Rebuilding Your Credit the Right Way

Repairing your credit is the first step in rebuilding credit. To bring up your score, it takes patience, dedication and a willingness to change your ways. Credit scores are based on credit history. This means creditors will look at several years’ worth of your credit history to determine whether you are a good credit risk. You know you need to have a healthy credit score to get the things you want in life. In fact, your credit score affects all aspects of your life.
  • Without a good score you will struggle to get loans or will likely pay high interest rates on car loans, home loans and even personal loans.
  • You will pay higher auto and homeowner’s insurance rates.
  • Paying high interest rates take money directly out of your pocket and affects what you can buy today, including things like groceries.
  • Ability to secure a lease on your dream apartment will be impacted. Low credit scores may keep you from renting an apartment or home without having a co-signer.

When you are short on cash, because you are paying high interest rates on various loans and credit cards, you are tempted to rely on credit cards to buy day-to-day items. This creates a dangerous cycle that can leave you swimming in debt and struggling with the monumental task of rebuilding credit.

Why is rebuilding your credit so important and how does it help your credit score?

  • Establishing credit is one of the ways you can increase your credit score. You need to prove your ability to make payments on time
  • Rebuilding credit is crucial to achieving goals you may have like buying your dream home, owning a new car or even securing a loan to send your child to college.
  • You never know when you may need to take out a line of credit to pay for medical bills or elective procedures like braces for your child.

There are many benefits to rebuilding your credit that will make your life a little easier.

  • Confidence and peace of mind knowing you can buy the things you need in life without worrying about a poor credit score holding you back.
  • Getting lower rates on insurance, car payments and other financed items puts more money in your pocket to put into your savings account.
  • Freedom to choose the best loan with the best rates available instead of taking whatever you can get.

Life is stressful enough without worrying about a low credit score. You need credit from time to time to get the things you want most out of life. Rebuilding credit is something that can be done. With the 10 strategies outlined in rebuilding your credit report, you can achieve that healthy score you have longed for. You won’t have to worry about being denied credit and being forced to do without. It is time to make a change for the better and start doing what you can to take back control of your credit.

Aren’t Credit Bureaus Supposed to Protect Us…

I have worked as a paralegal in many aspects of the legal field for over 10 years, and working on various bankruptcy cases I’ve learned many things involving the credit industry. Many people are under the assumption that going to an attorney for their credit issues will protect their rights, but this is wrong. Attorneys are trained in bankruptcy law and collection practices, but very few learn the ins and outs of the rights consumers have and how they can be protected prior to any court intervention.

You should always work on your credit and have errors corrected and/or removed before filing for bankruptcy for two main reasons. First, some attorneys charge by the number of accounts they will be “discharging” for you. Second, once you file for bankruptcy, you have automatically verified all your debts, whether they can be legally collected on or not. Unless you verify your accounts, especially collection accounts, the credit bureaus are not going to correct or delete them all together. Many attorneys are trying to process as many bankruptcies as possible, and will not bother to verify the accounts before filing. They will go by the accounts listed on the credit report and process the case accordingly.

Credit repair does not have to be done by an attorney, but there are several attorneys that will go the extra mile for a client before advising them to go down the bankruptcy route. Using a reputable credit consultant is advisable but finding one with integrity might be difficult. We have been conditioned to believe credit repair is not legal and many engage in shady practices. A reputable credit consultant will give you a contract of services, they will not guarantee results, has a cancellation clause in the contract and does not conduct illegal practices like purchasing trade lines for your report.

Credit bureaus and creditors pay large sums to advertise that credit repair is illegal, but don’t believe the hype. Credit repair is LEGAL and regulated under the 1996 Credit Repair Organizations Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 1679-1679j), and these organizations/companies use the 1970 Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 USC § 1681 et seq) to repair a client’s credit file. These laws have been around for decades, but big bucks are paid to have you think credit repair is illegal and that nothing but time can fix your credit.

If you are interested in saving money by working on your credit file, correcting errors and improving your credit scores, contact me and schedule an appointment today.

Finding Time

One of the biggest problems I have, and most other business owners, is finding the time to get things done. With hectic schedules revolving around our jobs, family life and personal duties, it’s a miracle things get done at all. It can be overwhelming and at times I want to give in because it is easier to quit and just continue life without worrying about getting certain things done.

Being a single mom, running two businesses, working a 9-5, really a 9-whatever, and taking care of my dad who has epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, is really hard, but my daily to-do lists are what keep me going. Just so you know, I never get everything done on my list, that is impossible with so many interruptions that arise throughout the day. The to-do list is only a guide for me in which I have prioritized the tasks I have for the day and week. I can get all of the important things done and a few of the other minor items that pose no urgency. I always write down my daily as well as weekly tasks. I do this in case a miracle occurs and I actually get everything done. This has never happened, but I prepare for it anyways. It’s my goal to get everything done and I know eventually I will. I’m just not at that position yet.

