Does Checking Your Own Credit Lower Credit Scores

Checking Your Own Credit Does Not Affect Your Credit Score
Your credit scores are determined by formulas that assess your creditworthiness. Lenders evaluate the risk of extending credit to you in part by using credit scores, which measures your credit risk — namely, how likely it is that you’ll pay them back and pay on time. Credit scores constantly adjust as the information in your credit report changes. You’ll benefit from knowing your Experian, Transunion, and Equifax credit scores and keeping track of changes and setbacks.
A credit score is an additional service that can be requested when getting your credit report. Along with your credit score you will know what factors influence your risk.
Credit reports have mistatkes
Repair your credit reports and scores. We provide free credit report review.

SOURCE:  Experian website

Job Hunting for 50+

Does your age shut you out?  Looking for a job?  For those in the 50+ age bracket, you may have found that the economy in 2008 may have affected you too.  You may have taken an early retirement or was let go.  You were possibly in your 40’s or early 50’s at the time, well experienced in your field and thought that it would be fairly easy to move on in the work force.  You may have found that finding steady employment has been more than a daunting task.

Then too, there’s a perception that people over 50 or 60 will be just passing through as a transition into retirement.  Employers are reluctant to hire someone they think will be out the door in a year or so.

The fact is that compared to their younger colleagues, workers with a few decades of experience under their belt are typically better problem-solvers and people -managers and have honed leadership skills over time.  I know that I am preaching to the choir, but you need to show that to potential employers.

Here are several strategies that can help you fight back against stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.

new life in retirement
Take a new direction in your best years

1.  Ask for help and advice

Networking is just one letter off from not working.  In this era of online resumes, it’s all about who you know that can get you in the chair for a face-to-face interview.  When companies are looking for new employees, they rely on employee referrals.  In 2011, employee referrals accounted for 28% of new hires, followed by job boards 20.1%, career pages on company web site.

You need to pick up the phone and call everybody that you know, ever knew, ever worked with and every employer that you ever worked.  That’s the way to get an interview.  You need to establish personal connection to the company.

2.  Brainstorm

Call or sit down with a spouse, friends, neighbors, church friends and ask for help.  Write down the names of previous employers and former colleagues, immediate and extended family.  Don’t be embarrassed to call family members when you’re out of work.  Get over it.  Call friends, people in your place of worship, athletic club, volunteer organizations, parents of children’s friends.

If there is a particular industry you’re hoping for, join an association affiliated with it and seek out volunteer opportunities.  Attend industry and professional meetings and conferences.

College and university placement offices are there to help no matter how long ago you graduated.  Seek out career centers operated by your area colleges or lacal lgovernment agencies offering career counseling, workshops on resume writing, job fairs and retraining programs.

Don’t be timid.  You have to take the risk of picking up the phone and having someone to say no, and maybe.  No matter how good your resume might be, unless it helps you get a face-to-face interviews with hiring managers, your efforts are wasted.

3.  Market your age as a plus

It’s all in marketing.  Brand yourself.  You are responsible for your own image.  Workers 50+ tend to be self-starters, know how to get the job done, and don’t need as much handholding as those with less experience.  A great benefit to being older is that you have a good deal of knowledge and leadership ability.  So pitch your age as a plus.  You need to be able to articulate your value.

4.  Roll with the latest technology.

If you don’t have core technical skills, check out your local libraries, community colleges and other venues where training is offered.

Take the time to get savvy with the following:

  • Smartphones
  • E-mail
  • Computers
  • Social networking
  • Video interviews
  • Web navigation skills
  • Employer web sites and Google alerts
  • Learn the latest resume tricks
  • Fine tune your interview skills
  • Don’t be a know-it-all with a chip in your shoulder
  • Look your best and make sure that you are styled
  • Practice positivity

There are opportunities available for those needing extra money.  Depending on work experience, here are are a few to consider.   couple over 50

  1. Librarian Assistant/Aide
  2. Alumni Event Planning
  3. Bookkeeper
  4. Personal and Home-Care Aide
  5. Handy Jack / Handy Jill (odd jobs)
  6. Medical Assistant
  7. Project – Based Consultant
  8. Blogger
  9. Personal Assistant
  10. Athletic Coach / Umpire / Referee
  11. Teacher’s Aide
  12. Tour Jobs
  13. Convention Center Jobs
  14. Pet Groomer
  15. Wal-Mart Greeter
  16. Limo Driver
  17. Shuttle Bus Driver on Campus
  18. Tax Preparer
  19. Tutor
  20. Park Service Employee
  21. Nursery Worker
  22. Pet Sitter
  23. Amusement Parks
  24. Athletic Event Ticket Services
  25. Call Center Representative
  26. Restaurant Greeter
  27. Hairdresser
  28. Car Transporter
  29. Travel Nurse
  30. Cruise Liners has a full array of jobs and some hire couples
  31. Realtor

