Wednesday, April 4

3 Steps To Improve Your Credit Score

Improving your credit score can lower your interest rates and make credit easier to come by. Here are three steps to improve your credit score.

#1- What is your credit score?
Are you one of the 65% of Americans who don't know what their credit score is? You can order your credit report on-line directly from any one of the three bureaus. Yes, there is a fee to find out what your score is, but it is small in relation to the potential savings you'll gain by lowering your interest costs. Go to or or to order your credit report.

#2- Correct Any Errors
There are a bunch of different factors that help determine your credit score. Things like your payment history, outstanding debt, length of time you've had credit, number of times your credit has been looked at by credit grantor's, and the type of credit that you have. All of this information is found in your credit report. Trans Union has a handy checklist that you can use to verify the accuracy of your report.

If you find a mistake, take steps to correct it. First, contact the creditor that is reporting it wrong. Ask them to fix it. Then file a dispute with the credit bureau's.
You can file a credit report dispute with the credit bureaus on line.

#3- Pay your bills on time
The biggest impact on your credit score is how you pay your bills. Late payments, collection accounts, public records like judgments or bankruptcies will have a big negative impact on your credit score. By making sure your bills are paid on time, you'll help keep your credit rating strong.

If you find that you can't keep up, and are consistently making late payments or forgetting a payment entirely, consider signing up for a automatic payments. You can do this with a bill payer service through MSN Money or Quicken, or bill payer services at your Credit Union or bank.

By getting to know your score, fixing any errors, and paying your bills on time, you'll be well on your way to great credit!

Do you have specific questions about your credit rating? Feel free to email your questions to me!

Tuesday, April 3

Your Credit Score

Most lenders rely on a FICO® Score to determine their level of risk before making a loan. When you are shopping for a home loan, a car loan, a credit card, etc., lenders are looking at your credit report to see how you have paid your other obligations. The credit score is like a summary, giving a 'grade' to your credit quality. The higher the score, the less risk of default and the better credit quality.

You likely have three FICO® Scores from the three bureaus who report them; Experian, Trans Union and Equifax. Your score can vary between the three, but usually not by more than a few points. The score is developed based upon the information that the bureaus maintain about you. Your credit scores are used by lenders to determine how much, for how long, and at what interest rate they will lend you money.

In order for there to be a score, each of the bureaus must report at least one trade line that has been opened for at least six months. A trade line is an account like a credit card or a loan.