Carl Bunch Credit Repair
909-985-6104

Frequently Asked Questions
How is credit repair performed ?  Negative items can be removed by procedures through each credit bureau (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) , or by procedures directly through the creditor, or collection agency, or entity that placed the negative item on your report.

Is credit repair legal ? Yes. There is no law that states that a negative item must be on your credit report, only that it may be on your credit report.

The credit bureau said that it is illegal to try to remove accurate negative items. The key word is "accurate". Only a judge can legally deem an item to be accurate, so any negative item can be removed otherwise.

Why can't I just perform my own credit repair ? You can, but it will turn out much worse than paying me to do it for you, and if you say the wrong thing to a credit bureau or a creditor about an item, you can ruin your chances of ever removing that item. Credit repair is much, much more than just sending a dispute to the credit bureaus. There are many ways to remove an item without contacting the credit bureaus. It's vital in credit repair to know what to say and what not to say. I am continually monitoring and improving my techniques, even credit bureau disputes should be performed in a specific manner to give the best results. When you pay me to perform your credit repair, you're not just paying for my efforts, you're paying for my experience and expertise.

 Will a removed item re-appear on my credit report in the future ? Only about 10-20% of collections will re-appear on your credit report, usually within a year or 2. This is because some collections are sold to other collection agencies, who then report them on your credit report. Charge-offs, late payment histories, foreclosures, and repossessions won't re-appear because once a creditor has removed an item, they never report it again.

Can you remove inquiries ? Yes. However, its rare that inquiries are reason for a low score, its almost always the negative items that reduce your score.

Should I pay a collection ? Most of the time, no. Its almost always cheaper to just remove it from your credit report. I only recommend paying a collection if a mortgage lender insists in order to approve a loan. (Or if you feel a moral obligation to pay). There are situations where a client's score will only improve by paying collections that could not be removed through credit repair. 

Should I pay a charge -off ? Depends on several factors. First is the length of the statute of limitations on small claims in your state. For example, in California a creditor has 4 years from when an account was charged off to file a small claim in court and get a judgment against you. You definitely do not want a judgment filed against you. They are difficult to remove from your credit report, and the creditor can use them to drain your bank account or place a lien on your property without notifying you. If a charge-off creditor is taking you to court, work out a payment arrangement before the court date, and notify the court of the payment arrangement. You may still be required to appear to confirm the payment arrangement.
Even if a creditor has not filed a small claim, if the account has not been sent to a collection agency, you should work out a payment arrangement to prevent it from being sent to a collection agency.

I'm a victim of identity theft, what do I do ?  First, obtain a 3-bureau credit report to determine which items do not belong to you. Fax or e-mail a copy to me, indicating which items are fraudulent. I will send you an estimate for the cost to remove them and any other negative items. I guarantee fraudulent items will be removed.

What do you need to start my credit repair ? After I have reviewed your credit report and provided you an estimate, I will need a clear photocopy of your driver's license and Social Security card (no faxes), and the payment amount indicated on the estimate. If the address on your driver's license is not your current address, include a copy of a recent utility bill or bank statement (conceal the account number). If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of an identity theft report from your local law enforcement agency.

FREE ADVICE

1. Pay your bills on time. This sounds obvious, but I have seen many, many clients ruin their score because they paid their minimum credit card payment late.

2. Calculate your monthly budget. Again, it sounds obvious, but most people who get into financial difficulties never actually sat down and figured out beforehand if they could really make the payments on the stuff they bought.

3. However long your purchase lasts, thats how long you can take to pay it off (if you use a credit card). Lunch, gas for your car, how long did those last you ? That means you must pay off those entire amounts each month. Clothes, appliances, will last you years so you can make the minimum payments if you need to.

4. Keep your credit card balances under 50% of the credit limit. Credit scores are designed to predict the financial stability of a consumer, and when a consumer is in financial trouble, the first thing they do is max out their credit cards. Which is why your score drops dramatically when your balances go over 50% of the credit limit.

5. There's no such thing as "too much credit". As long as you keep your balances under 50% and pay your bills on time, having a lot of credit cards will only increase your score over time, it will never decrease it.
You should have as many credit cards as possible, at least for emergencies. What if there's a family emergency and you need to fly cross-country tomorrow ? What if your car breaks down ? What if you lose your job and need cash immediately ?
You should have several credit cards to carry on you instead of your debit card. Use one for cash withdrawals only, and pay them all off each month to avoid any interest charges.
Use a credit card with a low limit for internet purchases, to prevent internet fraud from accessing your checking account.
Take advantage of credit card perks. For example, Hawaiian Airlines has a MasterCard and gives airline miles with every purchase. You could pay for your groceries, utilities, gas for your car, cell phone, etc., using this card. Pay it off every month to avoid any interest, and take a free Hawaiian vacation from the airline miles you accumulate.

6. Create and maintain a cash reserve. You should always have a cash reserve set aside equal to at least 3 months living expenses, preferably 1 years worth. Other than credit cards, its always wiser to set aside funds until you've built your cash reserve than it is to pay down a loan.
For example, lets say you got a raise at your job and decided to use the extra money to pay down your car loan. Now lets say a financial emergency arises and you need cash. Having a smaller balance on your car loan doesn't help you in an emergency, but having a cash reserve set aside would.
Same rule applies for your mortgage. Many people try to pay down their mortgage to create equity, but if you lose your job and need to access that equity, you will find that lenders don't like to make loans to those that are unemployed. And even if you do get approved, it may take 30 to 60 days to get your funds. In an emergency, you might need cash immediately.
Keep your 3 month cash reserve in a simple savings account that you can access immediately, keep the rest in 3 month CDs.
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