Monday, November 1, 2021

November 2021: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving


 A Lesson in Credit Scores


By now you know that your credit score can affect you in multiple ways, not just in your purchasing power but also mentally and emotionally. But what even is a credit score composed of?

Three independent credit bureaus exist and create credit reports and any creditor looking to lend you  money will consult with these credit bureaus to decide if you are creditworthy.

Experian

TransUnion

Equifax

These credit bureaus create reports that produce a three-digit number you’ll know as a credit score. A credit score takes into consideration all of your credit report information and provides a number that is easy for lenders to interpret and minimizes the possibility of bias.

Parts of a credit score
  1. The number of credit card accounts you have and the borrowing limits and current balances.
  2. The amounts of any loans you’ve taken out and how much of them you’ve paid back.
  3. Monthly payments on your accounts and whether they were made on time, late, or missed.
  4. Severe financial setbacks, if any, including mortgage foreclosures, car repossessions, and bankruptcies.

There are different models used that provide you with a credit score, such as FICO Score and VantageScore, but they both associate a better credit history with a higher score, and assign a lower score to those with lower creditworthiness.

Want to know more about your credit score? Receive a FREE credit evaluation today!

Receive your FREE credit report evaluation

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

October 2021 Newsletter: Bad Credit is Scary!

 

A message from Robert Linkonis Sr., Executive Director


You know what's scary? Nearly 2 in 3 adults (64%) say that money is a significant source of stress in their life [source]. Credit-worthiness has a huge affect on our mental health and it can be daunting to navigate the world of credit restoration without support.

Possibly scarier, until recently there was no scientific evidence to support what many individuals feel on a daily basis due to poor credit: anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts. We now have proof that debt is a financial stressor associated with these psychological and physiological behaviors [Dr. C.K. Hughes (2021) The Impact of Credit Worthiness].

With us, you’ll have access to trained credit experts who can answer your questions and help you make sense of the complexities of credit.

Get in touch and receive a FREE credit evaluation today!



Breaking the cycle of bad credit is a difficult and long process.

You can work to pay down your credit balances and ask about an increase to your credit limit (not to charge more, but to lower your credit utilization ratio!) but these things can take a long time to make a difference.

Checking your credit report for errors and disputing accounts with incorrect or unverifiable items is how we can help you! But we won’t stop there. We will work with you to create a personalized action plan to tackle your bad credit. We follow along with you every step of the way to see the completion of the plan. We know how bad credit scores can affect every aspect of your life and we want to see you reach your financial goals!


Celia L. Powell, CPA is an accountant and consultant, practicing professionally beginning in 2009. Celia brings a unique approach to her accounting practice by utilizing mindfulness practices along with traditional business methods to support her clients as they transform and manage their finances. Celia focuses on going beyond the numbers to help her clients reach both their life and financial goals.

Celia received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York at New Paltz, 1986. She received Certified Public Accountant’s license from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2009 and has been in private practice since then, serving non-profit organizations, small businesses and individuals.

Ms Powell, most recently began an online platform, used to teach, coach and inspire others to create a financial vision for their money and ultimately become the CEO of their lives.



Give us a call today to start your credit repair journey!
Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.(804) 823-9601 |  (800) 648-5157









Thursday, September 2, 2021

September Newsletter 2021

 

Debt is considered a financial stressor, and is associated with a multitude of psychological, physiological, and general health concerns such as anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and even suicidal behaviors. Dr. C. K. Hughes (2021). The Impact of Creditworthiness on Financial Well-Being, Anxiety, Depression, Hopelessness, and Suicide. [Journal of Accounting and Finance Vol. 21] Omega Graduate School.

Whether it is for a home loan or car financing, we know the frustrations you go through when trying to get inaccurate information removed from your credit reports. We know that these inaccuracies end up as a roadblock to getting credit needs addressed properly.

With us, you’ll have access to trained credit experts who can answer your questions and help you make sense of the complexities of credit.

Get in touch and receive a FREE credit evaluation today!





