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Trusted Social Butterfly

๐Ÿค‘ Any TIPS - How To IMPROVE Your Credit Report/Score?

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WE would luv to hear from YOU!!! ๐Ÿ™ƒ

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Periodic Contributor

Hi there,  

I hope this helps.  Stop shopping for un-needed items.  Pay off all of the accounts with low balances as soon as possible while still paying the minimum amount due on your accounts, after your low balance accounts are paid off the money can be used to pay on other accounts, double up on your car payments or mortgage, use only one credit card for emergencies only until you feel you are above water.  This is hard to do but it works.

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Honored Social Butterfly

@Spring2023  Wrote

QUESTION: Does anyone know why they state I have been on their records since 2002 (age 44) when I purchased and made payments on my 1st car at age 18? It was a "brand new" Honda Civic Hatchback through my CREDIT UNION.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Consumer LOANS (as differing from Credit Cards, which are Revolving Credit) once paid in full in good standing fall off your credit report about (7) years after it is paid off.

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna

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Trusted Contributor

Here are a few ideas. Some of this helps your credit rating and some is just good financial planning. I don't claim credit for any of it. My wife pays the bills and her efforts have given us an excellent rating. ๐Ÿ™‚

1) If your employer offers a 401k match, always contribute enough to get the full match. It is free money.

2) Pay yourself first. Set up an automatic payment into a savings account. Start small if you must, but develop a "saving" habit.

3) As your income increases, increase your automatic savings.

4) Pay off any credit card balance every month, but if you can't, do the following.

5) If you carry a credit card balance (or several), set up an automatic minimum payment so your payment is never late (thanks to my wife for this one).

6) Make a manual credit card payment (in addition to your automatic payment) with the eventual goal of paying off the credit card (my wife again).

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Gold Conversationalist


@GailL1 wrote:

Having good credit - opens doors and discounts - lower interest rates, better terms, and one cannot forget all that โ€œcash backโ€.

 


Insurance and landlords are two other notable groups that like to keep tabs on peoples' creditworthiness. Having a good credit rating will likely gain one better auto insurance rates as well as being more attractive to someone renting out housing. (for example, for auto insurance see https://www.allstate.com/resources/car-insurance/does-credit-score-affect-car-insurance)

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Trusted Social Butterfly

2 comments (4/27/23)

 

QUESTION: I seem to remember it was always stated we need a CREDIT CARD AND LOAN to "create" credit.

 

Well, I have AVOIDED both from when I was laid off from my AWESOME job in my 30's and had to pull out all of my 9-year old 401k (company matched) to pay off new car I had bought. Yes, I got the famous SEVERANCE PACKAGE and unemployment. We had lost a Government Contract at Harris in Florida. I am in my 60's now.

 

Anyway, is this true?

 

I hate going back into DEBT with a LOAN and Credit Cards get me in trouble. Oh yes, had 3 MAXED out ones when I got laid off. Paid them off and CUT them up!

 

Been living DEBT FREE since then. Was NOT an issue, but now that I am RETIRED and moving back to FLORIDA from Virginia where my only child is - the only thing that is still PERFECT is my DRIVING RECORD. No tickets or points. That will help with finding a job there.

 

But NOT with renting a Small Cottage there.

 

Thanks, Nicole ๐Ÿ™ƒ

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Honored Social Butterfly

@Spring2023  Wrote

QUESTION: I seem to remember it was always stated we need a CREDIT CARD AND LOAN to "create" credit.

=====================================================

You do have to have some sort of credit in order to build oneโ€™s credit - thatโ€™s one of the ways, the credit reporting agencies find out about you and begin to build your file.

 

There are other ways to do this also -

  • you can begin with a secured credit card,
  • you can sign up for a program ran by the credit bureaus that reports on-time payments of rent and utilities    

Experian Boost TM is one such program - 

Having good credit is more than just having access to credit cards, loans and mortgages - it is about learning how to use them to oneโ€™s advantage.

 

Having good credit - opens doors and discounts - lower interest rates, better terms, and one cannot forget all that โ€œcash backโ€.

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Gold Conversationalist


@GailL1 wrote:

Having good credit - opens doors and discounts - lower interest rates, better terms, and one cannot forget all that โ€œcash backโ€.

 


Insurance and landlords are two other notable groups that like to keep tabs on peoples' creditworthiness. Having a good credit rating will likely gain one better auto insurance rates as well as being more attractive to someone renting out housing. (for example, for auto insurance see https://www.allstate.com/resources/car-insurance/does-credit-score-affect-car-insurance)

Trusted Contributor

Here are a few ideas. Some of this helps your credit rating and some is just good financial planning. I don't claim credit for any of it. My wife pays the bills and her efforts have given us an excellent rating. ๐Ÿ™‚

1) If your employer offers a 401k match, always contribute enough to get the full match. It is free money.

2) Pay yourself first. Set up an automatic payment into a savings account. Start small if you must, but develop a "saving" habit.

3) As your income increases, increase your automatic savings.

4) Pay off any credit card balance every month, but if you can't, do the following.

5) If you carry a credit card balance (or several), set up an automatic minimum payment so your payment is never late (thanks to my wife for this one).

6) Make a manual credit card payment (in addition to your automatic payment) with the eventual goal of paying off the credit card (my wife again).

