As a consumer you’ve learned the importance of
establishing a good credit rating with your lenders. Whether you are shopping for a new home or auto, or searching for the best deals on insurance, your credit worthiness will be judged by your credit rating or credit score.
A bad credit history or bad credit habits will place “black marks” on your credit profile. These include things such as late payments, having an account assigned to a collection agency, and of course bankruptcy.
Establishing good credit habits and therefore a good credit rating will improve your credit worthiness. This will be reflected in potential lenders offering you substantially lower interest rates and better deals on credit offers.
Here are 4 tips to help you create a shining credit profile:
1) Pay Your Bills On Time
Lenders only have your past payment history on which to decide the type of credit risk you present to them. How you pay off your debts now indicates to them how you will pay off future debts.
2) Don’t Use Too Many or Too Few Credit Cards
How much is too much ? How little is too little ? Many credit experts and financial planners suggest two to four credit cards is just the right mix.
3) Pay At Least The Minimum Due
Always pay at least the minimum due payment, but never less. And remember, just paying the minimum payment means it will take you years and years to pay off that credit card.
Example: Paying off a $2,000 credit payment at 18% APR with a minimum monthly payment of 2% ($40 dollars or less) will take you 30 years to pay off the amount plus interest.
4) Review Your Credit Report Regularly
Monitor your credit report from all three major credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax - on a regular basis. Check your credit profile at least annually. Review it carefully and make sure that any past mistakes or disputes have been corrected.
Also, if you notice an account listed that you know that you have not personally opened, contact that creditor and the credit bureaus immediately. This could be a sign that you’ve had your identity stolen. Request to have a fraud alert placed on your profile and account to protect yourself and your credit. Identity theft is the fastest growing consumer crime in America, with an estimated 1 million people victimized each year.
Establish good credit habits early in life and reap the benefits that your good credit rating will provide you for the rest of your financial future.
A persons credit score is one of the most important numbers they will ever deal with. A credit score is used by many different companies to determine the credit worthiness of a person. Almost every business a person deals with from utility companies to banks are interested in their credit score.
The credit score is based upon the things reported in the credit report. The higher the score, the better. A higher score means lower interest rates and an easier time getting lines of credit. A credit score is made up of the following information:
- 35% is based upon the persons payment history. It will be affected by making payments or not making payments.
- 30% is based upon outstanding debt. This is any debt that is yet to be paid.
- 15% is based upon the length of time the person has had an established credit history.
- 10% is based upon the inquires made into the account. This is the credit checks, basically, made for this person.
- 10% is based upon the different types of credit the person has.
A credit score is very important to understand. This score holds a lot of importance and should be a main priority. Credit is everything these days and having a bad credit score can mean difficulties even getting the simplest thing done, like getting a telephone turned on in your name.
Low credit scores can be costly. A person with a low score often finds they are charged fees and high interest rates on everything. A higher score gives a person much more freedom and allows them to save their money to pay their debts.
If you have a low credit score then you need to work to build it up. You should not apply for credit, get new lines of credit, but instead pay off debts. Work to bring down your outstanding balances and pay off old accounts. It is also smart to keep older accounts and close out newer accounts.
Doing these things will help to bring your credit score up. If you are unable to figure out how to handle debt then you should use a financial expert to help you. They can make suggests and formulate a plan to help you fix your credit.
If your credit history does become very bad then your chances of obtaining credit will be slim. Lenders will see you as a very big lending risk and will either turn your down or make you pay very large interest rates. That said, more and more lenders are starting to relax their lending criteria in order to service the very sub prime market.
Credit scores can be confusing since the actual calculations are very tedious and almost never outright explained. All a person should be concerned with is keeping their credit reports in good shape. This in turn will ensure their credit score is good.
So you need to make sure that you keep up to date with your mortgage and secured loan payments, pay off your store and credit card bills on time, don't get into more debt than you can afford, do not make too many applications for credit and try not to let your bank accounts become overdrawn.
