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build credit Archives | Ovation Credit Repair Services

Build, Grow & Repair Credit

By | Your Credit

Whether you’re new to having credit or you’ve had credit cards for years, growing your credit, protecting it and repairing your credit takes work. This guide can help you manage all of your debts and improve your credit score.

Topics in This Guide:

Build or Rebuild Credit at Any Age:

  • Access and Review Your Credit Reports
  • How High Balances Affect Your Credit
  • How Long Does it Take to Repair Credit?
  • How to Avoid Paying Credit Card Interest
  • How to Improve My Credit Score
  • How to Repair Credit Mistakes
  • How to Repair Credit When You Don’t Have a Job
  • Identity Theft and Your Credit
  • Using Your Tax Refund to Pay Off Credit Cards

Credit and Mortgages/Refinancing a Home:

  • How to Pick the Best Type of Mortgage
  • Refinancing a Home and How it Affects Your Credit

Let’s begin!

Build or Rebuild Credit at Any Age

If you’re in college, you might ask yourself, am I “too young” to start building credit? The best time for credit-building is when you have a reliable job and pay your bills on time every month.

Your credit report is the history of your credit payments, and items stay on your reports for up to 10 years, or longer for student loans. Typically, you’ll have credit cards, lines of credit, student loans and installment loans. To build credit, use credit moderately and pay the balances quickly.

Access and Review Your Credit Reports

You can receive a free credit report annually from AnnualCreditReport.com using a secure, private computer. You need to enter your social-security number, address and date of birth. Then you can view credit reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax and make copies of your report. Remember never to save it on a public computer.

Familiarize yourself with your credit report. It shows accounts that are open, closed, paid-off and in collections. It also gives your payment dates. It may include student loans, installment loans, bankruptcies or other accounts.

Tip: You can access a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com.

How High Balances Affect Your Credit

When you carry high debts, you can damage your credit score even if you pay minimum balances on time. High balances let creditors know that you might be struggling to make payments.

How Long Does it Take to Repair Credit?

To repair your credit, businesses have 30 to 45 days to respond to disputes. After that, disputed items like collection accounts are removable.

How to Avoid Paying Credit Card Interest

If you pay your full balance each month, then you won’t have to pay interest. Always pay on time to avoid late fees.

How to Improve My Credit Score

Your credit-card payment history makes up 35 percent of your credit score. To improve your score, keep your balances low. Pay on time and never let accounts go into collections or charge-offs that are 180-days past due. If you fall behind, then make the payment as soon as you can.

How to Repair Credit Mistakes

Maybe you’ve done a search online for “how to fix my credit.” First, review your credit reports and flag anything that you don’t recognize or anything older than seven years. To dispute credit mistakes, select the option “dispute” when your credit report is open and give the reason. For example, maybe you don’t recognize the account, or it’s older than seven years.

Creditors have 30 to 45 days to respond, but you might hear back from them sooner. If they don’t respond, then you can often remove disputed items from your account’s report.

How to Repair Credit When You Don’t Have a Job

If you’ve lost your job and fallen behind on payments, talk to the collection agencies about making smaller payments. You may be able to remove collection accounts older than seven years if you dispute them on your report. Never discuss bills older than seven years with collection agencies because any correspondence reopens the account.

For further help, check with Ovation Credit for credit-repair assistance.

Identity Theft and Your Credit

If you want to know how to dispute credit report charges you don’t recognize when you’re on a credit-report site viewing your report, then select the option to “dispute” on your screen and give further details.

If anyone has stolen your identity, then contact the credit-reporting bureau and your credit-card company. You may need to file a police report to block any further fraudulent transactions on your account. Having a company that monitors your credit is very beneficial to avoid situations like this.

Using Your Tax Refund to Pay off Credit Cards

Use tax refunds to pay off credit-card debts. The average refund is $3,000, and you’ll improve your credit score. With better credit, you can get lower interest rates.

Credit and Mortgages/Refinancing a Home

How to Pick the Best Type of Mortgage

To pick the best mortgage, talk to your bank about mortgage options. FHA mortgages or those by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs can be more-affordable options. U.S. Department of Agriculture mortgages and the first-time buyers program are also worth considering.

Refinancing a Home and How it Affects your Credit

Refinancing your mortgage is taking out a new loan to replace your current loan. People take this step to lock in lower interest rates. When banks run a credit report, it can lower your score slightly. If it’s only one inquiry, then it may not affect your credit that much.

Bottom Line

Credit cards often lead to debts and huge responsibilities. By paying your credit-card bills on time, you can have a good credit score and better interest rates for years to come!

References:

www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/how-to-choose-the-best-mortgage/

http://blog.credit.com/2017/10/my-debt-was-charged-off-what-does-that-mean-120856/

 

Build Credit: New Credit Lines vs. Authorized User

By | Credit Cards

“It takes credit to build credit.”

This statement is all-too-common and a big reason for why many new borrowers turn to relatives for help. The method of becoming an authorized user to build credit is nothing new. In fact, many parents put their children down as authorized users on their own credit cards for this exact reason.

But, is the authorized user route really better than trying to build credit with new credit lines or is this all just a mirage?

Build Credit Credit Card

 

Credit Lines & Authorized Users, What’s the Difference?

A credit line is a fresh account — this could be a credit card, loan, line of credit or something else. An “authorized user” is merely someone placed on your account for the purpose of permitting them to access your credit line.

Why Add an Authorized User?

In most cases, this is done so multiple individuals can legally share a credit card. The example of a child accessing a parent’s funds is a common scenario. Many spouses will also do this, especially if only one has good credit.

