If you notice that your credit score is well below the American average of 695, or you’re constantly facing roadblocks to your financial goals because of your credit, it might be time to get help from a professional.
Continue paying down the cards. You don’t have to have an open installment loan to have good credit. Yes it helps, but credit mix is only 10% of the score while debt usage (utilization) is a much bigger factor.
For those interested in going beyond credit-score averages, the following breakdown of where different groups of people fall on the standard 300-to-850 credit-score scale will give you a better understanding of just how much consumers’ financial experiences can vary. These statistics also show a clear divide between people with bad credit and the rest of us, which underscores the importance of using credit responsibly.
Practice with rewards. Cards for fair or average cards will sometimes have rewards, such as 1 percent back on all purchases. This is a good way to practice for getting a rewards card down the road. Make sure you don’t carry a balance, because interest charges will negate your rewards.
If you have fair credit, you have access to a wide range of credit cards, including many rewards cards. And finding the right card can help you continue to build your credit history and improve your score. Here are our top credit cards for fair credit.
I love this question, because it allows us to discuss the underlying economic way of thinking about personal finance in general and credit scores in particular. In economics, we weigh costs and benefits and assume rational decision-makers will only choose to do those things for which the benefits exceed the cost. Further, we make decisions on the margin considering only the next choice, not all or past choices.
As far as the “age of credit” factor goes, the only thing you could possibly do there is to piggyback on someone else’s card with a long credit history, but even then it’s not certain that you’d see an increase (especially if that person wasn’t a relative at your same address). And that strategy has risks – if they pay late your credit can suffer.
Where are you getting the scores? If it is a free credit score from Credit.com, it should have letter grades that show you which factors are helping your scores and which may be holding it down. That would tell you where to focus your efforts. It’s also a good idea to check your free annual credit reports
My credit score is 548. I have some late charges on my credit and would like to have them removed. First, what do you recommend how to remove charges and second, how to get my credit score back on track.
Palvelka realizes his spending may increase a bit in two months, when he retires from the nearly-90-person office he helps run. His wife, a hematology supervisor who is 58, has several more years before retirement, so she won’t be around to keep tabs on his hunting hobby and car-buying.
I disagree. I do live in the Bay Area and have a credit score in the 800’s. I pay my student loans on time and any extra money I have I throw at them to cut the principal down as fast as possible. I don’t use my credit card unless I half to. I also pay my bills on time.
The only time to ever consider carrying a balance month-to-month on a credit card is if you have a card that has an introductory offfer of zero percent APR for a given amount of time (usually 6-18 months). In this case, you can use it as an interest-free loan. For example, you could get a card that has zero APR for 12 months and put $1200 on it, knowing that you can easily afford to pay $100 per month. You diligently pay the $100 each month and, at the end of the year, it’s completely paid off and you’ve paid absolutely no interest on it. This only works if you don’t charge anything else to the card or, if you do, if you pay off whatever you charge in full each month, in addition to paying the $100. This isn’t a good habit to get into, and it certainly isn’t recommended for frivolous purchases, but it is a nice way to beat the banks at their own game.
My strategie is to never charge more on my credit cards than I can pay off in one month. This has meant learning how to not only budget, but to put my needs before my wants. Also to all who are just starting out, one of the most important lessons is to pay yourself first……….savings, 401, pension plan, etc. This is a very important habit to get into. Fashions come and go, styles change with the seasons, but having a good monetary foundation to fall back on in case of emergency is a must. Buying a home that has a mortgage that is within reach of one person’s pay check is a must………big homes are beautiful and expensive to maintain, start small and work up to what you really want. For the last 30 years I have had the equivilent of 6 months net pay in my savings account. It was very difficult at first, but in the long run kept us from defaulting on our mortgage or falling behind on credit card/loan payments if one of us was out of work.
Do you have some kind of credit monitoring service with Experian? If you don’t then I would be concerned that this is some kind of phishing attempt to get your personal information. If you do have their service, then it sounds like you have reached a credit score goal…
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!
