Paying credit card debt with an installment loan

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Do I save money if I pay my credit cards off with a loan that has a lower APR with a fixed installment payment, or is it better to continue to pay the highest APR credit card until it is paid?

– MYR

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Husbands and wives each have their own credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

My husband and I are thinking about purchasing a car. I just printed out my credit report from Experian. Should my husband check his as well? Should we buy a copy of our credit scores as well before we shop for a car? Since we live in a community property state, do we share a credit score? Also, how will purchasing a car affect our credit score? We will be buying a pre-owned vehicle. This is the first time I’ve gotten a copy of my credit report.

– YPE

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Fraud security alerts can slow mortgage approval

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I recently placed a 90-day fraud security alert on my credit history though Experian. Will that affect my ability to be approved for a mortgage?
– ITR

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The effect of fraud security alerts on credit scores

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I was recently notified by a college that I attended that the admissions office computer files had been hacked into and that I should notify all three major credit bureaus to flag my credit history in case of identity theft. Does this “flagging ” of my credit affect my FICO score?
– LBS

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Reporting utility bill payments will be beneficial to consumers

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I got my credit report recently and was shocked to find that all of my monthly obligations were not listed, making my score very low. I pay my utility bills, Internet service provider, merchandise shipping contracts, telephone, cable television, and rent on time every month, and I have an open Paypal/Ebay account. If these were listed I am sure that my report would look more favorable. How can I get these items onto my reports so that a future lenders looking at my credit profile for a home loan will know that I am an honest hard working person, paying her obligations as agreed?

– DST

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Deleting an account did not raise the credit score

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I recently had an account deleted from my credit report. Why didn’t my credit score go up?

– ENS

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How a minor may have a credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I am teaching a class at a local high school about credit fraud. A teacher mentioned to me that her daughter, who is under 12 years of age, has credit according to one of the credit reporting companies. How is this possible?

– RDE

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Debt management plans and your credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Companies can negotiate with credit card companies and reduce your interest rate. They close your cards and you pay them a flat amount each month that goes towards your cards. How does this affect your credit?

– YST

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PLUS Score, VantageScore available from Experian

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I know that a lender I’m about to approach will pull up my Experian Scorex PLUS score. It doesn’t seem available to me at experian.com or experianscorex.com. How can I view this score of mine before going to the lender? Or, do I just cross my fingers.

– LLI

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Why previous names appear on your credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I am married for a second time. Can having my maiden name and two married names negatively affect my credit score? My “middle” score is 780 but I am trying to improve to 800 plus.

– TEV

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When roommates don’t pay their share of the rent

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I’m a college student, and today I was given an eviction notice because my roommates didn’t pay their rent on time. I was wondering what happens if they pay the amount they owe before our court date. Does it still go on my credit score? Do I have any options because I paid my rent on time?

– STO

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Using secured credit cards to improve credit history

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

What is your opinion about using secured credit cards to improve credit history, especially if there is no current history (last entries were in 2004)?

– PAS

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Accounts are not removed immediately after bankruptcy

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I have completed my chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. How do I have the creditors names removed from my credit report?

– HNS

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What to do when items are stolen from your car

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Last night, a fairly sophisticated ring apparently swept through my neighborhood stealing from cars. Unfortunately, my wallet was stolen with my driver’s license, and yes, stupidly, my Social Security card.

Worse, an external hard drive was also taken that had tons of personal, financial information. While much of it was in a password protected document, there was also several years’ worth of statements from many of my accounts.

What is the best way to protect yourself if you feel someone may have every bit of information they would need including account numbers, Social Security numbers, etc? How can you feel secure beyond the initial 90 days?

– EER

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Collection account does not have to appear on your credit report to be legitimate

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I received a letter from a collection agency asking that I pay almost $3,000 for a debt that was originally a credit card opened in 1996. It seemed to come out of the blue, and when I called to get some bearings I was not given satisfactory answers or clarification. When I mentioned that this hasn’t been on my credit report they replied that they don’t report to the credit bureaus. Isn’t that what would make them legitimate? If they don’t report to the credit bureaus are they a legitimate company?

– JCK

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Settled account status more important than who closed the account

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

How bad does it affect your credit when a creditor reports an account closed by consumer and settled for less then the balance owed?

– NIC

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The difference between a fraud alert and a security freeze

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

What is and where can I find my Security Freeze Personal Identification Number? I have an extended fraud alert on my credit report and would like it removed. I have drafted and put together all the information to send to have it removed; however, I am lacking this Security Freeze Personal Identification number.

– IDR

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Be cautious about adding statements to your credit history

Posted on Sep 09 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I want to add a statement as to the reason of my bad credit from about seven years ago. How do I do it?

– ALC

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Updating your address when you move

Posted on Aug 29 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I recently purchased a house. My address has been changed with the bank, DMV, USPS, etc. However, I tried to get a new cell phone and was told you have not updated my address despite your website saying I don’t need to notify you when I move. Please update my address within your system so that I will no longer be restricted by information not matching up.

– JHG

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Responding to credit score factor that says proportion of balances to limits is to high

Posted on Aug 29 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Recently, I was told that my proportion of balances to credit limits is high. If I keep making payments to my credit card and keep my statement balance below 20% of my credit limit, will that help?

– ATD

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Spouse’s credit file must be frozen separately with each credit reporting company

Posted on Aug 28 2013 by

Dear Experian,

My credit report is frozen. Most of my accounts are joint with my wife. Is my wife’s report automatically frozen as well, or do I have to freeze hers separately?

– CPT

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When negative information will be removed from your credit report

Posted on Aug 28 2013 by

Dear Experian,

If the account status information says the item will be moved from negative to positive on a certain date, what determines when and why that happens?

– AJH

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Freezing your children’s credit histories

Posted on Aug 24 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I have two young children (both under the age of four). Because I have heard of even young children being the victims of identity theft, I am considering freezing their credit files until they are old enough to have their first credit cards. What is your opinion on this? Is it possible for a parent to freeze the credit of a minor? Would you do this for your own children?

– CJT

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Sharing the security code on your credit card

Posted on Aug 23 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I purchased something by phone recently and was asked for the security code on the back of my credit card. I thought it was strange, but she said she needed it to complete the transaction. I heard on the news that you should never give that out. Is that true?

– EGX

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Collection agency can try to recover 10-year-old debt

Posted on Aug 23 2013 by

Dear Experian,

My son has an account that was delinquent and charged off over 10 years ago. Yet, this evening we received a call from a credit agency looking for him regarding this debt. This is ridiculous! They said that they can continue to try to contact him no matter what. This debt is over 10 years old. What rights does my son have?

– NES

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