Paul Yamilkoski

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A Road Map To Better Credit

identity theft

Aim Small, Miss Small – Your Results Depend Upon It

Have you ever heard the phrase “Aim small, miss small” and wondered what it meant? Or why it should matter to you in the business environment?

The phrase, commonly used in shooting sports, speaks to accuracy. If you want to hit the bulls eye of the target, you have to be aiming at the bulls eye.

That probably sounds painfully obvious, but as an archer and competitive pistol shooter in the past, I can tell you there is important truth to it.

You see there is much more to hitting the ten ring, or bulls eye, than simply pointing the weapon toward the target. You have to have a clean well functioning weapon, your hand steady, your breathing calm, your sights aligned, and you have to pull the trigger just right. If any of these things is less than perfect, the shot will be off the mark and not score as well. The more of these elements that are not perfect, the higher the chance of not hitting the target at all.

I remember early on getting frustrated with my coach about some of the little things that didn’t seem very important. I quickly learned that the little things can matter the most.

I particularly remember him showing me how he could move the weapon, when extended out and aimed, in a circular pattern about an inch in diameter and still score well, as long as his trigger pull was perfect. This meant that I didn’t have to get too worked up about being a little shaky, but instead focus on my trigger pull and aim.

The trigger pull matters because if I pulled the trigger anything but straight back, I would be either pulling the muzzle or end of the weapon to one side or pushing it toward the other, the result being a barrel that is not 90 degrees to the target but at an angle. When the barrel is at an angle to the target, the error gets magnified by the distance to the target, and it is easy to miss the target completely.

This brings me to the aim small miss small concept. If you have ever watched kids shooting bow and arrow, you probably have noticed that they can end up with arrows all over the place. They don’t really know how to aim the bow to get the arrow exactly where they want it, so just point it in the direction of the target, with the goal being to just hit the target and with the little fantasy to maybe hit close to the bulls eye. As a result, many arrows miss the target completely.

Watch those same kids shoot after being shown how to aim the arrow so it goes where they want it to go, and you will see much better groupings of arrows, meaning consistent performance, and almost all arrows at least in the target.


So why does this matter to you?

Well, outside of participating in some type of shooting sport, it can apply to the instructions you give your team or clients. If you don’t give them a goal that is exactly what you want to achieve, the you will likely see results similar to the kids shooting in the general direction of the target and not only missing the bulls eye, so to speak, but often missing the target completely, a total fail.

I’ll give you an example. Most lenders and realtors, and many others for that matter, understand that balance to limit ratios on credit cards affect credit scores. Many will tell a client to keep their balances under 50% to help their credit.

Now, when a balance to limit ratio hits 50% it starts to hurt your credit scores. The higher the ratio goes, the more it hurts your scores, so it makes sense to not want balances to be in that area.

If they hit the target you gave them, great, they are not being hurt. But they are not being helped either. And what happens if the client is off the mark even a little bit? They are in the range doing damage to scores. We effectively told the client to shoot in the general direction of the target, trying to avoid the miss but did not tell them where to actually aim.

If you want the client to get the best benefit, you tell them to aim for a 4% balance to limit ratio. That will give them the best score. If they hit it fantastic. If they miss what they are aiming for, say by 20%, they are still well within the good range. If they miss by 40% they are at least avoiding any damage.

You see the difference? Aim small, miss small. This can apply to all kinds of situations, but I help people fix their credit, so think of things in that context.

How about telling people to pay their credit cards off at the end of the month? Do you think you are helping them? What if they pay their bill on the 30th and the cards reported on the 25th? Their ratios look terrible and their scores get creamed.

What if you then told them to pay the cards by the 25th? Fail. If they pay on the 25th, the payment won’t clear before they report the balances and your client is in the same boat as paying at the end of the month.

Now, tell them to call their card companies to find out when they report to the bureaus and then schedule their payments to clear the account 2-3 business days prior to reporting date, and you have a recipe for success. Aim small, miss small.

There are a multitude of things like this that can affect a person’s credit. The cool thing is that you don’t really have to worry about most of it yourself. Let a reputable credit restoration partner like Heartland Credit Restoration do it for you. Then you can focus on what you do best.

