SafeIDLock Your Credit

In a matter of minutes, your identity could be stolen and you could face a long road of financial problems. This is actually easy to avoid with SafeIDLock. If you have already experienced identity theft, SafeIDLock will help you restore your identity.

Part of DMCC’s mission is to educate consumers on how to improve their credit and provide a prosperous financial future for themselves and their families.  One of the ways DMCC does this is by reviewing consumer’s credit reports. At times, our clients are surprised to find unknown credit lines on their reports. Some of our clients have had to struggle correcting their credit reports after being victims of identity theft. SafeIDLock helps eliminate all of this.   They will protect your identity by monitoring public and private networks and alert you of any suspicious activity associated with your name.  You will also be given access to monitor your own Experian credit report and view your credit score 24/7.

Be proactive and contact DMCC (866-618-3328) to speak to one of our certified credit counselors. They will discuss with you the plan available through SafeIDLock, so you can avoid becoming a victim of identity theft. It is safe and effective.

Consumers Are Getting Smarter About Credit Scores

These days, many consumers are becoming more conscious about the role their credit scores play in their everyday lives, but at the same time, they may not know exactly what goes into it, and what they can do to improve it.About 42 percent of consumers have checked their credit scores in the past 12 months, and there was a relatively even split on the source of this information, between lenders and the three major credit bureaus, according to a new survey from the Consumer Federation of America. Not surprisingly, when asked to answer questions about how credit scoring works, those who had checked their standing were more likely to respond correctly than those who had not.

Overall, the number of consumers who knew what types of entities check credit scores rose 8 percentage points, while those who knew what types of companies collect the information used to create the scores jumped 7 points, the report said. More also knew that they have more than one score, what constitutes a strong rating, and the ways to increase their score, as well as the importance of making sure their credit reports are accurate.

“In the numerous consumer knowledge surveys we have undertaken over the past several decades, I have never seen such improvement from one year to the next,” said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the CFA. “However, credit reports and scores are so important to consumers that they should try to improve knowledge that remains deficient in several key areas.”

In all, 97 percent knew that making on-time payments was crucial to maintaining a healthy credit score, while 85 percent understood that keeping balances below one-quarter of their total credit limits was also key, the report said. Another 83 percent said they knew not to open a number of new credit card accounts in a short period of time.

Usually, the only way for consumers to improve their credit score is to make better efforts to pay all their bills and maintain low balances over the course of several months. However, checking their credit report for inaccurate information, and reporting any incorrect data they find to the bureau that issued the document can also help to quickly boost their score.

DMCC is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization committed to educating consumers on financial issues and providing personal assistance to consumers who have become overextended with debt.  Education is provided free of charge to consumers, as well as personal counseling to identify the best options for the repayment of their debt. To speak to a certified credit counselor, call toll-free 866-618-3328 or email

How do I obtain my free credit report?

What is a credit report?

If you’ve ever applied for a credit card, a personal loan, or insurance, there’s a file about you. This file is known as your credit report. It is full of information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued or arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy. Credit reporting companies such a Experian, Equifax and Transunion sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses with a legitimate need for it.

Why are credit reports important?

Your credit reports are important because lenders, insurers, employers, and others use them to assess how you manage your financial responsibilities.

For example:

– Lenders may use your credit report information to decide whether to provide you a loan and under what terms (for example, the interest rate they will charge you).
– Insurance companies may use the information to decide whether to provide you with insurance and the rates you will pay.
– Employers may use your credit report to decide whether to hire you.
– Telephone and utility companies may use information in your credit report to decide whether to provide services to you.
– Landlords may use the information to determine whether to rent an apartment to you.

What does your credit report say about you?

A credit report is a record of your credit history that includes information about:

– Your identity; Your name, address, full or partial Social Security number, date of birth, and possibly employment information.
– Your existing credit; Information about credit that you have, such as your credit card accounts, mortgages, car loans, and student loans. It may also include the terms of your credit, how much you owe your creditors, and your history of making payments.
– Public record; Information about any court judgments against you, any tax liens against your property, or whether you have filed for bankruptcy.
– Inquiries about you; A list of companies or persons who recently requested a copy of your report.

Where do credit bureaus get their information?
Credit bureaus get information from your creditors (i.e.,companies that loan you money) such as credit card issuers and auto lenders. They also get information about you from public records, such as property or court records.

How can I get a free copy of my credit report?

You are entitled to receive ONE FREE credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit reporting agencies by visiting, or by phone,

Your credit scores are not part of your credit reports and are not provided with them unless you pay extra. A nominal fee is charged by the bureaus for each score. The information on your credit reports impact your scores, so it is important to make sure that information is accurate. Your scores are used by lenders to help them assess risk fairly because they are consistent and objective. Consumers benefit from this because no matter who you are as a person, your credit score only reflects the likelihood to repay debt responsibly.

