As your post-holiday credit card statements arrive in the mail, you´ll probably think about what you spent. But have you thought about how much of your personal and financial information was exposed? Sounds like the perfect time to check your Credit Report!
In the past you had to be careful of the carbons when they “swiped” your credit card. Today credit thieves have a whole new high tech and low tech bag of tricks. The only way to make sure you’re safe is to take precautions and regularly check your credit report for inaccuracies, you know, the key changes on your report that could either indicate identity theft or a reporting error.
There are several differences between a “short mortgage” sale and a mortgage foreclosure and the effects between the two are substantial for all involved including the borrower or mortgage holder, the bank and a potential real estate agent.
For the borrower, the benefits of a short sale include not having the “foreclosure” designate on a credit report, eliminating the opportunity for the lender to take legal action against the borrower for the difference between the negotiated “accepted” price and the actual cost of the property (with a no recapture allotment) and zero tax implications as long as the short sale is completed and closed before the year-end 2012. Even if the short sale text is reported to the credit bureaus (which, again, any wording or verbiage can be negotiated), a borrower will not have to wait the industry standard 24 months for another mortgage. The obvious benefit for the lender is they no longer have to absorb the operating cost nor the liability of the property until the property is either auctioned off or becomes an REO (Real Estate Owned) property. The lender knows the realized settlement net because of the accepted offer.
Information you as a consumer should know about Credit Bureaus. The Credit Bureaus make money selling your information. The three major Credit Bureaus are in business for two main reasons only and those reasons are to make money, and be profitable for their shareholders. They make their money by selling consumer information to other businesses who lend money. With this information those businesses can assess the risk level of potential borrowers. Many of those businesses are:
Credit Card companies
Employers (with your permission only)
The Bureaus enjoy greater financial success if you have low scores. As a rule, credit card companies do not spend nearly as much money buying the personal information belonging to people that have good credit.
Accumulation of new debt is the remaining 10% of your credit score. It is comprised of how much new debt you are applying for. It takes into consideration how many accounts you currently have open, how long it has been since you opened a new account, and how many requests (Inquiries) you have for new credit within a 12 month time period. If you go out today and apply for credit, that creditor requests information from the Credit Bureaus. This counts as a Hard Inquiry on your report. If you have a lot of Inquiries in a short period of time, your scores will be impacted. If you request your own report, that is considered a Soft Inquiry and doesn’t count against your score, or show up on your report.
A healthy mix of credit accounts, represents 10% of your credit score. The Credit Bureaus take into account the “mix” of credit items you have on your report. This part of your credit score is affected by what kinds of accounts you have and how many of each.
The Bureaus will score you higher if you have an open mortgage, 3 credit cards, 1 auto loan, and a small amount of other open accounts. This mix tells the Bureaus that you can handle any type of loan. If you have a ton of credit cards, your scores will be lowered. If you have several mortgages, your scores will be lower. Any, “unhealthy” account mixes lower your scores. The preferred number of credit cards is 3. This means you will actually have a higher credit score if you have 3 open credit cards than if you have two or less. BUT, don’t run out and cancel your cards just yet. REMEMBER, 30% of your score is comprised of your balances in relation to your maximum credit limit. So keep your cards open, but focus on having 3 LARGE balance cards for ultimate impact. Maintain a healthy mix of accounts and your credit score will be golden.
Length of credit history, or your “time in the bureau”, accounts for 15% of your credit score. The older you are, and the longer you have had credit accounts for, the higher the score. This is broken down into 3 sub categories:
Time since accounts opened.
Time since accounts opened, by specific type of account.
Time since account activity.
Your credit history length is important when it comes to understanding your score as a longer credit history is looked upon more favorably than a shorter one. Someone with a credit history of 6 months isn’t going to look as impressive as someone with a history of 6 years. It takes time to establish a payment history. Those with longer credit histories typically have higher incomes as well.
The second largest factor in your credit scores is the amount you owe in relation to your high credit limits termed Credit Utilization Ratio, or CUR. This accounts for 30% of your score calculation. If you are carrying high credit card balances, you can actually hurt your credit scores almost as much as paying the account late every month. This aspect of your credit score has several different factors. The first factor is your relation of balances you owe on all of your accounts in relation to the high credit limits on those accounts. Once again, this takes into consideration balances on ALL of your accounts combined. Your credit score also takes into account balances in relation to high credit limits on your individual accounts also.
The three major Credit Bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, all work off of a similar scoring system. This system is based on a singular postulation: will you become 90 days late in the next 2 years? The scoring system they all use, (with minute variables) can be broken down into 5 categories; or 5 pieces of a pie. I will discuss the first part of that credit pie today.
Your payment history is the largest aspect of your credit score, as you might expect. In total, your pay history accounts for 35% of your total score. This portion of your total score calculation is based on your prior payment history with your creditors. Late payments, defaulted accounts, bankruptcies, and all other NEGATIVE information on your credit report have the greatest effect. The more recent the late payment, the greater the damage is to your credit score. If you go late on your mortgage this month, the Mortgage Industry Option scoring model could drop your scores over 120 points. That is with only one 30 day late payment!
Well, after several years of research I’ve finally published my much anticipated E-book. The Midas Guide to Credit and Business Funding is now available by going to: www.bizfunding101.com. And yes I’m pretty excited. The hard launch was Monday and we’ve sold five books so far.
The book is broken into three sections. The first section talks about both business and personal credit and dispels all myths about each. Loaded with nothing but the facts and what you need to have to enjoy perfect personal and business credit. The second section reveals all loan products available to a small biz owner. In laymans terms, I describe each and every product so you can make an educated decision as to how and where you fit. The third section is about something no one has ever written. You all know I’m a loan broker. I charge fees! Those fees can sometimes be hard to swallow. With this guide I am providing the exact model I use to get people funded every day. I tell you everything you need in your funding package and I give you two hours of personal counseling on picking a product and getting funded. This sounds mundane but what if you could get the money you need and not have to pay thousands in broker fees?
There is so much misinformation out there about how your credit works. Let me dispel the myths right now with the exact information right from Fair Isaac, the creator of the FICO scoring system that is in widespread use. Your credit score is made up of five factors:
The length of your credit history makes up 15% of your score. In other words, how long have you had things like credit cards, home loans, and auto loans. The longer the better. DO NOT under any circumstances close old unused accounts simply to clean up your credit report. This will hurt your credit!
Obtaining new credit accounts for 10% of your score. When someone starts to apply and get approved for numerous credit accounts, lenders worry about over extension. They see this by looking at the number of “hard” inquiries on your bureau reports. Each hard inquiry can take 2-5 points away from your score and remain on your report for as long as two years.