Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
If these FAQ look familiar it's because it is. We took them from our other enterprise, A Clean Slate Credit Consultants Corp. of Florida.
I mean it took years to slap this together from situations, clients' queries, forums and the inevitable haters. Who wants to start a whole new list of FAQS? Not us. We have more important shit to do.
**The following is intended for discourse only. We are not legal professionals and cannot give legal advice. If you believe you need a lawyer, contact the Bar Association of your state and ask them for a referral. We have the links for Florida in the Consumer rights & Links page**
What is the total cost month to month?
The total cost is the amount of the package you choose. We don't have; "hidden", "enrollment", "special", "one-time", "over and above", "file creation", "processing" or any other type of fee.
What is included in my package and why is it important?
All items such as credit inquiries, names which are deemed erroneous either due to misspellings or variation. Addresses which don't belong to a client, public records which are included in a file in an inappropriate manner, telephone numbers and employers which are wrong. When we mean everything included, we mean everything which is deemed erroneous information. We don't charge extra for any of these.
Should I rent a trade line?
We can't tell you to do it or not, we can however tell you that since you are adding a person's credit history to your own, the negative will also show up. As long as the person is good, you'll be good but if they decide to fuck it up, you'll get screwed along with them. Tread carefully.
Why not pay per deletion?
This is actually a system which costs a client more. A payment for one item doesn't seem like much but when you multiply the item across reporting bureaus, it begins to add up. Companies and individual operators know this, so while it sounds appealing it will cost upwards of 100 to 300 per month for just 3 items in 3 bureaus.
With us, you pay your package amount, and we'll submit multiple disputes in your file to each Credit Reporting Bureau. While we can do this, for best results we recommend up to 7 items at once, but we can handle up to 25 items in a single claim.
Should I pay more for better results?
Only if you want to but it won't be with us. Each company sets its rate, and it should be noted that that rate should not present a financial hardship. Some companies break up their work into packages. We don't do that. Our rates are different for different people, the work is the same across the board.
What is PCI Compliance?
Payment card Industry Compliance, or PCI for short is a set of security protocols, both technical and operational that each merchant must adhere to when processing payment, including to secure card holder data both on servers and in transmittal. Information such as primary account numbers (PAN) and sensitive authentication data (SAD) which are the CVV numbers on the back of a card, are included in this certification. This is overseen by the Securities Standard Council (SSC). A vendor is responsible to have this certification otherwise who knows what is happening every time a client gives out credit card information for billing. We are PCI compliant, but we do not require or maintain credit card or banking information on clients. When in doubt ask the company, you are dealing with and insist on proof as obtainable by the PCI Security Standards Council.
What is HIPAA?
HIPAA is the acronym for The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It's a law designed and used to protect patients' medical records and/or health information as provided to physicians, health plans, general healthcare providers, etc. Collection agencies are not allowed to have access to your private healthcare/medical history, however if they do not have access to this information, they can attempt to collect on a past due bill(s). usually, when you go to a hospital to get medical care, you're asked to sign medical privacy forms (This is to comply with HIPAA), unless you went to some other country where the doctor is also the town vet (in which case they don't know what HIPAA means, and it won't matter anyway) Check out our Consumer Rights & Links page and read up on the HIPAA links.
What is the difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified credit card products?
Other than a legal definition, not much. The "pre" can mean a company believes you fit a certain criterion for applicants culled from data records and/or data mining. This basically means you might be a good fit, but it is not a guarantee. What it definitely is, is a marketing gimmick designed to make you try for the product. And millions upon millions of people do precisely this. When in doubt check out the fine print. Pre-anything's will likely require a hard inquiry and there is no guarantee you'll get chosen to pay 29% interest for the measly $500 bucks they will likely limit you to. Just sayin'.
Why do I have a credit card showing 3 years of credit history but in reality, my accounts are over 6 years old. Why the discrepancy in age vs. length?
The age of credit history is taken as an average. It has nothing to do with length.
Will getting an insurance quote hurt my score?
Nope. Does nothing to it. Shop around all you want.
Is there a difference between good and very good credit categories?
No. The category doesn't mean anything. Look at the numerical value of your score, it is the only thing that matters.
How long do Inquiries impact my credit score?
About 1 year.
How can you do more while other companies do less?
All reporting can be done in bulk. Best results generally come in smaller batches, but it isn't necessarily the standard. True methodology does not come with the number of items disputed but rather the manner in which they are disputed. Most companies reduce the number of disputes per month to keep a client locked into a contract. They use the ancient system of letter disputes (lawyers use slight intimidation tactics such as escalation letters—not proven to work,) We don't employ any of these outdated marketing strategies. Give the best most complete service at the lowest cost nationwide, that's our strategy.
Why don't you have Credit monitoring?
Credit monitoring is not offered by our firm because it would mean the hiring a third party at cost. In order to fulfill this cost, we would have to raise our rate. Besides credit monitoring can be achieved for free, by our clients without 3rd party cost.
Other companies use Identity I.Q., but you don't. Why?
Because Identity I.Q. is bullshit in our opinion. It has a low startup cost and then increases drastically. Companies that use it get PAID monthly for pushing it. The score they use is Vantage, which has no real-world application or value. Also, no consumer needs their reports tri monthly. A consumer can achieve the same results with their free reports or any of the free credit monitoring apps. Like we told the rep who cold called us: "Vantage is shit, and we are not interested in passing this type of toxic service onto our clients, chief."
We don't think they'll be calling back.
Your Google listing has you at open 24 hours, is this accurate?
We work all day, a good 14 hours. You can reach us by email or phone. After 6 pm, we put the phone on a VOIP service but will take calls for clients in different time zones as needed. This system works for us and keeps us from suffering a psychotic break, thanks for understanding. However, if you are the compulsive type that absolutely MUST take care of the issue on the spot, feel free to call us multiple times until you drag us out of bed and have us file for you. We go to extremes and all that but for fuck's sake don't wake me up to ask me a question.
My Vantage score went up 50 pts then took a dive for 80. Is this normal?
Yep. You can thank the Vantage score for that. The model is a sensitive, fickle thing. Remember we don't promise or predict scores rising in any particular fashion (nowhere on this site will you find this crap written) we just remove information. What the score does is up to the people who developed it. Many company's and stupid people promise that bullshit, we don't because it is not based on fact.