DMCC can help!

DMCC has the ability to simulate changes to your reports.  We will show you what you need to do to improve your score.  

To better assist you reading your report and improving your score, contact one of our certified credit counselors by calling 866-724-3328.

DMCC is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization committed to educating consumers on financial issues and providing personal assistance to consumers who have become overextended with debt.  Education is provided free of charge to consumers, as well as personal counseling to identify the best options for the repayment of their debt. To speak to a certified credit counselor, call toll-free 866-724-3328 or email

Credit Report A Factor In Hiring

We’ve come to accept that our credit history will be pulled and checked if we want to borrow money. That’s fair enough. We’ve begrudgingly accepted that insurers set car or home insurance premiums in part based on how customers handle their credit.

A growing number of people affected by record joblessness and foreclosure rates nationwide now have a new worry: Will bad credit keep me from getting the job?

Regarding the use of credit background checks for employment, supporters say the checks are a smart business tool for certain industries and critics counter that the reports unfairly discriminate against minorities and those affected by the recession.

With millions of Americans nursing damaged credit reports after a bruising recession, some lawmakers are seeking to limit the use of credit reports as a factor in hiring.

According to The Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers are required to receive written authorization from an applicant to run the report and then must provide that person, or employee, with a copy of the information.

But, do workers with money troubles have a propensity to steal from their employers? If a person has lousy credit, is he or she is more likely to embezzle money or accept bribes? There is insufficient data to support a correlation between a credit score and job performance and risk.

Certainly there are some jobs where it does matter how an employee or applicant handles money. Some employers are required to pull a credit report if an employee is going to handle cash or work in a financial services position. At least that makes sense.

The assumption that is made is, if somebody is behind on their bills, then it tells something about their integrity or responsibility, but in many cases that assumption is flawed.

This trend of employers digging into people’s personal finances is something we should be challenging and restricting.

Use Your Tax Refund to Improve Your Credit Scores

Tax return checkIt’s income tax season and many Americans have already planned what they will do with their refund check as soon as they get it. Making large purchases or taking a vacation are popular ways to spend tax money. Many consumers also use their tax refunds to pay down credit cards or other debt.  Whether you are looking to buy your dream car or improve your financial wellness, DMCC has a great service to give your goals a boost.

DMCC’s Credit Score Analysis service will provide you a custom plan of action on how to improve your credit scores for only $49.

If you plan to make a large purchase with financing, your credit score will be a deciding factor for approval, as well as getting a desirable interest rate.  Your purchase options may also be limited if your credit score does not meet the lender’s requirements. Even with approval, a low credit score may result in a higher interest rate costing you thousands of dollars. Ultimately, your credit score will either cost you thousands of dollars or save you thousands of dollars in interest over the long run.

If you plan to pay down your credit card balances or other debts and do not have sufficient funds to pay all your debts in full, then you should allocate payments in amounts that will maximize your credit scores. For example, reducing the balance-to-credit ratio on three of your credit cards to below 30% should increase your credit scores by more than just paying one of your credit cards in full.

DMCC’s Credit Score Analysis service will identify the specific steps you can take to increase your credit scores, helping you get affordable financing for that planned purchase, either now or in the future. Our certified credit counselors will provide you a written report that tells you exactly what you can do, including how much cash you need to pay down each of your outstanding debts to maximize the positive effect on your credit scores.  After you take each step, it will typically take 30-60 days for the credit reporting agencies to update your credit reports and scores. Once the changes have taken effect, you can start planning your purchases with confidence in knowing your credit worthiness has improved.

If you think your credit scores could be better and anticipate receiving a tax refund this year, consider taking advantage of this valuable DMCC service.

Raising Your Credit Score

Let’s face it, now a days, a high credit score isn’t easy to achieve. Not only do you have to master the basics — maintaining positive payment history and a low debt to credit ratio, but in order to be part of the upper echelon, you must pay attention to details as well.

Knowing what characteristics those with the highest marks possess can lead you in the right direction.

Since the bulk of your credit score is determined by your payment history and the amount of debt you may or may not have currently on file, having a clean record and impressive payment history is key.  Those with perfect credit scores use credit regularly while paying it off on time, every time. They also have a squeaky clean record. The credit elite have no liens, no bank repossessions, no settlements, no debt to speak of. Nothing!

Top credit scorers also have a diverse set of accounts. A careful balance of credit lines including a mortgage, a car loan and a few credit cards on file.

History, also, is paramount in determining your credit score. Typically, due to age, our parents stand a better chance of having a higher credit score than we do. Unless, of course, they have mismanaged their finances. It’s not necessarily your age, but the age of your oldest credit account on file that influences your overall score. You may want to keep that store charge card you opened up in college.