Trusted Social Butterfly

1 comment (4/25/23)

 

Finally went and got my TRANSUNION credit report from my mailbox. Had been sitting in there for 3 days per Post Office email. And yes, I was being "lazy"....๐Ÿ™„

 

Grateful they corrected my address and last employer.

 

QUESTION: Does anyone know why they state I have been on their records since 2002 (age 44) when I purchased and made payments on my 1st car at age 18? It was a "brand new" Honda Civic Hatchback through my CREDIT UNION.

 

I also had a FULL-TIME JOB.

 

Been working since age 12, but a REAL JOB at age 16 at Steak n' Shake.

 

Thanks, Nicole ๐Ÿ™ƒ

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Honored Social Butterfly

@Spring2023  Wrote

QUESTION: Does anyone know why they state I have been on their records since 2002 (age 44) when I purchased and made payments on my 1st car at age 18? It was a "brand new" Honda Civic Hatchback through my CREDIT UNION.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Consumer LOANS (as differing from Credit Cards, which are Revolving Credit) once paid in full in good standing fall off your credit report about (7) years after it is paid off.

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
Gold Conversationalist

An annual free copy of your credit report is mandated by Federal law. The "official" site is https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action; watch out, there are copy cat sites that may end up costing you money. A good technique is to get one free every 4 months, rotating between the three bureaus.

 

The three major reporting bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and experian) now make more money selling people their "credit scores" and so are more amenable to giving you free credit reports. Check their individual sites.

 

A nice, truly free, site is creditkarma.com. They will want to upsell you and have a lot of advertising, but you can view your credit reports from at least TransUnion and Equifax for free, and get your "credit score" as well. Note that there are many different credit scores now, besides the original FICO score (and there are permutations of FICO as well). The particular credit score used by a loan agency may be different if you are applying for a mortgage, auto loan, insurance, home rental, etc. Credit Karma will provide credit reports updated pretty much weekly, as I recall. Same with credit scores. I used to pay some cash to FICO to get my credit score years back.

 

How to improve your credit score and your desirability to lenders? Well, it's all pretty much common sense. There should be a bullet point list somewhere (probably thousands of them on the web; all mostly the same). They'd include:

 

  • Use your credit regularly (not necessarily daily or monthly, but don't use a credit card only for emergencies every other year, that's not a real history of your credit worthiness). Pay your bill on time! I have set up automatic payments for all my regular bills (credit card, utilities, etc). I really don't want to miss a payment due to forgetfulness; there's always a lot of discussion about this point, the pros and cons of on-line bill pay vs. automatic payments. But don't ever miss a payment. It can be the minimum or the full balance, or between. 
  • Helps to have a variety of types of credit (more difficult for us oldsters), such as credit cards, auto loans, home mortgages, line of credit, etc.

  • Don't apply for too much new credit. There are special rules so borrowers won't be penalized by shopping for a home mortgage (or auto loan?) over a short period of time, during which multiple lenders might pull your credit report. Each application for new credit can temporarily drop your credit score slightly, but those rules to account for a single event, like a mortgage, will mitigate this.

  • Having "older" accounts is better. So reconsider if you are thinking of closing a credit card that you've had for 30 years. Again, the score dip won't be much and it's temporary (but those dips for missed payments are not so benign!)

  • Don't have too many open accounts. They may look askance at your collection of 57 credit cards (there are people who make a hobby of this, opening new card accounts. too much bother for me). Nor too few open accounts; feel free to have 3-4 credit cards, rotate through their usage so they all remain active.

  • Don't use too much of your credit line.. If your credit limit is $10,000, try to limit the current balance to 15% or so of that (the percentage may vary, but keep it low). Some people game the system by manually making multiple payments throughout the month. I suppose one motive might be to charge more to get more points, cash back, etc. Again, too much bother for me.
  • older people may be especially susceptible to getting into debt over medical bills. Try not to get in this situation.

 

But always pay those monthly bills on time. Over time this is one of the biggest "plus" factors in having a good credit rating.

 

 

Gold Conversationalist


But always pay those monthly bills on time. Over time this is one of the biggest "plus" factors in having a good credit rating.


My own 'technique', I pay all bills in full every month. And they are on 'auto pilot', they are paid automatically, this relieves me of worry over missing them, and it relieves me of the work of manually making payments (either check or electronic bill pay).

 

I don't totally disregard the details though (my own bookkeeping is painfully detailed). I go over every statement and reconcile with my own records. And I verify every automatic payment with my own records. In 30-plus years I have never had a problem with an automatic payment not being correct.

Gold Conversationalist
Periodic Contributor

Hi there,  

I hope this helps.  Stop shopping for un-needed items.  Pay off all of the accounts with low balances as soon as possible while still paying the minimum amount due on your accounts, after your low balance accounts are paid off the money can be used to pay on other accounts, double up on your car payments or mortgage, use only one credit card for emergencies only until you feel you are above water.  This is hard to do but it works.

Gold Conversationalist


Pay off all of the accounts with low balances as soon as possible while still paying the minimum amount due on your accounts, 


This is called the "debt snowball" method and it helps a lot of people.

 

Another method also pays the minimum amount due on all accounts but then use any extra money not for the account with low balance but the account with the highest interest rate. This method will result in a lower total interest cost than the debt snowball method. And it can result in paying off multiple debt accounts months sooner than the snowball. On the other hand, it may not be as satisfying to see accounts getting paid off and have a "zero balance" ...but I would prefer to get my gratification from paying less total in interest.   ;- )

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