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Everything posted by Maikeru-sama

  1. Who would I talk with about a Username change? I tried viewing the "view forum leaders" page to contact an Admin/Mod through PMs, but it comes up blank everytime I navigate to it. Please PM me at your earliest convenience. Thanks
  2. Posted: Friday, March 14 at 05:00 am CT by Bob Sullivan If American consumers feel like they are back in school again, angling for a few more points and good grade, that’s no accident. The aggressive marketing of three-digit credit scores has practically turned a high figure into a status symbol – but it’s so much more than that. Unlike that English 101 quiz, this grade can have a direct and severe impact on your everyday life. Credit scores now affect everything from car loans and mortgages to credit cards to auto insurance. With the current credit crunch, scoring formulas are getting more scrutiny. Some lenders are even blaming the credit scores for the lending mess that is dragging the U.S. economy toward or into a recession. Fair Issac, maker of the original credit score, known as FICO, says a makeover is coming soon. Consumers’ scores will be affected when called FICO 08 is released, but it’s not yet clear how much. Meanwhile, consumers are buying their credit scores from Web sites like never before. But despite their widespread availability, much about them remains shrouded in mystery, or distorted by credit score mythology. On Tuesday we will examine the unintended consequences of that mystery – sleazy credit repair companies, confusion over what score is the “right” score, and the possible role that credit scores played in creating the housing bubble. But before discussing the unseemly elements of credit scores, it’s important to understand they are – and are not. Credit scores essentially distill all the information from a credit report into a single number in an attempt to quantify the odds borrowers will repay loans on time. They are relatively recent invention. The FICO was introduced by Minneapolis-based Fair Issac Corp. in 1988 as an attempt to quantify the odds borrowers will repay loans on time. The company’s name is derived from those of Bill Fair and Earl Issac, a mathematician and an engineer, respectively, who created the credit scoring concept and founded Fair Isaac in the 1950s. That number is not, however, designed to paint a complete picture of someone’s financial life. More on that in a moment. A secret sauce Credit scores until recently were kept secret from consumers, along with credit reports. Only after passage of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 did they become widely available. Now, lenders must provide them for free to consumers who apply for a mortgage; they also can be purchased at any time. The secret sauce behind the FICO score remains in the shadows. The formula must be a secret, the credit industry argues, because if everyone knew the exact steps to get a good score, all consumers would do those things, and the scores would become meaningless. In other words, the score would become nothing more than an indication of how well consumers could “game” the system rather than their ability to repay loans. Fair Isaac has on its Web site a diagram of what goes into a credit score and what doesn't. Every consumer should see the pie chart on this page. Boiled down, two factors account for most of a credit score, says said Lisa Nelson, vice president of global scoring for Fair Isaac: “Pay your bills on time, and don’t max out your credit cards.” About 85 percent of the population has credit scores in the 500-800 range. Each lender uses different criteria, so it's hard to make sweeping statements, but here's how the system generally works: If your score is over 720, you are golden. According to Fair Issac, about 60 percent of the population has a score that's above 700, making them eligible for most banks' best rates. If it’s in the 600s, the action heats up. A few points here and there can make a huge difference. In fact, one point can make that difference. On Fair Issac's loan calculator, a consumer with a 674 credit score will pay interest on a mortgage that is a full point higher than someone with a 675. On a $500,000 mortgage, the difference is $400 each month, or $150,000 over the life of the loan. Sink into the low 600s, and the difference is astronomical. A person with a 619 credit score would pay double the interest rate of someone with a 720. The added interest would cost the former an extra $750,000 over the life of the loan. A 100-point credit score drop could be the most important and detrimental event of a consumers' life, even worse than losing a job. Income doesn't count While mathematics doesn’t discriminate, scores do. Credit scores, for example, take no account of a consumer’s job or income -- something lenders call "capacity" to pay. Assets don’t count, either. They are not intended to be a broad picture of someone’s financial life, just a prediction of the likelihood that the person will repay a loan on time, based on past payments. Because they also don’t take into account for the kind of loan someone is seeking – whether a $10,000 car loan or a $500,000 adjustable rate mortgage on a home -- they provide only limited information to for banks to consider. Still, many lenders rely heavily -- or even exclusively -- on scores, leading to some crazy discrepancies. “I assist millionaires that can't get a credit card and 20-year-old kids that have a $200,000 mortgage,” said Katherine Gregory, who runs Credit Resources Group, a firm that helps consumers improve their credit scores. Making credit scores available to the public was supposed to clear up some of the confusion about the figures. But in some ways, it made matters worse. Not all credit scores are the same. Consumers usually buy their credit scores from the credit bureaus, but when they do they are buying a product called a VantageScore, not the FICO score from Fair Issac that most lenders use. And some lenders sometimes create their own variation on a FICO score, adding in their own criteria. Credit bureaus deserve some of the blame for the confusion. Experian's, which also offers consumers a peek at their credit score when they pay for a monthly service, boasts it has 20 million customers. But the scores that Experian’s customers see may differ greatly from their FICO score. That’s why Fair Issac has sued the nation's three credit bureaus, alleging they are "misleading and confusing consumers" by selling their own version of a credit score. There may be light at the end of the tunnel, however. The housing market collapse means that scores will likely lose at least bit of their influence in lending decisions. That could blunt our nation's ever growing obsession with credit scores, and that's a good thing for anyone who doesn't like being treated like a number. Still, great perils abound. Next week, we’ll look at the possible role of credit scores in the housing market collapse, and hear that even those who created the score believe it’s overused. We’ll also look at ways you can improve your score, and the myths that will accomplish nothing. link
  3. Personally, with your scores I would apply for a Chevron Card as well. If not, I would definately apply for it when your scores get in the 640 range.
