Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why it's important to know what's on your credit report and how it can save you money.

Most of us know that our credit scores are very important numbers but have you ever considered what your credit score could be costing you?Over half of all lenders use FICO (better known as your credit score) scores when considering a loan request. Your FICO score also helps determine what your interest rate and down payment will be when purchasing such things as a home or car. If your score is on the low side you can expect to have a higher interest rate on your loans and credit cards probably costing you thousands of dollars through out your lifetime.Along with costing you money a low credit score can prevent you from being hired by an employer, renting an apartment, or even cause you to pay more out in insurance premiums.

Are you wondering how your FICO score is calculated?

35% - Your Payment History
30% - Amounts You Owe
15% - Length of Your Credit History
10% - Types of Credit Used
10% - New Credit

If you have a low credit score here are some things you can do to raise it.

1. Visit and request a copy of your credit report from the 3 major consumer reporting companies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. is the only authorized online source to obtain a FREE credit report, created by the three consumer credit reporting companies Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You are entitled to a FREE report from each reporting company every 12 months.

2. Once you have a copy of your credit report dispute delinquent accounts. Write or call the collection agency and ask for written proof of the delinquency if no evidence can be provided they have to stop all collections attempts and delete that collections account from your credit report.

3. Limit the number of credit cards you have open and keep the balances low.

4. Pay your bills on time. A late payment can negatively impact your score by as much as 20 points.

5. Try to get current on past due accounts. Call the creditor and see if some payment arangements can be made.

6. Live within your means. Make a budget and stick to it.

7. When the option is available enroll for automatic bill pay. This will help prevent you from making late payments.

Taking control over the amount of debt you have today will save you money in the future.