I will divide the potential negatives on a credit into 4 different types.

1        30 days lates, 60 day lates….etc

2        Collection or charged off accounts

3        Third party collection accounts

4        Judgments etc

Today I will talk about late payments. Let us start with the 30 day lates.

The basic idea is to request the creditor to remove the 30 day late, almost in an apologetic tone. “I made a mistake and it will not happen again”……sort of thing.  Most likely a misinformed rep will tell you that they have to report for 7 years or so. Strictly speaking that is NOT true.  So if it does not work over the phone the first time around, call again and write again.

Ideally, if you have had an account with the company for the past couple of years and this is just a random late, it is most likely to be removed. The further away you are from that scenario the harder it will be to get the late removed. Please understand, and this point is a basic credit repair lesson, if it does not work ones try again after some time. Not everything will work, all the time. In the case of a 30 day late, write a nice letter explaining to them that it was a minor mistake and it will not happen again. Yes, a NICE letter might do the work. Companies want to keep a good customer happy. In the next couple of weeks  I might post some sample letters.

60 to 120 day late:

Again if you had an account that was basically paid up completely with some 60-120 day lates than it would be relatively easy to remove the lates. The further away you are from this scenario the harder it will get but again that should not deter you from trying. Remember the opportunity cost of your time. At the end only you know if it is worth pursuing. Having said that, I have seen some great cases of credit repair. I am convinced that you should try to remove all of the negatives from your credit.

In the case of 60 day lates your communication (letters or phone conversation) should be with an air of cool assurance. You should inquire about the nature of the lates. The company should feel that you know what you are talking about and would be willing to take things further if the need arises. Hence you might want to reference FCBA. Remember the account is NOT yet in collections and so you can not refer to FDCPA (review my previous articles for definitions of FCBA etc).  If you are on the phone with them have all your information on a piece of paper infront of you, giving them an  impression that you are some one that is prepared.

The way I see it, if you get the gist of personal credit repair you can basically make your own credit repair plan.

One very important point is that you only inquire about the details of the  lates. At no point do you agree or disagree with the 60-120 lates. That is one of the differences of this and the “30 day late” removal approach.

It is very difficult for me to go into minor details in an article format but that is basically what the approach is about. Do not come across as apologetic in your inquiry of a “60-120 day late” and of course save any and all correspondence. I might post some sample letters on the website and that might give you a better understanding.

Next article….collection accounts.

Credit repair made easy. I have been requested to write some on personal credit repair so my next few articles will be on that topic. I will come back to business credit after a while. In the mean time you are always welcome to ask me a question on business credit.

All I can give you is a solid foundation in personal credit repair. These articles will not go into detail. I would like to think that it will give you a better understanding of the credit repair concept. At the end you will be able to make your own credit repair plan.

FCRA: Fair Credit Rating agency. ALL of the information that is reported on your credit is regulated by FCRA.

FDCPA: Federal Debt collection practice Act regulates all collection activities.

FCBA: Fair Credit Billings Act: Its purpose is to protect consumers from unfair collection Practices. Hence you will refer to them when dealing with collection agencies.

If you notice there is a sort of over lap since FCRA regulates ALL the information that is reported on your credit. For the real technical ones among you , you might want to read copies of each of these acts !

To keep it simple, if you want to inquire about the authenticity of collection accounts, in anyway, you would refer to (or reference) FCRA. If any company is crossing the line in their collection efforts , you would refer to the FDCPA. Of course it can get as complicated as you want it to get but for now lets keep it simple.

A crash course in personal credit repair:

This might make many of you yawn but I feel it is good to lay a solid foundation first. Your credit score is dependent on certain factors. These factors effect your score in different degrees:

35% of the score is influenced by the Account history

30% – usage (the less the usage the better it is)

15% – length of credit.

10% – New inquires

10% – Variety (different types of credit).

The important thing is to realize the relative ratios and not the exact figures.

So, lets say, if your account history is “bad” (again a relative term) it will have a 35% effect on your credit score and so on. Everything on your credit basically falls within one or more of the above factors. Any steps that you carry out would be geared towards influencing one or more of the above criterions.

