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.
A friend who worked at costco signed me up for an amex to boost her sign up participant numbers and there I was, 19, $10k limit amex. It ended HORRIBLY. I’m still making up for it five years later 🙁 At least you didn’t dig yourself a whole as deep as I did. Had I known the things I know now back then, I’d be in a much different situation. I totally agree that working at a bank forces you to look at your own situation and better yourself. I started working in retail and my paychecks normally went back into what ever store I was working at.
As far as your credit situation goes, if your credit cards are maxed and you’re having trouble making all of your payments, I would recommend you at least talk with a nonprofit credit counseling agency to see whether they can help you get those credit card payments down see you can make progress and start seeing progress on your credit scores as well. This article discusses that option: Does Credit Counseling Work?
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.
It takes a lot to maintain a high credit score, including low amounts of debt and on-time payments, just to name a few things. But one influencing factor might surprise you: where you live. A recent study by GOBankingRates used data from Experian to find the states with the best and the worst credit scores.
The FICO score was first introduced in 1989 by FICO, then called Fair, Isaac, and Company. The FICO model is used by the vast majority of banks and credit grantors, and is based on consumer credit files of the three national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Because a consumer’s credit file may contain different information at each of the bureaus, FICO scores can vary depending on which bureau provides the information to FICO to generate the score.
I had credit of 704+. About 5 months ago, (after struggling financially but paying the minimum due every month), I came into a small bit of money. Thinking of the interest that would be saved, I paid off two loans equaling about $7,000 – the balance of my only car, and the remainder of a personal loan I had taken out about 5 years ago. Now, the only thing left on my credit are 4 credit cards which, at the time, were nearly at their limits. Instead of paying them off, I decided to pay much more on them every month to bring them way down in balance. I have been paying about 3 times the minimum on the cards each month without using them.
Pay the debt then ask the creditor to report it as paid to the credit bureaus if they do not put in a dispute with credit Karma they will dispute it for you. The creditor has 30 days to respond and fix it.
For consumers who still need help getting that number up closer to the national average, a respected credit repair company can be a good resource in getting outdated and incorrect items removed from your credit report.
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.
The average credit score by state ranges from 642 in Mississippi all the way to 702 in Minnesota. And both states are fairly representative of their broader regions, as you can see below. If you’re wondering, blue states have a higher average credit score (676) than red states (667).
There are, however, some key differences. One is that, unlike in the United States, where a consumer is allowed only one free copy of their credit report a year, in Canada, the consumer may order a free copy of their credit report any number of times in a year, as long as the request is made in writing, and as long as the consumer asks for a printed copy to be delivered by mail. This request by the consumer is noted in the credit report as a ‘soft inquiry’, so it has no effect on their credit score. According to Equifax’s ScorePower Report, Equifax Beacon scores range from 300 to 900. Trans Union Emperica scores also range from 300 and 900.
i had a FICO credit score of well over 700 in Nov 2014. I received an offer from Chase bank for 0% for 16 months. So i decided to consolidate all my c/cards to this one card. A total of about $7k. When I consolidated everything to one account my credit score dropped 150 points! REALLY? So instead of $7k spread out over 6 cards and moved to one my credit score dropped. That’s BS! Then in Dec 2014 I made a $4k payment. And my score jumped a whopping 25 pts. So bogus!
The score is calculated with information available at that time. Since your information fluctuates each month (balances, age of accounts etc.) your score fluctuates. It sounds like you have an excellent score and those small differences won’t mean anything when it comes to getting the best rates. So I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.