Great Holiday Jobs

  1. Santa Claus
  2. Retail Sales Cashier
  3. Retail Salesperson
  4. Product Demonstrator
  5. Holiday Decorator
  6. Package Delivery

Landing a holiday job:

  • Stop by for a face-to-face
  • Offer future help
  • Be flexible
  • Network
  • Go where they know you
  • Don’t wait for a help-wanted sign

Great Snowbird Jobs

  1. Resort Hospitality Worker
  2. Resort Services Worker
  3. Disney “Cast Member”
  4. Second Home Property Manager/Concierge
  5. Hairdresser
  6. Spring Training Staff for Major League teams
  7. Car Transporter
  8. Travel Nurse
  9. Cruise Liners has a full array of jobs and some hire couples

Work at Home Jobs

best-work-at-home-jobs-for-older-workers
Work from home
  1. Translator-Interpreter
  2. Legal Mediator
  3. Graphic Designer
  4. Writer/Editor
  5. Blogger
  6. Grant/Proposal Writer
  7. Virtual Customer Service Representative
  8. Virtual Assistant
  9. Online Tutor
  10. Crafter
  11. Direct Sales such as Mary Kay Cosmetics, The Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Avon, Cutco, Stanley Home Products and Silpada.

Retired Teachers

  1. Personal Trainer/Physical Conditioner
  2. University Bookstore Retail Specialist
  3. Adjunct Professor/Instructor/Lecturer/Visiting Professor

    retired and tutoring
    Retired and tutoring
  4. Substitute Teacher
  5. Career Center Counselor
  6. Market and Survey Researchers

Nonprofit Jobs

  1. Administrative Assistant
  2. Volunteer Manager  to bring awareness to the non-profit’s cause
  3. Marketing/Communications Manager
  4. Fundraiser

Soul-search for the issues that you care about.  What skills do you have to help move into the sector.  Research the nonprofit world and understand what you can do for the specific field you’re getting into.  Volunteering first can give you an insider’s view and networking contacts that may lead to a job.

Consider taking a course to fill in any holes in your background.  Credentials help in the nonprofit world.

Find work that keeps you happy and healthy….and pays the bills.

We find that many people in or nearly in their retirement years are using credit and credit cards to supplement their income, thus causing debt that can not be recovered from.  We at reScore Solutions may be able to help.  Call us today for a free credit report evaluation.  If we can’t help you, we have a pipeline of professions in many industries that may be able to save your home, save your credit and assist in other avenues.  205-352-3448

Additional information regarding this blog can be found in the book: AARP Great Jobs For Everyone 50+   By Kerry Hannon

 

7 Ways To Deal With Bad Credit When Renting

house for rent bham al
Renting a home with bad credit

Bad credit can trigger all sorts of issues when trying to get a mortgage, purchase a car or get a credit card.  But even if you’re just looking for an apartment or house to rent, your credit history can pose problems.

Most landlords check credit reports of potential renters to determine the probability of receiving the rent payments.  This can pose a problem when you may have a repossession, charge-offs, foreclosure, late payments or a Bankruptcy listed on your credit report.  When your credit is damaged, you may have a tough time qualifying for that home or apartment that you and your family need.

At reScore Solutions, we understand that many people have fallen on hard times due to job loss, health problems, or having to close a business.  Bad credit can happen even when we do our best to pay our bills on time.

Call us so for a free no-obligation credit report evaluation.  While you are trying to get your life back on track, we can get your credit scores back up and running.

We specialize in getting your credit reports lender-ready so that you will be approved for a home.   Understanding the ins and outs of lending we know what it takes to get your credit reports repaired and credit scores to the specification of your lender.

credit_report
Raise your credit scores to qualify for loans and credit cards.

What should you do if your credit history is less-than-stellar? Here are seven ways you can overcome your bad credit and still get that rental you’re looking for:

     1.  Be honest and show that you  have been making progress.  

Sometimes bad credit isn’t a reflection of poor money management.  Be upfront with a potential landlord before your credit is pulled.  Don’t make excuses and blame others. Landlords have heard all of the blame games.  If you are able to show a valid reason why your bills were not paid on time, such as divorce, health, job loss; but also show that it was a temporary situation and show how you have been able to get back on your financial feet, you may have a better chance of getting approved.

