The Truth on Paying Collections

 

Why do your credit scores drop when collections are paid?  That’s right, fact is stranger than fiction. We have reviewed credit reports that scores have fallen from a few points to well over 100 points after paying just one or multiple collection accounts to a zero balance. So here’s the other question.  How does one avoid damaging their credit scores while trying to pay their past due bills?  Be sure to continue reading this article to learn more.

Our society has taught us that if we pay our bills that all will be well. And that should be the truth, but not necessarily when it comes to collections listed on your credit report. If the collection is not listed on your credit report, then paying it will not have any affect on your credit scores. (but that’s a different blog for a later date).

 

Why you should be concerned about paying debt collection companies.  May times you may not owe the collection or at least the amount that they are attempting to collect.  WHY?

  • The debt collector may not collect more than you owe.
  • The debt may be too old to collect.
  • The statue of limitations for collecting debt varies from state to state, but Alabama is 6 years from the last payment made.  If no payment was ever made, then it is probably when the debt first occurred.
  • It may belong to someone with the same name as yours.
  • It may have been filed incorrectly with the insurance and you may owe something but not all of what the debt collector is trying to collect.
  • The U.S. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act says collectors can add fees or interest only if the amount is “expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.”

There are several reasons why it may not be yours.  Did you make a debt with the debt collector? No you didn’t, but they can legally purchase or collect on the debt as a third party, but you have the right to validate that the debt is completely correct and is yours.

 

ReScore Solutions validates debts and balances all the time for our clients.  We are very successful in getting debt collections removed from credit reports and most of the time our clients will never have to pay them.  No, we aren’t trying to help people avoid paying their bills, it’s just that you have the right to have the debt validated and pay only what you owe.

If I called or sent you a letter and said that you owed me $500, would you just pay me?  If you have never done business with me you need me to prove that you owe me.  The same principle with paying a debt collector.

So a you may get a tax refund and decide to repair their credit by paying all those collections that are reporting on your credit reports.  The feeling is great to get all those collections paid, but short lived when you apply for an auto loan, mortgage, or credit card and told that you are declined.  I can hear you now, “But, but, but I don’t understand, I have paid all those negative accounts on my credit reports.” Guess what?  It’s actually surprising to learn that paying off collections will actually lower credit scores.

credit mistakes

Here’s why….

Collections are usually reported on the credit as a “9” status or collection account. This means the account has already been “written off” and assigned to collections by the creditor.  Once an account is reported this way on the credit report, the damage to the credit score is irreversible, unless that item is removed completely from the report.  That’s where our services are so valuable.  We handle all of this for you and watch for any violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collect Practices Act.  These laws are very powerful and are working for you.

If the account is paid off, the collection company will report that the account now has a $0 balance, but usually will not delete the item off the report.  It’s actually legal for a debt collector to continue to report a paid collection.  The account has already become a collection, and the risk of the consumer defaulting on another account is already very high, due to that collection.

So your credit score will not go any higher if it is paid off, because paying off a collection after the fact, doesn’t lower the risk of defaulting in the future.

However, the DATE OF LAST ACTIVITY is updated to the date the account was paid off. So if that account was sent to collections 3 years ago, the date of last activity is 3 years old and the impact to the credit score is not as much.  But if you, the consumer pays off that collection today, they just update the date of last activity to today’s date, sometimes causing the scores to go DOWN as a result.

Crazy isn’t it? You are trying to do the right thing and pay off collections, but your scores can be lower as a result.

ReScore Solutions is very successful in getting paid and unpaid collections removed from credit reports and many times our clients will never have to pay them.  We use a factual dispute process to get these removed.  We get far more collections deleted than not. But when the collection is properly validated, we can help our clients work with collection companies to have their negative item removed completely from their report, if they pay it off.  This will help their credit while satisfying the collection company.

Click Here to help understand how Bob got his credit improved.

Fill out the above form to have a sales representative contact you about getting started with getting your credit back on track.  You pay after work has been completed and we have payments as low as $100 a month for individual and discounts for couples.

family in safe neighborhood
Financial peace of mind….good credit.

