Credit Education

The Credit Report

Best Way to Get Credit Reports - Check Your Credit Reports Today

A credit report (sometimes referred to as a credit file) is a record of how you pay your credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, student loans and other liabilities. Credit reports are used by financial institutions, credit grantors, insurance companies, and utility providers to determine your credit and/or insurance worthiness. Some employers also use them as part of the employment screening processes. And finally, they're used by collection agencies to assist with their debt collection efforts.

The biggest complaint most consumers have about credit reports is that they don't understand them. My800credit has changed that. With My800credit, you'll find a revolutionary My800credit Report that is easy to understand and view. It is a first-of-a-kind tool where you can search, sort and, best of all, take action. You'll be able to see which negatives impact your credit score most and with the Action Button, you can take action directly with that creditor for anything you need.
Credit Scores Explained

Best Way to Check Credit Score - Check Your Credit Score Today

A credit score is a numeric representation of the information on your credit reports. Credit scores predict consumer credit risk and credit behavior. They are almost always based wholly or partially on information in your credit reports.

Your credit score is a number that affects everything you do - it can affect your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, get a cell phone, and buy a car or home. It's incredibly important to not only be aware of your credit score, but to be on top of making sure it's correct and there are no inaccuracies. my800credit allows you to see your score, as well as specifics on the items that are negatively affecting it.

Credit scores range from 300 on the low end to 850 on the high end (using the FICO scale). The higher the score the lower your credit risk. The lower the score the higher your credit risk.

Credit scores are usually built using consumer credit data from each of the three major credit reporting agencies; Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Statistical analysis is conducted using current and historical credit data to determine what's predictive of future credit behavior. This is called "regression."

Many people believe only a score is delivered when calculated, which is not true. The score is accompanied with explanations of why you didn't receive the maximum score. These explanations are called Score Factors or Reason Code. They are the top four reasons, in order of importance, why your score isn't higher. These score factors can be used as a roadmap for improving your credit score.
Why Credit Monitoring

Best Credit Monitoring Services from My800Credit

Credit monitoring is the process of periodically reviewing your credit reports for accuracy and changes that could be indicative of fraudulent activity. Credit monitoring can be done either manually or by using a passive credit monitoring service, such as My800Credit. The purpose in either case is to identify credit report errors and to monitor identity theft.

In this day and age, with the technology available, consumers can't avoid monitoring their credit and identity - it's just too easy for criminals to take advantage of you and steal your identity. Having the best service that monitors your credit and identity activity "24/7" by checking thousands of databases for misuse of your personal information can give you the peace of mind you desire. My800Credit will monitor the databases, and tell you if there's any key changes to your credit report, new applications for credit, identity theft, as well as filling you in on any creditors that have responded to actions you've taken using My800Credit's Action buttons. This gives you the ease of use and control over your credit and the monitoring you need.

Credit monitoring services generally look for any suspect changes to your credit reports including name changes, new addresses, new account information, new inquiries and new delinquencies. If the credit monitoring system identifies any of these items, the consumer receives an alert. The alerts are generally in the form of a text message or an email. Once you've been alerted to potentially fraudulent activity, you can take steps to correct any credit report mistakes and close down fraudulent accounts.

Credit score monitoring is one of the most powerful tools you have in life. A good credit score opens doors to credit cards, auto loans, home mortgages, and more savings. Because of its value, your credit score is often under inquiry for important decisions which is why credit monitoring is one of the best assets you can have to protect your financial well-being.

If you've never been the victim of identity theft or a data breach, consider yourself quite lucky! However, with the increasing number of breaches and instances of identity theft, that luck can run out eventually.

The good news, though, is that there are precautionary measures you can take to prevent the worst-case scenario from happening, one of them being credit monitoring.

But what exactly is credit monitoring, and how does it work? Keep reading below as we take you through, step by step, how credit monitoring functions, and why you need it.
Identity Theft Protection

Identity Theft Protection Services - Protect Yourself from ID & Credit Fraud

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information or uses your credit accounts without your permission. At risk information be Social Security Numbers, date of birth, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, login and password credentials, and name and address. Identity fraud occurs when this information is used to make fraudulent purchases or withdrawals, create new accounts (credit cards, bank, phone, utilities, and loans) or change existing accounts.

Identity theft is a growing problem - and smart consumers know they can't rely completely on an identity theft service to "take care" of the issue. Consumers must act themselves, including shredding documents that bear personal information before disposal, being careful online and only using secured sites, and never giving out personal information unless absolutely necessary. But that's just not enough. You should also sign up for a service that will monitor the Internet for the unauthorized use of your personal information and does what you can't - monitor the Internet 24/7. My800credit does this and will notify you immediately if any unauthorized activity is discovered.