If you have ever been asked by your wife, husband, child or friend to have someone else as an authorized signatory to you, i.e. a supplemental signatory, on your credit card account you no doubt gave this some serious thought. If you agreed to the request, the following are some reason why you should have a credit card in your own name and they have a credit card in their own name.
Possibly the main reason why you should have a credit card in your own name is the effect it has on your credit history.
In short, you have had to manage your financial affairs very astutely in order to gain a sufficient credit worthiness to apply for, and be approved, a credit card. Conversely, any supplemental signatory to you on your credit card doesn’t have to do anything – as the card is relying on your credit history to determine the risk of the third person. This may sound a little harsh, but if you think about it you are the one who is responsible for repaying the card, so why shouldn’t they rely on your ability to repay rather than some third person who has no obligation to repay them if there is an outstanding debt?
Now, you may well be thinking: “That’s not a problem, I’ll control their spending.” And, you may even be able to manage that feat. But, here’s another reason why you should have a credit card in your name and they should have a credit card in their name. Throughout the time that they are supplemental signatories to you on your credit card account, they are not enhancing their own credit worthiness – nor are they affecting their credit rating. So, even if they are good supplemental signatories and never spend money on your card without first seeking and getting your approval, it has no positive affect on their credit history. On the other hand, if they were to have a credit card in their own name, and were good and managed their account well, all of this would add lots of brownie points to their credit history!
Lose - Lose Situation
The reason why having a supplemental signatory on your credit card account is a lose-lose situation is not only because you take on the financial risk that they will behave themselves, but also they have no upside if they behave well. Also, keep in mind that if your supplemental cardholder runs amok and spends, spends, spends, it is your credit history that is being affected, not theirs!
What Does This Mean?
It means that you could work years building up the perfect credit history and rating only to have it all torn down overnight by someone else. So, if you don’t want that to happen, make sure have these good reasons why you should have a credit card in your own name only the next time someone asks you if they can become a supplemental signatory on your credit card account.
If you have never been in debt before or you are young, then getting a credit card can be hard. Strangely, lenders trust people who have been in debt and paid it back more than people who have never had any debt. Although it may seem hard to get a card if you have not gotten one before, there are some ways to get a credit card. If you are unsure about how to go about getting your first credit card, then this article might be able to help you.
Check your credit report
The first thing you need to do is to check a copy of your credit report. This will tell you if you have any problems with credit, and if there are any errors you can clear them up. If your credit rating is good then you should have no problem getting a card.
Apply to your bank
Once you have established that your credit rating is good, then you should apply for your card. The first place you should start is with your bank. If you have a full-time job and have had no credit problems, then you bank is likely to give you a card with a low limit of probably a few hundred pounds. Now that you have a card you can use it and if you pay your bills on time then slowly your credit limit will get better.
If your bank will not give you a credit card, you can improve your credit by getting a store card. Although these cards have very high rates, if you spend a little on them and pay it back then you credit will quickly improve.
Don’t over apply
One thing that you should avoid is applying for lots of cards at once. If you do this then the credit process will be started for each and your credit rating will be further weakened. Applying for lots of cards makes you look financially unstable and will harm your chances of getting one good card.
Beware of ‘unbeatable’ offers
If you are applying for a card you might feel the best option is to take one of the ‘amazing’ deals you get in the post every day. These deals offer you really low interest rates and tell you that you have been pre-approved already. All they mean by this is that you are pre-approved to apply, but you can still be turned down and even if you aren’t you are unlikely to get the rates they quote. If you are going to pay your balance each month then the interest rates at first do not matter. Apply to a company you know and trust and that will be fair when you want to renegotiate terms.
One of the best ways to get your first card is to get a secured credit card. This involves you paying a money deposit that is frozen whilst you have the card. This reduces the risk for the lender, and if you show that you can pay your bills then you can get upgraded to an unsecured card quickly.
Never pay fees
One thing you should avoid when getting your first card is to actually pay for it. Although secured cards require a deposit, there are other companies that charge myriad fees before you get hold of the card. If this is the case you may find just the fees eat half of your balance up, which almost defeats the point of getting the card. Even if you are getting a card for the first time you should not have to pay for the privilege.
