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Dirty Little Secrets: What the Credit Reporting Agencies Won't Tell You


Got Credit Problems?
We’ve cracked the code on how to fix them.

What the credit bureaus don’t tell you can cost you thousands. Jason Rich unearths these dirty little secrets in this tell-all expose’ aimed at immediately improving your credit report. Whether you have credit problems, are trying to establish credit or want to improve your ...

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Dirty Little Secrets: What the Credit Reporting Agencies Won't Tell You

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Got Credit Problems?
We’ve cracked the code on how to fix them.

What the credit bureaus don’t tell you can cost you thousands. Jason Rich unearths these dirty little secrets in this tell-all expose’ aimed at immediately improving your credit report. Whether you have credit problems, are trying to establish credit or want to improve your credit score, this previously undisclosed advice can help you save hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars every month.

Industry insiders reveal trade secrets on how to:
• Quickly boost your credit score
• Get approved for credit cards, loans, or a mortgage and qualify for the best rates
• Remove damaging information and fix errors
• Negotiate with your creditors and reestablish your good credit
• Deal with significant debt
• Use online solutions and apps to better manage your finances and credit cards
• Avoid the most common financial and credit-related mistakes and more…

Overcome credit hardships and get back in control of your financial future!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599184999
  • Publisher: Entrepreneur Press
  • Publication date: 1/29/2013
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 823,742
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason R. Rich is the best-selling author of more than 37 books that cover a wide range of topics, including computers, eCommerce, personal finance, career-related topics, travel and entertainment. He also contributes regularly to major daily newspapers as well as national magazines and popular websites.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Preface: Discover Why Your Credit Rating Is So Important xiii

Introduction: Understanding How Credit Works Can Save You Money xix

Chapter 1 Determining Your Current Financial and Credit Situation 1

What Is Debt? 3

Determining Your Current Financial Situation 7

So, Where Do You Stand Financially? 20

Identifying Credit Mistakes You've Made in the Past 22

Setting Your Financial Goals and Objectives in Today's Economy 23

Your Financial Goals 24

What's Next? 28

Chapter 2 The Credit Reporting Agencies: Who They Are and What They Do 29

What Is a Credit Reporting Agency, Anyway? 30

In Their Own Words… 34

What's Next? 36

Chapter 3 Credit Reports 101 37

A Preview of How Credit Scores Work 42

What Is a Credit Report? 43

The Anatomy of Your Credit Report 46

How the Information on Your Credit Report Is Compiled 50

Who Can View My Credit Report? 52

Why Your Credit Reports Are So Important 53

What's Next? 56

Chapter 4 Solving Credit Score Mysteries 57

Prepare to Get a Bit Confused by Credit Scores 58

Understanding Credit Score Ranges 60

E = MC2 Is a Complex Formula… Your Credit Score May Seem Just as Complex 64

Credit Score vs. FICO Score: What's the Difference? 67

What's a VantageScore 2.0? 70

The Inside Scoop on FICO Scores from the Company that Calculates Them 71

What's Next? 81

Chapter 5 Obtaining Your Credit Reports and Credit Scores 83

How to Request Free Copies of Your Credit Report Annually 84

Obtaining Your Credit Report Online 85

Submitting Your Request by U.S. Mail 89

Requesting Your Free Credit Report by Telephone 92

The Cost of Obtaining Additional or More Frequent Credit Reports 93

What About Your Credit Score? 94

The Benefits of a Three-in-One Credit Report 95

You Have Your Credit Report, Now What? 98

What Your Creditors Have to Say About Your Credit Report 100

Figuring Out What Needs to Happen Next 104

Misconceptions and Bad Information Can Lead to Costly Mistakes 106

What's Next? 106

Chapter 6 How to Update or Fix Your Credit Report 109

Reviewing Your Credit Reports 110

The Types of Information That Can Be Removed from Your Credit Reports 113

How to Correct Errors Listed in Your Credit Reports 114

Initiating Disputes with the Credit Reporting Agencies 115

Negotiating with Your Creditors 119

Know Your Legal Rights as a Consumer 126

Working with a Credit Counseling Company 129

Meet Collections Expert Michelle Dunn 129

What's Next? 138

Chapter 7 Ten Strategies for Improving Your Credit Rating 139

Your Actions Always Impact Your Credit Worthiness 140

Strategies for Improving Your Credit Rating 140

Strategy 1 Pay Your Bills on Time, Every Time 141

Strategy 2 Keep Your Credit Card Balances Low 144

Strategy 3 Having a Long History Counts, So Don't Close Unused Accounts 146

Strategy 4 Only Apply for Credit When Needed, Then Shop for the Best Rates on Loans and Credit Cards 147

