Would you like to save 15% on your purchase today?

Would you like to save 15% on your purchase today?

You get store employees telling you this almost every day you go shopping, however now at this time of year it seems to get you to think about it a little bit more.

Before I continue if you’re not already a consistent reader of this let me give you a mini breakdown of my background. My name is Wayne Sanford, a credit expert now in this business almost 12 years. I have reviewed over 16,000 plus credit reports for consumers across the United States, 90% of them typically have a financial goal whether it is short term or within a year. These goals are usually buying/refinancing a home or purchasing a car.

Credit repair is a service, just like fixing your car, your plumbing or representing yourself in court. Sure you can do it yourself, but if it was as easy as the media and news articles out there make it seem to be everyone would have 700 + scores.

Fact is its not and the companies reporting against you or on you have teams of attorneys who have taken advantage of every little law to their advantage and credit repair ( if you have the right company) can do the same for you.

Now back to the sales pitch of getting a store card. I always advice a majority of my clients to say no, everyone knows credit is important but you do not realize truly how important credit is until its needed TODAY and then It’s too late.

Surprisingly as credit is a math equation which is based on logic it’s amazing sometimes how illogical the credit system can actually be. First let’s discuss some of the logical aspects.

The store employee asks you if you want to save 15% and apply/get a store card today. It’s not guaranteed that is the first thing i want to point out. Then your credit gets hit with a hard inquiry (an inquiry that can lower your credit score).

Now I will note it can lower the credit score it is not always the case , it is credit report specific as every credit report is unique.

Now if you are buying $1,000 worth of things I would say yes as that’s a savings of $150. But the odds are you are not buying that much.

Another question is how is your discipline? Many people cannot handle credit very well unless they have either really messed it up in the past or are lucky to have a parent or guardian who really drills home the concept of how truly important credit is.

This next part is the logical aspect of the credit system grading a credit card (revolving account). If you get a store card then the card can only be used at that store. A regular credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express) can be used all over at every store (at least the ones who accept it).

This logic dictates then that these types of cards will be graded at a higher level than a store card. Now a store card can actually stay in your drawer for years and not get closed as the holder believes eventually you will come in and use it. The other main cards will close your account after a certain time frame (each lender has their own timeline) if you have not used it for a while.

That is some of the pluses and minuses of each card. Now if you were thinking this blog will tell you exactly what to do it cannot. As I mentioned earlier each credit report has a different amount of data on it than the other credit reports on other people so it is unique and what affects one person one way will not affect the other the same way.

However, my overall advice on this subject matter? I usually say no to store credit cards.

So that’s it for today, hope those of you that get these offers just say no.

Want to learn more about how the world of credit works? Contact me today and get my book in full blown color. No nonsense direct answers and easy to understand:

How the “Real world of credit” works. wayne@waynethecreditguy.com

And of course if you need some credit work to increase your credit score or have credit questions just email me or call me today to discuss!

Wayne

When am I ready or NOT ready to buy a home

When am I ready or NOT ready to buy a home

My name is Wayne Sanford, I have been in the credit repair industry now for over 11 years. In that time I have diagnosed over 16, 000 credit reports for clients across the country. Credit repair is a service and like any service out there that you can do it yourself, for a small percentage of people there are issues that you just do not need the help of a credit repair company. Especially times where it’s only a little bit of advice that is needed.

However what I ALWAYS try to explain to people is the news media and government entities make it should like hiring a credit company is a waste of money think about it. IF it was as easy as they make it sound like EVERYONE would have 700 credit scores.

GOOD LUCK and enjoy the information in this blog and I hope it helps!

THIS WEEKS BLOG:

One of my many mottos’ is “I’m going to tell you the truth whether you like it or not.”

Over the years I am always surprised by getting credit reports to analyze of people wanting to buy a home “today”. And then a ten second review of their credit file tells me that perhaps many, many people really have no clue about some of the basics of home lending. Even the common sense type of things you would think someone would be aware of.

Many times it is typically “in hopes” of a lender tell them yes they are approved for a home loan. But let’s delve into just a little bit of what a lender wants to see and not see so if you are not a 700 credit score then reading this will save you time and headache.

We will first address some of the initial common sense things that should put a halt to any plans to buy a home to save you the aggravation of the documents and paperwork needed that has to be collected.

The first thing is if you are CURRENTLY late on any bills such as a car payment or credit cards. If you are stop right here!

A credit score tries to predict how you will pay your bills in the future (immediate and long term). So, how you pay your bills today count a lot more than how you paid them 5 years ago.

