Today we have grown into a nation looking for instant gratification, the buy now pay later syndrome. So, without a good credit rating it will be very difficult to get the things you want at the time you want them. Consumer credit has become widely accepted as a substitute for ready cash, so having good credit is the key to your future of getting all you deserve, and the key to opening doors that make your life more comfortable and worry free.
As a consumer it is to your benefit to fully understand how credit works and every aspect of what is involved when you apply for any type of credit, including the major credit reporting agencies that hold your credit report file. When you understand what the banks and other creditors are looking for, and you know what is in your credit report, you will be able to control your financial future and make the best choices for yourself and not accept anything less than what you deserve.
When you apply for credit, lenders want to know about you, your employment history, your income, your assets, and most importantly they want to know about your credit history. A lender will get lots of information directly from you through a credit application, then, they will pull your credit bureau reports to confirm this information and review your credit references and credit report scores. Then upon evaluation of your credit application combined with your credit report, the lender will determine your credit risk and make a final decision on whether or not to grant you credit and at what rate of interest they will charge you.
So, now that you know the process of getting credit, let us take a deeper look into the factors that can either be an asset or liability to you when applying for credit – your credit report.
What is a credit report
Your credit report is your financial resume, a summary of your financial reliability, containing both personal and credit information. Your credit report is maintained by credit reporting agencies, also known as credit bureaus, and provided to lenders, employers, insurance companies, landlords and other companies who have a legitimate need for this information, based on the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Your credit and personal information is reported to the credit reporting agencies from various creditors, in most cases electronically, instantly updating your file.
What is in my credit report
Your credit report is divided up into five main areas: personal profile/identifying information, inquiries, credit history, public record information and your credit score.
PERSONAL PROFILE / IDENTIFYING INFORMATION – this is where all your personal information is recorded – your name including any alias and possibly your spouses name, current and previous addresses, Social Security number, date of birth and current and previous employment. You might find some of this information is incorrect or incorrectly spelled, this can occur when creditors pull your credit bureau as they usually enter in the information though the computer where data entry errors can occur, and these mistakes will update your credit bureau report. However, if there is information that is not even close, such as an address, this should alert you to investigate this further as it is a possibility that you may be a victim of identity theft.
Secured Credit Card is similar to a prepaid credit card since the funds you are using are actually yours and not the issuer of the credit card. Generally people who apply for secured credit card or prepaid credit card are people with poor credit or unemployed. Prepaid Credit Card spending limit is the amount of money you loaded to the card. There are no interest or finance charges on a prepaid card. With secured credit card, your credit line could be from 50% to 100% of your deposit depending on the institution giving you the secured credit. Therefore the company giving you the secured credit card has zero risk.
Secured credit card can be very beneficial because it gives you an opportunity to rebuild your credit history and you are able to make purchases just as if you had an unsecured credit card. Many companies require that you have a credit card to make purchases, such as car rental, airline tickets, etc. Ensure that the company issuing the secured credit, routinely reports customers’ payment history to any of the three main credit bureaus namely Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. This reporting to the credit bureaus will rebuild your credit history over time.
Closing unnecessary accounts and consolidating your bills to make payments more manageable could be an advantage financially. By not applying for too much credit within a short period of time is another factor that will help in rebuilding your credit rating. Additionally, even though secured credit is like prepaid cards, they do have certain fees attached.
Benefits are similar to that of an unsecured credit card, such as usually being paid interest on your balance in the bank, using Automated Teller Machines (ATM) to make deposits, withdrawals, and making purchases at participating merchants. Following the above steps will strengthen your credit rating.
Unsecured Credit Cards are issued to individuals with good to excellent credit rating. Credit ratings depend on certain criteria, such as one’s ability to repay loans. These criteria include payment history, employment history, and financial stability. Individuals with excellent credit will most likely receive a lower interest rate. A major factor in maintaining excellent credit is making your loan payments on time thus avoiding late fee penalties.
Customers should read the credit agreement to ensure that they understand their obligation to the creditor. Making payments on time will strengthen your credit rating. Unsecured credit cards has numerous advantages such as low interest rates, high credit limit, business name options, no annual fees, and low APRs on balance transfers up to 12 months. Closing unnecessary accounts and consolidating your bills to make payments more manageable could be an advantage financially. By not applying for too much credit within a short period of time is another factor that will help in maintaining a good credit rating.
Rebuilding your credit takes time, patience, and consistency. If you consistently pay your bills on time, you will see an improvement in your credit ratings over time. There are no quick fixes for improving your credit report except for mistakes or inaccuracies that can be corrected, hopefully in your favor. Your credit information is maintained by the credit bureaus namely Experience, Equifax, and Trans Union for seven years. Therefore poor credit information will remain on your report for seven years. The good thing is that as negative information disappears with positive information, this will definitely rebuild your credit rating.
You can pay a credit repair company to fix your credit, but if you’re willing to invest your time instead of your cash then you can do it yourself without having to pay a professional. The only questions you need to know before you get started are how much your time is worth to you, and how comfortable you are with initiating and managing multiple credit profile related contacts via phone and email. You will also need to be comfortable with reading and writing quasi-legal documents. You can find example correspondence online which can help you with this.
