18 Feb

Credit Score Program: Fico 08 Arrives in ’09

Denver, Colorado 02-15-09 — More than a year and a half after it was first announced, FICO® 08 — an updated version of the FICO® credit score system –- is finally making its debut in ‘09.

Fair Isaac Corp., creator of the FICO credit score, announced the first usage of the controversial FICO 08 when TransUnion utilized the new credit scoring program on January 29th. Equifax is expected to adopt the new system later this year. Experian Group, Ltd. has yet to institute the new system and is not expected to do so anytime soon, pending an unsettled lawsuit with Fair Isaac. 

Initially proposed in June 2007, the original intent of FICO 08 was to stop the use of credit piggybacking as a method of improving credit scores. Credit piggybacking is a legal method of improving a personal credit rating by adding an individual as an “authorized user” onto an account of a person who already has good credit. This quickly and dramatically raises the authorized user’s FICO credit score.  

Fair Isaac took the position that the consideration of “authorized user” accounts in their scoring model was a loophole that needed to be closed.

An Accidental Discovery (con’t) Page Two of this Credit Article »

25 May

Email Credit Spam

I was going through my Junk mail in Outlook the other day and thinking how profitable spam mail must be if so many are doing it. You’ve probably received the same email on various topics and some don’t even make sense – you know what I mean especially if you are a woman…

Relevant to our topic at hand, credit repair, I recently received this spam mail:

Thank you for your loan request, which we recieved yesterday, your refinance application has been accepted
Bad credit OK, We are ready to give you a $372,000 loan, after further review, our lenders have established the lowest monthly payments. Approval process will take only 1 minute. Please visit the confirmation link below and fill-out our short 30 second Secure Web-Form. www.copiesget.com

Come on, who are they trying to kid? One minute approval – especially for a $372,000 loan? Please! Of course they just want you to click on their link and go to their website. They may be collecting your IP address or worse yet your personal information if you fill out any of their forms.

In this day and age of electronic communications, we caution you to be careful and really look into offers that seem too good to be true, because they probably are. These type of scams can bankrupt a person and ruin credit that has taken years to establish. If you are not sure if something is a scam or not, don’t ask your neighbor, they may not know either.

Go to your computer and open up a browser window and type in www.Snopes.com. What you will find is a site that has been collecting information on online scams and urban legends since Al Gore invented the Internet (little inside joke there). Seriously though, do a search using some of the words in the email you are suspicious of and you will likely find it indexed in Snopes.com archives. If nothing pops up, use differnet, more or less words and search again. Be completely sure before you respond to any online request especially if you don’t know the requester.

Don’t let an online scam ruin your good credit or worse, your life!

15 Mar

Credit Reports: What You Need to Know

If you want to know something about credit reports but don’t know where to look for information, then you’ve come to the right place. This article serves as your one-stop shop of information about this subject. It contains the basics that anyone concerned with their credit history needs to know.

Credit Reports are Free

You can get your credit report from credit reporting agencies for free. If you’re living in the United States and Canada, you can do this once a year from the agencies. So if you’ve paid for this kind of information, chances are that you’ve been scammed. This may not apply to other countries, though, so it would be better to check with your local trade office for details.

Your Credit Report Affects Your Credit Score

Aside from yourself, there are other entities that might have a copy of your credit report. Lending institutions for example, would request it to check your credit history. Your history would give them information about your credit that would help them determine if they would be willing to lend you money, and the terms they would impose on it. If you pay your debts promptly, you will have a higher credit score. The higher your score, the more willing creditors would be to lend you money.

You Can Use Your Report to Your Advantage

You can use your credit report for a number of things. First, it can help give you an idea where you most probably stand credit wise. Have you paid other loans and/or credit cards on time or do you often default?

Aside from that, you can check if your information there is accurate and up-to-date. An error may cost you a higher interest rate when you apply for a loan, so it’s best to have it fixed ahead of time.

Finally, you can also use your report to check for any possibility of identity theft. Are there any bank or credit card accounts in your name that doesn’t belong to you? Your report will show that.

In sum, checking your credit report makes a lot of financial sense. So before making any loans or opening up credit card accounts, make sure that you get a copy of your credit report first. What you know may save you from a lot of trouble later on.

14 Mar

Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report!

That’s right, FREE! No more paying, what was it, $15 for your report from just one agency? Nowadays, there are a couple of ways in which you can check your credit report for free.

Most consumer reporting companies provide a free copy of your credit report at your request. Your credit report will include the following:

  • where you live
  • how you pay your bills
  • if you’ve been sued
  • if you’ve been arrested
  • if you’ve filed for bankruptcy

Consumer reporting companies make use of this information and sell it to help establish your credit, insurance, employment and other applications. The type of company’s that buy this kind of information include:

  • creditors
  • insurers
  • employers
  • other business 

There are three major credit bureaus in the US – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, however, do not contact them individually for your free annual credit report. They are providing free annual credit reports only by:

  1. Filling out th Credit Report Request Form at AnnualCreditReport.com which gives you instant access to it online 
     
  2. Calling the following toll free number 1-877-322-8228
     
  3. Sending the Credit Report Request Form to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

You will need to provide your name, address, social security number and date of birth. Be prepared for any other information that they may ask from you like how much your monthly mortgage payment is and who you pay it to. 

But why would you want to get a copy of your credit report? Your credit report will contain all vital information about your credit payment history, such as: 

  • your personal information
  • credit accounts and loans you have with banks
  • credit card companies
  • retailers
  • if you have any bankruptcy
  • tax liens or monetary judgments on record

You can choose between getting a copy of your credit report from all agencies at one time or one at a time different times throughout the year. You can also get your credit score, however you will be charged a small fee by each agency you request it from.

Lastly, make sure that you are ordering your credit check from a legitimate source to avoid fraudulent and deceptive promotions.

13 Mar

What is Credit Card Consolidation?

With the increase of prices in the market today, more and more people are using credit cards to pay for everyday needs. Use of credit cards for purchases such as groceries, gas and other day to day needs can result in unmanageable balances. It’s good to learn how to consolidate your credit cards and ease your way back into being debt-free. Credit card consolidation can involve negotiating with the credit card company to reduce interest, overall payments and/or balance that you still owe.
Some options include:

One example of credit card consolidation is credit counseling. Credit counseling is a process where you talk with the credit card company to negotiate the interest rate charged on your credit card. Page Two of this Credit Article »