Posted on 2015-09-03 16:05:00
Although there are many credit scoring models in use today, all are designed to quickly and objectively predict your creditworthiness. These 5 tips can help you keep your credit score on track. #1 Pay your bills on time, every time. Why it matters: More than anything else, lenders want to know how you pay your bills. So, your payment history usually carries the most weight with any scoring model. While a single late payment may have little impact on your credit score, a trend of late payments will not go unnoticed. Delinquent accounts and bankruptcies can cause your credit score to drop significantly.
Posted on 2015-07-30 09:00:51
There is no shortage of myths when it comes to credit scores. Here we expose the truth behind 5 popular credit score myths. 1. Checking your own credit report will hurt your credit score. This myth is potentially self-destructive. Ordering your own credit report counts as a “soft inquiry.” Soft inquiries have zero impact on your credit score. Zero. They are not even visible to anyone else who may look at your credit report. Consumers can and should review their credit report periodically. It has the information used to calculate your credit score. Make sure your credit report is accurate. 2. There is only one “real” credit score. There are hundreds of credit score models in use today. There are even multiple versions of the FICO credit score. Creditors often use industry-specific credit scoring models. An auto loan company, for example, may want a credit score that puts more emphasis on how you have handled past auto loans rather than an emphasis on how you have paid credit card bills. Consumers usually see a more generic educational credit score. The most important thing to consider is how you rate on the scale being used. Then look at the factors affecting your credit score.
Posted on 2015-07-22 09:00:30
If you think credit report mistakes only happen to others, it’s time to take your head out of the sand. Credit report mistakes are common, and some mistakes can affect your credit score. The two best eyes for reviewing your credit report for accuracy are your own. If you’ve never looked at your credit report, change that today! Here are 5 common credit report mistakes to check for. 1. Incorrect Personal Information Mistakes in the spelling of your name won’t necessarily affect your credit score, but it could if the mistake is because your identity has been confused with someone else’s. If you find inaccurate information in your name, address or Social Security number, dispute it with the credit bureaus. You have the right to accurate personal information on your credit report. 2. Erroneous Accounts If your credit report lists accounts that don’t belong to you, they need to come off—even if you think they are helping your credit score. Your credit report should reflect your credit history. You can never be sure when someone else’s account may go delinquent. Accounts that are duplicated may appear harmless, but it can give the appearance of having more open credit or higher debt than you actually have. Clean up erroneous accounts by disputing them.
Posted on 2015-07-15 09:00:30
Your credit score matters! A higher credit score can save you money each and every month through lower interest rates and better credit terms. It can add up to thousands of dollars over time—money that could be in your pocket instead of a creditor’s. Yet everyday people make mistakes that hurt their credit score. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid. 1. Late Payments Late payments will put you on the fast track to a low credit score. Not only will you have late fees to pay, that black mark on your credit report is a red flag to other creditors to beware. Always, always, always make your payments on time. If you are the forgetful type, set up a calendar reminder or automatic payments to ensure that your payments aren’t even a day late. 2. Charging Too Much Creditors like to see some leeway between your credit limits and the amount you actually charge. Most experts recommend you keep your balances below 30%; some recommend even lower. Just know that the ratio between how much you owe and your credit limit can account for about 30% of your credit score. Keep balances low for a better credit score.
Posted on 2015-07-08 09:00:59
Vacations are meant for relaxing and forgetting the cares of the world. But when you travel, your risk of identify theft goes up. Most people let their guard down while on vacation, and identity thieves take advantage of that and are at their busiest during the summer months. Here are 7 tips for safeguarding your identity while on vacation. 1. Don’t leave telltale signs that you are on vacation. Make arrangements to stop mail and newspaper delivery while you are away. Remember that mail often has information of great value to an identity thief. 2. Travel light when it comes to your wallet. Old-fashioned pickpocketing is still used by identity thieves. Don’t carry unnecessary cards in your wallet that make a thief’s work easier.
3. Use caution at ATMs. Identity thieves use ATM skimming to capture account numbers and PINs. ATMs at a bank branch tend to be more secure. 4. Wait until you return to share your vacation on social media. You may think you are sharing with trusted friends, but the truth is it is hard to know where your privacy stops and starts on social media sites. Wait until you are home to broadcast that your home was vacant. 5. Limit information on luggage tags. Really, you just need a phone number for an honest person to reach you if your luggage goes astray. Having your home address visible not only lets someone who steals your bag know your address (and that you are not home), but that same information is visible to many people who are standing or sitting near you. 6. Don’t leave personal information in a hotel room. It may be inconvenient to take your laptop, credit cards and other personal information with you every time you leave your hotel room, but it’s the safest way to safeguard your information. You simply cannot control access to a hotel room. 7. Monitor your accounts while you are away. If possible, use a secure connection to check your bank and credit card accounts while you are away. But if your only option is an unsecured Wifi, it is not worth the risk. This could be a perfect time to try a credit monitoring service that will alert you by email to any significant changes to your credit report.