Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have all the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the credit repair industry and how to repair your credit score. We over 14 years of experience helping clients win back their financial freedom we have seen it all and know what questions and concerns our clients have about their credit reports and their overall credit score.

Why my credit score is low.2020-06-12T17:26:31+00:00
  • There is a bankruptcy (or other Public Record) on your credit report.

Bankruptcy (or other Public Record) is a proven indicator of risk with future payments and causes a significant drop to your credit score over an extended period of time.

What You Can Do:

Make all future payments on time. The impact on your credit score from the bankruptcy (or other Public Record) will diminish over time.

  • You have too many delinquent or derogatory accounts.

You have had too many accounts with payments that are at least 30 days late and/or on which a lender has reported a derogatory status. Late payments are a proven indicator of increased risk. People with late payments are at risk of being overextended, putting existing credit with lenders at risk.

What You Can Do:

Paying bills on time every month is important to maintaining a good credit score. If you remain behind with any payments, bring them current as soon as possible, and then make future payments on time. Over time, this will have a positive impact on your score.

  • Lack of sufficient credit history.

Your credit file does not contain enough information about your use of credit. A credit file with older accounts and/or more accounts reflects more experience with handling credit and can have a positive impact on your credit score.

What You Can Do:

Maintaining open and active credit accounts in good standing can help improve your credit score

  • The date that you opened your oldest account is too recent.

Your oldest account is still too recent. A credit file containing older accounts will have a positive impact on your credit score because it demonstrates that you are experienced managing credit.

What You Can Do:

Don’t open more accounts than you actually need. Research shows that new accounts indicate greater risk. Your score will benefit as your accounts get older.

  • You have too many inquiries on your credit report.

If a lender runs a credit check when you apply for credit, an inquiry is reported to the credit bureaus. This can lower your score a small amount, typically by 10 to 20 points. The credit score model takes rate shopping, e.g., for a mortgage or car loan, into consideration. All inquiries for mortgages, auto loans and major credit cards that appear in your credit file within a 14-day window are interpreted as a single inquiry. Another time inquiries never count against your score is when you check your own credit or obtain your own credit score.

Who gets a secured credit card?2020-06-12T17:13:45+00:00

If you’ve ever needed a credit card to rent a car or hotel room, you understand the importance of having one. Secured credit cards may be the only option for those with poor credit.

By giving money to a credit card issuer to “hold,” borrowers with poor credit are ensuring that their lenders are paid back if the borrowers don’t make their payments.

Indeed, secured credit cards can be used by borrowers to establish a credit history.

For example, consider the case of a young woman who graduated from college with no student loan debt but also never had a credit card or any other loans, and therefore had no credit history. She may have trouble leasing apartments that require a credit check as part of the approval process, since she has no credit history for landlords to review.

Who are the federal loan servicers for the U.S. Department of Education?2020-06-12T17:17:17+00:00

Direct Loan Servicing Center (ACS)

Contact Information for Borrowers:

Contact Information for Schools

FedLoan Servicing

Contact Information for Borrowers:

Contact Information for Schools

Great Lakes

Contact Information for Borrowers:

Contact Information for Schools


Contact Information for Borrowers:

Contact Information for Schools

Sallie Mae

Contact Information for Borrowers:

Contact Information for Schools

What We Do?2020-06-12T16:06:43+00:00

Credit1Solutions.com is not a high-pressure sales team that will make a lot of promises that cannot be met. When you contact Credit1Solutions you will be speaking with a trained professional that will give you an honest assessment of your current credit situation. With your help, we will identify what your goals are for your credit report and determine what we can do to put you in the best position possible. If you decide to move forward we will begin the process of challenging any inaccuracies on your current credit report. The credit bureaus have 30 -45 days to investigate and respond to any challenges which typically results in deletions and improved scores. This process may take as little longer based on your current situation; every case is unique.

What version of the FICO score is used mostly and by which lenders?2020-07-30T21:13:03+00:00

Most widely used version

  • Experian FICO® Score 8
  • Equifax FICO® Score 8
  • TransUnion FICO® Score 8

Versions used in auto lending

  • Experian FICO® Auto Score 8, FICO® Auto Score 2
  • Equifax FICO® Auto Score 8, FICO® Auto Score 5
  • TransUnion FICO® Auto Score 8, FICO® Auto Score 4

Versions used in credit card decisions

  • Experian FICO® Bankcard Score 8, FICO® Score 3, FICO® Bankcard Score 2
  • Equifax FICO® Bankcard Score 8, FICO® Bankcard Score 5
  • TransUnion FICO® Bankcard Score 8, FICO® Bankcard Score 4

Versions used in mortgage lending

  • Experian FICO® Score 2
  • Equifax FICO® Score 5
  • TransUnion FICO® Score 4
What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?2020-06-12T16:50:03+00:00

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus that gather and sell information about your creditworthiness to creditors, employers, landlords, and other businesses.

