40 million Americans have errors on their credit report and 20 million of them are significant mistakes. Statistics provided by http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50153672n Almost everyone I speak with is not familiar with the real credit report site that is the one that offers you a free report that you are entitled to every year. The website is http://www.annualcreditreport.com as listed on ftc.gov . Removing errors is your responsibility, and it takes some time and patience.
As you go into this site, it will ask you for some personal information. Then it will ask which report you would like to obtain first, Experian, Transunion or Experian. Once you select your bureau, you may need to work through all the services it offers to get to the free report. You do not need to sign up for monitoring and you will have to pay for your score if you want to receive it. If you order one score to get an idea of where you are, choose Equifax or Experian. I have found these bureaus more widely used by creditors and most accurate reporting.
Once you have your reports, review them for accuracy. Conventional, FHA, VA loans do not accept a disputed item that carries a balance to be open on your report.
Below are 7 tips to Fix Credit Mistakes as recommended in an article published on the National Association of Realtors website http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/home-taxes-financing/dispute-my-credit-report/# :
1. Fix the Error Immediately
2. Make sure you Fix all bureaus
3. Report Credit Fraud to credit bureaus, police and the FTC.
4. Mistakes usually originate with the creditor. Contact them first.
5. Contact your state’s attorney general office if you need additional help.
6. Have proof to back up your claim.
7. Have patience and save all documentation, emails and correspondences. Get corrections in a letter on the creditor’s letterhead for your records.
Credit bureaus make money by gathering information from the people we do business with and then sell that information to banks, merchants, insurance companies and employers who use it to make decisions about our credit worthiness and reliability.
(quoted from http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50153672n)
Your credit is your responsibility.If you have success stories about how you were able to correct errors, I would love to hear about them. Contact me at Ingrid.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my websites at http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn or http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com.
Credit, Credit, Credit! Your credit score is a crucial part of your financial future and present. Whether you are looking to open a credit card, buy a home/vehicle your credit score will not only dictate your ability to make that purchase, but also what interest rate you will have. You have three different credit scores, but for this article I am going to focus in on one and that is your FICO credit score. It registers on a range of 300 to 850.
You should strive to have a score of 780 or higher to be in the best shape to make major purchases with the best interest rates. In the mortgage industry we suggest that our clients hold a minimum of a 620 credit score. This is primarily the lowest score most, not all, lenders have as a threshold for a mortgage.
Now let’s get down to what this article is all about. What can damage your credit score and what you should look out for. I will discuss seven different things that can greatly affect your credit score.
Carrying Large Balances:
You should never accumulate large amounts of debt. Yes, keeping a large balance on a credit card can enable you to increase that cards limit. However, you need to be aware that your debt effects about 30% of your overall credit score.
Closing Credit Cards:
This may seem like a smart move if you are having credit issues, but the length of time you hold a line of credit also effects your credit score. If you are able to maintain a credit card for many years it looks much better on your credit as opposed to quickly paying off balances and closing cards.
Nobody wants to see a late payment charge on their account and payment history is a major factor that lenders look into. For your FICO credit score, payment history makes up about 35% of the score.
It may seem obvious, but failing to pay back an owed amount to a lender will severely damage your credit score. The largest form of default is bankruptcy or foreclosure on a home. Both of these situations can easily cut your credit score by 100 points.
Having to many lines of open credit:
This is when the age old phrase “to much of a good thing,” comes into play. Applying for a loan or credit card with numerous creditors can cause your credit score take a small hit. If you apply for multiple lines of credit at the same time, those little hits will add up quickly.
Not Having a Credit Card:
Many people are cutting up their cards and closing their accounts in hopes of helping to keep them out of debt, but this is a double edged sword. On the one side you are not accumulating more debt and in turn do not have to worry about payment. On the other hand, you are not showing payment/credit history and are not helping your credit. Having a small credit card that you use for something specific like fuel or groceries is smart to have as long as you are able to make your payment at the end of the month.
We all have friends and family we care about. There are times where those people may need our help to qualify to receive a line of credit. You must take precautions when choosing to co-sign on anything. If you are not fully capable of taking on that debt alone it may not be the best choice to help. You should always prepare for the worst and if for some reason the person you co-sign with is not able to make the payment it will become your responsibility. You don’t want to be faced with a collection agency looking for money from you because you tried to help someone out.
These are all great examples of what can hurt your credit score and things you should look out for. You should always be diligent about keeping up with your credit score and know what’s going on. Work smarter so you don’t have to work harder in the long run.
If you have any questions regarding a home mortgage or suggestions please feel free to email me at Ingrid.Quinn@CobaltMortgage.com or visit me at http://www.CobaltMortgage.com/IngridQuinn or http://www.ScottsdaleMortgageExpert.com
Many people suffer with “poor to fair credit” or in the last 5 years have suffered some kind of credit incident and this can affect your future for a long time. There are many companies that claim they can repair your credit however; with a little bit of knowledge you can do the same things for yourself. Here are some tips on how to accomplish this.
1. Get a full credit report from the approved free site. Be careful not to sign up for 3rd party monitoring that offers a free report with your membership:
a. This can be easily obtained ….go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com and obtain a free report from each of the 3 credit bureaus
b. Check all of the information on the credit report to verify that the information is accurate and all about you. Do not enter a bunch of disputes about addresses, name, etc. Disputes are a detriment when applying for a home loan.
2. Pay off your negatives:
a. If the poorly rated items have occurred in the last 12 months, pay or settle them.
3. Start to rebuild!
a. Keep credit balances between 30-50% of the credit limit of the card.
i. Never max out your credit card even if you make payments on time.
ii. You should never allow a card to become fully inactive.
b. Retain accounts you’ve had the longest:
i. This shows longevity in your credit profile
ii. A good rule of thumb is to have 3 open trade lines at all times
4. Use a secured credit card:
a. A secured credit card is one of the easiest ways to build credit.
b. Apply for a small installment loan. Some banks offer credit builder loans and at the end of the term you have a small CD.
c. Put a sizable down payment down for a car and borrow a small amount instead of paying cash for a car and then pay off within 12 months or more.
5. NEVER pay 30 days late on any credit account.
a. This will automatically drop your credit score
6. If you are looking to make a major purchase such as buying a home, keep credit inquiries at a minimum.