July 2021

Credit report

3 reasons to regularly check your credit report

Here’s why it’s important to stay on top of your credit report.

There are certain tasks in life that need to be accomplished, even if they aren’t the most fun or engaging. For example, we all have to file our taxes, have our cars serviced, and take the time to have an annual medical check-up to monitor our health.

But just as you need to fit these tasks into your schedule, it’s also essential to set aside time to regularly check your credit report, ideally three times a year. Here’s why.

1. To stay on top of your finances

Your credit report is to a large extent a snapshot of your financial health. While this report won’t tell you how much money you have in savings or how well you are doing in your brokerage account, it will tell you how you manage your debt.

Specifically, your credit report will include a list of your open credit card accounts and loans, as well as your various balances. It will also show you how much of your available credit you are using at a time so you can see if you have a reasonable amount of debt or not.

2. Be on alert in the event of fraud

These days, no one is immune to financial fraud. Even if you follow smart practices to protect your personal information – like shredding sensitive documents rather than throwing them away – a criminal can still get a hold of your credit card or social security number and open a tab on it. one of your accounts or open a new one in your name. Checking your credit report regularly could help you find out this information as early as possible and minimize the damage.

Suppose a criminal opens a credit card in your name. If you see this account listed on your credit report and it doesn’t sound familiar to you, you’ll know you need to take action. But without checking your credit report, you might not discover this account until you start receiving default notices in the mail – by then your credit score might already have been affected.

3. To make sure you are in a good position to borrow money

You may be preparing to apply for a mortgage or other large loan for an important purpose. Checking your credit report first will help you determine if this is a good time to apply, or if it is better to clean up your credit history first and then move forward with these. plans.

Suppose your credit report shows that you have two delinquent accounts. This might cause you to delay your borrowing plans and deal with credit issues first so that they don’t prevent you from getting approved or getting a competitive interest rate.

How to check your credit report

Right now you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every week until April 2022. But normally you can get one free copy per year from every major information bureau – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You can go to each office’s website and request a free copy of your report, or visit for a copy of all three reports. It doesn’t matter how you access your credit report, as long as you make sure you do it regularly.

The best credit card erases interest until 2023

If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card guarantees you an introductory APR of 0% until 2023! Plus, you won’t pay any annual fees. These are just a few of the reasons why our experts consider this card the top choice to help you control your debt. Read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Read our free review

We strongly believe in the Golden Rule, which is why the editorial opinions are our own and have not been previously reviewed, endorsed or endorsed by the advertisers included. The Ascent does not cover all the offers on the market. The editorial content of The Ascent is separate from the editorial content of The Motley Fool and is created by a different team of analysts. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Source link

read more
Credit report

Henry County gets a good credit report; Martinsville establishes a flushing program; Patrick County Sheriff Gets Grant | Local News

Residents are warned to avoid washing their clothes if they know that standpipes are emptied nearby. Although the lifted sediment has been disinfected by chlorine in the water supply, dirt can still stain clothing if it is sucked into the washing machine in sufficient quantity.

Flushing times will be announced later for the remaining parts of town.

The PCSO obtains an Alzheimer scholarship


Photo of the bulletin file

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has awarded a grant to the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office to expand its Project Lifesaver program, which provides safety technology to families whose members suffer from dementia-related illness and tend to wander .

The program allows caregivers to register loved ones with dementia or autism to wear a small wrist or ankle transmitter that emits an individualized tracking signal. If this person is missing, the caregiver informs the sheriff’s office, who will send assistants.

A grant of $ 6,000 will be used to purchase new and improved transmitter kits, bands and batteries, as well as to train more officers on the program, a statement from the Alzheimer’s Foundation said. The sheriff’s office estimates that an additional 20 families can be accommodated at no cost.

“The Project Lifesaver program saves lives, and this grant will allow us to continue to protect those who are unable to protect themselves,” County Sheriff Patrick Dan Smith said in the statement.

Source link

read more
Credit report

How I corrected an error in my credit report and increased my FICO® score by 112 points

It takes years to build credit, but one mistake on your credit report can take your score down.

Credit scores are an important part of our life. That three-digit number can impact everything from the credit cards we qualify for to the rate we get on a mortgage. Sometimes it can even affect whether or not we get a new job or a new apartment.

But making payments on time and paying attention to how you handle credit is only part of maintaining your score. You should also be careful of errors on your report. Here is how an error caused my score to lose more than 100 points.

It started with a pop-up notification

I have worked hard to build my credit history and achieve a great credit score. One tool that I have found useful is Mint, an app that allows me to store all of my financial information in one place. No matter what stage you are at in your financial journey, the best budgeting apps can help.

I was surprised when Mint alerted me to a drop in my credit rating. I did some research and got a free copy of my credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. I discovered that my credit score had dropped 112 points due to a new debit / collection account on my credit reports.

