credit history https://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12012/all en-US 6 Monthly Bills That Won't Affect Your Credit Score https://www.wisebread.com/6-monthly-bills-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-monthly-bills-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_looking_bills_with_child_in_his_lap.jpg" alt="Father looking bills with child in his lap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What's the best way to keep your FICO credit score healthy? Simple: Pay your bills on time and don't rack up too much debt. Some bills, though, are more important to your credit score than others.</p> <p>In fact, you might be surprised to learn that many of the payments you make every month have no direct impact on your traditional FICO credit score. That's because in order for a payment to boost your score, or a late payment to hurt it, it must be reported to at least one of the three national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. And many of the companies and service providers you pay off each month don't do this.</p> <p>That's a mixed blessing. Making a payment late to these creditors won't necessarily hurt your score &mdash; unless you pay so late that the bill is sent to collections. On the other hand, paying these bills on time won't help your credit score, either. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-matters-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Matters That Won't Affect Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>Which bills are <em>not</em> reported to the credit bureaus?</h2> <p>There are six common monthly bills that have no direct impact on your credit score. They are:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Utilities.</p> </li> <li> <p>Insurance payments.</p> </li> <li> <p>Bills from medical providers.</p> </li> <li> <p>Cellphone payments.</p> </li> <li> <p>Cable service.</p> </li> <li> <p>Membership to health clubs or gyms.</p> </li> </ul> <p>If you're a few days late in paying your car insurance bill, don't panic. Your misstep won't hurt your credit score, just as paying your bill on time won't help it.</p> <p>But that doesn't mean you can just ignore the bill. There are other consequences for late payments. You might face late fees, penalties, or even the cancellation of service. Your auto insurer, for instance, might charge you an extra $25 if you make your payment after a certain date. Your gym might cancel your membership. And both of those scenarios are still not as bad as if your provider sends your account into collections.</p> <p>That's because, while a biller may not report payments directly to the credit bureaus, if you miss too many payments, they might send a debt collector after you. Once your account falls into the hands of a collections agency, this <em>will</em> be reported to the credit bureaus. Having an account in collections can cause your credit score to tumble by 100 points or more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-happens-to-an-account-in-collections-even-when-you-pay-up?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What Happens to an Account in Collections &mdash; Even When You Pay Up</a>)</p> <h2>What about rent?</h2> <p>Apartment rent is a more complicated issue. In most cases, the rent you pay each month isn't reported to the credit bureaus. Paying your landlord on time every month usually doesn't provide a boost to your credit score.</p> <p>There is a movement, though, to change this. The theory goes that renters should be rewarded for paying on time, just as homeowners are when they pay their mortgage bill each month.</p> <p>Some landlords have begun reporting rents to the credit bureaus. And if you want to report your own rent payments, you can sign up for a rent-reporting service such as <a href="https://www.rentreporters.com/" target="_blank">Rent Reporters</a> or <a href="https://rentalkharma.com/" target="_blank">Rental Kharma</a>.</p> <p>These services are limited. Both Rent Reporters and Rental Kharma, for instance, only report rent payments to one of the credit bureaus, TransUnion. You'll also have to pay for these services. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a>)</p> <h2>Some alternative credit scores <em>do</em> include other bills</h2> <p>As lenders try to expand their market reach, some are looking beyond the traditional FICO score to so-called alternative credit scores. Some of these scores include your behavior with the bills listed at the top of this story, or your management of checking and savings accounts. The FICO Score XD, for example, is for people who have such thin credit reports that they're unscorable by traditional methods. It relies on a consumer's utilities, cellphone, and other bills.</p> <p>The number of lenders who look at alternative credit scores is still in the minority. But if you're applying for credit and have a limited credit record, it never hurts to ask that a lender take into consideration your good payment history on other types of bills. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-challenged-how-alternative-credit-data-can-help-those-with-little-or-no-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Alternative Data Can Help Those With Little or No Credit</a>)</p> <h2>Monthly payments that always impact your credit score</h2> <p>Some of the payments you make each month will always be reported to the credit bureaus. It's important to pay these on time each month if you don't want your credit score to drop. They are:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Credit card bills.</p> </li> <li> <p>Home equity lines of credit.</p> </li> <li> <p>Mortgage.</p> </li> <li> <p>Auto loans.</p> </li> <li> <p>Student loans.</p> </li> <li> <p>Personal loans.</p> </li> <li> <p>Home equity loans.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Note that revolving credit accounts &mdash; credit cards and lines of credit &mdash; carry more weight in your FICO score than installment loans.</p> <p>Also, a payment isn't reported as late to the bureaus until you miss it by 30 days or more. Your two-week delay on your credit card payment won't show up in your credit reports.</p> <p>However, you'll still be charged a late fee for being even one day late. And every day that you delay payment, interest charges mount. So, it still benefits you to make your payments on time, or as soon after the due date as you can. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Never Make a Late Credit Card Payment</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-monthly-bills-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Monthly%2520Bills%2520That%2520Won%2527t%2520Affect%2520Your%2520Credit%2520Score.jpg&amp;description=6%20Monthly%20Bills%20That%20Won't%20Affect%20Your%20Credit%20Score"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Monthly%20Bills%20That%20Won%27t%20Affect%20Your%20Credit%20Score.jpg" alt="6 Monthly Bills That Won't Affect Your Credit Score" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-monthly-bills-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-mistakes-that-wont-hurt-your-credit-score">5 Financial Mistakes That Won&#039;t Hurt Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-things-your-credit-report-does-not-include">7 Things Your Credit Report Does NOT Include</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-credit-repair-mistakes-that-will-cost-you">8 Credit Repair Mistakes That Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-new-grads-can-protect-their-credit">How New Grads Can Protect Their Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bills cellphone collections credit history credit score fees fico late payments medical bills penalties rent utilities Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:00:30 +0000 Dan Rafter 2148582 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Things to Do Right Now to Boost Your 600 Credit Score https://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-right-now-to-boost-your-600-credit-score <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-to-do-right-now-to-boost-your-600-credit-score" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_paying_bills_online_with_laptop.jpg" alt="Woman paying bills online with laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A 600 FICO score isn't awful. Since credit scores can run from 300 to 850, it's easy to see how much worse things could be. A score of 600 puts you about in the middle. You won't qualify for the best financing offers, but not the worst, either.</p> <p>The truth, though, is that a 600 credit score <em>will</em> hurt you financially, even if things could be worse. Your credit score tells lenders how well you've managed your credit and paid your bills in the past. A score of 600 shows that you've had some financial missteps along the way &mdash; and because of this, you'll end up with higher interest rates and subpar credit card offers. Some lenders might even reject your application altogether.</p> <p>Fortunately, you can improve a 600 credit score. It just takes time and commitment to developing better financial habits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a>)</p> <h2>1. Pay all your bills on time</h2> <p>The most common reason for a low credit score is missed payments. If you pay your credit card bill late by more than 30 days, your credit score could fall by 100 points or more. The same holds true for your car loan, mortgage, and student loan.</p> <p>The lesson? Build a history of paying your bills on time. Just as missed or late payments hurt your credit score, on-time payments will boost it. Resolve to never pay a bill late again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Never Make a Late Credit Card Payment</a>)</p> <h2>2. Don't skip payments on &quot;less important&quot; bills</h2> <p>Some bills are more important than others when it comes to your credit score. The creditors behind your mortgage, auto loan, credit cards, student loans, and personal loans all report your payments to the national credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). Missed or late payments on these bills will quickly damage your score, while regular, on-time payments will continue to boost it.</p> <p>Other payments aren't reported to the bureaus. This includes medical bills, cellphone payments, utility bills, rent, insurance payments, and cable bills. But this shouldn't be an excuse to pay these things late without fear of consequence. If you miss enough of these other payments, the provider may send your account into collections. That <em>will </em>show up in your credit reports and send your score tumbling. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-happens-to-an-account-in-collections-even-when-you-pay-up?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What Happens to an Account in Collections &mdash; Even When You Pay Up</a>)</p> <h2>3. Pay off your credit card debt</h2> <p>Paying down your credit card debt will also have a positive impact on your credit score.</p> <p>Having large amounts of credit card debt brings high interest rates, which can overwhelm you and leave you at risk of making late payments. Your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a> &mdash; the amount of available credit you're currently using &mdash; makes up about 30 percent of your credit score. If that ratio tips too high, your score will also tick downward. Lenders like to see you using less than 30 percent of your available credit, but the lower your credit utilization ratio, the better.</p> <p>Make sure to always pay more than the minimum required monthly payment on your credit cards. Your goal should be to pay down that debt as quickly as possible. If you do, you'll see your FICO score gradually rise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>4. Keep paid-off credit card accounts open</h2> <p>If you do pay off a credit card, don't close the account. This could immediately send your credit score falling. This is once again due to your credit utilization ratio. Closing a credit card automatically increases that ratio, even without you making a single new charge.</p> <p>Say you have $2,000 worth of credit card debt spread out over four cards with a total available credit limit of $10,000. If you close one card with a credit limit of $3,000, you are now using $2,000 of $7,000 of available credit. That's a higher credit utilization ratio than you'd have if you were still using $2,000 out of $10,000 of available credit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-dont-cut-up-your-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Stop! Don't Cut Up Your Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>5. Order free copies of your credit reports</h2> <p>You can order a free copy of your three credit reports &mdash; one each from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion &mdash; once a year through <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/" target="_blank">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>. Once you do this, study your reports carefully for any errors.</p> <p>Your credit reports list your personal information and how much you owe on credit cards and loans such as mortgages, auto loans, and student loans.</p> <p>Errors on these reports could leave you with an artificially low credit score. Maybe your report states that you missed an auto payment three years ago. If you know this isn't true &mdash; and you have the documentation to back up your claim &mdash; contact the credit bureau listing the mistake. Fixing this error could provide an immediate jolt to your credit score. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-things-to-do-right-now-to-boost-your-600-credit-score&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Things%2520to%2520Do%2520Right%2520Now%2520to%2520Boost%2520Your%2520600%2520Credit%2520Score.jpg&amp;description=5%20Things%20to%20Do%20Right%20Now%20to%20Boost%20Your%20600%20Credit%20Score"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Things%20to%20Do%20Right%20Now%20to%20Boost%20Your%20600%20Credit%20Score.jpg" alt="5 Things to Do Right Now to Boost Your 600 Credit Score" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-right-now-to-boost-your-600-credit-score">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-credit-limit-was-lowered">This Is Why Your Credit Limit Was Lowered</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/your-bad-credit-isnt-the-end-of-the-world">Your Bad Credit Isn&#039;t the End of the World</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/debunking-8-common-credit-score-myths">Debunking 8 Common Credit Score Myths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 600 credit history credit score credit utilization ratio debt FICO score late payments missed payments raise credit score Thu, 07 Jun 2018 08:00:27 +0000 Dan Rafter 2146889 at https://www.wisebread.com How New Grads Can Protect Their Credit https://www.wisebread.com/how-new-grads-can-protect-their-credit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-new-grads-can-protect-their-credit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman_paying_online_0.jpg" alt="Businesswoman paying online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The years right after graduating from college can be stressful ones. It's time to find a job. You might be looking for a new place to live. You're starting the transition from college student to adult. It can be easy to get overwhelmed, and it can be just as easy to make serious financial mistakes that damage your credit.</p> <p>What things can you do to protect your credit after graduating from college? Here are some of the big ones.</p> <h2>Never pay a bill late</h2> <p>It can be easy to miss a bill payment, especially when you're not used to having a lot of bills to pay. Mail can pile up while you're adjusting to a whole new way of life. Prioritize getting organized with your bills. Sign up for autopay or set up reminder alerts. Put your bills in a place where you can see them so they don't get buried under other junk or unread mail. Not only will late payments eat into your new budget with fees, but your credit will take a big hit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Never Make a Late Credit Card Payment</a>)</p> <p>Not all late payments are reported to the credit bureaus, and some late payments don't impact your credit score. The big ones, however &mdash; credit cards, mortgage, auto loans, personal loans, and student loans &mdash; are reported. A single late payment of one of these major bills could cause your score to tumble by 100 points or more. That late payment will also stay in your credit reports for up to seven years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-late-payments-affect-your-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Late Payments Affect Your Credit</a>)</p> <p>You should know the official definition of a late payment. A payment is only reported as late to the credit bureaus if you are 30 days or more past the due date. So even if your payment is two weeks late, you can avoid a hit to your credit by immediately making a payment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-these-6-bills-first-when-money-is-tight?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Pay These 6 Bills First When Money Is Tight</a>)</p> <h2>Don't ignore the bills that don't get reported</h2> <p>There's a big caveat to the payments that don't get reported to the credit bureaus. If you're late with a doctor's bill, utility payment, rent payment, or cellphone bill, the three credit bureaus won't know about it <em>unless</em> those payments are sent to a collections agency in effort to get you to pay what you owe. When that happens, your credit score can again plummet by 100 points or more.</p> <p>It isn't just collections you should be worried about if you fail to make rent payments, either. If your landlord evicts you, that won't show up on your credit reports. But if your landlord sues you for breaking your lease, and that ends in a civil judgment against you, your credit will take another hit. Civil judgments are reported to the credit bureaus and stay on your reports for up to seven years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-negatively-affect-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Surprising Ways to Negatively Affect Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>Those monthly payments can be overwhelming, but it's important that you pay them, and do so on time. You might have to cut down on your discretionary spending, move back home, or take other steps to make sure that you are keeping current with your bills.</p> <h2>Seek help for student loans if you can't afford the payment</h2> <p>The average 2017 graduate left college with $39,400 in student loan debt, according to Student Loan Hero. That's a staggering amount of debt for anyone, let alone a young adult who is just getting their footing in the world. When your student loan payment comes due, it's important that it gets paid. Otherwise, you risk defaulting on that loan, which will issue a blow to your credit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-really-happens-when-you-dont-pay-your-student-loans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Really Happens When You Don't Pay Your Student Loans</a>)</p> <p>If you are struggling to come up with your monthly student loan payment, be proactive in finding ways to alleviate the financial burden. You may have the option to consolidate multiple loans, defer the payments, or speak directly with your lender about how to make your repayment plan work better for you. You will likely have more options with federal student loans than private ones, but you should still do your research. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-loans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Surprising Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans</a>)</p> <h2>Don't run up your credit card debt</h2> <p>It can be easy to rely heavily on credit cards when money is tight. When you're young and your paychecks are small, this can be an even bigger temptation. This, though, can also wreck your credit.</p> <p>Racking up too much credit card debt will lower your credit score and leave you with a financial burden that's difficult to overcome. The high interest will pile on until you're struggling to keep up with payments. Lenders view consumers with too much credit card debt as a high risk for missed payments, and often deny them other forms of financing. It's a dangerous cycle that many young adults can easily fall into.</p> <p>Resist the temptation to use your credit card to purchase restaurant meals, movie tickets, electronics, or concert tickets. If you can't afford these goodies in cash, you can't afford them with credit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-millennials-guide-to-avoiding-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Millennials Guide to Avoiding Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-new-grads-can-protect-their-credit&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520New%2520Grads%2520Can%2520Protect%2520Their%2520Credit.jpg&amp;description=How%20New%20Grads%20Can%20Protect%20Their%20Credit"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20New%20Grads%20Can%20Protect%20Their%20Credit.jpg" alt="How New Grads Can Protect Their Credit" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-new-grads-can-protect-their-credit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/pay-these-6-bills-first-when-money-is-tight">Pay These 6 Bills First When Money Is Tight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-monthly-bills-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score">6 Monthly Bills That Won&#039;t Affect Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-things-your-credit-report-does-not-include">7 Things Your Credit Report Does NOT Include</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-late-payments-affect-your-credit">How Late Payments Affect Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bills college graduates credit history credit score late payments rent student loans young adults Wed, 30 May 2018 08:00:24 +0000 Dan Rafter 2144960 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Boost Your Partner's Bad Credit Without Risking Your Own https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-boost-your-partners-bad-credit-without-risking-your-own <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-boost-your-partners-bad-credit-without-risking-your-own" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_and_woman_home_budgeting_0.jpg" alt="Man and woman home budgeting" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You can't help with whom you fall in love &mdash; and that's never more annoying than when the object of your affection has royally effed up their credit. Nobody's calling it quits over a few past financial mistakes, but the situation will need to improve if you two are planning a future together that includes buying a home, starting a business, or other major money-based life decisions.</p> <p>Since you're now in this together, you have a responsibility to do what you can to make sure you start your joint life on the right foot credit-wise. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Help your partner review their credit report to flag and report errors</h2> <p>If your partner has terrible credit, it's likely that they don't know how to pull their credit report, flag errors, and report them to the appropriate authority to have them removed or updated. That's where your expertise (or even elementary knowledge) of how credit reports work comes in. Flagging and reporting credit errors is the first step in getting their situation back on track and under control. Once that's squared away, you can move on to the bigger issues. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2>2. Provide positive reinforcement instead of bailing them out</h2> <p>It's easy to throw money at a problem to make it go away &mdash; especially if you have extra cash to spare and the person you love will benefit immensely from your generosity (at least in the short term). But I urge you to avoid opening your wallet to deal with your partner's bad credit. Instead, provide encouragement that they can manage their debt on their own.</p> <p>They created this situation, after all, and the only acceptable solution is that they work it out without your financial assistance. Help them in other areas, like navigating their credit report, but don't shill out dough to dig them out. The only thing they'll take away from that scenario is that you'll always be the sucker who pays for their poor judgment.</p> <h2>3. Establish a cash allowance that you'll both adhere to</h2> <p>You can't take your adult partner's credit cards from them (even though you might like to), so an easier-to-swallow solution is to jointly stop using credit and instead switch over to an all-cash budget. If they feel like you're both in this together, they'll be more willing to comply. You might have to make a few sacrifices along the way with your cards not available, sure. But if it helps condition your partner to spend and save smarter, forgoing the treat-yo'-self impulse buys you're used to will be worth it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a>)</p> <h2>4. Brainstorm actionable ways they can start chipping away at their debt</h2> <p>Sit down together and come up with ideas about how your partner can start paying down their debt faster. That may involve asking for a raise at work; picking up a part-time job; working a few side gigs, like driving for a ride-sharing service and pet sitting; selling off unwanted or unused valuables; downsizing their lifestyle (maybe it's time to move in together so both of you can save?); and canceling all frivolous monthly expenses, like subscription services and memberships. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a>)</p> <h2>5. Schedule autopays on pay days</h2> <p>Help your partner set up auto-payments that coincide with their paydays so the money goes straight from their checking account to their debt accounts, leaving them little time to start a spending spree before handling their financial responsibilities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-automate-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Automate Your Finances</a>)</p> <p>If your partner doesn't like the idea of auto-paying bills, maybe they could get on board with a regular money meeting where you both sit down each week or month to discuss your budget and bills and make payments in each other's presence. It's a way to keep each other accountable, build trust, and establish good money behaviors. Either of these options will make sure the bills are getting paid on time.</p> <h2>6. Discuss secured credit card options</h2> <p>If your partner's credit score is weak, you can help improve it by encouraging them to open a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-secured-credit-card-can-repair-your-credit-score-heres-how-to-pick-the-best?ref=internal" target="_blank">secured credit card</a>. Secured cards are fairly easy for anyone to get because the risk to the bank is low. That's because the cardholder puts down a deposit that's typically the same size as the credit limit (which will be low to begin with). If the cardholder defaults on the payments, the bank keeps their deposit.</p> <p>Secured cards are great for building credit because your payment activity is reported to the credit bureaus, just like any other credit card. &quot;After demonstrating consistent payment history, your credit score will steadily improve,&quot; says certified financial adviser Lou Haverty. &quot;You could consider applying for a regular credit card when your score is in the high 600 to low 700 range.&quot;</p> <p>I took my boyfriend to the bank to get a secured card after he moved in with me because I wanted him to start rebuilding his weak (but not necessarily bad) credit. This was an important step for us to take early on because I want him to have decent credit if we decide to buy a house together a few years down the road. Sometimes that's how long it takes, so there's no time like the present to start working the system. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Secured Cards</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-to-boost-your-partners-bad-credit-without-risking-your-own&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520to%2520Boost%2520Your%2520Partner%2527s%2520Bad%2520Credit%2520Without%2520Risking%2520Your%2520Own.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Boost%20Your%20Partner's%20Bad%20Credit%20Without%20Risking%20Your%20Own"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Boost%20Your%20Partner%27s%20Bad%20Credit%20Without%20Risking%20Your%20Own.jpg" alt="6 Ways to Boost Your Partner's Bad Credit Without Risking Your Own" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-boost-your-partners-bad-credit-without-risking-your-own">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-a-new-marriage-can-survive-student-loan-debt">How a New Marriage Can Survive Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bounce-back-from-a-bankruptcy">How to Bounce Back From a Bankruptcy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance allowances autopay budgeting cash compromise credit history credit score marriage secured credit cards spouse Tue, 08 May 2018 09:00:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 2136184 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Moves to Make Even If You Don't Plan to Buy a House https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-even-if-you-dont-plan-to-buy-a-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-even-if-you-dont-plan-to-buy-a-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_couple_moving_in_into_new_apartment.jpg" alt="Young couple moving in into new apartment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know that owning a home and making a mortgage payment each month is a big financial commitment. You know, too, that having a solid credit score is a must if you want to be approved for that mortgage loan.</p> <p>But what if you never plan on owning a home? What if you plan on renting forever? You don't need to worry about maintaining strong credit and building a high credit score, right? Wrong. Even if you never plan on making the jump from renting to owning, there are still several money moves you need to make to ensure a happy financial future.</p> <h2>1. Pay your bills on time each month</h2> <p>Paying a credit card bill 30 days or more past due will send your credit score tumbling by 100 points or more. You might not think that matters if you never plan on taking out a mortgage and buying a home. But it does.</p> <p>Other lenders rely on your credit score to determine how likely it is that you'll make your monthly payments. They also use that score to determine how high of an interest rate to charge you if they do approve you for a loan.</p> <p>This means that lenders will look at your credit score when you apply for a loan to buy a car. They'll look at it if you need to take out a personal loan. And when you're applying for credit cards, you'll need strong credit to qualify for cards with the best rewards programs and interest rates. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-these-6-bills-first-when-money-is-tight?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Pay These 6 Bills First When Money Is Tight</a>)</p> <h2>2. Keep your credit card debt low</h2> <p>Consumers applying for mortgages know that having too much credit card debt can hurt their application. But even if you're not planning to own a home, it makes good financial sense not to carry a balance on your cards each month.</p> <p>Credit card debt comes with high interest rates. If you don't pay off your balance at the end of each billing period, credit card debt can grow quickly. If you're not careful, those minimum monthly payments can become a huge financial burden.</p> <p>High amounts of credit card debt can also lower your credit score. Only charge what you can afford to pay off in full when your credit card bill comes due. And if you do have outstanding credit card debt, use whatever extra money you have each month to pay it down. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. Show landlords how financially responsible you are</h2> <p>You might think it doesn't matter that you missed two auto loan payments or that you skipped over a medical bill that's now in collections. But even if you don't need to prove to mortgage lenders that you're a good financial risk, you will need to prove it to apartment landlords. You have to live somewhere, right?</p> <p>When you apply for an apartment, the odds are high that your landlord will run a credit check to determine if you're likely to pay your rent on time each month. You'll have to consent to have such a check performed. If you refuse, don't bet on getting that apartment.</p> <p>The credit check will show negative financial moves such as late payments on recurring loans and credit cards, accounts that are in collections, car repossessions, and recent bankruptcies. It will also show how much you owe on your credit cards and other loans. You'll need to pay your bills on time, keep debts out of collections, and keep your debt levels low if you expect to qualify for the better apartments in your city. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Questions Landlords Can't Ask</a>)</p> <h2>4. Build an emergency fund</h2> <p>Homeowners know how important an emergency fund is. They draw on these funds to cover such unexpected emergencies as a burst water heater, dying furnace, or leaky roof. By having money saved in such a fund, they can cover these home repairs without resorting to putting the costs on their credit cards.</p> <p>But you should build your own emergency fund even if you never plan on owning. Even without a home, you will face big and unexpected bills. What if your car's transmission goes out? What if you lose your job? If you don't have an emergency fund of cash savings, how will you pay for these charges without running up credit card debt?</p> <p>Experts recommend saving six to 12 months' worth of daily living expenses in an emergency fund. That might sound intimidating, but if you take it slowly by depositing whatever you can &mdash; even if it's only $100 a month &mdash; you can gradually build up a significant emergency fund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-start-an-emergency-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5-Minute Finance: Start an Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h2>5. Save for retirement</h2> <p>Retirement is closer than you think. You need to steadily save for the days when you'll no longer be working. This is especially important if you never plan to own a home. Homeowners often receive a nice chunk of cash when they sell their homes and downsize to a smaller residence. If you plan on renting forever, you won't have that opportunity.</p> <p>Instead, you need to start saving for retirement as soon as you begin working. If your company offers a 401(k) plan, sign up. Explore other retirement options such as IRAs, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-retirement-accounts-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-money-to-open?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Retirement Accounts You Don't Need a Ton of Money to Open</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-money-moves-to-make-even-if-you-dont-plan-to-buy-a-house&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520Even%2520If%2520You%2520Don%2527t%2520Plan%2520to%2520Buy%2520a%2520House.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Even%20If%20You%20Don't%20Plan%20to%20Buy%20a%20House"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20Even%20If%20You%20Don%27t%20Plan%20to%20Buy%20a%20House.jpg" alt="5 Money Moves to Make Even If You Don't Plan to Buy a House" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-even-if-you-dont-plan-to-buy-a-house">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dont-start-a-family-before-reaching-these-5-money-goals">Don&#039;t Start a Family Before Reaching These 5 Money Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/money-a-mess-try-this-personal-finance-starter-kit">Money a Mess? Try This Personal Finance Starter Kit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-money-moves-youre-never-too-old-to-make">9 Money Moves You&#039;re Never Too Old to Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-your-credit-score-may-improve-soon">4 Reasons Your Credit Score May Improve Soon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance apartments credit card debt credit history emergency funds landlords money moves paying bills renting retirement Thu, 03 May 2018 08:30:11 +0000 Dan Rafter 2134242 at https://www.wisebread.com 5-Minute Finance: Checking Your Credit Score https://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-checking-your-credit-score <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-minute-finance-checking-your-credit-score" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_looking_at_her_financial_progress.jpg" alt="Young woman looking at her financial progress" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your credit score is one of the most important markers of your financial wellbeing. A strong score will net you the best interest rates on car loans, a mortgage, and credit cards. A weak score can leave you struggling to get approved for financing at all.</p> <p>It's vital that you regularly check your credit score and make efforts to keep it on the up and up. Not sure how to do this? It's easy. All you need is five minutes.</p> <h2>What is your credit score?</h2> <p>You actually have several credit scores. FICO credit scores are the ones that most lenders check, but there are even several different FICO scores. The most common one that lenders use today is the FICO Score 8. VantageScore is another type of credit score that lenders use. Both FICO and VantageScore use a scale of 300 to 850.</p> <p>Each three-digit credit score that you have is generated using the information in your credit reports. They serve as a designation of your risk level, and tell lenders whether you have a history of paying your bills on time and managing your credit well. If you have a strong credit history, your score will be higher. If you have managed your finances poorly, your score will probably be low.</p> <p>In general, most lenders consider a FICO credit score of 740 or higher to be a good one. A score under 640 could make it difficult to qualify for auto or mortgage loans or earn the best credit card offers.</p> <h2>Why you should check your credit score</h2> <p>Knowing your credit score is important, especially before you plan to make any large purchases or try to qualify for financing. If your score is low, lenders might not approve you for that loan at all. If they do, they'll charge you higher interest rates to protect themselves from the increased risk they are taking on by lending to you.</p> <p>With higher interest rates, your monthly payments on mortgage, student, auto, and personal loans will be higher. Your credit cards, too, will come with higher interest rates, which will cost you if you carry a balance on them each month. If you know your score is low, you can take steps to steadily build it before you apply for new loans or credit cards.</p> <p>It's also important to keep an eye on your credit for any strange activity. If your score suddenly plummets due to a late payment you know you made on time, it's important to take steps to correct the mistake on your credit report ASAP.</p> <h2>How to check your credit score</h2> <p>You can order your FICO score from myFICO.com. Depending on how much information you request, ordering your score can cost you from $19.95 to $59.85. For $19.95, you can order your FICO score from one of the credit reporting bureaus: Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. For $59.85, you can order your FICO score from all three credit bureaus.</p> <p>You can also order your FICO score directly from one of the three credit bureaus. Again, you'll have to pay for this, and be careful to read the fine print. For example, Experian offers your FICO Score 8 when you order a $1 copy of your credit report &mdash; just be aware you'll be automatically enrolled in their CreditWorks credit monitoring program, and will be charged $21.95 a month if you forget to opt out. Experian also offers the option to order FICO scores from all three bureaus for $39.99. The other bureaus charge similar prices.</p> <p>Several websites, such as CreditSesame, also offer free credit scores. These scores might not always be the official FICO scores that lenders use, but they will still give you a ballpark idea of how strong or weak your credit is. Just make sure that the site you order your free scores from doesn't ask for your credit card number. If it does, you might accidentally sign up for a credit monitoring service that will charge you each month until you remember to cancel it.</p> <p>Your credit card provider might also provide you a free version of your credit score. Again, this might not be an official FICO score, but it will also give you a sense of whether you need to work on improving your credit.</p> <h2>Next steps</h2> <p>Once you know your credit score &mdash; or at least one of them &mdash; it's time to take steps to improve it. You'll have to practice sound financial habits over time to see an improvement.</p> <p>The best way to boost your score is to make all of your payments on time. If you build a long record of on-time payments, your score will gradually improve.</p> <p>At the same time, work on paying down your credit card debt. Your score will suffer if you have too much revolving debt, so work to chip away at it as best as you can. Always make more than the minimum required monthly payment. You'll never pay down your credit card debt by only paying the minimum.</p> <p>Don't close credit cards you aren't using. Closing an account will automatically boost the percentage of your available credit that you are using, which will cause your score to fall. But don't ignore your credit cards, either. Buying items with your card and immediately making your payment is a great way to build your score. Make sure you only charge what you can afford to pay back in full each month.</p> <h2>Additional resources</h2> <ul> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Five Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a></p> </li> </ul> <ul> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-a-good-credit-score-range?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Is a Good Credit Score and Why Is It Important?</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-life-is-amazing-with-an-800-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways Life Is Amazing With an 800 Credit Score</a></p> </li> </ul> <ul> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-for-your-credit-score?ref=seealso">Is It Worth Paying for Your Credit Score?</a></p> </li> </ul> <ul> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fico-or-fako-are-free-credit-scores-from-credit-cards-the-real-thing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">FICO or FAKO: Are Free Credit Scores From Credit Cards the Real Thing?</a></p> </li> </ul> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-minute-finance-checking-your-credit-score&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5-Minute%2520Finance_%2520Checking%2520Your%2520Credit%2520Score.jpg&amp;description=5-Minute%20Finance%3A%20Checking%20Your%20Credit%20Score"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5-Minute%20Finance_%20Checking%20Your%20Credit%20Score.jpg" alt="5-Minute Finance: Checking Your Credit Score" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-checking-your-credit-score">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/what-the-new-credit-card-formula-means-for-your-wallet">What the New Credit Card Formula Means for Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-often-your-credit-score-gets-calculated">Here&#039;s How Often Your Credit Score Gets Calculated</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-things-your-credit-report-does-not-include">7 Things Your Credit Report Does NOT Include</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report">How to Read a Credit Report</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance 5 minute finance credit history credit score Equifax Experian fico free credit scores lending risk TransUnion Tue, 24 Apr 2018 09:00:07 +0000 Dan Rafter 2131789 at https://www.wisebread.com How Long Does It Really Take to Close on a House? https://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business_financial_Planning_financial_analysis.jpg" alt="Business Financial Planning Financial Analysis" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Buying a new home is an exciting process, but there are also a lot of challenges and frustrations that came along with closing on a mortgage. Even when you and seller can agree on a closing date, this date is not set in stone and can change for many reasons.</p> <p>Closing on a home purchase can take anywhere from four to eight weeks. The answer to how long your particular home will take depends on many things &mdash; you, the seller, the house, and the professionals behind the closing process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What's Included in a Home's Closing Costs</a>)</p> <h2>Possible delays to the home closing process</h2> <p>There are several things that can delay the closing of a new home purchase. While most can be resolved quickly, here are the more common causes to be aware of.</p> <h3>Questionable items on your credit report</h3> <p>Your credit report is checked a couple of times during the home buying process. If your report shows new debts, mistakes, a sudden drop in your credit score, or even a recently reported late payment, you might have to fix things in the underwriting stage of the loan before you can close.</p> <p>Other life major life changes with financial impact, such as a job loss or change of marital status, can also cause a delay right before closing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-a-home-sale-could-fall-through?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons a Home Sale Could Fall Through</a>)</p> <h3>Low appraisal</h3> <p>If you need to finance your home, the lender will request an appraisal of the property. If the appraisal comes back lower than the seller's asking price, the lender will refuse your loan. In order to remedy this, you will need to renegotiate terms with the seller or pay the difference with cash before the loan can go through.</p> <h3>Home inspection problems</h3> <p>A negative finding during the home inspection, such as a leaky roof or faulty wiring, will need to be repaired before you can close on the house. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thinking-of-skipping-the-home-inspection-heres-what-it-will-cost-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Thinking of Skipping the Home Inspection? Here's What It Will Cost You</a>)</p> <h3>Additional documents needed</h3> <p>Once your home buying process begins moving forward, your finances and financial history will be looked over closely. This can result in the need for several documents and letters of explanation for certain aspects of your finances. For example, if your bank account has your maiden name on it, you'll need to explain the discrepancy.</p> <h3>Title problems</h3> <p>An issue with the title, such as a lien, will delay the home sale.</p> <h3>Slow professionals</h3> <p>Sometimes a closing delay has nothing to do with the buyer or seller, but instead with the professionals who are handling your loan. You'll work with many different people throughout the homebuying process, so if any one of them delays turning in their portion of the documents for the next step, that delay will be felt by you and the seller. The delays can come from your own real estate agent or the buyer's, as well as the lender, the bank, and even the underwriter.</p> <h3>Problems with the final walk-through</h3> <p>There is always the possibility of something going amiss during the final walk-through. The home you looked at and had inspected could suddenly have plumbing or electrical issues the day of the final walk-through. Any issues will need to be resolved before the home closes.</p> <h2>How to close on a home quickly</h2> <p>You can't control everything in the closing process as the buyer, but you can manage your responsibilities in a way that speeds up the process. Here are a few things that you as the buyer can do for a quicker home closing.</p> <h2>Keep a clean financial record</h2> <p>Even though you are excited to purchase a home, don't celebrate by spending a lot of money or opening a new line of credit. Wait until your mortgage clears before you buy furniture or a new car.</p> <h2>Be quick to communicate</h2> <p>During the home buying process, you will be asked to answer a lot of questions, provide a lot of documents, and attend several meetings. Being readily available and getting documents to the agent and lender quickly will speed up the process. Schedule the home inspection as soon as possible to ensure there is enough time for quick repairs.</p> <p>A delayed home closing can be frustrating, but many of the possible delays that happen are actually to protect the buyer. Buying a house is a large investment, so it is crucial that all of the paperwork is done correctly so that you don't endure problems later.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Long%2520Does%2520It%2520Really%2520Take%2520to%2520Close%2520on%2520a%2520House.jpg&amp;description=How%20Long%20Does%20It%20Really%20Take%20to%20Close%20on%20a%20House%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Long%20Does%20It%20Really%20Take%20to%20Close%20on%20a%20House.jpg" alt="How Long Does It Really Take to Close on a House?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked">6 Common Homebuying Myths, Debunked</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-rules-of-home-buying-you-need-to-know">The Only 5 Rules of Home Buying You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-your-new-job-might-affect-your-mortgage-application">How Your New Job Might Affect Your Mortgage Application</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application">5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing closing credit history delays home selling homebuying inspections lenders mortgages real estate agents Mon, 09 Apr 2018 09:00:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 2119034 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Signs You're Ready to Sell Your House https://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-youre-ready-to-sell-your-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-signs-youre-ready-to-sell-your-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_holding_sold_sign_for_their_new_house.jpg" alt="Couple holding sold sign for their new house" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This is a good time to sell a home. The National Association of Realtors reported that the median price for existing homes stood at $240,500 in January 2018, up 5.8 percent from one year earlier. At the same time, homes are selling quickly, too &mdash; the NAR reported that the average amount of time it's taking homes to sell is just 42 days.</p> <p>If you've been thinking of selling your home, this would appear to be the right time to do it. But how do you know if you are truly ready to sell? What financial and emotional steps do you need to take to get yourself and your home ready for buyers?</p> <p>Fortunately, determining if you're ready to sell isn't overly complicated. In fact, there are clear signs that you are ready to pound those &quot;For Sale&quot; signs into your front lawn. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-home-in-a-sellers-market?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Sell Your Home in a Seller's Market</a>)</p> <h2>1. You have equity</h2> <p>The most important sign is that you have enough equity in your home. With sufficient equity, the odds are better that you'll leave the closing table with profits in your pocket.</p> <p>Equity is the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and what your home is worth. The more equity you have, the better. If you owe $150,000 on your loan and your home is worth $250,000, you have $100,000 equity in your home.</p> <p>Determining your equity can take a bit of work. First, look at your most recent mortgage statement to see how much you owe. Next, figure out how much your home is worth today. Don't rely solely on sites such as Zillow &mdash; their estimates are often inflated. Instead, call a real estate agent and ask them to perform a market analysis. The agent will compare your home to similar ones that have sold in your area and come up with a market value. Agents shouldn't charge you for this service. They hope, after all, that you'll call them if you do decide to list your home.</p> <p>You can also hire a professional appraiser to appraise your home. This isn't free, though: You can expect to spend about $300 to $400.</p> <p>Whatever approach you take, you should get some idea of what your home is worth in today's market. If you have a significant amount of equity &mdash; enough to cover a down payment and closing costs on whatever new home you plan to buy &mdash; now might be a good time to list your property. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-equity-in-your-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Build Equity in Your Home</a>)</p> <h2>2. You have savings</h2> <p>Selling a house isn't cheap. If you want your home to look its best, you might have to hire a stager to clear out rooms and rearrange furniture. You might need to board your pets so that potential buyers won't hear Fido barking or smell Princess' kitty litter box.</p> <p>There's also the cost of applying for a new mortgage and buying a new home after selling your current residence. You'll need to pay for movers, come up with a down payment for your new home, and pay for home inspections and an appraisal. It all adds up.</p> <p>And, yes, you might be counting on the profits from your home sale to pay for most of the expenses of moving to a new house. But some bills you might have to pay before you receive your check from your home sale. So, make sure you've built up enough savings to handle the many expenses that pop up when selling.</p> <h2>3. Your credit scores are strong</h2> <p>After you sell, you'll need a solid credit history to qualify for a mortgage for your next home. A strong score also nets you lower interest rates and a lower monthly payment.</p> <p>Before you list your home, order copies of your three credit reports &mdash; one each from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion &mdash; from AnnualCreditReport.com. You are entitled to a free copy of each of your reports once a year.</p> <p>Study these reports for errors. If a report lists that you missed a car payment that you know you paid on time, contact the offending credit bureau to fix the error. Fixing mistakes can cause an immediate bump in your score.</p> <p>Next, order at least one version of your credit score from one of the three credit bureaus. You will have to pay for this &mdash; about $10 to $15 &mdash; but you should know your score before you decide to sell. Lenders consider scores of 740 or higher to be particularly strong. If you have such a score, you won't struggle to qualify for a loan and you'll usually qualify for lower rates. If your credit score is low, you need to improve it before you think about selling. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-increase-your-credit-score-quickly?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Increase Your Credit Score Quickly</a>)</p> <h2>4. Your home is shrinking</h2> <p>Are you growing your family? Are you running out of space for bedrooms? Does it feel like you're living in a clown car? It might be time to sell. One of the main reasons that owners sell is that they simply outgrow their current living space. If your house no longer fits the need &mdash; or size &mdash; of your family, it might be a good time to put it on the market.</p> <h2>5. You're ready to break those emotional ties</h2> <p>Selling a home is different from living in one. Your real estate agent might recommend that you remove most of your family photos. A stager might suggest that you put a favorite sofa in storage. You might get negative feedback from buyers on the paint in the kitchen and have to make changes.</p> <p>Can you handle this? Can you take criticism of your home and your style choices and make the changes necessary to sell your home quickly?</p> <p>If not, you might need to wait before selling. When you've lived a part of &mdash; or all of &mdash; your life in a certain residence, it's normal to have emotional attachments you aren't ready to part with. But if you are ready to cut those emotional ties to your home, you're ready to make the transition from living in a home to selling it.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-signs-youre-ready-to-sell-your-house&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Signs%2520You%2527re%2520Ready%2520to%2520Sell%2520Your%2520House.jpg&amp;description=5%20Signs%20You're%20Ready%20to%20Sell%20Your%20House"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Signs%20You%27re%20Ready%20to%20Sell%20Your%20House.jpg" alt="5 Signs You're Ready to Sell Your House" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-youre-ready-to-sell-your-house">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sell-your-home-to-pay-down-debt">Should You Sell Your Home to Pay Down Debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-money-moves-before-applying-for-a-mortgage">Make These 5 Money Moves Before Applying for a Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-real-estate-agents-hear-most-often">8 Questions Real Estate Agents Hear Most Often</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing credit history credit score emotional ties equity housing market profit savings selling a home Fri, 06 Apr 2018 08:00:07 +0000 Dan Rafter 2118489 at https://www.wisebread.com This Is Why Your Credit Limit Was Lowered https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-credit-limit-was-lowered <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-why-your-credit-limit-was-lowered" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pensive_woman_paying_bills_at_home.jpg" alt="Pensive woman paying bills at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit card companies have the freedom to raise or lower your credit limits as they see fit. If you've been a long-standing customer who's always paid your bills on time, your credit card issuer might raise your limit as a reward for your diligence.</p> <p>But if you've missed payments &mdash; even on a different card or loan &mdash; your credit card provider can lower your limit. Or even if you've made all your payments for all your loans on time, your creditor might decide that other financial moves you've made increase your risk of missing payments in the future.</p> <h2>Keepings tabs on you</h2> <p>You probably know that whenever you apply for an auto loan, mortgage, or student loan, creditors will review your credit reports looking for signs of risky financial behavior. Missed or late payments damage your chances of getting new credit or leave you with high interest rates if you do get approved.</p> <p>But you might not know that your credit card providers can check your three credit reports &mdash; from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion &mdash; even after you've opened an account with them.</p> <p>Remember, credit card companies are continuously loaning you money. They want to make sure that you're not at risk to stop repaying what you borrow. One way they do this is by pulling your credit reports.</p> <p>If your card issuer finds troubling signs on your credit reports, it might decide to protect itself by lowering your credit limit.</p> <p>When you open a new credit card account, the documentation you receive will spell out that your creditors have the right to evaluate and adjust your credit limit. There is nothing you can do to stop this from happening if you want to keep the card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-actions-to-take-when-youre-denied-a-credit-limit-increase?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Actions to Take When You're Denied a Credit Limit Increase</a>)</p> <h2>Why did your limit fall?</h2> <p>If your credit limit has dropped, it's important to figure out why.</p> <p>If you missed payments or paid your credit card bill late, that's an obvious reason. Credit card issuers will look at your payment history. If you miss too many payments, your issuer may lower your credit limit or cancel your account.</p> <p>But even if you've maintained a perfect payment record, your credit card issuer might still lower your limit. Maybe you always make only your minimum monthly payment. This keeps you from racking up late charges, but it also means it will take years to pay off your existing debt. If your credit card provider sees that you never pay more than the minimum, it might think that you are having financial problems and lower your limit to protect itself.</p> <p>Your credit card provider can also see any missed or late payments you've made on other accounts listed on your credit reports, including your mortgage, student loan, or auto loan payments. Even if you've maintained a perfect record with your credit card, your issuer could view those other missed payments as a warning sign and lower your limit.</p> <p>Or maybe you've run up the balances on your other credit cards. Again, all of your card issuers can see this information on your credit reports. The high balances can make your card issuers nervous, and some of them may lower your limit, even if you aren't close to maxing out those cards yet.</p> <p>In short, any financial missteps that end up on your credit reports could cause your credit limit to tumble.</p> <h2>Protecting your limit</h2> <p>If you want to protect your current credit limit, it's important to continue making sound financial choices. Don't make late payments on any of your credit cards or other loans. Don't run up too much debt on your cards, either. And if you do have credit card debt, devote extra funds each month to paying it down. In addition to protecting your credit limit, you'll also be protecting your all-important credit score. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthis-is-why-your-credit-limit-was-lowered&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThis%2520Is%2520Why%2520Your%2520Credit%2520Limit%2520Was%2520Lowered.jpg&amp;description=This%20Is%20Why%20Your%20Credit%20Limit%20Was%20Lowered"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/This%20Is%20Why%20Your%20Credit%20Limit%20Was%20Lowered.jpg" alt="This Is Why Your Credit Limit Was Lowered" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-credit-limit-was-lowered">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-right-now-to-boost-your-600-credit-score">5 Things to Do Right Now to Boost Your 600 Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-credit-repair-mistakes-that-will-cost-you">8 Credit Repair Mistakes That Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-new-grads-can-protect-their-credit">How New Grads Can Protect Their Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-monthly-bills-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score">6 Monthly Bills That Won&#039;t Affect Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance credit card companies credit history credit limits credit score late payments missed payments Fri, 30 Mar 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2118487 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Surefire Ways to Maintain a Good Credit Score in Retirement https://www.wisebread.com/5-surefire-ways-to-maintain-a-good-credit-score-in-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-surefire-ways-to-maintain-a-good-credit-score-in-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_investment_plans.jpg" alt="New investment plans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're nearing retirement. Once you hit this milestone, you won't have any reason to worry about your credit score, right? Not exactly.</p> <p>Maybe you expect to have your auto loan and mortgage paid off by the time you hit retirement. Maybe you don't even expect to apply for any new credit cards once you leave the working world. But what you plan is often far different from what actually happens.</p> <p>What if you haven't paid off your mortgage by retirement and you want to refinance your existing loan to one with a lower mortgage payment? You'll need a good credit score. What if your car breaks down and you need to buy a new one? If you want to finance the purchase of a new car, you'll need a solid credit score to qualify for an auto loan.</p> <p>There's good news here, though: Keeping your credit score high during your retirement years doesn't have to be difficult. You just need to remain diligent about paying your bills on time and using your credit wisely. Here are some ways you can do that.</p> <h2>1. Keep using credit</h2> <p>You might decide after retirement to live an all-cash lifestyle. This makes a certain amount of sense: You're on a fixed income, and you certainly don't want to run up debt on your credit cards. Paying for everything in cash will prevent that from happening.</p> <p>But if you don't use credit, your credit score will start to suffer. You build a strong credit score by using credit wisely. If you don't use it at all, how can you prove you remain a good credit risk after leaving the working world?</p> <p>This can be especially difficult in retirement. If you don't have a mortgage or auto payment anymore, you won't be making as many monthly payments to boost your credit score. So, it's a best practice to keep using your credit card regularly to make some purchases. But only charge what you can afford to pay off in full each month. When your credit card bill is due, pay off your entire balance, and do so on time. This way, you demonstrate good credit skills while also avoiding credit card debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-credit-score-matters-in-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Your Credit Score Matters in Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>2. Don't close credit card accounts you don't use</h2> <p>After retirement, you might not use as many credit cards as you did while working. You might even consider closing those credit card accounts that you no longer use. Resist this urge, though.</p> <p>A good chunk of your credit score depends on how much credit you are using. This is known as your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a>. The more of your available credit you are using, the worse it is for your credit score. If you close an open credit card account, even one you no longer use, you will immediately increase your credit utilization ratio.</p> <p>Let's say you have three credit cards, each with a limit of $5,000. That means you have $15,000 in total available credit. Now let's say you owe $3,000 in credit card debt. You have a credit utilization ratio of 20 percent ($3,000 divided by $15,000), which is considered good &mdash; lenders typically like to see this number under 30 percent. If you close one of your cards, you will automatically lower your total available credit to $10,000. Now, owing $3,000 out of $10,000 just bumped your credit utilization ratio up to 30 percent, all without you spending a cent.</p> <p>You don't have to use the credit cards that have been sitting untouched in your wallet. But you shouldn't close those accounts, either. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ditch-a-credit-card-without-dinging-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Close a Credit Card Without Dinging Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>3. Be careful when co-signing</h2> <p>It's natural once you hit retirement to want to help your children or grandchildren financially. But be careful when one of your relatives asks you to co-sign on an auto or mortgage loan.</p> <p>Young adults often have limited credit histories and it can be difficult for them to qualify for financing. They often turn to co-signers &mdash; usually a parent &mdash; for help. Lenders are more likely to approve their loan requests if someone with a longer, more established credit history is signing up for the loan, too.</p> <p>There's a huge problem with co-signing. If the person you're helping doesn't pay the bill, those late payments go on <em>your </em>credit reports. You are now equally responsible for this new debt. And if your relative defaults on the loan? You'll be the one on the hook.</p> <p>Co-sign with caution. It is very rarely an advisable move, and can land your credit score in hot water. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-ever-okay-to-cosign-a-loan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">When Should You Co-Sign a Loan?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Check your credit reports</h2> <p>You might not think much about your credit in retirement, but you should still check your three credit reports once every year.</p> <p>You can do this for free at <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/" target="_blank">AnnualCreditReport.com</a>. Make sure to order copies of each of your three credit reports &mdash; from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion &mdash; as each might have slightly different information.</p> <p>Check the reports for any mistakes. Maybe a report lists that you missed an auto payment last year and you know you haven't. Correct the mistake by notifying the offending credit bureau. You can do this through email. A mistake on your credit report can cause your credit score to plummet.</p> <p>It's also a good habit to monitor your reports for accounts you did not open. If something looks suspicious, you may have a case of identity fraud on your hands. