Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What information about you is in a credit report?
  2. Can anyone get a copy of your credit report?
  3. Do you have a right to know what is in your credit report?
  4. How do you correct my damaged credit?
  5. How long does it take?
  6. What if removed items reappear?
  7. What happens to items on your credit report after seven years?
  8. Is this legal?
  9. How is this done legally?
  10. Does canceling inactive credit cards help your credit score?
  11. What are your rights in dealing with a collection agency?
  12. How does settling debts for less than the full amount affect your credit?
  13. How often should you re-apply for credit?
  14. How do you stop random credit card inquiries, like the ones who send credit card applications in the mail saying 'you've been pre-approved based on your credit rating?
  15. How should you distribute credit card debt to improve your credit score?
  16. Will your credit score go up after a chapter 7 bankruptcy passes the 10 year mark?
  17. Which is more detrimental to your credit score, high credit card debt, or a high car loan?

Frequently Asked Questions

What information about you is in a credit report?
Here's what can go in a credit report:
Identity - Includes your name, address, marital status, your date of birth, number of dependents, previous address, and Social Security number.
Employment - Includes your present position, length of employment, income and previous job.
Credit History - Consists of your credit experiences with specific grantor's.
Public Record - Includes civil suits and judgments, bankruptcy records, or other legal proceedings recorded by a court. Under the Federal Fair Reporting Act, consumer reporting agencies may keep correct and verifiable information in your file for seven years, and ten years in the case of bankruptcy. There are a few exceptions: If you apply for a job which pays more then $75,000 per year, the reporting agency may provide all the information it has, including items over seven years old. If information is reported because of an application for more than $50,000 worth of credit of life insurance has no time limitation. Information concerning lawsuits or judgments against you can be retained in your file for seven years or until the statute of limitations expires, whichever is longer.

Can anyone get a copy of your credit report?
No. Only people with a legitimate business need can access your credit report, as recognized by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. For example, a company is allowed to get your report if you apply for a credit card, loan, insurance, employment, or to rent an apartment. Moreover, creditors, employers, insurers, and other businesses cannot get a report about you that contains medical information without your approval.

Do you have a right to know what is in your credit report?
Yes. Anyone who takes action against you in response to a credit report supplied by a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA)- such as denying your application for a credit card, loan, insurance, or employment. They must give you the name, address, and telephone number of the CRA that provided the credit report. The CRA must tell you everything in your credit report, including medical information, and in most cases, the sources of the information. The CRA also must give a list of everyone who has requested your report within the past year- two years for employment-related requests.

How do you correct my damaged credit?
Once we've received your credit reports, we will analyze your credit history to identify items that are responsible for bringing your credit score down. Then we will draft letters to dispute these negative items on your behalf and approval. It is important to note that, according to Federal Law, the credit bureaus can ignore your dispute under a variety of conditions. In our experience, a large part of dispute letters sent directly from consumers are rejected for one reason or another. United Credit Consultants' letters are expertly designed such that credit bureaus will accept the dispute and conduct an investigation.

A disputed credit listing must be verified as accurate for it to remain on the credit report. If the credit listings contain an error, the credit bureau may simply correct the item, but very often, disputed credit report items cannot be verified because either, the creditor either no longer possesses necessary information or does not want to go through the effort of verifying it. Furthermore, the investigation must be completed within 30 days or the listing must be removed. For these reasons, properly disputed credit listings are removed from your credit report with remarkable frequency. At the conclusion of the credit bureau's investigation, a new copy of the credit report is sent to you along with any deletions or improvements. Then you provide us with a copy of the new credit report and the cycle repeats itself at strategic intervals. *Each time an investigation is initiated, the odds of receiving a particular deletion increases.

How long does it take?
Everyone wants to see results immediately. Although everyone's credit history is different, most people will see progress within the first 45 days of their membership. The majority of the time is spent waiting for the credit bureaus to respond to requests. We take great effort in getting our disputes to the bureaus as fast as possible. As a reference, the average person with 8-12 inaccurate, misleading or obsolete items on each credit report should be prepared for a 4-6 month commitment.