I paid off a loan and my score plummeted. Am I missing something?
Yes, yes you are. Paying down a debt removes the value of that account from your available credit. This drops your debt to credit ratio and once this happens the score takes a freefall. All scores track payment at interest and if there is no interest (read gains) to a bank then you are essentially useless to them. All scores come back from this drop, but it takes some time. The scores never go up as fast as they fall since it is in a bank's interest to keep your score low so they can reap a greater interest rate. Fucked up system, eh? We can thank bankers for this shit.
Why can't I find utility bills on my credit reports?
Utility bills are not credit items. Rent is not a credit item either. Only credit items report and you can't add anything to a bureau, lenders do that.
Why did my score drop after an old account fell off?
If the account that fell off was an original account (not a collection account) then once it ages off, it takes a part of the age of credit history with it. Less age and the score drop. Keep in mind that age is given as an average and not an exact amount.
If a debt collector promises to remove a collection when I pay is this considered valid?
No, it's considered bullshit. Bullshit happens every day in this industry. In order for the bullshit to become real shit then you'd need in in writing before you pay a dime. That way if the company doesn't live up to its agreement you can force the bureaus to do it and they can't protest. Always get things in writing. Collectors make a great many claims to get the money, once they do, you're left high and dry. Especially dry, if they left you high it probably wouldn't be such a bad thing know what I mean?
Why do you guys make such a big deal about what other companies do? We have the right to conduct business same as you do?!
Charging up front, under any guise whatsoever, is illegal. Compete fairly.
How would I go about removing a lien from my records if it's been paid?
Once the lien has been satisfied (paid) you would need to go and call or visit your local registrar of deeds or probate office. We are not qualified to give legal advice. Please consult an attorney.
Can I shorten the length of a loan by paying extra towards principal?
Yes, you can.
I opened a new account and my score dropped. What the hell is this all about?
It's about a rigged system that we had no part in. If you are going to use credit you should know how it works. A new account lowers the age of credit history. it's just the way it is. Time makes it better and positive payments will make up for it as you score higher on the FICO scale.
Why don't you promise a score when everyone else does?
Everyone else is full of shit.
What is a lien?
A recorded claim of debt against one's property. Common types of liens are Tax Liens, but there are many types.
When should I pay my credit cards? On the due date or before the due date?
For best results always pay your credit cards down about 7 days before the due date, as they report balances owed prior to when balances are collected. In other words, the moment you are notified of the bill, pay the bill. Do not wait for the due by date.
Due to Covid19 (Coronavirus Pandemic) is it true that credit bureaus are operating slower than normal? If so, does this mean that the dispute process has slowed down?
No, this is not true. While Covid19 has caused many companies to downsize, the credit bureaus operate a system software named eOscar which is part of the Metro2 suites. The software scans letters and online disputes for information. Personnel may be limited but the process has not stopped or slowed down. Disputes are still running on the same schedule as before. This information is being used by the ignorant and unethical to either excuse their performance in delivering results or in actually putting work out on time. When in doubt call the bureaus up yourself and ask them if they've slowed anything down. Don't be surprised when the overworked agent laughs in your face.
How can I tell if a company I paid did the work they claim they did?
Pull your credit reports and view the detailed account data. When an item has been disputed (and not removed) the account will state that the information was disputed and has met the criteria for FCRA compliance. The nomenclature is not important, but it will show up. If the account is not marked it has not been disputed. One can always call the bureau in question and ask them which accounts have been disputed. If you can't track a result, it is not your fault or the bureaus' fault, it is because the dispute was never filed.
Can I remove myself from a co-sign?
Generally speaking, no. You can ask the lender and bring proof that whoever you co-signed for can pay responsibly. Otherwise, you're on the hook for it till the end of time... or however long it takes to pay off a car at 17% interest.
Does my rent count towards my debt-to-income ratio?
Rent is not a credit item. It does not apply and may only do so if you are using a credit card to cover it and have the receipts to prove it.
What does "discharged" mean in regard to a bankruptcy?
The wording means that the payments agreed upon for the items inside the bankruptcy have been met. Obligation is discharged.
I filed bankruptcy chapter 7, Why do I have duplicate accounts listed in my credit reports?
It is common to see duplicate and triplicate items, because collection agencies routinely re-report them even though they've been discharged. These duplicate and triplicate items can be disputed, the bankruptcy cannot.
How can I beat the credit card companies at the high interest rate?
Never live beyond your means. never borrow more than you can pay.
Do evictions appear in credit reports?
They may. Evictions and other court proceedings may appear under "Public Records". Never trust a company that promises they can remove everything, not everything can be removed. If you have public record issues, each issue should be examined on its merits and go from there. Some cannot be petitioned for removal but a professional in such matters is always advised, and we are not.
What is a blanket dispute?
It is a term used by idiots who don't know what the FCRA compliance means. Blanket disputes are usually disputes that "blanket" or generally cover all information in credit files in one big dispute. This is as stupid as it sounds, and a good way to get your file flagged. Avoid blanket disputes or anyone that suggests it in any euphemistic language.
Which card should I pay first?
Whichever card has the highest interest rates. Some store cards have an interest rate of up to 29%. Which put another way is .29 cents out of every dollar. Do the math.
A bankruptcy was removed, and my score dropped. I have no negatives, this just happened.
Yes, and it happens quite often. A bankruptcy is a legal claim of insolvency before a court. They won't give you a higher score immediately. You have to rebuild slowly. They will not reward you like if nothing just happened. Things take time, it's not a bad thing.
Are my disability payments able to be garnished?
The short answer is no. Disability compensation is not a wage. Some collection agencies, like the unscrupulous ones, may try this. if this situation applies to you contact your State Attorney General, it may be an illegal act as all agencies must comply with federal laws when attempting to collect debts.
I know I have identity theft issues, what should I do?
Contact your police department and file a police report immediately. Contact the FTC and file it with them. Next call the Credit bureaus and speak to them about it. They will freeze your accounts posthaste. (Means fast). They will notify all lenders on file that identity theft is reported. You may have to call all 3 bureaus' even though they share the fraud alerts and identity theft reports. During this time, hunker down but make yourself available. You may receive affidavits by mail, fill them out and send them off. This process takes time, but they will hustle. Identity theft is on the rise and if you move fast, you may be even able to help catch fraudsters in action, which is pretty cool.