You can take action to stop identity theft in its tracks with Smart Credit's mobile Rapid Response, which sends alerts to your cell phone, and with just the push of a button, you can stop the thief! 

Becoming a victim of identity theft requires an investment of time and money to correct your records. It can also destroy your credit. Identity theft has been the number one consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission for eleven consecutive years.
Common Methods
Identity theft is a criminal act and is considered a felony. The most common methods of stealing identities are:
  • Skimming information from credit card or ATM cards
  • Paper mail theft
  • Hacking computer networks and databases
  • Redundant IT equipment (failure to remove passwords and personal information)
  • "Shoulder surfing" watching login credentials over users' shoulders
  • Dumpster diving, stealing personal data out of your garbage
  • Using stolen credit cards
Identity Theft Facts
  • One in every ten American consumers has been a victim of identity theft
  • Approximately 1.6 million households have had their bank accounts and/or debit cards compromised
  • Nearly 50% of victims learn of their identities stolen within three months
  • About 15% of victims don't learn of their identities being stolen for four or more years
  • Average amount taken from each identity theft victim amounts to $4,841 (approximately three months' worth of full-time worker's wages)
  • Out of pocket expenses for a victim to resolve identity theft damage ranges from $851 to $1,378
  • Average time it takes to repair the damage done by identity theft is 330 hours or, said another way, over eight work weeks
  • In some cases, it takes up to 5,840 hours to fully correct the damage done from the theft, which is equivalent to working full time for two years
  • Approximately 70% of victims that have difficulty removing negative information stemming from the theft from their credit reports
  • Estimates have it that 1/3rd of identity theft cases are perpetrated by family or friends of the victim
  • 25.9 million Americans now carry identity theft insurance
  • 43% of identity fraud cases were spotted by consumers that monitored their accounts; those that use electronic methods had lower than average out-of-pocket costs
How to Protect Yourself
  • When your Social Security Number is requested, ask if you can give alternate information
  • Don't give your credit card or bank account numbers to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call
  • Shred sensitive documents, all of them
  • Install anti-virus software and update regularly
  • Always secure digital information behind passwords
  • Never click on links in emails and then log into your accounts, go directly to the website from outside the email
  • Change your passwords often
  • Turn off your cell phone's blue tooth and Wi-Fi when not in use
  • Monitor bank accounts at least weekly, preferably daily
  • Sign up for available mobile or email alerts by your institution
  • Monitor credit reports to spot unauthorized activity
  • Notify your creditors and the credit reporting agencies immediately if you card has been lost or stolen
  • Work through your bank and protection service provider to report problems immediately
  • Use available services to restore the worthiness of your accounts and credit
  • Take full advantage of your financial provider's offers of loss
Credit Repair

Dispute Credit Report Errors - Control Your Future Credit Score

Your credit report is one of the most valuable assets you have when it comes to your financial future. Not only does it contain information such as your address and your credit history, it also includes data that can help you in the process of purchasing a new home or applying for a new line of credit.

However, errors and mistakes on your credit reports can exist at times and will require you to file a credit report dispute with the credit reporting agencies.

While seeing an error on your credit report is the last thing you want to be faced with, the good news is that there are actions you can take to address it. Although disputing the credit report error may seem like a hassle, doing so can prevent your credit score from being negatively affected.

With platforms such as my800credit, tackling your credit report errors is no longer a complicated task. Below, we will walk you through everything you need to know about your credit report and disputing your credit report effectively and efficiently.
Credit 101

Credit 101

Credit is process of borrowing money under the condition that it is paid back at a later date. Credit is used to make purchases for products or services and allows us to live more affluent lifestyles. It also allows us to function more efficiently because we don't have to carry large amounts of cash when we travel. The most difficult part of credit isn't knowing how it works, but rather how it affects you as a consumer. Smart Credit lays out how your credit affects not only your credit score, but how it can affect you as a consumer and an employee. But Smart Credit also can help you understand what you can do to change your credit score and make your overall credit rating much better, therefore helping you to become a better consumer and credit user.

Consumers can borrow an amount of money with an agreement to pay it back. This agreement is generally called a Promissory Note. The Note obligates you to pay back the amount you owe plus any fee associated with the loan, sometimes called interest. In order to get credit, the lender measures your ability and willingness to pay by obtaining credit information, such as a credit report and a credit score. Those who lend larger amounts, such as mortgage lenders, require additional information such as income, employment data and assets. Your credit reports and scores determine the interest rate that you are charged on the loan.

