How To Learn Your Credit Score

Good news! Understanding your credit score is fairly easy and you can use this knowledge to help repair your score and keep it healthy.

35 percent of your score is tied to your payment history. If you haven’t had consistent payment history up until now, don’t panic. Part of the repair process starts with reaching out to creditors and bureaus to get inaccurate, misleading, and outdated information off your report forever.

If your payments are not current, get current and stay current. Creditors will often work with you to create a payment plan so you can get up to date on payments. Making payments on time should be your number one priority. It’s the easiest way to influence your credit score.

30 percent of your score is your credit utilization. Your credit utilization rate is extremely important, and you want it to be under 30 percent. What does that mean? Here’s an example.

You have three credit cards. Each card has as a $1,000 limit. Factoring in no other open credit accounts you have $3,000 in credit available to you. $900 is 30 percent of your $3,000 available credit. At any given time you should not charge more than $900 in total to the three accounts combined.

Add up your credit accounts, then add how much you owe on those accounts. If it’s over 30 percent pay down the balances as soon as you can. You will see an improvement in your credit score.

Bonus tip: Don’t let your credit card balance carry over from month to month. If you can’t afford to pay off a balance within a month, don’t spend the money unless it’s an absolute emergency. This will keep your credit utilization under 30 percent and immediately help your credit score.

15 percent of your score is the length of your credit history. How long have you been borrowing? If your credit history is well established you’re considered less of a risk than someone who just started borrowing. You’re more trustworthy if you’ve successfully shown you’re able to pay back money you’ve borrowed

10 percent of your score is factored by new accounts and credit requests. A newer credit account is considered more of a risk than an older credit account because you haven’t established payment history. The same applies for a new credit request. If you’re requesting more credit, you need to borrow more cash over your monthly income – this tells creditors you’re spending more than you’re making.

10 percent of your score is your credit mix. Having a good mix of credit is a good way to build good credit. An auto loan, a mortgage and a credit card is a good credit mix.

Steps to Maximize Your Credit Card

Your credit card is an important tool when it comes to your finances. This is precisely the reason why you should try your best to make the most of its perks. You may not realize it, but there are a number of things that you can do to maximize your card’s use.

This article presents a couple of cool tips every cardholder needs to remember.

Make best use of your Billing Cycle

The way you pay your monthly bills is crucial to maximizing your card. For instance, if you settle your dues punctually and in full, then you will be able to avoid being charged with interest. This is probably the best way to use your card. This is because you are technically getting a free loan from your card provider.

Of course, there are still a couple of tricks you can do to step things up. Consider this: if you make a charge a day before your statement is closed, then that you will have around 20-25 days to settle that charge. However, making that same charge a day after the statement is closed will give you a total of at least 55 days to pay that charge. This is because that charge will be transferred to the next billing cycle.

Another important trick you need to remember is that some card providers actually allow their users to move back their due dates, thus extending their payment cycles. This can certainly help if you find yourself in a financial jam. However, you need to keep in mind that you won’t be able to this repeatedly.

Always ask to be reconsidered

If your initial credit card application was rejected, you should never hesitate to ask for reconsideration. There is always the possibility that your credit worthiness was not assessed correctly. Keep in mind that the process itself is not perfect, so mistakes are bound to happen.

Just give your card provider a quick call. Explain to them why you deserve to be approved for that particular card. If you are convincing enough, the person on the other end of the line might just give you that card you want.

Threaten a Chargeback

Asking for your money back from a merchant is often a futile effort. Fortunately, credit card users have a slight edge over people who pay with cash. As a credit cardholder, you are entitled to a chargeback option.

The chargeback option is an important trick all card owners need to remember. All you have to do is call the merchant, and ask to speak to a supervisor. Inform them that you want your money back. However, if your initial attempts at a refund are rejected, then tell them that you intend to ask for a chargeback from your card provider.

It is virtually guaranteed that the supervisor will change their mind once you threaten them with this. This is because a chargeback means increased merchant fees. They would rather give you back your money than be charged any additional fees.