If you, or someone you know,  has run into credit problems and could use a little credit help, a reputable credit restoration company like Heartland Credit Restoration is a great place to start. You will reach your credit goals much faster and safer with the help of a professional, and you will have loan ready credit when you are done.

Call me for a free consultation to see how we might be able to help. 319-533-5236.

If you are a lender or realtor that has a client you might have to turn away due to credit problems, then let me see if Heartland Credit Restoration can help change that client into a approved client with loan ready credit.

You should never have to say “NO” to a client. We can help change those into a “YES”.

Call me for a free consultation. 319-533-5236.

Don’t forget to let me know what you think. I always welcome comments. And please do me a favor and share this with your contacts on social media.

I’m looking forward to helping you.

Until then, I hope you have a wonderfully blessed day!

Time Doesn’t Heal All Things

I have often heard it said that time heals all things.

But as much as we might want this to be true, so often the reality is quite the contrary. We can sit and let time pass and find that little or nothing has changed.

I think the reason so many people experience this is because time is only an ingredient to healing. Time itself does not actually do anything. Time is not dynamic and active. It cannot achieve or accomplish. Time has no action. It is merely an environment for what really matters to happen.

Healing is the result of an action, an action that occurs repeatedly or is sustained over a period of time. The action can’t be random or a continuation of the action that led up to the event the now requires healing either. There must be a change in the action, so the results can be healing instead if injury.

The challenge so often is that we desire to just have things fix themselves and go away. We don’t want to actually deal with the situation. We don’t really want to change. We want to believe that it was misfortune that resulted in our injury, rather than our actions, so we can keep on doing what we want, when we want, and things get better again and stay that way.

I see this in nearly every facet of life, but as a credit restoration professional an credit counselor I see this especially often.

People make choices and take actions and find themselves with credit problems, only to try to point the finger at outside influences, circumstances and events as the reason they are where they are. Shifting the blame makes it very easy to be comfortable in not making a change, relaxing and continuing our path. It makes it very easy to simply say that time will heal everything.

In credit, this idea of time healing all things is expanded by the presence of statutes of limitation. The law says, for example, that a potentially negative element on our credit can only report for a period of time and then must be removed.

On the surface, this would indicate that time heals all things. In reality, it doesn’t always work that way.

You see, for each account that shows on your credit report there are many elements that can affect your credit score. The information about each account is provided to the credit bureaus, who are keepers and reporters of the information that is provided to them. The bureaus do not vet the information to insure accuracy before reporting because there are rules about providing accurate verifiable information to the bureaus. But the reality is it is very common that inaccurate information is provided to them. The result can be, for example, a collection account reporting as if it just happened, when it really is years old.

Why does this matter? It matters because, in credit, as in life, an injury has the greatest affect on us when the injury initially occurs. Then, over time, the action of healing is supposed to occur, the affect on our scores diminish, and eventually the injury disappear. But if the collection, as in this example, is reporting as if it just happened, the wound is effectively being kept open and no healing over time is happening. Time is not healing all things.

If this were your credit and you wanted to buy a house, your scores would be taking a beating and you would likely not qualify for a mortgage. In addition, many lenders have an overly requirement that says you must have 12-24 months of clean credit history, meaning no new late history or collections. Even though the collection in the example may be years old, if it is reporting as new, then you would be required to wait the requisite time for the collection to be outside that 12-24 month window.

The problem here is that if the collection continues to report as new, then it never gets old, your scores will remain low, and you will never meet that clean history requirement. Time will not heal all.

It may be inaccurate and illegal for the collection to be reported this way. But that doesn’t prevent it from happening. The collection company providing the information to the bureaus may not even realize they are reporting it wrong, and the bureaus assume the information is being provided accurately,  as required by law. Unless some action is taken here nothing will change.

imagesThe key is taking action. Taking no action means nothing changes. Take the wrong action and things could get worse. Take the appropriate action and things get better.

I really want your credit situation to get better!

If you know someone who has credit issues and is thinking that they will give it a few months and then work on buying a home, or that they will work on their credit themselves, ask the to think about that honestly and then act.

Stop waiting. Time waiting is just lost time, and with the likelihood of interest rates going up, it is lost money.

