Fannie and Freddie to use Vantage Score

How Military Families Can Improve Their Credit

Low Fico Scores│Too Many Inquiries On My Report

How Do Inquiries Impact My Score?

One of the common misconceptions about a credit score is that inquiries have a major role in the score. If you have looked at your credit score recently and feel that there are not many dings to the report that would cause your score to be low, take a few things into consideration first:

  1. Do you have two or more revolving lines of credit? If so, are these accounts at or below 30% of the limit?
  2. Now, are there any collections, charge-offs or other accounts that are in a negative standing? You’ll want to have these removed from the report.
  3. Lastly, do you have incorrect or inaccurate contact information on your credit report i.e addresses, names, etc?

All of the above scenarios should be looked at before jumping to what your inquiries look like.

One Too Many Inquiries

If you have been credit card or car shopping lately, you may notice a multitude of inquiries on your credit report. It is very common for a dealership to throw your information into their system to see if they can find you a low interest rate at a great loan term so they can sell you the car on their lot.

Understanding how this impacts your score allows you to walk into each situation prepared and knowledgeable. Whether you are applying for a new credit card or a car note a few things.

  • When shopping for a car, research a Credit Union you could get a loan through, rather than the dealership financing option
  • Know your credit score
  • Don’t apply for credit when you don’t need it

Each time you apply or allow someone to check your credit score, you are allowing them to apply another hit to your credit profile.

The best rule of thumb for inquiries is no more than 10 “pulls” on your credit over a 12 month period.

Once you start running into more inquiries than this, your credit score will start to be impacted by them. Again, applying for unnecessary credit lines will start to impact you in a negative way.

I Have Been Denied Credit

If you have run into issues of hoping to start building credit, but have been denied credit cards over and over, there are a few options you have. Applying or inquiring for more and more credit is not helping your scores. You can try a few other options such as:

  • Applying for a  Secured Credit Card
  • CD Builder Loans
  • Second Chance Checking

You can look for other options for credit cards here

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What My Credit Score Says

Your credit score tells a lender the likelihood of you to default on a loan in the next 12 months. Credit demonstrates your trustworthiness to pay your bills and loans on time. Keeping this in mind, it is easier to understand what your credit report says about you as a borrower.

If you have late payments, this impacts your score significantly.

Facts on Fico

If you look at the chart above, you notice that your payment history makes up 35% of the FICO score. Therefore a late payment will tank your score! Another large portion of the FICO score rating, is the amount you owe. If your credit card balances are high, the easiest and quickest way to start improving your score is to pay your cards down as low as you can, rather than making the minimum payments.

In order to have a healthy credit profile, it is recommended to have two lines of revolving credit, and two personal (like home and auto) loans. If you have questions about other reasons your scores may be low or would like to speak with an attorney today, please call 1-800-994-3070. We would be happy to assist you further or answering any questions you have concerning your score.

A Note From The Author: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

law firm vs credit repair

Manage Your Accounts Better Today With These Easy Steps!

Credit Alerts Worth Setting Up Now

In order to maintain great credit scores, keeping track of all the activity on your accounts is key! Smart phones are attempting to make our lives easier with a multitude of applications. All major banking institutions now have online banking or apps to make life easier on their customers. These apps have the ability to “control” what comes and goes out of your bank. Gone are the days of driving to the bank to make a deposit. You can now take a screenshot and deposit through mobile banking. The possibilities are endless! We’ve made a list of several other ways to get the most out of your banking apps, most of which are free! Here are a few other ways to use those apps:

Maintenance Notifications:

Statement Notification: Many times it feels like the month flies by and bills are  due once again. ‘Payment due’ is now one of the most used alerts on mobile apps. When the payment is due, an alert pops up, reminding you ahead of time when to make a payment and what the balance is. You can set it up to notify you as soon as you would like! While auto pay or auto draft is great, it is still important to double check that the payment was taken on time. For many families with many different bills due at a time, this is a great way to reduce the headache of having to remember one more thing on that laundry list of “to-do’s” for the week.

