Archive for Credit Scoring

A Complete Guide: What Is A Credit Freeze And Why Is This Helpful?

Posted in Credit Scoring by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 8th, 2021

A Complete Guide: What Is A Credit Freeze And Why Is This Helpful?Due to recent changes in federal regulations, consumers are now allowed to freeze their credit free of charge. Prior to changes in these regulations, credit bureaus would charge consumers for freezing their credit. What does this mean, and why might someone want to do this?

Freezing Credit Restricts Access To Confidential Information

There are certain situations where consumers may need to have access to their credit reports. For example, they may be applying for a home loan or a car loan. There are other situations where consumers may not need access to their credit reports for an extended amount of time. In this case, it is possible to freeze the credit report to restrict all access. This makes it harder for hackers to access confidential credit information, preventing them from opening an account in someone else’s name.

Who Can Freeze Their Credit Reports?

All consumers have the ability to freeze their credit reports. Even some children may have a credit history, so it is possible for parents to freeze the profile of a child for a certain amount of time. This prevents hackers from stealing credit information regarding children as well. 

How Can Consumers Freeze Their Credit Reports?

It is relatively easy to conduct a credit freeze at any of the three major credit bureaus including Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. All consumers need to do is request a credit freeze via a phone call,  letter, or an online request. The bureau has to comply, freezing someone’s credit report within one business day. Furthermore, consumers should be able to access free fraud alert services as well. That way, individuals will automatically be alerted if someone tries to open an account in their name. 

What Happens When Applying For A Loan?

If applying for a loan, consumers need to unfreeze their credit reports. Therefore, they should file a request with all three major credit bureaus. They will have to comply within one hour. Then, after the lender has the information he or she requires, consumers can simply request a credit freeze again. That way, they limit the opportunities of hackers who might be trying to steal confidential information and commit identity theft. 


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Improve Your Credit Score To Get Better Mortgage Rates

Posted in Credit Scoring by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 16th, 2013

Credit score FICO improvementFor home buyers in Bloomfield Hills and nationwide, credit scores can change low mortgage rates and alter home loan approvals.

Borrowers with high credit scores get access to lower mortgage rates, for example, and can find the mortgage approval process to be more smooth that borrowers with low credit scores.

If your credit score is low, here are some basic ways to help improve it. 

Get The Reports
Download an updated version of your credit report from each of the three major reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The reports may mirror each other, but credit accounts — especially derogatory ones — sometimes don’t appear on all three. Ordering reports from all three bureaus is a safety step. Note that the credit bureaus each use different scoring models so your credit scores will vary.

Check For Errors
Yes, credit reports can have errors in them. Should you find any items on any of the three credit reports which, in your opinion, do not belong or are erroneous, contact the credit bureau regarding removal. Errors on a credit report must be addressed with each bureau individually. 

Pay Up 
Or, rather, pay down. Be diligent about paying down your credit card balances in order to lower the percentage of your credit line(s) in use. In general, aim for a 30% ratio or less. An added benefit of paying down debt is that it can lower your total monthly debt load, which can increase your maximum home purchase price.

For items which are harming your score, such as a 30-day or 60-day mortgage late payments, medical collection items, and/or judgments, consider writing a brief letter which explains the circumstance of the derogatory credit event. Such a letter won’t help your score to improve, but it can help your lender to make better credit decisions, which can aid in “exceptions”, if required.

Making even minor changes to an overall credit profile can yield measurable long-term results. It can also result in lower mortgage rates.

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