credit scores, credit services, secured and unsecured credit cards
Updated March 3, 2006
You can order FREE annual credit reports at http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ -- however, this will most likely result in the CRAs taking *** 45 *** days to process your disputes. Even if you also PAY for a report because you really need your results fast, they'll still take 45 days.
General notes - READ before your
+ Beacon Fair Isaac credit score + on-line disputes
(fka TRW) - On-line reports and disputes
- On-line reports and disputes
myFICO.com - The reports with the FICO scores
- tri-merged reports (not recommended, but only $1)
- the worst choice for credit repair
- how to improve your credit rating and scores
- credit scoring recommendations and legitimate disputes
orchardbank.com (Household Credit Services, Inc.)
Secured and unsecured M/C
One - Alert!!
Express - variety of business and personal cards
K7 - Get your FREE personal
VM/fax number to receive your faxes in your e-mail. Keep your
direct phone number private.
- You can order your credit reports on-line and DISPUTE
on-line in most states with all 3 bureaus.
- Credit reports are free if
- you live in Colorado, Georgia,
Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey or Vermont you are eligible for a free report
once a year
- you were denied credit,
insurance or other services based on THAT bureau's report
you were charged higher rates and fees or deposits
based on THAT bureau's report
- you certify in writing that either
you are unemployed and plan to seek employment in the next 60 days
- you certify in writing that you are a
you certify in writing that
you have been a victim of fraud
- starting this winter, you will be entitled to one free credit report per year. Please check the CRA websites for details
ways to get free reports.
- If you don't qualify for the free reports, the cost
for bureau reports is $10.00 except:
California residents $8.00
Minnesota residents $3.00
Virgin Island residents $1.00
- The credit bureaus often want you to provide them with
your current employer, phone number and all kinds of info
for resale and collectors.
do NOT have to provide this information. Send your name,
social security number and current address, and your check
if you're not qualified for the free report. SMUDGE
your driver's license number if you HAVE to send a copy
for ID and they don't have it already.
- Since credit bureaus
offer on-line reports AND disputes, I can't see why one
would order from resellers other than to get the reports with the FICO scores.
Don't order tri-merged reports, they are INCOMPLETE and are missing some of the most important data.
states that you can view the report only once, but you can
and dispute for about 90 days from the report date.
- You will NOT incur inquiries lowering your credit
scores when ordering directly from the credit bureaus or at myFICO.
NOT apply for Platinum and low rate credit cards if you know
you have credit problems. The inquiries will only lower
your credit scores.
Avoid Cross Country Bank and be very careful with Capital One.
My 9/17/04 submission to the Federal Reserve Board regarding credit reporting problems.
My 8/16/04 submission to the FTC regarding the credit scoring study mandated by Congress.
My CreditSuit blog
review the FICO scores, do NOT bother looking at bureau
and other SNAKE OIL credit scores.
The smoking gun - TU reports as GOOD
account to consumers - but gives lates to Fair Isaac
Union: watch for the "date closed" for charged off accounts,
it is rated as the last LATE payment by Fair Isaac even
if the account wasn't late in years.
DIFFERENCE in consumer v. creditor reports - the screenshots of the myFICO report with the derogatory data and the Experian consumer disclosure without the derogatory data - on the same day!
paying Capital One through Genus Credit Management
for almost 3 years, Capital One claims the payments barely
covered the interest ...
Creditors like Capital One can LOWER your credit score by NOT reporting your credit
your credit scores with AU (authorized user) accounts.
My small claims complaint against
Wells Fargo - now settled for deletion of the unauthorized inquiry
Announcement to creditors and
collectors - rev. 3/29/03 - OSI compliance interview
- how to improve your credit rating and credit scores
Equifax Score Watch
-- you get alerts when your score changes. This service is very helpful if you're working on improving your scores or researching scores.
-- Equifax offers several options for monitoring services.
Disregard the identity theft insurance benefit, it's worthless.
request your PIN.
- Use PrivacyGuard (see below) to monitor your reports and disputes
for 60 days
for $1 (don't forget to cancel) if you only need basic info.
- For serious credit work and if you need a score rated
mortgage, you need the FICO scores.
Do NOT buy the tri-merged report! It's missing important
data such as the DLA and is as incomplete as any consumer tri-merged reports I've ever seen.
To launch an investigation (dispute): 800-255-0801 9
AM to 5 PM, Mon - Fri EST The number above didn't work for one of my clients. So,
after a great deal of stress, she got these "secret"
800-290-8749 and 888-588-0688 to get to a PERSON.
