Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people. Use this blog as a reference tool, not as the one and only view on the topic.
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Get your free credit report from all three agencies once per year.
Check your two FICO Scores once per year.
Keep your credit ratio at 80% or less.
Rule of thumb: Time guidelines- With revolving credit (Credit Cards) the goal is to keep them active and open for a minimum of two years.
Statement of Dispute or Consumer Statement: You can add a statement of dispute to your credit report if you disagree with something a creditor has listen on your report but refuses to remove. It must be 100 words or less and you may add it with all three bureaus bureau.
Fraud Alert: Fraud alert messages notify potential credit grantors to verify your identification before extending credit in your name in case someone is using your information without your consent. *Note: If you add a fraud alert to your reports, you will be called each and every time you apply for any kind of credit. You can add it with all three bureaus. (I’m not sure of the length allowance but it’s likely also 100 words or less)
Only Equifax and Trans Union have FICO Scores available. Experian does not.
Life purchase: A life purchase is normally buying a house or a car. A “Life purchase” is something that you would shop around for the best deal when dealing with people who may be lending you money. Best interest rate, best terms, etc. It’s a system set up where you can be at one location and have your information put in to a computer and basically have people bidding to lend you money.
Inquiries and Life Purchases: Because of the importance placed on Life Purchases, credit bureaus give you a sort of grace period to look for lenders. The goal-get all lending applications done and processed in a 3-5 (Try for 3 just to be safe) day period within the same week. This does not mean “All paper work.” This means, loan applications only. People who will check your credit to see your credit worthiness. Even if ten companies check your credit, as long as they do it within a 3 day period with the same calender week (Sunday-Saturday), it will show up on your credit report as 1 inquirie instead of 10. Timing is everything. Be prepared.
Never have more than five credit cards open at once
Never open more than two credit cards per year (One is preferable)
Never close more than one credit card per year
Never close a credit card unless it has a zero balance due
Note: For the most part, many of these are just good things to try to do to but not necessarily hard rules. Things that are generally good to know.