Revolving Credit Accounts
A revolving account is a credit card such as a retail store card, bankcard, or gasoline card. You are given a maximum amount you can charge on the card, which is called the "credit limit." You have the option to pay these accounts in full each month or pay a minimum amount. If you don't pay the account in full each month then the amount still due "revolves" to the next month and accrues interest, hence the term "revolving account."
Installment Credit Accounts
Installment loans are accounts where you owe a fixed amount each month for a specified time frame. Examples of installment accounts are auto loans, mortgages and student loans. The monthly amount is determined by the total amount you borrowed, the interest rate and the length of time to pay. For example, a 30-year mortgage of $100,000 at 4% interest with a 20% down payment will cost you 360 equal installment payments of $686.
Open Credit Accounts
The 3rd and least common type of credit is "open" credit. Open credit requires that you pay back the balance in full each month. Charge cards are an example of open credit accounts. If you charge $1,000 in a month then you're required to pay it all back before the due date. Open accounts have their advantages. Since you're not able to revolve a balance from one month to the next it's easier to stay out of debt. And, if you're not revolving a balance then you're not paying interest. And even though most charge cards have annual fees, it's still much less expensive than paying interest each month.
Credit Availability
It's important to remember that credit is a privilege, not a right. Not everyone can get credit because not everyone has earned the privilege of having credit. Creditors are in the business of making money and the first rule of making money is to not lose money. Lenders won't want to loan you money if you can't or won't pay them back.
Credit Reporting
Credit reporting is the process whereby your loans and credit card experience are reported by your lenders to the three major credit-reporting agencies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. This is their way to tell other lenders if you've done a good job managing credit or if you've done a poor job managing your credit. Lenders will review your credit report prior to making a loan decision. As such, it is very important to have good credit, which results from paying your bills on time and staying out of excessive debt.
Debt 101

Debt 101

Debt is the total amount of money you owe. Debt includes credit card balances, mortgage loans, car loans, medical bills, utilities and student loans. Incurring debt results from either borrowing from someone else or owing money in the form of a judgment or lien. Debt is almost a necessity of life. Some people strive to live debt-free, but for most people, there are times throughout life when you have to borrow in order to make a purchase. As a Smart Credit customer, you'll be able to see your progress on your debt, and know how close you are to repaying the total amount. You'll also be able to track your credit in relation to your outstanding debt - you'll be able to see how it affects the terms and interest rates you can get, and how your debt history can positively or negatively impact your overall credit picture.

Debt isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, most of us will go into debt for major purchases, such as a mortgage, a car, or to fund an education. Most consumers simply cannot pay cash for those things. Debt can, however, be problematic especially if you're using debt to finance a lifestyle you can't afford. And, going into debt for basic living expenses, such as food and utilities, is not a good practice and is indicative of poor budgetary controls. Charging discretionary items such as electronics, video games, and computers can add up debt quickly, if you can't pay them in full each month. This has been the American way in the past and we are learning to be more cautious. It is important to spend within your means.
Credit Card Debt
Unfortunately it's very easy to get into credit card debt, especially if you don't monitor your spending. Some consumers use credit cards for convenience, so they don't have to carry cash. Other use credit card debt for instant gratification, with little thought given to how they're going to pay it off when the bill comes. If the credit card bill arrives and you can't pay it in full, the remaining balance rolls over to the next month, plus interest. This debt continues to grow, because the unpaid amount is carried over and interest will add up quickly. And, if you continue to use the card, any new purchases are added to the amount you owe. For example, a credit card debt of $2,600 would take 17 years to pay at the minimum payment of $52 a month. You would pay $2,673 in interest under that scenario, which is more than your purchases. If you can only pay the minimum due on your monthly credit card debt, you might need to stop using your credit cards.
Bad Debt
Debt becomes a huge problem when it turns into "bad" debt. Bad debt occurs when you can't (or won't) pay your bills. Not only will this have a negative impact on your credit reports and credit scores but also it will make it more difficult to obtain future credit at competitive rates and terms. Eventually a bad debt will become a defaulted debt. Defaulting has many faces. If you are unable to pay your auto loan, your car is usually repossessed. If you can't pay your mortgage then your home is foreclosed and you're evicted. If you can't pay your credit card debt the account is charged off and normally turned over to a collection agency.
Why Care