Personally I think we should all invest in some kind of credit monitoring service. Truecredit is one such service. What you have to realize is that the credit score provided by most of these services is not a FICO score. Most of the times they have their our methods to calculate the score. The main purpose of such a service would be to monitor changes in your report in a more or less timely manner. Removed inquires, paying off debt, fraud alerts ALL will (or should) show up on your credit a little after you make these changes. That will tell you if your credit improving actions are taking effect.

I will give you an example of an old credit improving technique. Apply for a secured loan. Go to (or call) a bank and ask them if they offer secured loans and what is the minimum amount that they will accept, you do not want a bank that will only offer a $2000 (or more) worth of secured credit, unless your budget allows it. Now instead of taking 6 months to pay off the loan, pay it all off in like 6 – 8 weeks. Than apply for another secured loan, try a different bank with slightly different terms (loan amount, length of loan etc). Again pay if off in 6 – 8 weeks. Do this 3 – 4 times and your score will shoot up more than if you apply for one secured loan and pay it off in 6 months.

Let us analyze this example: The technique will basically effect the usage (30% of the credit score) especially if it is a larger loan. It will also effect history (35% of the score) and since we are getting a number of loans it will effect variety (10% of the score). So overall, after all the loans are paid off your credit score will increase.

Needless to say that UCC filings have a similar effect. They “add” variety, account history and CAN even add length of credit . Plus you can file more than one UCC even on your personal credit. As long as you do not over do it. If your total previous credit history is like $7000.00 and a UCC appears on your credit that is for $100,000.00, it will look out of place to say the least. Anyway, using many of these techniques initially your score will go down but as the traitlines come off, the score shoots up.

Next article I will talk about how to remove negatives from your credit report. The negatives include late payments, collection accounts etc (that is “account history”).

It constantly amazes me how many small business owners do not have a clue about business credit. We all know that one of the biggest challenges of a small business is the lack of financing. Some time in the first couple of years the lack of capital/financing kills most businesses. Something like 95% of new businesses close in the first couple of years.

Now I do understand that setting up a business, hiring staff, keeping the books, running the day to day operations of a business leaves little time for anything else. But considering the overwhelming number of businesses that close up due to lack of financing, does it not make sense to learn about business credit BEFORE even opening up a business.

On of the problems is that business owners  assume that once they get their business operating at a certain level they will have no problem getting business credit. Everything will fall into place.


To that all I will say is “Most businesses close-up in the first couple of years due to lack of financing” – excuse me for repeating myself.

Getting the appropriate business credit education is a MUST even before opening a business. Knowing how to secure financing before the lack-of-financing flood, is intelligent business planning.

The amazing thing is that business (& personal) credit is not all about having great cash- flow,  that is like saying personal credit cards are only for people with stable jobs. Ok, that might not be a good example. My point is business credit has many facets to it, cash – flow is only one of them. I have seen people set up business cash lines of credit with very little in business operations. Similarly, I have seen business with enormous operations run into problems getting financing. To take it to another extreme, a person can set-up a number of shelf-corps  complete with cash lines of credit that can be sold for profit. All done completely legally.

Of course UCC filings is just one aspect and can be effective by itself but it is just one piece of the puzzle.A good SIC code, dealing with Dun & Bradstreet, other public filings, “padding” your file (etc) all help in getting business credit.

Please just realize that the credit world, especially the business credit world, is not just for the select few.

Stay tune for updates.

Thank you.


How to improve your chances of getting credit from large banks like HSBC, Citibanks and others:One of your ultimate aims, as far as business credit, is to get revolving cash lines of credit. As you build your credit file you will have credit offerings mailed to you. I would strongly suggest to ignore these offers. At the early stages you want to nurture your file and  not burden it. You are likely to get approved by some of these banks but it will slow your progress later on. Your goals should be higher.

We all agree that not all banks are the same as far as their lending practices. Some banks are more conservative than others.  Lets take Citibank.  Citibank is probably one of the most dominant banks when it comes to starter revolving accounts. It stands to reason that you would want your business noticed by them. Did you know that Office depot, Home Depot, Staples, Dell, Sears, RadioShack are all backed by Citibank.  First registering with these companies and eventually getting some type of credit with some of them will certainly put you high up on Citibanks list. As a result your chances of getting lines of credit with Citibank will increase.

