As you look through this website you might wonder “why do I need all this stuff?” I have a good paying job, I make good money, I have good credit, and I can get anything I want, so why is it important to know this information? Well, sorry to say – this is how I use to feel about credit. When you make enough money why worry about credit? You might have been able to buy a home with your signature, a car, jewelry; just about anything you want because of two small words _____ _____. These 2 words can make you rich or poor! Depending on your _____ _____, you can pay as little as 3% on a credit card or up to 35% or more.
However, when you have a major setback like a job loss, a serious medical incident, a car accident, etc. your world changes. And many times it is for the worst. The two words that make can make life easy or hell for you when you try to make purchases in your life, especially major purchases, is: credit score.
Let’s us, for example, use a house mortgage payment. The interest on your house mortgage can mean the difference of hundreds of dollars in savings every month on your monthly payment and thousands of dollars in total savings on interest over the life of the home loan. Take a home that costs $250,000, and you have a 30 year loan on it. With bad or poor credit, the interest rate will be high…maybe 9%. However, take the same house with the same amount, but they have good credit. The interest rate may be low…say 3.475%. The couple with poor credit will pay $2,011.56 per month for a house payment with a total payoff of $724,160.36. The couple with good credit will pay $1,119.13 per month for a house payment with a total payoff of $402,888.29. That’s a BIG DIFFERENCE. In fact; that’s a difference of $892.43 per month! That difference equals $10,709.16 per year, and $321,274.80 over the 30 year life of the loan. That is money saved in interest just from getting a lower interest rate on the loan. That is your money that you can save, invest or purchase other items.
Just because of 2 small words, credit score, you could be comfortable or in a financial bind. That’s why your credit score is so important. This fact applies to anything concerning credit, like credit cards, high dollar purchases like a car or home…in fact, any purchase on which you pay interest. Any lending institution or credit issuing company uses your credit score to determine the interest rate that you are charged. Credit Score is defined as “A number, roughly between 300 and 800, that measures an individual’s credit worthiness. The most well-known type of credit score is the FICO® score. This score represents the answer from a mathematical formula that assigns numerical values to various pieces of information in your credit report.” Credit Report is defined as “A report that is compiled by one or more of the credit bureaus that details credit history, credit inquiries and facts about all accounts ever opened with respective credit lines and on-time or late payment behavior.”
So, in short, your Credit Score is based on information on your Credit Report, which is based off on the information your creditors give to the credit bureaus. There are many credit bureaus. However, the 3 biggest used by most creditors and financial institutions are:
P.O. Box 740241
P.O. Box 2002
P.O. Box 1000
So why is it important to know what is on your credit report? To know if there is/are any:
- Inaccurate information from a creditor.
- Credit Fraud
- Inaccurate payment history.
- Disputable charges.
- Negative comments or statements from a creditor.
- Charges on accounts that are not yours.
- Information that will negatively impact your credit score.
- Missing information that will positively impact your credit score.
- Charge Offs from creditors on an account that was paid.
You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each credit reporting bureau. To get your credit report you can do one of two things:
- Go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com fill out your state and all the information.
- Request your free report from each individual credit bureau.
- Print out the report from one of the credit bureaus. Once printed out; check it out in detail. If you find errors, circle them and write a letter of dispute about what is wrong.
- If the credit bureau cannot verify the information to be correct, it must be deleted.
- If they say it is correct and you disagree — fight back.
- If anything needs to be updated let them know. Remember, they do not know you and all they are going by is what the creditor is saying. If the creditor is wrong, sue them. If the credit bureau refuses to make the changes, sue them too. Just make sure you have the proof for court. This is your legal right. This is explained in an e-book which will be out in March 2011.
- Use the information to help you and letters if you have found issues.
So, GET YOUR CREDIT REPORT! Get Them! Check them! Make sure they are accurate! Inaccuracies in your credit reports will negatively impact your credit score, which will negatively impact your interest rates, which will cost you money…maybe a lot of money. This may make the difference between financial well being and financial disaster.
Return to Debt Relief Home