So you’ve done your research and found out your exact credit scores. Now what? What does that number actually mean? Are they good credit scores? Or bad credit scores? Will lenders consider it to be within an acceptable credit score range when deciding whether or not to loan you money?
Many people of “creditworthy” age know what a FICO® score is. For those who aren’t sure or need a brush up: a FICO® Score is the number that represents a borrower’s creditworthiness based on the data within his or her credit report(s). That number, in turn, is used by 90% of top lenders to determine how much credit they’ll offer a borrower and at what interest rate. In essence, it’s a “guide” for lenders to assess the risk of loaning money to a particular individual.
That’s it. We’re done. There’s nothing else you need to know about a FICO® Score, right? Well, not exactly.
Yes, it’s true – improving your credit score might be easier than you think. That’s not saying it will be faster than you think, just easier, based on specific actions you can take over time.
If your FICO® Score is lower than you’d like, you’re most likely aware that it took time to get it down to that number. Maybe you maxed out some credit cards… missed a few payments on a mortgage or auto loan… applied for too much credit in a very short timeframe. Whatever circumstances occurred to lower your FICO® Score happened over a period of time and the same holds true when taking steps to improve your credit score. It will take awhile to get your FICO® Score to where you want it to be, but the actions required to get it there are reasonably simple.
Determining whether or not you should purchase an annuity can be a very frustrating process. Most annuities are complicated and convoluted products that oftentimes can only be figured out by financial professionals. Is this complexity intentional? That’s a topic for another article.
Paying back student loans is a stressful experience, especially for a recent graduate who is either unemployed or making a low salary. That’s where IDR (Income Driven Repayment) plans come in. These plans were developed to help borrowers (students, not parents) keep loan payments affordable and manageable, lowering the stress that typically comes with repayment.
Whether you currently own a home or are just thinking about purchasing one, there are a number of tax advantages you’ll probably want to know about. These advantages are sometimes hidden within paperwork and difficult to find (without the help of an expensive accountant) or often overlooked by those of us who are not industry professionals. So we’re putting an end to the mystery by listing 5 of the most common (and money-saving) tax breaks of homeownership.
Everyone’s financial situation is different, so the money decision(s) you make must be based on your current financial condition as well as where you’d like to see your financial status in the future. Sure, there are many rules of thumb when it comes to investing, saving, debt payments and more, but when it comes down to it, any decision you make must be built around your actual financial situation, not what others think it should be or what you wish it was.
They happen all the time: those unanticipated expenses caused by illness… auto problems… job loss… appliance breakdowns… and the list goes on. Sure, they’re all part of life, but where’s the money supposed to come from to help pay for them? That’s where an emergency fund comes in handy.