The choices and actions that they have been making up to this point are what got them where they are. It will take different thinking and different actions to get a different result. If they don’t know the ins and outs of credit, encourage them to get the right help, so they heal properly.

Whether you are an individual will credit challenges or you are a lender or realtor with a client that has credit challenges, a great place to get that help is with a reputable credit restoration company like Heartland Credit Restoration. We give all potential clients a free consultation to determine if you really need repair or just need pointed in the right direction.

Don’t just sit back and wait for time to heal everything. Take action to get real healing. Call me for that free consultation, or connect me with your client that needs the consultation. We will help you and them. You can reach me at 319-533-5236 or

I welcome your questions and comments and encourage you to share this with your friends and contacts on social media.

Until we meet again I hope you have a wonderfully blessed day!

Can Credit Be Repaired?

I get asked questions about credit all the time. One of the most common is from lenders. They say " Paul, can credit really be fixed?"

The short answer is, yes it can.

Let me start by giving you some stats about your credit reports.

In Feb 10, 2013 CBS News reported about A study indicating as many as 40 million consumers have a mistake on their credit report. Since then there have been a few follow up studies. In the latest update in 2015 the FTC  noted that, in the case where an item was disputed as inaccurate with the CRA’s, "…of these consumers (nearly 70 percent) continue to believe that at least some of the disputed information is inaccurate."

Around the same time as the initial reports were released, the U.S. Government reported that,

One in four consumers identified errors on their credit reports that might affect their credit scores – that’s 25% of consumers

One in five consumers had an error that was corrected by a credit reporting agency (CRA) after it was disputed, on at least one of their three credit reports – that’s 20%

Four out of five consumers who filed disputes experienced some modification to their credit report – that’s 80% saw their reports modified

Slightly more than one in 10 consumers saw a change in their credit score after the CRAs modified errors on their credit report

and Approximately one in 20 consumers had a maximum score change of more than 25 points.

That’s what the stats say, and those numbers include both consumers that got professional help with their credit and those that did it on their own.

Now, Heartland Credit Restoration has a combined professional experience of over 50 years in the industry.

So our numbers are even better, 

  TRU Results 1.jpg   TRU Results 2.jpg   TRU Results 3.jpg

as you can see from these reports that some of our clients received directly from the credit bureaus, after making changes to their credit reports. How you go about the process of addressing negative and inaccurate information on your credit report really does make a difference. Our experience really pays off for our clients.

Now, credit restoration is not a magic wand. Things do not just get removed from your report, especially if they are in fact accurate.

And it does not generally happen over night. I’m not saying that things never get corrected quickly. But  remember that we are dealing with large corporations where one hand commonly doesn’t know what the other is doing, where departments are significantly understaffed to handle the work load, and where there is little or no financial incentive to even worry about doing it right, and so it can be a challenge to get them on the same page.  

Credit restoration is a process that takes time. For many people that means six months or more.

Remember, you didn’t get into credit trouble over night. So the problem is not going away over night.

So, once a person has their credit " repaired ", what does their credit look like?

Well we could spend a lot of time on that one, but I won’t.

It really depends upon your goals.

Generally, as far as we at Heartland Credit Restoration are concerned, it means your credit is loan ready – your score is high enough and your credit report is clean enough to to meet the requirements of your lender to qualify you for a mortgage.

That is where we at Heartland Credit Restoration would say "repaired" credit starts.

Well, that’s today’s credit tidbit.

I welcome your comments and ask that you share this information with all your contacts on social media. We at Heartland Credit Restoration are all about helping people get positive control over their credit, and the more people that know this kind of information, the better.

If you are facing credit challenges, or you have a client that you are going to have to turn away due to credit challenges, then I encourage you to give me a call, and put the power of our experience to work for you. We can look at how Heartland Credit Restoration might be able to help you turn things around and get that credit loan ready. There isn’t a better company you can go to for help. 

I will look forward to talking to you and I hope you have a wonderfully blessed day!

Why Should I Check My Credit Report?

"Why Should I Check My Credit Report?"

I get asked this question a lot.

On one hand, it seems obvious to nearly everyone that knowing what is reporting on your credit report is important.

