The Latest Credit Updating Craze

download (18)If you read about the housing market a lot, or you’ve recently been house hunting, you might have heard of something called ‘rapid rescore.’ Essentially, this is a service that mortgage lenders provide to certain clients in order to immediately boost credit scores. The main goal of a Rapid Rescore being to make it easier to purchase a home.

In some instances, a Rapid Rescore can be a good thing, but it’s not a strategy for everyone. If you’re considering paying extra for this service (or just want to know more about it), here’s some detailed information to take into consideration prior to opting for this service.

Not A Clean Slate

If you have bad credit, buying into a Rapid Rescore service isn’t going to fix that bad credit. Here’s what it will do:

  • Update your credit immediately
  • Allow you to purchase a home with updated information

Here’s what a Rapid Rescore won’t do:

  • Fix any major credit problems
  • Help you gain credit approval if your credit is truly bad
  • Eliminate any bankruptcy notifications that might be listed on your credit report.

How It Works

1. Corrected credit report information is updated (so, let’s say that you’ve recently paid off a credit card or two, and you opt for a Rapid Rescore. Instead of waiting months for that update to happen, the information is fixed immediately).

2. The updated details are sent to the credit bureaus.

3. The lender then asks for an updated score that reflects the new changes.

All of this happens within days, but it’s not a service that you can get on your own. This is a value added service that lenders provide to certain people.

Not For Everyone

A Rapid Rescore is a great tool if your credit report needs a small bump – 5-10 points max. But, it’s not a tool that will work (or even be offered) if you’ve missed payments or have bad credit. In order to fix those problems, you will have to fix your credit. Normally, it takes six months to one year to fix credit problems, so keep this in mind prior to shopping for a mortgage. If you see any problems on your credit report, we still recommend fixing those issues in writing.

Getting a higher credit score immediately can make a huge difference where interest is concerned, and for some people it might even mean getting a mortgage as compared to not getting approved at all.

Credit Information and Its Safety

download (17)“A credit rating is an opinion on the financial soundness of an enterprise and its capability to repay its debts and the corresponding interest. It is a tool for risk assessment and as such, it provides investors with a simple and objective indicator of default risk to supplement their own credit evaluation.” (Business Finance and Philippine Business Firms, Nenita D. Mejorada, 2006)

Some of us are willing to give up the complacency and security of a regular job to go into business. We are willing to invest our money on a business where we can be our own master and employer. We make feasible studies, build our network, and offer our products through social eCommerce. But getting into business means having the acumen to take advantage of opportunities. We should know our target market, the goods and services our market needs, the growth and stability of our business, and the financial resources that we have.

There’s a great deal of business opportunities to try out there. A lot of us are willing to grab them but we don’t have the sufficient capital to do so. We may gradually save from our monthly pay, invest our money on assets, or if we’re lucky, we can make use of what our family has. Another option is to approach other parties who are willing to invest in our business. But most people opt to get loans for their business capital instead. These days, banks are more than willing to offer assistance in starting a capital. This what makes credit report an imperative source of information to get loan approval from banks.

What’s in a credit report?

Credit report contains your credit history – the types of credit you use, your account payment history, recent credit and loan applications and how much credit you’ve used. Your basic information, employment history are also included.

This data is being used by credit bureaus to generate your credit scores so you may gain access on your financial situation.

Safety of a credit report

We see a number of credit report available online. We see advertisements enticing us to see our online credit report and score by a click of a button. Initially, we are curious on our credit scores and how we can improve our assets.

But finding a reputable credit reporting is also an important thing to consider. Credit report information and its safety solely relies on verifying the legitimacy of a credit bureau. It should be valid and legal.

Having a secured credit bureau will provide us a privacy policy that gives us details on how our information will be used. They guarantee a secured place for our information which is crucial in safekeeping our data.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Sensitive Personal Information (SPI) must be highly regarded due to the threat of identity stealing. It is essential for everyone to regard the security of their information to avoid future problems. Source: CIBI Information, Inc., a credit bureau in the Philippines (http://www.cibi.com.ph)

Good credit for financial freedom

Managing our credit plays a vital role in our financial life. It is essential not only on getting a strong credit history but it also qualifies us to get a better option in accessing our credit line. What knowledge we have about credit management gives us the control over our future. It is better to be equipped especially when it comes to our finances. And when it comes to finances, it works hand in hand in planning for our future. Financial management draws us away from obligations that may keep us from gaining financial failures. Securing a credit bureau gives us back that financial freedom.