So think about it, if you were the lender how comfortable are you lending your money to someone who can’t pay their car payment on-time two months ago or is currently behind on a credit card bill with a $50 minimum payment?

The correlation of that to your credit score is equally devastating; one brand new late payment typically drops a credit score up to 70 points and possibly more depending on the individual credit report.

Credit is a math equation; it doesn’t take any job loss or sickness with any special consideration.

I have had people contact me asking for me to help them with their credit report so they can buy a home and they are behind literally all of their bills (reporting on their credit report) and also maxed out on all of their credit cards.

My first words to them (but said much more tactfully) is do you even have the money to pay me for my services if your behind all your bills. And if you do have the money to pay me then why are you not using that money to pay your bills?

I will tell you reading this and anyone I come across is if you remotely fit this profile then I will tell you like I have told others the following:

  • Catch up on your bills so your no longer behind
  • Continue to make a minimum of 6 months of on-time payments
  • Then call me and we will re-pull your credit report to assess the status of your credit file.

Buying a home is a huge commitment as well as it reaps a lot of benefits (tax breaks for one). So that means it is something you need to plan for.

Unless you are buying a home out in the country land and are using a USDA loan or you are a veteran using a VA loan these are the only two loans that finance 100% of the loan.

But you will still need money to pay some fees that come up leading up to getting the home loan.

The days of getting a home for no money down or $500 have basically fallen by the way side. Those types of loans are what caused the mortgage meltdown back in 2008-2009.

The 2 main types of loans out there are FHA loans and conventional loans (we will not be discussing jumbo loans in this blog today).

FHA loans require 3.5% of the house price down so for example if you’re buying a home for 100,000 you have to bring a check to the table for $3,500.00

A Conventional loan requires a 5% down payment so for the same loan the amount you pay is $5,000.00

HOWEVER, the obvious isn’t always the best so when you are ready to qualify then sit down with a loan officer and go over the interest rates for both and all the “fees” and then do a comparison to see which loan is best for you. Don’t take the loan officers worked for it ( SORRY loan officers reading this, not everyone is as ethical as you so people have to be careful!).

Want to learn more about how the world of credit works? Contact me today and get my book in full blown color. No nonsense direct answers and easy to understand.

how the “Real world of credit” works. wayne@waynethecreditguy.com

And of course if you need some credit work to increase your credit score then call me today to discuss!

“Time Warner” How they plan to screw you over

“Time Warner” How they plan to screw you over

BEING PROACTIVE!

Let me start this as I was recently told to do and introduce myself to any new readers of this blog.

My name is Wayne Sanford, I have been in the credit repair industry now for over 11 years. In that time I have diagnosed over 16, 000 credit reports for clients across the country. While credit repair is a service and like any service out there that you can do it yourself and for a small percentage of people there are issues that you just do not need a credit repair company’s help. Especially times where it’s only a minor bit of advice that is needed.

However what I ALWAYS try to explain to people is the news media and government entities make it should like hiring a credit company is a waste of money think about it. IF it was as easy as they make it sound like EVERYONE would have 700 credit scores.

The fact is it isn’t, laws are formed against the consumer, laws are used AGAINST the consumer so to be naive enough to think that a credit company who deals with these companies on a day to day basis doesn’t know more than you is an uneducated thought.

THE ISSUE is finding a good company that wants to help you not just take your money or keep you as a customer on the books for years. So that is where you need to research them and check out reviews and identify which reviews are the obvious bogus ones..

GOOD LUCK and enjoy the information in this blog and I hope it helps!

THIS WEEKS BLOG:

Ok, I did cover this in another blog from a general industry understanding but after too many times to count since then I have been dealing with SO MANY issues with this company I thought it best to focus on them and their HORRIBLE practices.

Of course let me officially start off by saying this is my opinion (my educated opinion that is) as a credit expert in this industry for over 11 years. So while many companies in this industry have these kind of issues I am focusing on the company that seems to be the worst of the bunch with what I am about to cover.

As time warner has locations throughout the U.S in your market typically they tell you to bring in your box to return the equipment so you are not charged as the equipment IS NOT YOURS so if you keep it will get charge and have no one to blame but yourself.

So like I have said before and will continue to say, understand that when it comes to credit and your credit report you are guilty until you can prove your innocence.

That means if you DO NOT save that stupid small piece of paper they give you as “proof” you returned your cable boxes when the debt collector comes a calling and puts a $800 collection on your credit report ( for est. 2-3 cable boxes) saying you never returned the cable boxes and you tell them you did they say;

“Sorry but our records show you did not so if you do not pay it this collection will hit your credit report and drop your credit score”.