Payment Received: Having this notification can ensure that the payment successfully went through and will notify  you immediately on your mobile device.  One of the worst things that can happen is  falling late on a credit card or payment.  Many times if something happens with a card on file and the payment is not processed, consumers don’t catch it. This will ensure that you know those payments are made on time and for the correct amount. To set these up, you will want to download the credit card or bank app you use and turn the notifications on for all purchases and payments made.

Balance Notification: This is a great notification to have set up, as it is very important piece of the puzzle for your credit score. A great rule of thumb is to keep the balances below 30%. The best thing for your credit score is two revolving accounts and two installments in order to have a healthy credit profile. The lower the balance, the better the score is! So, if you’ve noticed your credit card keeps creeping out of your wallet, you can set up notifications at a certain balance so overspending is combated. It is almost like an accountability partner and is great if you find yourself overspending often!

 

credit apps

 

Preventative Notifications:

  1. Suspicious activity- Your bank or credit card company will now send a text message to you if you would like if  there is suspicious activity on the account. The message may sound similar to this: Please verify activity on ____ card ending in ___ at this Location. You can then confirm or deny this text.  If you reply deny, a text follows up with a message that you will receive a phone call in the morning to go over the details. Easy enough, right?
  2. Card not present-Purchases made online will notify you with an alert. Online shopping has seen a dramatic spike in identity theft. For this reason, a feature such as this is a great to keep in mind.
  3. Gas-Any purchase made at a convenient store or gas station will alert you, if you wish. Unfortunately not every station requires a pin to make purchases.
  4. International Purchases-This is not a new feature but is great to keep in mind. If you are traveling, always notify your institution of the activity. Some will automatically turn the card off on you in order to protect the cardholder.
  5. Over limit-This notification is set up by the cardholder and notifies them any time a purchase is made over a certain price.

For more information about your credit score, please give Credit Law Center a call at 1-800-994-3070.

A note from the author:The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. Our content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when we initially post it.

Article by Breana Washington

 

Ease and E-Commerce│The Pros & Cons of Online Spending

How Would You Like To Communicate?

We took a recent survey on our Facebook page asking how users would like to be contacted; via phone call or text/email conversation. The results were not surprising! More than 90% of users voted text and emails. There seems to be a wave of change happening in the way our every day consumer takes in information.

Are you watching the news or your news feed for most recent events? Are your daily interactions on a device or a face to face debate?

If you are with the 90% of consumers that would rather communicate with no real human interaction, does this also apply to the way you purchase goods and services now too?

E-Commerce and E-Tail (Not Retail)

Apparently, it does!

The trend continues when you look at companies that are now converting their grocery shopping to an online platform. Their consumers are taking a side that “we are too busy” to go in the store anymore or that they no longer want to deal with lines, people and the inconvenience it adds to their day.
So what did these companies do? They gave consumers what they wanted; convenience.
As a whole, business owners are recognizing they need to shift their focus (and their marketing) to the digital platforms.

The Pros Of The “New Consumer”

Are there some products you are okay with buying online as opposed to others? Science says that for some people, purchasing an unfamiliar product they feel is more comfortable to buy in person. Have you gone to the store to try a new product, only to return it again a few days later? This proves the point that we will continue to buy familiar products over and over again. For those that do quite a bit of shopping online, they most likely stick to the same brands and services they have come to know and trust because they know the likelihood of having to return it is slim. That among the convenience of buying online makes the e-commerce option seem more appealing.

For Businesses, the pros are as follows:

  • Customer Loyalty
  • Brand Recognition
  • Repeat Customers
  • Customer Reviews/Satisfaction

Many of these pros play a very important role in the customer experience! For an online consumer, there is no long lines, and annoying check out attendant, just a basket of items to add and one click to check out. If the user experience is quick, easy and a great product, you better believe they will share it with all their friends (Facebook “friends” too).

The Cons on “Over Consuming”

While there are many reasons why the customer experience and the instant gratification with online shopping seems great, there are a few cons to the way we are making these transactions. While shopping in a store, there are several emotions that play into the purchase or “put back” of an item. Does this seem practical? Do I need it? What is my budget like?

You may feel you are getting great deals or that “time is money” but you may be overspending when it comes down to it. The same way that these businesses have marketed to you to show you that their way is better, are the same tactics they use to market more products and a need for more “stuff” that they have.

 

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