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).
Without even knowing it you might be doing things that are damaging your credit score, which affects your ability to get credit and the interest rate you pay when you do get credit. A 2014 survey by Credit.com found that consumers sometimes don’t understand which actions will and will not help them improve their credit scores.
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Although explanations and agreements were sent to the court, along with the fact that the Atty who was to do the work WALKED OUT OF THE FIRM WHEN HE SAW THEIR TREATMENT OF ME, a PARTNER, decided to send a bill 5x higher than was ever quoted (and again, NONE of the work was done.) Although there were documented phone messages left to return the calls, THEY NEVER DID. When a phone message was left for the CEO of the Law firm to return the call, HE NEVER DID. When faxes were sent to their Accounting Division asking for a breakdown on what and where this number came from, they only sent THE AMOUNT DUE WITH NO BREAKDOWN OR EXPLANATION.
It sounds like you are taking the right steps. As the information gets older is does have less impact. Have you obtained your free credit score from Credit.com? If so I’ll be happy to try to help you understand it.
Credit scores look at your reported credit history to gauge the likelihood that you will repay borrowed money; you can be deep in debt and still have great credit scores if you have paid all your bills on time.
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Because you are more likely to default on your loan, the lender must charge more to make it worth their time. As your score improves and you represent less risk, you are rewarded with a lower interest rate.
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I have a 669 credit score from Equifax, never can get thru to them & has been going down & was sent to me by my insurance co. USAA in Feb. but will not show up very well even though I make all payments. They do show some mistakes, bad ones that I never had anything to do with but is next to impossible to get thru to. Been going down for about 6 yrs. In the Natural gas industry & spot price of gas is at about a 20 yr. low plus had to sell some expensive , paid for luxury property because housing bust hit at the same time along with expenses going up & doubling of property taxes.. Grew up with excellent credit but sinking. Plus drilled 2 dry holes, just trying to keep my income at a good healthy level. At the same time of everything else.Not much hope. I’m 68 now & the ups * downs have been going on for many years.
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The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to get approved whenever you apply for credit, and to qualify for the best terms and rates on any money you borrow. If you’re starting out from “good,” you can move your scores into the realm of “very good” or “exceptional” for an even better financial outlook.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth for financial managers was predicted to increase by nine percent from 2012 to 2022, which is as fast as the average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). At a rate of five percent, growth is expected to be slower in the depository credit intermediation industry, which includes commercial banking institutions. The BLS reports that, as of May 2013, financial managers earned an annual wage of $126,660 on average.
The accumulation of wealth and experience over time is the most likely explanation for this. As people age, they also tend to grow more financially responsible and secure, qualities that lend themselves to credit improvement. And the more time you have, the more opportunity there is to recover from mistakes. Another reason is the way credit scores are calculated. The length of your credit history accounts for a significant portion of your score (around 15%), for one thing.
If you have a grandparent or someone who has a very old account, get them to put you as an authorized user and it will skyrocket your length of history and ontime payments. Then contact the dental company with a goodwill letter just simply asking if you could please have it taken off. The worst thing they can do is say no, but they usually have no problems if you’re polite. If the dental bill is in collections or is charged off, don’t contact them. Just wait for it to fall off unless it is brand new. Then get yourself a couple secured cards and up your available credit, use them just for gas and things and pay them off each month. Within a month you can have 100 pts added just from some simple measures.
If a person gets an injunction to pay issued by the Enforcement Authority, it is possible to dispute it. Then the party requesting the payment must show its correctness in district court. Failure to dispute is seen as admitting the debt. If the debtor loses the court trial, costs for the trial are added to the debt. Taxes and authority fees must always be paid on demand unless payment has already been made.
