Credit can be confusing. It’s this strange, omnipresent score board of your financial decisions that determines whether you’re a smart financial risk for lenders. But don’t worry. Having a little knowledge on your side will make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward when it comes to raising your credit score.
Did you know that the credit score you may have purchased from one credit bureau isn’t necessarily the one that your mortgage lender, credit card issuer or auto loan originator will see? There are several different credit scores, even within the same credit bureau. Each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) has its own proprietary credit score.
Luckily, a few years ago Congress required that each of these three agencies to provide you with a free copy of your credit score once a year. Call 1.877.3322.8228 or visit their website to get your score. Hint: they will try to get you to pay for your score, but don’t buy that line. As a lender told me once, the most accurate scores you get when you buy a house are the ones the lender pulls as these are a good indicator of where you are.
Sick of getting preapproved credit cards. You can tell the credit bureau to stop selling your credit information by calling 888.567.8622
Speaking of credit cards, your credit score can be negatively impacted by a late credit card or loan payment, but it can also be affected by less obvious actions. If you close an old credit card account, you’ll reduce your available credit and shorten the length of your credit history, which can negatively affect your credit score. Additionally, applying for new credit can be beneficial to your credit score, but it can also decrease your credit score due to a hard inquiry. Make sure to keep your current credit balance less than 35% of your overall limit
Secure credit cards are a great way to build you credit because you deposit what you spend in advance. Just make sure they report to all three credit bureaus. MidFirst Bank is a great local option for these cards.
Please call Jeannie Bolger, Sr. Loan Officer for more information.
Or call me for more information about the market: 602-456-9388.