Your life experience sounds exactly like mine, and I think you’re spot on with the need for financial literacy education. I learned through my parents’ habits which were…non-ideal. I had a really rough 5-6 years crawling out of the hole from my mistakes. I know better now, but I could have saved a lot of stress (and a lot of interest) had I learned lessons the “easy way” ahead of time.
It is very difficult for a consumer to know in advance whether they have a high enough credit score to be accepted for credit with a given lender. This situation is due to the complexity and structure of credit scoring, which differs from one lender to another.
Have you looked at your score since you got the secured card? (Here’s how to monitor your credit score for free.) You’re not far from having a score that is considered “fair” (650-699) rather than poor, and that will give you more options for credit cards. And yes, a higher limit could help, because part of your credit score is related to how much of your available credit you are actually using. (Try to keep is below 30%; below 10% is even better.) But paying on time, which you are already doing, is the very best thing you can do for your credit. You’ll find other tips here:
Growing up, my family couldn’t really help me understand how to save money as they were never that great at it. Even in the military most low rank soldiers lived paycheck to paycheck if they had a family. Outside the military I didn’t know ANYONE that didn’t live close to paycheck to paycheck (including business owners) until I started working in IT (after school).
If your FICO score is not as high as you would like it to be, there are things you can do to improve it. First of all, be sure to keep all of your bills current and in good standing. Always pay your bills when they come due, never make any payments late, and pay more than the minimum balance on your credit cards or pay them off completely if you can. The longer you have a good payment history, the higher your credit score will be.
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Good article. I guess the metrics can vary between different scoring models… The metric’s on FICO’s website is little bit different then what you’ve posted. They have poor credit listed between 350 – 599, fair credit as 600 – 659, good credit at 660 – 719, and excellent credit at 720 – 850.
Experian has the Plus Score for educational use only with a score range between 330 and 830. Equifax has the Equifax Credit Score of between 280 and 850. TransUnion’s New Account Score in the website Credit Karma is between 300 and 850, and Experian National Equivalency Score in Credit Sesame and Credit.com ranges from 360 to 840. CreditXpert offers a simulation score to estimate the impact various actions on a score range of 350 to 850. Several websites (TransUnion, Equifax, Credit Karma, Credit Sesame etc.) offer different credit scores to consumers.
Thanks for the link! that explains that. I should of just went for the full HELOC that I qualified for, and only borrowed what I needed. BTW The loan went into a garage and new roofing which gave me additional equity as well!
The first step to interpreting a score is to identify the source of the credit score and its use. There are numerous scores based on various scoring models sold to lenders and other users. The most common was created by FICO and is called FICO score. FICO is a publicly traded corporation (under the ticker symbol FICO) that created the best-known and most widely used credit score model in the United States. FICO produces scoring models which are installed at and distributed by the three largest national credit repositories in the U.S (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) and the two national credit repositories in Canada (TransUnion Canada and Equifax Canada). FICO controls the vast majority of the credit score market in the United States and Canada although there are several other competing players that collectively share a very small percentage of the market.
Your credit score affects your financial life in multiple ways: Lenders assign interest rates based on the bracket your score falls in. Landlords often require a minimum credit score in order to rent an apartment without a co-signer on the lease. Poor credit even affects how much homeowners pay for insurance.
All these factors also play a role in the average credit of those between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one who are just beginning to build their credit. This age group is finding it harder and harder to gain any kind of credit initially at all.
I’ve had a lot of credit issues I filed for bankruptcy at the age of 21 in 2007 I was irresponsible. I’m back to work and I went and bought a car this year my credit score was over 600 after buying the car my credit went down to 443 and my inquiries are up to 13. I really need some help I’ve paid my bills on time nothing is working it just stays the same. I haven’t applied for anything after my car but I only had 3 inquiries when I bought my car. In my credit report there are things that were paid off still showing negative, from 2005 10 years ago.
He attended college at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, thanks to scholarships, financial aid, Pell grants and work-study programs. He started as a math major, but that was too theoretical, he said. So he switched to philosophy and intended on going to law school. But when he graduated in 1978 and got a $10,000-a-year job at the Veterans’ Administration, he was so mesmerized by actually having money that he didn’t want to go back to school.
