How To Opt Out of Junk Mail, Cold Calls & Email

how to opt out junk mail

Reducing junk mail gets clutter out of your mailbox, frees up your time, and helps protect the environment.

You can choose to call, write, or go online to the following companies and request your name be taken off their list.

1. Credit Card Offers

Opt-out so the credit bureaus cannot sell your personal information.

Electronic Opt-Out for Five Years:
888-567-8688 or www.optoutprescreen.com

You must agree to a payment amount and actually pay that amount for nine months in a row under the program. The amount is determined using an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) calculation. Only federal loans are eligible for this program.

2. Telemarketers

The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at this Website. You can register your home and mobile phone for free.

National Do Not Call Registery
www.donotcall.gov

3. Direct Mail

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is the single largest provider of direct mail lists. DMA estimates that opting out of their mail preference service will stop 75% of all national mailings. Additional list compilation companies are shown below:

R.L. Polk – (810)728-7000
First Data Inf-Source Donnelley Marketing, Inc. – (888) 633-4402
Metromail Corp. – (800) 426-8901
Database America – (800) 223-7777

4. Sweepstakes

Publishers Clearinghouse – (800) 645-9242
American Family Sweepstakes – (800) 237-2400

5. Shopping Flyers

ValPak Coupons – (800) 237-6266
Advo/Valassis – (888) 241-6760 or www.advo.com/consumersupport
Harte Hanks Direct Marketing – (800) 422-4116 or www.pennysaverusa.com/contactus

6. Catalogs

Remove your name from specific catalog lists for free by visiting www.CatalogChoice.org

You can also contact the catalog and tell them you want your name taken off their list. Call the number on the catalog or write a letter.

7. Service Providers

Contact your service providers such as insurance, bank, wireless provider, etc. and ask them not to send you promotional material.

Please contact Go Clean Credit should you have any questions on how to opt out of junk mail and more.

7 Budgeting Tips To Avoid Bad Credit

budgeting tips for people with bad credit

How you pay your bills and debt accumulation are the two most important factors in calculating your credit score. By developing an effective budget (and sticking to it!) you’ll be able to avoid the costs of bad credit.

Each month we’re faced with a number of financial decisions that can truly stress us out. To make the process easier, we offer the following budgeting tips to avoid bad credit and develop effective spending habits:

Set Your Budget. Make a change and set a budget that fits your income. Of course, the most important part is to stick to it! Make a list of the expenses you have and an amount you will spend on them. Many times you spend less overall just by creating a budget for yourself.

Track Your Spending. Tracking every dollar you spend for a short period of time will educate you to where your money is going. It will open your eyes as to how spending even small amounts of money adds up over time and may require credit repair services. Tracking your money will also identify areas of spending that may otherwise go unnoticed. Track your spending for a full month using a free online software service like www.Mint.com, or an Excel spreadsheet or notepad. Knowing that you’re tracking spending can provide your with valuable information about your spending patterns, and may reduce your spending.

Use Cash. We spend more when we use debit or credit cards. Some studies show that we spend as much as 12-18% more when we swipe a card over using cash. By using cash, you’re more likely to stick to your budget if you’re only spending what you have in your cash envelope for your monthly expenses. Once you’ve spent your envelope, you know you’ve gone too far.

If You Use Credit, Pay It Off In Full. The rule of thumb should be that you never use more on your credit card than you can pay off in full that month. Many people will see something on sale that they really want but don’t have the cash for. They use a credit card and then pay interest on the balance because they can’t pay it off. Now that “sale” item probably cost more than full price. It never helps your credit score to carry a balance, so why pay interest? It’s better to hold off until you know you have the cash in hand to purchase that item, and save your credit limit for emergencies. Plus, doesn’t it feel more rewarding when you’ve saved up and earned that item, rather than making an impulse buy and having debt regrets later?

Make Lists Of Expenses. In addition to setting your budget, make a list of the fixed expenses (ie – rent) and variable expenses (ie – clothes) you need to buy for the next couple of months. Include all your expenses on your list. Take the list with you when you go out to help you stay focused and avoid impulse purchases.