And you can’t complain to Time Warner directly since its their records the debt collectors are using. So due to their poor tracking system you are literally held hostage.

To make matters worse it’s more like extortion with no benefit as most of them will report it as a paid collection and not delete the account from your credit report.

So if you are thinking of hiring a credit company to help you the first I (and hopefully they) will tell you is don’t do anything without talking to a credit professional first.

Of course I will then tell you if your calling someone other than me then PLEASE check out the company your calling and review and VERIFY their credentials.

So….

Now the main thing is how do you become proactive and not allow this to happen?

One major way is once the boxes are dropped off and you pay your final bill, give it a few days and then log into your online account and confirm the balance is $0.00 and then print out the page and then make lay a copy of the “little pink receipt” on it and MAKE SURE the #’s on it are legible or that will be issues years down the road.

Take that page and toss it in a box labeled as “receipts”.

So down the line when you get this phone call (and odds are you will) you can confidently tell the debt collector if they don’t have the collection account removed from your credit report you will sue them as you have DOCUMENTED PROOF that their information is incorrect and has to legally removed the collection if they have already reported it on your credit.

Personally I find it repulsive what they do the same way banks pay a check out of an old closed account of yours and then hit you with a “insufficient funds fee” but that’s a blog for another day.

The reality is these kind of “mistakes” generates millions of dollars to the company by screwing over the little guy who is ill equipped to deal with the training these “people” have based on the laws they try to take advantage of and the consumers total non-understanding of these or any protocols.

So that’s it for today, hope those of you with Time Warner or plan on getting them memorizes this future problem and helps you down the line.

Want to learn more about how the world of credit works? Contact me today and get my book in full blown color. No nonsense direct answers and easy to understand:

How the “Real world of credit” works. wayne@waynethecreditguy.com

And of course if you need some credit work to increase your credit score then call me today to discuss!

Wayne

But THAT’S what the salesperson told me!!??!!

So with a blog title like this it can mean ANYTHING, right?

Well for this specific blog let’s talk about debt collectors and GYM MEMBERSHIPS.

One company that was notorious for causing consumers across the nation to have a $2,000.00 plus negative debt collection account on their credit was Bally’s Total Fitness.

They were sued numerous times and sold their business back in 2011 so they are no longer the major threat to consumer credit they once were but that does not mean smaller companies do not do the same thing which we will go into later in this blog.

REMEMBER…. It’s not what they or ANY SALESPERSON tells you, it is WHAT YOU SIGN.

As they say, the devil is in the details. NEVER listen to the sales person AND PLEASE……PLEASE….. DO NOT sign up for ANY service right then and there.

Take the agreement home and review it, MOSTLY the cancellation/refund section. That is typically where the gotcha’s are in.

If you’re afraid that you don’t know how to read what can look like a scary contract I can help you get attorneys to look at it for as little as $20.00 so email me at wayne@waynethecreditguy.com to find out how something this small can save you time, energy and A LOT of money, especially if you have a family.

But now let’s go over some of the main gotcha’s listed in these types of contracts and similar ones.

#1- Is it a monthly contract or a yearly one (or more) ?

These days if gyms are not offering a monthly contract I personally would just walk away. This is what Bally’s did in the past, a customer would sign a 3 year contract and then if they cancelled (for whatever reason) they would be sent to collections for the difference the gym “hasn’t been compensated” for.

Note: this story based on numerous conversations with client’s years ago)

#2- What are the ways you can cancel and not be “Penalized” ?

Many times people hurt themselves and sometimes for months they are sidelined or they move away for a variety of reasons. Are these issues listed IN WRITING?

If your sales person says oh don’t worry about that we understand so you won’t have to worry about that just bring in a doctor’s note. AGAIN, if it’s not on the contract it does not count! It would make good customer service sense but many companies follow the letter of the legality of the contract that you both agreed to.

#3- MOST IMPORTANT— Do you need to give “WRITTEN CANCELLATION”?

Just like with apartment complex’s that require written notification the catch is of course as I have said many times, if you have no documented proof you lose.

# 3 is literally the most important I have found as if you did give them written notice if that is required how you get screwed by them is equally as easy.

So my question to you is prove it. Prove to the debt collector who has your account and placed it on your credit report dropping the score by as much as 70 points. Prove to them their system is wrong.

Did you get the manager or representative of the gym to sign it? Did you get a copy of it with their signature on it?

