Credit Education

The information in your credit report has a huge impact on whether or not you qualify for a mortgage loan and what interest rate a lender will offer. Therefore, it’s important your credit report reflects a positive image of the way you manage your money. If you’re getting ready to buy a home, checking your credit report is the best way to ensure you get the loan and interest rate you deserve.

The easiest way to see what’s in your credit report is to contact the three national credit reporting agencies – Equifax www.equifax.com, Experian www.experian.com and TransUnion www.transunion.com – and request a copy from each. That’s because the three agencies are independent of each other and the information may differ on all three reports. In addition, you may not know which agency your lender will use to check your credit, so it’s best to verify that all three have correct information about your credit history.

Free access to credit reports
You are now able to get your credit report for free regardless of your employment or financial situation. An amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates that each agency provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every year, from www.annualcreditreport.com.

These free reports are eligible to all consumers once per year.
For additional fees, each agency may offer you different report variations, such as:
– A credit report with or without your credit score.
– A three-in-one credit report that lets you see a side-by-side comparison of records, from all three agencies, with or without scores.
– Notification services when your credit history is requested.
– Routine notification changes to your file.
– Subscriptions that allow you to access your report on a regular basis.

What Makes Up a Credit Score?
A FICO score generally ranges from 300 to 850 with a higher score indicating a lower credit risk. Your FICO score is calculated based on data collected from many sources that give an overall picture of how an individual handles their credit. The following are a few of the factors that will most strongly impact your credit score and their relative importance:

Payment History 35%
Were Payments Made on Time?

Amounts Owed on Accounts 30%
Is the balance owed close to the limit?

Length of Credit History 15%
How long have your accounts been open?

New Credit 10%
How many new accounts have been opened?

Types of Credit Used 10%
Mortgage, auto, consumer finance accounts, revolving and installment loans.

 

The above information is illustrative only. Your individual circumstances will vary.

What Can Affect Your Score?
– Late Payments – Pay your bills on time. If you have missed a payment – bring your account current as soon as possible.
– Credit History – When you payoff a debt or collection amount, or close an account, the credit reference will remain on your credit report for a minimum of seven years.
– High Balances – Keep outstanding balances low on credit cards and other “revolving” accounts.
– New Credit – If you are relatively new to using credit – don’t open too many new accounts in a short period of time.

How to Improve Your Credit Score?
Your score can be improved by managing your credit responsibly over time and following some basic tips:
– Make sure the information in your credit report is correct. You are entitled to one free credit report annually from the three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. We can help to obtain a free credit report and show you how to review it today.
– Review your credit report for account accuracy (date opened, account balance, account limit, last activity). Be sure to have incorrect or erroneous information updated.
– Pay down high credit card and revolving account balances, but don’t close the account. Don’t apply for credit that you don’t need – excessive credit report “inquiries” can lower your score.
– Avoid moving credit balances from a current account to a new account just to take advantage of low introductory interest rates. The combination of “inquiries” and “new accounts” can negatively impact your credit score.

 

If you need assistance or require additional information, please call Jody at (702) 769-1791 to schedule an appointment.