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Here’s Why Your Credit Score May Have Recently Gone Up

Credit Scores and credit reports play a vital role in the life of most Americans today. It determines the interest rates consumers pay for the credit card, mortgages and car loans and can ascertain if they qualify for a loan or not. 

Your credit report may get a makeover as the three big reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) are doing things a little differently and have started excluding certain items from your credit report that used to damage your credit. This comes in the wake of a study by the New York Federal Reserve which found problems with credit reporting. It has recommended some reforms to improve the accuracy of their credit reports and also remove some negative items so that it can help consumers’ improve their credit scores. Some of the changes that can boost your all-important three-digit credit scores are:

CREDIT SCORE

1. Tax Liens and Civil Judgments

Because of improved standards for utilizing new and existing public records, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion have scraped most of the tax liens and civil judgments from consumer credit files in July 2017. Again in April this year, they went a step further by deciding to remove all tax liens from credit reports. Once this data is removed some credit scores can go up by as much as 30 points.

According to an estimate by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, about 11% population had a tax lien or judgment removed from their credit file. 

2. Collections

Credit Bureaus have also been removing certain collection accounts from credit reports under the terms of the National Credit Assistance Plan (NCAP). Since the new rules came into effect in June 2017 some eight million people had collection accounts completely removed from their credit reports, according to the New York Fed.

3. Medical Debt

The new rules will make it harder for medical debt to hurt your credit scores. Medical billing process can be complicated and confusing. To give time to resolve medical issues the three important credit bureaus have agreed to exclude medical bills on credit reports until they are at least 180 days due. Another plus is that unpaid medical bills that later get paid by your insurance should be removed from the credit bureau files so that it does not linger on and damage your score.

4. Fines and Tickets

 Due to the recent changes by NCAP, library fines, unpaid gym memberships or traffic tickets that have been lurking in your life will now be removed from your credit records and not damage your credit score.

As a result of these changes consumers are now witnessing a steady stream of changes which have boosted up their scores and according to the findings of New York Federal Reserve report the:  

  • Credit scores of consumers’ have gone up by 11 points on an average.
  • 18% of people saw credit scores go up by 30 points. In some cases, this increase was enough to make a difference between qualifying for a loan and getting it turned down.
  • About 8 million people had collection accounts completely removed from their credit reports after the second half of 2017.
  • The study also found $11 billion reductions in the total collection account balances.

According to Bruce McClary, Vice president of Communications at the National Foundation of Credit Counseling, “If anyone has experienced a jump in their credit scores due to these changes, they should take advantage of the momentum and work towards improving their credit health.”

If your credit score has also seen an increase, you could consider calling your credit card company and negotiate a lower interest rate. This can result in major savings.

The other financial moves you could consider with this better score is taking out a new loan for a mortgage, refinancing your car, getting a better credit card or checking insurance rates, said Kimberly Palmer, the personal finance expert at NerdWallet.  However, you should be strategic, she added.

It is important to note that because of the prevalence of reporting errors, FICO recommends that you should double-check your reports for inaccuracies that can hurt your score.  The recipe to keep your score moving and reaching a good score is that you should consistently pay your bills on time and keep your credit utilization low. You should also apply for credit only when needed and reduce the amount of debt you owe as much as possible.

6 Smart Ways to Protect Your Data, Your Devices, and Your Digital Identity.

The data breach at credit reporting agency in 2017affected nearly 148 million US consumers, giving hackers access to Social Security numbers, names, credit card numbers, and partial drivers’ license numbers. This information can be used by identity thieves to destroy your credit, file fake tax returns and collect the funds and also hijack your medical data.

But it is not only identity theftwe need to worry about. It is important that you protect your personally identifiable information (PII) all year round as criminals harvest personal details to access banking websites, launch sophisticated phishing and spear-phishing campaigns and hack loyalty programs.

You can greatly minimize these risks by changing some habits and spending a few hours improving your online security.Here are 6 simple ways to protect your all-important personal information.

