Latest credit scores articles

Be Credit Wise with Holiday Shopping

Posted on 2016-11-08 20:56:40

sale, shopping, tourism and happy people concept - two beautiful women with shopping bags in the ctiy Bargains abound on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday season. Who doesn’t love a good bargain? But there are credit traps lurking behind those bargains. Beware of these credit traps that can put a damper on on the holidays . . . and even your credit score in 2017.

  1. Overspending
There is no denying it. Consumers spend more when paying with a credit card instead of cash or a debit card. Is that really a surprise? Credit cards are just so convenient. Avoid overspending by showbox app setting a budget ahead of time and, ideally, paying with cash to ensure you stick to your budget. When January rolls around, you’ll be glad you did.
  1. Maxing Out Credit Card Accounts
Can’t resist the convenience of plastic or don’t want to miss out on credit card rewards? As you charge away, keep in mind your credit score will take into consideration the percentage of your credit card limits that are in use. Try to keep the balances below 30%. If you exceed that, pay down the balance before your statement closing date so that a lower balance gets reported to the credit bureaus.

Check Your Credit Score Before Holiday Shopping

  1. Identity Theft
Identity theft will be alive and well throughout the holiday season. Stay alert. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t sacrifice convenience for security. Also realize that many bogus charities come to life this time of year. Do your homework and research charities before donating and especially before handing over your personal information.
  1. Opening New Credit Card Accounts
It can be tempting to open a new credit card account when you are offered a discount on your purchases, but think twice. Do you need another credit card to think about? Your credit score could take a hit when prospective creditors check your credit report or credit score, too. If you weren’t already planning to open a new account, don’t be lured in with a special offer for holiday shopping.
  1. Emotional Spending
Don’t let emotions rule the day when holiday shopping. Stay focused on January. What is your situation going to look like then? Will you be struggling to pay bills because you overspent? Will your credit score take a hit because your spending was out of control? Everyone loves a bargain. Keep these tips in mind to ensure your bargains don’t come back to haunt you—or your credit score—in 2017.

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Well, Well, Wells Fargo!

Posted on 2016-10-03 21:35:52

Surprised woman looking over her glasses. Beautiful jaw dropped girl with modern eyewear.Sometimes you just have to shake your head in disbelief. That’s how it felt when news broke that Wells Fargo employees had opened at least two million new accounts behind their customers’ backs. Over a half million of those were credit card accounts. Why? Most cite intense pressure to meet unrealistic sales goals. And it has been going on for years—at least as far back as 2011, but maybe as far  back as 2007. The Impact on Credit Scores A major concern to consumers should be how the Wells Fargo scandal may have impacted their credit scores. That’s a legitimate concern since it may be difficult, if not impossible, to know for sure because there are so many variables that can affect one’s credit score, and it can be different for each consumer depending on other factors on one’s credit report. Paul Bland, executive director of the legal advocacy group Public Justice said, “Figuring out what people’s actual damages are is really, really difficult. It’s going to take a lot of work and energy to unravel this.”

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New accounts opened fraudulently by Wells Fargo employees would typically be reported to the credit bureaus and show up on your credit report as a hard inquiry. Inquiries are usually not one of the major factors affecting your credit score, but in some cases, a few points difference in your credit score it could be enough to impact the terms of a loan or whether you are approved at all. Indeed, for some, another credit card could cause a credit score to go up because it raises the amount of available credit. This has the positive effect of lowering the percentage of available credit being used. But what happens when you choose to close the unwanted credit card account, as Wells Fargo is offering to do? It could have the opposite effect and lower your credit score because you will suddenly be using a greater percentage of available credit. Be Proactive with Credit Monitoring Many Wells Fargo customers were not aware of having a new Wells Fargo account until the scandal broke in the news. This reinforces the importance of keeping tabs on your credit report. It’s Wells Fargo in the spotlight today. Who will it be tomorrow? A credit monitoring service is the easiest way to keep tabs on your credit report on a daily basis. Subscribers are alerted when a new account is reported to the credit bureaus—not when it hits the news.

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Credit Scores for the Graduate

Posted on 2016-07-07 09:00:48

Three young graduates pump their fists in the air outdoors and celebrate their achievement If you are a 2016 graduate, you probably know your GPA. You may have seen it fluctuate during your school years, and there may have even been times when it was of concern to you. Was it too low to get you into a certain school? Was it going to limit scholarship opportunities? Could it affect you in ways you don’t even know? With graduation behind you, thoughts of your GPA may be behind you also. But when you enter the post-graduate world, you have a new sort of GPA—your credit score. Like your GPA, it’s a number you should track and be aware of as it changes. Information in your school transcript was used to calculate your GPA. The information in your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. Let’s take a look at both credit reports and credit scores.