Collections? It couldn’t be …

I always pay my bills the moment I get them, so this was a shock. Something was definitely wrong. Aren’t collection companies known for relentlessly harassing their debtors by phone, email and any other means in an attempt to get their funds back? I had never received a single communication from someone saying I owed money.

I found the name of the collection company reporting the debt and contacted them. Without going into details, there was some confusion when I had blood tests done over a year ago. The lab had my correct name, but everything else was wrong – including my address, phone number, email, etc. So they’ve been sending me invoices and notifications for a while, but not to me.

I explained that I had lived in the same house for over five years and had the same phone number for 15 years. The doctor’s office had all of my correct information on file, so this clearly wasn’t a mistake I could be held accountable for. The collection company contacted the lab’s billing company. He agreed to withdraw the collection report as long as I paid the invoice in full.

Cover my bases with the credit bureaus

It was the first time something like this had happened to me, so I didn’t really want to leave the fate of my credit rating in the hands of a collection company. I followed the following steps:

  • I have filed disputes online with each of the three credit bureaus.
  • For each dispute, I had to indicate which part of my report was incorrect, explain the problem and attach documentation to support my case. I have attached copies of all my correspondence between the collection agency and the lab’s billing company, including any invoice paid in full.
  • I was informed that a file had been opened and that I would receive a response within 30 days.

A few weeks later, I received the first of three responses: A bureau had found in my favor and removed the collection account from my credit report. Within a week, I had received the same response from the other two offices. All the frustration and anxiety that had built up from a small credit report error was finally starting to dissipate.

Don’t expect an overnight solution

I had assumed that my credit score would immediately be restored to its former glory. After all, the error had been removed from my three credit reports. But that was another good lesson. When it comes to credit scores, nothing happens overnight.

It took a few more weeks before the missing 112 points were restored, putting me back in excellent territory. The sad thing is that this type of situation is not unusual. Up to 1 in 5 people have errors on their credit reports. The best way to protect yourself is to check your credit report regularly. This way you can make sure that no mistakes are going against you.

Currently and through April 2022, you can get a free weekly copy of your credit report from each of the credit reporting bureaus. Many of the best credit cards also give you access to your credit score in your online account. And many personal finance apps provide this information as well. They will even notify you if your score has changed.

As I’ve learned the hard way, these types of mistakes can and do happen. But if this happens to you, there are steps you can take to address it. Do your due diligence and immediately file disputes with credit bureaus. With a little time and effort, you can permanently remove the error from your credit report.

The best credit card erases interest until 2023

If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card can get you to pay 0% interest until 2023! Plus, you won’t pay any annual fees. These are just a few of the reasons our experts rank this card among the best to help you get your debt under control. Read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Read our free review

We strongly believe in the Golden Rule, which is why the editorial opinions are our own and have not been previously reviewed, endorsed or endorsed by the advertisers included. The Ascent does not cover all the offers on the market. The editorial content of The Ascent is separate from the editorial content of The Motley Fool and is created by a different team of analysts. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Source link

read more
Credit report

Elements of the credit report that matter most to lenders

Have you ever wondered what it was like to look at your credit or loan application from across the desk?

When lenders review your credit report, “these really are common sense decisions,” says Rod Griffin, senior director of consumer education for Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus.

“Creditors and lenders find it really boring to be exciting and sexy,” he says. “Anything unusual is scary. “

When you apply for a loan or a credit card, lenders very often check your credit rating, your credit report, or both. If they don’t like what they see, you will be rejected or approved, but on less favorable terms.

And it’s not just new candidates who are being scrutinized. Credit card issuers, for example, also periodically review their customers’ records.

If you want the best deals and terms, here are seven things you and your lenders don’t want to see.

1. Late or missed payments

This one gets to the heart of what lenders really want to know: “Are you going to pay your bills?” says Francis Creighton, president and CEO of the Credit Data Industry Association, the member organization of credit bureaus.

What You May Not Realize: Anything not done on time, minimum payments are viewed by creditors and lenders as missed payments.

“What matters is that you make the payment on the due date,” Griffin explains. “If you’re only making a partial payment, in terms of the minimum payment due, that’s a bad sign. Partial payment is late payment.

When it comes to your credit score, making timely payments is the most important factor. It counts for 35% of your credit score.

2. Foreclosures and bankruptcies

These are the two worst things you can have on your credit history – and both will give future lenders a break, Griffin says.

So how could these events prompt a lender to extend credit?

“Somewhere between pretty scared and terrified,” he said. “Especially if it’s recent.

Seeing these items in your history “doesn’t mean they won’t make that loan,” says Creighton. “But they can price it differently.”

The foreclosures stay on your credit report for seven years. Chapter 7 bankruptcies (total liquidation) stay on your credit report for 10 years. Chapter 13 bankruptcies, where consumers reorganize to pay off some or all of their debts, stay in your credit history for seven years.

