How much are consumers spending on credit monitoring service? A whooping $700 Million.
Recently, the Star Ledger (NJ.com) released a report that highlighted how free credit report dot com baby, (yes, that catch commerical with the guy living in his parents basement since someone stole his wife’s identity) is actually using bait and switch adevertising. Legally you are entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. So, when you visit free credit report dot com or any other free credit report website (there are thousands out there), you are enrolling into a not so free $14.95 monthly service for a copy of your free credit report, which you can get free each year.
Now, when you are planning or preparing to buy a home, you credit matters! In fact, as part of your home buying plan, you may want to consider getting a free report 6 months to a year before actually making a purchasing so that you can identify any areas that are affecting your score i.e. an old account showing up a unsettled, yet you know it has been settled. Or even something as simple as removing old lates. A good example of this is when you look at your credit and you have an old late from 2006, yet in 2009, 3 years later of on-time payments, you are still being affected by that 2006 blemished. You can write to the credit reporting agency and have that old late removed. (I should say, you may have to write several letters or make several contacts with the respective credit reporting agency to do your own credit repair, which can cost $250-$800 if you hire a credit repair service).
Your credit score, and how it affects you.
Consumers credit scores are designed to measure the risk of default by taking into account various factors in a person’s financial history. To get the best rates on loans and credit cards you need a good credit score. Scores range from 300 to 850 – the higher, the better. Scores below 400, or above 800 are rare.
A high score means lenders generally consider that you manage credit responsibly and aren’t likely to default on your payments. For that, you will be rewarded handsomely! A low score will more likely result in denial of credit or higher rates. Late payments, maxed-out cards and an excessive number of credit lines could leave your score sorely lacking. Never mind foreclosures or bankruptcies.
The average credit score nationwide is around 660. Generally, if your score is in the mid-700s or higher, you’ll be offered the best rates. If your score is less than 620, you’ll pay dearly for credit. The difference between best and worst mortgage rates can be more than 3%!
The good news is that it is always possible to improve your score. Without credit repair improving an already good score takes 90-180 days. Really poor credit scores take 12-24 months, over even longer to improve. Credit repair can drastically improve any score in 75-90 days.How is your credit score calculated?
The exact formula for calculating credit scores are closely guarded secrets. The following components are the approximate weighted contributions:
- 35% – Punctuality of payment in the past (only includes payments later than 30 days past due)
- 30% – The amount revolving debt (credit card balances, etc.) as a percentage of total available revolving credit (credit limits)
- 15% – Length of credit history
- 10% – Types of credit used (installment, revolving, consumer finance)
- 10% – Recent search for credit and/or amount of credit obtained recently
Please note: the above information was provided by Paul Luykx, a Mortgage Specialist with Prospect Mortgage. Paul can be reached via his website or directly at Ph: 800-405-0676.
YOUR questions are WELCOME. If there is anything we can answer about your credit report or repair, please ask your question in the comment section below. Also, if you like the information njretoday provided, please share with your favorite social network!
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