Similarly;  Walmart, Lowes and are backed by GE Money bank. Walmart, Lowes and all offer some type of credit that is worth pursuing if one of your aims is to get lines of credit with GE Money bank.In a few days I might get some more names of banks with their associated vendors and list them on this website. Also,  names of banks that are high up on my list as far as eventually getting cash lines of credit.In a few days I might get some more names of banks with their associated vendors and list them on this website. Also,  names of banks that are high up on my list as far as eventually getting cash lines of credit. Getting business credit established as soon as possible means “aligning” the business so the process flows in a smooth progression, leading up to banks giving you cash cards.


Here is a situation that is not uncommon these days :

An individual that has a couple of maxed out credit cards and a few collection accounts. The cumulative debt is not large enough to file bankruptcy. Bankruptcy should be the last option anyway. That basically is the story of his/her personal credit.

We all know that the collection accounts can be negotiated down if enough time has elapsed. Of course you still would have to come up with the money but it will be a lot less. In most cases you can also work out a payment plan.That leaves you with the maxed out credit on your credit report.

One good way to get positive credit history on your credit (that will result in increased credit score) is to get another credit card or loan. I think it is fair to say that in this economy it is tough to get much credit increase, even if you have decent credit. Years ago one could become an authorized user on someones credit card and add positive credit history, that would certainly help you in this situation. Only problem is that becoming an authorized user does not have the same effect on your credit like it used to. The other option is to borrow money from family or friends to pay off your debt. Mixing family with business is not always a good strategy.

There is another way. Public filings, especially in the form of UCC filings. Credit bureaus are connected to a public filing database that updates periodically (varies by state). They automatically receive all liens and bankruptcy information after it is filed at the county, state or federal level. You can actually file a certain document indicating that you have incurred a debt. Credit bureau will pick it up and as a result it will (one way or another) appear on your credit report. This is another way to add positive credit history. This results is your credit score increasing since a positive credit history appears on your report.

Please understand that this is a completely legal method and is very effective. Of course there is a certain amount of detail to it but at the end it is as simple as I make it sound.

Ever wonder how certain property managers and cars sales people mange to get liens on your credit. This is what they are really doing. A few of the more knowledgeable credit gurus file two or more of these public filings on their clients credit report to increase the credit score. Of course they charge enough money for it and never reveal what they are really doing.

The amazing thing is that even if you have filed bankruptcy you can use this method to quickly add lines on your credit report. Having two such lines on your report plus one secured cards (as an example) will quickly add positive credit history.

As a side note: Small amounts of credit is NOT that hard to get a little after filling bankruptcy. If you default on a debt, a collection agency can go after you for many years (depending on your state) . However, if you file bankruptcy most of the debt that falls under the bankruptcy can NOT be collected. Now, AFTER a bankruptcy you can not file for another bankruptcy for another 6 years or so. This gives lenders the satisfaction of knowing that if you default on their loan and you just filed bankruptcy they WILL be able to go after you for many years to come. As you might know that a judgment is likely to be filed against you and there is a chance that they will deduct your pay check or bank account. So getting some credit after filing bankruptcy is not that hard. Gentle readers there is always a come back.

Going back to public filings: In a nutshell this method that we are advocating eventually has the same effect (even if indirect) as getting a loan and gradually paying off the loan. We truly believe that this remains one of the best kept secrets of credit improvement.

Debt, good or bad (fortunately or unfortunately) is a VERY important part of modern everyday life. Either learn to use it or forever be a victim of it.

Public filings- UCC filings work both for personal and business credit.


Credit repair & credit improvement using UCC filings:

Any document that is filed with your state is considered a public filing.  That document is now public knowledge. Anyone can search through these public records and find these documents/information.

Credit bureaus are connected to a public filing database that updates every 24- 72 hours . They automatically receive all liens and bankruptcy information after it is filed at the county state or federal level. Ever wonder how some car salespeople and certain property managers mange to get things to appear on your credit report !

UCC stands for Uniform Commercial code. UCC filings is a VERY powerful tool in improving both business and personal credit.

