You may owe money. You may be in over your head. The truth is most people with serious money problems do not intend to be in debt, they just end up there. Sometimes it’s the result of medical expenses or unemployment. Sometimes it’s poor money management. In every case, the way to fix your money problems is not just to eliminate what you owe, but to also address the issues that put you in debt in the first place. NCCB Credit Counselors will assist you in determining the best options to meet your individual needs. NCCB Credit Counselors will:
Anyone who has ever been denied credit understands how the lack of credit affects financial options and everyday life. Your credit report and credit score can affect your ability to purchase a home, rent an apartment, buy or lease a vehicle, find good insurance rates, or even acquire a new job. The first step to stabilize your credit is reviewing your credit report.
Most lenders use a mathematical formula to generate a “score” to help them determine if you are a good credit risk. This is called a “credit score”, and the most frequently used version is the FICO® Score created by Fair Isaac and Company. A FICO® Score is a snapshot of your credit risk picture at a particular point in time. FICO® Scores range between 300 and 850 with higher values indicating a lower risk to lenders. To learn more about your credit score visit: www.myfico.com. Bottom line, pay your bills on time, and in full each month, which will result in a higher credit score. In doing so you will pay lower interest rates and keep more money in your wallet.
NCCB credit counselors will provide you with a complete overview and understanding of what’s on your credit report, and will give you feedback and guidance on ways to improve your credit rating. After completing a credit report review session you will have a full understanding of how to interpret the information found on your credit report, what your FICO® Score is used for, and suggestions on how to use credit wisely to ensure your credit remains up-to-date. Not only is it vital to regularly check your credit report to ensure your financial standing, it’s equally important to check your report to protect yourself from fraud, inaccurate reporting, and identity theft.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Your credit report is a compilation of data about you that has been gathered by credit reporting agencies or “credit bureaus.” The credit reporting agencies sell this information to lenders and other companies and organizations with a legitimate business need to know how you manage credit. How you handle credit today will affect your access to credit later because lenders review your credit history when deciding whether or not to lend you money.
- Identifying information – including Social Security number, address, and date of birth. This information is used to ensure that the credit report information is accurate and matched with the right person. It can also help detect and prevent identity fraud.
- Employment history – where you have worked and for how long.
- Credit history – account records with creditors.
- Inquiries – a list of who has requested your credit report.
- Public records – including collections accounts, bankruptcies, and late child support payments.
Employment history – where you have worked and for how long.
Credit history – account records with creditors.
Inquiries – a list of who has requested your credit report.
Public records – including collections accounts, bankruptcies, and late child support payments.
You need a steady work record and continued residence at the same address. If you do not have a checking account, open one and be careful not to bounce checks. You may apply for credit at a local department store or credit union. You might also consider a secured credit card, which requires you to deposit money as security for the charges you make on the card.
You can get a copy of your credit report by contacting the three major credit reporting agencies. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to obtain free copies of your credit report.
If negative comments on your credit report are correct, they can remain in your file for up to seven years except for bankruptcy, which can remain for up to 10 years. If you believe there are errors in your credit report you must notify the credit bureau in writing. The bureau will follow up your request with your creditor. If the creditor agrees your report will be changed.
Many people wonder if consulting with a financial counseling agency will affect their credit score. Your credit score is based on the information contained in your credit report. Simply obtaining counseling has no bearing on your credit score, as it is not reported to the credit bureau. Therefore, people should not have any hesitation about meeting with an NCCB credit counselor to resolve their debt