Lenders, such as banks and credit card companies, use credit scores to evaluate the potential risk posed by lending money to consumers. Widespread use of credit scores has made credit more widely available and less expensive for many consumers.
If you want to raise your credit score from 650 to a good or even very good credit score, take the first step by getting your free credit report from Experian. Then, check out our Credit Education resources to learn more about how to build your credit.
My 21 year old son wants to get a credit card, he’s been turned down because he doesn’t have a credit history. I’ve been thinking about making him a co-signer on one of my credit cards, however I have very bad credit (a bankruptcy & a foreclosure) will my bad credit follow him afterwards?
Your FICO score is used by creditors to determine the overall credit risk of any individual consumer. This score is calculated by using a proprietary tool developed by the Fair Issac Corporation (NYSE:FIC). Each major credit bureau in the United States – Experian, Equifax (NYSE:EFX) and TransUnion – uses Fair Issac’s technology to calculate a FICO score for any borrower. The more information the credit bureau has on you, the more accurate their calculation of the FICO score will be. This is why you may have a different FICO score from each of the three major credit bureaus.
Sounds like a good idea but doesn’t work so well. My score is 742 because of lack of credit! I had the income, etc. but thought paying for everything was the smartest thing I could do. Boy was I wrong. I had amex and a couple of cap one cards. Amex is 36 yrs old. Well, I seen how all of the big credit companies wanted people with many credit cards, diverse credit, and high CL’s. So I went out and got a several good cc’s with high limits. Charged them carefully for Christmas and will pay them off in January. The 36 yr history combined with the new cc’s brought my overall cc history down to just under 4 yrs! But I now have a great mix of credit (all but a student loan), many cc’s with high limits (using responsibly), and feel like all I need to to is rotate my cards and pay in full and hope to see a score as close to 850 as I can get. I will try try to always keep a mtg payment, car payment, etc. It seems they want to see us in debt & managing it well. And yes, it appears income does play a role in this as well. But I have seen some students with 18K incomes and very high CL’s & ficos.
Tom Pavelka, an assistant district director at the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation in Cleveland, has no doubt that some of his ability to manage his finances easily stems from the fact that the couple have no children — just Freddie, a cat from a shelter. They can charge a couple of thousand dollars on a credit card and easily pay it off the next month.
I assume your asking if getting more credit cards lower your scores–is that correct? The answer is “it depends,” A new account will affect your scores but usually it levels out after a few months. But that doesn’t mean you want to load up on a wallet full of cards in a short period of time.
You can never ensure that but if they have the ability to check credit then they have been screened and informed of their duties under federal law. You can also monitor your credit scores each month for unusual activity. Here is how to get your free credit scores.
Failure to repay your debt as you originally agreed to do can negatively impact your scores. From missed and late payments to charge-offs, collections, and settled accounts, you will find many things that can impact you if you are not careful.
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Talk with a consumer law attorney. You may have a case for credit damage and their actions may violate debt collection laws too. California in particular has a strong state law – the Rosenthal Act – in addition to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.
It is hard to get accurate late payments removed. Sometimes consumers will dispute them, and if they aren’t confirmed they will be removed. But even if they remain, over time they carry less weight. Please read: How Long Does It Really Take to Improve Your Credit?
As for, “What about when unexpected expenses like a car repair comes up?” Both before & after marriage I always kept (& continue to set aside) some money in savings as a “rainy day fund” for just this sort of thing. Financial experts recommend “pay yourself first” I.E. Set aside 10% of your pay in savings as a cushion against the unexpected. Most of the time that’s been what I did. Same after marriage. Before I married I never earned more than $30k per year, so it’s not like I was wealthy or something.
The system of credit reports and scores in Canada is very similar to that in the United States and India, with two of the same reporting agencies active in the country: Equifax and TransUnion. (Experian, which entered the Canadian market with the purchase of Northern Credit Bureaus in 2008, announced the closing of its Canadian operations as of April 18, 2009).
And even more importantly, your 798 credit score is one of the biggest indicators of your fiscal responsibility, that’s why it’s very important to understand is it “good” or “bad“. Anytime you apply for a new loan or credit card, someone will be looking over your credit report. And you’ll even find that future landlords and employers will consider your credit before making their decision. The lower your credit score is, the bigger your risk of having to make a large deposit before getting a new lease or opening a new account. Your credit score could even result in lost job opportunities.