You guys are truly all helpful. Would just like to say, thank you. Its too bad that there are so many complicated credit scoring models and too bad that this affects everyone in this country. I used to be one of those people that were afraid to check their credit , but have improved it over the past year. I will recommend applying for a Discover card to get a Free FICO score included in your monthly statement. I would also recommend using credit.com and CK.com to help track your progress , NOT just to simply check your scores. The scores they give you are “guesstimates” but can be close to accurate. I also applied for a secured card and within 6 months, the card became unsecured and credit limit went up from $600 to $1500. I’m assuming it could go up another $1500 if I keep making payments on time, but I would recommend this to anyone with bad credit. My FICO score went from 545 to 684 from 8/2014 to 8/2015. Feels amazing and I know at this point , that you MUST start somewhere! I even paid $80 a month for CreditSaint and/or LexingtonLaw to remove the bigger issues on my credit report. They are both great. If you can afford another $80 a month, help them, help you and cancel when you have a better idea on what to do. You must be responsible and straight forward if you want to move along in life with improving your credit. Use all the free tools to learn and take it from there! Good luck to all and thank you again to all on credit.com and all other blogs contributing to this credit world!
Charging a higher interest rate for those with a low credit score seems punitive. On the surface, it looks like those who have a low score would be less likely to afford the loan, and ultimately less likely to build their credit score. But we have to remember: low credit doesn’t mean bad with money.
A credit score is a three-digit rating that’s intended to show how likely you are to not become delinquent on payments, based on your payment history, amount of debt, length of credit history, etc. Higher is better.
After reading this blog I can see that the average American has no clue as to how credit and credit scores work. If you don’t know how something works it is very hard to fix, or improve, it. No wonder the country is in such a poor financial shape.
I still don’t really have savings (outside of the 401k I just started and can’t really touch), and don’t really expect to be able to properly invest in a proper emergency fund for about a year. I am pushing to raise my credit now because I’d like to have the ability to actually buy a home. It won’t be easy, but it’s cheaper than renting.
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?
Rather than putting money into an account and then borrowing against it (which will entail interest payments), a person should apply for a secured credit card and pay off the balance in full each month. This will help build credit. Once a credit history is established, then decide if you want to apply for a few other credit cards in order to build a more substantial credit history.
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.
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It sure seems that way! Looks like the new way of doing business. As long as we don’t owe anyone any money on those cc’s, we’re okay. And if you get any of the new ones out there, you can get some great rewards.
Gerri Detweiler – high credit scores are so highly sought after that the alternate route of building wealth is nearly inconceivable. I am curious to see if there is an answer to my question…if i maintain payments on my credit card at 10% utilization, how long will it take me to acquire a million dollar net worth??
Balances on credit card debt, mortgages, and auto loans are all below average in this state, and in several other midwestern areas. Debt delinquencies are also low, giving many people a credit score boost across the state.
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.
To inspire you to achieve the highest score, that goal is 850. The last time I read an article from the WSJ (maybe two years ago); only 3 million U.S. adults have the perfect score. It’s one thing to reach for it, but it’s another to keep it, perpetually. It demands lots of financial discipline.
im 19, and have a score of 750. on my 18th birthdya i went to my credit union and got a student credit card, and then proceded to pay it off in full every month. i then got a Macys credit card and paid that off in full. three months later i got a nordstrom credit card and that dropped my score by a hundred points almost. i was looking at a 680. so for six moths i balanced the three credit cards making sure my credit utilazatuion was under thirty percent and paying off almost everything. Because i am impulsive i got in way over my head with shopping and found myself spending my whole pay check to cover myt losses. i soon started a budget for my self and stop using both store cards for awhile. my Macys card raised my credit limit, which helped me lover my credit utilaztion score. My nordstrom sis the same and i paid both off and now barely use my one student credit card. i use each only once a month to buy something under thiry bucks from each store to show i have good standing. i have never missed a payment on all three cards. i now i have a score of 750 again since six mothns has passed since i open my nordstom card. all in all, i have learned my lesson, but am still frustrated by how easy it is to swipe without thinking. This has lead me to leaving my cards at home or in my car. i guess for me it was harder than some because i worked in a mall and was surronded by retail. Now im happy with my score and i got a job at a bank, and i now save money while paying off my student loans. i guess what angers me the most is seeing how much i spent with those two cards and realizing i could have paid of my student loans. i hope other people find something to learn from my story