Posted on 2015-07-01 09:00:49
High credit score rarely just happen. It is usually those who conscientiously think about their credit habits who have the highest credit scores. And it pays off. A high credit score will get you better terms on a loan that can keep money in your wallet instead of a creditor’s. That should be motivation to work hard and be responsible with your financial obligations. Here are habits of high credit score achievers. 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. Surprisingly, 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%. Even if you pay bills in full every month, most credit score models look at the balance reported by card issuers—usually your statement balance. If you use credit cards to earn rewards, consider paying down the balance before the statement closing date.
Posted on 2015-06-24 09:00:39
Credit monitoring simply means paying attention to your credit report. But why? Don’t the credit bureaus do that? No, the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) are merely repositories of the information sent to them by credit card issuers and other lenders.
Credit monitoring is an important concept because credit affects so many aspects of our lives. Most people know that what’s in your credit report can affect whether or not you qualify for a loan or the terms of a loan. Some people are surprised to learn that employers, insurance companies, utility companies, collection agencies and landlords use credit reports. Credit can even be a deal breaker in personal relationships. With so much riding on your credit, credit monitoring makes good sense.
A credit monitoring service is a convenient and cost-effective way to stay on top of your credit report. It takes the burden off of you. Whenever there are significant changes your credit report, you automatically receive an alert—usually email. Credit monitoring puts you at the helm. Here are 4 important reasons to consider credit monitoring.
Posted on 2015-06-17 09:00:38
Most people who use credit cards know they have a credit score. But many don’t understand just how much a good credit score can help you save money. Your credit score is calculated based on the information in your credit report. The main factors that affect your credit score are: Payment History. More than anything else, lenders want to know how you pay your bills. Available Credit. How maxed out are your credit card accounts? Length of Credit History. Lenders view a longer credit history favorably. Types of Credit Used. Most lenders view a proven track record with a variety of types of credit (mortgage, car loan, credit cards, etc.) as a good thing. New Credit. Many credit scoring models consider how many applications you have made for new credits—whether or not they were approved. Although this usually has a minor impact on your credit score, it is something to think about when you fill out a credit application in return for 10% off your purchase.
Posted on 2015-06-10 09:00:48
Keeping your personal data personal can be challenging. It’s almost certainly already out there in a lot of places. With identity theft commonplace today, it’s important to learn when to say No, especially when asked for your Social Security number. Social Security numbers used to be the standard identification number used by just about everyone. They are unique, making them a convenient way to identify individuals. But, Social Security numbers are a key piece of information used by identity thieves to create new identities. It is especially important to safeguard your Social Security number today. There are entities that still need your Social Security number today, such as state motor vehicle departments, welfare offices and tax authorities use Social Security numbers to verify identities. Social Security numbers are required by businesses such as banks that report to the IRS. And Social Security numbers are the key identifier used by credit card issuers and on credit reports, so lenders and landlords may need them.
Who else really needs your Social Security number today? One thing is for sure. It’s not everyone who asks for it. Many businesses continue to ask for it just because that’s the way it was done in the past. They might not even use it for anything, but it’s there in your file where it can potentially fall into the wrong hands. With the risk of identity theft so high, consumers need to be on guard. When someone asks for your Social Security number, ask why they might need it. If you aren’t satisfied with the answer, say “No.” Here are a few places where your Social Security number should not be required: Public schools. Your address can be confirmed with a utility bill. Rewards programs. Rewards programs are not financial obligations. They are merely marketing tools and should not require your Social Security number. Job applications. It’s not until you are hired that an employer needs your Social Security number. However, some employers now check credit reports as part of the hiring progress, and they would need your Social Security number to do so. But, your permission is required. It may be hiding in the fine print. There is no need to go to extremes. Using common sense before providing your Social Security number can minimize your risk of becoming an identity theft victim. Recognize that some entities have a legitimate need and right to it, but others are just asking out of habit, ignorance or with evil intent. Keep identity theft in the back of your mind before handing it over.
Posted on 2015-06-03 09:00:49
If you are graduating from high school or college, you have probably been quite focused on your GPA. You probably tracked it throughout your school years and knew when it went up or down—and why. With graduation now a memory, it may be freeing to put thoughts of your GPA behind you. But when you enter the post-graduation 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. Credit reports and credit scores are closely related, just as your school transcript was related to your GPA. Let’s look at both.