How to Improve your Credit Score

Let’s talk about your credit score. It’s really important. It can determine whether you get that home or not. And it can determine whether you save money on the rate you’re going to pay based on your credit score. So, of course, you want to always make your payments on time, but how can you actually improve your score? What can you do?

So here are a few little known facts that have changed since Trended Credit that came into being a few years ago.

  • First, always keep your balances to 30% of the limit. If you have $1,000 limit, don’t ever go over $300. Better yet, pay off that credit card every single month. Don’t carry a balance if you can help it.
  • Second, if you can’t pay off balances right away, go to that credit card issuer and ask them if they’d be willing to give you a higher limit. The amount you owe then becomes a smaller percentage and that can help your score.
  • Third, and this is one of the most important points, do not close any credit lines that you have from the past. That is credit history that you’ve built up. You want to keep that good history. It’s like getting straight A’s in school and then not wanting to share your report card. Keeping good history will help your credit score. The longer you have a good history, the better it reflects in your scoring system.
  • Fourth, let’s talk about some of those collection accounts you may have. If you have them and they popped up, just paying them off may not be the right thing to do. Just wait and see on those because by paying them off and bringing them current right now, you may actually hurt your credit score significantly by bringing them to the front of your credit history. That’s not what you want to do.

So those were just a few quick tips for you and I hope they help. If you need any more information, give me a call or text me and I’ll help you improve your credit and get into the home you’ve been dreaming about.

Into the Breach – The Equifax Hack

Everyone has already heard about the Equifax breach from May 2017-July 2017.   The news makes it sound like not ALL adults in the US have been affected, well this is simply wrong.  If you have ever had a credit profile, you are at risk.  Even if you are cash based now.  The credit bureaus hang on to all our info regardless if you see it on your report or not.  So, just like everyone has said – freeze your credit right now.  It is a pain and will cost you when you need it unfrozen; however, it is the only way to protect your credit.

The other aspect of this which NO ONE is reporting on is your federal tax returns.  This is just as big of an issue as the credit side.  Not many folks have heard of fraudulent tax returns yet it does happen and is increasing in how often it happens.  How this works is someone takes your social security info, address etc. and literally files a fake tax return with W-2’s or other fraudulent supporting documentation and then gets a refund.  Mind you they do not take YOUR refund they are creating their own refund scenario.

So, not only do you need to watch your credit, you also need to watch your tax returns too.  From my perspective, this is also a big issue since we have to verify your W-2’s and tax returns with the IRS directly.  Many of you know we order transcripts (You sign a form called the IRS 4506) to compare the returns and W-2’s that you have provided so we know there is no fraud going on and that we have the accurate data when selling the loan.  If you have had fraudulent returns filed, that goes out the window and now you must do this yourself since we and anyone else requesting info is locked out and it is done via the phone with the IRS.  You cannot “unfreeze” your returns, it is blocked and that is that.  This may have as large if not larger impact on you financially and cause serious pain and frustration when trying to get it corrected.  Here are some handy links on this topic: