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Volume 5, Issue 4 May 2006
How Can I Improve My Credit Score?
This is the last article in a three part series. counts set up in your name by an identity thief. Before you
apply for a loan, you should verify the information in your
There are specific and strategic steps you can take right now credit report. If you find errors, you should correct them im-
to start increasing your credit scores. Even if you don’t think mediately. Here are the rules in sending dispute letters to the
you have credit issues it is always good to know what your credit bureaus:
creditors are saying about you. I discover errors in one out
of every seven credit reports I review. Rule 1: Make sure that you only send the letter to the
bureau(s) that is reporting the derogatory information: Not
• Start with the basics by ordering credit reports from Equi- all creditors report to all bureaus.
fax, TransUnion and Experian. These are the three major
credit bureaus to where most lending institutions report. You Rule 2: Send everything certified so that you can prove de-
are entitled under the law to a free copy of your credit report livery.
from these companies each year when you order it from An-
nual Credit Report Request Service. Rule 3: Include copies of any supporting documentation you
may have to support your claim.
To order, visit www.annualcreditreport.com, call toll-free
877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Re- Rule 4: Keep a log of activities is very important for suc-
quest Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request cessful credit repair. Email me for an example of a log you
Service, P. O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. can use .
You will have to pay an additional fee for the credit score Rule 5: Mail disputes to bureaus at their different addresses.
from each bureau. Scan your report for any errors. Is there an Each bureau has several addresses. If your first dispute
account that you didn't apply for? Is there a company report- comes back without change, send it to another address for
ing a debt that is inaccurate? Are all of your credit card limits that bureau. Call or email me and I will be happy to send you
reporting? Are your balances up-to-date? Are your name, the address list of credit bureaus.
birth date and Social Security Number correct? If there are
any errors on your report, no matter how small, they can lead • If you feel that the credit challenges you are facing are too
to big problems and inhibit you from obtaining credit and much, or if you don't have the time or stamina to do the
even keep you from getting the best interest rates on mort- homework necessary to get the ball rolling, then call or email
gage, auto or credit card loans. me, and I will assist you in reaching your goals.
• Start improving what you can immediately. Late payments Your credit score is extremely important to your current fi-
and delinquent accounts will affect your score negatively, so nancial well-being and the stability of your financial future.
take care of them. If you have a good relationship with your In fact, your credit score is really the key that can either open
creditor, call them to see if they'll work with you on remov- doors for you or lock them shut for several years. Credit
ing a late payment. If you have past due accounts, call your scores are also being used to determine auto insurance pre-
creditors to see if you can negotiate a better interest rate, miums and are sometimes reviewed when you apply for a
lower payments or make other arrangements to pay off your job. I am very committed to my effort to help you learn more
debt sooner. Also, don't carry high balances on your credit about both the importance of the score, as well as repairing,
cards. If you carry more than 30% of your limit every month, improving and maintaining your credit score. Feel free to call
this reflects negatively in your score. Don't charge what you me for a free credit consultation. As always, your recom-
can't pay off within 90 days, and don't max out your cards. mendation to others is the lifeblood for my business!
Dispute errors on your report. These can be human errors in Adapted from Why is Your Credit Score Important?
recording information from a creditor who reports to one of The question really is, “Why is ‘Good’ Credit Imperative?”
the credit bureaus. They could even be unauthorized ac- by Linda Ferrari, President, Credit Resources Corp.
Words from the Heart of a Child
Usually, I write my own column, but, this month thought things should be so Mom
I am making an exception. My daughter, Amy, is and I began to argue. However,
a guest columnist this month. Mom always won because
no matter now educated
In my 18 years of living, my and profound my point
mother has been many differ- was, Mom’s perspective
ent women in my eyes. She always won. You’d think
began as only my security and she actually knew
is now the woman who I hold something about life!
in the highest regard. This is how
this change has come to be: Now, my mother is one of the wisest women I
know. I know I can tell her anything because she
Though I do not remember how I thought of my takes me seriously. She always seems to pull
Mom as a very small child, I do know from ob- through in sticky situations. But above all, I can
serving my younger siblings that Mommy was finally grasp just a fraction of how much my
the ONLY one who could keep me happy. A mother loves me. This quote captures my
family friend used to provide daycare for my mother’s love for me perfectly:
parents until I was about five months old. After
finding out that my daycare provider was trau- “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it
matized by my screaming all day, everyday, does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is
Mommy promptly quit her job to stay home with not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
me. I was only to be consoled while in my Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with
mother’s arms. She was my protector, guarding the truth. It always protects, always trusts, al-
me from anything that posed a threat to my exis- ways hopes, always perseveres. Love never
tence and comforted me when I was upset. fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 The Bible
As an elementary student, Mommy was the love
of my life. Any words of praise would melt me This is my mother’s love. I know I can trust this
in any circumstance. I lived for those words of love because no matter what I have done or said,
affirmation. She had the COOLEST ideas for my mother has never wavered from those perma-
crafts which I created religiously during this nent principles.
time. She did my hair perfectly and in my eyes,
she was the most beautiful woman I knew. If it
were up to me, Mommy should have been June Mother’s Day Quotes
Cleaver. On the other side of this bliss, Mommy “My mother was the most beautiful woman I saw.
was also to be feared greatly. Whenever I re- All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my
belled, there was no possible way I could avoid success in life to the moral, intellectual and physi-
the “wrath” of Mom. cal education I received from her.”
As an AWKWARD preteen, Mom
suddenly became very un-cool. “Nobody knows of the work it makes to keep a
home together. Nobody knows of the steps it
She wore the dorkiest clothes and
takes, nobody knows-but Mother.”
was constantly embarrassing me Anonymous
in very important social situa-
tions. I couldn’t believe I was “Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship
related to that woman! At this fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.”
stage in life, I began to form my Oliver Wendall Holmes
own opinions about the way I