  • Protect everything-Use strong passwords, employ two-factor authentication, and consider an all-in-one password manager.

All your digital devices should be password protected. That includes your computers, smartphones, tablets and other gadgets that have personal data on them. The same advice applies to all your online accounts.  Creating strong passwordsand never using the same password for more than one site is the most important thing you can do to protect your online identity. Also, change them often and never save them on your device.

Secure password generatorsincluded in many all-in-one password management solutions can help you create long complicated passwords and also remember them for you.

You should turn on two-factor authenticationfor any site that supports it. This requires you to enter your password and then verify your identity by entering the unique passcode that you receive via text message or email. This means your account has a second layer of protection and protects your account even if a hacker does get your password. The security questions designed to help you recover a lost password is not very secure because some of them are very easy for hackers to find out. It is recommended that you makeup answersinstead and keep that information in your password manager.

You should also change the default passwords for anything that is connected to your home network. Your router is an important device as it could give a hacker complete access to your home network. You should also not forget about the other connected devices like baby monitors.

  • Keep your computer virus-free

Digital security has much to do with digital privacy. If your computer is affected by malware or virus, hackers can dig through your data to steal youridentity. They can also lock up your files to ask for a ransom to get them back. The solution is to install the latest antivirus software not only on your computer but on your mobile devices as well. There are a lot of freeas well as paid versions available from trusted companies like Webroot, Kaspersky’s and Norton.

  • Be wary of Public Wi-Fi connections.

It is no doubt free Wi-Fi makes traveling easier. But you must be careful how you use it as there is no telling who is watching that internet traffic. So before joining a network confirm the name and password with the staff of the coffee shop or library. You should take extra security measures when you log into an account as even a password-protected Wi-Fiis only safe as the people who have the password. If you must log in or transact online on public Wi-Fi you should use a VPN(virtual private network) serviceto encrypt all the data you send so that others on the same network cannot easily see what you are doing.

In addition, you should force your browser to use HTTPS. This can be done through an extension like HTTPS Everywhere. Finally, you should make sure you log off services you were signed into after concluding yoursession and ask your device to forget the Wi-Fi network.

  • Be careful about opening suspicious emails, clicking links, annoying pop-ups, and “too good to be true” ads or offers

Majority of people are connected in some way or the other to the Internet and social media and so we need to know the basics of security awareness.  You should use caution if you receive an email from someone you do not recognize with a request to click a link or take urgent action. Familiarize yourself with tell-tale signs of phishing scamslike spelling errors in the body copy, a vague salutation that does not include your name, and URLs or email addresses in the message that are not quite in line with the company they are supposed to be associated with. You should mark it as spam or delete it immediately.

If you receive an email from your credit card issuer, financial institution, or utility provider, remember that they are instructed not to ask for any sensitive information like Social Security numbers or passwords.

If annoying pop-upsappear on your screen, do not click on any flashy ads or viral looking headlines. You should just safely close the window by clicking the X in the corner.

  • Monitor your credit reports and financial activity.

You should scan your credit reportsfor an abnormal activity like accounts or credit cards that you did not open along with any unexpected credit checks. You can also put fraud alerts, freezes or locks in place with all the three credit bureaus-Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Also, you should review your bank and credit card statementsdaily for suspicious transactions.

  • Back up ALL your data on a regular basis.

Whenever a new ransomware attack occurs, victims realize that they could have protected themselves beforehand by just creating automatic backups of all data. For comprehensive protection, your data should backed-up, encrypted and stored by a trusted IT provider who can ensure that your critical information is stored safely in different data centers. This way, if a hacker did gain access to your network or computer you can easily clean your machines and then restore them again.

You may feel powerless against cybercrime as no protection method is 100% full proof. Buttaking steps like these and educating yourself on the latest security tricks and tactics can keep your information safe and protect you against fraud. 