The FCRA gives consumers specific rights. You may have additional rights under state law.

  • You must be told if information in your file has been used against you. Anyone who uses information from a consumer reporting agency to deny your application for credit, insurance, or employment — or take other adverse action against you — must tell you and give you the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting agency that provided the information.
  • You can find out what is in your file. At any time, you may request and obtain your report from a consumer reporting agency. You are entitled to free reports if a person has taken adverse action against you because of information in a report; if you are the victim of identity theft or fraud; if you are on public assistance; or if you are unemployed but expect to apply for employment within 60 days. In addition, you are entitled to one free report every 12 months from each of the nationwide credit reporting agencies and from some specialized consumer reporting agencies.
  • You have a right to know your credit score. For a fee, you may request your credit score. In some mortgage transactions, you will receive credit score information without charge.
  • You can dispute inaccurate information with the consumer reporting agency. If you tell a consumer reporting agency that your file has inaccurate information, the agency must take certain steps to investigate unless your dispute is frivolous.
  • Inaccurate information must be corrected or deleted. A consumer reporting agency or furnisher must remove or correct information verified as inaccurate, usually within 30 days after you dispute it. However, a consumer reporting agency may continue to report negative data that it verifies as being accurate.
  • Outdated negative information may not be reported. In most cases, a consumer reporting agency may not report negative information that is more than seven years old, or bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old.
  • Access to your file is limited. A consumer reporting agency may provide information about you only to people with a permissible purpose as determined by the FCRA — usually to consider an application with a creditor, insurer, employer, landlord, or other business.
  • Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have rights. Victims of identity theft have rights under the FCRA. Active-duty military personnel who are away from their regular duty station may file “active duty” alerts to help prevent identity theft.

For more information, visit www.ftc.gov/credit, or write to: Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

What is the credit FICO formula?2020-06-12T16:29:08+00:00

* Take the calculations FICO states and use 550 as your code breaker. This is the difference between your lowest score and your highest score. (300 minus 850 = 550)

To calculate how many points per Ingredient, divide the percentage into 550, this will provide you the approximate usage points per named ingredient in the table below.

Please Note: This does not mean that if you have 1 account that it will equal the total number calculated. You will need credit diversity to help obtain your full potential.

1.) 35% of your score is for your payment history. To know how many points you can earn up to for payment history divide 35% x 550 = 192.5 pts.
2.) 30% divided x 550 = 165 pts    ( balance owed )
3.) 15 % divided x 550 = 82.5 pts   (length of credit history )
4.) 10 % divided x 550 = 55 pts     ( new credit )
5.) 10 % divided x 550 = 55 pts     ( types of credit )

What is a security freeze?2020-06-12T16:57:24+00:00

A security freeze prohibits a consumer reporting agency from releasing a consumer file relating to the extension of credit involving that consumer without the express authorization of the consumer.

What is a credit score?2020-06-12T16:59:45+00:00

Your credit score is a number based on the information in your credit file that shows how likely you are to pay a loan back on time – the higher the score, the less risk you represent. The credit score that lenders use is called a FICO score. Your FICO score helps a lender determine whether you qualify for a loan and what interest rate you’ll pay. FICO scores are calculated from credit data in your credit file that can be grouped into five categories: payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit used.

Visit my FICO for more information about credit scores.

What are the downsides of a secured card?2020-06-12T17:14:16+00:00

Secured credit cards may be great tools for building or rebuilding your credit, but they aren’t without their downsides. The cons you should consider include:

  • Some secured cards have high fees, so check carefully for what you have to pay. The best cards have no or low annual fees.
  • There may be additional fees for things like withdrawing cash from an ATM.
  • You may be charged for a credit limit increase. Imagine if you arrange with your issuer to change your limit from $500 to $750 and send the additional $250 to cover the difference. The issuer still might hit you with a processing fee for increasing the limit.
  • It’s possible to underestimate how interest impacts your balance and subsequently you charge over your limit.
  • There are rarely perks, like cash back or travel rewards You’ll have to wait on those until you can qualify for an unsecured card.
What are some helpful credit monitoring reports?2021-10-05T17:27:24+00:00
Should I close my credit cards?2020-06-12T16:49:15+00:00

Don’t close credit cards as you pay them off, closing credit cards you’ve paid off can lower your credit score. If you close a credit card, you have a higher percentage of debt in relationship to your remaining available credit, which can hurt your score.

