How can a cosigner be removed from a student loan?

Getting a cosigner on your student loans can make it possible for you to qualify for a lower interest rate than you would on your own.

But for your cosigner, the loan shows up on their credit report as if it’s their own, increasing their debt-to-income ratio and potentially making it difficult for them to get credit for themselves. What’s more, they’re equally responsible for paying back the loans, which can cause trouble if you’re struggling to keep up with payments.

Fortunately, it’s possible to release your cosigner from their obligations. Here’s what you need to know.

How to remove a cosigner from a student loan

You have two simple options if you’re looking to tweak your cosigned loans.

  1. Apply for a student loan cosigner release
  2. Refinance your student loans

1. Apply for a student loan cosigner release

Some private student loan companies offer a cosigner release program, that allows you to keep your loans and remove your cosigner.

The requirements to qualify for cosigner release can vary. But in general, you need to make a certain number of consecutive on-time payments, then undergo a credit history review. If you meet the lender’s criteria, your cosigner will be removed and you can continue making payments as the sole borrower.

The process for applying for co-signer release depends on the lender. Call your lender directly to understand the steps and how long the process takes.

Unfortunately, cosigner release programs can be difficult to qualify for. According to a 2015 report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 90% of borrowers who applied for co-signer release were rejected. That said, if you’ve worked on growing your income and improving your credit, you may have a good chance of removing your cosigner, relieving them of their obligation and the credit implications of being on your loans.

2. Refinance your student loans

If your lender doesn’t offer a cosigner release program or you haven’t met the payment requirements, consider refinancing your student loans instead. The credit requirements will likely be similar to a cosigner release program because, in both instances, the lender wants to ensure that you can qualify on your own.

If you can qualify for a student loan refinance at a lower rate than you’re currently paying, there are often no downsides to refinancing. You can use Credible to compare student loan refinancing rates from multiple private lenders at once without affecting your credit score.

With refinancing, though, you may be able to take advantage of some other benefits that you can’t get with a cosigner release. In addition to releasing your cosigner from their obligations, refinancing can also make it possible for you to get a lower interest rate than what you’re paying now. This is especially possible if market interest rates have dropped or your credit and income have improved significantly.

Refinancing can also give you a little more flexibility with your monthly payments. For example, if you can afford a higher monthly payment, you may choose a shorter repayment period and eliminate your debt early. Alternatively, if you need some room in your budget, you can request a longer repayment term, which makes your monthly payments more affordable.

See what your estimated monthly payments would be with a refinance using Credible, which allows you to compare rates from up to 10 student loan refinance companies.

However, refinancing isn’t for everyone. It can be difficult to get approved for favorable terms, especially if it hasn’t been long since you needed a cosigner for the original loans.

During the process, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples with fixed interest rates and variable interest rates. While variable rates start off lower, they can increase over time.If you’re considering refinancing your student loans, visit an online marketplace like Credible to compare lenders side by side. Simply share a little information about yourself and your student loans, and you’ll be able to view loan offers with just a soft credit check.

While you’re at it, use a student loan refinancing calculator to get an idea of different repayment options and how that impacts your monthly payments and total interest charges.

The bottom line

If you have a cosigner on your student loans, the faster you can release them from the debt, the better. Not only will it make it easier on them in terms of credit and financial obligations, but it can also relieve stress with the situation.

If you’re hoping to drop your cosigner from your loans, consider a cosigner release program or student loan refinancing. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks, though, so do your research to determine which path is the best for you.

And if you’re considering refinancing, make sure to compare student loan refinancing rates before you apply, so you can make sure you find the best deal for you.

Need Help?

If you still need help with controlling your debt and/or improving your credit, fill out the form below and get a free credit consultation from a credit expert at Better Qualified.

Consolidating bills? Here are 3 moves to make before doing a balance transfer

If you owe money on a few different credit cards, you may be considering a balance transfer. A balance transfer lets you move your existing balances onto a new card with a lower interest rate – ideally, an initial 0% introductory rate. Not only can it make your debt more affordable, but it can also make it easier to pay off. After all, it’s easier to remember to make a single payment each month for one credit card than keep track of various due dates. But while a balance transfer can be a good way to consolidate debt, it pays to make these moves before rushing in.

1. Boost your credit score so you qualify for a better offer

Just as you’ll need decent credit to qualify for a regular credit card, so to is having strong credit important for a balance transfer. That’s especially true if you want one with a 0% interest period and other favorable terms. If your credit score needs work, you can raise it by:

  • Paying your incoming bills on time
  • Checking your credit reports for errors
  • Asking your existing credit card issuers for a higher spending limit, which could help your credit utilization ratio drop (that’s a good thing as far as your credit score is concerned)

2. See if a personal loan makes more sense

A balance transfer can save you money, but you may not qualify for a 0% introductory offer. If that’s the case, you may get stuck paying an interest rate that, while lower than your current one, is still high. That’s why a personal loan may be a better choice.