I’ve heard people say that if you are not completing everything in your task list, you are getting easily distracted by outside factors affecting performance and/or output. This is wrong as life is unpredictable and you must be fluid in how you get things done. You have to account for the unexpected, especially when you have children. These unexpected factors are what gets you prepared for other situations, as these are the times we tend to learn best.

In business, clients are also your children, and as such, they are equally unpredictable. When you provide a service for someone, they expect your undivided attention, and that’s okay since they are paying for your time. Scheduling and writing down your daily tasks can help keep you sane in a very unpredictable world. Eventually, your to-do list will take into account these unexpected situations, and you will be prepared, time wise, to deal with it effectively.

Writing down your to do list is the first step in ensuring you get everything done. Our brains work in mysterious ways, and writing things down, setting our daily goals and tasks, helps provide some form of accountability. Sometimes you only need that push or nudge to get things done. I’m very visual and being able to cross an item off of my to-do list gives me the psychological motivation I need to get another item done and crossed off. The act of crossing off the item fills me with a feeling of accomplishment and self worth.

The hardest part is finding the motivation to get the first item crossed off the list. Being the business owner, usually there is no one pushing you and providing the motivation necessary to complete the tasks at hand. As the business owner, you motivate your staff, or at least you should be, setting yourself up as a leader and not just a boss. Once that first item comes off, the rest is down hill from there. Like I said before, I never get everything done, but everyday I push through another barrier and hopefully one day I will be able to get all things done and still have time leftover for me….hey an entrepreneur can dream.

Business Structures: What is Best For Your Business

As a business consultant, I am always asked the question “what’s the best business structure?” My first response is it depends what kind of business do you have and how do you want to pay the taxes for the business. There are four (4) basic structures a business can have: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or corporation.

A sole proprietorship is the simplest and cheapest structure a business can have. It’s a single individual that can start the business by filing a “doing business as” or DBA certificate with county clerk or other city official, but it is not necessarily required. You can just start working and file your business profit and loss statement or Schedule C with your personal taxes. Under this business structure, you are liable for all expenses, law suits, etc., incurred for the business.

A partnership is the same as a sole proprietorship, but it involves two individuals or more as heads of the business. There’s usually a partnership agreement amongst the parties involved and liability is shared equally. Partnership income is filed under Form 1065 and included when filing your personal taxes.

A corporation is a business entity formed separated completely from the corporate shareholders. It is formed by filing the appropriate documents with the state and paying the required fees. It is recognized as an “individual” by the IRS and it is given an employee identification number (EIN) or tax identification number. The corporate shareholders are protected from being liable for the expenses, law suits, etc., incurred by the corporation. Depending on the type of corporation the business has elected to file its taxes under, determines the way the corporate income is taxed. If the business is filing as a C-corporation, the corporation pays taxes on the corporate income as a whole and the shareholders subsequently pay taxes on their share of the corporate income, a sort of double tax. If the business elects to file as an S-corporation, the taxes paid are through the shareholder’s personal tax return, like a partnership/sole proprietorship, using Form 1120S. All corporations are required to continuously file forms with the state, including but not limited to, shareholder meeting minutes, elections, biennial statements, etc.

A limited liability company (LLC) is a cross between a corporation and a partnership/sole proprietorship. An LLC provides the protection a corporation provides its shareholders from liability, but it is taxed like a partnership/sole proprietorship. An LLC is also simpler to manage as it does not require to file company forms with the state, on a continuous basis, like a corporation does.

Deciding on a business structure is a difficult decision, but it’s never permanent. You can always change your business structure, provided the correct forms are filed with the state. The beauty of being the business owner is that you pick what you want. Some businesses are better as corporate entities because of the protections offered by the corporate veil, but ultimately it is your choice. As a consultant, I always push my clients towards a corporation or limited liability company because of the protections it offers its shareholders or members. You should always protect yourself from any and all litigation and financial obligations of the business, especially in this highly litigious society we live in.

After deciding on your business structure, you are ready to get the business and all your ideas down on paper, check out the business must haves for your business to succeed.

SO YOU WANT TO BUY PROPERTY

buying propertyEveryone, at one point in their life, wants to purchase property. Whether it’s your first home or an investment property, the procedure is always daunting as the rules and requirements are constantly changing, especially after the economic crisis of 2008.

Before you start to prepare to buy property, you must decide what kind of property you want to buy. A house, condo, co-op, mobile home or even a boat. All have the basic common expenses like mortgage, insurance, property taxes and water charges, but some have additional fees necessary because of the kind of property it is. Examples of these charges are housing association fees, board fees, storage room fees, carport fees, amenities fees, parking fees, pier/docking fees and maintenance fees, to name a few. Also keep in mind that your insurance rates will also be based on the kind of property being purchased.

Once you have decided what kind of property you want to purchase, you must do a “credit freeze”. You don’t have to actually freeze your credit file, but you shouldn’t apply for any new credit, not even for a car, for at least twelve (12) months prior to you making the purchase. Opening new lines of credit can hurt your credit scores. Every time your credit is checked by a lender/creditor, a new inquiry gets added to your credit reports, regardless of approval. If the credit is granted, you are increasing your financial liability. Too many lines of credit makes you look vulnerable to lenders, always remember, you are judged by what’s in your credit reports.