But, on the other hand, that is kind of like saying it is important to eat healthy. We all know it. But that is not necessarily enough to get us to do it.

So lets give checking our credit report a little meaning and value.

I’ll give you five reasons it is important to check your credit report:

1. Identity Theft –             identity-theft-368x208.jpg               You would be amazed (or maybe not) by how many people have their identity stolen on a daily basis. According to an article published by the

Insurance Information Institute, it is estimated that 12.7 million people got their identity stolen in 2014 totaling $16 billion, slightly down from 13.1 million cases in 2013. You don’t want to be one of those. Keeping a close eye on your credit can help catch a thief quickly, and save you a lot of work trying to repair the damage.

2. Wrong Information – This is a little like identity theft, in that you have things reporting on your credit that have nothing to do with you. Those things can be very damaging to your credit. It is very easy for things to get onto your report that are not yours. Think about it. All it takes is a simple typing error at any point of a customer’s journey making a purchase, and you could have that info reporting on your credit. This is especially true when you have a common name, are a junior or 1st 2nd or 3rd. I see this most significantly with Hispanic names, as it is not uncommon for them to have multiple name elements that match for a father and all the sons. This gets compounded when the entire family gets their social security numbers at nearly the same time, because the numbers also end up being very similar. When you think about it, it is easy to see why it can be very important to know what is reporting on your credit.

3. Inaccurate Information – This information is yours, but not reporting correctly. This may not seem like a big deal in many cases. But you would be surprised how big an affect wrong balances on credit cards or wrong dates for late history can have on your scores. You might even have late history showing that was never actually 30 days or more late. This is all very important to keep an eye on. I often see errors like this that, when repaired, cause a significant change in a person’s credit scores.

4. Planning for Financing –        images.jpeg       Your credit report, and the score that is generated from the information reporting on it, have a direct affect on your ability to qualify for lending and the interest rate you will pay. You will want to be aware of how things are reporting, so you can act to maximize your opportunity and benefit when getting lending of any kind. A 1% difference in the interest rate for a $150,000 home on a 30 year mortgage will result in more than a $30,000 difference in the amount of money you will pay over the life of the loan. On a $250,000 loan it can mean a difference of more than $50,000 over the life of the loan. A little investment in improving your credit can pay huge dividends.

5. Credit Affects Everything – Your credit score can affect your ability to get a mortgage or auto loan and the interest rate you pay. This can be huge. I have seen a person’s monthly auto payment double from what someone else was paying for the same loan value, simply because of the difference in their credit score. Your credit score can affect your ability to open a credit card and the interest rates they charge. Does your credit card charge 0%-5% interest or do you get changed 29%? Your score (and your history on that card) will be the difference. Your credit score can affect your ability to rent an apartment, to open a checking account, or to get a personal loan. Potential employers will often check your credit when making a hiring decision, or when considering you for a security clearance. Your credit score can even affect the rates you pay on health, life and auto insurance. I have a friend who sells insurance that said more companies are using credit in setting the premiums customers pay. In fact, he mentioned he got several new customers that came to him because the particular company they were with was almost doubling their premiums at renewal, all because they were using credit scores in determining premiums now. 

I hope is is not only obvious to you that your credit is important to watch, but that it is important enough to act upon. Sadly, most people don’t worry about their credit until they need to use it.

Checking your report is free – You are allowed to get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus one time every twelve months from

If you check your credit and discover that there are some problems, a reputable credit restoration company like Heartland Credit Restoration can make the process radically easier and timely, and they will make sure your credit is loan ready as well as life ready. The investment in your credit will pay fantastic dividends in all areas of your financial life over the years to come.

I welcome your comments and ask that you share this information with all your contacts on social media. We at Heartland Credit Restoration are all about helping people get positive control over their credit, and the more people that know this kind of information, the better.

If you are facing credit challenges, or you have a client that you are going to have to turn away due to credit challenges, then I encourage you to give me a call. We can look at how Heartland Credit Restoration might be able to help you turn things around and get that credit loan ready. There isn’t a better company you can go to for help. I will look forward to talking to you and I hope you have a wonderfully blessed day!