With installment loans, you can borrow money for any reason. So you can take out that loan, use its proceeds to pay off your credit card balances, and then pay that single loan back in monthly installments. Personal loans generally charge lower interest rates than credit cards. Also, personal loan balances don’t count toward your credit utilization ratio, so moving your debt over to a personal loan could help improve your credit score.

A young couple signing a contract.

3. Look at a cash-out refinance

If you owe money on your credit cards but you’re also thinking of refinancing your mortgage, there may be an easy way to consolidate your debt and make it less expensive to pay off. It’s called a cash-out refinance, and it allows you to borrow more than your outstanding mortgage balance and use the extra cash for whatever purpose you choose

Say you owe $150,000 on your mortgage and have $10,000 of credit card debt on cards charging 14% to 18% interest. If you qualify for a cash-out refinance, you could borrow $160,000 instead of the $150,000 you’d borrow with a regular refinance. From there, you’d use the first $150,000 to pay off your existing home loan and then take the remaining $10,000 and pay off your credit cards. Then, you’d make a single mortgage payment each month until you’ve paid that entire $160,000 back. Given today’s refinance rates, if your credit is decent, you could qualify for a refinance at under 3%. That’s a lot less expensive than paying 14% to 18% interest.

A balance transfer is a great way to consolidate debt and make it cheaper to pay off, but don’t rush into it. Instead, make sure your credit score makes you eligible for attractive offers, and explore alternate solutions that may be more cost-effective. With a little work, you can knock out your existing credit card debt in the most affordable manner possible.

Need Help?

If you still need help with controlling your debt and/or improving your credit, fill out the form below and get a free credit consultation from a credit expert at Better Qualified.

Don’t fall for these 3 debt consolidation myths

If your personal finance goals include paying off outstanding debt, consolidation is one solution to consider. A debt consolidation loan allows you to combine credit card debt and other types of debt into a single personal loan.

While you could open a 0% APR balance transfer credit card to manage debt, consolidating with personal loans can yield some advantages. For example, you can exchange a variable interest rate on credit card debt for a fixed interest rate. Reducing your interest rate can save you money over time. And when more of your monthly payment goes toward the principal, it’s possible to pay down debt faster.

But there are some debt consolidation myths that may be holding you back from getting a personal loan.

3 myths about debt consolidation

Here are some of the biggest misconceptions about consolidating debt, along with some tips on how to choose a debt consolidation loan.

  1. It damages your credit score
  2. Debt consolidation will decrease debt and save money
  3. It’s time-consuming to consolidate debt

1. It damages your credit score

Maintaining a good FICO score is important when borrowing money. The better your credit history, the easier it is to qualify for loans.

It’s always important to research personal loan lenders — especially if you’re concerned about your credit score. Use an online marketplace like Credible to make sure you’re getting the best rate and lender for your needs.

A common myth about debt consolidation is that it will hurt your credit score. It’s a fact that applying for a personal loan may require a hard inquiry of your credit report, which can trim a few points off your credit score. But over time, consolidating debt could help improve your score, since there are different systems for automated debt collection that companies use to collect their debt.

For instance, if you’re using a debt consolidation loan to pay off credit card debt, you could reduce the balances on your cards to zero. This could improve your credit utilization ratio, the second-most important factor for FICO credit scoring. At the same time, making on-time payments to the personal loan you used to consolidate debt could also give your score a boost. If you’re concerned about credit score impacts when paying off outstanding debt, you can use a tool like Credible to check your credit and monitor for identity theft.

2. Debt consolidation will decrease debt and save money

One of the most persistent debt consolidation myths is that it will automatically decrease your debt and save you money.

Consolidating debts — whether it’s student loan debt, credit cards, or other debts — doesn’t by itself reduce what you owe. Instead, a debt consolidation loan provides you with the funds to pay those individual debts off. Going forward, you’d make payments toward your consolidation loan or a mortgage which is not that difficult to get if you get no income verification mortgage loans which are more simple for this situation.

Debt consolidation shouldn’t be confused with debt settlement, which allows you to pay off outstanding debt for less than what’s owed. This option is typically only available if you’re significantly behind on payments to a debt, which can cause serious credit score damage.