Consider adding a credit card if it gives you an opportunity to transfer a balance for a year or more at little or no interest. But be careful when applying for credit cards. New credit cards can lower your credit score, especially if you make a big charge immediately.

Is credit repair legal?2021-10-05T17:20:23+00:00

Although the credit bureaus would like to have you think otherwise, there is absolutely nothing illegal about disputing questionable items on your credit report. In fact, it is your explicit right by law to do so.
Moreover, the federal Fair Credit Billing Act affords consumers the right to request extensive information regarding billing and account history. The Truth in Lending Act stipulates conditions for establishing credit accounts. And, finally, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act allocates specific rights to citizens regarding accounts that have passed into collection status.

Using a variety of strategies, we will advocate for your consumer rights.

Is credit repair for me?2020-06-12T16:55:21+00:00

Bankruptcies-Repossessions-Collections-Foreclosures-Charge Offs-Judgments, these are things on your credit report that can affect you. If you want a better future and low interest rates on your car or home you need a good credit score. We help clean up your credit reports.

How should I create a budget?2020-06-12T17:15:18+00:00

Spending less helps you save money, which can be used to pay down credit card debt. To accomplish this, create a monthly budget.

Get copies of credit card and checking account statements for the past year to see where you’ve been spending your money.

For example, a couple that goes to the movies once each month at $40 per date spends more than $500 per year if they put those tickets, drinks and popcorn on a credit card and carry the balance.

It may sound like a stretch, but cutting one cup of coffee and one casual dining lunch per week can save you another $800 or more.

And, buying generics and waiting for grocery sales can help you save another $1,400 each year.

Now switch to the selling side of things. Go through your garage, basement and closets, and look for items you can sell in a yard sale or on Craigslist to bring in some extra cash to put toward your credit cards.

How long will negative information remain on my credit report?2020-06-12T16:31:38+00:00

It depends on the type of negative information. Here’s the basic breakdown of how long different types of negative information will remain on your credit report:

    • Late payments: 7 years
    • Bankruptcies: 7 years for completed Chapter 13 bankruptcies and 10 years for Chapter 7 bankruptcies.
    • Foreclosures: 7 years
    • Collections: Generally, about 7 years, depending on the age of the debt being collected.
    • Public Record: Generally 7 years, although unpaid tax liens can remain indefinitely.
    • Inquiries: 2 years, the first 12 months effect the score however inquiries that are not attached to open accounts that remain on your file could effect a decision makers perspective of your good intentions.
    • Personal Summary: Forever if not updated or modified.
How long does derogatory information stay on my personal credit report?2020-06-12T16:12:22+00:00

Derogatory information can remain on your credit file up to seven years from the date of first delinquency that led up to the charge off, collection, repossession or foreclosure.

Exceptions to this ruling are:


  • Chapters 7 and 11 remain on the credit file 10 years from the date filed.
  • Chapter 13 dismissed or no disposition rendered remains on the credit file 10 years from the date filed.
  • Liens
  • Unpaid tax liens remain on the credit file indefinitely.
  • Paid tax liens remain on the credit file for up to 7 years from the date released.


  • Judgments remain on the credit file 7 years from the date filed.
How do I use a secured card wisely?2020-06-12T16:46:37+00:00

With a secured card in hand, follow these tips:

  1. Make sure your secured card has a MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express logo. These are the most popular cards available and the ones most likely to be accepted by stores and restaurants.
  2. Apply only for a secured card that reports account activity to all three major credit bureaus. This way, when a lender pulls your credit report in the future, the credit you’ve built with the secured card will appear on the reports.
  3. Pay your balance off in full each month. By doing it, you’ll demonstrate to creditors that you’re a low credit risk.
How do I temporarily lift or remove a security freeze?2020-06-12T16:58:21+00:00

If you currently have a security freeze on your credit file and would like to temporarily lift it for a creditor, there are two options:

  1. You may request a temporary lift for a specific credit grantor
  2. You may request a date range lift for a specific period of time, ranging from one day to one year.

