Consumer Credit Help
This site will provide you with recommendations on improving your credit and credit score, whether you are shopping for a mortgage, auto or consumer loan.
The resources on this site will help you to become better informed and provide you with a long term plan to maintain a good credit standing and/or improve your credit.
Where to Start
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers many FREE publications on Credit Reports and Scoring; including how to build a better credit report, deal with debt, spot credit-related scams and much more.
- If you suspect an error on your credit report, Credit Disputes can help you set things right. Click here to learn how, get a sample dispute letter and answers to frequently asked questions.
- You should first consider getting a copy of your credit report. You can obtain a FREE credit report from each bureau once per calendar year at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling toll free 877-322-8228, utilizing the automated system to request each bureau to mail your report to you, with just one call.
- The FCRA provides you the right to “Opt Out”, which prevents your credit information from being offer or sold to other companies not initiated by you. www.optoutprescreen.com for more information on opting out or call 1-888-567-8688.
- To Opt Out of LexisNexis: Regarding Liens and Judgment data reported by LexisNexis, if you as a consumer are at risk of harm, are a public official (including law enforcement) or a victim of identity theft, you may be eligible to opt-out of certain LexisNexis databases. You may contact LexisNexis directly to make this request at: https://optout.lexisnexis.com/
- Avoid foreclosure with tips from the Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
How to Freeze and Unfreeze Your Credit
|To place or remove a security freeze or request a PIN number:|
|Experian||call 888-397-3742 or www.experian.com/freeze|
|Trans Union||call 888-909-8872 or 800-680-7289|
|Equifax||To place a freeze 800-525-6285|
|To Temporarily lift a freeze -888-298-0045|
|To Permanently lift a freeze- must be done in writing|
*Please note: we can no longer accept PIN numbers from TransUnion and Equifax to pull in frozen bureaus
Secured Credit Card
Secured credit cards are a great option for people with poor, limited or no credit and are having difficulty in obtaining an unsecured credit card.
- Secured credit cards offer an alternative to unsecured credit cards, which involve more significant qualifications and requirements (e.g.: existing income, no track record of poor credit, etc)
- Secured cards provide full credit card functionality and assist in building credit history and/or improving credit score since payment activity is reported to the three major credit reporting agencies
Who should consider a secured credit card?
- Individuals who currently have or have had credit problems in the past and are therefore looking to improve their credit since it is often difficult for these individuals to receive approval for an unsecured credit card
- Recent immigrants or International applicants living in the US or abroad who are looking to establish credit in the US
- Students with a lack of credit history and want to increase their good credit, which can also be a great tool for budgeting school expenses.
There are two great options for obtaining a secured card. Click the links below to discover which card would suit you best:
Additional Consumer Resources
Mortgage Bankers Association of America – is the preeminent association representing the real estate finance industry.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – the mission of the CFPB is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans – whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.
Consumer Credit Disputes – Find out how to dispute inaccurate information on your credit report.
Consumer Information Center – a one-stop source for answers to questions about consumer problems and government services.
American Bankers Association – the ABA brings together all categories of banking institutions, including community, regional and money center banks and holding companies, as well as savings associations, trust companies and savings banks.
Federal Trade Commission – the Commission seeks to ensure that the nation’s markets function competitively, and are vigorous, efficient, and free of undue restrictions.
Fannie Mae – a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) chartered by Congress with a mission to provide liquidity and stability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets.
Freddie Mac – mission is to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the housing market.
Fair Isaac – leading provider of analytics and decision management technology
Bankrate – Guide to personal loans for bad credit
American Immigration Council – Get the facts about the Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
Debt Collection FAQ’s – A Guide for Consumers
NMLS Consumer Access – A free service for consumers to confirm that the financial-services company or professional with whom they wish to conduct business is authorized to conduct business in their state.
TED – Bringing together people from three worlds:Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED makes the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free.
Zite – Zite evaluates millions of new stories everyday, looking at the type of article, its key attributes and how it is shared across the web. Zite uses this information to match stories to your personal interests and then delivers them automatically to you iPad or iPhone.
Federal Housing Finance Agency – has some very good consumer links related to housing questions.
MyMoney.Gov – is the U.S. government’s website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401K, this website can help you maximize your financial decisions.