This is one of the most common questions I get. It can be confusing, especially when there are so many different types of smartphones, operating systems, versions of software…..if this kind of lingo makes you nauseous, please stay with me. I’m about to make this easy (hopefully)!
What is a PDF file? PDF stands for “portable document format.” It is cool because it appears on a computer screen the way a printed-out document looks. It’s a wonderful way to store and send information. Unfortunately, it isn’t always straightforward just how you take a web page or an email and turn that into a PDF file and email it. Especially if you do everything from a smartphone or a tablet. Because the iPhone is what so many people have (me too), I’m going to start with that.
Let’s say you got your credit reports from www.annualcreditreport.com and you’re at that screen where you see your credit report as a web page. Now what? Well, PLEASE do not send me dozens of screen shots of your phone screen — that’s really hard for me to work with. You can actually email this as a PDF file that will print like normal. No expensive printer ink required!
I’ll demonstrate. Let’s say you have a webpage on your iPhone. At the bottom you’ll see a square shape with a little arrow going up. You might have to scroll a little to make it appear. I circled it in red so you can quickly identify it:
Got that? Now, click it. Then, you’ll see a bunch of options on what to do with it. (You won’t see that awesome picture of my cat yawning — that popped up because I was near my MacBook when I created this tutorial.)
You may have to scroll to the left until you see a “Print” option. Click on “print.” It is circled above. Then this window will come up. Instead of actually printing the document, diagonally stretch it with your two thumbs as if you were trying to zoom in:
This will cause the document to “pop out,” and form itself into something that looks like a PDF. Then you’ll see that little square shape with the up arrow again in the lower left hand corner.
Click that, and you’ll get this menu that gives you the option to email it:
Select “Mail,” and email the document to me. If you’re reading this, you probably already have my email address 😉
Don’t worry. There are many different options on how to save a webpage as a PDF file described in this article: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-save-a-webpage-as-a-pdf/
Whatever you use, here’s how you do it like a pro: (1) make sure you hold your phone level above the document, and (2) line up the four corners of the document with your camera so you don’t get a stretched-out image with a lot of space around it.
I sure hope this was helpful to you! And if all else fails and you have to print, and don’t have a printer, click here for suggestions: http://seattlefaircredit.com/how-to-print-documents-when-you-dont-have-a-printer/
Can you identify with one of the following dilemmas?
Fedex Office has many such locations. I don’t have any type of pecuniary relationship with Fedex Office; I just find them to be convenient when I’m traveling and need to print something. You can find Fedex Office (formerly known as Kinkos) locations here: http://www.fedex.com/locate/index.html?locale=en_US#
And when you go to that link, filter your search results by clicking “more” and then selecting “Copy and print services.” See:
I understand. You can email them to me as PDF files! I have instructions on how to do that here: http://seattlefaircredit.com/how-to-email-documents-as-pdf-files/
Occasionally I get calls from well-meaning people who want “credit repair” services. Usually it is someone who has bad credit of their own doing, who has decided to finally get their act together so they can buy a house.
Maybe the family is growing (adding more humans — or more animals!). Maybe the landlord has raised the rent, and buying suddenly looks like a better deal. Maybe there’s a new job, and a little more cash flow, and the American Dream finally looks within reach.
People start looking for houses, and just set themselves up for disappointment when they learn that there’s no magic wand to make bad but accurate credit come off the credit report.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news — even though as a lawyer since 2005, I’ve had a fair amount of practice at it 🙁
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of shysters out there with slick, aggressive ads everywhere online that sell false hope. Don’t waste your money. If you want to dispute something, my website has instructions, and so does the Federal Trade Commission.
If an item on your credit report is yours, and it is reported accurately, I can’t file a lawsuit for you to make your credit score higher.
Even if it is inaccurate, your legit dispute — even if that actually fixes it — can take 30 days, which can feel like geological time when you’re shopping in a hot and competitive housing market.
And if your legit dispute doesn’t fix it and we do have to file a lawsuit, the gears of justice grind slowly. (With some frequency, however, I’ve seen false reporting get corrected once the lawsuit is in the works, which allows people go to house shopping before the lawsuit is resolved. But I never know whether someone will be so lucky.)
Ok, enough bad news! Here’s some good news. 🙂
If the bad stuff on your credit report is yours, it is supposed to come off in 7 years for most accounts and 10 years for bankruptcies and judgments.
Credit reporting agencies are stopping the reporting of many new judgments and tax liens (link to New York Times article).
One of the biggest killers of your credit score, late payments, is totally within your control. If things are looking up for you, you can focus on keeping current with all your accounts TODAY and the stuff from your past will gradually have less impact.
And, if stuff on your credit report is objectively false or not yours, you have rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and there are lawyers who can and will litigate these cases and work hard to solve these problems for you.
It’s always good to look at your credit reports before you start house shopping. Know the good, the bad, and the ugly, and what you qualify for. Then you won’t have that “drooling at the window of the locked candy shop” experience — at least not quite so bad.
Are you thinking about house hunting next Spring? Now is the time to look at your credit report and make sure it’s accurate. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com and get your credit reports. If there is something there that doesn’t look accurate, please contact me and we can discuss!