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Take Charge of Your Credit Report

Posted on 2015-12-09 09:00:25

Winter girlIn a perfect world everyone would have a completely accurate credit report. But, unfortunately, that is not the world we live in. The reality is that mistakes on credit reports happen rather frequently. The worst mistake may be the one you don’t know about, the one that could be causing you to pay high interest rates or larger down payments. The bottom line is no one is more responsible for checking the accuracy of the information in your credit report than you. You are the one who will know if something on your credit report is inaccurate. You are the one who can take action to correct errors on your credit report.

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How Information Gets on Your Credit Report The three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion--collect information from credit card companies, banks, landlords and other businesses and government agencies consumers deal with. They compile this information in individual credit reports, then sell the information to lenders and other entities to use to evaluate your creditworthiness. A lot of information is passed to the credit bureaus every day, and the potential for errors is high. How Inaccuracies Happen Most of the mistakes on a credit report could probably be traced back to human error. But sometimes the problem is identity theft or credit card fraud. Whether someone has stolen your credit card or merely obtained enough personal information about you to open new accounts, the information that is reported to the credit bureaus is accurate—it’s just not yours. Take Charge of Your Credit Report There is really no excuse for not knowing what is on your own credit report. You are the one who will recognize mistakes in your personal information. You are the one who can spot a new account that you didn’t open or fraudulent charges. If you check your credit report and find nothing amiss, congratulations! But don’t be foolish enough to think a mistake can’t show up tomorrow. MyFreeScoreNow’s credit monitoring service will keep daily tabs on your credit report and will alert you whenever there are significant changes you should personally verify. If you find mistakes, you can begin the process of disputing those items.Credit monitoring puts time on your side and gives you one less thing to think about as you go about the business of life. Give yourself the gift of credit monitoring in 2016.

Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation. Proven Results. (877) 882-2256

5 Credit Traps to Avoid During the Holidays

Posted on 2015-12-02 09:00:33

Female Santa on the phoneEverybody loves a bargain, and there’s no shortage of them to entice holiday shoppers. But many people will have the holiday blues in 2016 when the bills start coming in. Here are 5 traps to avoid that will help keep your credit score in check as we head into a new year. See Your Credit Score in Seconds 1. Tendency to Overspend Study after study shows that consumers spend more when paying with a credit card instead of paying with cash or a debit card. Plastic is oh so convenient, and it’s harder to keep track of what you’ve spent. Set a budget ahead of time and pay with cash to ensure you stick to your budget. Come January, you’ll be glad you did. 2. Maxing Out Credit Card Accounts OK, you’ve decided to ignore the first trap and use credit cards so you can earn rewards. Just know that your credit score will factor 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 and on your credit report. 3. Identity Theft Store clerks won’t be the only ones working hard during the holiday season. Identity thieves will be putting in overtime. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t sacrifice convenience for security. Identity theft can wreak havoc on your credit score while you work to untangle the damage. 4. Opening New Credit Card Accounts Retailers love to entice shoppers to open with a 10% to 20% discount on your purchases just for opening a store credit card account. Keep in mind that retail credit cards usually have a high interest rate. If you don’t pay the balance in full, any savings will be eaten up—and then some—with interest. Also, your credit score could take a hit when prospective creditors check your credit report. If you weren’t planning to open a new account, don’t be lured in with a special offer during the holidays 5. Emotional Spending Let’s face it. For many of us emotions play a big role in holiday shopping. Don’t let emotions rule the day. Stay focused on January. What is your situation going to look like then? Will you be struggling to pay the rent because you overspent? Will you be able to pay your accounts in full? Don’t sacrifice a good credit score to emotions.

Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation. Proven Results. (877) 882-2256

6 Places That Use Credit Reports (Besides Creditors)

Posted on 2015-11-12 09:00:07

It’s a given that creditors use credit reports and credit scores to make credit decisions. It doesn't stop with creditors. Any business with a legitimate need can access your credit report. If you check your credit report, you will know when that happens because it will be noted on your credit report as an inquiry.The happy woman showing the key of her new car So who can access your credit report? Here are 6 places that do so on a regular basis:

