Let’s fix that credit score
Although the homebuying frenzy continues, millions of Americans whose employment was impacted by the pandemic are being left out.
Without a job, maintaining a decent credit score can be challenging. However, you will get back on your feet and there are ways to fix the damage so that you can buy that dream home.
Credit Score Basics
“The goal of a credit score is to provide a quantifiable prediction of the likelihood of default in the next 24 months,” according to Thomas Wade with the American Action Forum.
In other words, it determines a borrower’s creditworthiness. The scale of credit scores ranges from 300, the worst possible, to 850, “… considered the unicorn of the financial world: a perfect credit score,” according to Stefan Lembo Stolba at experian.com.
Only 1.2% of credit scores from FICO® have reached that magic number, so don’t feel bad if you aren’t among them.
Scores that fall below 850, are grouped as follows:
- 300-629 Poor
- 630-689 Fair
- 690-719 Good
- 720-850 Excellent
FICO, short for Fair Isaac Corporation is the data analyst that determines these scores. They do so by analyzing our credit reports from the “big three” credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
The most important thing to understand about your FICO score is that it’s fluid, moving up and down according to how you use credit.
Rule number one to raise your credit score
The easiest way to increase your FICO score is by avoiding late payments. Every month, pay your bills on time. If you think this sounds too simple to be true, consider this:
“… someone with an average credit rating of 707 can raise their score by as much as 20 points by paying all their bills on time for one month,”
according to Jessica Seid, CNN/Money staff writer.
The credit card trap
There are tricks to using credit cards and loans when it comes to trying to repair your credit. These tricks are evident when we consider how the reporting agencies look at credit card use.