 

 

Understanding Credit Scores

ReScore Solutions can assist in improving the worst credit scores and even improving healthy credit scores.  Higher credit scores means paying less in interest rates.  Lower credit scores will result in higher insurance premiums and higher interest rates.   approved for credit card

FICO, or Fair Isaac Corporation, has been the leader in credit scoring since the 1950s. The FICO score is used by more than 90% of lenders and is considered the industry standard. Your score will range from 300 to 850, the higher the better. It is calculated as follows:

FICO Scores
How credit scores are calculated

Have you ever been turned down for a loan or an apartment lease and wondered why? It could be due to your credit history. Let’s face it–our credit says a lot about who we are. It is our financial report card, and can affect many aspects of our lives.  If you are experiencing being turned down and high interest rates call us today.  We can help you rebuild your credit and raise your credit scores.

HOW DOES CREDIT WORK

When you apply for credit (say a loan or a credit card), the lender has to decide if you are a good candidate for receiving the loan. The lender’s decision is based heavily on your credit history. They have to assess the level of risk involved if they are to extend credit to you. If you have displayed a poor repayment history, it is less likely that you will be approved for the loan or a line of credit.

The data available through the credit reporting agency that’s been selected to calculate your score (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) will determine that three-digit number, whether that data is right or wrong. That’s why it is so important to review your credit reports; at a minimum get your free credit reports from all three bureaus once a year look them over to determine if all of the accounts are yours, any late payments that aren’t accurate, liens or judgments that aren’t yours or updated as paid.

One of my former clients did not realize that he had a judgment on his credit reports that was not his.  Mr. Smith’s daughter had provided his name as an emergency contact for the apartment she ;had previously rented.  She defaulted on the apartment rent and was sued and she paid the judgment through a payroll garnishment.

Although this had been taken care of the apartment management placed the judgment on Mr. Smith’s credit reports.  It was illegal and had affected his chances of getting a loan.  We were able to take care of this and had it removed within 35 days or less.

Since the three agencies don’t share information with each other, you’ll want to check all three. After all, you never know which reporting agency a lender will use to obtain your score, so you want all of them to be as accurate as possible.

Better FICO scores
Rebuilding your credit without the high fees and interest rates.

FREE CREDIT SCORES

In an effort to obtain your credit score for free, you may have signed up with Credit Karma or Credit Sesame. But then you applied for a credit card or car loan and realized your FICO score was different than the free score. Why is this?

Both Credit Karma and Credit Sesame calculate your credit score based on proprietary scores from two of the major credit reporting bureaus. However, this is not the same thing as a FICO score. Instead of using the FICO algorithm, the bureaus use their own algorithm for free scores.

7 Ways To Deal With Bad Credit When Renting

house for rent bham al
Renting a home with bad credit

Bad credit can trigger all sorts of issues when trying to get a mortgage, purchase a car or get a credit card.  But even if you’re just looking for an apartment or house to rent, your credit history can pose problems.

Most landlords check credit reports of potential renters to determine the probability of receiving the rent payments.  This can pose a problem when you may have a repossession, charge-offs, foreclosure, late payments or a Bankruptcy listed on your credit report.  When your credit is damaged, you may have a tough time qualifying for that home or apartment that you and your family need.

At reScore Solutions, we understand that many people have fallen on hard times due to job loss, health problems, or having to close a business.  Bad credit can happen even when we do our best to pay our bills on time.

Call us so for a free no-obligation credit report evaluation.  While you are trying to get your life back on track, we can get your credit scores back up and running.

We specialize in getting your credit reports lender-ready so that you will be approved for a home.   Understanding the ins and outs of lending we know what it takes to get your credit reports repaired and credit scores to the specification of your lender.

credit_report
Raise your credit scores to qualify for loans and credit cards.