I was a victim of identity theft. I have mortgages reported and have never owned a home! What do I do?
The first thing to do is to contact TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, report it to them and issue a fraud alert immediately. If you have a police report (you'll need one) give them this information and they can extend the alert, freeze your accounts and generally stomp down on it. Then contact each lender that appears in your reports (even if they aren't yours) Report it to them, if they ask for the police report, share a copy (keep originals). Make yourself available to answer questions from investigators. Individuals which are victims of fraud are not to blame for this, but they are responsible for reporting all instances and taking the necessary steps to protecting their files.
What does DLA mean?
Date of Last Activity. This is a common designation of when an account saw its last activity either before it was paid/closed or defaulted upon. The Credit Reporting Time-Limit counts from the Date of First Delinquency. An account will report up to 7 years from the DoFD not the DLA.
Can a collection agency put an inquiry on my report?
This one got asked and we thought it merited inclusion. Yes, collection agencies can place inquiries on a report. Unlike soft inquiries that don't affect the scores, hard inquiries will affect the score. Collection agencies will usually do this when trying to verify an address or telephone number (when they can't reach you) or when trying to verify a debt owed (supposedly owed) and under dispute. If the collection agency has placed multiple inquiries into a file, you may have grounds to pull their pants down in public. Figuratively speaking, not literally...sadly.
Does high debt mean that a credit score is low?
No. this is not a determining factor, regardless is a score drops due to a higher debt. This is a way for lenders to know a higher-than-normal balance is being carried month-to-month.
Is it true that the credit bureaus are all undermanned during Covid19 and that disputes of all kinds are being honored?
No, it's not true. this is more bullshit perpetrated by the jailhouse lawyer types on YouTube and other social media that have no earthly idea what the fuck they are talking about. If anyone makes a claim that sounds too good to be true, it usually is. All these types of scams can be reported to: justice.gov/coronavirus
Can an account be re-aged or reset?
Generally speaking, no. The Credit Reporting Time Limit (The amount of time an account can be reported on, generally 7 years not including bankruptcies) cannot be reset or re-aged. If a payment arrangement was in place and it was defaulted upon then the Statute of Limitations could be reset and thus allow parties to bring suit against a defaulter. The Statute of Limitations varies state by state and is put in place to limit the time allowed for creditors to file suit against debtors.
I have a collection from 2015 and the date shows reported in 2019.
Is this illegal?
No. The date you see is placed there because it probably changed hands and the new agency who bought the debt is reporting on it. That date does not reset the credit reporting time limit. it just shows when the new agency took hold of the debt.
I make my payments on time and my credit card slashed my available credit line by half. is this normal?
This is known as "balance chasing". If this happens it may be because a lender sees changes to a credit file which is disturbing to them. this may include open disputes and or other activity a bank may deem potentially detrimental even though such actions are not against the bank that cut your credit lines.
I'm thinking of buying and am currently working with a mortgage broker, should I start a credit repair process?
Any credit disputing will seriously hinder the underwriting process of a loan application. The idea is not to do it, because then you'll have to contact all the bureau's and stop the process which is a headache at best and a disaster at worst. If you're currently going through the purchase of a home or apt, and it's at the underwriting stage, do not start a dispute of any kind as it can affect the lending process.
Why do you push Equifax products on your site?
We don't endorse any CRA, but since Equifax royally screwed more than 145 million people, I figure it's the least I can do. I push everyone (affected or not) to visit lockandalert.equifax.com and lock their files and sign up for monitoring. It's FREE for life.
What is FICO 8 used for?
Mostly for auto and bankcards.
Why is your contract so detailed?
Contracts are mandatory in this industry. Due to the high fraud/scam ratio perpetrated by individuals passing themselves off as "experts", the Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) mandates a contract at all times. Within the contract are the federal disclosures CROA demands. Many competitors view this as an "optional" approach. It is not optional. Our contract is long because it ensures the rights of consumers and the clauses which protect our enterprise. Contracts should be filled out AFTER consultation and never prior. We've received dozens of contracts without previously being consulted and it draws our resources to call and try to contact prospective clients. All contracts received without first consultation will be summarily deleted from the server. No exceptions.
Does any lender use the Vantage score to determine credit worthiness?
No. It is just a tool. Vantage score is an inaccurate score which culls data from all the top 3 bureaus. It is not real world accurate. the score lenders use is FICO. period. If you're seeing a vantage score you should never take this as anything other than an educational tool and/or a waste of time.
An account was closed and paid in full, and my score dropped, why?
All closed lines of credit will initially drop a score. Closed lines of credit, either revolving or installment are never good for credit files. Likewise, scores are always changing. People should not obsess over scores.
I love that you guys go out to toxic companies and slap them with their lack of compliance. When do you foresee an end to this?
Honestly, when I hit the lottery. Then I'll probably settle down in the keys, buy a boat I can fix up for fun, host wild bacchanals where drunken debauchery is never frowned upon (God bless the Conch republic), write my novels (I'm a published author in my private life) in peace and sell this enterprise to some crazier crew who'll keep the standards of my ethos alive for millennia. Lacking this, I'll stop doing it the moment the Congress finally passes a law outlawing under criminal penalty the charging up front of CRO's under any guise whatsoever and approves a standard pricing list for across-the-board services. Once that happens, I'll use my energy in other endeavors. So, our advocacy is expected to come to a stop when abuse stops, which is currently estimated to be around the same time that hell freezes over, give or take a few days. (Biblical Hell, not Hell, Michigan. That one already freezes over)
What is the difference between "tax write off" and "debt transferred to collections"?
A write off is when the original lender decided to write off the default and take a loss. This can also appear under the title "profit loss". When it reads "transferred to collections" it means the lender did not write off the debt, instead sold it or otherwise contracted a collection agency to try to recoup on the loss. As always, this does not mean that one is absolved of their obligations to repay on a defaulted debt. For more detailed info call the collection agency yourself.
Which is the best way to contact you guys?
CALL US. You may reach us live, or if we are in a conference (which we usually are) leave a message. We return all calls if they are received before 4 pm EST same day. An email or multiple emails don't do much but confuse the order.