Use Coupons. Whatever you’re shopping for, help your wallet by using coupons. Before you buy online, do a quick Google search for the product you’re purchasing – or the company you’re purchasing from In some cases – and the word, “coupon.” If you can find a coupon, use it and maximize your savings.

Trim Your Variable Expenses List. Examine your variable monthly expenses and see what you can live without. And, identify what you can cut back on. Pay close attention to your subscriptions – the expenses that you’ll incur each month. Rather than renewing those subscriptions, question whether you can live without that subscription and consider canceling it. Canceling just one subscription can help you save each month without any effort beyond the cancellation.

If you’re looking for professional credit restoration assistance, please contact Go Clean Credit. We offer a variety of credit repair programs that can assist with the removal of information negatively impacting your credit score.

How To Deal With Debt Collection Harassment

debt collection harassment

Many people with debt and credit problems can find themselves a victim of debt collection harassment. They receive aggressive, intimidating calls from debt collectors for very old accounts. The issue is, these debt collectors can be in blatant violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

It’s up to you to call them out for their practices. Here’s how to deal with debt collection harassment:

1. Know the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violations. By knowing some of the common violations, you’ll be aware of what constitutes “debt collection harassment.”

Here are a few of the common FDCPA violations to look out for. (Here’s a full list as well)

  • Mini-Miranda warning. Any call from a legitimate debt collector will inform the consumer that the call is from a debt collector and they are calling to collect a debt.
  • Calls to a relative, friend or employer. Collectors cannot call a third party. Even if they call you they must first verify the person they are speaking with is you before discussing the debt.
  • Any claim to garnish your wages (when there has been no judgment already awarded for the debt).
  • They insinuate they are a law firm. (If an actual law firm located in your state of residence is calling, take that seriously; a lawsuit may be imminent.)
  • State a balance due that is much higher than the principal.
  • Calls after you sent a cease and desist letter.
  • They threaten to sue you or threaten litigation.

2. Write the debt collector a cease and desist letter asking them to stop contacting you. For our clients, we always include a cease and desist in our validation of debt letters to all debt collectors. Any call after that should be logged (date time and phone number) for potential FDCPA violations.

3. Document everything. Anything that you consider to be debt collection harassment, be sure to document it immediately when it happens. Keeping a log of all debt collection harassment will help prove the FDCPA violations. To help your case, consider having another person present during unnwanted debt collection calls. Record the call if you are in a “one-party consent” state; you do not need to tell them you are recording. If you are in a “two-party consent” state, you are required to notify the other party if you are recording the call.

4. File a complaint. If the debt collection harassment continues, file a complaint in multiple places. Start with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and file a complaint; www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/. The collector must respond to you within 15 days. Second, send a complaint to your state’s agency dealing with creditor harassment. Finally, send copies to the collection agency and the original creditor. If the debt collector offers to cancel your debt if you withdraw the complaint, consider doing so. It would stop the harassment and clear your debt.

5. Consider a lawsuit. If you have a strong case of debt collection harassment, filing a lawsuit against the debt collector is an option that you could pursue. If you are considering this option, contact us; we work very closely with several excellent attorneys and most cases will be taken on contingency.

If you have any other questions about debt collection harassment, please contact Go Clean Credit.

How a Debt Collection Agency Will Respond To A Dispute

debt collection agency

If you’re disputing a credit report with a debt collection agency, chances are that you’ll experience some form of non-compliance from them during the credit repair dispute process.

You do you have consumer credit rights that can be asserted when disputing a credit report. That’s the good news. The bad news is that disputing credit with a debt collection agency isn’t an easy road. Persistence is critical. The only way you can hold them accountable is by building documented proof of their non-compliance.

Below are the types of responses you’ll receive from a debt collection agency when disputing credit report results:

1. No response. (in 30 days) This is a good thing. The same process as with the creditors applies, where it’s likely they don’t have any proof of your derogatory item or they just didn’t bother with responding. The next step is to send a follow up letter giving them 15 days to respond.