  4. Credit score ruling supremely disappointingPosted: Friday, June 8 at 05:00 am CT by Bob Sullivan Your credit score might be costing you hundreds of dollars each year on your auto insurance, but you'll never know. It's a secret. And it looks like it's going to stay that way. Consumers took a shot to the gut this week when the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that insurers don't have to tell them when they are paying more for auto insurance because of their credit scores. Many drivers don't even realize their credit scores are used in the complex mathematics used to calculate insurance rates. Ditto for most homeowners. But it’s true in most states; credit scores are used to raise rates for some consumers and lower them for others. There’s no way to who is paying more and who is paying less or how much the credit score penalty is because, as I've said, it's a secret. But Birney Birnbaum, an industry critic who works for the Texas-based Center for Economic Justice, says low scores can actually double some drivers' rates. Angry consumers recently sued insurance giants Safeco and Geico disputing this secrecy, and won. A federal appeals court agreed with the trial courts, ruling in both cases that it was unfair to penalize consumers because of their low credit scores without providing notice. But on Monday, the nation's top court overruled the appeals court. America’s video replay judges decided the referees on the field got it wrong, and ruled insurers didn't have to provide such notice after all. In a not-so-thoughtful analysis, Justice David Souter offered one line of reasoning to rule in favor of insurers: Credit score penalty notices would become so commonplace that they would "go the way of junk mail." Really, he did write that. See for yourself. (Acrobat required) Perhaps Souter can afford to ignore mail that indicates he is paying a $200 penalty surcharge on car insurance, but I suspect few Americans would carelessly toss such notes in the trash. Higher rate, but why? Here's what's going on. In general, when a credit score is used to deny a consumer something -- such as a job, an apartment, or a loan -- the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the company involved to send a letter called a "notice of adverse action” to the consumer. The law makes sense. Millions of credit reports have errors, owing to sloppy data entry or identity theft. Consumers who are penalized have a right to see the report and check for such costly mistakes. As the use of credit scores has expanded dramatically, far beyond their initial function of determining credit-worthiness, concerns arose about how the notice of adverse action applies in these other arenas. Often, the notices aren’t sent at all, and that’s wrong. Any time consumers pay a higher rate than they would if they had an ideal credit score, they deserve to know about it. Birnbaum and others have long argued that consumers should know exactly how much the penalty is, and what the ideal credit score is, so they can check for credit report errors and aim for the ideal score. That was the argument put forth by plaintiffs in the Safeco and Geico cases. But Geico offered a more tortured, and ultimately more persuasive, argument. It said that it could calculate insurance premiums based on a "neutral" credit score -- in other words, what consumers would pay if credit scoring was never used at all. Only consumers who paid more than this "neutral credit score" rate suffered an adverse action and should be notified, the firm argued. The judges agreed. Souter: There's a 'loophole' Souter admits things still aren’t ideal. For example, the ruling means there will be consumers who pay higher insurance rates because of credit report errors and will never receive notice, he concedes. He even admits the plaintiffs’ assertions that this is a "loophole." But he said he was more concerned about the threat of adverse action notices flooding America with junk mail. "We think the cost of closing the loophole is too high," he wrote. There is an even bigger loophole, however, that Souter fails to mention: the setting of this "neutral rate." What will it be? Certainly it won’t be an average credit score. It might even be so low that virtually no consumer receives an adverse action notice. Justice John Paul Stevens saw it that way and wrote in a separate opinion that he disagreed with the majority’s logic on that point: "I find it difficult to believe that Congress could have intended for a company's unrestrained adoption of a "neutral" score to keep many (if not most) consumers from ever hearing that the credit reports are costing them money." He also poked fun at the rest of the court and its junk mail reasoning: "The court ... (reasons) that frequent adverse action notices would be ignored. To borrow a sentence from the court's opinion: 'Perhaps.' But rather than speculate about the likely effect of hypernotification ... I would defer to the Solicitor General's position, informed by the Federal Trade Commission's expert judgment, that consumers by and large benefit from adverse action notices, however common." In this case, our nation's highest court of referees missed a foul call. The tortured logic of protecting us from junk mail (why start now?) is comical. Allowing insurance companies to set the bar for when adverse notices are sent is akin to giving the fox the keys to the chicken coup. The ruling is even more discouraging when you consider the ever-expanding universe of credit scores, which are used to judge us in more realms every day. Clearly this ruling emboldens any industry that plans to use credit reports to penalize us and wants to do so in secrecy. Red Tape Wrestling Tips • Not all states allow insurance firms to consider credit scores. The practice is banned in California, for example. Call your state legislator and ask him or her to support a ban on the use of credit scores to set insurance rates in your state. Congress could amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to require more adverse action notices by insurers, but that’s a pipe dream at the moment. • Your state's insurance regulators can control the use of credit scores and adverse action notices, says Birnbaum. Contact your board and ask it to do more. • As with all major purchases, shop around. Get quotes from at least three companies before buying insurance, as each firm uses its own algebra to apply credit scores. • Before buying home or auto insurance, get your CLUE report. CLUE stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. It’s a massive database used to log claims you make, or claims made in association with any property. Never buy a home without first ordering a CLUE report for that address, as home insurance rates can vary house-by-house, and some homes simply can’t be insured because of a history of claims. CLUE reports are free from the company that maintains the database, ChoicePoint, and are available at ChoicePoint's consumer Web site. • Finally, beware notices from insurance companies offering congratulations for a discount you’ve earned thanks to your credit score. Birnbaum says these are often adverse action notices is disguise, offering a small discount from a higher rate.