Can all debts be garnished?
Depends on the laws state to state. Some states only allow child support or back taxes to garnish your wages. Some states allow holders of defaulted loans or lines of credit to sue to recuperate monies. This varies from state to state.
I get calls at my job from collectors. they have left threatening messages and have been really rude. Can I do something about it?
You surely can. Collection agencies are supposed to conform to the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) when collecting on debt. that means they can't call your employer or friends; they can't harass you or lie. You can report such violations to the CFPB. This happens more often than one would think.
Late fee's, I see you guys didn't have them before and do now, why?
This is true, we didn't ever have them and now we sure as hell do. Late fees are there to let our clients know that while we are open and human, we also don't appreciate undue lateness to invoices being paid. While there are some situations which can (and do) happen which would preclude an invoice from being paid on time, some clients have gotten into the habit of paying late and taking advantage of this. While these clients are no longer with us, I decided to authorize a late fee. When it comes to a service, we provide the work we say we will when we say we will provide it. If you can't pay on time due to some unforeseen delay, CALL US and TELL US. Otherwise, it gets a late fee added.
What happens to accounts that are not paid?
They get canceled. canceled accounts are back listed for six (6) months and will only be reinstated upon payment of any unpaid balance.
Why did my perfect score drop? I don't owe anything and pay on time.
(The question was taken from Credit Karma Community) Depending on which model you are seeing your score; it would explain the answer. Credit Karma uses the Vantage Score model 03. It is sensitive to minute changes on their end. The famous FICO which is used by Experian is better at holding true, but good luck in getting it for free. Fair Isaac is notorious for charging for it.
What is your founder's astrological sign?
"Mr. Fabulous" is a Scorpio. Not surprising, eh?
I called and heard loud music in the background. What the hell kind of workplace is that and can I apply?
The music you likely heard is The Dictators, a New York punk/rock band that has some really good music but never hit the mainstream. We work to loud music by various artists.
We are not taking applications; this is strictly a family business.
Do payday loans appear on reports?
Oh, lord yes. These may be categorized as STL's, or Short-Term Loans.
Do Time Share properties show up on a credit report?
Yes. Time Shares are usually listed as personal loans and not mortgage loans.
Accounts which are in default with a balance owed will not only show up on a report, but they will be collectable exactly as any other account. It will adhere to the Statute of Limitations of the state it applies to and the credit reporting time limit of 7 years.
Does a late payment affect your score immediately?
No. Usually, one late payment does not if you take care of it before 30 days. If it is more than 30 days late, then yes it will be reported.
Can I pay prior to speaking with an agent?
NO! This company is not set up that way. You call, we consult and if we can take your case, we go from there to onboarding.
You turned me away, why?
Because we could not help you out. We turn away business when it is the right thing to do. While we understand how frustrating this is, not every credit issue is something we can do something about. We will point you in the right direction if we have an answer for you. This is how we maintain ourselves transparent. Maybe we can help, maybe we cannot. We need to follow the FCRA to the letter.
Why don't you support 3rd party advertisers?
Third party advertisers who have an interest in our types of enterprises, tend to not have the best intentions for consumers. They are lending/funding groups which target the desperate with higher-than-normal interest rates and toxic products. I call these companies: lending vultures. it's not my place to tell anyone what to do, yet I will not host or partner with companies which promote an unfair advantage to consumers that may not qualify for better lending. I've been asked before and I always ignore the requests. We don't take kickbacks for referrals. I personally won't seek to profit from someone's desperation nor traffic in a desperately made decision without all the facts.
We consulted and you helped me out, may I pay you for your time?
We cannot accept monies for work not performed. No work, no money. This is the nature of the business. Note: We comply with federal and state laws for transparency in commerce.
Will you accept tips?
No... wait, Cuban cigars don't count as tips do, they? —better not risk it! No, no we do not.
Where can I monitor my score?
There are many companies which will provide credit scores for free, including updates and other resources. They are accessible through online portals and also through mobile apps. An example of this is Credit Karma and Credit Sesame. These and other free credit monitoring apps can be downloaded or accessed online.
I paid down a loan/closed a card, why did my score drop?
Closing a credit line drops a score because it's one less available line of credit. This is why it is recommended to keep them open, if you don't use them. Banks like to see a variety of open/good standing accounts.
What is Tier 1 credit?
tier 1 credit is the name given to scores above 700. Just another way of saying excellent credit. Tier 2 would be a score lower, maybe between 640 to 690. Tier 2 credit means average credit.
How many scores exist?
FICO has about 50 different scores. Vantage uses their own score model. the truth is it isn't really known. Lots of scores out there. FICO is the most widely known and used.
Can all debts be discharged in a bankruptcy?
Nope, common misconception. You really need to talk with an attorney, we are not qualified to give legal advice.
When will a student loan I defaulted on be removed?
Never. Student loans are subsidized (i.e., partially paid to keep the interest low and cost affordable) by the Dept. of Education. Which means it remains collectible. in some instances, such as partial or total permanent disability, these loans are forgiven but it isn't a one-day thing. You'll need a doctor to affirm disability and keep up with all requirements until this is done. It takes years.
How much will my score suffer if I pay and close out a credit card?
Credit cards or loans (revolving or installment lines) will always affect a score when closed. Even if you were never late and paid them out in full. Any closed line of credit will have a negative effect because it is one less form of available credit.
How do I share documentation from creditors or credit reporting bureaus with a clean slate credit consultants?
Email or postal mail only. We do not recommend transmittal of sensitive documents by facsimile. Usually, when you begin to receive information, letters or other documentation from original creditors and/or credit reporting bureaus, a simple call to us is enough. We make an annotation of the file and secure it on the cloud.
What exactly is a soft inquiry?
An inquiry that doesn't affect your credit score.
What does 3 bureau multiple disputes mean?
Our pricing includes disputes in the top 3 credit reporting bureaus (Experian®, Equifax®, and TransUnion®.) Basically, any and all erroneous information/items in each reporting bureau.
How many items are disputed at once?
All items which are deemed erroneous.
How long is the contractual term for?
6 months, approximately 180 days. The length of time reflects the time frame in which we have to show results. Actual contracts can often exceed the 180-day mark. It depends on the number of incorrect entries and the wishes of the client to continue. Generally speaking, the 180 days is the time in which we either give you results or close your file and refund monies.
