Are you thinking about renting an apartment, buying a car or even a new home? If so, it is important to check your credit score before you apply for a loan. Your credit score will determine if you are approved or denied which is why it is important to know your score in advance. When it comes to your credit score, the loss of a few points can mean either a low interest rate with easy terms or being denied entirely. Sometimes, accidental errors on your report, as opposed to bad financial management, can be the cause of a low score, there is a way to fix those problems without losing out on your much-desired property.
Alaska is an expensive state to live in. The cost of living is 28% higher than the national average, which might explain why the average credit card debit in Alaska is $6,617, significantly higher than the US average.
Despite the higher-than-average credit card debt, Alaska has an average FICO credit score of 717. This is a good score, but even a good score can be ruined if inaccurate or fraudulent entries make it onto your credit report. Removing these entries through credit repair can help improve your credit score quickly.
Currently in Alaska there are no state laws that impact the credit repair industry. Credit repair companies in Alaska are able to operate statewide without undo restrictions.
Alaska is subject to federal laws on credit repair, namely the Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA). This law dictates how credit repair companies can present their services and the rules they need to follow to protect customers. It’s a comprehensive law that covers misrepresentation, fraud, payment practices, and contracts, so some states, including Alaska, simply lean on this law instead of adding their own state laws.
You don’t have to hire a lawyer for credit repair in Alaska. Some credit repair firms in the state might be registered lawyers, but it’s not a requirement to provide service to customers. Whether the firm has a registered lawyer or not, they can provide the exact same services to you.
Legally, you can even do credit repair for yourself. However, it’s a long process that’s difficult to navigate on your own, especially since it requires a lot of follow-ups with all 3 major credit bureaus. A credit repair company can do this all on your behalf, and since you don’t have to hire a lawyer for the process, you can choose the company you feel most comfortable working with.
The basic process for credit repair in Alaska follows 3 steps. These are the steps in order:
Every year, you’re legally entitled to one free credit report from the 3 major credit bureaus in the US. Request all these reports to get a full picture of what’s going on with your credit.
If you’ve already requested your free credit report in the last 12 months, you can still get a report at a cost. Credit reports are available online or by mail.
Once you have your credit reports, you need to carefully look through every entry to ensure it’s accurate. Credit reports show all the positive and negative entries made under your information, including your credit payment history and current open accounts. All entries stay on the report for 7 years, so removing inaccurate entries is vital to maintaining your credit score.
If you find anything on your reports that isn’t accurate, you have the right to dispute that entry to have it removed from your credit report so it will no longer reflect on your credit score.
For every inaccurate entry, you need to submit a dispute with each credit bureau where the entry shows up. Since businesses are not required to report to all 3 credit bureaus, you might find that some entries are not present on every report. With every dispute filed, the credit bureau is required to investigate the entry and take appropriate steps to fix it, if necessary.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the credit repair process. Although it seems simple, each step involves a lot of time and potentially some complicated paperwork. Since you’re dealing with all 3 credit bureaus, you’ll have to go through some steps 3 different times, following the specific process from each bureau. When you look at the time and hassle involved in credit repair, the cost of a reputable credit repair service in Alaska makes a lot more sense.
There are many ways to go about improving your credit score, however, most of them take a few months to be effective. Start by getting a copy of your reports to find out your score and figure out which entries you should target to increase your score. Items that are marked as being late are good candidates as well as paying off debts that are just lingering on your credit report. For late charges, if you have already paid them, give the creditor a call and request that the late reports be removed. If there is only one or two, they may work with you to take them off of your report. For paid-off debts, if a couple of years have gone by you can also call the creditor or even the credit agency to have them removed.
Other items on your credit report such as small unpaid balances can also have a negative effect on your credit score. Consider taking a small personal loan to pay off smaller balances and improve your credit ahead of a big loan. Your debt to income ratio also has a big effect on your credit score and how lenders view your ability to repay. For healthy credit, your debt to income ratio should always fall under 50%. In other words, you should never use more than 50% of your available credit, when you do, it signals to lenders that you are spending above your income level even if your payments are up to date. Pay down any balances that are over the 50% threshold to help boost your score organically.
Checking for inaccuracies is one of the easiest ways to raise your credit score in Alaska without actually spending money. If there are inaccurate payments, debts that are not yours, or other mistakes on your credit report you can have them removed. Getting rid of negative marks on your credit report will naturally increase your score. You will need to contact the creditors and the credit monitoring agencies in writing to dispute an error on your report. Most agencies have an online form you can fill out that makes the whole process much more efficient. With creditors, you will need to send in snail mail or work with services that will send letters on your behalf.
Once you have corrected errors on your report and paid down or paid off some of your negative accounts, you can get a rapid rescore. If you have a good mortgage broker, then they will know exactly what we are talking about, but we’ll go over it to help you better understand the processes and the benefits. The Rapid rescore is a common request used by seasoned brokers to bring up credit scores that are just under the qualification threshold. Usually, people have gone through the process of correcting the mistakes with the companies in question, but don’t want to wait a month for automatic scoring. A simple quick request allows them to get updates to their tri-merge in just under a week instead of a month.
The benefit of the rescore could mean a savings of several thousands of dollars. In the current mortgage market, the rates available are at all-time lows. If you can qualify, there is no reason you shouldn’t take every avenue available to get the best rate. This can also help increase your score if you are trying to rent a home or even buy a car.
To better understand the process, all you have to do is look at your current credit report. Any factual errors on your account that are bringing your overall score down are what will be eligible for a rescore. Every consumer has the right to take a dispute directly to the credit agencies, but those take time. Time also affects your loan qualification process so rapid correction is needed.
An Alaska credit repair company is usually contracted to manage the errors with the agencies and have them manually rescored to bring up your points. Another way to manipulate your rapid rescore is by paying down a good chunk on some of your credit cards and submitting the new statement to the agencies for rapid inclusion in your credit ratings.
You should keep in mind that this isn’t a form of credit repair, in fact, outside of the mortgage lending process, it has little use. People who offer rapid recording as a way to erase bad marks on your credit report are not being upfront. You can raise your current score, but any late payments, collections, or other derogatory items will still be visible on your credit report.
Removing inaccurate entries from your credit report can increase your credit score by a lot. Your payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO credit score, so false information about missed payments or defaults can greatly impact your credit. Since the amount of active credit you have also impacts your credit score, removing listed accounts that aren’t yours can also give your credit score a boost.
Credit repair firms in Alaska charge a monthly fee of between $89 - $199, with the average fee being closer to $99 - $129 per month. Some companies charge a higher one-time setup fee in the start then charge a lower monthly maintenance fee. Monthly fees are paid until the disputes process is fully completed, or until you decide to cancel the service. Some credit repair firms also offer additional credit score support services that you may choose to continue using even after the credit repair process is finished.
The credit repair process in Alaska can take 30 days or more. Once a dispute is filed, the credit bureau must investigate and respond within 30 days. If there’s any back and forth between you and the bureau, it could take longer. This is why credit repair services are helpful, since they can assist you in following up on your disputes during this time to get everything done as quickly as possible.
You can do credit repair in any city in Alaska. While some of the credit repair firms are located in Anchorage, Fairbanks, or Juneau, you don’t need to be located in one of these cities to access credit repair. Residents in Sitka, Pleasant Valley, Akutan, and even Portage Creek can all access credit repair from anywhere in the state and even from any credit repair companies located in other states, without any issues. Credit repair is a process that can be done by any company in the U.S., so the location of the company doesn’t play a vital role in the process.