If your financial goals include paying off debt while maintaining a good credit score, debt consolidation is the better option. Though it’s important to use a personal loan calculator to estimate your potential interest savings. You can also plug in some simple information into Credible’s free online tool to determine if a debt consolidation loan is your best option.

Depending on the personal loan term, amount, and interest rate, it’s possible that debt consolidation may not save you as much money as you expected. Visiting Credible can help you compare debt consolidation options to find the best personal loan rates for you, based on your credit score and credit history.

3. It’s time-consuming to consolidate debt

Another misconception about using a personal loan to consolidate and pay down debt is that it’s a lengthy process. In reality, it’s possible to apply for personal loans for debt consolidation online and be approved very quickly.

With Credible, for instance, you can compare personal loan rates from multiple lenders without affecting your credit score. You can then decide which loan options you’re interested in, complete the application, and upload any supporting documents that are needed. Once your loan is approved, the proceeds can be used to pay off credit cards and other debts.

Consider all the options for managing debt

Debt consolidation is something to consider if you have credit cards or federal student loans and you’d like to streamline your monthly payments. If you have other financial obligations, such as mortgage debt or private student loans, you could try consolidation or explore ways to refinance debt instead.

Deciding to refinance mortgage debt, for instance, could make sense if you’d like to switch from an adjustable-rate to a fixed-rate loan. And you might refinance student loans to remove a cosigner or take advantage of low-interest rates. You could even choose to refinance personal loans if you have any outstanding.

If you’re interested in consolidating or refinancing debt, it can help to have experienced loan officers on your side. Visit Credible to get all of your loan consolidation and refinancing questions answered.

Need Help?

If you still need help with controlling your debt and/or improving your credit, fill out the form below and get a free credit consultation from a credit expert at Better Qualified

This map shows the average credit score in every U.S. state

 

A woman holding a credit card balances her laptop on her knee while a toddler sits in her lap.

Your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your financial life: A higher score makes it easier to qualify for better rates on loans and more rewarding credit cards and adds extra sparkle to your apartment application.

Conversely, a lower score can make your financial life more difficult: The loans and credit cards you will qualify for will likely be smaller and carry much higher rates and less favorable terms. And if your score is really poor, you might be denied access to loans you need altogether.

The average credit score in the U.S. is 711, according to credit reporting firm Experian, but the average score in each state varies significantly, ranging from a high of 739 in Minnesota to a low of 675 in Mississippi.

Grow mapped Experian’s data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia to show how Americans’ credit scores compare across state lines.

FICO credit scores range from very poor to exceptional

Your credit score is based on data in your credit report. There are several different scoring formulas, and some of the most widely used include FICO and VantageScore. Experian relies on the FICO model, which categorizes scores into five buckets, ranging from poor to exceptional.

Interestingly, the average credit score for every state falls in the “good” category, despite the 64 point spread between Minnesota’s 739 and Mississippi’s 675.

Chart showing meaning of FICO score ranges

How to improve your credit score from ‘good’ to ‘great’

Every state’s average credit score lands in the “good” category, but you’ll likely need a “very good” score to secure the best terms for the loan you want. For example, experts say you’ll generally need a 740 to nab a great rewards credit card, and at least a 760 to get the best rate on a mortgage, which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.


Video by Stephen Parkhurst

To improve your score, it helps to understand what goes into it. Your score is based on information in your credit report. Your payment history is the most influential factor, accounting for a little more than a third of your score.

“Credit scoring is all about how well you manage your money, not how much money you have,” Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at Bankrate, told Grow last year.

FICO breakdown
Factors that impact your credit score
35%
Payment
history
30%
Utilization
15%
Length of credit history
10%
New credit
10%
Credit mix
KIERSTEN SCHMIDT/GROW FICO

Here are three simple things you can do to improve your score:

  • Improve your credit utilization. “The most impactful thing that consumers can do to quickly improve their credit score is to lower their credit utilization ratio,” Rossman told Grow. Your credit utilization ratio — that is, the amount of credit you’re currently using divided by the total amount of credit you have available — is second only to payment history when calculating your credit score. Keeping old cards open, paying down debt, and strategically using balance transfer offers can help improve this key ratio.
  • Make payments on time. Late payments ding your score, so set up automatic payments or reminders to ensure you pay on time every month.
  • Pay off your balance in full. This helps improve your credit utilization, especially if you tackle the balance before your statement closes. “Queer Eye” star Bobby Berk found that paying a few days early boosted his score by nearly 150 points because it looked like he was using less credit. “I watched my score go from the low 700s to 840 or 845,” Berk told Grow.

Need Help?

