Make a Goal to Improve Your Credit Score in 2021!
In a previous newsletter, I wrote the below myths about what affects and does not affect your personal credit score. Although there are a number of things that a lender will look at before offering commercial financing, a credit score very much will play a big part in their decision for approval and rates. Run a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. This will show your credit report from all 3 major reporting agencies. (Experian, Transunion and Equifax) You will see exactly what a lender is looking at versus a Credit Karma (or similar) report which lenders do not consider. Weekly I will have someone tell me that they were not aware of a collection or past-due account due to having moved or sometimes just never being contacted. It is not that difficult to monitor and set a goal of 700 or higher to get the best possible rates. Pay off any collection accounts that you can. I would estimate that 50% of all collection accounts are less than $100 but they affect your score greatly. For larger collections or past-due work out a payment plan to get them paid off.
There are also credit repair agencies that will help you get derogatory accounts eliminated. If you would like a referral to a credit repair company please email or call me.
Below are the myths of credit…
- Paying off delinquent loans removes it from your credit report - if you’ve paid off a delinquent loan or credit card balance, you may think that it’s then removed from a credit report and will no longer affect your credit score. Negative information such as late payments, collection accounts and bankruptcies will remain on a person’s credit reports for up to seven years. Certain types of bankruptcies stick around for up to 10 years. Paying off the delinquent account won’t remove it from a credit report, but it will update the account to indicate it as “paid,” she says.
- Canceling credit cards boosts my credit score - this can often be a popular thing to do for therapeutic reasons but closing an account actually damages your credit score, especially if it’s one with a long good payment history. Not only does the loss of history affect your score now but the drop in your debt-to-available credit ratio does as well.
- Too many inquiries always hurt - While a lot of inquiries can drop your score a few points, this fact is largely inflated. Most scoring models actually allow inquiries within a certain timeframe to just be considered one inquiry. All inquiries fall off after 24 months.
- Pulling your own credit affects your credit score - This is absolutely not true. Not only does a consumer have unlimited use of a service such as credit karma, but as mentioned above, every consumer is given a complete report from all 3 credit bureau’s at www.annualcreditreport.com. This is available for no cost on an annual basis.
- Paying on time each month results in good credit - This is another case where a debt utilization ratio comes into play for your credit score. The idea that simply paying your credit card bill on time every month will give you good credit isn’t necessarily true. If your utilization is high, then you can have a FICO score drop dramatically. By ration, I mean if you have a $5000 credit line and you run a balance consistently above $4000 if has a negative effect then if your balance was at $1000. The more available credit on any credit card is a good thing.
- You must be in debt to have a good score - Not true, A key factor that determines your credit score is your debt-to-available credit ratio. If this is too high, your score will drop. Another area that impacts a credit score is not whether you pay the balance off in full each month, but rather consistent on-time monthly payments, As long as you make your payments on time, you can maintain a great score with little to no debt.
- FICO scores are locked in for six months - Credit scores can change monthly as the creditors update the status of your accounts each month. There’s no way to know exactly when in the month the creditors report to the agencies they subscribe to.
- My debit card can’t affect my credit - While a debit card does not report to the credit bureaus, it can help or hurt you if it is tied to an overdraft line of credit. An overdraft line of credit is basically a line of credit that is available in the event that you overdraw your checking account. If you dip below zero, the debit card will still work, but instead of drafting your checking account it will begin pulling on the line of credit. If you fail to pay on the line of credit (most accounts are auto-paid for at least the minimum due, assuming you have enough money in your checking account by the billing date) or if you use up too much of the available credit, you can hurt your score.
- A secured credit card helps build credit - While a secured credit card can possibly help you build credit, it’s important to understand how they work and to be aware of their limitations. Secured credit cards are not the same as a pre-paid credit card, which can’t help you build credit. Not all secured credit cards report to the credit bureaus, and generally even the ones that do don’t report to all the bureaus. This is because it costs the creditor money to report to each bureau and, by definition, secured credit cards cater to sub-prime borrowers with low credit limits, which can limit the bank’s ability to make money.
- I can’t build credit without having credit first - If you have no credit or bad credit, and thus no one will extend you credit, it can seem like there’s no way to get back in to the world of credit and improve your credit score. But it can be done. Begin by reviewing your credit report for errors or items older than seven years that should be removed. Then clean up any existing active lines of credit that are reporting, and then work to get new lines of credit reporting favorably.
- Co-signing a loan won’t hurt as long as they pay - If you add yourself to someone’s loan on an amount large enough to affect your debt-to-income ratio, then you’re hurting your credit. If you need your own loan in the future, you may be unable to secure it if your credit shows too many other financial obligations. The lender may or may not accept a letter stating that you do not pay the bill in order to get you qualified, but you’re still legally responsible, he says.
I hope the above information is helpful. I encourage anyone who sees a window of opportunity to improve your score to seriously consider the effort that it takes. The difference in rate for a higher credit score can mean thousands of dollars over the course of an equipment loan.
Have a great month!
"Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking."
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Did You Know???
Facts About Penguins
- About two-thirds of penguin species are listed as threatened, making them one of the most endangered seabirds.
- Penguins come ashore to lay their eggs and raise their chicks. Most penguins stay with their mate for many years and lay only one or two eggs at a time.
- On land, penguins have an upright stance and tend to waddle, hop, or run with their bodies angled forward. Polar penguins can travel long distances quickly by “tobogganing,” or sliding across the ice on their bellies and pushing forward with their feet.
- They spend most of their lives in the ocean and do nearly all of their hunting for krill, squid, and crabs underwater. They can swim about 15 miles an hour, and when they want to go faster, they often porpoise, or leap out of the water as they swim.
- There are 18 different species of penguins.
Just for Laughs!
Employee: My internet is not working properly.
Company Tech: Ok, Double click on “My computer”.
Employee: I can’t see your computer..
Company Tech: No no.. click on “My computer” on your computer..
Employee: How can I click on your computer from my computer?..
Company Tech: listen.. There is an icon labelled “My Computer” on your computer.. Ok. double click on it..
Employee: what the heck, what is your computer doing on my computer..???
Company Tech: Double click on your computer..
Employee: On which Icon do I have to click..
Company Tech: “My Computer”..
Employee: …Oh you Idiot…… Tell me where is your office… I’ll come there and click on your “Computer".