So, what’s on #yourcreditreport? You have a pretty good idea what a credit report is – (psssst … it shows how #creditworthy you are) – but do you know what’s included in your credit report? The correct answer is no, you probably don’t.
Well, remember way back, that store credit card you had so much trouble paying on each month? Is that “trouble” still on your credit report and dragging #yourcreditscore into the sub-basement? Or maybe it’s that used car that was repossessed. The used car you never bought! So, you couldn’t have not paid on the loan, because you never took out a #carloan for the car you didn’t buy! It has to be a mistake! Exactly.
And that’s why you should check your credit report at least once a year. You might be surprised what you find.
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So, after #checkingyourcredit the guy with the bad comb-over and stinky cigar at the dealership said he could arrange a car loan with a “special finance” lender but it would be at a slightly higher one billion percent annual interest rate, along with some “miscellaneous fees.” And you’re beginning to think it’s time to rebuild your credit. You think?!
Here’s the problem. Like it or not, we all need credit at certain times. Like getting financed for a #carloan. Here’s help. Click here for FI-Q lesson 1 Many people, especially people under 40, don’t pay much attention to their #creditscore – a measure of how likely you are to repay a loan – until they get turned down for a loan because of a #poorcredit history. Luckily, there’s something you can do about it. It’ll take some time but it’ll be worth it in the end. (source: Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection consumerfinance.gov)
- #Payyourbills on time, every time. It’s a habit you’ll get use to and feel good about when you do.
- Don’t get anywhere near your limit on credit cards. Keep charges about 30% of your limit.
- Don’t apply for lots of credit in a short period of time. The credit gods don’t like that.
- If you use a credit card pay off the balance every month. Do it! And keep it up. Good credit is built over time. And keeping your balance at 30% or less of your credit limit makes paying it off each month a lot easier.
- If you can’t get a regular credit card, get a secured credit card. You’ll put an amount equal to your credit limit in a special account as security.
- Check you credit reports for errors. They happen and it’s up to you to have the credit bureaus correct them. They’ll help you.
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That’s what they do, you know. When, say, you go to rent an apartment or buy a house. Or buy a sofa for your new apartment or house. Or buy a car to drive to work so you can pay for the things you buy.
It doesn’t matter what FICO stands for. What does matter is what it means when you go to buy those things. It’s your credit score. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FICO And, unless you’re paying with cash, your credit score determines whether or not you get whatever it is you’re buying.
We know credit scores because we understand credit. We also know how to help our members get good credit and keep it. You might want to give us a shout to see what we can do for you. The service is free and you might be pleasantly surprised. https://www.creightonfederal.org/
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A while back half the country – 143 million people – had their personal identities stolen. Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and a lot more. They were stolen from the “secure” files of Equifax, one of the three credit reporting agencies that are supposed to safeguard our personal information and provide lenders with a credit score based on our credit history. If your loan application is OK’d it’s because these guys have looked at how well you repay your debts and given your lender a number that says you’re OK.
Last fall, in response to the Equifax data breach Congress passed a law requiring Equifax and the other two, Experian and TransUnion, to place a “freeze” on any consumer’s credit file, if requested by that person, and not charge them for it, which they had in the past. Here’s the Buried Treasure in that. With a freeze on your credit file, the goons who inhabit the “dark web” can’t open a account in your name and run up a huge tab or buy a car with your name and SS# on the loan documents. That’s because lenders won’t be able to access your credit file because you’ve frozen it.
In other words, identity protection that’s free for the asking!
You have to contact Equifax, Experian and TransUnion individually but when you do they’re required to place a freeze on your account within 24 hours. All three have smart phone apps so you might be able to order the freeze online. And you’ll have to “unfreeze” your account if you’ll be applying for credit in the future. But it’s free and you should get it to protect yourself!
A credit freeze can’t undo the data breach but you know what they say. Better late than never.
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