Creditors, Lenders, Financial Brokers and Agents

  • Usually upon your initial application for credit. Then, usually just immediately prior to funding any loan or credit.
  • At regular intervals during the term of your loan.
  • Many creditors, especially credit card companies, look at your credit reports monthly searching for recent bad credit history or to predict your financial stress, sudden default or other signs your account might be in trouble.
  • When looking to give you unsolicited credit offers. This is usually known as a soft inquiry, meaning it does not effect your credit score. This is some times done immediately after you have applied for credit, which is known as a trigger. With the exception of soft inquires and triggers, your permission for them to look at your credit is required.
  • To better understand your credit history.
  • To determine your credit risk.
  • To determine amount and terms of your loan/credit.
  • To monitor your on-going credit health.
  • For Governmental purposes permitted by applicable law.
  • Only when you make an application to a government entity will they be required to get your permission to look at your credit.
  • To additionally verify your identity, especially the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Criminal investigations especially under the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
  • Results of criminal convictions.
  • To verify your credit and identity for such things as student loans and other loan guarantee programs.
  • To verify your information if you apply for governmental assistance programs, such as disaster relief, Welfare or Medicaid.
  • Internal Revenue Service for their needs in identifying you and collecting taxes.
  • State and local governments generally use your credit reports for criminal investigations, warrants, court judgments, small claims, bankruptcy, collections for child support, and your employment.


  • For information about a lawsuit.
  • For the enforcement of unpaid judgments.
  • Liens.
  • Child Support related collections.
  • It is not necessary to obtain your prior permission for courts or court appointees to look at your credit. Lawyers are governed under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • As a result of a judgment, including small claims.
  • To assist Plaintiff's and defendants in their lawsuit.
  • Assist Plaintiff's in collections.
  • Collecting on overdue, unpaid or defaulted accounts and obligations.
  • Collecting on an unpaid judgment.
  • Collecting on a lien or wage garnishment.
  • Collecting on child support.
  • It is not necessary to obtain your prior permission for debt collectors to look at your credit. However, they are governed under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • To assist in their collection efforts.
Momentum and Motivation

Momentum and Motivation: 6 Strategies That Give You an Edge

The old adage “slow and steady wins the race” is actually sometimes true. The tortoise in the story of the tortoise and the hare won the race not because he was the smartest, smallest, or even wittiest. Rather, he won the race due to his laser-focus on the end result: the goal line.

If you struggle to keep momentum and motivation during your own quest to achieve a goal, you’re not alone!

Even though plateaus, setbacks, and relapses are completely normal when it comes to life-changing goals, there are many things you can do to keep the fire inside during the journey.

Try these strategies to maintain your momentum and motivation:

  1. Take action daily. This is the single best step you can take in order to further your momentum. Taking action ensures that you’re making progress, no matter how small. Even if you don’t know exactly what action you’ll be taking, just do something, anything, to further yourself.
  • For example, If you want to lose weight, it’s important to burn more calories than you take in each day. If you want to grow your business, review business growth materials.
  1. Find motivational nuggets. Take a few minutes  each day to read something inspiring, whether it’s motivational quotes or affirmations to keep your confidence going.
  • Motivational quotes that inspire you can help transcend your mindset away from the daily grind and onto things that are bigger than yourself!
  1. Check your progress. If you’re feeling stuck or like you’re not moving forward, review your goal that you’re trying to accomplish. Write down your goals and check in on your progress each day. 
  • Think positively about how close you are to the goalpost rather than how far you are from it.
  1. Talk to another. Find another person who has already achieved goals similar to the ones you’re working on.
  • If your goal is to get physically fit, for example, find a bodybuilder, runner, athlete or other like-minded individual who's been in your shoes.
  • Extract all the wisdom, advice and helpful tidbits that you can from their story.
  1. Plan your week. Scheduling time to work on things related to your goals is critical. We use schedules for everything else in our lives, so there’s no reason that time devoted to working on personal goals cannot be included as well.
  2. Reward yourself. Small rewards have been shown to motivate everyone from kids to older adults. Rewards act as a positive reinforcement, and even affirmation of a job well done.
  • When we’re being rewarded, we tend to continue pressing on towards our goals.
These are just a few of the things that we can do on a regular basis to keep motivation and ensure that we’re continually making progress.

The key word is “progress.” If we’re taking some action or doing even just one thing on a daily basis that furthers us along in our goals, we’ll feel better about ourselves and be able to keep that momentum.

Other things that we can do on a regular basis to keep momentum and motivation alive is to write in a journal, listen to inspiring talks, join a support group related to our goals, spend a few minutes in quiet meditation on our life’s purpose, or even posting daily reminders.

The more alive that we can make our goals, the more inspired and motivated we’ll be to take action and achieve them.  
Goal Setting

3 Steps to Achieving Your Goals

Accomplishing anything in life takes hard work and dedication to succeed. Although some believe that others may be lucky, have been given advantages, or are at the right place at the right time, the truth is that most people have to work for what they want.

In order to achieve any goal you've set out to accomplish, there are a series of steps you can take to make it happen. Learn about this process and follow the steps to success! 

Step 1. Know Your Outcome

Perhaps the most important part of the puzzle is knowing what you want to achieve in the first place.