     2.  Find a guarantor or co-signer     

Ask a trusted friend or relative with good credit to co-sign the rental application with you.  While you may be the only one living in the home or apartment, your co-signer will be financially responsible if you do not pay your rent.  This may give the potential landlord the extra security that he needs to feel comfortable with renting to you.

Of course, you really don’t want your co-signer having to pay your rent, so be sure that you not over obligate yourself to a rent amount that you can’t comfortably afford.

rental agreement
Co-signer for rental agreement

     3.  Pay in advance or increase your security deposit

Bad credit and especially a consistent bad credit history makes a landlord nervous because it indicates that your actions in the past may be repeated, such as defaulting on the rent payments or not paying on time.  By paying a month or more in advance or offering a two-month security deposit, you can possibly alleviate their concerns. Not only does this show your commitment, it also provides them with extra cash that can cover some of the losses and damages, should you skip out on the rent. (Which, of course, you won’t.)

     4.  Get a roommate

Willing to share your space such as kitchen, living room?  If so, a roommate may be a great solution.  If the landlord will allow just one person to sign the lease, see if your roommate is willing to sign it solo. (Alternately, try to move-in with a roommate who’s mid-lease.) This way, the person on the lease is the one with more solid credit.

The other benefit to having a roommate is sharing the utilities.  Saving money will help you to pay down your debts and helping to repair your credit.

     5.  Show solid income and offer to pay via direct deposit

Even if your credit is a little weak, your landlord may feel better if you can show that you have history with a full-time job with good pay.

When applying for an apartment, have proof of income ready, such as recent pay stubs, tax returns and a letter from your employer verifying your employment status and income. Offering to have your rent automatically deducted from your bank account can also help.

     6.  Be willing to pay a little more

Some landlords, even if you are renting from a property management company may charge additional “risk” fees for shaky credit and poor credit scores.  You may want to step up and pay more if you really love the home or have to move in a hurry.

If you are dealing with an individual, you may want to negotiate to pay a higher amount so that your application is not denied.

pay more for renting with bad credit.jpg
Lower credit scores mean higher interest and rental payments.

     7.  Letters of recommendation

Just as your would provide a letter of recommendation for a job, provide one for a potential landlord too.  Ask for letters from current and previous employers, current and previous landlords, and even past roommates who can vouch for your character. Even if your previous landlords were only for short-term arrangements, their endorsement can hold weight.

Children, Chores & Allowance

We love our children, and of course we want them to have all that they need…and much that they really don’t need.  Do you find yourself at the crossroads of another meltdown with your child at the checkout because of something that they have eyed and can’t live without?  Of course you have!  We all have!  But there may be help in teaching them to curb these emotional attachments for things that they won’t remember five minutes after they arrive home.

Teach children money management.
Children and money.

Get creative and help your children earn money and teach good money management, which in return will help them to make wiser purchases.

Help make earning money fun.  The following Here is a list of chores your young child can accomplish with minimal help:

  • Picking up toys
  • Feeding the family pet
  • Collecting household garbage/ recycling to be taken out by adult
  • Setting the dinner table
  • Sweeping
  • Cleaning toilets
  • Tidying their bedroom

Pitfalls when it comes to chores.

  • Don’t insist on perfection.
    • Your child is not in the military.  They are children and still learning.  Challenge children to excel, but don’t scold.
  • Don’t delay.
    • You may think that your child is too young. They may be more capable than you think.
  • Don’t be stingy with praise.
    • Get that praise going right away! Don’t wait until the chore is done. Praise and encourage the child while the chore is in progress. You want to build positive momentum, especially with young kids.
  • Don’t be inconsistent.
    • Be regular and don’t allow for putting off for another day.

HAVE A PAY CHART

Have a chart posted where your child can visible see it so that they see how much they earn with each job.  Pay weekly and help your child to spend the money on items that they have made a list of.  This will assist in keeping them focused instead of spending on impulsive items.

 

Tweens Teens and Credit Cards

Is your teen ready for a credit or debit card?  Financial education should begin as a very young age.  Don’t wait for your child to go away to college to learn about money management, credit and budgeting.  He or she should have a good concept about this before they pack their bags.  By all means, don’t arm your children with credit cards and no idea on how to handle it.  Understanding how credit works will help them avoid the trap of revolving credit.  Credit card companies are in the business of making money and keeping you in debt.

What to teach your teen:

  • What is a credit score.
  • How does credit affect me.
  • How do I keep tabs on my credit.
  • How do I protect my credit.
  • How to stay out of debt.
  • Don’t charge for items that you don’t have the money to pay for.
  • Don’t buy what you don’t need.  Credit means debt.  Debt means money that you will have to pay someone until you pay it off.
  • Help your child learn to save for what they want.  This is important to start at a very early age.
  • Teach and assist your child to set a standard for automatic saving.  Like 1/3 allowance and 1/2 of all birthday gifts.
Teaching your tween and teen responsible credit and budgeting.
Teaching your tween and teen responsible credit and budgeting.

