Your credit score is one of the most important numbers to your financial picture. You know how important it is to have a high credit score. If you pay your bills on time and keep your debt down, you think that your score will be just fine, but this isn’t always the case. There are a few hidden mistakes that you could be making that are bringing your credit score down. Read on to find out what to avoid when trying to keep your credit score up and maintain it.
Too Many Credit Inquiries
Beware that every time you apply for a new loan or even just check on what type of interest rate you can get, your credit will be reviewed. You want to avoid too many credit inquiries because a high number will bring your credit score down. Always ask if a lender is pulling a hard inquiry to check your score, don’t allow too many of these credit checks.
Anything Small Can Make A Big Impact
Was there a mistake on a medical bill that you paid but it says it was unpaid? If you let this go, your credit score could be impacted. Even unreturned library books that have been turned over to collections can negatively affect your score. Stay on top of things because you never know how a small mishap can affect you.
Your Information Is Wrong
You should look at your credit report so that you can see more than just your history. You can see the information that is being reported to check for mistakes. Incorrect information can bring your credit score down. You can call the credit bureau that’s associated with any errors that you see on your credit report. It can be a little bit of a process to correct the mistakes on your credit report, but the time and effort is definitely worth it for your credit score.
Not Using your Credit
While using your credit too much is a problem, not making use of your credit at all can be a problem. Responsibly use your credit. Open a credit card and use it to make small purchases. Charge only things that you can afford and pay the balance off each month. This simple use of a card is one of the easiest ways to establish credit.
It’s important to do what you can to develop and maintain a healthy credit score. Keep all of your avenues covered to be sure that nothing hidden can negatively affect your credit score.
If your credit score could use a boost it isn't as simple as just changing bad financial behaviors. Increasing your credit score is a process that takes time. The time it takes to improve your credit history can vary. Late payments can remain on your credit report for seven years, but typically if you clear all past-due debts and pay on time from then on, your score can begin to recover quickly. One late payment doesn't hurt you that much but a pattern of bad payments will really hurt you. If you have a few late payments continue to use credit and pay on time every time. Demonstrate that you are managing your fiances well and your scores will begin to climb. If you have suffered a bankruptcy the effects can be long-lasting. According to myFico.com, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can linger for seven to more than 10 years on your report. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or total liquidation, can affect your record for 10 years. It is vital to constantly monitor your credit report and review it for accuracy. You can obtain your report for free once every twelve months from annualcreditreport.com.
Credit cards can be a great source of safety and convenience but they can also be trouble. Buy now and pay later can have serious consequences and lead to financial trouble. So in order to stay financially fit it is important to use your credit cards wisely. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your credit cards: • This seems simple but pay off your balance every month in full. Interest charges on your credit card purchases can add up fast. • If you do carry a balance, pay back as much as you can as quickly as possible. You don't have to wait until the payment due date. • Avoid using your credit card to withdraw cash or transfer money. Interest is charged on these transactions immediately. • If you are considering a card with an annual fee, be sure that whatever reward or benefit you're getting is worth the cost. Bottom line stay within your budget. Only use credit cards for things you can afford. If you can't afford it don't buy it. You will be much happier without the new sweater when you have enough money to buy a new home.
Did you know your credit score is always changing? Your credit score could be one number on one day and a different figure the next and even vary from one credit reporting agency to the next. Your credit score also known as your FICO score is based on the information contained in your credit record. Since your credit file is always changing so is your score. Your credit record changes every time a company you have credit with reports an on-time payment — or more important, a missed payment that's now more than 30 days late. Your score changes each time your credit card balance changes or you apply for new credit. There are three main credit reporting agencies; Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Another factor that could affect your score is that not all lenders report to all agencies. To know your credit score you can pull a free credit report from all three agencies once a year. Look for missing or incorrect information. It is important to get that resolved as soon a possible. Click here for more information on obtaining a free credit report.
Maintaining a good credit score is essential for buying a house, a car and even for landing a new job. There are lots of of things that can cause your credit score to plummet, from maxing out a credit card to having a home foreclosed on or declaring bankruptcy. Surprisingly, there are many financial situations that have no bearing on your credit score. According to an article from Time Moneyland and Barry Paperno, consumer affairs manager for MyFICO.com there are five common misconceptions about what harms your score. 1. How much money you make. Paperno says many people are surprised when they find out their salary doesn't directly impact their score. They’ll get a job and expect to see their credit score rise. When it doesn't, they’re disappointed. Of course, the advantage here is that if your income drops, the scoring formula doesn't penalize you. 2. Whether or not you have a job. Being laid off doesn't mean your credit score will go down. Many people who lose their jobs do take a hit to their credit, but this comes from falling behind on payments, not the job loss itself. Even if you’re receiving unemployment benefits, as long as you manage to get your bills paid on time, your score is safe. 3. Whether or not you revolve a balance. Some people think you’re at an advantage if you revolve a balance from month to month, while others believe you can charge all the way to your limit as long as you pay it off. Neither is correct. When it comes to your score, 30% consists of the amounts you owe in relation to your available credit — an equation called your utilization ratio. The lower that figure, the better. A credit score is just a snapshot of what your credit looks like on the day a lender pulls it. If you’ve maxed out a card, even if you intend to pay it off by the due date, that will reflect poorly on your score. Conversely, if you revolve a small balance in relation to your credit limit, you’re not doing yourself any favors by forking over interest to the credit card company, but your score won’t suffer. 4. Whether or not your home is underwater. Making a monthly payment on a house that’s no longer worth as much as the amount of your mortgage definitely stings, but a drop — even a significant one — in the value of your home doesn’t mean that your score will drop, too. Paperno says the FICO scoring formula doesn’t look at the current market value of your home. 5. How much money you have in the bank. Some people think that a big balance in a checking or savings account will make them more attractive to lenders, but in reality, Paperno says your credit score doesn't take your savings into account. If you do have a big balance in a savings account, use some to pay down other debts, since that will help your credit score.