You don't set out on a journey to accomplishing a goal without first knowing what it is. Specificity also matters, as there are many ways that goals can be achieved without being specific about what you want.

To figure out your outcome, determine your end result, or what it is you want to accomplish. What does the end of the rainbow look like to you?

Depending on your individual goals, ask yourself questions like:
  • How much weight do I want to lose?
  • How much extra money do I want to make?
  • What is the specific job promotion or title that I'm after?
A non-specific, vague answer to one of these questions would be, "My goal is to lose weight." However, to be more specific, decide how much weight you want to lose, whether you want to tone and build muscle along the way, and include other factors that are important to you that go along with losing weight.

Step 2. Find Your Inspiration - Know Your “Why”

Knowing the reason for your goal is also vitally important.

Consider your motivations. Do you want to feel better about yourself and increase your self-esteem? Are you doing this in order to obtain a healthier relationship with yourself or your partner? Are you doing this for your kids or to have a better life with your family?

For your greatest success, your reason for going after your goal needs to be something inspiring, something that will motivate you when times get tough.

Step 3. Pick an Effective Strategy

A good strategy is also necessary to help you achieve your goals. There are many different strategies for any goal, depending on what you want to accomplish.

For instance, there are more than several weight loss plans you can find if your goal is to lose weight. There's the no-carb diet, the low-calorie diet, the diet plan that requires special shakes and drinks, and those that require you cut out certain food groups.

In essence, a strategy is essentially like a recipe. If you follow the recipe that someone has for success, then you also have more of a chance of success if you follow that same recipe.

To find a strategy, a good place to start would be to talk to others or research others who have chartered the same path or achieved similar goals as yours. Asking questions or interviewing a mentor or another individual with experience will give you the insight you need to choose a strategy that works.

Never give up!

Once you've chosen an effective strategy, have clearly figured out your “why,” and have specified what your outcome is, you'll have an enormous amount of success with achieving your goals. When you hit an obstacle or setback, simply adjust your approach as necessary and continue moving forward.

Remember, if you don’t give up, success is virtually assured!
Glossary of Credit Terms