If you still need help with controlling your debt and/or improving your credit, fill out the form below and get a free credit consultation from a credit expert at Better Qualified

Jump-Start Your Credit: Get Your Credit Reports

 

Credit scores are designed to help lenders understand how likely they are to repay borrowed money. Credit-scoring companies apply a mathematical formula to data about how you’ve handled credit in the past — and that data comes from your credit reports.

You have a right to see your credit reports, and taking a look at them is a key part of working on your credit. It lets you verify that the information is accurate and timely, and also gives you an idea of how potential lenders or even employers might view you.

Here’s what to know about your credit reports and how to get them.

What’s a credit report?

A credit report is a record of your credit accounts and how you’ve paid them, plus information to establish your identity.

When you use credit, or simply apply for it, that information can go into files maintained by the three major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Lenders and credit card issuers can report to one, two, or all three credit bureaus. The bureaus collect that data, plus some identifying information and sometimes debt information from public records. It’s strictly factual information, with no interpretation.

Your reports typically vary a bit between credit bureaus, because reporting is voluntary, and not every creditor reports to every credit-reporting agency. If you have no experience with credit, you shouldn’t have a credit report. (If you do, it suggests identity theft.)

Your credit report information may be shared, with your permission, when you apply for credit, a job, a rental, or utilities. Lenders and credit card issuers typically check your credit to decide whether to approve your application and on what terms.

What’s the difference between a credit score and a credit report?

A credit report isn’t the same as a credit score, and reports don’t include your score.

Credit bureaus sell credit report access to credit-scoring companies, who run some of the data through proprietary formulas to produce credit scores.

So, a credit score is a number designed to help a lender or card issuer gauge the risk involved in lending to you, while a credit report contains the data used to calculate that number. And because credit bureaus don’t have exactly the same data, you’re likely to have slightly different scores depending on which set of data was used in the calculation.

You may have credit report access already

If you’ve checked your free credit score, you may also have access to a credit report. It will be an abbreviated version of your full credit report, and it will come from the same credit bureau as your free score. You can use that information to stay on top of your payment history, credit utilization, recent applications, and more, but it won’t be as detailed as your full credit report, which will likely go back further in time and include a list of who’s viewed your report.

If you’ve signed up for a free score from NerdWallet, you’ll find your credit report information under “Credit factors” at the bottom right of NerdWallet’s credit score page. You can see details about your credit accounts, current balances, and payment history.

A screenshot shows impact and notes about payment history, credit utilization, age and mix of account, balances and recent inquiries.

How to get all 3 free credit reports

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act gives consumers the right to see their credit report at no charge from each of the three major credit bureaus at least once a year. That information is available by using AnnualCreditReport.com. Credit bureaus are currently allowing weekly access through April because of the pandemic. Once you get a report, it’s smart to print it out or keep an electronic copy.

When requesting reports through that website, you’ll need to fill in your name, Social Security number, birth date, and address, including the four-digit suffix to your ZIP code. You’ll need to list your previous address if you’ve been at your current one less than two years.

After that, you’ll be asked questions to verify your identity. Each credit bureau has its own questions, so if you’re requesting all three credit reports, you’ll have three sets of questions. The questions can be hard, such as the county you lived in 30 years ago, which bank issued a card that was opened 10 years ago in a particular month, or the approximate amount of a car payment. Learning the basics of corporate taxes can help you land a job in private or public accounting. Become proficient in corporate tax preparation and filing to increase your job prospects.

If you have a previous credit report, you may want to refer to it to help answer questions. However, you may get a question that can’t be answered by referencing old reports, says Shaundra Turner Jones, director, corporate affairs and communications at TransUnion. “We understand some may find it frustrating to go through the authentication process, but it’s essential to protect the privacy of your information,” she says.

If you’re unable to correctly answer, you’ll be given instructions for how to request your credit report by mail and what documentation will be required. You may also be able to verify by phone.

You’re likely to see offers for additional information or services, often at a cost, but your credit report itself is free. Just decline those offers and the site will let you complete your requests at no charge.

Need Help?

If you still need help with controlling your debt and/or improving your credit, fill out the form below and get a free credit consultation from a credit expert at Better Qualified.

Does your credit score affect your insurance rates?

 

Credit scores impact the interest rates that consumers receive for various types of loans, including credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and even auto insurance rates. A higher credit score means an individual will receive a lower interest rate, saving them thousands of dollars over several years.

If you’re looking to save some extra money on credit insurance— whether it’s home insurance or car insurance — Credible has you covered. Credible’s online marketplace allows you to view your insurance options easily and determine which companies offer the best rates and deals.

