Factors that effect your Credit Score

 

 

What's in a Number ? Your good Name !

 

Q:  Where Can I get a Free Credit Report ?

 

A: With the passing of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act ( FACT Act ), each U.S. citizen is entitled to one free copy of their credit report from each credit reporting agency ( TransUnion, Experian , Equifax Experian )once every 12 months .

This information is available at the only government-sanctioned credit reporting agency-operated website, annualcreditreport.com .

 

You can also 1-877-322-8228, or by mailing the

Annual Credit Report Request Form.

 

The free report does not contain a credit score, though a credit score may be purchased at the time of access. Requesting a credit report will subject you to "pre-screened" offers of credit cards. To prevent all three credit bureaus from making your address available to credit card companies for this purpose, you may opt out by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688).

 

 

 video on credit reporting changes

 

What Credit Score Number is considered good ?

 

720-760 will usually get the best rates, offers and cards.  

 

Your Credit Score and Looking for a job :

 

Many employers require job applicants to give permission for them to run a credit check as part of the application process. This credit information can be used as a signal of a person's level of responsibility.

 

 

 credit card secrets

 

What are the Range of Scores on a Credit Report ?

 

A FICO score is between 300 and 850, with 60% of scores between 650 and 799.According to Fair Isaac the median score is 723  while according to Experian (using the Fair Isaac risk model) the average credit score is 678 .

 

There are three major credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion - and they don't share information. So even if you correct an error on one credit report, you will have to do the same on the other two.

 

What if there is a mistake on my credit report ?

 

 

 

You have the right under federal law to challenge items on your credit report. The credit bureau then has 30 days to decide whether that item should be removed.

 

 If a credit bureau refuses to correct a mistake, you can sue.

 

Get copies of all three credit reports six months before you apply for a home loan. An error on your credit report can take months to straighten out .

 

One in three people find mistakes in their reports

 

 

What is the Vantage Score ?

 

The three major credit-reporting agencies introduced VantageScore. VantageScore uses a number range (501 to 990), which is different from FICO's, and assigns letter grades (A to F) to specific score ranges.

 

    A: 901 - 990

    B: 801 - 900

    C: 701 - 800

    D: 601 - 700

    F: 501 - 600

 

 

What to do if you are a victim of identity theft

 

1. Contact the Credit Bureaus and have them place a fraud alert on your credit file and place a victims statement report.

 

2. Contact the new creditors the scamster has used  and close the accounts .For credit cards, you are only responsible for the first $50 if you report the fraudulent charges immediately.

 

3. File a police report.In the report be sure to have: the fraudulent account numbers, any proof you have that the accounts are the result of fraud,any information on the thief and/or crime, fill out an ID Theft Affidavit from the FTC

 

4. Extend Fraud alerts with the tree Credit Bureaus

5. If the thief used the mail to steal your identity or victim of fraudulent change of address contact the Postal Inspector

 

6. Contact Social Security

 

7.Make sure another driver's license has not been issued in your name.

 

Contacts for Reporting Identity Theft

 

The Three National Consumer Reporting Agencies

equifax.com

 

 experian.com

 

transunion.com

 

Privacy Rights Clearing House  privacyrights.org

 

Identity Theft Resource Center  idtheftcenter.org

 

Federal Trade Commission

Helps victims of identity theft with information and referrals to the right government agency  1-877-IDTHEFT

ID Theft Data Clearinghouse  consumer.gov/idtheft

 

Office of the Inspector General

Social Security Administration

Fraud Hotline 800-269-0271

ssa.gov

 

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights   consumerwatchdog.org

 

The toll free number for opting out of pre-approved credit card ofers is 888-5-OUPOUT ( 888-567-8688.

 

Top Ten Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

 

1. Don't close unused credit card accounts, as your ratio to credit used to credit availible will increase, negativly impacting your credit score. Use your credit card 2 to three times a year to keep it active.

 

2. Pay your bills on time, late payments are the most common piece of negative info on credit reports.

 

3. Keep your account balances low

 

4. Separate credit cards after a divorce and close all joint accounts

 

5. Only apply for credit as needed and shop around.

 

6.Correct errors in your credit report and check that it is removed. Check your own credit score is a soft inquiry and does not affect your credit score. It will usually take 30 days for corrections and improvements to show up on your credit report. Looking into rapid re-scoring, which can update a sore as quickly as 72 hours if you need to lock in a lower mortgage rate.

 

7. If your shopping around for a car loan or mortgage, shop around within a 30-45 day period, as they will be counted as one inquiry.

 

8. Avoid excess inquires

 

9. Avoid consolidating balances or transferring balances unless the rate makes it worthwhile.Try to spread debt over a few low interest credit cards. Maxing out a credit card will lower your score.

 

10. Unpaid medical bills will show up in your credit report

 

Some more advice

 

Consider doing a credit freeze to prevent id theft. With this, your score and info are protected with a pin. The cost with the big 3 reporting agencies ranges from $3-10; The cost to thaw your report when applying for credit is $10.

 

Having no credit history can almost be as bad as having bad info on your credit report. If you are a parent, try to get your high school and college aged children credit cards and stress the need to use them wisely.

 

Don't let car dealers pull your credit if you are only window shopping for a car.

 

 

 Local expert gives advice for Target credit card breachget credit card breach

 

 

 How You Can Profit from Credit Cards

 a guide for savvy consumers who want to make the most of the plastic in their wallets. Curtis Arnold explains exactly how to maximize your rewards so you're quite literally getting free money and also outlines winning strategies for negotiating the lowest interest rate and using balance transfers to your advantage. Anyone who wants to build credit, improve their credit, or profit from their credit cards should read this book

 

 

 Paying with Plastic, 2nd Edition: The Digital Revolution in Buying and Borrowing

 The payment card business has evolved from its inception in the 1950s as a way to handle payment for expense-account lunches (the Diners Club card) into today's complex, sprawling industry that drives trillions of dollars in transaction volume each year. "Paying with Plastic is the definitive source on an industry that has revolutionized the way we borrow and spend.