Help Center - Credit & Financial Terms Glossary

  • Account Number
    The unique number assigned by a creditor to identify your account with them.
  • Accounts in Good Standing
    Credit items that have a positive status and should reflect favorably on your creditworthiness.
  • Annual Fee
    Credit card issuers often (but not always) require you to pay a special charge once a year for the use of their service, usually between $15 and $55.
  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
    A measure of how much interest credit will cost you, expressed as an annual percentage.
  • Authorized User
    Person permitted by a credit cardholder to charge goods and services on the cardholder's account but who is not responsible for repayment of the debt. The account displays on the credit reports of the cardholder as well as the authorized user. If you wish to have your name permanently removed as an authorized user on an account, you will need to notify the credit grantor.
  • Balloon Payments
    A loan with a balloon payment requires that a single, lump-sum payment be made at the end of the loan.
  • Bankruptcy Code
    Federal laws governing the conditions and procedures under which persons claiming inability to repay their debts can seek relief.
  • Capacity
    Factor in determining creditworthiness. Capacity is assessed by weighing a borrower's earning ability and the likelihood of continuing income against the amount of debt the borrower carries at the time the application for credit is made. While capacity may be considered in a credit decision, the credit report does not contain information about earning ability or the likelihood of continuing income.
  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
    Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code that provides for court administered liquidation of the assets of a financially troubled individual or business.
  • Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
    Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code that is usually used for the reorganization of a financially troubled business. Used as an alternative to liquidation under Chapter 7. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that an individual may also use Chapter 11.
  • Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
    Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code adopted to address the financial crisis of the nation's farming community. Cases under this chapter are administered like Chapter 11 cases, but with special protections to meet the special conditions of family farm operations.
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
    Chapter of the Bankruptcy Code in which debtors repay debts according to a plan accepted by the debtor, the creditors and the court. Plan payments usually come from the debtor's future income and are paid to creditors through the court system and the bankruptcy trustee.
  • Charge-Off
    Action of transferring accounts to a category deemed uncollectible, such as a bad debt or loss. Collectors will usually continue to solicit payments, but the accounts are no longer considered part of a company's receivable or profit picture.
  • Civil Action
    Any court action against a consumer to regain money for someone else. Usually, it will be a wage assignment, child support judgment, small claims judgment or a civil judgment.
  • Claim Amount
    The amount awarded in a court action.
  • Closed Date
    The date an account was closed.
  • Co-Maker
    A creditworthy co-maker is sometimes required in situations where an applicant's qualifications are marginal. A co-maker is legally responsible to repay the charges in the joint account agreement.
  • Consumer Credit Counseling Service
    A non-profit organization that assists consumers in dealing with their credit problems. Consumer Credit Counseling Service has offices throughout the United States that can be located by calling 800 388 CCCS (2227).
  • Co-Signer
    Person who pledges in writing as part of a credit contract to repay the debt if the borrower fails to do so. The account displays on both the borrower's and the co-signer's credit reports.
  • Credit Limit/Line of Credit
    In open-end credit, the maximum amount a borrower can draw upon or the maximum that an account can show as outstanding.
  • Credit Items
    Information reported by current or past creditors.
  • Credit Report
    Confidential report on a consumer's payment habits as reported by their creditors to a consumer credit reporting agency. The agency provides the information to credit grantors who have a permissible purpose under the law to review the report.
  • Credit Scoring
    Tool used by credit grantors to provide an objective means of determining risks in granting credit. Credit scoring increases efficiency and a timely response in the credit granting process. Credit scoring criteria is set by the credit grantor.
  • Creditworthiness
    The ability of a consumer to receive favorable consideration and approval for the use of credit from an establishment to which they applied.
  • Date Filed
    The date that a public record was awarded.
  • Date of Status
    On the credit report, date the creditor last reported information about the account.
  • Date Opened
    On the credit report, indicates the date an account was opened.
  • Date Resolved
    The completion date or satisfaction date of a public record item.
  • Delinquent
    Accounts classified into categories according to the time past due. Common classifications are 30, 60, 90 and 120 days past due. Special classifications also include charge-off, repossession, transferred, etc.
  • Discharge
    Granted by the court to release a debtor from most of his debts that were included in a bankruptcy. Any debts not included in the bankruptcy – alimony, child support, liability for willful and malicious conduct and certain student loans – cannot be discharged.
  • Disclosure
    Providing the consumer with his or her credit history as required by the FCRA.
  • Dismissed
    When a consumer files a bankruptcy, the judge may decide to not allow the consumer to continue with the bankruptcy. If the judge rules against the petition, the bankruptcy is known as dismissed.
  • Dispute
    If a consumer believes an item of information on their credit report is inaccurate or incomplete, they may challenge, or dispute the item.
  • ECOA
    Standard abbreviation for Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
  • End-User
    The business that receives the report for decision making purposes that meet the permissible purpose requirements of the FCRA.
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)
    Federal law, which prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of sex, marital status, race, color, religion, age, and/or receipt of public assistance.
  • Equifax
    One of the three national credit reporting agencies, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. The other two are Experian and TransUnion.
  • Experian
    One of the three national credit reporting agencies, with U.S. headquarters in Costa Mesa, CA. The other two are Equifax and TransUnion.
  • Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act
    Amendments to the Truth In Lending Act that require the disclosure of the costs involved in credit card plans that are offered by mail, telephone or applications distributed to the general public.
  • Fair Credit Billing Act
    Federal legislation that provides a specific error resolution procedure to protect credit card customers from making payments on inaccurate billings.
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
    Federal legislation governing the actions of credit reporting agencies.
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
    Federal legislation prohibiting abusive and unfair debt collection practices.
  • Finance Charge
    Amount of interest. Finance charges are usually included in the monthly payment total.
  • Fixed Rate
    An annual percentage rate that does not change.
  • Generation Identifier
    Generation identifiers are Jr., Sr., II, III, IV, etc.
  • Geographical Code
    This information is received from the Census Bureau and represents the state, Metropolitan Statistical Area, county, tract and block group of the reported address. This code is similar to a ZIP code.
  • Grace Period
    The time period you have to pay a bill in full and avoid interest charges.
  • Guarantor
    Person responsible for paying a bill.
  • High Balance
    The highest amount that you have owed on an account to date.
  • Installment Credit
    Credit accounts in which the debt is divided into amounts to be paid successively at specified intervals.
  • Investigation
    The process a consumer credit reporting agency goes through in order to verify credit report information disputed by a consumer. The credit grantor who supplied the information is contacted and asked to review the information and report back; they will tell the credit reporting agency that the information is accurate as it appears, or they will update the report.
  • Investigative Consumer Reports
    These are consumer reports that are usually done for background checks, security clearances and other sensitive jobs. An investigative consumer report might contain information obtained from a credit report, but it is more comprehensive than a credit report. It contains subjective material on an individual's character, habits and mode of living, which is obtained through interviews of associates.
  • Involuntary Bankruptcy
    A petition filed by certain credit grantors to have a debtor judged bankrupt. If the bankruptcy is granted, it is known as an involuntary bankruptcy.
  • Item-Specific Statement
    Offers an explanation about a particular trade or public record item on your report, and it displays with that item on the credit report.
  • Judgment Granted
    The determination of a court upon matters submitted to it. A final determination of the rights of the parties involved in the lawsuit.