As our children are growing up it is imperative that we teach them to be responsible with their finances.  Your teenager is more mobile and you may find that it’s important that they have access to funds in case of emergency or otherwise.  There are  options and a parent needs to consider if their child is responsible enough to be in control of a credit or debit card.  Let’s look over some of the different options to help in making a decision.

 

 

1.  Prepaid cards are a hybrid breed.  Just because it is called a prepaid credit card and works like a credit card does not make it a credit card.  These are cards that are reloadable and works like a debit card.  You choose the amount that you want to load on the card, use it like a debit card and it deducts the amount from your balance.  You can then reload and continue to use.  Being that these cards are associated with major credit card networks, American Express, Visa, Mastercard, these prepaid cards can be used anywhere the major credit cards can be used, whether it’s to purchase groceries, shopping at the mall, paying bills, or online shopping.  This card is ideal for tweens and teens.  No worry for over-drafting checking accounts or being accessed over-the-limit fees with credit cards.  Prepaid cards are an alternative to banks.  There are millions of people that do not want to use banks or traditional credit.  Although these cards are not connected to a checking account, it still allows you to things that require a credit card, such as rent a car or book a hotel room.  With many teens with a part-time job, cards even come with a checking and routing number so that a teen could have their check directly deposited onto the card.  Many prepaid cards offer features to be able to access funds at an ATM.  You also have the option of loading their allowance on the card.  Prepaid fees.  Be prepared to be charged with fees with a prepaid card. Each prepaid card comes with it’s own fee structure. Be sure and find a card that best fits your needs.  You are protected.  Prepaid cards offer the same theft and loss protection that major credit cards offer.  Which makes this a pretty safe bet.

Children and credit cards.  How to stay out of debt.
Children and credit cards. How to stay out of debt.

2.  Store card / major credit card.  While credit cards have a credit limit and you are able to use the card until the limit is exhausted.  Credit card companies may extend additional credit at a cost of an over-the-limit fee.  Eve with a credit card, it is important to keep tabs on your spending.  With interest rates charges it may become very difficult to get out of debt.  No one wants to head off to college in credit card debt and parents should not be left to clean up their teens out of control spending.  Choosing between a store card or credit card may be a challenge when trusting your tween or teen to spend sensible and not send you soaring into uneeded debt.  If you feel that your teen has not shown financial responsibility with their money and allowance, then you may want to rethink handing them a card to carry on a full-time basis.  You may choose to allow them to use the major credit card on a temporary basis and for particular purposes and allowing the to view the invoices and pay the payments.  Also educated them to understand the reality of charging and paying with money they earn from their job or allowance.  Although there are fees for reloadable prepaid cards, there are over-the-limit fees for many credit cards.  Just being charged one $39 over-the-limit fee is a large amount compared to prepaid card fees.

Teens learn from their parents money management.  By gradually graduating their freedom to using your credit cards you will be able to build good spending habits and trust.

So while there are differences in choosing a card, education and holding your teen responsible for their spending is the answer.   

 

 

Obtaining a mortgage loan with poor credit.

Do you have poor or weak credit but would like to purchase a home?  You may have been told that it’s not possible. You may have applied for credit and was denied and now you are convinced that obtaining a mortgage loan is not possible.  Well, it may be more possible than you think..  Of course your credit will need some attention. Kirkpatrick & Associates specializes in getting our clients lender-ready, but of course we will work with clients for most any purpose.

A lender qualifies a borrower based on a credit history and credit scores.  There are three major credit reporting agencies; Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.  You score ranges roughly between 500 and 850.  Lenders most often receive FICO scores, which are not the same scores or based on the same scoring models as the scores a person purchases or receives from the credit reporting agencies.  I recommend FICO.com to obtain the same scores that lenders get.  There are three scoring models for FICO scores.  Mortgage, revolving credit and auto loans.  They provide all three scoring models.

Bad credit loans
Home Sweet Home

 

EDUCATIONAL LOANS:  Once educational loans are being paid current it is possible to qualify for a mortgage, even if delinquent payments are being reported from the past.

CREDIT CARDS:  These payments need to be current and no late payments in the past 12 months.  Some lenders will allow a letter from consumer, explaining late credit card payments.  Credit cards balances need to be paid to below 19% of the credit limit.  IE:  $1,000 limit should have a balance of $190 or less.  Paying credit cards down will improve credit scores.

