Repairing your credit is an active process. Here are some ways to monitor your credit to ensure your scores are moving in the right direction.
1. Check your credit reports on a regular basis to track your progress
No matter where you turn for your credit check-in — your bank, a credit monitoring app, or one of the major consumer credit bureaus, it’s important to keep an eye on your credit. If you find any mistakes or inaccuracies, you need to file a dispute. If your dispute is approved by the credit bureaus, you may see the error corrected as soon as within 30 days, which can help raise your credit scores.
2. Sign up for credit monitoring
Whether you are tracking your credit using a credit monitoring site or you have enlisted the assistance and expertise of a credit specialist, keeping a close eye on your credit is essential. Signing up for credit monitoring can help alert you to important changes in your credit, so that you can check for suspicious activity. Fraudulent activity can weigh down what could be an otherwise good credit score, so it’s important to dispute any details you identify as inaccurate. If the credit bureau rules in your favor, the fraudulent activity will be removed from your credit report, which can help raise your credit scores.
Click here for a list of suggested credit monitoring services.
When you apply for credit, you authorize those lenders to ask or "inquire" for a copy of your credit report from a credit bureau. When you later check your credit report, you may notice that their credit inquiries are listed. The only inquiries that count toward your FICO Scores are the ones that result from your applications for new credit.
It's important to know that there are 2 types of credit inquiries. Soft inquiries that can result from activities such as viewing your own credit report which will not affect your FICO Score. Hard inquiries such as actively applying for a new credit card or mortgage which will affect your score.
Here are some examples of soft and hard inquiries...
Examples of hard inquiries:
FICO's research shows that opening several credit accounts in a short period of time represents greater credit risk. When the information on your credit report indicates that you have been applying for multiple new credit lines in a short period of time (as opposed to rate shopping for a single loan, which is handled differently as discussed below), your FICO Scores can be lowered as a result. Although FICO Scores only consider inquiries from the last 12 months, inquiries remain on your credit report for two years.
For example: If you are apply for several credit cards within a short period of time, multiple inquiries will appear on your report. So remember that looking for new credit can equate to a higher risk. However, most credit scores are not affected by multiple inquiries when it is coming from an auto, mortgage, or student loan lenders within a short period of time. Typically, these are treated as a single inquiry and will have little impact on your credit scores.
Payment history shows how you've paid your accounts over the length of your credit. This evidence of repayment is the primary reason why payment history makes up 35% of your score and is a major factor in its calculation. Research shows that your track record of payment tends to be the strongest predictor of the likelihood that you'll pay all debts as agreed to. And as you can imagine, a lender's number one priority is your past record of paying back (or not) your loans.
Don't Miss Payments
Your payment history is one of the most important factors in determining your credit scores and having a long history of on-time payments can help you achieve excellent credit scores. To do this, you'll need to make sure you don't miss loan or credit card payments by more than 29 days. Payments that are at least 30 days late can be reported to the credit bureaus and hurt your credit scores.
Setting up automatic payments for the minimum amount due can help you avoid missing a payment (as long as you're careful not to overdraft your bank account). If you're having trouble affording a bill, reach out to your credit card issuer right away to try and discuss hardship options.
Staying on top of accounts that don't generally appear on your credit reports (gym memberships and subscription services, for instance) can also be important. The on-time payments might not help your credit, but the account being sent to collections could still cause your scores to dip.
Components that make up your payment history
The Hennigan Realty Group blogs are a collective of information, experience, and expertise of the Hennigan Realty team. We have kept the information shared within the blogs general to provide foundational information that each person can build from. We are aware that everyone's real estate experience is unique and there is not a one-size fits all when it comes to buying or selling property. If you would like to gather more in-depth and specific requirements for your wants and needs, reach out to us directly.