Click security freeze to use the online process to lift or remove a security freeze on your credit file or call the Equifax automated phone line at 1.800.685.1111.

You may also send your request in writing to:
Equifax Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348

How do I settle old debts?2020-06-12T17:13:14+00:00

You should work with creditors to pay any old debts. This includes delinquent debt that your creditors have sold to a collection agency. Not only can settling old debt get rid of the collection calls, but it also can improve your credit score.

You also can attempt to negotiate with creditors, offering to pay off old debt in return for reporting that the account has been paid. Be sure to get the agreement in writing before making payments.

How do I pay off credit card debt?2020-06-12T16:47:30+00:00

It’s difficult to know how to pay off credit card debt, especially when you don’t have a lot of spare cash every month. But tackling a big balance isn’t necessarily an insurmountable task. All you need is a good payment plan and persistence, and you can break out of the cycle of spiraling credit card debt.

How do I pay my bills on time?2020-06-12T16:46:04+00:00

Once you have started your credit-repair journey, make sure you pay your bills on time. Over time, this can establish you as a reliable card user who pays your debts.

How do I opt-out of receiving offers of credit?2020-06-12T16:13:58+00:00

To opt-out of receiving pre-screened offers of credit, call 1.888.567.8688. Please be sure to call from the telephone number that you wish to register.

How do I know which assigned loan servicer is mine?2020-06-12T16:50:48+00:00

Access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to determine the servicer for a specific borrower.

How do I get a copy of my credit report?2020-06-12T16:07:36+00:00

You are entitled to receive one free credit disclosure every twelve months from each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.

Call 1.877.322.8228 to request a copy of your free annual credit file.

If you are not eligible for a free credit file under FCRA for one of the above-mentioned reasons, fees may apply:

States with no fees:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • Vermont

States with a $5.00 fee:

  • Connecticut

States with a $3.00 fee:

  • Maine
  • Minnesota

Credit reports in all other states are $11.50 each.

How do I fix my credit score?2020-06-12T16:33:05+00:00

When you start to repair your credit score, you must first find out what’s on your credit report. While your credit report contains information on all of your credit cards and your timeliness in paying bills, it also can have erroneous information.

To be sure, it falls to you to report any errors. You must dispute these errors with the credit bureaus. After they’ve removed any errors, your credit score should improve as long as your credit is good otherwise.

How do I correct or dispute inaccuracies in my credit history?2020-06-12T16:56:25+00:00

If you believe that any item of information contained in your credit file is incomplete or incorrect, we will investigate the item.

  1. You can initiate an investigation online. Based on the result of the investigation, we will either update the current status of the disputed information (which may include letting you know if the furnisher of the information verified it was reporting correctly) or delete the item from your file.

Please note – when completing the online form, the Confirmation Number field is not a required field.

Completion of the dispute process can take up to 30 days for requests made under the FCRA and up to 45 days for requests made under the annual free credit report.

Within five days of completion of the investigation of your dispute, the results of the investigation will be sent to you via First Class mail or online depending on the origin of your request. The consumer report will include contact information and a toll-free number where you can reach a CSC Credit Services representative should you have questions.

You must include the following information with all disputes submitted in writing including any follow-up to your dispute. This information must be provided for each dispute, even if you have already provided the same information in a previous dispute.

  • Your full name (including suffix, if applicable)
  • Current address and former address(es) within the last five years
  • Social Security number
  • Date of Birth
  • Complete Company name and Account number for the item(s) that you are disputing
  • All information or documentation to support your dispute

For updates or changes to your name or address:

If your personal information (name, address, etc.) is incorrect on your credit file, we recommend that you first contact each of your creditors and confirm that your personal information is correct in their records. Updating your personal information with your creditors will help to ensure that information reported by your creditor is correct.

How do I add a security freeze to my credit file?2020-06-12T16:11:17+00:00

If you’re concerned about identity theft, those reported mega-data breaches, or someone gaining access to your credit report without permission, you might consider placing a credit freeze on your report.

Click Consumer Information to expedite your request.

How do I add a fraud alert or active duty alert to my credit file with Equifax?2020-06-12T16:10:13+00:00

Victims of identity theft or fraud can add a Fraud Alert, also known as a Security Alert to Credit file.

Click online alerts to add an initial 90-day Fraud Alert to your credit file.

