Housing Market in 2013 & Your Credit Scores


The housing market has been a sore subject the past couple of years. However, optimists predict that the housing market should improve in 2013.  This is great news for those looking to buy or sell a home this year. 

If you fall into this category, then you know it’s important to get the best rate on your home loan that you possibly can.  Before applying for a home loan, we recommend you check your credit scores and reports from each of the three national credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax).  If you see any inconsistencies or errors on your report, those should be addressed and corrected before applying for your loan. Remember, the better your credit score is, the better the rate on your home loan may be, so checking your credit score can be an important step in the home buying process!

An analysis conducted in 2012 shows that in about 20% of mortgage applications submitted around the time of the study, the average successful applicant had a credit score of 764.  This number is much higher than reported in previous years, which could indicate a more selective approval standard.  The analysis also shows that homeowners looking to refinance had even higher scores, on average 770. 

Additionally, the analysis looked at the average credit score of applicants seeking a loan through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).  The FHA typically helps those with lower income or credit scores obtain home financing.  Even those applying for loans through the FHA had an average score of 701.  For these reasons, it is especially important to know where your credit stands in 2013 if you’re house shopping.  Also remember, checking your own credit information will never lower your credit score, so it is better to be safe than sorry! 

Your Credit Score and Dating?


It was brought to our attention in an article posted last week, that there is a new popular criterion in selecting a partner: your credit score.   It appears that more and more people are cautious of a mate’s financial background, and what kind of financial “baggage” that potential mate could bring to the table. 

What better indicator of your financial well-being than your credit score? And let’s not forget – you actually have 3 credit scores – one from each of the national credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion).

Apparently this new criteria has warranted the creation of dating websites such as creditscoredating.com and datemycreditscore.com that cater specifically to matching daters based on credit score.  

While the importance of having a good credit score in order to achieve financial goals and aspirations has been understood, it now seems that we should also be stressing the impact a good credit score can have on your social and dating life.  A good score might be a more important quality to some than any physical attribute listed on a dating website.  Forget the days of tall, brunette, intelligent, blue eyes.    Instead, you may have to start thinking in terms of 750+credit score, no debt, and pays bills on time. 

With the rise of this new dating phenomenon, you should check your 3 credit scores today!  See if your score could land you your dream date! 

Good Credit Score in 2013


The New Year is here, and if one of your New Year’s resolutions was to maintain a good credit score in 2013, here are some methods experts recommend to help you keep your resolution:

1.    Make a financial plan, and set a budget.  Your budget should include all daily expenses, and longer term expenses you see popping up during the year.
2.    Check your credit report.  Make sure there are no errors in your existing report.  You want to start the year off with a clean slate, so this should definitely be a priority.  To get the best picture possible of errors in your credit reporting, you need to check your report from all 3 national credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
3.    Use credit cards responsibly.  While opening credit cards and paying them off in a timely manner can do good things for your credit history, using a credit card irresponsibly can do considerable damage.  Make sure your credit card payment strategy is part of your larger financial plan.  Your credit reporting provides a complete history and record of card accounts and credit you may have.
4.    Tackle any debt you already have.  Before digging yourself into an impossibly deep hole, make sure you settle any debt you may have accumulated. 

This year should be all about starting new and fresh. Start the New Year off by following these best practice guidelines, and your credit may be in better shape than before!  PrivacyGuard can also help you stick to your resolution.  With PrivacyGuard, you can view your credit report and scores, set up credit monitoring alerts, and use the financial calculator suite that can help determine the best ways to pay down certain kinds of debt.  These resources can certainly be helpful to you while working to achieve a good credit score in 2013!

Your Credit In The New Year


With the New Year, many vow to make changes to better their lives within the next 365 days.  Some common New Year’s Resolutions are to lose weight, get in shape, spend more time with family, and to get organized. 

 In addition to the common resolutions, what about maintaining a good credit score in 2013?  Your credit score is incredibly important, and affects many aspects of life.  Are you looking for a new car or house this year? Having a good credit score can mean better rates on loans and insurance.  So although your credit score might not be top of mind while making New Year’s Resolutions, it is certainly advisable to be aware of your credit score in 2013!