What should you do if your credit history is less-than-stellar? Here are seven ways you can overcome your bad credit and still get that rental you’re looking for:

     1.  Be honest and show that you  have been making progress.  

Sometimes bad credit isn’t a reflection of poor money management.  Be upfront with a potential landlord before your credit is pulled.  Don’t make excuses and blame others. Landlords have heard all of the blame games.  If you are able to show a valid reason why your bills were not paid on time, such as divorce, health, job loss; but also show that it was a temporary situation and show how you have been able to get back on your financial feet, you may have a better chance of getting approved.

     2.  Find a guarantor or co-signer     

Ask a trusted friend or relative with good credit to co-sign the rental application with you.  While you may be the only one living in the home or apartment, your co-signer will be financially responsible if you do not pay your rent.  This may give the potential landlord the extra security that he needs to feel comfortable with renting to you.

Of course, you really don’t want your co-signer having to pay your rent, so be sure that you not over obligate yourself to a rent amount that you can’t comfortably afford.

rental agreement
Co-signer for rental agreement

     3.  Pay in advance or increase your security deposit

Bad credit and especially a consistent bad credit history makes a landlord nervous because it indicates that your actions in the past may be repeated, such as defaulting on the rent payments or not paying on time.  By paying a month or more in advance or offering a two-month security deposit, you can possibly alleviate their concerns. Not only does this show your commitment, it also provides them with extra cash that can cover some of the losses and damages, should you skip out on the rent. (Which, of course, you won’t.)

     4.  Get a roommate

Willing to share your space such as kitchen, living room?  If so, a roommate may be a great solution.  If the landlord will allow just one person to sign the lease, see if your roommate is willing to sign it solo. (Alternately, try to move-in with a roommate who’s mid-lease.) This way, the person on the lease is the one with more solid credit.

The other benefit to having a roommate is sharing the utilities.  Saving money will help you to pay down your debts and helping to repair your credit.

     5.  Show solid income and offer to pay via direct deposit

Even if your credit is a little weak, your landlord may feel better if you can show that you have history with a full-time job with good pay.

When applying for an apartment, have proof of income ready, such as recent pay stubs, tax returns and a letter from your employer verifying your employment status and income. Offering to have your rent automatically deducted from your bank account can also help.

     6.  Be willing to pay a little more

Some landlords, even if you are renting from a property management company may charge additional “risk” fees for shaky credit and poor credit scores.  You may want to step up and pay more if you really love the home or have to move in a hurry.

If you are dealing with an individual, you may want to negotiate to pay a higher amount so that your application is not denied.

pay more for renting with bad credit.jpg
Lower credit scores mean higher interest and rental payments.

     7.  Letters of recommendation

Just as your would provide a letter of recommendation for a job, provide one for a potential landlord too.  Ask for letters from current and previous employers, current and previous landlords, and even past roommates who can vouch for your character. Even if your previous landlords were only for short-term arrangements, their endorsement can hold weight.

Obtaining a mortgage loan with poor credit.

Do you have poor or weak credit but would like to purchase a home?  You may have been told that it’s not possible. You may have applied for credit and was denied and now you are convinced that obtaining a mortgage loan is not possible.  Well, it may be more possible than you think..  Of course your credit will need some attention. Kirkpatrick & Associates specializes in getting our clients lender-ready, but of course we will work with clients for most any purpose.

A lender qualifies a borrower based on a credit history and credit scores.  There are three major credit reporting agencies; Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.  You score ranges roughly between 500 and 850.  Lenders most often receive FICO scores, which are not the same scores or based on the same scoring models as the scores a person purchases or receives from the credit reporting agencies.  I recommend FICO.com to obtain the same scores that lenders get.  There are three scoring models for FICO scores.  Mortgage, revolving credit and auto loans.  They provide all three scoring models.

Bad credit loans
Home Sweet Home

 

EDUCATIONAL LOANS:  Once educational loans are being paid current it is possible to qualify for a mortgage, even if delinquent payments are being reported from the past.

CREDIT CARDS:  These payments need to be current and no late payments in the past 12 months.  Some lenders will allow a letter from consumer, explaining late credit card payments.  Credit cards balances need to be paid to below 19% of the credit limit.  IE:  $1,000 limit should have a balance of $190 or less.  Paying credit cards down will improve credit scores.