The New Fico Score To Be Unveiled In 2019 Could Boost Your Credit Worthiness

For the past 27 years, FICO Credit Scores have been the
bedrock of most consumer- lending decisions in the US.
These scores were based mostly on consumers’ history of
paying mortgages, credit card balances and loans. The FICO
model has been periodically updated to help lenders to be
more informed about credit-granting decisions and help the
consumer get access to the credit they need. The most widely
used version is FICO Score 8.
The latest update is that Fair Isaac Corp. (the company
behind FICO) has decided to test out a new type of scores
called UltraFICO with credit reporting agency Experian and
a technology company called Finicity. This will be unveiled
early next year (2019) and will consider the borrowers’ bank-
account balance and cash-management behavior in addition
to the traditional credit.
The move to test the new scoring system comes in the wake
of some financial companies who are supplementing
traditional credit scores with an analysis of customer’s bank
account to assess consumer’s creditworthiness.

KEY FEATURES

Here are a few key features as to how it works and who could
benefit from the new UltraFICO scoring system.

  • The new FICO score will be optional and will be offered
    only to consumers who opt for it. They will be given the
    choice to do so when they do not qualify by the more
    traditional systems. However, they should also agree to
    share with the lender personal information, and allow
    them to access their banking and saving data to evaluate
    overall financial responsibility.
  • This new system will potentially improve the credit
    scores of many Americans who have less than stellar or
    borderline credit score ( upper 500 to the low 600s ) by
    20 points or more depending on the details of their
    financial profile.
  • “People who have strong credit scores need not consider
    UltraFICO scores but they could use it as a second
    chance,” says Sally TayloShoff Vice President of
    FICO.
  •  Consumers with an average bank-account of $400 and
    with no history of negative balances are more likely to
    benefit because it will take into account how old your
    bank-account is, the frequency of activity and evidence
    of saving.
  • It will particularly benefit millennials( people aged 18-
    34) who did not have the opportunity to build up a
    credit history. It will also help people who are in a
    financial rut and are rebuilding their credit scores.
  • It also might be easier for millions of Americans to get
    any type of loan including a mortgage loan-especially if
    they have a subprime credit score (500-600 FICO) or
    have little or no credit history at all. The new UltraFICO score has “definitely a lot of promise”
    as an alternative scoring method, provided the consumers
    have true control over what level of detail they share and
    whether to share information or not.
    However, it is not clear whether the other two credit bureaus
    Equifax and TransUnion will eventually participate in the
    Ultra FICO test. TransUnion in an email statement said that
    “it applauds all efforts that promote financial inclusion and
    expand economic opportunity” but Equifax did not comment
    on this.“According to Smith” The new scoring system is
    revolutionary as consumers will play a direct role, for the first
    time ever to determine their own credit scores.
    FOR CREDIT SCORE ENQUIRES CONTACTTOLL-FREE NO. (800) 400-ZINU(9468)

5 Ways Millennials Can Boost Their Credit Score

boost credit score

Millennials (people aged 18-34)  don’t fully understand what impacts a credit score than older generations but according to a recent study it does not stop them from trying to improve their credit. They check their credit scores most and are trying actively to build and improve their scores according to Discover’s 2018 Credit Survey of US consumers.

If your credit score is lower than what you would like it to be then you are not alone as credit scores are influenced by many factors like   a long credit history (35%,), level of debt utilization(30%) the age of credit(15%)  mix credit(10%) and credit inquiries(10%). It is hard for many millennials to meet these criteria. But the good news is that you can boost your credit score this year by taking some concrete steps. Here are five steps that you can try.

Check Your Credit Report for Mistakes

You need to check your credit reports from time to time to see that they do not have any damaging errors by getting a copy each from the three major credit bureaus. In a study by the Federal Trade Commission in 2013 it was found that one in four consumers had a mistake on their credit reports that could have an impact on their scores. One in a five had an error that a credit reporting agency corrected after a dispute.

In order to ensure that you do not have any damaging errors on your credit reports you should get a free copy from the three major credit bureaus; EquifaxExperian, and Trans Union at  AnnualCreditReport.com. If you come across any errors you should submit a dispute online with the bureau that is reporting the error. You should explain why you believe the information is an error and provide details about what you are specifically disputing. (Including account numbers)

If there are big mistakes clearing them up  could lead to a great improvement in your credit score.