Not many people spend too much time thinking about it, but every one of us, has a computer file somewhere that contains all the information that makes up our credit history. This information will include our current and previous addresses, our income level, our outstanding debt and how much extra credit we currently have available to us. It will also show things like our repayment habits, whether or not we pay bills on time and if we have had any county court judgments made against us for payment.
It will be made available to companies who wish to see it for a fee and it is surprising how many different types of companies now routinely make use of such reports. There was a time when only banks and other lenders used credit reports when deciding whether or not to give you a loan. However, these days, if you are for example thinking of renting a property, it is likely that the property agency will require a credit check in order to satisfy itself that you will pay your rent on time. Insurance companies also make heavy use of credit reports when assessing insurance premiums. Even large employers are now using credit reports to screen job applicants when they assess candidates.
Therefore, it can be seen that your credit rating can have a huge influence over you and your life. It can effect many important decisions that you might never have thought would be relevant to your credit history. For instance, you may not have been too worried about leaving an old phone bill unpaid after moving house, but the consequences can be quite serious.
Tips for Keeping a Healthy Credit Rating
There are some steps you can take to make sure your credit rating stays as healthy as possible. You can for instance pay your bills on time and reduce the amount of outstanding debt you have. You should also know that time is on your side because most negative elements on the report will not last forever.
You have a right to view your credit report and this is generally a good idea as it allows you to make sure it is accurate. If there is any negative information on the report that is in error you can have it amended or corrected. The credit reporting company has a duty to keep all information accurate and up to date. It can make a big difference so you should always inform the reporting company of errors promptly and give them the correct information.
What you don't know about credit inquires can destroy your credit score and effect what you can qualify for. Whether you are shopping for a cell phone, car, home loan, insurance, or just curious about wanting to see what you could qualify for, a credit inquiry can cost you points on your credit score. Even a reduction in credit points may seem trivial. A change in credit points over a 30 year period can cost 1000's if not 10,000's of dollars in higher interest payments. Furthermore to some it can mean the difference of being able to qualify for a home, car, or other financing that is necessary in today's world. Usually a credit inquiry will result in a less than a five point reduction in your credit score. However with multiple inquiries comes the likelihood that the score will plummet and the interest rates for purchases will go up. This will result in the consumer with a lower credit score to make higher payments for home, car, of other credit purchases.
There are several different credit inquiries. An inquiry for a specific purchase will have a freezing point for a 2 week period. In other words if you were shopping for a car you could have your credit pulled, (also called an credit report inquiry) at several car lots during a two week period and it would only count as one inquiry. This type of inquiry usually results in less than five point drop in the credit score. This is because the credit bureau considers all the credit inquiries done in the two week period for the same credit purchase to only affect the credit score once.
The second type of credit inquiry is when a person is attempting to obtain different types of credit that is not related, such as car financing inquiry and purchase of a cell phone. These two items are not related. When an inquiry is placed on the credit report it will cause the score to go down. This results in the score going down twice because of the different types of credit inquiries. Applying for credit to see what you can get and trying for different types of credit can lower your score significantly enough not to qualify for credit purchases at all.
Another common credit inquiry is when a marketing company purchases a list from the credit bureau. Then the company uses that targeted list to send out unsolicited pre-approved credit offers. These offers usually come by mail and this type of inquiry does not affect your score. The credit bureau's theory is it would be unfair to penalize a person who hadn't inquired about a credit purchase and had no control of receiving the unsolicited offer. Even though these offers do not affect your credit score they can be an annoyance. This type of offer can be used by potential thieves as a source for identity theft or credit fraud. For that reason any unsolicited credit cards should not been thrown in the trash prior to shredding them completely.