The amazing thing is that most people do not know about this technique. Most people do not even know that you do NOT need a lawyer to incorporate a business. Lawyers might charge you up to 4 times more than if you incorporate yourself. There are many such examples, lawyers being paid for something that can easily be carried out yourself. You will be amazed how easy some of these things are.

Moreover the purpose of UCC filings is NOT to build credit – the credit building part is a by-product. If you really think about it, most credit building methods are just that.

What you have to understand about UCC filings is that they are not new. Public filings, in one shape or form, have always been around. UCC filing basically shows  the public that a collateral is being held between parties for an agreement between the parties. So if I get into a monetary agreement with you I can file a UCC to give details of the collateral that will secure that agreement.. Of course when the UCC is filed it will  be public knowledge and any good data collection agency or credit bureaus will pick that up. That is when the “fun” starts.

For now, long story made short, UCC is a form of public filing that will help you develop both your business and personal credit. As the  collateral is released and the UCC eventually terminated your credit will improve. This is true for both personal and business credit.

Personally I think that this method will work for another 1 to 2 years max. I believe that this “loop-hole” (for the lack of a better word) will eventually close.  Remember at present anyone can file a UCC and the requirements are not that hard to meet. This is very similar to when people could improve their credit by becoming authorized users of another persons credit card. Even if they had bad credit a mere phone call would make them authorize users. I remember witnessing a person build a 5 year credit history by getting his friend to make him an authorized user on one of his cards. Of course the “trick” became common practice and now that method is obsolete. You can still become an authorized user BUT it does not effect your credit the way it used to. There is a good chance that UCC filings would follow the same pattern but for now I believe that any intelligent person should make full use of this method.  Knowing the law and than using the law is the “way” of the corporation. Both personal and business credit can be improved using UCC filings.

As usual I could have gone into detail but for now I want you to understand that public filings play a big part in business credit. Also, UCC filing effect both business and personal credit. Remember you heard it first from us !


I know, I know I guess that is an attention grabbing, “shock treatment” headline. Not true – true but there is one area that both these establishments seem to excel in.

Last week I spoke about the power of corporation in  our country. Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) is one of the biggest credit reporting agencies. They database information about companies (corporations etc) that do business with certain vendors and creditors. D&B also creates a file for your business and gives you a score once you have three trade lines that report. A trade line is similar to a credit line (secured or unsecured) in your personal credit (more of which later). Almost all  lending institutions use this business file as a part of their decision making process. The file is actually a critical part of the lending process.

As an example: Say you started a corporation and are now buying goods from certain vendors plus you have a lease agreement that is registered with the county clerk. Both these pieces of information will appear on your business credit report. D&B goes even further  in its search than most other bureaus. In fact  WHAT D&B looks at and considers is one of the big secrets of developing a fool proof business credit file. A file that will eventually get banks mailing you cash lines of credit. Yes – MAILING  you cash cards. So that is one of the lessons of this article.

Getting back to that catchy headline. D&B is a private for profit organization that is NOT based in USA. D&B makes its money by selling  products like business credit building and monitoring packages.  Many of their selling  tactics border on lying (I am actually being respectful ). Once you show an interest in establishing a business credit file they will call you and use high- pressure sales tactics that are actually illegal.

Many of my acquaintances have told me that they felt threatened by them and were “forced” to buy one of there useful but over priced products. Almost like  “an offer they could not refuse” .

At the same time you must realize that D & B are of utmost importance as far as building business credit. Keeping a good relationship with them is akin to keeping good business relations with your customers. In fact I actually suggest buying one of their packages as soon as you can just to keep a good relationship with them, even thoughstrictly speaking you do not need to pay them a dim.

The Second lesson; it is your complete business file with all its different components that is of primary concern in developing business credit. Many credit gurus will have you believe that a Paydex score is a good start. I believe saying that can be misleading. Building a solid foundation when creating a business file can be a totally separate issue than getting a decent paydex score as soon as possible.

My next article will go into more detail – more like a step by step guide in building business credit. I will write about SIC codes etc.

For now please understand that the first step is realizing that business credit is all about the power of corporation (last article). Secondly, D&B is very important in building your business credit file and your business file is much more important than any number/score.

Thank you.