A credit score reflects credit payment patterns over time, with more emphasis on recent information. You can sign up for credit monitoring service to read a summary of what goes into your credit score.
Paying your bills on time is the most important contributor to a good credit score. Even if the debt you owe is a small amount, it is crucial that you make payments on time. In addition, you should:
Applications for credit show up as inquiries on your credit report, indicating to lenders that you may be taking on new debt. It may be to your advantage to use the credit you already have to prove your ongoing ability to manage credit responsibly.
It Takes Time to Improve Credit Scores
If you have negative information on your credit report, such as late payments, a public record item (e.g., evictions) or too many inquiries, you may want to pay your bills and wait. Time is your ally in improving your credit scores.
How Changes Affect Scores
One common question involves understanding how very specific actions will affect a credit score. For example, will closing two of your revolving accounts improve your credit score?
Simply closing two accounts not only lowers the number of open revolving accounts (which generally will improve credit scores), but it also decreases the total amount of available credit. That results in a higher utilization rate, also called the balance-to-limit ratio (which generally lowers scores).
One change actually affects many items on the credit report. It is impossible to provide a completely accurate assessment of how one specific action will affect a person’s credit score. This is why the credit risk factors provided with your score are important. They identify what elements from your credit history are having the greatest impact so that you can take appropriate action.
You build your credit history, which then is reflected by your credit score. The length of time to rebuild your credit history after a negative change depends on the reasons behind the change.
Do they pay their bills on time? What collections do they have against them? How about liens, judgements? They are corporations, after all and most major corporations have credit reports regarding their payments histories with the vendors they use.
If you are curious as I am, click on the links to see live credit reports of TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. – Experian was especially interesting since I pulled the Experian’s report from Experian Business Credit Reports.
Fair Isaacs credit report is also here, in case you didn’t know, this is the corporation that created the FICO scoring model. Aproximately 90 out of 100 banks use the FICO as their choice of scoring your credit, as opposed to the Vantage Score which was released a few years back by the Fair Isaacs corporation, as a ‘feel good’ product for consumers and to comply with the FTC in disclosure of their score generating model and also NOT the choice for most major banks to use as an indication of your REAL credit score.
Given this, apparently, even if these companies affect your life in a negative way, and without much explanation, they are not required to give you ‘by law’ their ‘trade secrets’ or the specific reasons with which they calculate your scores on your credit reports.
Therefore, our ‘Boycott The Credit Bureaus’ campaign allows consumers to take back their rights as consumers so they can decide what to share with these corporations the information on which they can formulate their ‘trade secret formula’ on.
According to the Freedom of Information Act, a specific person can request private information from the federal government if this information affects them. Well, since these corporations are NOT part of the federal government, they hide behind a veil of corporate protection laws and anonymity. – Well, i say lets do the same.
Therefore, the boycott the credit bureaus is an activist group that was started by UpMyFicoScores.com to specifically give these corporations a piece of their own medicine, playing off of consumer privacy laws. They use the ‘trade secret’ law, we use the ‘consumer disclosure of certain information and privacy act’.
If the the Experian, Equifax and Transunion Corporations and Fair, Isaacs and Company Corporation are not required to give out their ‘trade secrets’ in the way they affect your ability to be extended credit, isn’t it Your Right to Privacy by Not Disclosing your Social Security Number and Private information which they can use to assimilate your life achievements by 3 scores, just level the playing field?
If these corporations can’t disclose certain information on how your credit scores are generated and publicly share this algorithm, isn’t is your right to use a GIN Number instead of a Social Security Number? YES, it is. They keep their information private. You keeps yours private (or share what you want with these companies; not what they demand)
FICO credit scores, which have become consumers’ financial passport to just about everything from rental apartments to most loans, are based on the information in an individual’s credit reports, which are generated by the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The scores are based on a 300- to 850-point scale.
Because of the new scoring model, individuals with a median score of 711 — and an otherwise clean credit history, except for unpaid medical debts — may see their FICO score rise by 25 points. As a result, many consumers may qualify for more attractive interest rates on various loans, potentially resulting in thousands of dollars in savings.
FICO, said on Thursday that the latest version of its score would no longer weigh medical debts — which account for about half of all unpaid collections on consumers’ credit reports — as heavily as it did in previous iterations.
The newer FICO scores, available this fall, will also ignore any collections that have already been paid; previously, the scores factored paid and unpaid collections equally, though it ignored amounts under $100.
But consumers whose credit files are tarnished only by unpaid debts that went to collection agencies — but were ultimately either settle or pay them — are likely to see a much greater increase in their scores. “That is when you could expect to see your score go through the roof,” said Mr. Ulzheimer.