One thing I tell everyone I talk to is get a box and every time you stop doing business with a company, pay the final bill and get proof the balance with the company is zero and then print it out and throw it in the box.

So when you get that debt collector calling, you now have proof and can sue if they give you a problem. The one thing that will shut a company or debt collector up is proving you are right.

If you don’t do that then you have to do some research on hiring a credit company to help you. Or you can of course try to fix the situation yourself but if you don’t know how that industry works you can make the matter worse but restricting what the credit company could do before you “tried to fix it yourself”.

That’s it for this week, I hope you take this information to heart and read before you sign anything, it will give you so many less things in life to worry about. Life is good enough at causing issues without you adding to them.

* Want to learn more about how the credit system works?

Buy my book for easy to understand concepts of how credit works and how lenders look at you just email me today at: wayne@waynethecreditguy.com

Student Loan Credit Report Scam?

Ok, allow me first to say that the headline was just an eye catcher to get you to read this article/blog, it’s not like the government is TRYING to scam you.

Or was it?

Let’s break it down for you and everyone out there. As stated in the past at this point I have review approximately 16,000 credit reports in my now 11 years of experience of the credit repair/restoration/management industry.

What amazes me is when I come across a client who has listed 5-20 student loan accounts on their credit and they range from $200- 20,000.00. I have even seen some reporting on a credit file where no payments were ever made and showed what seemed to be a $70.00 loan.

REALLY?? A $70.00 student loan??

Why the department of education and the other student loan lenders out there do not consolidate the loans into one once school is complete is truly beyond me, OR at the very least once school is completed. Many times if a consumer is negligent in paying the bill due to whatever reason then the consumer now has 9 negative slow pays (if they have 9 accts reporting) on their credit which is DEVASTATING to their credit as opposed to if the accounts were consolidated into one account with the creditor.

The other thing to point out is we NEED to get consumers out there to identify this horrible potential to destroy their credit file and get PROACTIVE, after all knowledge is power!

So what can you do?

FIRST thing is to contact the lender and understand the first person you will talk to is a customer service representative who has little to no authority to do anything that can help you for what you truly need. You NEED to be proactive when approaching this situation.

Now this is not a knock against customer service representatives but in my experience the bad ones (meaning ones that don’t care) greatly outnumber the few goods ones out there.

In my experience I have never come across anyone who has made the job of customer service as a career. In my experience they are poorly trained (try googling Comcast customer service complaints) or they just don’t care as it’s a 9-5 job.

Most student loans are federally guaranteed by the department of education. But don’t expect them to be leaping to help you by any manner. Understand that this is your life and your responsibilities so you need to be proactive in this and as you’re the only one who truly gets affected by this so it’s in your hands.

Your credit score needs to be good in order to do this, typically a 660 on average. Check with your current bank to see if they offer student loan consolidation. If they do then have your credit reports with you and layout just how many active “student loan accounts”.

What you want to do is limit risk if something happens and eliminate the ability to let something slip by.

NOTE: I had a client one time who had three 150.00 student loan accounts they had no clue about. And then of course something slipped by and now they had 3 negative accounts reporting current 90 day late payments. Destroying their credit for at least a year and that is with credit repair help.

Now when you Consolidate loans typically you increase the length of time the loan is paid back which of course means smaller payments but MORE of them. So you need to look at this in the same way you look at a home loan.

If they give you a 30 year payment plan ask for a amortization schedule of the loan repayments so you can see exactly how much money every month is going towards principle and how much goes towards interest and at least now you have an idea where you money is going.

And with proper planning you can identity if you make 1 extra payment per year or a few dollars extra per month how much that can lower the total time frame of paying off the student loan.

SOME IMPORTANT FACTS:

  1. Depending on your career some allow your student loans to be greatly reduced and even forgiven. Click on the link below to see

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation

  1. You CANNOT discharge your student loan debt by filing bankruptcy as a whole, but there are cases where it can happen. Check out the link below to see some examples and if they correlate to you.

http://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/bankruptcy/

  1. Student loans can file to have a portion of your paycheck withheld as well as your tax returns. (Individual states may vary so check with yours).

NOTE: the links I have attached are for informational purposes only and I take no responsibility to their reliability. They are merely for a measuring stick to guide you some possible tools to help you the consumer.

Want to learn more about how the world of credit works? Contact me today and get my book in full blown color. No nonsense direct answers and easy to understand.

how the “Real world of credit” works. wayne@waynethecreditguy.com

And of course if you need some credit work to increase your credit score then call me today to discuss!