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Keep Your Finances in Balance With an Excellent Credit Score

Your credit score is much like an adult version of your GPA. It’s a grade that measures your level of financial responsibility in relation to others. Banks and lending institutions use your credit score when you apply for a mortgage, an auto loan or a loan for home improvements or a business. Credit card companies use scores to determine who qualifies for a card and at what interest rate. Increasingly, however, insurance companies, landlords and sometimes employers, study credit scores as a way to determine how responsible you are. Here are basics about where your credit score comes from and how to raise your score if it’s lagging behind the competition. Credit Reporting 101 The most widely used credit scores are FICO® scores, created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Top lenders use FICO scores to help them make credit-related decisions every year. FICO calculates scores based on information in consumer…

Stay on Top of Your Credit Report With AnnualCreditReport.com

In early September, Equifax announced it had experienced a data breach affecting 143 million Americans. The breach took place between mid-May and July and was discovered by the company on July 29. You might be wondering: what is Equifax, and why should this matter to me? Equifax is one of three big credit-reporting companies. The other two are Experian and TransUnion. These companies generate credit reports that are used by lenders and others to determine if you are a good credit risk. Whether you know it or not, you are a customer of these companies, because they all compile data about you from credit card companies, lenders, banks, retailers and others, as well as from public records. For guidance on what to do in the wake of the Equifax breach, here are 5 Steps You Should Take To Protect Yourself after Massive Equifax Attack from Forbes and guidance from the…