You should work on your improving your credit file. Mortgage rates can fluctuate depending on the number of charge-offs, collection accounts, late payments and other negative information that can be found in your credit reports. Working with a credit consultant can help you achieve an optimal credit file by making plans and setting you up with financial goals. The credit consultant will assist you in clearing as much erroneous and incorrect information off your credit reports as possible, as well as teach you how to set up a budget and plan that works around your specific situation. With good credit and scores, you can receive low mortgage and insurance rates, the biggest monthly expenses a homeowner has. Why not ensure you receive the best rates possible by hiring a credit consultant to help you.

The credit consultant will also help you find ways to save additional money every month. Even if you are financing the purchase 100%, you must always be prepared for any incidental costs that may arise from the purchase. As a paralegal for over 15 years, I have seen real estate transactions fall apart at the closing table because the buyer could not pay for a certified land survey, they had open parking violations that had to be paid before the documents are signed, or there was a shortfall in the financing and the gap could not be covered. As a buyer, you are taking on a huge responsibility and as such you must be prepared for anything.

Buying property is a very rewarding experience and at that moment in the closing, when those keys are handed to you, a feeling of accomplishment and pride flows through you. It’s an incredible feeling, one that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. If you are a future home buyer and want to discuss your credit, please feel free to contact me.

Just Because its Bigger, Doesn’t Mean its Better

big not betterCredit repair companies are looked upon with a skeptical eye as many have been led to believe that credit repair is illegal and only time can repair your credit. This is not true and the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you the right to challenge incorrect information in your credit reports. Why wouldn’t you challenge information in your credit reports that are reflecting negatively on your credit worthiness. There are many credit repair companies out there, but not all provide the same level of service.

Not too long ago, someone reached out to me with questions about credit repair. I was shocked to find out that he had signed up with a large, and very well-known repair company, over a month had passed yet he had not heard a thing from them. Our turnaround time is less than a week, and we get started immediately on your analysis and disputes. The credit repair process takes time when done legally; hence, the faster you begin the process, the quicker the results.

Also, credit repair is not only disputing negative items in your credit reports, establishing good credit at the same time is essential for the process to work. Knowing when and how to establish new and good credit history is something Martinez Consulting Services teaches, as well as other credit habits that should be implemented in order to achieve financial goals and independence. Learning how to use credit correctly will help raise your scores and credit worthiness in the eyes of creditors and lenders, placing you in a position where you can purchase your dream home, dream car, send your kids to the college of their choice or take that dream vacation without leaving you destitute. The possibilities are endless if you take control of your credit and finances today. To request information or to get started, please send your contact information with preferred method and time of contact to Lmartinez964@optimum.net.

Other Services we Offer:

Notary Services

  • Mobile Notary
  • Apostille Services
  • Signing Agent Services

Business Services

  • Business Formation
  • Licensing/Permit Application
  • Consulting Services
  • Credit Services

Individual Services

  • Document Preparation
  • Typing Services
  • Credit Repair/Analysis
  • Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant (For attorneys only)

The Time is Now – Repair Your Credit Today

FullSizeRenderWelcome to a new year. A time to start over and a time to fix our past errors. One of the biggest mistakes people often make is not taking care of their credit. Whether noticeable or not, credit affects our day to day lives, regardless of using the credit or not. Knowing how to use credit correctly can open many doors, like:

  • Better rates on mortgages and refinances
  • No or low interest rates on credit cards
  • Lower rates on car loans
  • Better insurance rates, whether life, auto, etc.
  • Positive results on job screenings that perform credit checks
  • Better housing options

Having good credit is important and you need to stay on top of it. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to dispute all inaccurate, erroneous and obsolete information. Information being reported that is wrong can be legally removed from your credit reports. This goes for anything and everything, including but not limited to:

  • Foreclosures
  • Student loans
  • Late payments
  • Bankruptcies
  • Repossessions
  • Child support
  • Charge offs
  • Public records
  • Collections
  • Judgements
  • Tax liens

Martinez Consulting Services will help repair your credit and teach you the necessary tools to help you achieve your credit goals, whether it’s to be debt free, buy a house, buy a car or take that dream vacation. The possibilities are endless if you take control of your credit and finances today. To request information or to get started, please send your contact information with preferred method and time of contact to Lmartinez964@optimum.net.


 

Other Services we Offer:

Notary Services

  • Mobile Notary
  • Apostille Services
  • Signing Agent Services

Business Services

  • Business Formation
  • Licensing/Permit Application
  • Consulting Services
  • Credit Services

Individual Services

  • Document Preparation
  • Typing Services
  • Credit Repair/Analysis
  • Translation Services (Spanish/English)
  • Fingerprinting

Lorraine Martinez
Mobile Notary, Business and Certified Credit Consultant
Martinez Consulting Services Corp.
P.O. Box 506
Bronx New York 10459
347-947-0084 Tel/Text
800-957-4405 Fax
Lmartinez964@optimum.net

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