Thursday, April 19, 2007

How long do bankruptcies and foreclosures stay on a credit report?

Bankruptcies and foreclosures can remain on a credit report for seven to 10 years. Some lenders will consider an borrower earlier if they have reestablished good credit. The circumstances surrounding the bankruptcy can also influence a lender's decision.

For example, if you went through a bankruptcy because your employer had financial difficulties, a lender may be more sympathetic. If, however, you went through bankruptcy because you overextended personal credit lines and lived beyond your means, the lender probably will be less inclined to be flexible.

For more info and to order your credit report with FREE credit score please visit

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How Do You Improve Your Credit Score?

There is no one thing that will always improve your score. In general, there are several things you can do to increase or maintain your score.

  • Pay your bills on time - This the single most important factor tied to having a good score.
  • Establish a credit history - Having a few debts is good, it shows that you can responsibly pay for items. Keeping those accounts open for many years also helps 'age' your report
  • Don't take on too much debt - The more debt you owe the higher risk you are to future creditors. Don't spread yourself too thin.

Article source: From Experian

For more info and to order your credit report with FREE credit score please visit

Monday, April 16, 2007

Know Your Credit Score

Just about every time your credit is reviewed by an authorized party, they are looking at more than just your credit report. In addition to your credit history, which breaks down each of your past and present credit relationships, they may also be looking at your credit score to evaluate your credit health.

A credit score is a number that is generated through the use of statistical models using elements from your credit report. Your score, which is a fluid number, is not physically a part of your credit report; it is calculated at the time that a lender requests your credit report.

Chances are that you have already viewed your score and perhaps even seen it change over time. Because scores and scoring education have only recently become available to consumers, CreditExpert's scoring tools may raise questions and we're offering some answers to frequently asked questions we've received on this topic. Keep in mind that there are many credit scores in use by lenders today, but by consistently monitoring the same score like you see on CreditExpert, you'll have a good understanding of how scores change and are influenced by your credit behavior.

Why has my score changed in just a week, I haven't done anything different?

Your score can fluctuate based on when your creditors send us their information. Perhaps your balance increased on one or two of your credit cards or the age of your credit file has changed. Aging (how long you have had credit) indicates stability. A longer credit history will give you a higher score.

Over time, these fluctuations will "balance" themselves out so most likely if you have not changed your behavior the score will be fairly steady month to month. Although you can view your updated score daily, checking it on a monthly basis should be sufficient for tracking purposes.

Article source: From Experian

For more info and to order your credit report with FREE credit score please visit

Friday, April 13, 2007

Preventing Identity Theft

What strikes young or old, male or female, rich or poor?

Identity Theft, it topped the Federal Trade Commission's list of consumer complaints in 2002, and has cost consumers $343 million during that year. There were approximately 500,000 identity theft victims who filed a police report in 2001.

What is Identity Theft?

It's the act of using someone's personal information (such as a name, account number, driver's license, health insurance card, or Social Security number, for example) without that person's knowledge, and using the assumed identity to commit fraud or theft. Oftentimes, the personal information is used to get loans or open credit-card accounts. Some victims who have had their identity stolen have lost job opportunities, been refused loans and housing, been left with destroyed credit and reputations.

You can't prevent it from happening to you, but you can take precautions to make sure you're not an easy target!

  • Keep track of your personal information and only share the information with a company you know and trust. Read and understand the fine print in every document.
  • Protect your Social Security number and mother´s maiden name. Avoid giving personal information out over the phone. Never post your Social Security number on your checks, outside of envelopes, etc.
  • Minimize the number of identification information and financial cards you carry in your wallet and sign all new credit cards upon receipt. Write “Check ID” after your signature as a note to shopkeepers to ask for identification.
  • Keep your new and canceled checks in a safe place, and report lost or stolen checks to the issuing financial institution immediately.
  • Never leave receipts at bank machines, bank counters, trash receptacles, or unattended gas pumps. Save them and match them against your monthly bills, and then shred them.
  • Buy only from secure Internet sites. Look for the closed lock icon to appear at the bottom of your browser to check the site´s security status. Also, check the site´s privacy policies to make sure they are not distributing or selling your name and information without your permission.
  • Shred any documents that have any personal information or credit account numbers on them before discarding, including tax returns and unwanted credit card offers.
  • Report all lost or stolen credit cards. If you applied for a new credit card and it has not arrived in a timely manner, call the bank or credit card company that is issuing the card.
  • Follow up with creditors if your bills do not arrive on time. A missing credit card bill could mean an identity thief has changed your billing address to cover his/her tracks.
  • Notify your credit card companies and financial institutions in advance of any change of address or telephone number. Make sure to contact the sender if your statements are not received in the mail by their usual time.
  • Monitor your credit. Check your credit report regularly from the three credit-reporting agencies for any unfamiliar changes, such as new accounts, inquiries, or public records.
  • Order your Social Security Earnings and Benefits Statement annually to check for fraud by calling 1.800.772.1213.
For more info and to order your credit report with FREE credit score please visit

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What Is a Credit Bureau?