But it’s always a good idea to know your personal finance inside and out, particularly your credit score, before applying or switching insurance policies. Here’s what you need to know:

Why does a credit score affect insurance?

Lenders use credit scores to determine the ability of a consumer to pay back a loan on time, such as mortgage refinances, student loan refinances, and personal loans.

“Credit scores are a way for lenders to determine risk before approving a loan, such as a credit card, mortgage or refinance,” said Leslie Tayne, a Melville, N.Y. attorney specializing in debt relief. “The higher the credit score, the lower the risk to lenders that consumers will default on their loans.”

FICO scores are one of the most well-known, range from 300 to 850, and are based on credit reports.

Underwriting criteria for loan approval and rates vary from lender to lender, but poor credit is typically a score lower than 580, she said. A score of 580-669 is considered fair, 670-739 is good and a score of 740 or higher is typically considered excellent.

How much does credit score affect insurance rates?

Insurance companies use a slightly different method to determine the risk level of a consumer for auto, renters, and truck fleet owners insurance policies for which in case not payed in full, you can get some help from the truck accident attorneys lafayette in.

1. How insurance companies reference credit scores

Insurance companies use credit scores as a factor when determining premiums. States that prohibit this practice for auto insurance include Massachusetts, Hawaii, and California, Tayne said. Insurance companies use credit scores to get an idea of the risk involved for the company.

“Insurance companies want to reduce the chances of a policyholder missing payments,” she said.

2. How insurance companies use credit-based insurance scores

Most insurance companies use credit-based insurance scores to evaluate how likely a policyholder is to have a claim, Laura Adams, a Vero Beach, Fla.-based consumer advocate, said. Like lenders, insurers use credit as a factor when setting rates in states that allow it.

Insurance companies obtain credit scores both when you purchase a new policy and when your policy comes up for renewal, said Jackie Boies, a senior director of housing and bankruptcy services for Money Management International, a Sugar Land, Texas-based nonprofit debt counseling organization.

Head to Credible to get a better understanding of the different types of home insurance coverage and what the coverage amount is. Click on Credible’s home insurance partners to get a free home insurance quote.

3. How credit-based insurance scores are different than the traditional ones

Credit-based insurance scores help insurers get a general idea of the likelihood that a claim will be filed.

“This type of score can help minimize the risk that the individual will cost the company more in filed claims than the person is paying in premiums,” Tayne said. “Insurance companies want to maximize profit and take on as little risk as possible.”

If you have insurance and want to lower costs or if you’re looking to switch car insurance companies, then head to Credible to explore pricing and compare quotes in one spot.

4. How these types of scores affect insurance premiums

Lower scores can result in higher premiums. Consumers should keep in mind that other factors are taken into consideration, such as previously filed claims, location, and age of the vehicle and home, Tayne said.

Credit can significantly affect premiums, but it could mean that a driver with poor credit pays double or triple for auto insurance than a similar driver with excellent credit, Adams said.

A person’s credit-based insurance score is another reason a consumer should maintain good credit and check a credit report annually for errors, Boies said. One credit reporting error could cause a jump in your premium when your policy renews. Get your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.org and dispute any errors.

Consumers can improve their credit scores by paying their bills on time, not taking out too much credit, and not using over 30% of the utilization ratio of their credit cards. A higher credit score gives you lower rates for all your insurance policies.

“Good or excellent scores indicate that you’ve previously been responsible with credit by making payments on time and not borrowing too much,” Adams said. “In general, those with higher scores qualify for the most competitive interest rates and repayment terms.”

Credit score ranges

Credit score ranges vary depending on the company and each one uses an algorithm to evaluate a borrower based on your credit reports’ information at the nationwide credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, Adams said.

Here are ranges for some other popular credit scores, Adams said.

  • FICO Mortgage Score: 300 to 850
  • FICO Auto Score: 250 to 900
  • FICO Bankcard Score: 250 to 900
  • VantageScore: 501 to 990
  • TransUnion: 300 to 850

Need Help?

If you still need help with controlling your debt and/or improving your credit, fill out the form below and get a free credit consultation from a credit expert at Better Qualified. Or better yet, visit www.BestCarInsuranceWSA.com to avail a car insurance whatever your credit score is.

 

7 things that don’t affect your credit score but seem like they would

Your credit score is a significant number that essentially rates how likely you are to repay the money you borrow. It’s also the subject of quite a few myths and rumors. Even though anyone can learn how a credit score is calculated, there’s still all sorts of inaccurate information about what goes into a credit score.

If you’re working to increase your credit score, inaccurate information is a big problem. You won’t see results if you focus on things that don’t actually impact your credit. And you may end up making unnecessary changes that hurt your financial situation.

