How to get a 720 Credit Score in double quick time
Disclaimer: In spite of the fact that Bruce has spent 5 years working this out through trial and error and consulting numerous financial experts - nothing in life is guaranteed and you use this advice at your own discretion and own risk entirely! But it has worked for him and many others, & FAST and he is happy to share it with you.
Nothing affects your life in the USA as much as your credit score. It can cost you thousands of Dollars a year or, if managed correctly, save you thousands a year. Your credit score is determined by THREE agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. They each use different algorithms to calculate your score and creditors will usually take the middle (median) score.
So you need to be aware of all three scores. Scores range from 350 to 850 with a score of 720 being an indicator of Good. A median (middle) score of less than 600 will get you very little credit unless you make a large deposit payment when making a purchase. A score of 600 to 700 will get you credit, but at a price and with supporting paper-work, such as proof of earnings, property-ownership, etc! Your goal needs to be the magical score of 720 when businesses fight to give you credit.
As an immigrant to this country, you start off with the dice loaded against you, more so if you are middle-aged. However, with wise decisions and careful money-management, you can build a good score very quickly. But you can also damage it as quickly.
The first thing the reporting agencies look at is the age of your credit. There's not much you can do here unfortunately the USA credit reporting agencies are not interested in how successful you were in South Africa as far as they are concerned, you start from scratch when you get here.
Secondly, they look at your age, and you get points against you if you are middle-aged or elderly and "have never had credit in the USA". Nothing you can do here either.
But then they look at THREE types of credit fixed property credit, movable property credit and revolving credit. The credit reporting agencies are also starting to consider rental property payments as well.
Fixed Property : Get a mortgage loan as soon as possible and NEVER be late on a single payment. Nothing builds a good credit score as quickly as a solid mortgage repayment schedule. (But remember, nothing tanks your score as quickly as a payment more than 30 days past due!)
Movable Property : Vehicles, furniture and electronics purchased on credit.However, make sure that the store or dealer does in fact report to at least one of the credit reporting agencies. If you are using a store card like Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, they do report account activity. If you are getting a service provided to you, such as pest-control, home-remodeling or land-scaping, check whether they report or not. If they report, pay the account over 6 to 12 months instead of cash. The extra interest you pay over 6 to 12 months could be a great investment in building your credit.
Revolving Credit : These are the major credit cards Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. You want to have a minimum of THREE credit cards and NEVER use more than 30 percent of the credit granted to you on the card. If you can keep the utilization rate down to about 10 percent, even better.
The reporting agencies look at the amount of credit granted on each card and the highest balance recorded this is the Credit Utilization Rate. Each card is evaluated separately. Having two cards with zero balances and high credit facilities and one card that is maxed out does you a lot of damage. Make sure that the credit utilization rate of each card is kept at 30 percent or less. And NEVER miss a monthly payment even if you owe the card company the minimum of $10, pay it and pay it on time.
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report, from each of the reporting agencies, at least every year and also if you were denied credit within the past 60 days. (So, whenever you want a copy of your report, tell them you were denied credit!)Order your reports from the three reporting agencies direct. Do NOT respond to adverts like YourFreeCreditReport.com they are 'phishing' scams looking to steal your identity.
When you get your Credit Reports, look for the following :
1.Are there any accounts being reported on, that are not yours? If so, query them they could be someone else's accounts or you could be the victim of identity theft.
2.Are all of your major accounts being reported on? If not, contact your account-holder and ask them to report on your account.
3.Check your revolving account credit limits. This is a favorite scam by the credit card companies to keep your business and stop you from receiving offers from other companies. One card company will offer you a credit card with a very low credit limit ($300), hoping you will exceed your limit and incur fat over-limit fees. Then they will incorrectly report your credit limit to the reporting agencies as $100 or not report a credit limit at all, in which case your highest balance is deemed to be your limit. Now while you're being a good citizen and keeping your credit utilization rate at $100 or 33 percent of your limit, the reporting agency is recording a 100 percent credit utilization rate and your score is tanking.
4.Be careful about closing accounts, especially if they are old. Remember, your 'oldest' account determines your credit age. Obviously, if this account has some blemishes on it a bunch of late payments it might be worth closing this account.Then wait a few months, pull your credit report and "dispute" the late payments on this account. The reporting agency is obliged to provide proof of the late payments they will have to get the records, proving the late payments, from the account holder within 30 days, failing which, they have to expunge the disputed records. Invariably and since the account has been closed for some time, the account holder will fail to respond to the reporting agency's request and the disputed entry will be deleted from your report.
Your credit reports do not contain your credit scores. Unfortunately you have to order these separately and at a cost of about $5.95 each a cost of about $18 for the 3 scores. And that's doubled if you are pulling scores for both yourself and your spouse. But, in my opinion, well worth the investment every 6 to 12 months.
Beware of joint accounts. You and your spouse have independent social security numbers and independent credit scores. You need to build both sets of scores.When you first arrive in this country, it's usually easier and more convenient to buy everything in the husband's name with wife as co-signatory if required this includes car, bank accounts and credit cards. As a result, hubby gets his score moving while wife has a low score.Then comes the day when you want to buy a big-ticket item such as a home and the mortgage company wants you to be joint purchasers so that you can combined your earnings to qualify for a bigger loan. They pull hubby's scores (probably higher because of activity) and wife's scores (probably lower because of inactivity) and take the average of the two median scores and you either get your application turned down or they go to town on the interest rate.
NEW TIPS! To stop those incessant offers for credit card companies that come in the mail go to : www.optoutprescreen.com/opt_form.cgi
To stop those irritating phone calls from people around dinner time, wanting to sell you anything form insurance to house painting - register at this website to stop these calls for a 5 year period. You will know when your 5 years expires as they will be back onto you ..."like white on rice! "
If you want to contact Bruce Stewart with questions feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org