The new scoring approach came after FICO spoke with some of its largest customers, including major lending institutions, as well as regulators, who suggested that medical debt collections were unduly weighing on consumers’ scores. FICO said it then analyzed new data from the credit bureaus, and compared how consumer behavior varied depending on the type of collection debts on their credit reports.
“We found that for someone where medical collections is their only derogatory, it is not as negative as a regular unpaid collection would be,” said Anthony Sprauve, a FICO spokesman. “So we adjusted the algorithm.”
FICO is not the first to tweak its approach on paid collections. Last year, VantageScore — a joint venture of the three major credit reporting companies that generates its own credit score — said it would ignore collection actions on credit reports, as long as they were paid. VantageScore has not said whether it would weigh unpaid medical collections differently from nonmedical collections.
For consumers to see any benefit, however, lenders have to adopt the new scoring techniques. FICO last introduced a new model, called FICO 8, in 2008. Since then, FICO said that about half of its customers had started using that model.
Mortgage lenders have been slower to adopt new scores, and most are using even older versions, experts said, because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still using them in their own underwriting software. Fannie and Freddie did not say whether they had plans to switch to the updated FICO score that weighs medical collections less heavily. But they both said they were confident in the tools they use.
A version of this article appears in print on August 8, 2014, on page B3 of the New York edition with the headline: Credit Scores Could Rise With FICO’s New Model. Order Reprints|Today’s Paper|Subscribe
Here is an excerpt below from a “Q and A” Session with Maxine, who works for Experian Credit Bureau. You decide. If there bureau’s don’t change things soon, consumer debt will spiral and with no incentives for paying off debt (aka good behavior), why pay the debt when there is no impact on your credit score?
“Closing or paying off an account does not cause it to be removed immediately from your credit report. Remember, your credit report is a credit history. Closed or paid accounts will continue to be reported for a period of time.
If the account was never late and had no negative history before it was paid or closed it will remain on your credit report for 10 years from the date it was closed. Positive accounts, or accounts in good standing, continue to boost your creditworthiness even after they are closed.
If the account had late payments in its history, those missed payments will be deleted at seven years, but the closed account will continue to report for the full 10 years. If the account was in a negative status, such as charged off to bad debt, at the time it was paid or closed it will remain part of the credit report for seven years from the original delinquency date of the account. The original delinquency date is the date the account first became late and after which was never again current.
The good news is that the positive account history will remain longer than the negative history, which will help you rehabilitate your credit if you’ve had payment issues in the past.
Thanks for asking.”
-Maxine Swee, Vice President, Experian, Public Education
‘Guess it took this long, but things have finally started to change…better late than never… lets ignite the next change with these privately owned companies that have strangulated so many Americans… let’s refuse to indulge in giving our our social security number’
|Bankruptcy will ruin your credit for some time to come. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can remian on your credit report for up to 10 years.||Although a bankruptcy stays on your record for years, the time to complete the bankruptcy process under Chapter 7, from filing to relief from debt, takes only about 3-6 months. So, the trade-off is a lasting mark against your credit in exchange for freedom from most debt. If you decide against Chapter 7 when it may be the right decision for you, your missed debt payments, defaults, repossessions, and lawsuits will also hurt your credit, and may be more complicated to explain to a future lender than bankruptcy.|
|You will lose property that you own that is not exempt from sale by the bankruptcy trustee. You may lose some of your luxury possessions.||Most state exemptions allow you enough so that most things you own will be exempt from bankruptcy, sometimes allowing more coverage to keep your property than you need. Additionally, you will get to keep the salary or wages you earn and the property you buy after you file for Chapter 7.|
|You will lose all your credit cards.||Your credit cards probably got you in this mess to start with, so it’s hard to see that as a bad thing. You may also be able to obtain new lines of credit within one to three years of filing bankruptcy, although at a much higher interest rate.|
|Bankruptcy will make it nearly impossible to get a mortgage, if you don’t already have one||There are lenders who specialize in lending to “bad risks,” although that is an unfair characterization to make of someone who has taken a major step to solve financial difficulties.|
|Declaring bankruptcy now might make it harder to do later if something worse comes along. For instance, if you complete the bankruptcy process under Chapter 7, you cannot file for another Chapter 7 bankruptcy for six years. The six years is counted from the date you last filed for bankruptcy.||Declaring bankruptcy now can get you started sooner on rebuilding your credit. Although, you can only file under Chapter 7 once every six years, you can always get a Chapter 13 plan if there is another disaster before you are entitled to file for Chapter 7 again. You may file for a Chapter 13 plan repeatedly, although each filing appears on your credit record.|
|Bankruptcy will not relieve you of your obligations to pay alimony and/or child support.||Short of a court order from family court, nothing else will relieve you of your alimony and child support obligations. At least bankruptcy will alleviate many of your other financial obligations|
|Bankruptcy will not get rid of your student loan debt.||Nothing will get rid of student loan debt, and at least bankruptcy will prevent your lenders from aggressive collection action.|
|You will have to explain to a judge or trustee how you got into a financial mess.||Both judges and trustees have heard far worse stories than yours.|
