The Great Recession has left consumers with financial scars. Many people lost their jobs, got into debt or saw their credit scores fall like the stock market during this time of economic difficulty. But now, as America begins to rebound, it is time for consumers to lick their wounds and hit the road to financial recovery. This can be accomplished in various ways, depending on the exact nature of one’s monetary malady. For those people looking to rebuild their credit standing, the answer is, perhaps surprisingly, use of a credit card.
You know that your credit score is one of the most important bits of financial information about you.
Where you fall on the credit score scale is often considered to be a way of determining what kind of person you are when it comes to managing your money.
Lenders — and plenty of others — use your position on the credit score scale to make decisions about how they will treat you in money matters.
The only problem is that many of us don’t know what our credit score is.
And when you head to one of those sites to get your “free credit score” it’s really not free AND it’s not your real credit score.
I found this out the hard way when I was trying to find my real FICO credit score.
If you’re just as confused as I, here’s a quick look at determining your credit score scale.
Credit Karma offers an array of interesting information about your credit situation, based on your TransUnion credit report.
And now, Credit Karma is offering free daily credit monitoring.
When you apply for and receive a credit card you are taking on a huge responsibility. The credit card company evaluates your credit worthiness and gives you a line of credit that they feel you can be responsible for. While most people will use their card to make purchases and then diligently make payments on what they charge, there are some people who, for one reason or another, do not keep up on their payments and eventually go into credit card default. While I’ve never been in this situation, I’m almost certain it’s one that you want to avoid.
Credit card default is the term used to describe what happens when a credit card user makes purchases by charging them to their credit card and then they do not pay their bill. The consequences of going into credit card debt are not fun as saw firsthand the effects that this had on my father. Here is what you can expect if you default for one reason or another on your credit card.
FICO 8 is getting a lot of press right now. Even though it was introduced in 2009, it has taken almost two years to really be adopted by lenders and other creditors. However, now the FICO 8 model is catching on more widely, and you can expect to see some changes in what is important to your credit score. The major credit bureaus have been using it, and now a number of banks, credit card issuers and others are using it. FICO 8 is picking up steam, and this means that you should be aware of what has changed.
Your credit score is an important number that affects your ability to qualify for credit and the terms you are offered if approved. Most American consumers are familiar with basic credit scoring principals. For example, paying bills late will be viewed as a negative while reducing debt is considered a favorable action. There are many other variables that are considered when calculating a credit score. It is important to understand how different situations affect your score in order to make the best decisions to improve your score. Here we are going to look specifically at unpaid medical bills and the impact they have on your credit score.
I‘ve been lucky to have a solid credit score for quite some time now (around 750 last time I checked). I know that once I graduated college, I was on the verge of letting my credit score slip really fast. Luckily, I prevented a financial meltdown by taking control of my radical spending and my credit score has improved ever since.
I know, however, that many are not in that same boat and struggle to get the credit score they want.
If you want to fix your credit score, you need to know what your current score is. Most creditors rely on the three-digit FICO credit score, which range between 300 and 850, when determining your level of risk as a borrower. The higher your score, the lower the risk is for the lender and the better your interest rate will be.
On the other hand, low credit scores result in getting denied for credit, or getting credit at extremely high interest rates. Contact a credit reporting agency to obtain your FICO score to see where you stand. You can get a free credit report, but to get the actual credit score you will have to pay (usually around $25). There are ways to get your credit score free online. Just read the fine print.
You’ve probably heard that applying for a loan can affect your credit score. Indeed, many realize that when a creditor looks into your credit in order to make a decision about a credit application, it can have a negative impact on your credit score. The fact that some inquiries into your credit can hurt your score has led to the myth that all credit inquiries can hurt your credit score. The truth is that there are two main types of credit inquiry: “Soft” and “hard.” Only the hard inquiry is damaging to your credit score.
Some cases of identity theft are pretty minor. Maybe you notice a couple transactions you didn’t make on your credit card statement, and a quick call to your bank about the fraud resolves the issue. But other forms of identity theft can be a nightmare to recover from, and can wreck your credit score in the process. Here’s how it happens.
Q: My dad always preached about keeping a high credit score. Could you explain what criteria are used to calculate credit scores so I can know what I need to do to keep mine high?
A: Five factors are used. The two that are weighted heaviest are your payment history (35%) and outstanding debt (30%). If you make prompt payments and keep your credit card balances down, you have control of 65% of your score. [Read more…]