A credit bureau or credit reporting agency is in the business of gathering, maintaining, and selling information about consumers' credit histories. It collects information about consumers' payment habits from credit grantors like banks, savings and loans, credit unions, finance companies, and retailers. The credit bureau stores this information in a computer database and sells it to credit grantors in the form of credit reports. When you apply for a new credit card or loan, the credit grantor orders your credit report from at least one credit bureau and analyzes the information to decide whether to grant you credit. The credit bureau charges the credit grantor a fee for every credit report sold.

Although credit-reporting agencies provide your credit report to lenders when you apply for credit, they do not make actual lending decisions. It is up to individual lenders to evaluate your credit report and any other factors they consider important and then decide whether or not to offer you credit.

The Three Consumer Credit Bureaus

There are three major credit bureaus providing nationwide coverage of consumer credit information in the United States: ExperianEquifax, , and TransUnion. Although many national lending institutions report consumer credit information to all three, smaller banks and other credit grantors may report to only one—or even none. Therefore, your credit report from one credit bureau is not necessarily exactly the same as your credit report from anothe

For more info and to order your credit report with FREE credit score please visit

Can Your Credit Score Go Down If You Apply For Too Many Credit Cards?


Applying for too many credit cards can lower your credit score. One of the aspects of your credit report/history that affects your credit score is your average account age or the average amount of time that you have had open accounts.

Each time you are approved for a new account, it reduces your average account age, since the new account has only just been opened. By opening several new accounts within a short time period, the average is decreased even more drastically, which can result in a lower score.

For more info and to order your credit report with FREE credit score please visit

Monday, April 9, 2007

Tips To Repair Your Credit Score

People in debt should be careful to pay their monthly installments punctually and stick to the deadlines agreed upon. Drifting from this will result in a bad credit history. A bad credit record entered into your Credit File will ensure that you will not get a bank loan. Even mortgage brokers will not be willing to assist you. Thus, it is imperative primarily to maintain a clean credit history as also to repair and restore your damaged credit record.

For more info and to order your credit report with FREE credit score please visit

Friday, April 6, 2007

Credit Score Confusion

Answers to six commonly-asked questions about credit scores

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who don’t know their credit scores, you could be missing out on an opportunity to save money on your mortgage, cars, jewelry, electronics, vacations and anything else you may charge.

Your credit score is an estimate of your credit risk, which is based on your credit report. Lenders use this number to determine how likely you will be to repay a loan or line of credit in a timely manner. The higher the score, the more likely you’ll receive a lower interest rate, and ultimately save money.

Only 27 percent of consumers understand that credit scores measure credit risk – not credit knowledge, amount of credit or attitude toward credit, according to the Consumer Federation of America.

"There are many misconceptions circulating about the function and purpose of credit scores," said Mike Sullivan, director of education for Take Charge America, a national non-profit credit counseling agency. "Yet, this three-digit number can impact you financially nearly every day of your life."

American consumers have an average of 13 credit obligations on record at a credit bureau, according to Fair Isaac Corporation, which pioneered the most common credit score, called the FICO score. These obligations include commonly-used credit cards, store cards, gas cards and installment loans, each of which has an impact on your credit score.

To help sort out the confusion, Sullivan answers six common questions about credit scores:

· Do I have only one credit score? No, lenders are not required to report to each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Each agency may have different information on your report, and therefore, a different score.

· If I continually check my credit report, will that lower my credit score? You can check your report directly from the three credit bureaus as many times are you want, and it will not affect your credit score. You can visit ReliaCredit - to obtain your FREE Credit score from all three credit card bureaus

· If I cancel a credit card, can that lower my credit score? Yes, canceling credit cards can actually decrease your score. For instance, if you have $50,000 in available credit and owe $10,000, then you owe 20 percent of your available credit. If you close an account with a $30,000 credit limit, you will then owe the same $10,000 but it will be 50 percent of your available credit. That lowers your credit score. It also affects the history part of your score, lowering it even further.

· Does my salary affect my credit score? Your credit score is based on the amount of credit and debt you have, not how much money you make. If you receive a raise, and your credit and debt remain th
e same, your credit score will not improve. If you receive a raise and use that extra money to pay down your debt, then your credit score will improve.

· Does shopping for a loan lower my credit score? While multiple inquiries do show up on your credit report, they do not necessarily damage your score. If the same types of inquiries are made within 14 days of each other, they only count as one inquiry on your credit report. Keep in mind that this applies to loans, not credit cards.

· If I only use cash to make purchases, will I improve my credit score? Your credit score is determined by the amount of credit you use, not the amount of cash you use. A steady, responsible use of credit is the best way to build your credit score. You need to find a middle ground, as an absence of credit as well as an overuse of credit can work against you.

For more info and to order your credit report with FREE credit score please visit

How long do bankruptcies and foreclosures stay on a credit report?How Do You Improve Your Credit Score?Know Your Credit ScorePreventing Identity TheftWhat Is a Credit Bureau?Can Your Credit Score Go Down If You Apply For Too Many Credit Cards?Tips To Repair Your Credit ScoreCredit Score Confusion ~ - How's Your Credit? - Blog