Wow! These are real results! Our custom credit disputes leverage the consumer protection laws and the credit bureaus’ automated codes to help remove or correct any unverifiable items.

As a client, we dispute accounts with the bureaus and creditors on your behalf. Using our years of experience, we utilize the tools you need to move your case forward and the results you are looking for.

Here at Credit Restoration Institute, we will work with you to create a personalized action plan to tackle your bad credit. We follow along with you every step of the way to see the completion of the plan. We know how bad credit scores can affect every aspect of your life and we want to see you reach your financial goals!

Mark Your Calendar!


Get advice on how to establish or repair your business credit as well as funding advice from a credit repair expert!

REGISTRATION FEE: $30
Attendance includes access to a recording of the webinar, as well as copies of all slides and handouts.

Webinar attendees will receive an email with secure log-in instructions prior to the session. You'll be able to submit questions for the speaker during the presentation, and all attendees will receive the full presentation afterward.

Register Today


Give us a call today to start your credit repair journey!
Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.(804) 823-9601 |  (800) 648-5157







 




Monday, August 9, 2021

August 2021 Newsletter


A message from Robert Linkonis Sr., Executive Director

Congratulations Dr. Cathie Hughes!



Credit Worthiness


Credit-worthiness has a huge affect on our mental health. For many, having access to basic human needs relies heavily on your credit score. If you have good credit, it may not be something you think about, but those with no credit or credit scores that are less than stellar face higher levels of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. Until recently, there was no scientific evidence to support what many individuals feel on a daily basis.

Congratulations to Dr. Cathie Hughes, whose paper, The Impact of Creditworthiness on Financial Well-Being, Anxiety, Depression, Hopelessness, and Suicide was published this past July in the Journal of Accounting and Finance.

Click here to read the paper

Here at Credit Restoration Institute, we will work with you to create a personalized action plan to tackle your bad credit. We follow along with you every step of the way to see the completion of the plan. We know how bad credit scores can affect every aspect of your life and we want to see you reach your financial goals!!

Our Services


Meet the Credit Restoration team

Cathie Hughes, Ph.D.


Cathie Hughes, Ph.D.
Director
Credit Restoration Institute
Dr. Cathie Hughes is the Director of The Credit Restoration Institute. Dr. Hughes also serves as the Chief Academic Officer and Dean of Faculty for Omega Graduate school, is a Professor of doctoral social research, communication and leadership courses, and dissertation preparatory courses.

She is a transformational leader who thinks strategically, motivates people to achieve business objectives, builds trusted relationships, collaborates across diverse and multi-functional & multi-cultural teams, and focuses on outcomes, customers, and growth. As a thought leader with strong communication and presentation skills, she contributes to a culture of innovation, collaboration, and partnership, with a willingness to proactively coach, mentor, facilitate, share knowledge, model, and advocate initiatives for positive change. 


Give us a call today to start your credit repair journey!
Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.(804) 823-9601 |  (800) 648-5157

Fill out this easy form on our website








Wednesday, June 30, 2021

A message from Robert Linkonis Sr., Executive Director


The Credit Restoration Institute




Happy 4th of July from The Credit Restoration Institute Team


Recommendations from The Credit Restoration Institute


What is Credit Repair?

You may find yourself asking, so what exactly is credit repair? Credit Repair is disputing accounts and entries on your credit report that are inaccurate and unverifiable. We dispute these errors directly at the source with the credit bureaus and creditors.

Nearly 2 in 3 adults (64%) say that money is a significant source of stress in their life. [source]

Here at Credit Restoration Institute, we will work with you to create a personalized action plan and follow along with you to see the completion of the plan. We want to see you reach your financial goals!


Our Services: Credit Restoration Institute



Meet The Credit Restoration Institute Team


Executive Director Robert Linkonis, Sr. has spent the last 30 years fixing errors and inaccurate information on credit reports and cannot see himself doing anything differently.

Seeing people’s lives change for the better is what keeps Robert going. “Good credit reduces depression and hopeless feelings. Good credit increases one’s financial well-being and empowers individuals and families.”