Phone orders: 800-685-1111 credit card
and check order info and if you qualify for free or low cost
reports, delivered via US mail.
To order by mail:
Equifax Credit Information Services
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
"If you have questions about your order, please e-mail us
at firstname.lastname@example.org or
call us at 1-888-532-0179 Monday through Friday 8 AM - 8 PM EST"
Commission to BayHouse: 15%
30 day FREE trial:
Free Credit Report from
ALERT: DISREGARD their "Plus"
It is NOT the Fair Isaac score used by many lenders and required for most mortgages. They call it "Plus" score because it is often much higher than the FICO scores, so that consumers don't review their reports for errors. Following their recommendations may actually lower
your real FICO scores.
CreditExpert, the Experian monitoring service, only provides
very incomplete reports. The FCRA requires
that consumer disclosures are complete.
Important: To get a much more complete report directly
from Experian, go through the process
of ordering the "real" Experian report at CreditExpert
free of charge by following the instructions for online disputes.
You can actually view
and dispute for 90 days from the report date once you have the report number.
Get your free CreditExpert 30 day trial
only to get the Experian report with the report # free of charge.
Order by PHONE: 1-800-311-4769
reach a PERSON if you already have your report ORDERED
from Experian: 1-800-493-1058
opt out of direct marketing: 1-888-567-8688
Commission to BayHouse: None - on 3/1/04 I wondered why
I wasn't getting any more checks, and according to the affiliate
program, I'm blocked from accessing any CreditExpert material
and I haven't gotten paid since November.
Trans Union is also selling very incomplete reports.
Those reports are very
incomplete: NO date of last activity, only 2 years of payment history, and other
important data is missing. My recommendations:
- Purchase the report with the Fair Isaac score
This is the most complete report available, but it only contains
the "hard" inquiries as seen by creditors
Do NOT confuse their worthless proprietary credit scores sold through TrueCredit with the REAL Fair
Isaac Trans Union scores.
a PERSON if you already have your report:
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM MON - FRI
closed on weekends.
Fax for dispute documentation: TU no longer accepts
Trans Union LLC
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
Commission to BayHouse: none
myFICO.com - the reports with the FICO credit scores
The myFICO credit reports are supposedly contain the data the lenders get.
These reports are EXTREMELY difficult to read because the accounts are listed in random order and it's quite a challenge to see how an account is reported by all three CRAs.
The average report is over 30 pages long, often one account wastes over one page. I try not to print.
If you're serious about credit scores, you have to review the FICO reports.
To benefit, you must have a solid understanding of credit scoring and score factors and if you have more than 5 or so accounts, you better have a LOT of time to cut and paste into one page how each problem account is reported so that you can analyze how each bureaus reports.
More on credit reports
Save the reports to your computer:
Click on "print report", close the window asking whether you want to print and then save the report. Make sure the filename looks something like 11-7-05-Equifax--766.htm, i.e. have the date, bureau name and score in the file name so that you can later find it again. And of course save the files to a special directory. The key to successfully raising credit scores is to analyze how changes in your credit data affect the scores.
Commission to BayHouse: none
- for $1 you can get a 60 trial for their monitoring service
including unlimited free tri-merged reports - don't forget to
These reports are the ConsumerInfo.com (Experian owned) reports
and they are very incomplete: No date of last activity
and other important data is missing.
However, this is a cheap way to see any drastic changes such
as deletions or new accounts and hard inquiries. It is especially
helpful if you have been auto or mortgage shopping and you want
to see how the inquiries are coded. Although the best
way to see which inquiries count for FICO scores is to review
ALL scores provided by PrivacyGuard are the worthless
scores no lender uses - don't even waste your time to look
at them, and definitely don't pay for them.
Commission to BayHouse: none
- this "law firm" specializing in credit repair
is the worst choice you could make.
- You will NOT receive copies of your disputes and
they are known to dispute irreplaceable and extremely
valuable GOOD accounts!
- Lexington works off the INCOMPLETE tri-merged reports,
never looks at FICO credit scores and does not know
and does not care which accounts are legit.
Incompetence beyond believe.
Lexington, Bradley Ross and other credit repair companies
have been discussed extensively at the Fight Back!!!.
A poster at the Fight Back!!! Forum received her $450 refund!
You are MUCH better off doing your own disputes
as it takes LESS time and the results are the same or BETTER.
There is also a class action against Lexington and I'm aware of several individual suits.
Creditattorney.com is the same scam.
Why can I say these horrible things about them and they don't sue me?