The number of credit inquiries on your record can also factor into determining your credit rating. While having large number of credit card inquires on file won’t dramatically decrease your score, it can keep you from joining the credit elite, especially if several inquiries are recorded over a short period of time. No matter what type of discount retailers offer, you may be best advised to refrain from opening up a bunch of store accounts.

To get more educational information on credit reporting and a complete breakdown of the credit scoring factors, contact DMCC.

What Is A Credit Score?

A credit score is a number lenders use to help them decide: “If I give this person a loan or credit card, how likely is it I will get paid back on time?”  The score is generated through statistical models using elements from your credit report. However, your score is not physically stored as part of your credit history on the credit file.  Rather, it is typically generated at the time a lender requests your credit report, and then included as part of the report.

Three major credit reporting agencies create your credit score.  Because your credit report is an important part of many credit scoring systems, it is very important to make sure it is accurate before you submit a credit application.  To get copies of your report, contact the three major credit reporting agencies:

• Equifax – (800) 685-1111  (FICO/Beacon Score)

• Experian – (888) 397-3742  (Experian Score)

• TransUnion – (800) 916-8800  (TransUnion Score)

How Scores are Calculated

Designers of credit scoring models review a set of consumers – often over a million – who opened loans at the same time, and determine who paid their loans and who did not.  The credit profiles of the consumers who defaulted on the loans are examined to identify common variables  exhibited at the time they applied for the loans.  The designers then build statistical models that assign weights to each variable, and these variables are combined to create a credit score.

What is in a Credit Bureau Score?

The information that impacts a credit score varies depending on the score being used. Credit scores are only affected by elements in your credit report, such as:

• Number and severity of late payments

• Type, number and age of accounts

• Total debt

• Recent inquiries

If the business card/corporate card or gas card does not appear on your credit report, it will not affect your score.

What’s Not in a Credit Bureau Score?

Credit bureau-based scores, like those generated by Experian, cannot use demographics prohibited under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, such as race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, receipt of public assistance, or exercise of rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.

Why Lenders Use Credit Scores

Credit scores help lenders assess risk more fairly because they are consistent and objective.  Consumers also benefit from this method.  No matter who you are as a person, your credit score only reflects your likelihood to repay debt responsibly, based on your past credit history and current credit status.

Credit Score Factors

Score factors are the elements from your credit report that drive your credit score.  For example, such elements as your total debt, types of accounts, number of late payments and age of accounts are what determine the outcome of your credit score.  Score factors can have a positive or negative affect on your credit score.

Factors with the Most Significant Impact to a Credit Score

Paying your bills on time is the single most important contributor to a good credit score. Even if the debt you owe is a small amount, it is crucial that you make payments on time. In addition, you may want to minimize outstanding debt, avoid overextending yourself and avoid applying for credit needlessly.  Applications for credit show up as inquiries on your credit report, indicating to lenders that you may be taking on new debt.  You may want to use the credit you already have to prove your ongoing ability to manage credit responsibly.

If you do have negative information on your credit report, such as late payments, a public record item (e.g., bankruptcy), or too many inquiries, your best strategy may be to pay your bills and wait.  Time is often your best ally in improving credit.

Improving Your Credit Score

Scores reflect credit payment patterns over time with more emphasis on recent information.  In general, a score may improve if you:

• Pay your bills on time.  Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative impact on a score.

• Keep balances low on credit cards and other “revolving credit.”  High outstanding debt can affect a score.

• Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.  Do not open accounts just to have a better credit mix – it probably will not raise your score.

• Pay off debt rather than move it around.  Do not close unused cards as a short-term strategy to raise your score.  Owing the same amount but having fewer open accounts may lower your score.

Also, make sure the information in your credit report is correct.  It will not affect your score to request and check your own credit report.  If you find errors, contact the consumer reporting agency and your lender.

How Long Does it Take to Rebuild a Score?

The length of time to rebuild your score after a decrease depends on the reason behind the drop in the score.  Most decreases in scores are due to the addition of a new element to your credit report such as a delinquency or an inquiry.  These new elements will continue to affect your score until they reach a certain age.  Delinquencies remain on your credit report for seven years, although some bankruptcies may remain for 10 years and unpaid tax liens remain for 15 years.  Inquiries remain on your report for two years.

What Happens if you are Denied Credit or do not get the Terms you Want?

If you are denied credit, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act requires that the creditor give you a notice telling you the specific reasons your application was rejected. You have the right to learn the reasons if you ask within 60 days.  Indefinite and vague reasons for denial are illegal, ask the creditor to be specific.

Credit scoring systems consider updated information and change over time.  Sometimes, you can be denied credit because of information from a credit report.  If so, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the creditor to give you the name, address, and phone number of the credit reporting agency that supplied the information.  You should contact the agency to find out what your report said.  This information is free if you request it within 60 days of being turned down for credit.  The credit reporting agency can tell you what is in your report, but only the creditor can tell you why your application was denied.