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1. Landlords. Credit reports contain a wealth of information for a prospective landlord. For example, a credit report will show if someone has a history of late payments. It may show if the applicant has been arrested or convicted of a crime. Lawsuits such as a personal injury claim involving the applicant may be listed. Landlords may use this information to make rental decisions and to determine the amount of deposit they may require of a renter. 2. Utility and Cell Phone Companies. Many utility and cell phone companies will check your credit report or credit score before extending service. Your credit score could limit the service available to you or could affect the deposit required of you. Although utility and cell phone companies do not report payment histories to the credit bureaus, they may turn a past due account over to a collection agency. The collection agency may then report the debt to the credit bureaus and it will show up on your credit report. 3. Employers. Have your eye on a new position? Be forewarned that the prospective employer may check your credit report. They must have your permission to do so, but it may be buried in the fine print of a job application. 4. Auto Insurance Companies. Most auto insurance companies us a variation on the traditional credit score that is tailored to the auto industry. An auto specific credit score would put more emphasis on your past history with auto loans. Things such as a mortgage and credit card accounts would carry less weight. 5. Car Rental Companies. Some can rental companies will not rent to someone who doesn’t have a credit card. Of those that accept a debit card, most will do a credit report check before renting a car. 6. Government Agencies. Even government agencies may have a legitimate business need to review your credit report to evaluate your financial status for government benefits.
Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation. Proven Results. (877) 882-2256

Credit Scores Up Close

Posted on 2015-11-04 09:00:56

Your credit score is a computer-generated number that summarizes the information in your credit report such as how you have handled past credit obligations and your current credit standing. This information is compared to statistical models to give your credit history a score. Credit scores are intended to predict how you will handle future credit obligations. The higher your credit score, the lower the risk a lender takes in providing you credit.43 MjAxMS0wOC0xNy0xNjE4LTAxLUpDVC5qcGc= Many Credit Score Models There are many credit scoring models in use today. Although the criteria used is similar for all models, there can be slight variations and scales. One scoring model may go from 300 to 850 while another may go from 500 to 990. Because so many different scoring models are used, there is no single “good” credit score. But a good credit score on one scale will usually translate to a good credit score on another scale. Three Credit Bureaus There are three primary credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The credit bureaus are independent companies in the same business. Some creditors may report your credit activity to only one or two bureaus. Your stellar credit record with a particular lender may not be reported to the credit bureau another lender uses to check your credit score.

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Lender-Specific Criteria Even with the same scoring model, every company sets its own criteria. What one lender calls a good credit score, another may call fair. Or, the standard may vary depending on the situation. For example, there may be a higher standard for a mortgage than for an automobile loan or credit card application. Reliability of Credit Scores Credit scores have stood the test of time for being powerful predictors of a consumer’s future credit performance. Lenders have found a strong correlation between credit scores and delinquency rates. Although they may seem to be arbitrary, credit scores allow creditors and others to evaluate applications consistently and impartially. Credit scores are not always the final word, however. Creditors may also review your credit report and take into consideration other factors from your application such as your income and employment status. Why Your Credit Score Matters Your credit score can have a significant impact on your life. With today’s technology, credit scores can be used day and night to make an instant assessment of your creditworthiness. Knowing and understanding your credit score can give you a financial edge that could put money in your pocket through lower interest rates and lower monthly payments.
Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation. Proven Results. (877) 882-2256

Improve Your Credit Score with 5 Easy Tips

Posted on 2015-10-21 09:00:41

Credit scores are designed to quickly and objectively predict your creditworthiness. Most credit scoring models consider five key factors. Focus on these 5 tips to improve your credit score.Women having at the bar Payment History Lenders want to know how you pay your bills. Your payment history usually carries the most weight with any credit score model. A trend of late payments will not go unnoticed. Delinquent accounts and bankruptcies can cause your credit score to drop significantly. Tip #1: Pay your bills on time, every time. Amount Owed Creditors are interested in how much credit you have already committed to, especially in relation to your credit limits. If you are near or over your credit limits, prospective lenders may be hesitant to issue more credit. Even if you pay your bills in full each month, your credit score may factor in a large closing balance reported to the credit bureaus. Tip #2: Keep credit card balances below 20% of your credit limit. If you are using credit cards to build rewards, considering paying down the balance before the statement closing date.

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Length of Credit History A longer credit history is viewed favorably by lenders. It is rarely a good idea to close old accounts, even if you aren’t using them. It could shorten the credit history used to calculate your credit score. However, idle accounts will not help your credit score as much as using an account and making timely payments. Tip #3: Don’t close old credit card accounts without good reason. New Credit Most credit score models look at “hard inquiries” on your report – those that result from a credit application you initiate. Unless they are excessive, inquiries usually have a minimal impact on your credit score. But go on a shopping spree opening new accounts, and the impact could be greater. New accounts will also lower the average age of all of your accounts, and that could negatively affect your credit score. Tip #4: Don’t apply for credit that you don’t need. Types of Credit Used Having a proven track record with a variety of types of credit (mortgage, car loan, credit cards, etc.) is viewed positively by creditors. However, this factor does not weigh as heavily on your credit score as your payment history or the amounts you owe. Tip #5: It is seldom wise to apply for credit you don’t need just for the variety.
Improve Your Credit Score. Free Consultation. Proven Results. (877) 882-2256