To avoid those issues, you should know about what doesn’t affect your credit, even if it seems like it would matter.

1. Paying less than 30 days late

It’s not a good feeling when you miss a credit card payment. You may stress out at the thought of your credit score plummeting. After all, your payment history has the most significant impact on your credit score. Just one late payment can tank your score by over 100 points.

Fortunately, you have a grace period before that happens. It’s only considered a late credit card payment on your credit history if it’s at least 30 days late. If you make the payment within 29 days or less of the due date, it’s reported on time.

The card issuer can charge you a late fee right away, however, so you should still aim to avoid missing payments.

2. Upgrading or downgrading a credit card

Credit card companies will often let you switch to another card in their lineup. This is generally called a product change. It’s also known among consumers as an upgrade or a downgrade, depending on whether you switch to a card with a higher or lower annual fee.

Although opening a credit card can affect your credit, product changes don’t. You’re switching to a new card, but the credit account itself remains the same on your credit file. The account history and details don’t change because the card itself is different.

811 credit score displayed on tablet

3. The number of credit cards you have

One of the most common credit score myths is that having lots of credit cards is bad. As widespread as this myth is, it’s incorrect. The amount of credit cards isn’t a factor in your credit score.

However, two factors in your credit score can be affected if you apply for new credit cards often. The first is your average account age. This will go down each time you get a new card.

4. Your income

Given that a credit score is a rating of your creditworthiness, you’d figure that your income plays a part. That’s not the case. Your income isn’t part of your credit file and does not affect your credit score.

Lenders use your reported income to decide whether to approve you on loan and credit card applications. But your income and credit score are two completely separate items.

5. Your assets

The credit bureaus that calculate your credit score don’t take your assets into account. Your net worth, savings accounts, retirement accounts, and anything else you own are irrelevant when it comes to your credit score.

On a positive note, this means an excellent credit score is something anyone can achieve. A person with low income and no assets could have a higher score than someone in the top income bracket with substantial assets.

6. Your marital status

Getting married and divorced both have financial implications, such as how you file your taxes. However, neither will do anything to your credit. Spouses always retain their own separate credit files.

Although your marital status doesn’t affect your credit score, actions you take with a spouse could. For example, you and your spouse may decide to apply for a mortgage together or become authorized users on each other’s credit cards. Those would affect your respective credit scores.

7. Receiving public assistance

If you’re receiving public assistance, you don’t need to be concerned that it will hurt your credit. Thanks to the Consumer Credit Protection Act, credit score models can’t use the receipt of public assistance. It’s one of the prohibited items in calculating a credit score, along with your race, religion, and gender.

Even though credit scores may seem complicated, there are really only five scoring criteria you need to know about: your payment history, credit utilization ratio, the age of your accounts, your credit mix, and your new credit inquiries. If you need help understanding any of those, our credit score guide provides a detailed breakdown.

Need Help?

If you still need help with controlling your debt and/or improving your credit, fill out the form below and get a free credit consultation from a credit expert at Better Qualified

5 benefits of having a good credit score

What can I do with a good credit score? 5 benefits

Here are five reasons why it’s worth getting your score as high as possible.

  1. Secure a loan with a low-interest rate
  2. Qualify for a refinance
  3. Lower insurance premiums
  4. Easier time renting a home
  5. Credit card rewards

1. Secure a loan with a low-interest rate

Truthfully, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, today’s rates are at record lows. However, if you want to qualify for the lowest of low-interest rates, you’ll have to have an excellent credit score.

To see where you fit in, turn to a credit monitoring service. Credible’s partners can help you find your credit score, history, alert you to potential fraud, and more.

Here are some loan types that require good credit.

  • Mortgages: If you’re thinking of buying a home, you’re going to need to get a mortgage and your credit history will play a large role in determining what interest rate you’re given on the loan. In order to find the lowest rate possible, your best bet is to shop around. Visit Credible to compare rates and mortgage lenders. 
  • Personal and Credit Union loans: Personal and credit union loans can be great tools for consolidating debt and lowering your credit utilization rate. If you think a personal loan might be the right choice for you, visit Credible to get a sense of your personal loan options.
  • Student loans: If you’ve been out of school for a while, it’s possible to take advantage of today’s low-interest rates by refinancing your student loans. You can get personalized rates from multiple private student loan lenders from Credible without harming your credit score.
  • Credit card: if your goal is to apply for a new card, it’s best to apply for one that is in your score range. With that in mind, use Credible to find the right credit card for you

 

2. Qualify for a refinance 

If you already have an existing loan, but still want to take advantage of the latest rates, you might think about refinancing. Refinancing involves taking out a new loan with better terms and using it to pay off your old loan. Typically, when people talk about refinancing, they’re either referencing their mortgage or their student loans.