2. Insufficient Response. Most often it is in the form of a ‘collection letter’ such as they may have sent you in the past; it just states what you owe and tells you to call them. Do not call them. Rarely do collection agencies have proof since the paper doesn’t usually transfer when debts are sold. Also the laws are more strict for collection agencies. They must provide a debt validation letter so keep a log of any calls you get from them. CALL GO CLEAN CREDIT OR A CREDIT SPECIALIST BEFORE EVER PAYING A COLLECTION so we can advise you! Do not believe anything a collection agency tells you.

3. Deleted or Repaired. Very rarely collection agencies will send a letter stating they agree to delete; usually they send their deletion request to the bureaus and the bureaus notify you.

4. Returned to Sender. If your letter is returned back to you, KEEP A COPY of the envelope. Your initial letter was mailed to the address provided by the credit bureau. If it is returned to sender, the address is obviously inaccurate, which means it should be deleted.

5. Debt Validation. It almost never happens that they provide the actual proof you request. At that point it is unlikely the account will be deleted and the options are to settle or wait until the 7 year credit report expiry date. CALL GO CLEAN CREDIT BEFORE SETTLING so we can advise you!

If you’re looking for professional credit restoration assistance, please contact Go Clean Credit. We offer a variety of credit repair programs that can assist with the removal of information negatively impacting your credit score.

Disputing Credit Reporting: The Responses You’ll Get

disputing credit report

When you dispute directly with the data furnishers on your credit report (creditors/ collectors), chances are that you will run into non-compliance from them during the credit repair dispute process. Unfortunate, but true.

Fortunately, you do you have consumer credit rights (thank you Congress!) and you will assert those rights when disputing a credit report. The creditors are not above the law, and the only way you can hold them accountable is by building documented proof of their non-compliance.

It’s not an easy road, and persistence is critical.

Below are the types of replies you’ll receive from creditors when disputing credit report results:

1. No response. (in 30 days) This is a good thing as it implies they likely don’t have any proof of your derogatory item or they just didn’t bother with responding. The next step is to send a follow up letter giving them 15 days to respond.

2. Deleted or Repaired. Creditors will sometimes send a letter stating they agree to delete (but usually won’t). The next step is to send a copy of this letter to the credit bureaus for deletion of your item from your credit report or let the bureaus know that the creditors did not verify their reporting.

3. Insufficient Response. Letter saying they need more information or just restating the derogatory information. This is designed to infuriate you. Don’t let it. They may think you won’t stand up to the initial rejection. Reply by becoming more insistent.

4. Verification Proof. Original creditors will rarely have the proof they are required to provide if requested. If they do, then you are unlikely to get the derogatory deleted. However, most creditors don’t archive such information 12-18 months after the delinquency, especially for closed accounts. Even if they have it archived they don’t want to take the time or effort to retrieve it.

It’s a complex game that creditors play with consumers. The key is to be persistent and to know the rules of the game. If you’re looking for professional credit restoration assistance, please contact Go Clean Credit. We offer a variety of credit repair programs that can assist with the removal of information negatively impacting your credit score.

5 Replies To Expect From A Credit Bureau Dispute

credit bureau dispute

The credit bureaus often do not follow the law; in fact, it is likely you will see some level of non-compliance during your credit repair process of disputing with the credit bureaus.

Congress gave you many consumer credit rights, and you are asserting them through a credit bureau dispute; the bureaus are not above the law. Staying the course and building documented proof of non-compliance is important. Persistence is critical.

Below are the types of responses you can expect from credit bureaus like Experian, Equifax, TransUnion when making a credit bureau dispute:

1. A new credit report showing the results of the investigation. The disputed account will have been handled one of these ways.

a. Account was repaired. The listing was found to be inaccurate or unverifiable. The negative listing (such as late pays) now shows up as a positive listing (only negative info was deleted).

b. Account was deleted. Listing was found inaccurate or unverifiable and deleted completely from your report.

c. Account was not investigated (it’s missing from the report). This is sneaky of them; you need to call them on it.

d. Account was verified. The creditor may have responded to the bureau’s request for verification, or the bureau may have faked the investigation to make you go away. “Verification” from the credit bureau is not the same as verification from a creditor; only creditor verification proof is valid legally.

