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Contents at a Glance...

Check Credit Rating   You Can Check Fico® Score Online   Child Credit Report  

Child and Elderly Credit Scams   Credit Report Surprises   Storm Damage & Credit

If you haven't checked your Fico® scores lately then you should consider doing so, if for no other reason than to make sure that there are no posting errors. You may think you have not established any credit but you don't really know what might have been accidentally posted to your file unless you check your scores and then continue to protect them.

Check Credit Rating Scores

Just why is it important for you to check your FICO® score? Well there are a number of reasons why it is so important.

First of all you need to know what your FICO® scores are before you apply for a car loan or go out and look at all those new homes and fall in love with one of them.

There are three main credit bureaus. These are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Every creditor may not report to all three credit bureaus. They may only report to one. So, if you get a copy of your credit report from just one of the bureaus you may not see all that is being reported about you to the credit bureaus.

This is why you need to get a copy of your report from all three credit bureaus. This is what is called a tri merge credit report. You do not have to order a credit report from each bureau. You can get a tri merge credit report from many different sources.

You Can Check Credit Your Score Online

If you are planning on buying a new home it is good to let the mortgage company, where you plan to apply for financing, retrieve your credit report.

This way you won't have many different sources checking your FICO® scores. Even though inquires do not impact your FICO® score much, too many credit inquiries can be a negative for your FICO® score.

If you are not planning on buying anything right away then you can retrieve your credit report online. You can get a tri-merge report from any of the three credit bureaus online. There will be a charge for your credit report.

The credit bureaus have different scoring models for different kinds of purchases. If your credit rating is checked in order for you to obtain a credit card your scores will show different than if you were having your credit checked to obtain a home loan. The scoring model for buying a home is much more strict than for getting a credit card. After all the amount of these type loans is a much bigger risk for the creditor.

You typically will find a consumer score, a car loan score and a mortgage loan score. If you retrieve your FICO® score from one of the online sources it will more than likely be a consumer score. So, don't be surprised if your scores are much lower if your credit report is retrieved by a mortgage loan company.

Other reasons to check FICO® score is, their may be items posted to your credit report file that do not belong to you. This is very common if you are a Jr. or Sr. or have a very common name.

There may be items on your credit file that you have paid but still reflect as unpaid. These can be affecting your credit rating negatively. I have seen this happen many times. It is really best for you to send a letter along with a copy of your paid receipt to the 3 credit bureaus yourself, especially if you are paying off an old collection item.

You may find that you don't have enough credit to have a good credit rating and need to open some new tradelines in order to establish a good credit history. Learn about FICO® score ranges and what percentage of people fall into the different ranges, whats a good FICO® score and where your score falls within those ranges.

FICO® Score Monitoring Is Something You Should Consider

A lot of people find it a good practice to sign up with a FICO® score monitoring service so they can be notified via email when there is a shift in their FICO® scores. This way they can know what impact their own credit activity is having on their FICO® scores and in addition they can have a heads up on any attempted identity theft.

Improve Your FICO® Score to 720
Posted: June 28, 2015

Lenders, especially mortgage lenders, have continued to tighten their FICO® score requirements.  To get approved for a mortgage loan, car loan, personal loan or most any other type of credit has become harder and harder to get if you have not taken care of your creditworthiness.

Having good FICO® scores is no longer just nice to have; it is essential to your future if you want to survive and prosper financially.

It is no longer a matter of just needing a good credit rating if you want to borrow money.  Credit scores are used by more and more companies to determine if a person is someone they want to do business with.

Insurance companies do credit checks to determine premiums charged.  Employers perform background and credit checks before hiring.  The same for cell phone companies before selling services without a deposit. Everyone today wants to know if you are a credit risk before they do business with you.

Until the mortgage mess a few years ago a 720 FICO score was considered a really good score and would get the applicant some of the best loan terms. Today that limit has risen to 740.

In addition, in the past a borrower could get a 100% mortgage loan with just a score as low as 580.  Today that limit has been raised to 620 and the 100% is almost impossible to find.

Today, people with good credit ratings are still getting credit card offers and loan approvals.  Because of their good FICO® scores they have some leverage and can pick and choose from the offers available on the market.

Those with lower scores are finding their access to credit disappearing.  It is not just getting harder to find, but in a lot of cases literally is not available.

Not only are people not able to purchase homes, they are finding it hard to even rent an apartment because there are fewer apartments available and landlords can be more selective and are choosing those with better credit ratings.

Now that you understand the current importance of establishing and maintaining a much better credit rating let’s talk about how you can improve your FICO® scores.

First, you can’t improve your scores if your finances are still in the tank.  If you are unable to pay your bills or are constantly late making your payments then you can’t raise your FICO®scores.  This improvement will have to wait until you can get a handle on your finances where you can start paying your bills on time and pay down your debt.