BANKRUPTCY:  A consumer can technically qualify for a mortgage two years after a bankruptcy.  3 years if the Bankruptcy included a foreclosure.  Do keep in mind that credit has to be rebuilt during this time period.

LIENS AND JUDGMENTS:  These must be paid and showing satisfied with all credit reporting agencies that are reporting these on your credit reports.  Just because they are paid doesn’t mean they are reporting paid.  If this is an issue, this is a service that we can assist you with.  Call us at 205-352-3448

CHARGE-OFFS:  These may or may not need to be paid to qualify for a mortgage.  If there is one charge-off and otherwise good credit, then you may not have to pay.  If the charge-off is old and under a certain dollar amount, it may not have to be satisfied to qualify.  Worse case situation, you can contact the original or 3rd party debt collector and work out a settlement.  They may not remove it from your credit report, but it will show that it was paid, and thus helping you to qualify for a loan.  This can be a confusing process and we recommend that you call us when handling these situations.

MEDICAL COLLECTIONS;  Many times all medical collections do not need to be paid to qualify.  We at Kirkpatrick & Associates can help with this.  We specialize in helping with 3rd party collections.  If you are receiving too many or unwanted phone calls, we can stop the collectors from calling.

RENTAL HISTORY:  Yes, a potential borrow can use rental history for credit when applying for a home loan, even when it’s not reflecting on your credit reports.  Be sure and pay rental payments on time.  Mortgage underwriters will require your rental history.

SELF-EMPLOYED OR 1099:  You will need two years work history.  Check with your lender for their guidelines.  These can vary between lenders.

Do keep in mind that after taking care of all of these areas on your credit, you must have good accounts reporting on all of your credit reports.  You credit score must be at least 580 for some lenders and 620 for others and 640 for most any lender.  If you score is between 580 and 639 be prepared to have a larger down payment.  A down payment is usually 3 to 3-1/2%.  A lower credit score would require a much higher percentage for down payment.  Please note:  Do not depend on the scores from Credit Karma or any other 3rd party credit score service that does not specifically provide FICO scores.

We, at ReScore Solutions eat, think and obsess over credit related stuff.  We would love to help you through the credit maze.  It can be confusing and intimidating when trying to deal with credit related matters and paying collections.  We view your credit reports for any violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  While you are spending time with your family we are working hard for you.

Help with bad credit
Family time!

Free! Really free credit services!

First of all Kirkpatrick & Associates offers free credit report evaluations.  For us to provide this service you will need current credit reports.  There are many companies that provide online credit monitoring for a fee.  The cost is usually between $14.99 and $24.99 a month and provides credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies; Experian, TransUnion and Equifax and credit scores from each.  If you can’t or don’t want to pay for this monthly service I suggest that you sign up for creditkarma.com.  This service is absolutely, yes absolutely free.  No payment information is required to sign up or continue the service.  The only difference is that Credit Karma doesn’t provide a credit report or score from Experian.  But for a free service you get a great service that updates your credit reports regularly throughout each month.  So if you would like to monitor your credit reports and take it easy on the budget, then Credit Karma may be what you are looking for.  Check it out today.  Once you have viewed your credit reports, you may have credit issues.  A late pay that is incorrect.  An account you paid to a zero balance last summer and it still ahows a balance, accounts that aren’t yours, addresses that you have never lived at, credit inquiries that you didn’t authorize, collections that you weren’t aware of and the list goes on.  We can possibly help you and get your credit cleaned up and raise your credit scores.  Here at Kirkpatrick & Associates, credit report evaluations are free….yes, another free!  We want the opportunity to educate you in having a chance at better and stronger credit while educating you to keep it strong.  We don’t do gimmicks, nor do we have a magic wand to poof all kinds of accurate bad stuff from your reports, but we will explain what our services cover and how we can repair negative information and how our services can benefit you, for now, and your future.  Kirkpatrick & Associates specializes in assisting with all types of credit issues.  Possibly avoid Bankruptcy, foreclosure and charge off accounts, dealing with collections, as well as getting you lender-ready for a mortgage.  You may not have credit or collection issues and just need to build or rebuild credit.  There’s help there too.  I know, you want to know how much will this cost you.  After all, you may be living on a budget and paying hundreds or a couple of thousand $$$ is not possible.  Fear not, we have low month to month payments and you can cancel or place you account inactive at any time.  We eat, sleep and obsess about credit related stuff.

image

There are other companies that provide credit repair, but we go beyond with excellent customer service and educating our clients which means you can spend more time relaxing and with your family, while we take care of you.  Call today.  205-352-3448