Mortgage refinancing

At the time of reporting, home loans with fixed interest rates are as low as 2.71% for a 30-year loan, or 2.26% for a 15-year loan, according to Freddie Mac. Meanwhile, loans with variable interest rates are at an average of 3.16% for a 5/1-year ARM.

You can explore your mortgage refinance options by using Credible to compare rates and lenders.

4 WAYS TO GET LOWER HOME MORTGAGE REFINANCE RATES

Student loan refinancing

According to Credible, students with a credit score as low as 650 can refinance their student loans to a variable rate of 2.71% with a co-signer or a fixed rate of 3.70% with a co-signer. However, if you have a credit score of at least 770, you can enjoy variable rates as low as 2.39% or fixed rates as low as 2.79% without anyone else being on the loan.

Use an online tool like Credible to see what rates are available to you and to compare multiple lenders at once.

3. Lower insurance premiums

In addition, having a higher credit score can mean that you pay less for auto and home insurance. In fact, according to a study by InsuranceQuotes.com, drivers with poor credit scores pay up to 91% more for their auto insurance than those with excellent credit scores. A similar study found that having a fair credit score can add up to 29% to your home insurance premium.

With Credible, you can compare home and auto insurance companies, including their rates and fees. See if you’re paying more than you have to and if it’s worth switching insurance companies.

THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO LOWER YOUR CAR INSURANCE COSTS

4. Easier time renting a home 

Often, before a landlord will allow you to sign a lease, they will check your credit report. Since your credit score is an indicator of how likely you are to pay your bills, those with excellent credit are more likely to have their rental applications accepted.

Landlords are required to pay their mortgage whether you pay rent. With that in mind, many landlords weigh a prospective tenant’s credit score heavily because they don’t want to worry about having to come up with the funds for the mortgage payment on the fly if a tenant doesn’t pay.

Use a credit monitoring service to determine if your credit is strong enough to qualify to rent a home.

5. Credit card rewards

Lastly, people with high credit scores tend to have an easier time taking advantage of credit card rewards. Put simply, if you don’t need to have a card with a 0% APR period, you’ll likely qualify for other reward options like cashback or redeemable travel miles.

Online marketplace Credible can help you compare different types of reward cards, including various rates and fees that come with them. Use Credible’s free online tools to find the recommended credit card for your needs.

Need Help?

If you still need help with controlling your debt and/or improving your credit, fill out the form below and get a free credit consultation from a credit expert at Better Qualified.

Credit Repair

What is Credit Repair?

In the last 10 years, credit repair has become a necessary process for keeping your financial life healthy, just like out-patient surgery, or drive-up oil changes. The complex network of information exchange necessary to maintain the credit records of millions of Americans could be compared to the complex interstate and highway networks that make up major cities. Although they work quite well most of the time, accidents do occur, especially in large businesses, that’s why it’s important for them to always have Business Debit Cards.

A recent study indicated that 79% of consumers have some kind of error or inaccuracy on their credit report.

Most people have potentially damaging inaccuracies on their reports that could be hurting their scores. Credit repair is the process of identifying errors, disputing the information in question, and monitoring the bureaus to make sure the corrections are made to your report.

About Better Qualified

Better Qualified began serving consumers with inaccurate credit reports in 2003. We have been a preferred partner of  Mortgage Brokers, Realtors, Bankers etc.. We have also maintained a high rating with the Better Business Bureau during our years in business, las vegas credit repair is commonly listed in the top-five credit repair companies by independent reviewers.

Our services are the result of years of experience disputing errors and removing inaccuracies from credit reports. Our Credit Experts are trained in the time-tested methods we have developed and receive ongoing training on the most up to date credit repair laws and techniques. Try to avoid the so-called ChexSystems removal services, you’d better fill a ChexSystems dispute by yourself.

Credit Repair Guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission has published a number of guidelines for consumers to follow when researching credit repair services. Here’s how Veracity compares with those guidelines:

The company wants you to pay for credit repair services before they provide any services. Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair companies cannot require you to pay until they have completed the services they have promised.

  • Better Qualified does not charge you a setup fee until we have built your CORE Credit Profile in our system and contacted you to begin building your personal credit plan of action. After the initial fee, our services are billed “in arrears” which means we work for a month on your credit case before billing you for that month.

Most credit reports are inaccurate and sometimes doesn’t tell you your rights and what you can do for yourself for free.