|You cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you previously went through bankruptcy proceedings under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 within the last six years.||If, however, you obtained a Chapter 13 discharge in good faith after paying at least 70% of your unsecured debts, the six-year bar does not apply.|
|You cannot file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if a previous Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case was dismissed within the past 180 days because:
||You can avoid these harsh limitations against refiling for bankruptcy by observing all court orders and court rules, and by not asking to have your case dismissed when a creditor asks for relief from the stay. Even if these limitations apply to you, they don’t last forever. You’re only prevented from refiling for six months. It may make sense to at least consult with an attorney prior to filing for bankruptcy to avoid limiting your bankruptcy options in the future.|
|You may still be obligated to pay some of your debts, such as a mortgage lien, even after bankruptcy proceedings are completed.||If you don’t owe money on the type of debts that survive bankruptcy, the amount and number of debts that a bankruptcy court can relieve you from paying is potentially unlimited.|
|If you file for Chapter 7 relief, but you have a certain amount of disposable income, the bankruptcy court could convert your Chapter 7 case to a Chapter 13, thus changing your plan to be free from most debts within four to six months, to a plan requiring you to repay your debts over the course of three to five years.||Chapter 7 does not require that you have debts of any particular amount in order to file for relief. However, even if your case gets converted to Chapter 13, it can still improve your financial situation by obtaining more favorable terms to pay off your debts. With Chapter 13, you get to keep all of your property as well.|
News reports of large-scale data breaches — like this week’s announcement from Home Depot — have prompted some of our readers to ask about a credit freeze. Also known as a security freeze, this tool lets you limit access to your credit report, which makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name.
Our Credit Freeze FAQs below can help you decide whether a credit freeze is right for you. One thing to remember: A credit freeze doesn’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts. Even if you elect a credit freeze you still will monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts for charges you don’t recognize.
You also can check your credit reports — for free — every few months by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com or calling 1-877-322-8228. Federal law allows you to get a free copy every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Accounts on your credit report that you don’t recognize could indicate identity theft. Visit ftc.gov/idtheft to find out what to do.
Finally, be aware of phishing scams. Delete email or text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information (credit card and bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, etc.). The sender already may have some personal information about you, stolen as part of a data breach. Don’t let that fool you. Legitimate companies don’t ask for sensitive personal data via email or text.
Also known as a security freeze, this tool lets you restrict access to your credit report, which in turn makes it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. That’s because most creditors need to see your credit report before they approve a new account. If they can’t see your file, they may not extend the credit.
No. A credit freeze does not affect your credit score.
A credit freeze also does not:
No. If you want to stop getting prescreened offers of credit, call 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688) or go online. The phone number and website are operated by the nationwide credit reporting companies. You can opt out for five years or permanently. However, some companies send offers that are not based on prescreening, and your federal opt-out right will not stop those kinds of solicitations.
As you consider opting out, you should know that prescreened offers can provide many benefits, especially if you are in the market for a credit card or insurance. Prescreened offers can help you learn about what’s available, compare costs, and find the best product for your needs. Because you are pre-selected to receive the offer, you can be turned down only under limited circumstances. The terms of prescreened offers also may be more favorable than those that are available to the general public. In fact, some credit card or insurance products may be available only through prescreened offers.
Certain entities still will have access to it.
Contact each of the nationwide credit reporting companies:
You’ll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. Fees vary based on where you live, but commonly range from $5 to $10.
After receiving your freeze request, each credit reporting company will send you a confirmation letter containing a unique PIN (personal identification number) or password. Keep the PIN or password in a safe place. You will need it if you choose to lift the freeze.
A freeze remains in place until you ask the credit reporting company to temporarily lift it or remove it altogether. A credit reporting company must lift a freeze no later than three business days after getting your request. The cost to lift a freeze varies by state.
If you opt for a temporary lift because you are applying for credit or a job, and you can find out which credit reporting company the business will contact for your file, you can save some money by lifting the freeze only at that particular company.
A credit freeze locks down your credit. A fraud alert allows creditors to get a copy of your credit report as long as they take steps to verify your identity. For example, if you provide a telephone number, the business must call you to verify whether you are the person making the credit request. Fraud alerts may be effective at stopping someone from opening new credit accounts in your name, but they may not prevent the misuse of your existing accounts. You still need to monitor all bank, credit card and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions.
Three types of fraud alerts are available:
To place a fraud alert on your credit reports, contact one of the nationwide credit reporting companies. A fraud alert is free. You must provide proof of your identity. The company you call must tell the other credit reporting companies; they, in turn, will place an alert on their versions of your report.