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2>5. Keep paying those bills on time</h2> <p>The last step to keeping your score high during retirement might be the most important: Keep paying your bills on time each month.</p> <p>Of course, this is good advice for anyone trying to maintain a good credit score. A single missed payment on a credit card account, mortgage loan, auto loan, or student loan can cause your credit score to fall by as many as 100 points. So even after you leave the working world, keep making those payments on time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-retirees-can-build-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Ways Retirees Can Build Credit</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-surefire-ways-to-maintain-a-good-credit-score-in-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Surefire%2520Ways%2520to%2520Maintain%2520a%2520Good%2520Credit%2520Score%2520in%2520Retirement.jpg&amp;description=5%20Surefire%20Ways%20to%20Maintain%20a%20Good%20Credit%20Score%20in%20Retirement"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Surefire%20Ways%20to%20Maintain%20a%20Good%20Credit%20Score%20in%20Retirement.jpg" alt="5 Surefire Ways to Maintain a Good Credit Score in Retirement" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-surefire-ways-to-maintain-a-good-credit-score-in-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-mistakes-while-rebuilding-your-credit">Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes While Rebuilding Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/credit-challenged-how-alternative-credit-data-can-help-those-with-little-or-no-credit">Credit Challenged? How Alternative Credit Data Can Help Those With Little or No Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/what-the-new-credit-card-formula-means-for-your-wallet">What the New Credit Card Formula Means for Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-checking-your-credit-score">5-Minute Finance: Checking Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-build-business-credit-when-youre-self-employed">5 Ways to Build Business Credit When You&#039;re Self-Employed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement borrowing co-signing credit history credit reports credit score lending paying bills Thu, 29 Mar 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2115359 at https://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Education Can Impact Your Creditworthiness https://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-education-can-impact-your-creditworthiness <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-education-can-impact-your-creditworthiness" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/this_is_how_we_will_climb_ladders.jpg" alt="This is how we will climb ladders" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many factors can impact your credit score, but is education one of them?</p> <p>In short, no. Education does not directly affect your credit score. Whether you have a Ph.D or are a high school dropout, credit reporting agencies couldn't care less. No matter your level of education, your credit score will remain unaffected.</p> <p>On the flip side, your credit score is<em> directly affected</em> by factors that may relate to you if you used student loans to fund your education. And your credit score is just one factor that constitutes your creditworthiness. What do we mean by creditworthiness? As defined by Investopedia, creditworthiness is &quot;a valuation performed by lenders that determines the possibility a borrower may default on his or her debt obligations. It considers factors such as repayment history and credit score.&quot;</p> <p>While your level of education may not directly affect your credit score, it can affect your creditworthiness. Here's how.</p> <h2>Debt-to-income ratio</h2> <p>If you borrowed money to finance your education, you could have a higher debt-to-income ratio. A high debt-to-income ratio means that you owe a high percentage of your income to debt. This can affect your creditworthiness.</p> <p>Student loan borrowers owe a significant chunk of change to their student loan lenders. It can be difficult to put a serious dent in these loans, especially while working an entry-level, likely lower-paying job as a recent college graduate.</p> <p>As your income increases, lenders face less concern over the amount of debt you carry. That's because as your earning power goes up, you are less likely to miss debt payments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-debt-payoffs-that-boost-your-credit-score-the-most?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 7 Debt Payoffs That Boost Your Credit Score the Most</a>)</p> <h2>On-time payments</h2> <p>Failing to pay a student loan bill fully and on-time can drastically affect your creditworthiness.</p> <p>Lenders don't want to credit money to borrowers with a bad repayment history. Any lender wants to know that they will be repaid, on time and on their terms.</p> <p>On the other hand, paying back your student loans on schedule can help to increase your credit score and creditworthiness. Potential lenders viewing your repayment history like to see that you are a reliable borrower. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-really-happens-when-you-dont-pay-your-student-loans?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Really Happens When You Don't Pay Your Student Loans</a>)</p> <h2>Work experience</h2> <p>Your past work experience is a big determining factor of your creditworthiness, especially in relation to home loans. When applying for a mortgage, lenders will take a look at the last two years of your work history, among other considerations. They want to know that not only are you willing to pay back owed money, but that you are also financially able to pay it back. This is why a steady job history is important to potential lenders.</p> <p>While your level of education doesn't necessarily determine whether you'll have vast or limited career opportunities, you are more likely to have better career opportunities (and income opportunities) with at least a bachelor's degree.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F3-ways-education-can-impact-your-creditworthiness&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F3%2520Ways%2520Education%2520Can%2520Impact%2520Your%2520Creditworthiness.jpg&amp;description=3%20Ways%20Education%20Can%20Impact%20Your%20Creditworthiness"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/3%20Ways%20Education%20Can%20Impact%20Your%20Creditworthiness.jpg" alt="3 Ways Education Can Impact Your Creditworthiness" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/rachel-slifka">Rachel Slifka</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-education-can-impact-your-creditworthiness">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-new-grads-can-protect-their-credit">How New Grads Can Protect Their Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/you-missed-a-student-loan-payment-now-what">You Missed a Student Loan Payment. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-student-loan-debt-can-derail-your-future">How Student Loan Debt Can Derail Your Future</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/what-really-happens-when-you-dont-pay-your-student-loans">What Really Happens When You Don&#039;t Pay Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training credit credit history creditworthiness debt to income ratio late payments student loans Fri, 23 Mar 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Rachel Slifka 2116586 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Matters That Won't Affect Your Credit Score https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-matters-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-matters-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/excellent_credit_score_concept.jpg" alt="Excellent Credit Score concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You already know that your credit score is a key number. Lenders use it to determine if they'll approve you for financing, and at what interest rates. But you might be surprised to learn what <em>does</em> and <em>does not</em> impact this critical number.(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-mistakes-that-wont-hurt-your-credit-score?ref=seealso">5 Financial Mistakes That Won't Hurt Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>If your goal is to boost your credit score, read on. It's important to know what factors you don't have to worry about.</p> <h2>1. Your salary</h2> <p>You might think that how much money you earn each year is an important figure when applying for a loan or credit. And lenders will ask you to verify your income whenever you apply for a mortgage or auto loan. But your salary has no impact on your credit score. This score measures how well you pay your bills and manage your credit. It doesn't measure how much money you earn. Getting a raise or taking a job with a bigger salary will not cause your score to budge up or down.</p> <h2>2. Your job history</h2> <p>Currently unemployed? It won't affect your credit score. Have you worked steadily for the last two decades, with no gaps in your employment history? This won't boost your score past any other consumer. Again, credit scores rise or fall depending on how you pay your bills and how you handle your credit. Credit score keepers are unconcerned with whether you've been fired multiple times or if you've been a model employee.</p> <h2>3. Marital status</h2> <p>Your credit score won't rise or fall because you're married or single. Your credit score is separate from your partner's. If your partner has bad credit, this will have no impact on your own score.</p> <p>A partner with bad credit, though, could hurt you when you're ready to apply for a loan together. Lenders will look at all three of your credit scores, and all three of your partner's credit scores &mdash; each maintained by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion &mdash; then use the middle score of whichever partner has the lowest scores.</p> <p>For instance, if you have credit scores of 780, 750, and 790 from the three credit bureaus, and your partner has scores of 640, 680, and 700, your lender will use your partner's middle score of 680 when determining whether you qualify for a loan you are applying for jointly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a>)</p> <h2>4. Where you live</h2> <p>You probably know that where you live can cause the premiums you pay for homeowners or auto insurance to rise or fall. But where you live has no bearing on your credit score. You may live in the most expensive subdivision in the most expensive community in your state. This, however, won't automatically give you a higher credit score.</p> <h2>5. Your age</h2> <p>You might think you've become financially wiser as you age. You might even be right. But your age also has no impact on your credit score. However, if you have gotten better at paying bills on time and reducing your credit card debt as you've gotten older, this will improve your score.</p> <h2>What does hurt</h2> <p>Missing credit card, mortgage, or auto payments <em>will</em> send your credit score tumbling. If you are 30 days or more late on these revolving payments, you can expect your score to fall by 100 points or more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Never Make a Late Credit Card Payment</a>)</p> <p>The same holds true if you declare bankruptcy or lose a home to foreclosure. These financial missteps can cost you 150 credit points or more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-terrible-things-foreclosure-does-to-your-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Terrible Things Foreclosure Does to Your Credit</a>)</p> <p>Missed payments generally stay on your credit reports for seven years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings and foreclosures also remain on your report for seven years, while Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings remain for 10 years.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-money-matters-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Money%2520Matters%2520That%2520Wont%2520Affect%2520Your%2520Credit%2520Score.jpg&amp;description=5%20Money%20Matters%20That%20Wont%20Affect%20Your%20Credit%20Score"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Money%20Matters%20That%20Wont%20Affect%20Your%20Credit%20Score.jpg" alt="5 Money Matters That Won't Affect Your Credit Score" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-money-matters-that-wont-affect-your-credit-score">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-the-age-of-your-credit-history-matters">Why the Age of Your Credit History Matters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-do-right-now-to-boost-your-600-credit-score">5 Things to Do Right Now to Boost Your 600 Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-minute-finance-checking-your-credit-score">5-Minute Finance: Checking Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-you-shouldnt-freak-out-if-you-miss-a-payment-due-date">Here&#039;s Why You Shouldn&#039;t Freak Out If You Miss a Payment Due Date</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-revolving-debt-helps-you">5 Surprising Ways Revolving Debt Helps You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance affects credit score age credit history credit score employment marital status raise credit score salary Thu, 25 Jan 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2091488 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Good Credit Is Better Than a Boyfriend https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-good-credit-is-better-than-a-boyfriend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-good-credit-is-better-than-a-boyfriend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kissing_piggy_bank.jpg" alt="Kissing piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having good credit may not sound like much when compared to romance. After all, there aren&rsquo;t many candlelit dinners, vases overflowing with roses, or long walks on the beach with good credit.