Questions about credit

Most people have questions about credit scores because there is no published manual that details how credit scores are developed.  However, after understanding the basics of how a credit report is calculated to reach a credit score, you can develop a plan that is easy to follow and actionable that may improve your overall credit score with all three major credit reporting agencies.

Understanding how you may improve your credit score and what that means to you depends on your viewpoint.

As a Realtor working for clients you may ask yourself:

  • What are my clients doing that may change their credit score while in escrow?
  • Are my clients getting solid advice about how they may improve their credit score so they can obtain better loan terms?
  • Do I have past potential clients that could have gotten home financing if they understood how to improve their credit scores?

As an Individual:

  • How can I get a copy of my current credit scores from all three credit agencies?
  • Is my credit report hard to understand?
  • After reviewing my credit report are there opportunities to improve my score?
  • How can I maximize my credit score?

As a parent:

  • Do my kids have the tools to build a positive credit score?
  • Can I help them understand how to begin building a good credit score today?
  • What can I do to help them jump start a great credit report resulting in a positive financial future?

Why are credit scores important?  Does it really make sense to invest time and effort understanding my credit score and developing an action plan that may improve my credit score?  How does my credit score affect my lifestyle and future?

Here are a few examples of how different credit scores provide different financial options for individuals.

If you have a bad credit score (620 or less)

  • You may not be able secure home financing.
  • Your home insurance cost will be higher.
  • Some employers may not not hire you based on your credit score.

If you have fair good credit score (620-740)

  • You may be able to secure a new mortgage for a home.
  • You may meet the minimum down payment eligibility to finance a new loan.
  • You may qualify for standard home insurance rates.
  • Employers may not consider your credit score as reason not to extend an offer of employment.

If you have good credit (740+)

  • Good to great is easy once you know the rules.
  • You can secure the lowest interest rate available when you close on your home.
  • You will save thousands of dollars throughout the life of your home loan.
  • You qualify for the lowest over all closing cost at the time of your loan.
  • The goal is to understand how to maintain this credit score over a long period of time.

 

After reviewing and understanding your credit report, you may be able to fix or improve your own credit score. The first step in improving your credit score is gaining access to your most recent credit report. You can download you current report at this online site.

               Annualcreditreport.com

Next you need to identify opportunities that may improve your credit score and design an action plan to complete those tasks.

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