Robert loves to travel and spend time with his beautiful wife Nancy. He is blessed with three amazing children and a gorgeous three year old granddaughter.




Give us a call today to start your credit repair journey!



Give us a call today to start your credit repair journey!
Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
(804) 823-9601 |  (800) 648-5157
mail@creditrestorationinstitute.com


 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Latest CFPB News From the National Accociation Of Credit Services Organization (NACSO)

 



CFPB News

A coalition of 21 consumer, faith, and advocacy groups sent the below letter Thursday to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger urging her to revoke the permission that the Bureau granted the credit reporting industry to violate the 30-day deadline imposed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for investigating disputes. In an April 1, 2020 guidance, the CFPB had permitted credit and consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) — and the banks, lenders and debt collectors that report information to the CRAs — to exceed the 30 days due to “reductions in staff, difficulty intaking disputes, or lack of access to necessary information.”

The groups urged Director Kraninger to rescind the permission to exceed the 30-day deadline in part because of a dramatic increase in complaints to the CFPB from consumers alleging delays in resolving their disputes. The letter partially states:

“From the time period of April 1 to September 23, 2020, there were 6,864 complaints in the credit reporting category that are in the subcategory “Was not notified of investigation status or results;” there were 6,262 complaints in the subcategory “Investigation took more than 30 days.” Thus, consumers have lodged over 13,000 complaints just in the past six months alleging that their disputes have not been addressed within the FCRA deadline, if addressed at all. In comparison, there were only 2,000 complaints in both of these two subcategories cumulatively for the same time period in 2019. This means there has been a 550% increase–likely as a result of the CFPB guidance.”

NACSO


Here is the CFPB letter:


 September 24, 2020 

Kathleen Kraninger, Director Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 1700 G Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20552 

Re: Rescinding language in April 1, 2020 CFPB guidance allowing CRAs and furnishers to exceed FCRA deadlines for disputes 

Dear Director Kraninger: 

The undersigned organizations call upon the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to rescind a portion of its April 1, 2020 guidance entitled “Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act.” We urge you to rescind that portion of the April 1 guidance permitting consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) and furnishers to exceed the statutory deadlines imposed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for investigating disputes. 

Allowing CRAs and furnishers to violate the statutorily-imposed deadlines imposed by the FCRA is having a significant impact on American consumers. A search of the CFPB complaint database reveals that there has been a dramatic increase in complaints from consumers regarding delays in the processing of their disputes. From the time period of April 1 to September 23, 2020, there were 6,864 complaints in the credit reporting category that are in the subcategory "Was not notified of investigation status or results;" there were 6,262 complaints in the subcategory "Investigation took more than 30 days." Thus, consumers have lodged over 13,000 complaints just in the past six months alleging that their disputes have not been addressed within the FCRA deadline, if addressed at all. In comparison, there were only 2,000 complaints in both of these two subcategories cumulatively for the same time period in 2019. This means there has been a 550% increase--likely as a result of the CFPB guidance. 

Furthermore, it has been nearly six months since the Bureau issued its April 1 guidance based on the disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. There should no longer be a pressing need for relaxing statutorily mandated deadlines due to “reductions in staff, difficulty intaking disputes, or lack of access to necessary information.” These issues should have been addressed during the last six months. Most states have partially or completely lifted shutdown orders that prevented employees from going to their offices. 

Even if the CRAs and furnishers understandably want to minimize the number of employees in a location, thousands of large and small companies have shifted in the last six months to operating with most of their workforce working from home. If there are privacy and data security issues posed by working from home, multimillion-dollar transnational corporations should have been able to figure this out during the last 6 months. Furthermore, given that the nationwide CRAs often process disputes remotely in foreign countries such as India and Chile, they are already accustomed to sending information overseas and hopefully have data security safeguards in place. To the extent there are furnishers that do not have the data security safeguards needed to investigate disputes using employees at home, these same furnishers should not be actually furnishing information to the CRAs either absent those safeguards. 