BANKRUPTCY:  A consumer can technically qualify for a mortgage two years after a bankruptcy.  3 years if the Bankruptcy included a foreclosure.  Do keep in mind that credit has to be rebuilt during this time period.

LIENS AND JUDGMENTS:  These must be paid and showing satisfied with all credit reporting agencies that are reporting these on your credit reports.  Just because they are paid doesn’t mean they are reporting paid.  If this is an issue, this is a service that we can assist you with.  Call us at 205-352-3448

CHARGE-OFFS:  These may or may not need to be paid to qualify for a mortgage.  If there is one charge-off and otherwise good credit, then you may not have to pay.  If the charge-off is old and under a certain dollar amount, it may not have to be satisfied to qualify.  Worse case situation, you can contact the original or 3rd party debt collector and work out a settlement.  They may not remove it from your credit report, but it will show that it was paid, and thus helping you to qualify for a loan.  This can be a confusing process and we recommend that you call us when handling these situations.

MEDICAL COLLECTIONS;  Many times all medical collections do not need to be paid to qualify.  We at Kirkpatrick & Associates can help with this.  We specialize in helping with 3rd party collections.  If you are receiving too many or unwanted phone calls, we can stop the collectors from calling.

RENTAL HISTORY:  Yes, a potential borrow can use rental history for credit when applying for a home loan, even when it’s not reflecting on your credit reports.  Be sure and pay rental payments on time.  Mortgage underwriters will require your rental history.

SELF-EMPLOYED OR 1099:  You will need two years work history.  Check with your lender for their guidelines.  These can vary between lenders.

Do keep in mind that after taking care of all of these areas on your credit, you must have good accounts reporting on all of your credit reports.  You credit score must be at least 580 for some lenders and 620 for others and 640 for most any lender.  If you score is between 580 and 639 be prepared to have a larger down payment.  A down payment is usually 3 to 3-1/2%.  A lower credit score would require a much higher percentage for down payment.  Please note:  Do not depend on the scores from Credit Karma or any other 3rd party credit score service that does not specifically provide FICO scores.

We, at ReScore Solutions eat, think and obsess over credit related stuff.  We would love to help you through the credit maze.  It can be confusing and intimidating when trying to deal with credit related matters and paying collections.  We view your credit reports for any violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  While you are spending time with your family we are working hard for you.

Help with bad credit
Family time!

BLOGS

First of all ReScore Solutions offers free credit report evaluations.  For us to provide this service you will need current credit reports.

Sign-up online.

You paid off a balance last summer and it still reports a balance.  Maybe there are  accounts that aren’t yours, addresses that you have never lived at, credit inquiries that you didn’t authorize, collections that you weren’t aware of and the list goes on.  We can possibly help you and get your credit cleaned up and raise your credit scores.

Here at ReScore Solutions credit report evaluations are free….yes, another free!  We want the opportunity to educate you in having a chance at better and stronger credit while educating you to keep it strong.  We don’t do gimmicks, nor do we have a magic wand to poof all kinds of accurate bad stuff from your reports, but we will explain what our services cover and how we can repair negative information and how our services can benefit you, for now, and your future.

We also specialize in assisting with all types of credit issues.  Possibly avoid

  • Bankruptcy
  • Foreclosure
  • Charge off accounts

We can assist with dealing with collections, as well as getting you lender-ready for a mortgage.  You may not have credit or collection issues and just need to build or rebuild credit.  There’s help for that too.  I know, you want to know how much will this cost you.  After all, you may be living on a budget and paying hundreds or a couple of thousand $$$ is not possible.  Fear not, we have low month to month payments and you can cancel or place you account inactive at any time.  We eat, sleep and obsess about credit related stuff.

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There are other companies that provide credit repair, but we go beyond with excellent customer service and educating our clients which means you can spend more time relaxing and with your family, while we take care of you.  Call today.  205-352-3448

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