Reviewing your own credit from credit bureau sources will not affect your credit score. Your credit request (for simply review) does not hurt your score. It is your right to know what is in your complete credit file. The information on these credit reports are identical to what a lender, underwriter or creditor will see. However the credit scores on these credit reports can vary because of the way credit bureaus interpret your score. When considering a purchase of a home or car it is always best to check with a professional in that field of financing. That expert can help you determine the score that is relevant to your purchase and which credit bureaus will be used.
Your credit score can be destroyed by simple credit inquiries. The way to avoid loosing credit points is to have your loan approved for a car, home, or other credit purchase prior to going on a shopping spree. The difference in a credit score going down even 5 points could result in getting a less desirable interest rate, the credit lender requiring more down payment, or even denial of your desired loan.
Credit Inquiries are supposed to remain on your credit report for up to two years. The fact is you may have to ask the credit bureaus/creditors to have them removed after their expiration. The below numbers are directly to the credit bureaus and will allow you to order your credit reports directly. Reviewing credit through these sources are the best as they won't lower your credit score even when viewed often.
Trans Union 1-866-887-2673
Another good reason to review your credit report inquiries is to protect your credit from identity theft or credit fraud. By reviewing your credit you can see recent inquiries for credit purchases. Should you notice names of unfamiliar creditors, it could be an early sign of identity theft or credit fraud. Simply call the all three credit bureaus and have them place a fraud alert on your credit report. This will stop most credit theft. Today credit fraud and identity theft are more prevalent than ever before.
Most financial advisors will tell you that it is never too early to build a good credit history, but it’s also never too late to start as well. This article explains what credit is and what it takes to achieve good credit history.
Basically, credit consists of borrowing money with the intention and agreement to pay it back at a later date. Any kind of loan, such as student, home and car loans, and credit cards are examples of credit. In order for a lender, usually a bank, to agree to lend to you, the borrower, money, your credit history will have to be reviewed and be up to standard with the lenders credit policy. If you have good credit history, getting a loan for that dream house is in your future.
Good credit, bad credit. You hear people talking about it all the time, but what does it mean? Having good credit means that you pay all of your bills and money you owe on time, all the time. Lenders know that you are responsible and will take bigger risks on you by lending you more money in the future. Bad credit means that you historically have not paid your bills on time and have increasing debts. Having bad credit makes it harder to get loans and almost impossible to get low interest rates on them.
Many students and younger people might have no credit at all. That’s OK; we all start out at the same spot. Having no credit simply means that you don’t have a credit card or have never borrowed money from a lending institution, so there’s no recorded history of whether or not you are financially responsible. If you are new to credit, or have a poor credit history, here are the most basic and easiest ways to build and maintain good credit:
First, make a budget for yourself to manage all of your expenses. Think of it as a daily schedule planner, but for your money! Be realistic with your spending abilities and keep track of what you spend your money on by saving copies of purchase receipts. Save receipts for everything from food and clothing to gas and movie tickets. Be sure to stick to it.
Next, open a checking and savings account, or if you apply for a credit card, try to get the lowest interest rates possible and keep the balances low. If possible, pay the balance off every month and don’t miss payments. If you want to make a big purchase, save up for it instead of charging it on your credit card. Don’t buy on an impulse. Also, every bill, from rent to telephone to utilities, should be paid on time. On-time bill payments are a great way to build non-traditional credit and show lenders that you are serious about fiscal responsibility. Keep copies of cancelled checks and bill statements to prove that you have paid on-time. If you keep up with bill payments, ask your landlord or utility company to write a reference letter explaining how you have been a favorable customer and have had an outstanding payment history. Lenders like to see these forms of proof that you a responsible with your money.
Once you are on your way to building and maintaining good credit, you’ll want to keep track of where your credit stands. This is done by viewing your credit report. Your entire credit history, including every time you use a credit card, make or miss credit card and bill payments, is included in the report. Any loan debts you have had over the last 7 years, and their payment history, are also included. In addition, your employment history is kept to show whether or not you can keep a job. Your credit report should be viewed at least once per year. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the three companies that you can receive your credit report from. Be sure to check it for accuracy and contact the credit agency if corrections need to be made.