  • Last Reported
    On the credit report, the date the creditor last reported information about the account.
  • Liability Amount
    Amount for which you are legally obligated to a creditor.
  • Lien
    Legal document used to create a security interest in another's property. A lien is often given as a security for the payment of a debt. A lien can be placed against a consumer for failure to pay the city, county, state or federal government money that is owed. It means that the consumer's property is being used as collateral during repayment of the money that is owed.
  • Line of Credit
    In open-end credit, the maximum amount a borrower can draw upon or the maximum that an account can show as outstanding.
  • Location Number
    The book and page number on which the item is filed in the court records.
  • Mortgage Identification Number (MIN)
    Indicates that a loan is registered with Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., which tracks the ownership of mortgage rights. This number will follow the homeowner throughout the mortgage.
  • Most Recent Date
    The date of the recent account condition or payment status. This date is also the balance date.
  • Notice of Results
    If your investigation results in information being updated or deleted, you may request that we send the corrected information in your credit history to eligible credit grantors and employers who reviewed your information within a specific period of time. If your investigation does not result in a change to your credit history, results will not be sent to other lenders.
  • Obsolescence
    A term used to describe how long negative information should stay in a credit file before it's not relevant to the credit granting decision. The FCRA has determined the obsolescence period to be 10 years in the case of bankruptcy and 7 years in all other instances. Unpaid tax liens may remain indefinitely.
  • Opt In
    The ability of a consumer who has opted out to have their name re-added to prescreened credit and insurance offer lists, direct marketing lists and individual reference service lists. Consumers who have previously opted out of receiving prescreened offers may have their names added to prescreened lists for credit and insurance offers by calling 1 888 5OPTOUT (1 888 567 8688).
  • Opt Out
    The ability of the consumer to notify credit reporting agencies, direct marketers and list compilers to remove their name from all future lists. Consumers may opt out of prescreened credit and insurance offer lists by calling 1 888 5OPTOUT (1 888 567 8688).
  • Original Amount
    The original amount owed to a creditor.
  • Payment Status
    Reflects the previous history of the account, including any delinquencies or derogatory conditions occurring during the previous seven years (i.e., current account, delinquent 30, current was 60, redeemed repossession, charge-off – now paying, etc.)
  • Permissible Purposes
    There are legally defined permissible purposes for a credit report to be issued to a third party. Permissible purposes include credit transactions, employment purposes, insurance underwriting, government financial responsibility laws, court orders, subpoenas, written instructions of the consumer, legitimate business needs, etc.
  • Personal Information
    Information on your personal credit report associated with your records that has been reported to us by you, your creditors and other sources. It may include name variations, your driver's license number, Social Security number variations, your date or year of birth, your spouse's name, your employers, your telephone numbers, and information about your residence.
  • Personal Statement
    You may request that a general explanation about the information on your report be added to your report. The statement remains for two years and displays to anyone who reviews your credit information.
  • Petition
    If a consumer files a bankruptcy, but a judge has not yet ruled that it can proceed, it is known as bankruptcy petitioned.
  • Plaintiff
    One who initially brings legal action against another (defendant) seeking a court decision.
  • Potentially Negative Items
    Any potentially negative credit items or public records that may have an effect on your creditworthiness as viewed by creditors.
  • Public Record Data
    Included as part of the credit report, this information is limited to tax liens, lawsuits and judgments that relate to the consumer's debt obligations.
  • Recent Balance
    The most recent balance owed on an account as reported by the creditor.
  • Recent Payment
    The most recent amount paid on an account as reported by the creditor.
  • Released
    This means that a lien has been satisfied in full.
  • Reported Since
    On the credit report, the date the creditor started reporting the account.
  • Repossession
    A creditor's taking possession of property pledged as collateral on a loan contract on which a borrower has fallen significantly behind in payments.
  • Request for Your Credit History
    When a credit grantor, direct marketer or potential employer makes a request for information from a consumer's credit report, an inquiry is shown on the report. Grantors only see credit inquiries generated by other grantors as a result of an application of some kind, while consumers see all listed inquiries including prescreened and direct marketing offers, as well as employment inquiries. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit grantors with a permissible purpose may inquire about your credit information prior to your consent. This section also includes the date of the inquiry and how long the inquiry will remain on your report.
  • Responsibility
    Indicates who is responsible for an account; can be single, joint, co-signer, etc.
  • Revolving Account
    Credit automatically available up to a predetermined maximum limit so long as a customer makes regular payments.
  • Risk Scoring Models
    A numerical determination of a consumer's credit worthiness. Tool used by credit grantors to predict future payment behavior of a consumer.
  • Satisfied
    If the consumer has paid all of the money the court says he owes, the public record item is satisfied.
  • Secured Credit
    Loan for which some form of acceptable collateral, such as a house or automobile has been pledged.
  • Security
    Real or personal property that a borrower pledges for the term of a loan. Should the borrower fail to repay, the creditor may take ownership of the property by following legally mandated procedures.
  • Service Credit
    Agreements with service providers. You receive goods, such as electricity, and services, such as apartment rental and health club memberships, with the agreement that you will pay for them each month. Your contract may require payments for a specific number of months, even if you stop the service.
  • Settle
    Reach an agreement with a lender to repay only part of the original debt.
  • Source
    The business or organization that supplied certain information that appears on the credit report.
  • Status
    On the credit report, this indicates the current status or state of the account.
  • Terms
    This refers to the debt repayment terms of your agreement with a creditor, such as 60 months, 48 months, etc.
  • Third-Party Collectors
    Collectors who are under contract to collect debts for a credit department or credit company; collection agency.
  • Tradeline
    Entry by a credit grantor to a consumer's credit history maintained by a credit reporting agency. A tradeline describes the consumer's account status and activity. Tradeline information includes names of companies where the applicant has accounts, dates accounts were opened, credit limits, types of accounts, balances owed and payment histories.
  • Transaction Fees
    Fees charged for certain use of your credit line – for example, to get a cash advance from an ATM.
  • TransUnion
    One of three national credit reporting agencies. The other two are Experian and Equifax.
  • Truth in Lending Act
    Title I of the Consumer Protection Act. Requires that most categories of lenders disclose the annual interest rate, the total dollar cost and other terms of loans and credit sales.
  • Type
    This refers to the type of credit agreement made with a creditor; for example, a revolving account or installment loan.
  • Unsecured Credit
    Credit for which no collateral has been pledged. Loans made under this arrangement are sometimes called signature loans; in other words, a loan is granted based only on the customer's words, through signing an agreement that the loan amount will be paid.
  • Vacated
    Indicates a judgment that was rendered void or set aside.
  • Variable Rate
    An annual percentage rate that may change over time as the prime lending rate varies or according to your contract with the lender.
  • Verification
    Verifying whether data in a credit report is correct or not. Initiated by consumers when they question some information in their file. Credit reporting agencies will accept authentic documentation from the consumer that will help in the verification.
  • Victim Statement
    A statement that can be added to a consumer's credit report to alert credit grantors that a consumer's identification has been used fraudulently to obtain credit. The statement requests the credit grantor to contact the consumer by telephone before issuing credit. It remains on file for 7 years unless the consumer requests that it be removed.
  • Voluntary Bankruptcy
    If a consumer files the bankruptcy on his own, it is known as voluntary bankruptcy.
  • Wage Assignment
    A signed agreement by a buyer or borrower, permitting a creditor to collect a certain portion of the debtor's wages from an employer in the event of default.
  • Withdrawn
    This means a decision was made not to pursue a bankruptcy, a lien, etc. after court documents have been filed.
  • Writ of Replevin
    Legal document issued by a court authorizing repossession of security.
About Us


