Monday, September 13, 2010

Check Your Credit Score?

I see these advertisements about checking your credit score, and I wonder about them.  Hmmm. I guess it might be important if you think there is a problem with your credit... But, if you think there is a problem with your credit, there probably is...

I am not sure what the credit score levels mean, exactly, but there are some basic things to consider...even without checking your credit score.

First of all, do you have an established credit history?  Have you borrowed, or co-borrowed money and paid off a loan in a timely way?  Do you have a credit card?.  Have you made a purchase with money down, and a time period to pay off the rest.  Have you paid off the balance on time?

Do you live within your income?  If you are accumulating debt faster than you are earning money, I am going to guess you do not have a good credit score.

Do you pay your monthly bills on time? On time is very, very important.

Do you have outstanding amounts due on your credit cards?  Or do you pay them off each month? Do you have multiple credit cards that would allow you, if you maxed them out, to incur outrageous debt? Do you owe a lot of money on more than one credit card?  Are you maxed out on one or more credit cards?  Do you pay more than the minimum payment?

If you have medical bills, even large ones, do you pay on them each month?

Do you have student loans?  Are you paying on them?

Do you have money in a saving account? 

Do you ever over draw your checking account?

Do you have a mortgage, and have trouble making the payments?

Do you have a car loan, and have trouble making the payments?

If you do not know the acceptable answer to these questions, your credit score may be poor.
If your answers are not the acceptable answers, your credit score may be poor.

I went to buy a vehicle on a Saturday, and wore my usual Saturday clothes: a T shirt and scruffy sweats.  We negotiated hard, because I wanted a low payment, and insisted on being told the bottom line amount I was going to be borrowing on...The car dealer was really having a hard time with the latter. They were having a low interest special, and I kept insisting they figure my purchase based on that, and they did not want to... We spent much more time than I should have to come to an understanding...I know better, walk out if they are not negotiating readily. (The next time I purchased a vehicle, I faced none of that.  They even did some creative financing so I would purchase my vehicle, because I was not going to pay more than 2% interest.)

Then, we went to speak to the financial officer.  They gave us to the "special circumstances" officer.... I could see the others laughing and smirking...The officer took my information and ran my credit score, and came back with a smirk on HIS face:  "Your credit is perfect, as you know."  We had a laugh, especially at the fact that his coworkers opted not to work this account, and he was making an easy commission. And, I got my low interest loan.  It was fun....



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