Step 1: Obtain Your Credit Reports
Your credit score is based on a combination of factors and information which is reported about you by 3rd parties to the 3 major credit reporting agencies. The major agencies we are concerned with are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. These three companies are the ones who are responsible for publishing information about you onto your credit report, however they are not the ones responsible for generating the information. A creditor, a collection agency or another company (known as data furnishers) will tell Experian, Equifax and TransUnion what to publish about you, and then the credit bureaus will publish it. They do not perform a thorough investigation into the legitimacy of the information when they initially report it. Only when it is discovered and disputed by you will it be investigated, at which point it may have been damaging your credit for months or years. It is also very common for information to be different on each of your three credit reports, which is like playing Russian roulette every time your credit is pulled if you don’t fix all three at the same time. The reason is because you never know which report your potential landlord, employer or loan provider is going to pull. Let me give you an example:
You have never checked your credit reports or felt the need to do so, however 2 years ago a credit card account was fraudulently opened in your name, maxed out and never paid on. You have never heard anything about it. The credit card company which was defrauded only reports payment information to Equifax and TransUnion, not to Experian. You have previously been approved for a car loan from your bank about 9 months ago, so you assume your score is good, however you are turned down in the final stages of your employment application and receive a form in the mail stating that a consumer report was used in the negative determination of your employment application. That means that even though your bank pulled your Experian information to verify your credit worthiness for your car loan, your potential employer used Equifax or Transunion and assumed the fraudulent negative credit card entry was valid.
Situations similar to the above are very common, and whether you are turned down for a loan, a credit card application, a job or an apartment it is a huge disruption to your plans and can be a major stress inducing event. Go and check your credit reports right now and then once a month from here on out in order to nip this potential problem in the bud.
The first step to take is to simply obtain a credit report from each of the agencies above. Legally you are allowed to do this for free once per year and also every time you are denied credit or suffer another qualifying negative event based on the results of a consumer report. To get your free reports go to annualcreditreport.com and follow the instructions to obtain your report. This is the official government website for obtaining your free credit reports, and it does not require a credit card or any kind of subscription or trial. Some people are not able to receive their reports from annualcreditreport.com due to problems verifying their identity or other reasons. If you are unable to obtain your reports from annualcreditreport.com, you can either search online for credit report providers or you can contact the credit bureaus directly yourself. Typically you can find providers online which will charge you $1 for your first month of access to your credit reports and to a credit monitoring service, with cost rising to about $30 per month thereafter. Remember, it’s free for you if you can get your reports from annualcreditreport.com, so that is definitely your first choice. If you can’t get them there try a paid provider or contact the bureaus directly either online or by mail and persuade them to provide you with a copy of your report. I always send mail certified, signature required, with a tracking number – and I highly advise you do the same. Keeping a detailed record of all of your communications with each entity you will be contacting is of the utmost importance to your success. The dates of your mailings and of the correspondence you receive as a result are extremely important. Below are the web addresses for the credit bureaus – search their site or search online for instructions for requesting access to your credit report if you are unable to do so through annualcreditreport.com.
We have developed eight effective strategies for preventing mistakes on your credit report. We wish you much success.
1) Beware Of Debts & Credit You Don’t Use
Just as it is very easy to apply for a store credit card, it is also easy to forget you have it. It is important to remember that the account will remain on your report and affect your score as long as it is open. Don’t make the mistake of having credit lines and cards you don’t need. It makes you look more risky from a lenders point of view.
Also, having many accounts you don’t use increases the odds that you will forget about an old account and stop making payments on it, resulting in a lowered credit score. Keep only the accounts you use regularly and consider closing your other accounts. Having fewer accounts will make it easier for you to keep track of your debts and will increase the chances of you having a good credit score.
However, realize that when you close an account, the record of the closed account remains on your credit report and can affect your credit score for some time. In fact, closing unused credit accounts may actually cause your credit score to drop in the short-term, as you will have higher credit balances spread out over a smaller overall credit account base.
For example, if your unused credit limits amount to $2,000, and your regularly used accounts also have a credit limit of $2,000, you have $4,000 of available credit. If you close your unused accounts and owe $1,000 on the accounts you use regularly, you have gone from using one-fourth of your credit ($1,000 owed on a possible $4,000) to using one-half of your credit ($1,000 from a possible $2,000). This will actually cause your credit risk rating to drop. In the long term, though, not having extra temptation to charge, and not having credit you don’t need will help you budget.
2) Avoid Having Many Credit Report Inquiries
An inquiry is noted every time someone looks at your credit report. Don’t make the mistake of allowing too many inquiries on your credit report, as it may appear that you have been rejected by multiple lenders. This means that you should be careful about who looks at it. If you are shopping for a loan (finding the lowest interest rate based on your credit), shop around within a short period of time, as inquiries made within a few days of each other will generally be lumped together and counted as one inquiry.
You can also cut down the number of inquiries on your account by approaching lenders you have already researched and are interested in doing business with. By researching first, and approaching second, you will likely have only a few lenders accessing your credit report at the same time, which can help save your credit score.
