It’s important to note that raising your FICO credit score is a bit like losing weight: It takes time and there is no quick fix. A good credit rating is invaluable. It will help you get more credit and
In the sports world, an ace in the hole is a hidden advantage or resource kept in reserve until needed. In our world at Credit Coach, we refer to balance transfer checks as one of our aces in the hole.
Pay on Time
Paying your credit card account on time helps you avoid late fees as well as penalty interest rates applied to your account, and helps you maintain a good credit record. A good credit record leads to a higher credit score, which helps you qualify for lower interest rates. Know the date your payment is due. If your bill is due at an inconvenient time of the month–for example, if it’s due on the 10th and you get paid on the 15th–contact your credit card company to see if they will change your billing cycle to fit your cash flow.
Isn’t it annoying to get all that junk mail from companies trying to get you to apply for their credit cards? Not only is it annoying but it also puts you at risk for identity theft! All it takes for identity theft to happen to you is your mail being delivered to the wrong address or someone stealing your discarded mail, things we refer to as pass interference. Once the credit card offer falls into the wrong hands, that person can apply for the card for you, essentially hijacking your identity.
When you apply for credit, the lender reviews your credit report before approving your application. The three major credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These agencies, which are also called “bureaus,” collect and report information about consumers’ financial habits and put the information into a credit report along with a rating, referred to as your FICO Score. Each agency’s report contains the same basic information: name; Social Security number; current and previous addresses; current and previous employers; details about how you have your opened and closed accounts/ loans; public-record information, such as bankruptcies, court judgments, or liens; and a list of companies that have reviewed the credit report.
Most of us realize that our credit report is reviewed when we apply for a credit card, mortgage, or car loan. However, it is often forgotten that your credit report may also be reviewed when you apply for auto or homeowner’s insurance, utility services, or a cell phone.
Here is a list of what you will see on a credit report:
Accounts/Trade lines: This includes credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, real estate, installment loans and revolving debt like department store cards. The report will include information on the accounts such as the balance, payment history, terms, and account status - such as whether the account was put into bankruptcy, charged off, or repossessed.
You have probably seen ads on television, the radio, and the internet promoting to “lower your interest rates,” “reduce your monthly payments,” “end collection calls,” and “get you on the road to financial freedom.”