Next, you can’t raise your FICO® scores if you don’t use credit.  If you have cut up all your credit cards and stopped buying anything on credit and left your credit report with nothing but collection items on it, then you are not doing anything to re-establish new, good credit in your file from which your scores are calculated. Just paying off your old collections is not going to improve your FICO® scores enough to really help you out.

You don’t have to pay interest in order to use credit and show that you are creditworthy.  Charge something monthly and promptly pay the bill in full when it arrives.  This activity is going into your credit file which is then used to calculate your FICO® scores.

Don’t expect overnight results; after all your scores didn’t tank overnight.  However, if you are serious about your financial future you must start now to improve your scores.

A good start is to get a copy of your credit report and scores.  This will give you a basis to compare and check your FICO® score in the future. Verify the correctness of all the items being reported about you.  You may be surprised at the number of errors in people’s files that affect their livelihood.

Once you have corrected any errors then start establishing some new good credit while concurrently paying off any outstanding collections or active debt.  Don’t just payoff old debt without also establishing new credit which you manage correctly.

You can’t fix what you just “think” is the problem.  You have to know exactly what is on your credit report and what your scores are before you can begin to improve those scores.

 Get your FICOŽ Scores and 3-Bureau Report now for $39.95

It is good to sign up with a Credit Monitoring Service so that you can keep an eye on the shifts in your scores.  If you are doing nothing then you need to see the negative impact that is continuing to have on your scores. If you are working on improving your scores then you need to see what impact the different actions you are taking are having toward improving your scores. 

Get started today! I can't emphasize enought the importance of taking action today for the benefit of your own financial future.  

Child Credit Report - Are You Guarding Your Child's Credit Report and Scores?
Updated: Oct 13, 2016

You may be saying "What, my child has a credit report?". And the answer is yes they may have a credit report and score.

One of the most common ways for your child to build a credit report is you, the parents. When you add your child as an authorized user on your credit accounts, like credit cards, the lender will then report the credit activity for both you and your child, thereby establishing a credit report for your minor child.

If you are very creditworthy, this can be good for your child. If you are not, then you may be damageing your child's future use of credit.

A more serious problem when it comes to a child's credit report and scores is identity theft. Predators and scammers may get access to your child's social security number and use it illegally for years without you or your child knowing it if you don't check your child's credit report on a frequent basis.

Recently the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona warned consumers to steer clear of a new scam involving those that promise to improve consumers' FICO® scores using a CPN (credit protection number).

They reported that scammers often get the numbers by finding dormant Social Security numbers via the computer; often those assigned to children. These SSN numbers are sold to people who establish phony credit and run up huge debts that they will never pay off. These scammers call these numbers CPN numbers rather than Social Security numbers.

If your child's social security number is being used by a scammer it may go unnoticed until you start getting calls from collections agencies or your child tries to use their credit for something for them, like a new car, apartment rental or student loan.

In this day and time, if you have children, it would be worth the cost to constantly monitor their credit report and scores to avoid any disaster down the road. Yes, you can report any fraudulent activity and get it removed from your child's credit report but it will take months. And, the more that is accumulated the more of your time it will take. In the mean time your child is unable to use their credit for new credit items, like a new car, apartment, student loans or credit cards.

New Scam With Children
Posted: April 6, 2015

One of the latest scams is to file a tax return using someone else's child as a deduction in order to get a refund. Then when the real parent tries to claim their child there is a problem which causes a major delay on the legitimate deduction and refund.

Where this action does not directly affect your child's credit report or scores it means that someone else has your child's Social Security Number. This means that their number can be used for other scams that will affect your child's credit history in a negative manner.

Just another reason to monitor your child's credit report and scores on a regular basis.

Warn Your Child About This.
Posted: Feb 26, 2015

In order for a person to join a membership or sign up at some websites they are now required to enter the last four digits of their social security number and the city in which they were born.

Worn your children or, even adults, against entering this information. With those two pieces of information it is reported that it is possible to come up with your whole social security number which can then be used in fraudelent activity.

The Elderly Are Another Group that are often Victims of Identity Theft.
Updated: Nov 4, 2015

The elderly are also often preyed on by credit scammers because the older one gets one tends to use credit less often and therefore, check their FICO® scores and credit history less often than they used too.

If you are elderly or maybe responsible for your elderly parents then make it a point to monitor their FICO® scores and report on a frequent basis. There may come a time that an elderly person wants to use their credit rating again for some purchase. And certainly you don't want a lot of unpaid debt to muddy the water when settling an estate.

