Tag Archives: credit score

Money Monday: How to know if you’re living beyond your means

“It’s a frightening statistic that 47% of Americans would struggle to come up with $400 to cover an unplanned expense. Yet nearly half of today’s workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with no financial cushion whatsoever, and a big part of the reason boils down to living beyond our means.”

(“3 signs you’re living beyond your means.” CNN Money. 19 Sept 2017.  http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/19/pf/living-beyond-your-means/index.html?iid=SF_LN)

Some indicators that you’re not spending within your budget:

  1. You have a low credit score
  2. Your rent or mortgage payment is more than 30% of your income
  3. You’re not saving at all

Read why these are signs that you’re living too high on the hog here.

Money Monday: Increase your credit score

Quick ways to up your credit score.

“Most people don’t put much thought into their credit scores until the time comes to apply for a loan. If you expect to need financing in the next few months and aren’t convinced your credit score is high enough to get you approved, you’ll need to act quickly to improve your chances. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to boost your credit score in record time.” (“4 tips to increase your credit score fast.” Maurie Backman. 8 May 2017. http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/08/pf/credit-score-tips/index.html?iid=Lead)

One way to increase your credit score? Ask for an increase in your credit limit. But read CNN’s article for more tips! 

Read all of CNN’s article on increasing your credit score here: “4 tips to increase your credit score fast.”

Money Monday: Preparing to Buy a Home

Buying a home — it’s a big decision; one that you should prepare for in advance.

buyers and sellers real estate disclosures“One of the most important things a first-time homebuyer can do is prepare their budget for this big financial event.” (“How to Prepare Your Budget for Buying Your First Home”. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/prepare-budget-buying-first-home-123000854.html)

And there’s a few key ways that you can get your budget in order:

  1. Work on getting your credit score up
  2. Save for a down payment on a house
  3. Prepare for extra costs when buying

Read more on Yahoo’s financial advice on prepping your budget before buying here: “How to Prepare Your Budget for Buying Your First Home”.

Money Monday: What does FICO have to do with my Home Loan?

Your FICO score is the yardstick by which most lenders measure your credit worthiness.

debt calculationThe major credit bureaus keep track of loans that you have taken out in the past and how well you managed this debt. A high FICO score indicates that you have been responsible with the credit extended to you and will reflect positively on applications that you submit, while a lower score indicates that you have had credit issues in the past. Continue reading

Money Monday: Who’s checking your credit?

You may be surprised….

According to the Consumer Federation of America’ research, it’s not just creditors who are looking at your credit scores.

You may not realize this, but creditors are only required to inform consumers that their scores are being checked when consumers have one of the three happen:

  1. They apply for a mortgage
  2. When they haven’t received the best loan terms
  3. When they are denied a loan

Who else may be looking at your credit? 

  • Electric utility companies
  • Cell phone companies
  • Landlords
  • Home insurers

Who is checking your credit score

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS at CAR.org.

Money Monday: How to improve credit scores

10 ways home buyers can improve credit scores

Source: Inman

credit scorePotential home buyers looking to acquire a home loan and make their dream of homeownership a reality can do a lot to ensure their credit scores are in good shape, as buyers will find it easier to get a loan with a few key tips. For example, it is advised that you keep your credit card balances within half of the allowed limit. If you have $10,000 as your limit, then it is wise to restrict your statement amount to $5,000.

Paying in full and on time are obvious steps to improving credit as well, as is paying high-interest and small loans first. Another step is if you know you will be unable to pay on time, negotiate with your bank.

Banks often will be willing to extend your loan period and reduce the equated monthly installment (EMI) if they see a genuine customer.

Read the full story from Inman here.

Money Monday: How to get your credit score in the 800 range

Here’s how to get close to the perfect FICO score of 850, according to MSN:

credit score

  1. Pay the highest debt down or off first
  2. Get positive alternative data reported
  3. Use a personal loan to pay off debt
  4. And more ideas!

Read the rest of MSN’s ideas here!

Money Monday: Prioritize bills when you’re short on cash

How to prioritize which bills to pay

If you’re in a tough spot and can’t pay all of your bills, then you need to make a strategic decision on what to pay and what to delay.

money

Daily Finance gives advice on what “five bills you should always pay on time, each month. Not doing so could damage your credit, leave you with huge financial penalties, or even cause you to lose your home or car.”

1. Your mortgage
2. Student loans
3. Credit card payments
4. Your rent
5. Auto loans

Details on each of these bills to pay and the reasons why you shouldn’t miss payment is covered by Daily Finance. And the bills you need to pay late? They have some tips on dealing with that, too.

Read all of Daily Finance’s article here: “Prioritize These 5 Bills When You’re Short on Cash”.