2. No response. By law the bureaus are required to send you the results of their investigation in 30 days. Send them another letter repeating the dispute, reminding them of their legal obligations, and requiring they respond in 15 days.

3. Frivolous response. This would infuriate anyone, and is designed to. They may think you won’t stand up to the initial rejection. Reply by becoming more insistent.

4. Suspicious response. This may imply you are working with a credit restoration company or are barraging them with disputes. Insist that they open an investigation. The law does not allow them to do this.

5. Identity documents unacceptable. They send this letter even when documents are perfectly legible. It is designed to discourage you.

As you can see, it’s not easy to make a credit bureau dispute and receive a straightforward response. Let Go Clean Credit handle these disputes for you. Bureau tactics and behavior is constantly changing and we deal with them every day. Please contact us if you have questions on the dispute process, or would like to learn more about our credit repair programs.

Fix Your Credit Score: The 4 Essential Steps

fix your credit score

You’re out there shopping for your new car or home when you learn that your credit score is negatively impacting your ability to get the right loan in place for the long term. Now, you’re in a situation when you need to fix your credit score – and you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, we’ll discuss the 4 essential steps of credit repair. These steps are especially true when enlisting the help of a credit repair services company, who are already working on your behalf.

Here’s 4 Do steps on how to fix your credit score:

1. Make sure you have at least ONE positive open revolving account (credit card) reporting. If you do not have at least one positive revolving account, please contact us. We know which cards and accounts will approve you and benefit your credit score. We would encourage you to NOT apply for any cards or credit lines on your own, as opening the wrong types of accounts can actually NEGATIVELY impact your score.

2. Pay ALL your “good” trade lines on time. Even one late on any of your good trade lines can significantly hurt your credit score.

3. Keep your credit utilization low. Keep the balance owed for each credit card below 30% of your credit limit (below 10% is even better).

4. Consider working with a credit repair services company. A good credit repair services company can help you fix your credit score in a timely manner. If you do choose to work with a credit repair specialist, make sure to forward responses you receive from the credit bureaus and creditors immediately upon your engagement. Notify your credit repair specialist of any new negative accounts immediately (a specialist cannot help you with accounts they are not aware of). And, make sure your specialist has the best number (home, cell and work) to reach you. When a credit repair specialist contacts you they usually need something. Without your timely response, the credit repair process is delayed.

Please contact Go Clean Credit if you have questions on how to fix credit score, or have committed one of these “Do NOT’s” of fixing your credit.

How To Fix Credit Score: The 4 Do NOTS

how to fix credit score

There’s a lot of advice floating around out there on how to fix a credit score. However, it’s just as important to know what NOT to do as it is to know what TO do when it comes to achieving your credit goals.

In this post, we’ll explore the 4 “DO NOTs” of credit repair. These do not’s are especially true when enlisting the help of a credit repair services company, who are already working on your behalf.

Here’s the 4 Do NOT’s of how to fix a credit score:

1. Do Not pay any open collections (not even a penny) without talking to a credit specialist first. Paying a collection will likely not improve a credit score; it may actually lower it. Any settlement should be done with a settlement letter which agrees to the deletion from a credit report.

2. Do Not contact any of the collection agencies that credit repair specialists are already working on.

3. Do Not apply for new credit or seek out major loans before checking with a credit repair specialist. Credit repair specialists know which accounts will boost a credit score, and you should trust their advice and guidance on which new types of credit will have the greatest impact on your score.

4. Do Not discuss a collection item with a collection agency who contacts you. Do not have any sort of conversation with them other than to politely take down their name, the name of the collection agency, phone number, your account number with them, the original creditor name and the month/year it first became late with that creditor. Then tell them, “Now is not a good time to talk and I will call you back another time.” Do not tell them to contact your credit repair company or your attorney. If this cannot be done, then simply hang up on them. There are scam collection agencies out there and valid ones – you want to get as much information as you can from them and you don’t want to give them your information.

Please contact Go Clean Credit if you have questions on how to fix credit score, or have committed one of these “Do NOT’s” of fixing your credit.