  • Better Qualified makes no claims that credit repair can’t be a DIY project (more info on DIY credit repair). We also list all the rights of credit consumers, on our site, right here: Consumer Rights.

The company recommends that you do not contact any of the three major national credit reporting companies directly.

  • Although it is not typically necessary with Better Qualified service, we would never tell you not to contact the credit bureaus.

The company tells you they can get rid of most or all the negative credit information in your credit report, even if that information is accurate and current.

  • Better Qualified does not challenge accurate information. Our credit repair service is for the removal of inaccurate or outdated information. We do not promise to remove information of any kind.

The company suggests that you try to invent a “new” credit identity – and then, a new credit report – by applying for an Employer Identification Number to use instead of your Social Security number.

  • Better Qualified has never, will never, and does not suggest this.

The company advises you to dispute all the information in your credit report, regardless of its accuracy or timeliness.

  • We do not suggest you do this at all. Our interface allows you to tell us exactly which accounts or records are inaccurate and which are accurate. In this way, we are able to focus on only the accounts that matter.

Becoming an Entrepreneur After Retirement

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

According to Inc., people over age 50 are starting businesses at a higher rate than younger entrepreneurs. If you’re retired or close to retirement and wondering how to start your own business — without sacrificing your future financial health — you’re not alone.

The Kauffman Index indicated that people aged 55 to 64 represented 26 percent of new entrepreneurs in 2016. While this group has more startup capital and a loan approval rate of 26 percent, they also have a lot more to lose if their businesses fail.

It takes the right idea at the right time in the right market to be successful. To increase your chances, you should follow these steps.

  1. Create a business plan. Identify the need and evaluate the market based on what you’re proposing.
  2. Evaluate your skills. Do you have the know-how, experience, and qualifications to address and fulfill that need?
  3. Consider the time commitment. If you’re seeking something with flexibility that you can control, chances are that you’ll need a substantial time investment initially, at least.
  4. Utilize the resources in your area. Good advice is priceless! If you live near a college or university, see whether there’s a small business center that offers free or low-cost consultancy services. Investigate the local chamber of commerce for other inexpensive (or free) resources.
  5. Use your professional connections. Consider joining LinkedIn. People with long careers know lots of other people. Networking is a huge tool for entrepreneurs.
  6. Embrace (and learn, if necessary), technology. Today’s businesses are run far more differently than businesses from the past. Up your social media presence, learn website management, and become online commerce savvy, or hire someone you trust to get you started until you can take it over yourself.
  7. Talk to an accountant when you’re analyzing the finances for your startup. If your business is cyber-based, you may not have a significant start-up cost. APM dublin accountants can assist you in the preparation of the annual financial statements of your company and to assist you in the filing of the Annual Return. You’ll want to protect your retirement savings, so talking to a finance professional will help you plan properly and protect your savings.
  8. Protect your assets by structuring your business in such a way that if it doesn’t work, or you have an end date in mind, you have a workable exit strategy.
  9. Speaking of exit strategies, create a plan. Will you hand the business off to your children? Sell it? Close it down?
  10. Consider the gold ira reviews and invest in precious metals like gold and silver.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Businesses! 

So, you’ve decided to become an entrepreneur. Great! But what are the options?

If you like working with animals, consider starting a company that offers dog walking or pet sitting. Last year, Americans spent over $47 billion on their pets. Since almost two-thirds of U.S. households have at least one pet, it’s an industry that’s here to stay.

Certify as a life coach. Life coaching or mentoring is a fairly lucrative business because it requires little capital to launch. If you’ve got areas in which you can specialize — sports, weight loss, organization, personal happiness, and more — find the niche in your area.

Capitalize on your hobby. If you knit, crochet, or sew, offer these services. Provide alteration and tailoring services or customized sewing. Check out Etsy.com to see what other handmade crafts people want. Many people appreciate custom-made sweaters, blankets, and more.

Good with tools or like to work with your hands? If you’ve got the expertise, start a repair business. Help people with small home projects they don’t have the time or knowledge to do themselves.

For a list of 2018’s 50 best after retirement business ideas, check out this article from Profitableventure.com.

Small business adventures 

Many experts agree that age is no longer a number when it comes to launching a new business after you’ve retired. More people are saying they don’t mind working longer, but they want to work on their own terms, something owning a small business facilitates. This article from Kiplinger.com includes a more detailed guide and advice to educate yourself, choose the right business, and safeguard your savings as you prepare to start your next adventure

Need Help?

If you still need help with controlling your debt and/or improving your credit, fill out the form below and get a free credit consultation from a credit expert at Better Qualified.