Posted on 2015-04-01 09:00:58
Your credit score is similar to the oil in your car. Your car may run when the oil is low or dirty, but it won’t run at its best, and it’s probably costing you more every time you drive it. In the same way, a neglected credit report can affect your overall credit performance and cost you more—month after month—in higher interest rates or missed credit opportunities. After all, it’s the information in your credit report that is used to calculate your credit score. And credit scores determine credit terms and more.
Check for Accuracy First and foremost, make sure your credit report is free of errors. A lot of information is passed to the credit bureaus daily, and mistakes do happen. The reality is no one knows your information better than you do. It is your responsibility to ensure that the information on your credit report is an accurate reflection of your credit history. Unless you identify and dispute a credit report error, the credit bureaus will have no reason to suspect something is an error. Pay close attention to the account information on your credit report. This is where mistakes can really affect your credit score. Look for accounts you don’t recognize. Check for negative information that is inaccurate. Keep in mind that accurate negative information can remain on your credit report for seven years (or up to ten years for certain bankruptcies), but older negative information should be disputed and removed. If your credit report has errors, contact the credit bureau(s) that are reporting them. Keep a detailed record of your contacts. Review Your Credit Score Report Next, if your credit report includes a credit score (and not all do), look for a report that indicates factors that are negatively affecting your credit score. These are the areas to focus on for improving your credit report and, in turn, your credit score. MyFreeScoreNow includes such a report with its credit scores. Unlike a car tune-up that can usually be done in one day, a credit report tune-up takes time. It can take weeks for disputed information to be removed, and even longer to see the effect of changed credit behavior. But, a credit tune-up can reap rewards over time that can keep money in your own pocket.
Posted on 2015-03-11 09:00:18
Maybe you have no plans to make a major purchase, so you see no reason to think about your credit score. That could be a costly mistake. Here are five reasons not to ignore your credit score. 1. Lenders use credit score to determine your credit risk. You will likely be offered better credit terms, including a lower interest rate, if you have a good credit score. Over time, that means more money in your pocket rather than the lender’s. 2. Credit scores matter for more than credit. If you think your credit score doesn’t matter unless you are planning to apply for credit, think again. Credit scores are used by many entities to make yes/no decisions about you. Landlords review your credit when considering a lease agreement. Employers may look at your credit report as part of the application process, whether for a new position or a promotion. Utility companies, insurance companies and others may review your credit before offering service.
Posted on 2015-02-26 09:00:18
Do you avoid your credit report like the plague because you think you won’t understand it anyway? You could be making a serious mistake. Whether you like it or not, others are using the information in your credit report to make decisions that affect your life, and it’s not just creditors. Landlords, employers, utility companies and insurance companies are among the other entities that routinely use credit reports. Get to know your credit report. The information is organized to make it easy to understand. Here are the four main categories of information on a credit report. Personal Information This information is intended to identity you and you alone. It includes your full name, your Social Security number, current and previous addresses, your date of birth and current and previous employers. Minor discrepancies in this section are not critical, but anything that could cause you to be mixed up with another individuals should be corrected.