Strategy 5 Separate Your Accounts After a Divorce 148

Strategy 6 Correct Inaccuracies within Your Credit Reports and Make Sure Old Information Is Removed 150

Strategy 7 Avoid Too Many Hard Inquiries 151

Strategy 8 Avoid Bankruptcy, If Possible 152

Strategy 9 Avoid Consolidating Balances onto One Credit Card 153

Strategy 10 Negotiate with Your Creditors or Collection Agencies 154

Avoiding Credit Repair Scams 156

Learn How to Better Manage Your Finances and Expenses 159

Advice from a Credit and Debt Counseling Expert 160

What's Next? 170

Chapter 8 Credit Card Management Strategies 171

Credit Cards Can Be Your Best Friend or Biggest Credit Foe 172

What Are Credit Cards? 174

The Potential Benefits of Credit Cards 175

The Potential Drawbacks of Credit Cards 176

What to Consider Before Using a Credit Card 177

Types of Credit Cards 178

Using Credit Cards Intelligently 181

Credit Card Lingo You Should Understand 184

Shop Around for the Best Credit Card Deals 187

Managing Your Existing Credit Card Accounts 188

Take Advantage of Special Balance Transfer Offers 188

Should You Consider Debt Consolidation? 194

What to Do if Your Credit Card(s) Get Lost or Stolen 196

Advice from Experts Representing Three Credit Card Comparison Websites 197

What's Next? 211

Chapter 9 Finding and Obtaining the Best Rate on an Auto Loan 213

What Happens If You Don't Pay? 215

Understanding Your Credit History 215

Your Credit Reports and Credit Score Directly Impact Vehicle Financing 218

Shop Around for the Best Vehicle Financing Options 220

Vehicle Financing Options for People with Bad Credit 221

What's Next? 222

Chapter 10 Finding and Obtaining a Mortgage 223

Pre-Qualifying for a Mortgage Makes Sense 224

There Are Many Reasons to Pre-Qualify for a Mortgage 225

Finding a Mortgage Broker or Lender 227

What Is a Mortgage Broker? 228

Fewer Mortgage Options Are Available These Days 232

Money-Saving Strategies for Mortgage Shoppers 234

Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval 236

You're Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved, Now What? 240

What If Your Application Gets Rejected? 241

What's Next? 242

Chapter 11 All About Refinancing in a Tough Economy 243

How Recent Changes in the Mortgage Industry Will Impact You 244

Refinancing 101 247

Popular Reasons Why People Choose to Refinance 250

The Paperwork You'll Need to Refinance 255

Meet Greg McBride,'s Senior Financial Analyst 256

What's Next? 259

Chapter 12 Getting the Help You Need to Fix Your Credit Problems 261

Being too Proud to Ask for Help Can Lead to Worse Problems 262

Solutions for People with Credit and Financial Problems 264

Strategies for Finding a Qualified Financial Planner 267

Credit Counselors Are Available to Help You 269

Beware of Scams 273

Debt Consolidation May Be a Viable Option 275

Don't Be Afraid to Seek Help 276

Advice from a Certified Financial Planner 277

What's Next? 281

Chapter 13 Identity Theft and Bankruptcy: Two Credit Rating Killers to Avoid 283

How Many People Out There Are Posing As You? 284

Watch Out! Identity Theft Is the Fastest Growing Crime in America 284

How Criminals Obtain Your Private Information 285

You May Already Be a Victim of Identity Theft and Not Even Know It 287

What to Do if You Become an Identity Theft Victim 288

Consider Using An Identity Theft Prevention Service 289

Meet Todd David, CEO and Founder of LifeLock 290

Thoughts About Bankruptcy from an Attorney 295

What's Next? 300

Chapter 14 Managing Your Finances: There's an App For That 301 Is an Online and App Tool 305

Manage Your Credit Cards with a Smartphone App 307

Now It's Your Turn… 311

Glossary 313

Index 319

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