3) Don’t Mistakenly Over-Use Online Loan Rate Comparisons
Online loan rate quotes are easy to obtain. Just type in some personal information and within seconds you can receive a quote on your car loan, personal loan, student loan, or mortgage. This is free and convenient, leading many people to compare several companies at once in order to get the best possible loan rate. The problem is that since online quotes are a fairly recent phenomenon, credit bureaus count each quote as an inquiry. This means that if you compare too many companies online, your credit score will suffer.
This does not mean you shouldn’t seek online quotes for loan. In fact, online loan quotes are a great resource that can help you get the very best rates on your next loan. It just means that you should carefully research companies and narrow down your choices to only a few lenders before making inquiries. This will help ensure that the number of inquires on your credit report is small, and your score will remain strong.
4) Don’t Make The Mistake Of Thinking You Only Have One Credit Report
Most people mistakenly speak of having a “credit score” when in fact credit reports often include three or more credit scores. There are three major credit bureaus in the United States that develop credit reports and calculate credit scores, as well as a number of smaller credit bureau companies. In addition, some larger lenders calculate their own credit risk score based on information in your credit report. When improving your credit report, you should not focus on one number. You should contact the three major credit bureaus and work on improving all three credit scores.
5) Don’t Close Multiple Credit Accounts
Many people make the mistake of closing multiple credit accounts in an effort to improve their credit score. If you close an account you need (for example, if you close all your credit card accounts), then you may find yourself in the position where you need to reapply for credit. Not only is this inconvenient, but the inquiries from credit companies can actually hurt your credit report. Additionally, credit bureaus will actually look favorably upon your credit report if they can see that you have a (good) long-term credit history. For example, don’t make the mistake of closing a credit card account you have had for the past 10 years, as this may actually hurt your credit report.
lf you have credit accounts that you don’t use, or if you have too many credit lines, then by all means pay off some and close them. Doing so may help your credit score, as long as you don’t close long-term accounts you need. In general, close your newest accounts first, and only when you are certain you will not need that credit in the near future.
Is your goal to mend your credit standing?
Then you need to reflect on many variables before getting started on building your credit. Credit is good in many ways, and bad in a handful of ways. credit puts stress on us because we’ve to keep a rating in order to get the respect we deserve.
Most of us have our very own struggles in life and some of us more so than others do. There are numerous reasons a person’s credit Is flawed. we often require to maintain an increased degree of accuracy or else. Since, we don’t like ‘or else’ Then we have to perpetually look for a solution to keep our credit standing at a good rate. The good qualities about credit are it will give you a resolution when times are hard, and when you want to build credit.
To get started mending your credit then you must discover various methods that may help re-establish your credit ratings. One thing you are going to do Is get copies of your credit reports. the disadvantage Is you will have to pay for the reports unless you apply for a charge card or loan. Be sure to avoid applying for cards and loans as the more you apply the greater it affects your credit ratings.
when you make an application for a lending product or credit, the creditors will ask for copies of the credit report, which adds points to your credit score and it stays on your report for around 3 years. the more points you possess, it will take away from your score, that is certainly more important than your credit. As soon as you make an application for a credit card or loan, then you definitely have one advantage of getting all 3-credit reports free.
Today everyone is checking credit, so your score is always affected in one way or another. At the moment nearly, every business will check your credit history, so for anybody who is buying an automobile avoid allowing the sales reps to check your credit until you know this is certainly what you want.
it really Is helpful to have an updated credit report, which most lenders will inform you “oh we can not use that.”This Is ok; tell the reps” you aren’t checking my credit until I’m sure this is exactly what I want to do.” the credit report offers them an sketch of what they will be using.
Understanding The Fact
As soon as you have made application for your credit reports, it is possible to move onto phase 2. When you have had any charges on your credit report, that seem to be suspect You’ll want to speak to the 3 credit bureaus immediately, petitioning the charges.
the claims against your report have an impact on you, this means you have the right to file a claim with the Fair Crediting Reporting Act (FCRA). in 1971, the us Congress passed a law to protect us against claims filed on our credit report that don’t belong to us.
Reap the benefits of this law. Geting a grasp on the steps to credit repair Is vital so you can get on the road to building credit. After you have disputed your credit history errors, you should next plan to wait a minimum of half a year before trying to get a loan or a credit card. After about six months, virtually all credit bureaus take off the errors completely.
Be careful that sometimes its possible you have to argue with the bureaus, Since in some cases they neglect to remove the errors. If you have any delinquencies against your credit file Be sure to look after them right away if possible. While you wait, the six months be sure that you carry on paying your bills on time. If you do not have the money to pay the bill entirely, Make sure you make acceptable payments on the bill to avoid a bad credit score reports.
Those that intend to apply for a lending product later, it is important to meet all payments necessary of you. In addition, it’s wise to maintain an updated copy of your respective credit reports always ready if possible. we are advised to monitor our credit reports regularly so that we know where we stand with our credit. In the event that your goal is to heal your credit, taking the initial step would be the beginning of building an ideal credit score and rating.