If you had a short sale, you won’t find those exact words on your credit report, Griffin says. Instead, it will say “settled” or “settled for less than originally agreed”.

Like foreclosures, short sales also stay in your credit history for seven years. And that’s seen by creditors as “a little better than foreclosure,” he says.

That said, the longer a foreclosure, bankruptcy, or short sale has taken place and the more financially the consumer has recovered, the less impact it will have on their credit, Griffin says.

3. High balances and maximum cards

“A high balance, relative to the credit limit on your cards, is the second most important factor in your credit score,” says Griffin.

The portion of your credit that you use is roughly 30% of your score.

And high balances or maxed out cards are “an indication of financial hardship,” he says. “Ideally, you would pay your card in full every month and keep your usage as low as possible. What we are seeing is that the people with the highest score have a higher utilization rate. [the balance divided by the credit limit], 10 percent or less.

And that goes for both individual cards and the collective total of the consumer’s credit lines and card balances, he adds.

A basic rule of credit score was to keep the utilization rate below 30%. “But 30% is the maximum, not a goal,” Griffin warns. “It’s the cliff. If you go beyond that, the scores will drop sharply. Conversely, “the more you are below 30%, the less likely you are to default,” he adds.

Point: As your usage rate changes from month to month, your score will also change.

Griffin remembers a family vacation where he put everything – travel, meals, gifts – on plastic. Its utilization rate increased by 7% and its credit rating fell by 40 points.

In January, he paid the bills for the card in full and his score returned to normal. “So don’t panic about it if your score is good,” Griffin says.

4. Someone else’s debt

When you co-sign a credit card or loan, all of the debt is written on your credit report. So as far as lenders go, you carry that debt yourself, and it will be included in your debt load when you apply for a mortgage, credit card or any other form of credit, says John Ulzheimer, a former lender of the lender. credit industry. executive and chairman of the Ulzheimer group.

If the person you co-signed for stops paying, misses payments, or pays late, this will likely be reflected on your credit report.

So if a friend or family member who needs a co-signer tells you it’s painless because you’ll never have to part with it, tell them it’s not true. Co-signing means agreeing to repay the obligation if the borrower defaults and allowing that debt, along with any late or non-payment, to count against you the next time you apply for a loan.

Co-signing for a friend or family member works well at the Thanksgiving table, says Ulzheimer, “but it doesn’t work well in the underwriting office.

5. A history of minimum payments

Creditors make money when you keep a balance, but lenders don’t like to see only minimum payments on your credit report.

“This suggests that you may be under financial stress,” says Nessa Feddis, senior vice president of the American Bankers Association. “You may be at a higher risk of default. “

Sometimes paying the minimum doesn’t signal a problem. For example, paying minimums in January, after spending vacation time, is understandable. But consistently paying minimums month after month indicates that you might be struggling to pay off the balance. Lenders who see this on a credit report may be reluctant to extend additional credit.

6. A flurry of loan requests

This won’t scare lenders so much as it causes them to reconsider what’s going on in your financial life, Griffin says.

For someone who pays all of their bills on time and has no balance, a flurry of demands could be perfectly harmless. But for someone making minimum or late payments and transferring balances, it’s a sign of financial stress and a drag on lenders.

“The inquiries suggest something to lenders,” says Creighton. “And that is valuable information.”

New credit inquiries stay on your credit report for two years and affect your credit score for one year. In the FICO scoring model, the new credit counts for 10% of the score.

“They’re the least important factor in credit scores and the last thing creditors are going to look at,” says Griffin.

Point: Certain types of credit applications (mortgages, auto loans, or student loans) are aggregated and counted as one application by the credit scoring formulas. That’s because when it comes to those big purchases, lenders know you’ll want to shop, and that’s smart.

While the new scoring formulas group similar loan applications together if done within 45 days, older versions only have a 14-day window. And you have no way of knowing which version potential lenders are using. For added security, keep all requests within 14 days.

7. Cash advance on credit card

“Cash advances, in many cases, indicate desperation,” says Ulzheimer. “Either you lost your job or you are underemployed. Nobody makes cash advances on a credit card because they want money in a bank somewhere. You usually borrow from Peter to pay Paul.

Here’s how a cash advance will send a wake-up call to lenders who review your credit report: First, the cash advance is immediately added to your debt balance, reducing your available credit and your credit score. credit for all potential lenders.

Second, large card issuers regularly reassess the behavior of their customers. They do this by pulling credit reports, FICO scores, and accounts receivable histories and running them through their own credit scoring systems, explains Ulzheimer. Many rating models penalize cash advances because they are considered risky, he says.

If the card issuer lowers your credit limit or cancels your account, it can damage your credit score and make other lenders more wary.

Source link

read more