If I wish to extend the contract, how can I?
If at the end of the term, clients wish to extend the contract, they must resubmit it to our secure server, with an annotation to the file wishing for an extension.
Can I truly Cancel at any time prior to the 6 months completion?
Yes. The Credit Repair Organization Act stipulates that a client may cancel any time for any reason. Cancellations must be mailed in, in accordance with state and federal law.
What languages do you speak other than English or Spanish?
Esperanto, slang and some jive. For those not familiar with sarcasm, this is what it looks like.
What's the difference between "light" and "hard"?
You can sleep with a "light" on.
What is a 609 letter, and how can it help me?
The so called "609 letter" is part goyish fantasy and part truth. It gets its name from the subsection 609 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which stipulates that "debts must be validated", however the proponents that push this as a cure-all for erasing debt forget one little thing. It is used exclusively for IDENTITY THEFT issues and not general disputes. The 609 letter is not a scam per se, but it is highly irresponsible to sell it as a cure-all solution to all file errors. Lots of companies sell the letters, but you're better off downloading the FCRA in PDF format and reading is carefully and then, if it applies to you, grabbing a pen and paper and writing a letter to whomever you need to. This deals with identity theft concerns, where lenders/collection agencies insist a debt belongs to a person, who quite naturally has no idea what the hell they are talking about. In some cases, the people who promote this method word the letter to "include signed documents", but in most cases no documents are ever signed, as with applying for cards via web and telephone. People trying to be slick should note that banks and Credit card companies have RECORDED CALLS and a dozen different safeguards. Tread carefully here. Whoever tells you this is the way, won't have their nuts in the wringer, they'll be yours.
Do you guys think you're funny?
No, we think we are honest. Competitors including you should try it sometime.
I left a message when I called, how long do I have to wait to hear back from you?
Depending on if the message was left before 4 pm EST, we call back the same day. On rare instances when we are caught up (happens) calling a client back takes between 10 and 30 minutes if we don't pick up.
What are your actual business hours?
We are open 24 hours a day, 360 days a year, except Christmas eve/day, Thanksgiving, God Friday, Easter Sunday and our founder's birthday.
We have clients across the U.S. and in different time zones. We are on call to accommodate them.
We call each person back and speak with them, a consultation takes about 30 minutes but can also exceed 1 hour depending on history. We ask for patience here since each client is treated with the same diligence.
Conversely speaking we are not callback pests. We will try to reach a prospective client by telephone no more than two times (2). If this fails, we will send an email with a choice between (3) teleconference dates that should be adequate to permit consultation. However, if no reply is registered, we do not call again and we do not do email. Our volume does not allow us the luxury of multiple calls. If a contract was received it remains on file for two (2) years from the receipt date, even if the individual is not a client. This is done to comply with Federal law.
I called you but didn't leave a message, will you still call me back?
Sometimes we will, however, a message is important because it lets us know a little about the person or situation before we go into a teleconference.
What is an E.I.N.?
An EIN is an Employer Identification Number. It's like a social security number for corporations. It identifies a business and helps it track spending, pay taxes and open bank accounts. It also is used to build credit for companies, that's all it is. Someone got the bright idea to suggest them to people with really bad credit, but it doesn't work. An EIN is usually suggested because people believe falsely that debt can be hidden by it. This is patently absurd. I think the idea comes from Business Credit vs. Personal Credit. In some instances, personal debt can be transferred to a business account and paid off. This is a sticky issue but not an illegal one. It would involve a business card that allows for balance transfers and repayment options, usually at a fixed lower interest rate. By transferring personal debt to a business card, the debt will not show up in a personal capacity so long as it is being paid. The best way to go when considering any type of endeavor is to talk to a tax expert or attorney. I've known people who have transferred debt, but they didn't stop paying for it. As for EIN' s, it can't be done. It's world-class bullshit.
What is a Credit Privacy Number?
AKA a one-way ticket to jail, this is a number which is 9 digits (like an SSN) but is used in place of an SSN. The idea is that if you have abysmal, horrible credit you can get one of these and miracle your ass to a better score. It's bullshit though. Credit Reporting Agencies (Credit Bureau's) don't recognize them and furthermore have security measures in place to spot and flag people who do. Don't get suckered into this scam, and that's all it is; a scam. If you have legitimate problems which are not erroneous or fraudulent, we recommend contacting your creditors directly and coming to a repayment agreement with them. You could also hunker down for 7 to 10 years and ride out the harassing calls, letters, and possible lawsuits.
Can collection agencies garnish my wages?
The answer is: not a snowball's chance in hell. Collection agencies have an arsenal of tactics at their disposal: threats, harassing calls, etc., but they can't garnish your wages without a) a court order or b) your permission.
Collection agencies need your permission to invade your privacy, sounds silly but it's true. Don't want them to call? Tell them not to call you. They stop calling. The letters won't cease though, but letters don't speak, and they can be used to line bird cages. Collection agencies are just one more part of the debt/credit process. Sure, they are low life scum bags, but it's a job dude. Garnishment can and usually is done by court order of federal mandate. The dept. of education can garnish wages and take tax refunds to satisfy part or all of outstanding student debt (and interest accrues during this time). Some private lenders can also sue you and win a garnishment but while it happens, don't expect it to happen for $50 or $500 bucks in debt. If you owe $20,000 maybe verging on yes. $50,000, probably verging on for sure and $100,000 or more it's assured verging on hire a lawyer.
When in doubt ask a pro, or you know, Google it.
If you file fast, will I get my results faster?
Yes and no. We file fast so you get confirmation faster than you would by conventional postal mail (or certified mail, FedEx, UPS, etc.) This doesn't mean you'll see results faster or quicker. It just means it won't be at a snail's pace. We turn disputes on the fly, but it won't speed you towards a result faster. We are still constrained by the law, which takes between 30 to 45 days respectively. However, by online transmittal, you don't get to twiddle your thumbs or pay through the nose a few months before you see anything. We are the only company that tracks Metro 2 software updates and transmit over secured servers and spends money to make magic.
Will you accept a quote without being officially copied on it?
Official quotes must be verifiable. We have to stand behind this one, our pricing is already the lowest anywhere for comparable service.
