What’s New With Credit Scores?

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Oct 15, 2014
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Credit Scores

You learn something new everyday and this post has a few items that fit into that category for me:

  • This should resonate with your students and speaks in a language they understand:  five reasons your credit score is more important than your GPA (US News and World Report):

It’s true that your GPA could determine certain aspects of your future, but your credit score is guaranteed to influence one thing – the cost of the big purchases you’re going to make after graduation.  Lenders and insurance agents (among others) look at your credit score when they’re figuring out how to price the products they’re selling you. For instance, when you apply for your first car loan, the bank you’re working with will run a credit check to decide how much to charge you in interest on the auto note. A low credit score will mean paying a much higher interest rate. This, of course, will make the cost of the loan higher overall.

Some customers prefer to use a debit card rather than a credit card to make purchases as a means of limiting debt and managing their finances. But the choice could backfire when it comes to renting cars.  Some car rental agencies, such as Budget Rent a Car, have policies that allow them to run credit checks on customers who use debit cards. And that inquiry could cost the customer some credit score points.

  • Watch out for these common mistakes that can impact your credit score (Chicago Tribune):

But as much as you focus on good credit habits, some things that may be less obvious can hurt your score. Forget to pay a parking ticket? Use a debit card to rent a car? These and other missteps can ding your score, experts say.

  • What’s a lending circle and how can it raise your credit scores (New York Times)?

So three years ago, Ms. Kohli, now 34, joined a lending circle — a small group of people who chip in every month to lend money to one another at no interest. Managed by the Mission Asset Fund, a nonprofit group in San Francisco that works with credit-rating agencies, the circle offered Ms. Kohli something no bank would: a chunk of cash and a chance to build a credit score.

  • Three strategies to improve your credit score quickly (Daily Finance):

First off, your score might be based partially on errors, and you might deserve a higher one. Take advantage of the free copy of your credit report that you’re entitled to each year from each of the main credit-reporting agencies. Review each report closely for errors and then fix any you find.

  • Wondering what that life of a debt collector on the other end of the phone line is like (Credit.com):

A debt collector’s day starts off just like an average working American’s day: with a hot cup of coffee and maybe a little extra sugar. In most collection agencies, debt collectors kick off each day gathering with their managers for a quick meeting to generally update collectors on the current happenings, communicate the strategies and goals for the day, and end with a positive or motivational message to get the day off to a good start. Once the collectors get to their workstations they will log into their collection system and get to work. They’ll go over their individual work strategy for the current day, which includes reviewing consumer accounts they need to follow up on from previous conversations and identifying accounts to focus on for the rest of the day.

  • Overall, credit scores should be improving with debt delinquencies at 40 year lows (Yahoo):

With all of this loan anxiety, it’s surprising to hear that Americans are actually paying off their loans in record numbers. According to a report by the American Bankers Association, installment loan delinquencies are at lows and all home-related delinquencies have fallen.  A delinquency is defined as a late payment that is 30 or more days overdue. Across the board, Americans are getting better at getting out of debt.  Total debt delinquency, according to the ABA, is at a 40 year low.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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