Having good credit will affect your future for the better, so be smart with it. Once you have good credit, you’ll be able to get that dream house and car and have a financially secure life. Even your children’s lives will be affected by your credit, your ability to offer them the best life possible. Remember, you now have the knowledge and ability to take control of your credit and change it for the better.
Credit card bills can be expensive. Sometimes they can be simply too expensive. Depending on how you use your credit cards, and how much you spend, and how disciplined and controlled you are over your own spending, you may or may not have trouble paying your credit card bills when it comes to the end of the month and the bill arrives in the mail. No matter what your situation is however, there is always one thing you will not, under any circumstances, want to see on your monthly credit card bill, and that is a credit card fee.
There are different types of credit card fee and different reasons for incurring them, but the good news is that many of them can be avoided by simply following a few simple rules and keeping on top of your finances and bills. The most important way to minimize the fees you receive from your credit card company is to pay your bill on time and in full each month. Generally if you do this, you will be charged no interest of finance charges at all, and will be receiving all the benefits of a credit card and over a month of credit absolutely free. If you are one of the lucky customers who can manage to maintain your account in this way, you will be very lucky.
However, many people cannot pay their account in full each month, therefore, they incur the most common of all credit card fees, and this is finance charges. Credit card companies actually charge very high interest rates to their customers so if you have the option of borrowing in other ways that may be cheaper it is recommended that you use these methods if you are planning on needing the money for more than a couple of months. It is far cheaper to pay back a short-term loan than to maintain a large credit card balance.
Another credit card fee is a late fee for when you are late in making your monthly payment. Many people who have more than enough money to make their repayments simply through a lack of organization miss payments and incur large fees. If you are late in making your repayment because you don’t have enough money to make it you may need some debt counselling or other advice to help you manage your way out of this situation.
There are many other fees that your credit card company can impose upon you depending on the company, but being aware of how they are calculated and what sets them off is probably all you need to know to be able to avoid incurring them in the future.
Michael, 25 years old and working in United States for past one year was on the verge of going bald from trying to figure out the best credit card among the tons of emails that he received almost daily about the "pre approved credit cards". Chances are that you too maybe going through the same dilemma of choosing the right credit card. As choosing the right credit card is not such an easy task as it looks at the first go, it becomes essential that you know some of the important points before you eventually purchase the best credit card for yourself.
Most of the credit cards, which call themselves as the best credit cards, come with almost the same features, offering more or less the same rate of interest. In such a case, getting the best credit card becomes even more of an ordeal for the buyer. However when the rate of interest is more or less the same, one should look for incentives offered by the various card companies in order to get the best credit card. Incentives and rewards can be of various kinds; depending on them you can opt for the best credit card. For instance you get reward points for every purchase that you make from the credit card and these points are redeemable from certain stores and outlets.
There are three main categories of cards: secured, regular and reward or rebate. Where you fall on the scale depends upon your credit history. If you’re in the process of trying to rebuild your credit, a secured card can help you achieve that. The other categories are differentiated by the types of services they afford. While reward cards generally have great perks, the higher interest rates that they normally charge can be costly if you do not pay your balance in full every month.
Then there are cash back incentives. This definitely is a strong criterion for the best credit card. According to this scheme, you get a percentage of cash back at every purchase that you make. You can also convert your redeemable points into discount for various airline flights. Most of the buyers make the mistake of thinking that the reward schemes are mostly similar whereas the difference in schemes offered by different card companies is extensive. So first of all do your research about different reward schemes and then choose the best credit card.
Nowadays banks have started offering balance transfer credit cards, which are becoming increasingly popular for people deciding on the best credit card for them. Balance transfer cards allow you to consolidate you debt onto one card, thus helping you save on interest payment, hence recommended by experts as the best credit card for debtors.
Getting the best credit card wouldn’t be a difficult task when loaded with the right information. So research about the incentives and other schemes and then only go for choosing the right credit card. It might take a little time but at least you can be sure that it’s the best credit card.