Next, some people choose to add authorized users to their accounts to help the other person build their credit. This technique is debated heavily and for good reason, but it can be effective if the circumstances are right. Even so, it’s important that the primary account holder knows what they are getting into before they help.

Does an Authorized User Hurt Your Credit?

Co-signing for a home loan will potentially destroy the co-signers credit score. The impact is not so extensive when merely adding an authorized user to an account. But there is still a majority similarity between these two situations because the main borrower is extending trust to the authorized party.

The primary account holder does take on an inherent risk, but not in the same sense as with co-signing a loan. There will be no credit score damage for the act of adding an authorized user. The problem comes as a result of the authorized user being irresponsible — for example, the primary cardholder’s score will drop from late payments.

Can Authorized Users Build Credit This Way?

Many credit card issuers will report authorized users to the credit bureau. These entries will not show the same as they do for the primary borrower. Positive behavior will look good and influence a better credit score in the long run. Negative behavior will do the opposite and can drag down the authorized user’s credit score too.

Furthermore, it’s important to look at just how damaging an authorized user can be for the primary account holder. The best way to understand this is by looking at how a person’s FICO score is calculated in the first place. Here’s the breakdown for the vast majority of FICO scores that exist:

  • Payment history (35 percent)
  • Amounts owed (30 percent)
  • Length of credit history (15 percent)
  • New credit (10 percent)
  • Credit mix (10 percent)

For the primary borrower, the biggest drag here happens with the “amounts owed,” particularly when an authorized user maxes the card. The utilization rate will hit 100 percent for this card and will ultimately lift the total credit utilization rate between accounts. The primary holder will feel obliged to pay off the debt for the authorized user — and if they don’t, their credit score could decline as a result.

For the authorized user, there’s not much to complain about when considering the scoring metrics above. The biggest issue arises when the primary account holder needs to extract funds from the card. This action could make it seem that the authorized borrower has a really high utilization rate, even when it’s not their fault. The other variables, such as new credit and payment history, are not as important and are a non-factor when there’s no borrowing history.

The Better Option: Build Credit With a Credit Card

The faster way of obtaining a higher credit score is by establishing credit lines directly under yourself. Forget about the authorized user option and begin building your score with a basic credit card.

Believe It or Not, Secured Credit Cards Rock!

Here’s a good idea: Go for a secured credit card and plop down a $1,000-$3,000 collateral. Make sure it’s a card that offers conversion to unsecured after you prove that you are a responsible and trustable borrower.

Why? Because a higher credit limit helps and makes it less difficult to be active with your card without triggering a high utilization rate. This factor is very important because your debt-to-credit ratio weighs heavily on your FICO score. In fact, 30 percent of your credit score comes down to this single variable.

Conclusion

Building your credit can be difficult when you have no history to show a card issuer or lender. Having someone who will put you down as an authorized user can often help, but only if the creditor reports you as well. Be careful before getting into any of these situations — and if you want quicker results, set up your own credit lines instead.

Sources:

http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-utilization-fico-1270.php

www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/credit-card-secured-unsecured-change-switch/

https://wallethub.com/edu/authorized-user/24717/

http://blog.ovationcredit.com/2017/03/understanding-your-credit/

Build Good Credit: 4 Ways With Retail Credit Cards

By | Credit Cards, Credit Repair

Build Good Credit Retail Credit Cards

Building good credit can seem like rocket science when you think of all the pieces that make up your credit score, but what if we told you it can be easily done. You know the days of carrying large amounts of cash are long gone, and who even considers writing a check anymore?  That leaves two payment options: debit and credit cards.  Almost every retailer now has its own credit card and it is nearly impossible to purchase anything without hearing those sweet little “money saving” words, “Would you like to apply for our credit card and save 10 percent on today’s purchase?”

That phrase is parroted by retail sales associates throughout the nation all day, every day, and the bottom line is that when we answer yes, we don’t really consider the circumstances of our response.  In fact, according to a study commissioned by Credit Karma, 45% of respondents never gave a second thought to their credit score after hearing the word ‘discount’.

Who doesn’t love to save money?  But is a one-time 10 percent discount really worth a new credit card?  Perhaps so, if you follow these guidelines on managing your new retail card properly to build good credit.

1. Use your card on a regular basis

This might seem odd, but the concept can work to your benefit.  By using your card regularly and responsibly, you build good credit.  If you open the card and never use it again, eventually the issuer will make it inactive and you will have received no benefit beyond your one-time discount.

2. Place limits on your spending

Resist the temptation to use the card by not carrying it with you all the time and storing it somewhere safe.  When you plan to use it, have a budget in mind.  Use it for things you would normally purchase rather than going on a spending binge.

3. Pay your bill on time

Check your first statement as soon as it comes and know when your payment date is.  Read the terms and agreement so you are aware of associated fees.  Pay off the balance each month and never miss a payment.  One missed payment can stay on your credit history for up to seven years.

4. Watch your total credit utilization

Be aware of your total credit utilization for all of your cards.  This is the percentage of your total credit limits you are using at a given time.  Most credit score models will use the following equation as a means of determining your creditworthiness: credit card balances divided by credit card limits equals credit utilization.  A credit utilization of 20% is a healthy guideline to follow.

Store credit cards generally have higher interest and lower limits.  You should consider this when deciding whether or not you want to apply in order to get a discount on a larger priced item, such as electronics or furniture.  But when managed well, they can help you establish good spending habits and build good credit.  If you have questions about your credit utilization or need help establishing better credit it may be wise to contact a credit repair specialist, such as Ovation Credit Repair Services.

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