</p> <p>However, while having a significant other is a wonderful thing, a strong credit history can enhance your life in ways romance can't quite match. Here are some things that your love life can&rsquo;t always promise you &mdash; but good credit can.</p> <h2>1. Good credit is always there for you</h2> <p>No matter when you need it &mdash; whether it&rsquo;s the middle of the night, or the middle of the workday &mdash; good credit is always there for you. Even if you just want to check it again, one more time to feel more secure, good credit doesn&rsquo;t think you're being clingy.</p> <p>Good credit doesn&rsquo;t require anything special to keep it happy: Simply keep up with smart money habits, and it will show up wherever and whenever you need it, whether it&rsquo;s for a car loan, a home loan, or that new apartment you&rsquo;ve been wanting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-life-is-better-with-good-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Life Is Better With Good Credit</a>)</p> <h2>2. Good credit comes through in an emergency</h2> <p>Do you need to move across town quickly? Good credit will help you land an awesome new apartment. It will also help get your utilities set up without any deposits or letters of guarantee, making the whole process quick and painless.</p> <p>Maybe your car got totaled and you need a loan for a new one, fast. Good credit will come through for you there, too, giving you a better chance of getting the best terms on the loan for your new ride. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a>)</p> <h2>3. Good credit rewards you every day</h2> <p>When you have a solid credit score, you stand a much better chance of qualifying for the best rewards credit cards that fit your needs and lifestyle, and at a much lower rate. This means that every time you swipe, you&rsquo;ll earn bonuses, miles, or cash back that will make your life a little sweeter. And it&rsquo;s all thanks to good credit, who helped you land the cards in the first place.</p> <p>A romantic partner might reward you on occasion, but there will undoubtedly be some rocky times. That high credit score, however, is committed to making your life a little better every single day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-excellent-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Credit Cards for People With Excellent Credit</a>)</p> <h2>4. Good credit saves you money</h2> <p>Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries: Significant others can be expensive! Good credit, on the other hand, helps keep your money in your pockets. You&rsquo;ll pay less in deposits for things like utilities and mobile phone contracts. You&rsquo;ll pay less in interest on loans and credit cards. Your auto insurance rates will be lower, too. Every day, you&rsquo;ll have more money to spend on the things that make you happy, all courtesy of good credit.</p> <h2>5. Good credit helps you get a home</h2> <p>Buying a home with your significant other can be pretty scary. Buying a home with good credit, though, is easy. You'll get preapproved in a snap, and your mortgage payment will be lower thanks to a better rate. This will leave you with more room in the budget for things like decorating, dining out, and &mdash; most importantly &mdash; savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-a-good-credit-score-range?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Is a Good Credit Score and Why Is It Important?</a>)</p> <h2>6. Good credit helps you get your way</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s no partner on earth who will let you have your way all the time &mdash; but good credit will. Maybe you need a small loan to cover an unexpected home repair. If you harness the negotiation power of a sky-high credit score, you can ask for a lower interest rate or a more attractive repayment plan. You can also shop around for the best quotes from different lenders, and leverage them to get an even better deal.</p> <p>Romantic relationships make life worthwhile and so does having strong credit. Sometimes, romance is better &mdash; but other times, a good credit score is more comforting, reliable, supportive, and helpful than a boyfriend.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-good-credit-is-better-than-a-boyfriend&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520Good%2520Credit%2520Is%2520Better%2520Than%2520a%2520Boyfriend.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20Good%20Credit%20Is%20Better%20Than%20a%20Boyfriend"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20Good%20Credit%20Is%20Better%20Than%20a%20Boyfriend.jpg" alt="6 Ways Good Credit Is Better Than a Boyfriend" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-good-credit-is-better-than-a-boyfriend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-revolving-debt-helps-you">5 Surprising Ways Revolving Debt Helps You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-you-shouldnt-panic-if-your-credit-score-drops">Why You Shouldn&#039;t Panic If Your Credit Score Drops</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-the-age-of-your-credit-history-matters">Why the Age of Your Credit History Matters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/debunking-8-common-credit-score-myths">Debunking 8 Common Credit Score Myths</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance credit history credit score emergencies good credit humor interest rates loans love life mortgages rewards romance Thu, 18 Jan 2018 09:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 2086758 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Bounce Back From a Bankruptcy https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bounce-back-from-a-bankruptcy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-bounce-back-from-a-bankruptcy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_savings_protection.jpg" alt="Woman savings protection" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you've filed Chapter 7 or 11, bankruptcy is not ideal &mdash; but it's also not the end of the world. You've made some monetary missteps along the way, sure, but if you learn from those mistakes, you'll emerge from the ashes of financial ruin stronger than ever. Heed this advice on how to bounce back from bankruptcy and start your life anew. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-steps-to-take-when-bankruptcy-is-your-only-option?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Steps to Take When Bankruptcy Is Your Only Option</a>)</p> <h2>Adopt this mantra: &quot;This is not the end, but a new beginning&quot;</h2> <p>Bankruptcy is not only financially devastating, but there are psychological effects to losing nearly everything. You may experience feelings of loss, shame, and anger as a result of filing for bankruptcy, but it's important to remember that this is only a <em>temporary</em> situation. It's also helpful if you look at it as a <em>solution</em>. This solution may have been a last-ditch effort &mdash; and it probably cost you much of what you've worked for thus far &mdash; but it's a solution nonetheless.</p> <p>This is not the end. Rather, it's a new beginning, and you'll get your life back on track faster if you get yourself in that mindset.</p> <h2>Obtain your full credit report to ensure everything is clear</h2> <p>Once your bankruptcy paperwork is filed and the proverbial wheels are in motion, it's your duty to double-check that all the I's have been dotted and T's crossed so you can start rebuilding your life. One of those starting points is making sure your credit report accurately reflects your bankruptcy status.</p> <p>Personal finance and banking expert Alex Gerard, founder of CardsMix, suggests requesting the annual free copy of your credit report from <a href="http://www.annualcreditreport.com" target="_blank">AnnualCreditReport.com</a> and cross-referencing your information from all three major credit bureaus &mdash; Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion &mdash; to ensure that everything is up to date and reported exactly the same.</p> <p>&quot;Check that all the accounts that were included in a bankruptcy are noted as having zero balance and are not in default/derogatory status,&quot; he says. &quot;For every account that is not correct on your credit report, file a dispute with all three credit agencies.&quot;</p> <p>The discrepancy &mdash; if there is one &mdash; may take some time to resolve, but it's necessary to do your due diligence so a technical error doesn't continue damaging your credit.</p> <h2>Recognize and accept where you went wrong with your money</h2> <p>A big part of the transition from bankruptcy to getting back on your feet is recognizing where you went wrong and accepting responsibility for what was in your control. Think of this stage as a self-induced rehabilitation program. The hardest part is admitting you had a problem and pinpointing where you went wrong, so you don't make the same mistakes again. It's also wise, if your spending was out of control, to identify your spending triggers so you can avoid those in the future and increase your chance of success.</p> <h2>Make amends with your previous financial habits and vow to change</h2> <p>What's done is done &mdash; you can't change the past. You are, however, in complete control of the future. Make amends with what went wrong that led to your bankruptcy and put those issues to bed; no reason to beat yourself up over it now. Instead, focus on the future and commit to changing those habits that put you in this predicament.</p> <h2>Get a new credit card to start reversing your circumstances</h2> <p>Getting a new credit card after you've just filed for bankruptcy might seem counterintuitive to rebuilding your financial foundation, but, in fact, you've probably never needed a credit card more than right now.</p> <p>Usually, options are limited to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-secured-credit-card-can-repair-your-credit-score-heres-how-to-pick-the-best?ref=internal" target="_blank">secured credit cards</a> which require a security deposit, but there is an overlooked option to get a retail store card since many store cards are, in fact, bankruptcy-friendly. Their high APRs, low credit limits, and for store-use only limitations allow them to approve those with lower credit scores.</p> <p>Use this card to pay for expenses that you can turn around and pay back in full every month. The habit of paying in full and on time will gradually start to rebuild your credit.</p> <p>Be wary, however; fresh plastic in your hand doesn't mean it's time for a spending spree. That may be how you got into trouble in the first place, and you don't want to fall back into old habits. If you don't think you can handle the pressure of having a credit card in your pocket all the time, leave it at home in a safe place and use it sparingly with the intention of paying off the full balance each month. If you can't afford to pay in full whatever you're charging, do not use it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-to-rebuild-credit-after-bankruptcy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit After Bankruptcy</a>)</p> <h2>Consider a credit builder loan</h2> <p>A credit builder loan, sometimes also called a &quot;fresh start&quot; loan, can be another smart way to boost your credit score after a bankruptcy. These small loans, usually offered by credit unions and community banks, approve borrowers' applications even if they have no or poor credit and can be for as little as $100. Often, the lender will deposit the loan amount into a locked savings account that can only be accessed by the borrower when the loan is repaid in full &mdash; which, in turn, protects both parties. If you pay the loan as agreed, a good report is sent to the credit bureaus.</p> <h2>Live on less to save more</h2> <p>Now it's time for some truth telling: If you've filed for bankruptcy, you're broke, and your lifestyle should reflect that. I'm not suggesting you live in a box under a bridge, but you will need to reevaluate your expenses and find ways to reduce your overall cost of living so you can start rebuilding your savings, emergency and retirement funds, and whatever other financial resources you've recently depleted. Taking the time to restructure your budget while simultaneously cutting the fat from it is a positive step forward, but there are many other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-ways-to-start-living-on-less-today" target="_blank">ways to start living on less</a>.</p> <h2>Redefine your worth</h2> <p>As I said in the beginning of this article, bankruptcy isn't the end. Millions of people have bounced back from bankruptcy to great success, and so can you. Dedicate yourself to becoming a success story instead of a victim of your own undoing and the rebuilding process won't be as arduous as it may seem. This is your life, after all &mdash; your one and only, for that matter &mdash; and you owe it to yourself and your family (if you have one) to be financially stable while practicing good money habits so you can live a happy life. You're worth at least that much.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-bounce-back-from-a-bankruptcy&amp;media=%20http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Bounce%2520Back%2520From%2520a%2520Bankruptcy.