Posted on 2015-12-09 08:00:25
In 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.
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.
Posted on 2015-12-02 08:00:33
Everybody 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.
Posted on 2015-11-12 08:00:07
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. So who can access your credit report? Here are 6 places that do so on a regular basis:
Posted on 2015-11-04 08:00:56
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. 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.
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. 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.