See Your Credit Score in Seconds

Credit Reports Credit reports are maintained by credit bureaus (also known as credit reporting agencies). The three major national credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Credit bureaus are private, for-profit companies that collect information from creditors about how you pay your bills. They also gather information from public records, so things like bankruptcies and liens can show up on your credit report. Creditors are not obligated to report to the credit bureaus, but most are happy to do so because they also benefit from the information others provide. Simply put, your credit report is a collection of information that tells the story of how you handle credit over time. It lists your accounts and how much credit is available to you, your outstanding balances and tracks whether or not you pay on time. Negative information can stay on your credit report for 7 to 10 years, though the impact of negative information should diminish over time. Credit Scores Your credit score is a three-digit number that sums up the information in your credit report. It provides lenders and others with a quick way to analyze your credit history and your predicted credit risk. As the information in your credit report changes, your credit score changes.   Why Credit Scores Matters Credit scores give lenders a quick and unbiased way to make credit decisions. Your credit score can determine the credit terms you are offered including interest rate. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your credit score. It can affect your life long after you’ve forgotten your GPA.  

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5-Minute Guide to Your Credit Score

Posted on 2016-03-09 09:00:48

Charming blonde girl in sunglassesHow much do you know about credit scores? Do you know the main factors that can affect your credit score? Our 5-minute guide to your credit score will help you understand your credit score and put you on track for a better credit score. 1. Pay Bills On Time How you pay your bills has a huge impact on your credit score. Paying your bills on time every month is the quickest way to see your credit score go up. That doesn’t mean the bills have to be paid in full, but make sure the minimum payment due is paid on time. If your bills are coming at an inconvenient time of month, ask your creditor if the closing date can be changed. Many will do this for you.

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2. Pay Down Balances While you are only required to make a minimum payment each month, lowering your balances can help raise your credit score. Make it your goal not to exceed using 30% of your available credit. Consider using a budget so you can see where your money is going. 3. Don’t Apply for New Credit You Don’t Need Retailers are notorious for offering on-the-spot rewards if you will only sign up for their credit card. There are several reasons to say No. When you apply for credit, it is recorded as a hard inquiry on your credit report. The number of hard inquiries on your credit report can affect your credit score. Also, some people will tend to spend more when more credit is available. When you need to shop for a home, car or student loan, do your shopping within a short amount of time. Most credit score models will count multiple inquiries for these types of loans as a single inquiry if they are made within a 14-day period. 4. Spend Less Studies show that those with the highest credit scores tend to use very little credit. People tend to spend 12% to 18% more when paying with plastic instead of cash. For some consumers, that begins a downward spiral of getting in too deep to make on-time payments. 5. Keep Tabs on Your Credit Report The information on your credit report is used to calculate your credit score. The information provided to the credit bureaus by your creditors is outside of your control. Make sure your credit report is accurate. The sooner an error is discovered, the quicker it can be corrected.
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Countdown to 2016 and a Better Credit Score

Posted on 2015-12-23 13:03:19

PrintWhether you’ve spent a year damaging your credit score with poor credit habits or let the holidays entice you into overspending, now is the time to work on a better credit score. A good credit score is rarely a coincidence. Credit scores are designed to reflect your credit history, that is, how you have used credit over time. It is usually those who conscientiously think about their credit habits who have the higher credit scores. Here are 4 credit habits to adopt now for a better credit score in 2016. Always pay bills on time. This is a “no exceptions” rule. On most credit score scales, your payment history accounts for about 35 percent of your credit score. Even a single late payment can cause a significant drop. The impact will likely be more serious for someone who already has a good credit score. Keep account balances low. In other words, avoid overspending. Most experts recommend keeping your account balances below 25% of your credit limit; some recommend as low as 10%. If your balances are consistently higher than that, consider locking up your credit cards for a time. Let those balances drop. If you are one who uses credit cards to earn rewards, make sure your statement closing balance falls below 25%. If necessary, pay down your balance before your statement closes.

What Is Your Credit Score Going Into 2016?
Think before closing an account. If you find it a temptation to spend just because you have an available credit card, it might be time to close accounts. But remember that every time you close an inactive credit card account you risk shortening your credit history, and that is one of the factors used in calculating a credit score. The other way closing an account can affect your credit score is by lowering your overall available credit. That means whatever credit you use suddenly becomes a higher percentage of your available credit. Get a hobby besides collecting credit cards. Don’t apply for credit you don’t need. Those with the highest credit scores are actually those who use credit the least. Don’t impulsively open a credit account for a small savings on your purchase. It is rarely worth it. Remember A high credit score is a reward for responsible use of credit. The reward is well worth the effort. A high credit score will get you better terms on a loan that can affect the money in your wallet for years. That should be motivation to work hard and be responsible with your financial obligations. Make 2016 the year you take charge of your credit score.
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