Make the Most out your Reward Cards

As you may have already noticed, many reward cards rely on gimmicks to make you spend more. Do not fall for this trap. Overspending is the among worst things you can do with your credit card. Instead, you should try using these cards creatively. Earn reward points the smart way.

For instance, if you want to qualify for a sign up bonus, then try using your credit card to purchase gift cards. Just make sure that you will be using these in the future. That beings said, buy them from retailers that you visit often.

How To Prepare Your Credit Scores In Your 20s

Age brings with it wisdom especially when it comes to taking financial decisions. A 40-year-old may be aware about more of credit repair facts and myths as compared to a 20-year-old. However, there may be instances when people may be stuck with similar credit issues irrespective of their age.

To begin with, the key to improve your credit score is – a dynamic focus. You need to seek help from a proficient credit repair specialist and then prioritize certain things as you age in order to do away with the issues that come in your credit domain.

Things to Consider in Your 20s to Improve Your Credit Score:

In your 20s, there are specific things that calls for your attention, when it is about enriching your credit health.

Attend to the five Factors:

The first step to improve your credit score is to have a clear understanding of the rules. The actual status of your credit score is determined by five factors – debt utilization, payment history, new credit, credit length, and diversification. If you were unaware of the essential factors that have an impact on your credit score, you need to work on the strategies that will help you to take care of the five factors.

Repay your student loans:

As stated by The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), about 69 percent of the students left college with loans in 2013. The bottom line (which was $28,400) was actually a big burden for the salary of a fresher. You have a choice to stretch the loan for whatever time span you want to (years or even decades), but you also need to keep in mind the downside of the decision.

Adding on the interest will not only increase the principal amount and will also increase the life of the loan. This will increase the overall cost of the loan that you have taken. Paying off your loans at the earliest will lead to a lower credit utilization ratio, better and more opportunity to improve your credit, less stress on your budget, and last but not the least even more opportunities to save.

The final tip:

Credit score plays a vital role in every phase of your life whether you are in your early 20’s or 50’s and beyond. Analyze your credit score regularly to ensure that you maintain a positive credit and avoid any problems related to your financial plans.

Tips to Get Approval for a Home Mortgage Loan

If you are planning to apply for a home loan, check out the following helpful tips to get your application approved.

Know Your Credit Score

Credit activity and credit scores will greatly affect your mortgage approval. Lenders usually require minimum amount of credit score that should be maintained so that your conventional mortgage loan request will not be denied.

Also, having derogatory credit information might hinder mortgage approval. To avoid unwanted denial of your requested loan, you should lower your debts, pay bills on time, and fix errors on credit reports.

Save Your Cash

Mortgage lenders require down payments which depend on the kind of loan. If you have the means, pay a higher down payment. This will lower your balance and alleviates your private mortgage insurance.

Down payment is not the only fee you should be worrying about. Acquiring a mortgage also involves home inspections, title searches, closing costs, application fees, credit report fees and other fees. Save up cash for these payable fees.

Stay at Your Job

Changes on your employment and/or income status will have a major effect on the mortgage process. The information you provided in your application will be the basis of your home loan approval. Giving up a job to be self-employed or getting a lower paying job will make a wrench in the plans, leading to a reevaluation of your finances to check if you’re still qualified for the loan.

Pay Debt & Avoid New Debt

Qualifying for a loan doesn’t require that your credit card be zero balance. But, it’s better that you owe less to your creditors. Your debts determine whether you will get a mortgage or not. Also, it will determine how much you will acquire from the lender. When you have many credit card debts which makes your debt ratio high, the lender might refuse your loan request or provide a lower mortgage.

However, even though you get approval for a mortgage with debt, it is advised that new debt should be avoided while under the mortgage process. Before the mortgage closing, lenders recheck credit and when they found out that there are new debts they can stop the closing.

Have Pre-Approval for a Mortgage

Having your home loan pre-approved will help you determine what you can afford before bidding on properties and what interest rate should you be paying on the loan.

Determine What You Can Afford

Choose a home that will fit your budget. Though some lenders pre-approved applicants for more than what they can afford, be smart, live within your means and purchase a home that you can afford.