These delays or even failure to process disputes are causing real and significant difficulties to American consumers. 

For example, one consumer complains: “It has been over 60 days ago since I've sent letters to this bureau and they are disregarding a regular consumer disputes. I'm stressed and have been sending letters before this and still no response. I am trying to get a house and can not move forward without supplying these results.” 

Consumer complaint to CFPB ID 3811090, Aug 24, 2020 At a minimum, the CFPB should limit the extra time provided to CRAs and furnishers to 15 days, or at most 30 days beyond the FCRA-mandated 30-day deadline for investigating disputes. 

Fifteen to 30 extra days should be more than enough, given that they have had six months to adjust to working in the COVID-19 environment, and the amount of harm to consumers. 

For questions about this letter, please contact Chi Chi Wu at cwu@nclc.org or 617-226-0326. 

Sincerely, 

National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund Center for Digital Democracy Consumer Action Consumer Federation of America Consumer Reports Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council, Inc. Demos Missouri Faith Voices Montana Organizing Project National Association of Consumer Advocates New Georgia Project New Jersey Citizen Action Public Good Law Center Tennessee Citizen Action Texas Appleseed Tzedek DC U.S. PIRG Virginia Organizing VOICE - OKC Woodstock Institute 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Instructions to File for Settlement from the Equifax Data Breach

This was an email that I received recently. As mentioned in all of the CRA Facebook posts https://www.facebook.com/Financed1,  I ONLY recommend taking the credit monitoring option. You will get 10 years total of credit monitoring from Equifax, which is a much better deal than $125.00. You wont even get $125 actually. If all 147 million people entitled to a settlement request the cash option, everyone would only get 21 cents a piece. Great. So, go ahead and enroll in 10 years of credit monitoring and hope that Equifax will get their stuff straight moving forward.

** Also enroll your family members before January 2020. That is 3 months from now. Get moving!

COURT APPROVED LEGAL NOTICE

If Your Personal Information Was Impacted in the 2017 Equifax Data Breach, You May Be Eligible for Benefits from a Class Action Settlement

Un aviso de este acuerdo también está disponible en www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com/es
In September of 2017, Equifax announced it experienced a data breach, which impacted the personal information of approximately 147 million people. Equifax has reached a proposed settlement to resolve class action lawsuits brought by consumers alleging Equifax failed to adequately protect their personal information. Equifax denies any wrongdoing, and no judgment or finding of wrongdoing has been made.

If your personal information was impacted in the Equifax data breach, you may be eligible for benefits from the settlement after it becomes final. Under the proposed settlement, Equifax will: (1) pay $380.5 million into a fund to pay benefits to consumers, court-approved fees and costs of class counsel and service awards to the named class representatives, and other expenses; (2) implement and maintain certain data security enhancements; (3) if necessary, pay up to $125 million more to reimburse consumers for out-of-pocket losses resulting from the data breach; and (4) provide certain other relief.
Are You Eligible: You are a class member and eligible for settlement benefits if you are a U.S. consumer whose personal information was impacted by the Equifax data breach. If you are unsure of whether you are a class member, visit www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com and click the "Find Out if Your Information Was Impacted" button or call 1-833-759-2982.