What if removed items reappear?
This happens occasionally either by accident or a creditor has eventually verified a particular item. This is what is known as a “soft delete”. The FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Agency) has made it much more difficult for a creditor to replace an item once it has been removed. United Credit Consultants will re-challenge the item with full force of the prior removal in our favor.

What happens to items on your credit report after seven years?
Most derogatory items, such as late payments, collection accounts and charge-offs, fall off seven years from their DATE OF LAST ACTIVITY. There are certain items, such as bankruptcy filings, which can be legally shown for ten years from the date of discharge. Some items, such as unpaid tax liens, student loans and child support obligations have no statute of limitations and can legally show on your credit report forever. They will show for 7 to 10 years from the date they are paid, or the date of their legal disposition. Positive credit history can also be shown on your credit report for more then 7 years. Since it is good credit history, there is no need to worry about something old and positive that shows.

Is this legal?
Yes, you are given the right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), including the right to challenge inaccurate, misleading and obsolete items appearing on your credit report. United Credit Consultants uses every venue available to you under the law to help you assert these rights.

How is this done legally?
Disputing items on your credit report is your right. When you use United Credit Consultants to help dispute inaccurate or misleading items on your credit reports, we are abiding by and using all federal laws regulating third party credit restoration assistance

Does canceling inactive credit cards help your credit score?
Actually closing your cards hurts your score. The way your score is calculated is by how much available credit you have in comparison to how much debt you are currently carrying. If you have cards with zero balance and available credit on them, that raises your available credit to total debt ratio, thus increasing your score. However, after you have purchased your home, you might want to consider closing the accounts because of the risk of identity theft. Look into the new credit monitoring services, they are very inexpensive and usually offered through the credit bureaus. They will let you know if anyone checks your credit or if any changes have occurred.

What are your rights in dealing with a collection agency?
It's called the “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.” They have an official website that lists your rights, according to the act, a collection agency must submit to you, in writing who the original creditor was, the original creditor's contact information (if the account was sold, who owns the account now), and the amount owed. After you request this information, they must send the information to you by letter. You also have rights that state the collection agency must not threaten you in any way. If they do, you can prosecute.

How does settling debts for less than the full amount affect your credit?
If they are already in collections and are really behind it is not going to hurt. That information stays on there for 7 years anyway. Better to have paid something rather then “0”, and you can get them to put “ settled but satisfied” as long as you request it in writing when you get the settlement.

How often should you re-apply for credit?
Inquiries remain on your credit history for 2 years, and will affect your scores and ability to attain credit. Mortgage and car loan inquiries are a little different: the bureaus allow "shopping time” so that multiple inquiries of this type of credit only count as one as long as they are within the same 30 day period. Usually when you are declined credit, they give you specific reasons for the decline. Fix the reasons before re-applying, otherwise, you will just be shooting yourself in the foot with added inquiries.

How do you stop random credit card inquiries, like the ones who send credit card applications in the mail saying 'you've been pre-approved based on your credit rating?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act also entitles you to contact each or all of the major credit bureaus and request them to stop sending you card solicitations and related offers. For more information, call 888-5OPTOUT (567-8688).

How should you distribute credit card debt to improve your credit score?
You should only have 3-4 cards. Only what you need. Too little of cards is bad, too many is high risk. Typically a mortgage, a car loan, 2 dept. store cards, 2 major cards, and maybe a personal loan is good to have. Try to keep your balance under 30%.

Will your credit score go up after a chapter 7 bankruptcy passes the 10 year mark?
Yes, but having the bankruptcy on your credit report is not as bad as most people would think. After a year or so following the bankruptcy discharge (about 4 months after you file it) a person can get credit for new cars and for new credit cards even with a bankruptcy on their record, and after another year can even get a home loan, but that is only if they have good present income.

Which is more detrimental to your credit score, high credit card debt, or a high car loan?
Both are bad, but credit cards more so. It is easier to get things if creditors see your paying on one "big” thing. Whereas it looks like you do not have control over your spending with high credit card debt.

This is the end of the education, remember we are here to help! If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email us at anytime. Thank you again for choosing United Credit Consultants, LLC and remember: "Improve Your Credit... Improve your Life"