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Bounce%20Back%20From%20a%20Bankruptcy"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Bounce%20Back%20From%20a%20Bankruptcy.jpg" alt="How to Bounce Back From a Bankruptcy" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bounce-back-from-a-bankruptcy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-making-all-the-right-money-moves">6 Signs You&#039;re Making All the Right Money Moves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-boost-your-partners-bad-credit-without-risking-your-own">6 Ways to Boost Your Partner&#039;s Bad Credit Without Risking Your Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-know-about-debt-relief-lawyers">5 Things You Should Know About Debt Relief Lawyers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-brilliant-money-moves-you-should-make-on-january-1">5 Brilliant Money Moves You Should Make on January 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-you-shouldnt-panic-if-your-credit-score-drops">Why You Shouldn&#039;t Panic If Your Credit Score Drops</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bankruptcy budgeting chapter 11 chapter 7 credit builder loans credit history credit score rebuilding saving money Tue, 05 Dec 2017 10:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 2065223 at https://www.wisebread.com Credit Challenged? How Alternative Credit Data Can Help Those With Little or No Credit https://www.wisebread.com/credit-challenged-how-alternative-credit-data-can-help-those-with-little-or-no-credit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/credit-challenged-how-alternative-credit-data-can-help-those-with-little-or-no-credit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_working_at_her_office.jpg" alt="Young Woman Working at her office" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've got no credit file, or a very thin one, you know how hard it can be to get a credit card or loan. Without a credit record, you can't get a credit score, and lenders can't easily judge how much of a credit risk you are.</p> <p>Don't give up. Lenders are slowly beginning to consider other kinds of information when making credit decisions. That may help you get approved for credit, even without a traditional credit score. But it's important to also understand how this so-called alternative data is used, and the implications for your privacy.</p> <h2>What is alternative data?</h2> <p>Traditional credit data relies on information about how you've used credit or debt in the past. It is compiled by the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. That data is then used by the major scoring companies, FICO and VantageScore, to build your credit scores. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <p>Maybe you haven't had experience with credit, or you had a negative experience that doesn't tell the whole story of how you would behave now with a new loan. Alternative data providers look at how reliably you've paid rent, utility bills, or rent-to-own agreements. They dig up nonpayment information, too.</p> <p>For instance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions gathers publicly available documents that show your professional licenses, evidence of college attendance, ownership of assets such as a home or boat, felony convictions, and your address stability. &quot;Address stability is the concept that if you're living in the same address for a period of time, you're more stable than if you're bouncing around four times a year,&quot; says Ankush Tewari, senior director of credit risk assessment at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. &quot;Multiple client studies have shown that people who move frequently are riskier than people who have a stable address history.&quot;</p> <p>LexisNexis Risk Solutions says the data it collects all has some proven ability to predict creditworthiness. By adding this sort of data to regular credit bureau data, it can help score about 40 million consumers who don't have a regular credit score. The company has paired with FICO and credit bureau Equifax to create an alternative credit score called the FICO Score XD. It's only for people whose credit files are so thin they can't get a regular credit score, and it relies on payment data from a consumer's utility, phone, and other bills.</p> <p>According to FICO, the new score should allow lenders to score more than half of all previously unscorable applicants. It's found that more than a third of those people turn out to have a FICO Score XD of at least 620, the cutoff point many lenders use for even considering a credit application. That means more people should be getting approved for credit. The trouble is, the product is so new, FICO has not revealed how many lenders are using it.</p> <p>TransUnion has had a similar scoring model called CreditVision Link since 2015, which incorporates a trended look at traditional credit data (how you've performed over time) with non-credit-related data collected from consumers' banking accounts, payday lending histories, and property, deed, and tax records. TransUnion told The New York Times that about 100 companies &mdash; primarily auto lenders and online lenders, but also an increasing number of credit card issuers &mdash; are using or testing the score. They're usually able to approve about 20 percent more applicants than they could before.</p> <h2>How alternative data can help you</h2> <p>The driving force behind the use of alternative data is lenders' desire to reach new customers who are creditworthy but can't show it through traditional means. &quot;Lenders tell us, 'We don't need help declining more people. We need help growing our business but without increasing our credit risk,'&quot; says LexisNexis's Tewari.</p> <p>That should mean good news for consumers who have been responsible with their finances but who haven't had a chance to build credit or have stumbled along the way. Alternative data may help increase your chances of being approved for a loan or credit card. &quot;It allows consumers to show that, while they may not be in a position to get a mortgage or a car payment, or they have no desire to get a credit card, they are still taking care of everyday financial responsibilities,&quot; says Kim Cole, community engagement manager for Navicore Solutions, a nonprofit credit counseling agency in Manalapin, New Jersey.</p> <p>A new company called FS Card is using alternative data to offer a credit card called Build Card to people who would otherwise have been rejected for a credit card. Build Card's target market is consumers with credit scores of 620 or below, meaning their credit is considered subprime. In the past, the only kind of card these consumers probably would have been able to get is a secured card, which requires a deposit of several hundred dollars upfront.</p> <p>Build Card asks applicants to agree to let the company use alternative data to assess their risk. In addition to traditional credit data, Build Card looks at payday loan information to determine whether an applicant is creditworthy. &quot;We're looking for an inflection point that shows the consumer has changed and is able to take on regular credit,&quot; says Marla Blow, CEO of FS Card. Typically this means they've been able to close out a payday loan. &quot;We're looking at the top 15&ndash;20 percent of payday loan users,&quot; she says.</p> <p>If the applicant is approved, they'll be given a regular credit card &mdash; no security deposit required. Granted, there is a $53 upfront fee, APRs are 25&ndash;29 percent, and the initial credit limit is only $500. But it's a step up from a payday loan. And if you do well with the initial credit limit, you can eventually have it increased to $750.</p> <h2>Concerns about privacy and transparency</h2> <p>One of the biggest concerns with alternative data is that people don't know it's being collected and used. Not everyone wants their financial history and other information rounded up and made available to financial institutions. And, as with any organization that collects personal information, there is always the chance that a data breach could happen. It's one thing if information that was already publicly available is stolen, but it may be more worrisome if you've voluntarily shared payment information that then gets disclosed in a breach.</p> <p>Beyond privacy and security, there are concerns about transparency. If you don't know what information lenders might look at when they're making lending decisions, you can't shape your behavior appropriately. For instance, maybe if you knew that bank overdrafts not only cost you money, but could also cause a lender to frown on your credit card application someday, you would be even more careful about not overdrawing. That's why some consumer advocates say you should first be asked whether you want to opt in to the collection and use of this sort of data.</p> <p>Consumer groups also worry about the accessibility of information that's being collected. &quot;People need to have access to data collected about them,&quot; says Linda Sherry, director of national priorities at Consumer Action. &quot;They need to be able to verify that it's accurate and to put notes on it to say what's happened in their life to justify why these things are happening to them.&quot;</p> <p>You already have those rights when it comes to data on your traditional credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the right to access your credit reports and if you find an error, it says the credit bureau must investigate and so must the bank or credit card issuer who furnished the data. The FCRA also requires creditors and employers to notify you if they've rejected you based on information in your credit report. That way, you can check the information and dispute it if it's incorrect.</p> <p>LexisNexis says you also have those same rights with the alternative data it collects. If you are, say, turned down for a loan because you've got a lien or judgment, you should be notified of that and given the chance to dispute any inaccuracies in the reporting. &quot;Alternative data must be compliant with the FCRA, which requires consumers have access to data that's used in credit decisions,&quot; says Tewari, who adds that his company allows consumers unlimited free access to the data it has on file. You can request it at any time, and as many times as you like. &quot;They have the ability to review it and correct it if there's an error,&quot; he says.</p> <h2>What you can do</h2> <p>While data collectors and lenders are in the driver's seat when it comes to the use of alternative data, there are still some things you can do to build your credit.</p> <h3>1. Pay all of your bills on time</h3> <p>This is always important, but even more so in times when companies are collecting information about how you pay all kinds of bills. Keeping on top of payments could help you build credit that you'll need in the future. Avoid overdrafts on your checking account, too, as this is a costly behavior that could also mar your alternative credit profile.</p> <h3>2. Check your traditional credit report and dispute any errors</h3> <p>&quot;If someone has been denied by the big lenders, that's a wake-up call that they need to go into their credit report, figure out why they're being denied, clean up the credit report as much as they can, and get back on track with a good credit history,&quot; says Consumer Action's Sherry. &quot;That's the best way to show yourself as someone that lenders will trust.&quot;</p> <h3>3. Get a secured card</h3> <p>This is the traditional way to go, and it works. Save up $300, use it as a deposit on a secured credit card, get a $300 credit line, then only make a small purchase with it a few times a year. At the end of a year &mdash; maybe sooner &mdash; you should have built enough credit to get a regular credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Secured Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>4. Ask your lender to look at FICO Score XD</h3> <p>Since this scoring model is fairly new, you likely won't see any immediate results if you request a lender review it. Banks have to pay to get access to this scoring model. But eventually if lenders see enough demand from consumers, they will begin to adopt it. It certainly can't hurt to ask.</p> <h3>5. Consider providing your own alternative data</h3> <p>If you're applying for a loan, it may help to present letters of good standing from your landlord, utility providers, or other monthly services that you pay on time.</p> <h3>6. Don't worry &mdash; yet &mdash; about modifying your behavior to fit the FICO Score XD model</h3> <p>For instance, if you really need to change addresses for the second time in a year, don't hold back just because it might affect your alternative credit score. A whole host of factors goes into most lenders' credit decisions, so no one factor is given too much weight.</p> <h3>7. Monitor your alternative credit record</h3> <p>This is not as easy as monitoring your traditional credit record, but if you're interested you can find out who's collecting your financial details by consulting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's list of <a href="http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201604_cfpb_list-of-consumer-reporting-companies.pdf" target="_blank">42 consumer reporting companies</a>. You'll have to check with each company's website to find out how to get your free annual report.</p> <h3>8. Correct mistakes if they arise</h3> <p>If you get a note that you've been denied credit due to a piece of alternative data, ask who furnished the information, and make sure it's accurate. You have the same right to dispute errors in alternative data as you do with traditional information on your credit report.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fcredit-challenged-how-alternative-credit-data-can-help-those-with-little-or-no-credit&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FCredit%2520Challenged-%2520How%2520Alternative%2520Credit%2520Data%2520Can%2520Help%2520Those%2520With%2520Little%2520or%2520No%2520Credit%2520%25282%2529_0.jpg&amp;description=Credit%20Challenged%3F%20How%20Alternative%20Credit%20Data%20Can%20Help%20Those%20With%20Little%20or%20No%20Credit"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Credit%20Challenged-%20How%20Alternative%20Credit%20Data%20Can%20Help%20Those%20With%20Little%20or%20No%20Credit%20%282%29_0.jpg" alt="Credit Challenged? How Alternative Credit Data Can Help Those With Little or No Credit" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/yasmin-ghahremani">Yasmin Ghahremani</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/credit-challenged-how-alternative-credit-data-can-help-those-with-little-or-no-credit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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