My daughter has been paying ccs on time for the past 16 months, after a period of being irresponsible. Only 1 company reduced her exorbitant interest rate though ALL stated they’d do that if she paid on time for 6 months. She’s been at her job for 6 years & just got a new car (she traded in her older car to the same company, so they ‘ignored’ her ‘average’ FICO). [Also, it’s a smaller car, so smaller monthly payment.] I’d love her to get a
We researched and analyzed over 160 credit cards designed for people in the fair credit range and evaluated them against several different criteria: rates and fees, rewards, customer service, ability to improve credit lines, and more. Below are our top picks and several tips to help you decide and improve your credit for the future. Here, we look at:
Gerri, since the statement had a $0 balance, there was nothing reported for the payment. It wasn’t reported late, they simply reported nothing since there was no balance on the statement to be paid. I thought it odd, then just waited until the statement came out and paid it, sure enough they reported on time payment. I am using several different sites to follow my score, each showing different variations, but all have been rising in the 10 months since I started tracking them, I started below around and below 650 on all, and have seen changes to 677 here and a transunion score that isn’t showing my older late stuff that will be removed in 2017 is currently showing a 751 score. That shows just how varied scores can be from one reporting agency to the next.
One of the most well-known types of credit score are FICO Scores, created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. FICO Scores are used by many lenders, and often range from 300 to 850. Generally, a FICO Score above 670 is considered a good credit score on these models, and a score above 800 is usually perceived to be exceptional.
Keep your old debt on your report. So many people call their credit bureaus the week after they’ve paid off a home or car and try to get the debt removed from their report. But paid debt is actually a form of good debt that will boost your score—not lower it.
I’m guessing you are lucky enough to have a high-paying job, Ray? I was at one time making six-figures and had a credit score of over 800. When my job was sent overseas, I had to short sell my house and sell everything. I am back on track now but with a much lower-paying job. I pay ALL of my bills on time, sometimes early, and always pay over the minimum payment on my credit card. Yet somehow, I am still only considered average in terms of credit risk because of the short sell due to my job being outsourced – completely out of my control. I still maintain the same financially responsible habits, have for nearly six years since my layoff, yet my score is still only “Fair.” I’m not whining, and I work extremely hard 40 hours a week to make ends meet, so please don’t make the assumption that everybody who has a “fair” credit score is some kind of lazy bum. That is an extremely arrogant assumption.
We’re not sure where you are getting the information that you need to carry a balance — and we disagree. It is a popular misconception though. We wrote about it here: Can Paying Off Debt Hurt My Credit?
This chart is surprising to me. I am 26 and I have a Transunion score of 725, an Equifax score of 738, and my FICO is 720. I only have 4 credit cards and none of them have been open accounts for more than a year. My scores went up 30 and 31 points recently which is drastic at one time, but I keep my utilization below 10% most of the time. The highest amount I have utilized was 22% when I had to fix my car. As soon as the due amounts are posted online, I pay them. Even before the billing cycle. I also don’t use my credit cards for unneccessary purchases or when I don’t have money in my checking account to cover it. It really is simple to establish good credit, you just have to know what you’re doing and don’t let the urge to splurge come over you. I will say though, I have no loans, debt, no car lease, etc so that helps a great deal. Pay attention to the factors that have the highest impact on your scores.
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I will let you know if my score goes up after I pay down my 10K furniture loan. I have various other cards but try and pay all in full every month for the same reasons. Not giving anyone interest! This furniture loan is 12 months same as cash. I do agree. I think they’re wanting people to fail.
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Keep your balance at 1/3 $1000 credit line at $300 credit utilazatuion. my credit limit is $3300 with only three CC. My spending limit is $130 a card a month $490 or less total a month…. My Fico is 750 to 785…. credit utilazatuion is (A) less then 9% a month …..
Carrying debt is a new(ish) idea and the first credit card came out in 1950. Before that began to take hold having debt was a bad thing. Now being irresponsible holding debt and never clearing up seems to get you the best shot at for being qualified for big purchases.
Lenders typically use your 3-digit credit score to help them decide if they’ll approve you for a loan or credit card. In general, the higher your score, the better your chances of getting approved. Having a good credit score can also help you save on interest rates.
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