At we've teamed up with some of the best in the industry to share philosophy, facts, education, and solutions that promote personal and financial prosperity.

Most think financial freedom can only be achieved through wealth when in fact, financial freedom begins with a better understanding of ourselves and what it means to be happy.

Why? Because it's our emotions that drive our decisions in life.

The actions we take each day to either move toward pleasure, or away from pain.

In fact, emotions control not only what happens throughout our own lives, but emotions impact what happens in and around the world.

Entire wars have begun as a result of human emotions.

We make decisions about whether or not to get married, or whether or not to get divorced, based on our emotions.

Ideas and inventions, passions, and hobbies are all driven by emotion. And the actions we pursue are a reflection of either how we are feeling now, or how we want to feel in the immediate future.

Our emotional states affect our daily attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors. If we don’t take control of our emotional states, many other aspects of our lives will inevitably spiral out of control.

Mastering our emotional state is an essential element to achieving success, contentment, fulfillment, and happiness.

Get a head start on learning how you can master your emotional states with the easy strategies in this downloadable guide.

Take Control of your Emotional State 

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So what does all of this have to do with your credit? Well that's a great question, but the long and short of it is, that this website is not only about your credit. 

However, that said, think about how your credit actually reflects your "credibility" and what better way to instill trust in others than to trust in yourself and your own purpose.

Tony Robbins suggests that we "Live every day with an attitude of gratitude".

Doesn't that about say it all?

I hope that whatever it is you take away from this site, will bring you that much closer to the prosperity you deserve. The personal, emotional, or even spiritual success that will promote peace of mind and happiness in your life and in the lives of those around you.
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