Benefits: If you are a class member, you are eligible for one or more of the following benefits:
1. Free Credit Monitoring or Cash Payment. You can get free credit monitoring services. Or, if you already have credit monitoring services, you can request a cash payment of up to $125.
The free credit monitoring includes at least four years of three-bureau credit monitoring, offered through Experian. You can also get up to six more years of free one-bureau credit monitoring through Equifax.
If you already have credit monitoring services that will continue for at least 6 more months, you may be eligible for a cash payment of up to $125. The amount you receive may be substantially less than $125, depending on the number of claims that are filed.
2. Other Cash Payments. You may also be eligible for the following cash payments up to $20,000 for:
the time you spent remedying fraud, identity theft, or other misuse of your personal information caused by the data breach, or purchasing credit monitoring or freezing credit reports, up to 20 total hours at $25 per hour.
out-of-pocket losses resulting from the data breach.
up to 25% of the cost of Equifax credit or identity monitoring products you paid for in the year before the data breach announcement.
                      *** Good luck getting ANY part of $20,000. If you are successful in any way, please leave a comment on this blog. Thanks. Good luck!
3. Free Identity Restoration Services: You are eligible for at least 7 years of free assisted identity restoration services to help you remedy the effects of identity theft and fraud.
Important Information Regarding the Proportional Reduction of Benefits. If you request or have requested a cash benefit, the amount you receive may be significantly reduced depending on how many valid claims are ultimately submitted by other class members for this relief. Based on the number of potentially-valid claims that have been submitted to date, payments for time spent and alternative compensation of up to $125 likely will be substantially lowered and will be distributed on a proportional basis if the settlement becomes final. Depending on the number of additional valid claims that are filed, the amount you receive for these benefits may be a small percentage of your initial claim.
How to Get Benefits:

To get free credit monitoring or cash payments, or both, you must submit a claim:
Online at www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com, or
By mail.
You must submit a claim by January 22, 2020. Certain claims may require supporting documents. If you have already filed a claim, there is no need to do so again. 
If there is still money in the fund after payment of valid claims submitted during the initial claims period that ends on January 22, 2020, there will be an extended claims period lasting for four years. In the extended claims period, you may make certain claims for out-of-pocket losses incurred in the future, including time and money spent trying to address identity theft or fraud related to the data breach.

You don’t need to file a claim to get free identity restoration services.

None of these benefits will be distributed or available until the settlement is finally approved by the Court. If you make a claim for cash compensation, the amount of money you receive may be significantly less than the claim you submit depending on the number and amount of claims that are submitted.
Understanding Your Options:

If you want the Court to exclude you from the settlement class, you must write to the Settlement Administrator by November 19, 2019. List the name of this proceeding (In re: Equifax Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, Case No. 1:17-md-2800-TWT), your full name, your current address, and the words “Request for Exclusion” at the top of the document. You must sign this request and mail it to Equifax Data Breach Class Action Settlement Administrator, Attn: Exclusion, c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91318, Seattle, WA 98111.

To object to the settlement, you must file an objection with the Court by November 19, 2019. For detailed instructions about the process of objecting, visit www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com.

You must file a claim if you want to receive free credit monitoring or cash benefits under this settlement. If you do nothing, you won’t receive a cash payment or credit monitoring services, won’t be able to sue Equifax for the claims being resolved in the settlement, and will be legally bound by all orders of the Court.
The Court will hold a hearing on December 19, 2019, to consider any objections, and decide whether to approve the settlement, award attorneys’ fees and expenses, and grant service awards to the named class representatives. You may enter an appearance through an attorney, but do not have to. The Court has appointed lawyers to represent you and the class, but you can hire another lawyer at your own expense.

This is only a summary of the settlement. For more information, visit www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com, or call (toll free) 1-833-759-2982.

This is a Court authorized notice, not a lawyer advertisement
Email Disclaimer
The Equifax Data Breach Settlement Administrator will never ask you to provide sensitive information, such as, your Social Security Number or Tax ID, Bank Account Number, Credit Card Number, Driver’s License or Passport Number, or Password, etc. via email. All email communications sent by the Equifax Data Breach Settlement Administrator OR on behalf of the settlement administrator will originate from info@equifaxbreachsettlement.com, the official email address of the settlement. If you receive an email which you suspect to be fraudulent, do not reply or do anything it instructs you to do, but immediately forward it to abuse@equifaxbreachsettlement.com.


NEXT POST: Active Duty Military are Eligible for FREE Credit Monitoringhttps://creditra.blogspot.com/2019/06/active-duty-military-are-now-eligible.html


BREAKING NEWS:

Credit Restoration Associates participates in Ground Breaking Scientific Research Study Linking "Credit Worthiness" to Factors that Contribute to Suicide. Read all details at link below: 
--------->>>>>>  http://creditra.blogspot.com/2019/03/conclusively-18-month-research-study.html


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