Only verifiable quotes will be accepted.
and... there's more!
Can your firm remove inquiries?
No. We cannot guarantee the removal of inquiries from files. Inquiries stay on a file for about 2 years. They account for about 10% of a score.
Can you update names & other personal information?
We cannot update names on files; however, we work with our clients to achieve these edits.
Why did my removed account come back?
Accounts that can't be verified are usually removed, but unless you get a letter that says it was permanently removed and why, it can be put back in if it was verified (usually at a later date). Sometimes the information never gets verified and sometimes it does. However, the information put back in must be accompanied by a letter (they have 5 days business days to send it) from the date of re-insertion explaining why this was done. If you do not receive the letter, you may petition it to be removed on these grounds. Also, consumers have the right to ask how the information was verified.
This is known as "method of validation section 611 (a)(6) and (7)".
Why is my account frozen?
Often times, a file is frozen because of a security measure. They may be specified or may require a call to see about removing a freeze.
Should I sign up for Credit Reporting Bureau's online access and pay?
Credit Reporting Bureau's make their profits selling data, they also protect your data. I personally believe consumers can safeguard their information for free with different methods but paying is always an option.
Why do Credit Reporting Bureau's ask for my credit card information?
To bill you. As identification, it doesn't do much. If anyone asks for card information, it is to bill you. We never do, nor will we.
I emailed and do not want to speak, yet you would not help me. Why?
We need to consult with each prospective client. Not all issues are issues we can help with. Email communication and text SMS is fine after a relationship has been established, however we may need to speak from time to time. Wishing to communicate by email only is not realistic. We are easy going but this business requires human interaction at certain intervals. It is what it is.
What does it mean when I am told a file is "null"?
A file that is voided or nullified (null), can be marked as such if no information is found on the file. Usually, this is seen in disputes.
Credit is a system of usury; the idea is to profit from interest and track payment history.
Who should check their report?
Everyone with an interest in staying on top of their finances.
Who should place an alert on a file?
Anyone who feels fraudulent activity may be at play.
What an alert means?
An alert means additional security countermeasures are added to a file. Any attempt to gain credit will result in more security checks before it is granted.
How long an alert last?
Individual alerts last 90 days, for military personnel alerts may last 365 days. With a copy of a police report, alerts can last from 2 years to 10 years.
Why checking your file regularly is important?
Because fraud can happen, errors can happen, life happens.
Why online filing is better than mailing disputes?
Anything that saves time & money and is a model of efficiency is always good. Other companies mail disputes because it is slow and inefficient but means a bigger bottom line. Slow means more money, fast means happier customers. Lots of "experts" will advise against any online transmittal because they think it leaves no trail (everything does), which is of course laughable. To us, it's a no-brainer.
Set up fees & maintenance fees?
Set up fees = bullshit fees. Maintenance fees are also called monthly fees to maintain a firm working on a file.
Why don't some credit repairs list pricing?
This is usually done for a few reasons. Firstly, to draw a customer into calling and being "convinced" and also to allow themselves leeway in fixing costs. It is illegal not to list pricing. The FCRA & the CROA demand it.
Why some credit repairs don't link out, or provide laws?
Probably fear of losing clientele, not sure. We don't believe in limiting knowledge, we link out up the ying-yang.
Why do people think they need a lawyer?
Because they don't know enough about their rights. We provide all the rights consumers need without editing. A lawyer is not necessary at all unless you want one.
Why do banks operate at a loss?
Banks lose millions of dollars to debt; however, it is a risk because the earnings on interest alone are in the billions. In layman's term: it's worth the stretch.
I had a bank account fall into default, but it doesn't show up on my credit reports. Why is this and is it settled?
Bank defaults dealing with checking, savings, the result of bad checks, late checks paid out on, excessive late fees and other similar matters or infractions don't report to the top 3. They do however report to ChexSystems. ChexSystems is a part of the nearly 40 CRA's but it deals solely with banking information of a non-credit nature. Issues with accounts will be found here and may affect the ability to open a bank account with any bank in the continental U.S. for up to 5 years.
Why did a bank increase my limit of spending when I didn't ask for it?
To induce you to spend, so they can earn. Banks don't get by, by giving away free checking accounts and other services. That complimentary watered-down coffee you swill from as you watch the clumps of creamer dissolve, isn't really free at all. These types of things are done to maintain competitive with other banks in the market. Banks make money from interest. So, if your Wal-Mart card suddenly went from $500 to $2,000 it isn't because they like you or your special. I mean you may be special, but that isn't why. It is done so you will spend it, and then they can nail you at a 25% interest for those Yosemite Sam mudflaps. It is about debt and interest. It is designed like this. The old maxim is true: to gain credit you have to prove you don't need it or in some cases, even want it.
My credit was never bad but recently I closed out a loan and it took a header, why?
Paying off a loan is good but closing it out also means it closes an active line of credit which is something lenders like to see. Drops are to be expected when closing out accounts. The idea is to keep the balance and paying off a loan is good but closing the account out is bad, it does nothing for your credit score.
In which ways can I improve my credit?
Secured cards are always the way to go, but lately an old idea has gotten a new look (kind of how Bing search engine was renamed from the utter failure of MSN search). The product is called a tracker loan, but it isn't a loan. It's akin to a certificate of Deposit (Banking CD) and requires an agreement to pay a certain amount into it monthly. payments get reported to the Credit Bureaus and interest is accrued. At the end of your term the money and interest are yours.
I surrendered my car voluntarily and the bank stuck me in collections for the original amount even after they sold it at auction. Is this normal?
First of all, yes. voluntary surrender doesn't mean a repo will be looked upon kindly or treated differently than a catch-me-if-you-can, wild bender, 3-month evasion, where you try to outwit the tow drivers and stuff your car into every house on your block, a mall, the one dude that owes you money or even the ex's place. You know how it is, she has the low self-esteem to let you do whatever you want, even though you're a double-dealing, low down and dirty dog who messed around with her cousin but she just can't get anyone else to take an interest, plus she is always there to take you in only to have you leave in the middle of the night after raiding her fridge and purse and so she... whoa, whoa, whoa, what the fuck??! Talk about digression. Yeah, listen it means nothing to the bank. They will stick you with the debt and throw it into collections if they don't get paid. Legitimate errors can be addressed.