 

Shopping For A First Credit Card

images (8)Long before we are old enough to carry credit cards ourselves, advertisers make sure we know about the power of plastic: “It’s everywhere you want to be.” “It pays to Discover.” “What’s in your wallet?”

While using an ad campaign to choose a card is a terrible idea, the slogans have one thing right: A credit card can be a powerful thing. For teens and 20-somethings looking to pick a first card, taking the time to choose carefully can save money and offer a boost in establishing and building a credit history.

An excellent credit score will be helpful when you start to think about buying a car or getting a mortgage. Even if you do not plan to take out a large loan in the near future, your credit information can be a factor in renting an apartment, obtaining a membership at a club or getting hired for certain jobs.

Lenders use credit reports to determine how risky it is to give a borrower – that is, you – a loan. All in all, the lender just wants to know if the borrower will be able to pay back the loan. If the borrower has bad credit, then he or she probably made some major or ongoing financial mistakes and is more likely not to repay. On the other hand, if the borrower has good credit, then he or she has a history of paying back debt, and the lender will most likely grant the loan.

Credit cards are effectively short-term loans that need to be paid back within a short grace period. Getting the first credit card can be tricky. Credit card companies do not have any basis for your credit history since you have not borrowed any money in the past. So how are you supposed to establish and build your credit rating without a history?

One way is to apply for a secured credit card. Secured credit cards are backed by a deposit that you make upfront. Usually, the amount you deposit will be the same as the card’s credit limit. Everything else is like a regular unsecured credit card: You use the card to buy things; you make monthly payments; and you incur interest if you fail to pay off the full balance. A secured credit card should be only a temporary step to building credit. Try to pay off the total balance every month to show that you are financially responsible. After all, not only do you want to build a credit history, you want to build a good one.

Another effective way to start your credit history is to become an authorized user on someone else’s card. Many parents will designate their children as authorized users on their credit cards so that the children can build credit without the legal obligation to pay the balance every month. However, if the person whose account you are authorized to use does not handle the account properly, their mistakes could end up hurting rather than helping your credit.

Once you establish your credit history, you can shop for your first unsecured credit card. You will quickly discover that there are many to choose from. A number of factors can help narrow the search.

The most important of these is how you intend to use the card. Are you going to use it only for emergencies? If not, will you pay in full each month, or will you carry a balance on the card? Once you decide how you will use the card, follow your self-imposed rules. It is very easy, and dangerous, to continually swipe the card and tell yourself it is for a good reason. But it is crucial to be stubborn about establishing good spending habits, even – or maybe especially – early in life.

If you plan to carry a balance on your card, you must be aware of the interest rate of each card you are considering. The interest rate used by credit card companies is the annual percentage rate, or APR. There are cards with variable APRs, which are based on a certain index (such as the U.S. prime rate). There are also nonvariable APRs, which are usually fixed-rate credit cards. As a beginner, you will usually want a low-rate, nonvariable APR credit card, because knowing your interest rate will give you a sense of how much money you will need each month to pay at least the minimum amount due. A low-rate, nonvariable APR card will therefore help when you create a monthly budget.

In addition to interest rates, pay attention to penalties and fees. Reading the fine print in a contract can save you from owing avoidable charges. The most common fees include balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, fees for requesting a credit limit increase and online or mobile payment fees. Many cards also impose penalties for not paying your bill on time or going over your credit limit. You should hold out for a card with minimal fees and reasonable penalties. Even if other features of a particular card seem attractive, avoid the potential for exorbitant fees and penalties that could hurt your cash flow and your credit history.

Understanding your spending habits will help you determine which incentives will be important to you. Most cards offer rewards programs to their customers or offer cash back for certain purchases. Many cards offer 0 percent APR for the first six to 18 months that your credit card is open. These cards are great if you plan to carry a balance from month to month. Some cards even offer anywhere from 1 to 5 percent cash back on all or certain types of purchases. If you know how you plan to use your card, then certain cards’ rewards programs can save you a lot of money.

As a first-time cardholder, once you have chosen the card that is right for you, you may find it exciting to be able to swipe the piece of plastic and not have to pay in cash. But while credit cards can be useful tools, it is important to not fall into the black hole of credit card debt, which can be all too easy for an inexperienced user. Make sure to know how your credit score works and how to avoid penalties so that you will be able to make larger purchases and secure loans in the future.

