By Blair Warner
If there is such thing as the beginning of the beginning, then the foundation of Upgrade My Credit begins a few years before we actually began as a company. My name is Blair Warner, founder and CEO of Upgrade My Credit, and here is my story. After a family tragedy between 2000 and 2003, I found myself left the only parent of four small children, and with thousands of dollars of medical bills and credit problems. Before that I had hardly paid attention to my credit report, since I had lived overseas much of the previous eight years, using only one credit card. If the aforementioned tragedy wasn’t enough, when I reviewed my credit reports I was shocked to discover that not only was I classified as having poor credit, but also many of the derogatory items were not mine or were being reported erroneously. In fact, a couple items were more than 12 years old. I started researching and learning how credit reporting agencies, often called credit bureaus, work, and the laws that govern credit reporting, like the FCRA – Fair Credit Reporting Act, as well as the laws governing how collection agencies and creditors work, like the FDCPA – Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and discovered that there are more than 240 laws related to consumer credit reporting and collection. My most important discovery was that it was my right to request investigation of questionable items, commonly called a “dispute”. I became adept at the ways and processes inaccurate and outdated information could be successfully disputed, and applied my new knowledge to my own credit reports. As said above, there were many items on my credit reports that were not mine or were being reported inaccurate or outdated. I went through the process of having these items investigated, and eventually removed or corrected accorded to my rights. As a result, I was able to buy the house I now live in with my four children with a low down payment and low interest rate.
Only a short time later while a partner in a mortgage company, I found myself helping other people repair and rebuild their credit so that they could buy a home. Many people whom we initially had to deny a mortgage because of credit problems are now living in their own home instead of wasting money renting. As word got out, fellow mortgage loan officers, friends, and even family members began to recognize my expertise and vast knowledge of credit and asked for my help. And as they say, the rest is history.
Upgrade My Credit was founded as a company in 2006 with a very simple mission statement: Help people restore their credit and be free from the bonds of debt, period! We eventually wrote it more formally:
Our Mission Statement >>
Today, after years of practice, coupled with extensive education, we’ve gotten good at analyzing credit reports, and not only spotting inaccuracies that can be investigated and potentially removed, updated, or corrected, but also pinpointing what is lacking in order to have a optimized credit profile, resulting in higher credit scores.