 

Lower your Credit Utilization Ratio

The amount you owe measured by your credit utilization ratio will account for 30% of your credit score.  It can be calculated by dividing the total amount of debt owed by a total amount of available credit. For example, if you have a credit card with a limit of $1,000 and your credit card balance is $200, then your credit utilization ratio is 20% for that credit card. According to Experian a lower credit utilization (using a small amount of credit loaned to you) is preferred.  So if you pay off your debts in time you could boost your credit score.  You should decrease your credit card debt as the amount you owe will make up 30% of your score. But, using too much of your credit can be a sign of repayment risk.

Do not Skip or Miss a Payment on a Credit Card.

 

Missing a payment or skipping even one payment on your credit card can lower your credit score.  It can cause it to drop by 100 to 300 points according to Bruce McClary, spokesman for National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization. This misstep can take you about two years to restore your credit score. So the first thumb rule is to pay your bills on time as this factor makes up 35% of your credit score. You can avoid late payments going forward by setting up automatic payments from your credit cards and other bills.

 

Have a Long Credit History

Having a relatively long credit history affects 15% of your credit score.  Millennials should not close credit card accounts they have opened several years ago as it shrinks a person’s available credit.

Your credit history can be longer if a relative who has a long and awesome credit history is willing to help you and can add you as an authorized user of one of their credit cards. This is one of the simplest and fastest ways to boost your  score. The old card will show up in your credit report and you can also get credit for the history of on-time payments This also means that you have access to your relatives line of credit. If you make purchases it will affect your relative’s credit utilization and it would be the ultimate responsibility of your relative for paying back what you borrow. So that means the relative needs to trust you to be responsible for your purchases. You can avoid purchases altogether –would be vital.

The Necessity of Credit Cards

One of the great ironies of earning a good credit score is that you must have credit to build credit. So having a credit payment history is very important as it accounts for 35% of your credit score. If you do not have a credit card do get one. You can open a credit card for small day-to-day purchases and it should be paid in full each month to build your credit history.

You need to have a mix of types of credit as it affects 10% of your FICO score. Having different types of credit accounts will also improve your  score. In addition to a credit card if you have an auto loan or mortgage that you make on-time payments each month or another credit card pay off each month it will help you to improve your scores.  Obtaining more credit cards at one time can lower your score more.

According to McBride’s you have to “keep your borrowing modest particularly if you have an existing car loan or student loan debt, ”and that  “ paying bills on time , keeping debts modest and paying your debts in time accounts for almost two-thirds of your  score”.

Call us now at (800) 400-ZINU(9468) for further details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit Repair and the Procedure to Fix Bad Credit

Well a lot of people actually do not understand what exactly credit repair is. So, how can one deal with it? Dealing with credit repair may not seem to be an easy procedure, but in reality it is not that complicated too. Just read on to get a fair idea about how you can do so in the long run.

The first thing that you need is to get a Credit Report from any of the well known credit agencies like Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. You can get one from each if you want or can simply get one to see how your Credit Score looks like as of now. This is the basic thing that you need to do if you are thinking taking a professional help or want to do it yourself.

As soon as you get the report you are requested to read the report thoroughly. Consider this to be an important as it will give you a comprehensive inkling. You can actually find out which is rightly placed and which one has to be removed. Look for partial details, spelling errors and wrong credit history. Make sure you do this as well as this will only help you avoid unwanted credit on file. There is no need to mention that this will take some load off your report for sure.

The Easiest Way to Credit Repair

After all this the easiest way to credit repair is by starting to pay off your debts. Once you restart your payments, you can see the debts vanishing. No wonder this can take care of all that you have not been able to do in the past. Yes you need to keep one thing in your mind that this cannot happen overnight. You need to give it some time. Many people think that it is a matter of one day affair which is not at true. You need to have patience and let it take its time to repair the already damage credit.

Follow us here to learn more ways to improve your credit score.