Sharing her wisdom as a guest speaker at our sales meeting this month was Tracy A. Becker, President of NorthShoreAdvisory, a Credit Education & Restoration Company. This company is one of the very reputable firms out there to help us understand the credit mysteries and improve our scores. Tracy is a Certified FICO Professional, author of two books on credit and is the “Credit Expert” on the Eye on Real Estate radio show on WOR AM.
She began the meeting by announcing that, “If your credit score is not 740 or higher, it is not excellent and you should call me.” I was thinking, what’s wrong with Very Good, Impressive, or Decent? Anything short of excellent is no good these days? Apparently it best be excellent or you can potentially lose thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on a mortgage with higher interest rates. Some sources even say that insurance premiums are linked to credit scores.
We all know that we should pay our bills on time, but there is a lot more that most of us are unaware of that impacts our credit score.
Here are the top 5 tips from Tracy that I was surprised to learn,
1. “Seasoned” credit (over 2 years old) is excellent for your scores, and the older the better. So don’t go closing your old credit card accounts!
2. A variety of credit is good for your score such as credit cards, auto loans, student loans and a mortgage.
3. Your credit can be pulled by third parties up to 5 times in a 12-month period with little impact to your score, but beyond this, your score can drop 30-40 points. You can pull your own credit score as often as you wish with no negative consequences.
4. A new late payment can drop your score over 100 points.
5. The higher your FICO score, the bigger the hit your score will take if new negative information is added.
If you are getting ready to apply for a mortgage or other financing in the near future, Tracy says to go to Credit.com and pay to get your FICO score. If it’s below 740, her company may be able to help save you big bucks! She gives free consultations by phone to determine whether her company can effectively help you, and there is no charge unless you hire her.
To receive pdf via email of Tracy’s expanded list of “Tips on Credit” send a request below.