Category: Credit Tips

Posts related to Credit Tips

Young African Businesswoman Checking Credit Score On Laptop At Office

Building a good credit history is essential to your financial future. This article will teach you how to responsibly build your credit, while avoiding the mistakes that could hurt your score and cost you money.

The Basics of Credit Reporting

Here are some things you should know before building or rebuilding your credit:

Credit reports are used by lenders to determine how risky it would be for them if they loaned money to someone with low or no credit history. If there’s something in a report that might make a lender think twice about granting the loan, then this can lower their credit score significantly. Late payments, repossessions, bankruptcies, even divorce can all have a negative impact on your credit report.

When you owe someone money, that debt can come in many forms which can include mortgages and car loans. All debts – regardless of type – should appear on your credit report if they [...]

A couple looking over bills piled on a coffee table.

There is no worse feeling than having a vehicle repossessed. Watching a car get towed away due to nonpayment, or worse, waking up to find your vehicle missing from your driveway is an awful experience. Coupled with the fact that you now do not have a car, people can find themselves in a terrible situation very quickly. There are ways forward after a vehicle gets repossessed and there is a possibility you may be able to finance another rather quickly, but a history of repossessions can be a major credit hurdle to overcome.

WHAT IS A REPOSSESSION?

Whenever you finance or lease a vehicle, you sign a contract between yourself and the lending company. This contract stipulates the amount financed, the term it is financed for, interest rates, and other financial terms. Purchase agreements also include provisions for the lender to recover costs and expenses should you default on your payments.

If you should ever [...]

Three credit cards stacked on top of eachother.

These days it seems plastic is king. With products like ApplePay, Google Pay, Zelle, Venmo, and CashApp it is fast and convenient to move (and spend) money without ever touching actual cash or change. Consumers in the US have become more reliant on plastic, in particular credit cards. A study from September 2020 shows that 70 percent of Americans currently have a credit card. The same study shows there are 1.06 Billion credit cards currently in use nationwide, an amazing statistic.

But when it comes to using a credit card, most people fall into two categories: using the card for everything or using the card for nothing. As with most things in life, balance is important. If you’re using a credit card for everything, you can land yourself in a revolving credit nightmare with an increased chance you won’t be able to meet all of your monthly bills. If you have credit cards but don’t [...]

Stack of money and toy car on table

Value is important now more than ever and if you’re in need of transportation, buying a car on a budget is a must. There are several factors that must be considered before any large purchase, but vehicles often come with additional expenses you may not be aware of prior to buying.

FIGURE OUT YOUR BUDGET

The first step in buying a car on a budget is to figure out what you can afford. Vehicle cost aside, you have to figure in maintenance expenses (oil changes), possible future larger repair costs (tires), insurance expenses, and even how much you’ll spend on gas. 

For general maintenance, AAA estimates budgeting around $100 per month. This includes oil changes and tire rotations and allows for a cushion for future unexpected expenses. If you purchase a vehicle that comes without a warranty, its a good idea to set aside more savings in case of a major repair being needed – [...]

A young couple sitting at the kitchen table looking at bills.

When it comes to debt, there are all sorts of numbers that get thrown around. Interest rates, credit scores, fees. It can be dizzying. There are two terms that sound similar to each other and are often confused, but which are nothing alike. Those terms are debt-to-credit ratio and debt-to-income ratio. Let’s take a look at these two terms and see what they’re all about.

Debt-to-credit ratio looks at the relationship between the total amount of credit you have been offered, also known as your credit limit, and the amount of money you’ve borrowed so far. Basically, it’s the percentage of credit that you’re using. For example, let’s say you have a credit card with a limit of $2,000 and you’ve charged $500 on that card.

$500 / $2,000 = 0.25 or 25%. Your debt-to-credit ratio is 25%.

You can calculate this number for your total amount of debt (add up the balances on all your cards) compared [...]