What’s all this commotion over credit?
Your credit rating has a lot to do with purchasing real estate, and many times is the determining factor that makes your next purchase smooth or a very ugly road. Each person owes it to themselves to keep a close eye on their credit. I’ve seen an increase of incoming clients whose records show traces of identity theft, which many times are just self discovered when undergoing the loan process. It shouldn’t be this way! You should consistently monitor your credit throughout the year. Checking your credit isn’t at all hard; now there’s a way to get your credit report for free. That’s right; you can get your annual credit report and not have to pay a single dime for it.
If you want to minimize headaches before buying your next piece of real estate, be sure that your reports are free of collections, late-pays, and inquiries. This will overall improve your score and make acquiring a loan an easy process to endure. Please read on to learn how credit plays a role in acquiring your next real estate investment, and how to get all three bureau reports for free.
There are three different credit bureaus: Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. If you’ve ever considered financing a car or getting a loan from you bank, you’ve undoubtedly come across Equifax’s Beacon score rating. The other two bureaus still have their own scores for you, but many times you’ll find the score to be different. In real estate, they will take the middle of your three credit scores. For example, if you have a 623, 645, 635, your loan officer will be able to get you different loan programs based on your 635 score. Equifax has a 3-in-1 product that’ll pull all three of your reports for $29.95. Each bureau should have a product like this.
REMEMBER: Pulling your own credit WILL NOT affect your score, nor will it give any inquiries. So don’t worry about pulling your credit periodically for review. In fact, I recommend it just to check for mistakes, unknown accounts (identity theft), etc. Below you will find the contact information for each bureau. This is also where you can send letters to dispute late pays, inquiries, etc.
Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc, P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374.
To order your report: 1-800-685-1111, to report fraud: 1-800-525-6285,
Web site: http://www.equifax.com/
Experian (formerly TRW), National Consumer Assistance Center, PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013.
To order report: 1-888-397-3742, to report fraud: 1-888-397-3742
Web site: http://www.experian.com
TransUnion, Consumer Disclosure Center, P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022.
To order report: 1-800-888-4213, to report fraud: 1-800-916-8800
Web site: http://www.transunion.com
Though your credit plays a major role in nearly every major purchase you make, most people don’t think about their credit until they need it. And a recent report issued by Congress found most consumers know their credit reports and credit scores are important, but they know less about what factors can affect them. Following are some common credit myths and some facts to set the record straight.
Credit Myth #1: Checking your own credit can lower your credit score. This is probably one of the most common credit myths out there. When you or someone else accesses your credit file, it is referred to as an inquiry. Your own requests for your credit report, promotional inquiries by credit card companies, and “checkup” inquiries by your existing creditors do not affect your credit rating. An inquiry made by a lender in order to evaluate your loan or credit application may lower your credit rating, however.
Credit Myth #2: You have one credit score. This is another myth that can be confusing for consumers. There are many types of credit scores — including those developed by the each of the three major credit reporting companies. These scores can vary, because sometimes the information in your credit history varies from one company to another. So it is wise to check your scores first before applying for a loan. The FICO credit score developed by Fair Isaac Corporation is the credit score used most by lenders. It is unique to each individual and takes into account such factors as the length of your credit history, your debt-to-credit ratio and payment history.
Credit Myth #3: The higher your salary, the higher your score. Not true. In fact, your income and net worth are not reported to any credit reporting company. Your score is based largely upon the amount of debt you have and your payment history. The more of your debt you pay off, the likelier it is that you’ll see a positive change in your score.
Credit Myth #4: Paying off debt will immediately increase your credit score. This is something many consumers have difficulty understanding. While paying down debt is likely to have a positive impact on your credit score, it won’t change your score overnight. Creditors report their customers’ payment information to credit reporting companies on a periodic basis, so it may take some time before payments you’ve made are reflected in your credit score
Credit Myth #5: Credit card offers can hurt your score. While applying for or opening several credit cards in a short amount of time could have a negative impact on your credit score, the actual offers you receive in the mail have no effect on your score. Getting Your Report For Free–You may now receive your credit report for free, once a year, from each of the bureaus listed above. A good tip would be to request one from a different bureau every four months so that you may receive your credit report three times a year for free! The site that you may visit to get your credit report is at:http://www.annualcreditreport.com