stuff and figuring out what has to be paid when is exhausting and terrifying. When you have somebody that you pay to act as a Coordinator on your behalf, it takes away that fear.

Disputing negative items

Other credit repair agencies help you to dispute items on your credit report. These companies look over your credit report from all three of the credit bureaus and then they draft dispute letters to object any negative items. By law you have the right to dispute negative items on your credit score. You can dispute negative listings that you think are untimely, incomplete, unclear, unverifiable, or inaccurate. If the issue cannot be verified then it has to legally be removed from your credit score. One example of what an unverified thing means is, in an instance where one of your creditors when out of business but there’s no way for the three credit report euros to verify any item on your report from the creditor so it has to be removed.

Again, the nice thing about having agency represent you is that they are persistent. If these negative items are not removed immediately they will continue to dispute them in order to maximize the chances of getting the outcome you want. These companies will charge you an initial startup fee which can range from anywhere between $20 and $100 but the average fee is about $60. Some of them won’t even let you pay until you get results while others have a money back guarantee if you choose to no longer use their services.

Avoiding the scams

No matter which method you choose to improve your credit score, check the companies by name. Simply Google them and see if they have a long history, see if they have a lot of consumer feedback. Check and see if they have a Better Business Bureau rating. Take into consideration how you heard about the company. It was a late-night television advertisement it might not be reputable. If the company has been around for 20 years, chances are it’s a legit credit repair service.