Your payment history, the amount of credit you use and the number of negative marks on your credit history have the highest impact on your overall credit score. If you can, pay off your total balance on time each month, ensuring that you have a 100 percent payment history. Paying off your card every month comes with the added bonus of saving you from being charged any interest on a carried balance.

You will also want to use as low a percentage of your credit limit as you can. This ratio is called credit card utilization, and most experts recommend that you try not to go over 30 percent at any time. Credit card companies want to know that you are responsible with your spending and that you will be able to pay off your balance each month. You can either spend less each month or increase the credit limit on your card to lower the percentage used. You can also pay more than once per month.

Obviously, you should avoid any negative marks on your credit history. These can include collection accounts, bankruptcies, foreclosures, civil judgments or tax liens. Although someone applying for a first credit card typically will not have had time to worry about bankruptcies or foreclosures, keep in mind that such problems can severely damage your ability to secure credit in the future.

As a first-time applicant, you may find that the length of your credit history, the total number of accounts open or closed in your name and the number of credit inquiries also have an adverse rating on your credit score. Your credit history will be short. You will not have many open or closed accounts. Your first credit inquiry will most likely be from the company where you applied for your first credit card. Be patient. Building a credit history takes time, but as a young adult, staying on top of your finances, and especially your credit cards, will help you in the long run.

Credit cards can be both powerful and dangerous, but they are also a convenient part of everyday life for most of us. A first credit card offers a great opportunity to establish positive financial habits that will serve you well for a lifetime.

How To Remove Incorrect Credit Report Information After Bankruptcy

download (16)If you have recently declared bankruptcy and want to rebuild your credit, it is essential that you regularly check your credit report to make sure that all of the details are correct. In reality, everyone needs good credit. Even if you never intend on buying a home or a new car, your credit score will still impact your life. A bad credit score may require you to pay more for car insurance or cost you more for your monthly cell phone plan.

Likewise, a bad credit score could cost you a dream job. So, please keep this in mind when thinking about the time and effort it will take to clean up the credit report. If you have never attempted to clean up your score before, it’s not that hard, and we will make it much more manageable for you. It’s easy to become preoccupied with life and assume that all information reported is accurate, but this is not the case most of the time.

In addition to taking the time to view your credit reports regularly, you must also follow the correct steps to make sure that any false or wrongly stated information is rectified — otherwise, this incorrect information will still prevent you from rebuilding your credit and cost you more MONEY. This will really become important in the two years following a bankruptcy when you are trying to re-establish your credit.

Here are the correct steps to take.

1. Review your credit report thoroughly and regularly. To do this DO NOT use an online company like Equifax in order to view your credit report. Why? You might lose certain rights in order to comply with that company’s own rules (each company is different). Instead, write to annualcreditreport.com and use the MAIL IN form to request your credit report.

Note: you MUST ask for your report in writing. Sure, it may seem archaic, but it’s the only really good way to get all of your credit information and not be taken advantage of by the credit reporting agencies.

2. Once you have your report, take a good look at it. Since you have declared bankruptcy, all debts that can be cleared should be cleared. Next to any cleared debts the note ‘zero balance discharged in bankruptcy’ should appear. If there is anything else written — anything at all! — make sure to correct that detail. The above statement is the only one that should appear.

3. If there is any wrong information on your credit report, write directly to the credit agency that has reported the wrong information. One again, it is very important that you do not take the easy road on this and email or call the credit reporting agency, this dispute must be submitted in writing. You cannot submit this information online or through an email because you may not be able to prove your case if they fail or refuse to remove the negative information. Why am I telling you to take the hard way? Evidence, that’s why. When I sue the credit reporting agencies, I need evidence. Without evidence, you do not have a case.

A Long Process
Again, it’s a lot simpler to ask for a credit report online and to submit things online, but this is not what we recommend. Even though it takes a while to submit information or ask for a credit report in writing, this is the absolute best way to go about this process. It’s important that you consider what you might be giving up when you gain information through any kind of private company, so keep this in mind when tempted to ask for credit rating details electronically.

A Qualified Bankruptcy Attorney Can Help
It might not seem like there’s a lot involved in declaring bankruptcy, but a good legal team can do a lot more than plead your case. When you select a bankruptcy lawyer, it’s important that the lawyer you choose helps you decide whether or not bankruptcy is actually the right course for you. In some cases bankruptcy is ideal, but in other cases it’s not the best solution.