I live in California, and I have a collection that has been reported from over 8 years ago. Don't I have some protection from this type of thing?
Yes, you certainly do. California has a statute of limitations on credit card collection of debts (unless it was made by oral contract or the so called "gentleman's agreement") and can't collect on credit card debt past 4 years. You got cause to fight that one right there under outdated information.
What does the Equifax breach mean in real terms?
147+ millions of people are royally fucked. Again, these are layman's terms. Some would say: impacted by the data breach of 2017 by ungentlemanly fellows, but that would be bullshit.
Who needs to list consumer rights?
Any company or business operating a credit repair or debt consolidation company. We provide unedited links.
Who needs to know their rights?
Everyone not living on Mars.
Why are we flexible?
We are owned & operated by humans.
Why we operate at a loss?
Sometimes one has to lose in order to win. We understand this.
What we mean to our clients?
A serious company with a sense of humor that gets things done.
What we mean to our competitors?
The party is over.
What our clients can do to help our grassroots?
Spread the word. Share our ads. Help us kick ass.
Where do you get your inspiration from for your ads?
Lots of places. Most are products of our founder's imagination. Inspiration is also taken from MAD magazine, the Economist, The Wall Street Journal and Penthouse magazine, which we read for the, uh, articles.
What the Latin on our site means and why it is there?
Vox Populi, Vox Dei = The Voice of the People, is the Voice of God. It means give people what they want or suffer the consequences. It was used by a political movement called the Whig party, but has been around since the 12th century AD. It is relevant to us and is there to remind us of who and what we serve.
Do you have a legal team?
A Clean Slate Credit Consultants Corporation is represented by legal counsel; however, the firm does not offer legal aid or advice to its clients. For legal aid, advice or consultation, clients are advised to speak with legal professionals.
How long do I have to wait to see results?
Results should begin to show up roughly 30 days after we initiate your file. For optimum results, we recommend anywhere from 3 to 6 months.
How long does it take to get confirmation (proof of your work)?
How fast is your network? Usually between 2 & 5 minutes.
Other companies advertise quick and easy methods, how accurate is this?
It is not. Anyone who claims this is quick or easy is wrong. Nothing is quick and easy. This is usually a sign of an amateur, a scam or complete lack of professionalism.
I've heard about the creation of a new credit identity, or a so-called segregated file. Is this legal?
It most certainly is not. No one can create a new identity much less to hide debts. This is a federal offense. Whoever claims they can do this should be reported to the FTC and the FBI.
I have heard of credit repair steps other companies use; do you use them?
No. Each company works according to their business model. Some charge per deletion- per bureau-per month. Others choose per item across credit reporting bureaus and yet others will only work with easier credit reporting bureaus. Some companies use steps, kits, plates, and other wording to describe their services in a specific order or simply to stand apart. We use steps when we walk, and plates when we eat. For our services, we don't dress up the process or charge more for so-called "extras".
What does a charge-off mean?
Charge-off is a term where the original debt was "charged off their books" or "written off as a bad debt". Sometimes it can mean it was sold or transferred to collections. This wording doesn't mean the debt is forgotten (whatchu talkin' 'bout Willis?). Those terms annotated on a file are for the bank to comply with its due diligence, you still owe it.
I was told about a "credit sweep", what is it?
A lie. A straight-up marketing gimmick employing the impact of words to provide an emotional response. I mean it sounds good. It sounds fast. But it can't be done.
I want an 800 score, if I pay more can I achieve it?
No. A perfect score takes time, dedication and hard work. It really isn't so important to have an 800 score in order to have excellent credit, but if this is your goal, diligence not money makes it possible.
Another company promised me a higher credit score, but you won't.
Anyone that promises a specific rise to a score is lying. Not even the companies that devised the FICO® and the VantageScore® can predict specific rises to a score, even they don't know.
Why don't other companies submit electronically?
Our guess is money. Mail takes longer than electronic submission. Longer times means longer contracts. We submit letters and documentation; we just don't use the postal service. This is the last resort.
How can I tell a company is legitimate?
When they conform to The Credit Repair Organizations Act's guidelines. Usually, if they are incorporated, licensed and bonded where necessary, if they provide free links to your rights or an outline of them. As well as information on consumer advocacy organizations. When in doubt, try someone else.
Does A Clean Slate Credit Consultants recommend other credit repair companies?
While we do not recommend the services of a competitor, we recognize that there are a handful of legitimate companies in the industry. We cannot recommend them because we do not agree with their pricing and in some instances, their business practices or lack of transparency.
When should I sign a contract?
When you've read it and understand it. When it states it will do what you want to be done.
Why are payments debited from my account?
The FTC and the FCRA prohibit anyone from charging for services not rendered. By enrolling our services, you agree to pay us monthly for the work we do not for upfront promises, and nothing being done to fulfill them. We currently do not debit accounts automatically, although we reserve the right to do so.
What happens if I can't pay my file month-to-month?
Clients who cannot pay or default on their agreement will be given a 15-day grace period in order to complete their obligations. If after the 15-day grace period no payment is recorded, we close the file and place the contents on hold for an additional 30 days. At this time no further work will be performed on that client's file. If after the 30-day period no communication is received by us, we close the file and terminate the contract. Clients found to be in default will be blacklisted. We do not report unpaid accounts to collections as our contract can be canceled at any time (by either party) and our pricing is month-to-month for services rendered.
For more information, please contact us.
Why do other companies charge more?
each company operates according to their own interests and business model. While the law stipulates those charges cannot be performed for work which is not completed, many companies charge amounts over and above their monthly fees as a way to make a profit and sidestep the law. That part is dressed up as 'special fees'. We don't do this.
Do you get hate mail?
Why yes, yes, we do. We don't mind it. When a competitor sends you hate mail, it means you are doing something right.
Do I need an attorney to fix issues on my file?
Not necessarily, each situation is different, but the law does not state that a lawyer is required.
When accounts are removed can they be put back in?
Yes, but they must be accompanied by a letter of notification no later than 5 days after being reinserted. If the letter is not received, the reinserted item can be petitioned for immediate removal.
Can I dispute my student loans, since I didn't graduate?
No. Graduates and non-graduates are responsible for their loan regardless. the department of education always gets paid.
