According to a survey conducted by TransUnion, the consumer credit reporting bureau, an estimated 56% of American consumers have not conducted a personal credit check during 2011.
Credit scores are the core of a consumer’s financial stability and since less than half of American’s with a credit history are not following through with financial expert advice – to check credit reports at least annually, if not every 6 months. Those working to improve their credit score should be checking scores more frequently.
It this day and age, consumers are doing their financial stability an injustice by staying in the dark about their credit score. Consumers will need to spend more money for basic services and products they use in their daily life if their credit score continues to stay low. More industries are looking at credit scores before providing services like utilities, rental properties, cell phones, and even employment opportunities. Low scores will guarantee more upfront security deposits and higher interest rates on personal loans and mortgages.
Financial experts have also pointed out that nearly 80% of consumer credit reports contain some kind of inaccurate information or mistake. For this reason, consumers are encouraged to regularly review credit reports and file Read more…
Bank of America issued a stark prediction last Friday, asserting that the nation’s credit rating could see another downgrade before the new year.
BofA Merrill stated they do not expect substantial progress from the congressional super committee charged with finding large reductions in government spending.
This comes after Standard and Poor’s downgraded the U.S. from a AAA to AA+ in early August, a move that drew rebuke from politicians and pundits alike and removed much credibility of any touted economic recovery since the recession began in 2008.
Moody’s, another major credit rating company, said back in August that the U.S. could see a downgrade from their institution before 2013 if it observes “(1) any weakening of fiscal discipline between now and then or (2) a significant deterioration in the economic outlook resulting in adverse fiscal implications that are not offset.”
The bi-partisan congressional super committee was formed as a means explore reductions in federal spending, but has been having a hard time agreeing on cuts. One huge drain on federal capital is our on-going foreign wars and large defense contracting programs, which total more than 700 billion annually.
President Barack Obama stated last week that combat troops in Iraq would all by pulled out by the end of December, which will surely bring a huge reduction in Department of Defense spending and could bolster the economy.
Congratulations citizens of Wausau, Wisconsin! You’ve been recognized as having the nation’s highest average credit score. Conversely, citizens of Harlingen, Texas are encouraged to step it up after finding they have the lowest average at 686, the only city to dip below an average of 700.
The second annual State of Credit list was provided by Experian, one of three major credit bureaus which analyzed 143 cities across the nation.
Four of the top five cities with the highest average credit score are located in the Midwest, which include Minneapolis, Minnesota; Madison, Wisconsin and Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the lone California city of San Francisco rounds out in 5th.
High credit scores are associated with higher employment rates and lower amounts of debt, whereas lower credit score reinforce the exact opposite. Harlingen, for example, has an unemployment rate of 13 percent.
Though economic outlooks are rather bleak right now, the national average credit score has risen one point since last year, perhaps indicating Americans moving toward financial responsibility.
In any case, working to raise your credit score, whether it is in need of credit repair, or already a shining star is a very strong indicator of financial success in the future.
Source USA Today
A new kind of credit card is set to draw consumer interest soon. The US Fifth Third Bank has announced its plan to introduce a new kind of credit card on the market for the first time. The card, dubbed the Duo Card, will combine both debit and credit card accounts on one plastic card. Consumers using the card will have the option to use the card by accessing their bank account directly or their line of credit. This will eliminate the need to carry multiple cards in a wallet and still have access to your money.
The Duo Card will also feature popular credit card programs such as rewards programs where customers can cash in points earned on purchases to repay loans received from the bank’s line of credit. Additionally, like a traditional credit card, interest rates will vary based on consumer credit scores. Currently the annual percentage rates are Read more…
For consumers who have consistent excellent credit scores, experts warn that ignoring regular reviews of credit reports can spell trouble. Credit reports account for all of the credit activity going on in a consumer’s financial life. It may also be the first indicator that something is wrong and further investigation is necessary in regard to financial criminal activity.
Identity and credit card theft is still on the rise and if consumers forgo checking into their own credit reports, they may be missing red flags that someone has hacked their identity. Because technology has afforded may more ways for criminals to secure credit card and other personal information, it is imperative for consumers to Read more…
The debt of the United States is growing by leaps and bounds and as a result, Standard & Poor has downgraded the nation’s credit rating. While the effects of the lowered credit score of the country have yet to be fully determined, it is safe to say that the excess spending in Washington reinforces the need for consumers to get a handle on personal credit scores.
Consumers are still spending too much and not paying off debts in a timely manner. Those who are in need of financing in the immediate future need to consider credit repair efforts before applying for a loans or new lines of credit. With the nation’s debt crisis affecting many things, interest rates being offered on loans and credit cards will likely rise
Those who already have bad credit scores need to Read more…
When the economy suffers a downtown, your credit, unfortunately, may suffer too. But this may be the worst possible time to have a bad credit score. If you find yourself back on the job market, you’ll often need to have good credit to land a job and keep paying your bills. In a recession or tough economy, take necessary precautions to keep your credit intact.
Build an emergency fund.
If you’re actively paying off debt by sending lump sum payments every month, you may want to scale back on those payments for a few months while you save up an emergency fund. An emergency fund can help keep you afloat for a few weeks or months if you suffer a pay cut or get laid off. But, if you’re really close to paying off your credit cards – like a couple of months – it’s okay to knock out those credit card bills. Then, once you’re done start up your emergency fund.
Call a credit counseling agency.
After suffering a job loss, you may not be able to afford your credit card payments. Get in touch with a credit counseling agency immediately. They can work with your creditors to lower your interest rate and minimum payment. Your credit card billing statement will have the number to a credit counseling agency. Otherwise, you can visit the National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s website, NFCC.org.
Get a forbearance or deferment on your loans.
When you can’t afford your loan payments, Read more…
One of the essential components of credit repair is your ability to remain consistent in your efforts to keep your credit report accurate and your credit score as high as possible. Lenders today are looking for scores of 730 and above when making lending decisions at the best rates. It is in every consumer’s best interest to work on keeping their credit reports accurate and up to date.
Why Consistency Matters
There is a heavy emphasis for consumers to monitor their credit history reports and every consumer has a right to check in with their reports annually at no charge. There is also opportunity to request free credit reports when you are denied credit. Your credit score does not come free with your reports but it is your history that is what really needs special attention.
Most consumers will look at their credit history at least once a year or when they need financing but that may not be enough to generate the highest credit score possible. In the interest of time management, it may be wise for consumers to Read more…