Credit Report Surprises
Posted: May 22, 2016

One of the items that I find that people are the most surprised to find when they check their credit reports is a collection item for an old Cable TV converter box. Turn those things in, because the Cable companies do report the failure to return these boxes to the credit bureaus. And, when you do return the box be sure and keep the receipt for years. That receipt will be your only proof that you did return the box. Many people that I have worked with have had to pay the collection item for the box just because they could not prove that they had turned it in.

What's Your Credit Score? 

Cancellation of Debt/Debt Settlement
Posted: Mar. 29, 2016

If you have had a previous creditor cancel or settle for a payment of your debt that is less than what you originally owed, don't be surprised when you find that your income taxes due is higher than you expected. The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 allows for this cancelled or forgiven debt to be included as income with regard to your taxes. Don't let the name of the act fool you. It is not just mortgage debt.

Storm Damage and Your Credit
Posted: July 6, 2012

I live in a state where many, many people lost their homes from recent tornadoes. Picture your belongings being carried hundreds of miles from your home by these huge funnel clouds. People have reported their check books, bank statements and other personal paper work items being found by people in towns hundred of miles away.

Many people are honest and have made honest efforts to return these items to their rightful owners. But, there are others not so honest.

If you have been victim to this devastaing storm damage then consider that you need to keep an eye on your credit report and scores for some time in order to make sure that people are not using your SSN or credit card numbers to your detriment.   Get Your FICO Score - First Month Only $4.95 with enrollment in Experian Credit Tracker Then you would be wise to monitor your credit report and rating for some time just to be sure that no one has found any of your documents and playing havoc with your credit history.

What Can I Leave My Children
Posted: October 14, 2016

Helping your child to first understand the importance of a good credit rating and then helping him or her to establish an excellent credit history is one of the best inhertiances that you can leave your child.

Show them how to get a copy of their credit report, how to read it and how to check FICO® score. They don't learn this in high school.

Get them started out on the right foot with their credit rating.

The Importance of a Good FICO® Score
Posted: November 11, 2016

Your FICO® score is used by lenders, landlords, employers, credit card companies and others to determine if you are a good credit risk and if they want to do business with you.

You should make it a priority to know what your FICO® scores are just like you know how much money you have in the bank each month.

Are Your FICO® Scores Ready for 2017?
Posted: January 15, 2017

What will 2017 bring that will cause you to have a need for good FICO® scores? Many believe that the housing market is on target for a rebound this year. It is projected that we are set for inflation to soar and that real estate is one of the things that inflates during inflation years.

Many have warned that rising rent costs will help drive inflation upward. So, what does this mean for you and your credit rating?

If you are currently renting it may be prudent on your part to buy a home at this time. Interest rates are still low and why not own an asset that will inflate as inflation grows.

Mortgage companies are more strict with approvals in this day and time so having good Fico® scores is more important than it even has been in the past. In the later part of 2015 mortgage companies did seem to be easing up some on their strict requirements for qualifying.

You don't need to check your FICO® score daily but you do need to get a copy of your credit report and at least monitor your FICO® score monthly to make certain that when you find that new home you would love to buy that you are financially ready.

Maybe you are planning on changing jobs in the new year. Don't forget that many employers today will check the FICO® score of a potential employee before hiring them.

 Get your FICOŽ Scores and 3-Bureau Report now for $39.95

You Can Check Fico® Score Without Hurting It
Posted: March 11, 2016

Some people think that only financial institutions and such can check their Fico® scores and because so many of these companies refuse to share those Fico® scores with their applicants people have come to believe that their Fico® score is some deep dark secret.

How To Check Fico® Score Online

Not only can you check your own Fico® score and view your credit report it is a good idea to do so for reasons that we have previously stated above.

So, don't let others intimidate you about something that belongs to you. Go check your Fico® scores and monitor your credit history on a frequent basis. Be ever aware of what is in your credit file because your future new credit depends on it.


Glossary Word For The Day: Obsolescence

This is a term used to describe how long any negative information should be allowed to stay in ones credit file before it is not relevant to the credit granting decision. It has been determined by the FCRA that the obsolescence perios be 10 years in the case of bankruptcy and 7 years in all other instances. Unpaid tax liens may remain indefinitely.

Related Content
Protect Your Fico® Scores By Shredding
Valuable information is on so many documents that you receive in the mail and just have laying around the house or you chunk into the garbage. This information in the wrong hands can lead to actions that impact your Fico® scores in a very negative way.
Dealing with Collections on Your Credit Report
Collections in your credit file can bring your Fico® scores down drastically. Learn more about how to deal with collections that are showing up on your credit report.
Are Your Cedit Scores Overrated?
Not knowing what your Fico® scores are can work against you. Many people don't have a clue what information is being recorded about them in their credit file, much less know how high or low their Fico® scores are.


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