Is there a way to boost my credit score?
Other than by paying it in full and on time, no. People will always try to beat the system, the only problem is that this system was established by scientists and other finance professionals who thought of everything, or nearly everything.
Can I erase bankruptcies from my file?
No. This is impossible. A Bankruptcy is basically a legal claim of insolvency. Lawyers should have explained the procedure to you. We are not lawyers and do not offer any services to file or amend bankruptcies. However, documented errors can be disputed. Once the time period allowable by law (about 10 years) then you can go about removing the information. We don't handle this.
Is there any way to get out of a student debt if I am disabled?
Yes. You'd need to contact your student loan servicer (Ex: Nelnet or Fed Loan Servicing) and ask for the disability forgiveness form or whatever they call it. You'll need to have your doctor provide documentation that disability is permanent and prevents employment. It is a process so make sure you stay on it.
How do I know what to dispute?
When an item is incorrect, paid and still reported as unpaid, when a name on file is not yours, when addresses reported are not and have never been residences you've lived at. Basically, when there are errors and inaccuracies. These inaccuracies can be repossessions, liens, foreclosures, charge-offs, old and outdated information, etc.
I've been through the wringer and had my credit really bad ages ago, it's been more than 10 years and I still get calls from debt collectors. What's up with this?
Debt collectors can only go after you for between 4 and 7 years depending on state law, however after the statute of limitations has expired the debts can't be collected on. That's where junk debt buyers come in. These companies buy debt from 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and maybe even 10th parties. Old debt that is logged in a spreadsheet somewhere. These scam dealers will try to recoup on debt from people that may not know the laws or are afraid of their threats. If you think this applies to you, feel free to take a copy of the letter and sent it to the CFPB and see what they have to say about it.
My debt in collections is annotated with "no contract", does this mean if there is no contract, I am free to go about my business?
You can go about your business but that's not what it means. The annotation is taken from and in compliance with, the National Assistance Consumer Plan, chartered in 2015. It has to do with the top 3 bureaus avoiding litigation from Attorney Generals concerning debts which have no contracts such as unpaid parking tickets or other types of debts. "No contract" may denote a debt which had no contract attached to it like say a credit card or loan would, that doesn't mean if you owe on a debt so marked, it's a free pass to the-hell-with-it-ville.
What is vantageScore®?
VantageScore® is a scoring method similar to the FICO® score developed and owned by the Fair Isaac Corporation. VantageScore® is owned by the top 3 Credit Reporting Bureaus, in a joint venture (they compete with each other for everything else). The scoring is used for statistical analytics in determining risk factors when extending credit.
VantageScore & FICO scores are different, they compete with one another.
Are you a virtual company?
Yes, we operate "on the cloud", which is just a way of saying free from overhead. It allows us to maintain our costs lower than anyone, anywhere.
What is a 'public record'?
Public records contain information from banks, landlords and/or the courts. It can list evictions, some types of liens, bankruptcies, child support claims, arrests and other types of documentation in the public interest.
What is an inquiry?
An inquiry is a record of how many times credit has been applied for. Generally speaking, this is something you want to be kept low as inquiries can impact a credit score.
What is a Trade line?
A term used to describe Credit. A person's credit trade line is in part a way of describing someone's creditworthiness. gullible consumers or those in dire straits are usually targeted by companies or individuals offering to rent their trade lines for a fee.
I was the victim of a natural disaster; can I claim this?
Yes. If you were a victim of a natural disaster, you can claim this. However, it is important to have documentation be it legal or from the police department, F.E.M.A. or any other government organization that offered relief.
How do I protect from fraudulent uses of my identity?
There are many services available from private organizations and each has a price tag attached. However, by being on top of your file and its contents you can see things are on the up and up. There are a few tips located on our Consumer Rights page that may be helpful.
I don't have documentation for my claim, is this a problem?
Not necessarily. Documentation is extremely helpful in the determining of a claim. However, if you do not have documentation to back up your claim it isn't a deal breaker, it may just take longer. By documentation, we mean police reports, court orders, payment stubs and other receipts.
I was advised not to pay debts I owe and to dispute them, should I do this?
No. If you owe on a debt in collection or a debt which is being paid as agreed, you should not stop making the payments. If you feel there is an error, you should always try to contact and come to terms with the original creditor. If this option has failed and you believe a debt is being represented incorrectly then you may file a claim for a correction or a partial removal of the incorrect amount.
I know the debts are mine but don't want to pay them, will you help me out?
Not at all. Anyone who contacts us to erase their legal debt, or to claim inaccuracies where there are none is willfully trying to engage us in fraud by proxy. Individuals found to be attempting this will be denied and if applicable reported to the proper authorities.
A used car dealer offered to clean my credit. Is this common practice?
No, never trust your consumer credit file to someone who doesn't know what they are doing, have no track record, or a clear conflict of interest.
Car dealers and realtors or mortgage brokers are prohibited by law from engaging in these types of businesses, especially where there may be a conflict of interest. An auto dealer, realtor associate/realtor broker, mortgage broker, loan officer may, however, recommend a trusted organization or 3rd party to look into concerns on a consumer credit file.
I was told that a good way of building credit was to pay a company in order to match me with clients who will help me build my credit. Is this really an option?
This is known as "piggybacking", while many people can add spouses' siblings or business partners to a card, the principal account holder is still responsible for anything that other person does while using their credit. (The main account holder is always liable). Piggybacking isn't illegal. The illegal part comes in when companies "rent" trade lines (other people's credit) belonging to other clients. This is pretty much as bad as it sounds. There is only one proven way to raise your score: Pay your bill on time and in full.
I was told I could apply for an E.I.N. to establish a new credit identity, is this possible?
No. This is a federal crime. It is highly illegal. If anyone suggests this, run away from them and under no circumstances pay them or hand them sensitive information.
I've paid to have my credit repaired before and nothing was done, can I complain to someone?
Yes. Consumer complaints can be filed with the Attorney General's office of your state or submitted to the Federal Trade Commission, or both. They will advise you on your legal recourse's—if any and investigate your claims.
Is there a time frame in which to file complaints?
Yes. The statute of limitations for filing complaints is well outlined in the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Some states vary because some states offer protection or guidelines over and above federal protection.