Are you getting the most out of your credit score?

      Good day folks!

    I thought I’d drop in to see if you are getting all you can get out of your credit scores and to clarify some things about credit reporting and credit scoring. 

First, I want to make sure that you know there is a difference between your credit report and your credit score.  Your credit report is all of the listed accounts that you have open.  Items like mortgages, personal loans, auto loans, credit cards are listed on your credit report.  Your credit score is determined by payment history, credit utilization, average credit age, account mix and hard inquiries.  You can obtain a free credit report every year at https://www.annualcreditreport.com and many companies are now providing you with access to your report.  Many credit card companies provide this information as well as companies like Credit Karma. 

I wasn’t sure if the credit score I was receiving from the credit card company I use as well as Credit Karma were accurate.  So, I compared what was listed with the credit report received when I was refinancing my mortgage.  They seemed to be a few points higher than what my loan officer provided, however, relatively accurate.  They are free, so I do recommend you keep an eye on your score using one of these services. 

Your credit score can cost you thousands in interest rates on a variety of different accounts.  It can be affected if you have joint accounts (even though there aren’t joint credit scores).  And, different kinds of negative information will remain on your credit report for different periods of time (bankruptcy is an exception to this, for example), but generally, negative information ages off your report and no longer affects your score after 7 years.  If you have a bankruptcy, it’s recommended that you get a seasoned credit restoration company involved.  I do like MWR Financial Edge because I have history with the program and have seen them increase credit scores by 90-150 points in a 3-9 month period and on average they can get 6 out of every 10 negative items removed.  I have also seen them have success getting bankruptcies removed.  The main reason I like this program is that it includes more than just credit resoration.  It is focused on getting you in the best financial position possible with everything from equity building programs to access to professionals to help you make the best financial decisions for you and your family. 

Alot of people ask the following questions: 

  • What is a good score?  A good score is over 700, however, you can qualify for most mortgages if your score is above a 640. 
  • If I check my score does it hurt my score?  No, checking your own score does not hurt your score. 
  • Is it ever to late to build my credit score?  No, your credit score can affect you for a lifetime, so it’s always worth trying to improve.
  • What are a few things you can do to increase your credit score?  It always helps to be using only 35% of your available credit.  For example, you have 4 credit cards with a total of $10,000 credit, it is recommended to not use more than $3500 of credit at any given time.  So, if you are using more than 35% of your available credit, do what you can to pay down the cc’s evenly.  As you pay down the credit used and increase the credit available you will see your scores increasing.  The credit bureaus like you to have 7-12 accounts open to get the best score. 

Feel free to reach out to me with questions you have.  And, be sure to check out MWR Financial Edge to see how they can help you get to the best financial position possible. 

Yours in success,

Bernadette Trafton, Chief Connector

 

 

 

 

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