You may also use the online alerts form to add an Active Duty Alert for military personnel. Upon the direct request of an active duty military consumer, or an individual acting on behalf of or as a personal representative of such consumer, an Active Duty Alert may be added to the consumer’s file for 12 months and excludes the consumer from prescreened lists for two years (unless the consumer or representative requests that it be removed earlier.)

Victims of identity theft or fraud may add an Extended Fraud Alert that will remain on the credit file for up to seven years. Requests must be submitted in writing.

To add an Extended Fraud Alert, update your Fraud Alert, including the telephone numbers listed in the fraud alert, or to remove the Fraud Alert from your credit file, you must send two forms of acceptable documentation. The documents you provide must contain your current name, address, a photo ID, and Social Security number.

When requesting an Extended Fraud Alert (not an update or removal), you must also include a copy of the original Identity Theft Report (Police Report.)

Please submit the appropriate documents from the document types listed below.

Government-issued identification cards (state or federal) – some examples are: Social Security card, Driver’s license/State ID, Military ID, Birth certificate, Passport or Medicare card.

Social Security number

  • Government-issued identification card (state or federal)
  • Pay stub (containing complete Social Security number)
  • Letter from the Social Security administration
  • W2


  • Marriage license or divorce decree
  • Legal name change
  • W2

Date of Birth

  • Government-issued identification card (state or federal)


  • Government-issued identification card (state or federal)
  • Current utility bill
  • Current lease agreement
  • Current billing statement
  • W2

Note – only one form of identification is required for Social Security number, Date of Birth or address change.

How can I review my credit report?2020-06-12T17:14:52+00:00

One way to pay off credit card debt is to use other forms of credit, such as low-interest or interest-free balance transfers to reduce the interest you’re paying. The better your creditworthiness and higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you’ll get.

So, you should make sure there is no incorrect information on your credit report that can damage your creditworthiness.

Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to get your free credit report. In addition, you can get one free report from the three credit reporting agencies — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax — once a year.

How can I monitor my credit information online?2021-08-09T17:25:29+00:00

Visit credit monitoring for information on monitoring your personal credit online.

myFICO makes it easy to understand your credit with FICO Scores, credit reports and alerts from all 3 bureaus. 

FICO Scores are the only credit score used by 90% of top lenders. Other credit scores can vary as much as 100 points. Knowing your FICO Scores helps you apply for loans with confidence and avoid surprises.

FICO Scores based on your Experian, TransUnion and Equifax reports. When you apply for credit, lenders may use one or more of these bureaus.

With up to 28 versions of the FICO Score, you can get the right score for your goal, including the versions most frequently used when you apply for a mortgage, auto loan or credit card.

How can I manage my credit utilitzation?2020-06-12T17:11:03+00:00

Utilizing your credit cards properly also plays a significant factor in determining your credit score. Your credit utilization ratio compares your credit card debt to your available credit.

For example, carrying a ratio of 70 percent means that you have a greater risk of not paying off your debt.

While you want to keep your credit utilization ratio under 30 percent, zero percent utilization could hurt your credit score. Most financial experts recommend you keep a ratio of 10 percent to 30 percent.

How can I get my credit score?2020-06-12T16:13:07+00:00

Your credit score is generated by information on your credit report, but is not part of the credit report itself.

Click credit score to find out how to purchase your Equifax credit score.

How can I decide which credit cards to pay off first?2020-06-12T16:48:12+00:00

After you’ve reviewed your credit card debt, checked your credit reports and talked to your credit card companies, decide which cards you should pay off first. If you pay off the card with the highest interest rate, you’ll lower the total amount you owe over the long-term.

You also could try the “snowball” method, paying off the card with the lowest balance first to give you a psychological win. This could lead to paying more in interest over the long-term if the card with the smallest amount of debt also has the lowest interest rate. To avoid that, you could pay off the highest-interest card first.

Helpful Contact Information2020-06-12T17:01:14+00:00

Fair Credit Reporting Act

or 1.877.382.4357


Social Security Administration

or 1.800.772.1213


Credit Score/My Fico

or 1.800.777.2066

Do I need to close my old credit cards?2020-06-12T16:33:40+00:00

Closing credit cards you’ve paid off can lower your credit score. Closing a card causes your available credit to drop, reducing your borrowing power.

You can pay off other card balances to reduce the effect of closing the card on your credit utilization, which can influence your score.

Another way to increase your available credit is to ask your creditors to raise the limits on cards you already have. To be sure, raising the limits on your credit cards doesn’t mean you should go out and spend more. This is just a tactic to improve your credit score quickly.


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