Obviously, it's all true.
-- $45 for a 3-months subscription
The "members only" Reference &
What and how to dispute, analyzing credit reports
and FICO scores and score factors. How to get a 720+
FICO score 2 years after filing for bankruptcy.
On the other hand, the deletion of the only derogatory account, a paid charge-off,
lowered the score by almost 20 points to below 650.
That's how FICO scoring works and if your credit scores are important, you need to learn
how this crazy system works.
Credit Analysis - Credit review and recommendations.
Due to time constraints I prefer to work with "Credit
Activists" with few derogatory accounts as that's how
I document bugs in Fair Isaac's credit scoring software
and CRA credit reporting procedures. Lots of free info! -- How to analyze your reports yourself and how and what to dispute.
Orchardbank.com (Household Credit Services, Inc.)
Secured and unsecured M/C - minimum deposit
for secured cards $200
General guidelines for secured cards:
- Legal age in the state of your residence
- A telephone in your home
Please post reviews at CreditForum.ORG
Commission to BayHouse: none
One - ALERT!
- Capital One continually violates the FCRA by
NOT reporting the credit limit, possibly seriously
your credit scores
Do you know how to calculate your balance/limit ratio, one
of the most important factors for your credit scores?
detailed explanation and spreadsheet with the calculations.
- Capital One routinely ignores consumer
credit reporting disputes.
- Capital One accounting practices make Enron look good.
How does an account with a $200 limit and $100 deposit
turn into a $640 charge-off? Fees and 20.5% interest,
charged until you pay or hell freezes over:
Capital One - exempt from FCRA and Truth in Lending Act?
Katherine paid on their Cap One $3,000 charge-offs
3 years through Genus (now Amerix) credit counseling.
When they thought they
were done paying, Cap One informed them that their payments
barely covered the interest, as they had declined the Genus
proposal. Katherine had NO idea that the proposal was declined
because in those 3 years they didn't get a single statement
and Genus failed to advise them accordingly. Genus refused to
refund the payments and refused to refund the "voluntary"
paying Capital One through Genus Credit Management for
almost 3 years, Capital One claims the payments barely
covered the interest!
While the government is jumping through hoops for wealthy
investors, they do NOTHING for Capital One victims.
Reserve Bank of Richmond approved the Cap One practice of charging
interest after the charge-off while NOT sending statements.
No accounting is necessary when the victims are only working
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond ignored my complaint about
Capital One FCRA violations and business practices, and on 3/19/03 I filed my federal suit against
The complaint and the exhibits are published at CreditCourt.com.
Check the blog for more info on Capital One litigation
Blue from American Express -
American Express offers a variety of personal and business
According to postings at the BayHouse
Forum you can expect great service, but if you ever ended
up owing American Express or you discharged their account through
bankruptcy they'll never do business with you
again (don't bother to apply and get more inquiries for a certain
According to postings, the Optima secured card is NOT reported
to the CRAs.
Commission to BayHouse: $25 to $45 for each activated account.
Credit Cards - Auto Loans - Mortgages - Equity Loans -
"Get CASH back"
Commission to BayHouse: 10 cents per unique visitor and up to $3.00 for each completed application for Auto
products and $1.00 per completed application for Credit Card products.
numbers to keep your direct numbers private.
At k7.net you
can get your FREE voice mail/fax #. That's a great
service if you don't have a separate fax line and that number
is PERFECT to give to collectors and any other dubious characters.
You'll get a 206 (Seattle) area code - hopefully FAR from
your real location. You have to use it once a month or the number will be deactivated.
You can set up the service to get your faxes
and/or voice mails on their web site and/or have everything
forwarded to your e-mail. I still can't figure out
what the catch is, have used this better than paid for service
for years now.
There are many fax to e-mail paid services and I've been using Maxemail.com -
they have LOCAL numbers in many major cities and also offer
outgoing fax service.
Those fax services are FAR SUPERIOR to the slow, expensive and unreliable
USPS certified mailings - they provide you with an
independent automatic 3rd party VERIFICATION of receipt of
your fax - conveniently sent to your e-mail.
For your outgoing calls to collectors/creditors
who might trace your number, I recommend prepaid
calling cards. I've been using the Sam's Club prepaid AT&T
card while on the road for years, currently around 2.5 cents/min, Costco's MCI card is about
NEVER call toll-free numbers for delinquent accounts directly
from your home or office phone. Even if caller ID
is blocked, your number WILL be captured if you call a toll-free
Commission to BayHouse: None
Top of Page