Credit reports and how credit reports work is almost a secret to most. There is not a set number of points for each credit inquiry, late payment, etc but there are known items that affect credit scores in a subtle way and sometimes a very drastic way. Knowing what affects a credit score will make you more aware of everyday things you do in the credit world. For instance, one may not open that department store credit account for an extra 10% off today because it is another credit bureau inquiry and the new credit account that is not necessary.
The goal of this page is to help educate you on how credit bureau scoring works and how you can improve on your credit bureau scores so you will qualify for better interest rates which in the end SAVES YOU MONEY.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies are permitted to include your name on lists used by creditors or insurers to make firm offers of credit or insurance that are not initiated by you. You have a right to “Opt Out”. To “Opt Out” from receiving Firm offers from creditors for 5 years as a result of Consumer Credit Reporting Companies providing your credit file information, click here.
If you are someone you know is struggling to pay the mortgage and live in NC, there is help available:
NC Housing Finance Agency is a great source if you are struggling to pay your mortgage due to a job loss or temporary financial hardship, they have the
To watch a video of how NC Housing's counselors can help, click here
Frequently Asked Questions about the foreclosure help
Get your free credit report here:
Order your completely free credit report from all 3 credit bureaus by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. AnnualCreditReport.com is the official site to help consumers to obtain their free credit report. This is a completely free service where you can get copies of your credit reports and dispute or correct errors with Equifax, Transunion, and Experian once per year. You do not have to sign up for a service or pay any kind of fee unless you want to get a credit score or sign up for a particular service. Other benefits of requesting your own credit report are inquiries will not count against the person checking credit and if there is a medical collection, one can see who is reporting it (sources of medical collections will not show on credit reports that businesses request because of HIPAA privacy rules). Everyone should go ahead and pull all 3 bureaus of credit up front now because the percentage of credit reports with errors is staggering. Then a good practice would be to pull one bureau after one year for free. After 4 months, check another bureau and another 4 months, pull the third bureau. By following this system you are able to keep a more constant look at your overall credit rather than once per year. Do keep in mind that bureaus can and will have different information though and if you have fears of fraud or errors, check all 3 or even pay for pulling the bureaus more often. For more information on credit, contact me.
Easiest way to get quick points added to your credit score:
30% of your credit score is based on the balance compared as a percentage to the credit limit on revolving lines or credit cards. Therefore paying down your balance(s) to under 10% of the credit limit should add points to your current scores. The worst situation you can have in this relationship equation is to be above your credit limit on cards as this will severely hurt a credit score. Paying down the balance to 70%, 50%, 30%, & 10% of the credit limit are the ways your accounts are scored with the lowest percentage range being the better for your scores. As a goal, balances on these accounts should be kept as low as possible for keeping scores high. If you are looking to qualify for a loan soon or need points now on your scores, pay down balances on the revolving accounts and keep them at that level and your scores should go up.
How to Fix a Credit Score & Maintain Good Credit
Payment History Tips
Contributing 35% to your score calculation, this category has the greatest effect on improving your score, but past problems like missed or late payments are not easily fixed.
Amounts Owed Tips
This category contributes 30% to your score's calculation and can be easier to clean up than payment history, but that requires financial discipline and understanding the tips below.
Length of Credit History Tips
New Credit Tips
Types of Credit Use Tips
To summarize, "fixing" a credit score is more about fixing errors in your credit history (if they exist) and then following the guidelines above to maintain consistent, good credit history. Raising your score after a poor mark on your report or building credit for the first time will take patience and discipline.