  5. Thank you much. That is what the salesperson (who sold me my last used car btw) said. - Mike G.
  6. Hi forum, quick question. I just recently had my credit pulled by a well known car dealership in Dallas/Ft. Worth. I received my credit alert from True Credit and I would like to find the list that I have seen on this site before that people can update and specify a lender and what CRA they pull from. - Mike G.
  7. Hi forum, I just had a question regarding used cars and interest rate. I am thinking about getting a used car. I allowed the dealership to run my credit so I could get an interest rate quote that would be good for 30 days, giving me enough time to mame my decision. My credit is excellent, thanks to this site so I already knew what my credit score was. After running my credit, she said my interest rate would be 4.9%, which she said is the lowest interest possible on a used car and for the record, told me my credit score was 768. I just wanted to know, does the interest rate above sound correct. I believe this would be any used car starting with year 2002 models and up. I will hang up and listen - Mike G.
  8. Good for you. This place really works. - Mike G.
  9. Right. I also have an AMEX Blue CC and my CLs are shown on my CR. - Mike G.
  10. Depends on the Utilization Percentage and how much money you owe on that card. But paying off high credit card balancees is always a good thing, regardless of how it effects your credit in the short or long run. - Mike G.
  11. Yeah, me being the Computer Nerd that I am, I will probably right a simple little program that emails when this stuff is due . But I am not in debt (if you dont count the Student Loan ). All of my Credit Cards have really small balances which I have done on purpose. - Mike G.
  12. If you weren't 30 days past due they MUSTN'T report it! That's the law, as far as I know. Even if you would pay it 29 days after the due-date, they can't report a late payment, they can only charge you a late payment fee. Yeppers. Good news Ladies and Gents. I took IHateCA's advice and called up a CSR...although it seems when you call thems Mega-Companies now they try there best to keep you from talking to a real person.... Anyway, they just said I was late but they were not going to report it because I was not 31 Days late. Just was a little tee'd off at first. I was thinking, did you need that $20 dollars that I used from you so bad that you had to charge me a $19 fee and double what I owe you . I dont know what I am going to do. I dont want a Dell, AMEX, Providian, BOA and a Cheveron Card. I will probably close the Dell and maybe the Providian, I just dont know, I dont want to lose the history but I just dont like having these cards . - Mike G.
  13. Yeah, I will do something like that. I hate Credit Cards but they seem to be a very neccessary evil. I think I am going to relegate all of them to Gas payment duty and stop using them for groceries and stuff like that. - Mike G.
  14. I know that I put the charge on there in early January 06 and it was probably late at the beginning of this month. - Mike G. You sure you've even been billed for that charge yet? Call up a CSR and ask if they sent a bill. They will tell you the status, and if you are a little late, many OCs will move your due date up 15 days to accomodate you. I have not received a bill yet. I just happened to mosy on over there online yesterday because I was going to see if my balance matched up to what I had in my personal balance and I saw a $19 late charge. I will call them tommorrow mourning and see if they are going to report it as late. I will keep it open, it is just kind of hard to keep small balances on those suckers every month to show that you are using them . - Mike G.
  15. I will definitely do what you stated. I am in kind of a hard position. This BOA card has a $6500 CL but it is one of the newer CCs but my Providian has a $1500 CL but it has the longest history. I would much rather get rid of the Providian, which is what I am probably going to end up doing and take the Credit History Hit when it is closed. Im not trying to buy anything anyways so it is not that big of a deal.
  16. I know that I put the charge on there in early January 06 and it was probably late at the beginning of this month. - Mike G.
  17. Hey all, I currently have a Credit Card with Bank of America. Long story short, I left $20 on the card to show some history for the month of January 06 and forgot to pay on it and now I have been hit with a late charge. I am sure they are going to report this but... Anyway, I currently have 5 Credit Cards (Sort of) listed in the order of the oldest: Providian Dell Preferred Bank of America American Express Blue Chevron Gas Card I have been trying to play the balancing act by putting balances on all these cards to show history for the month even though I dont need these Credit Cards and it is just too much to keep track of and troublesome and kind of ridiculous actually. Since I am kind of PO'ed about BOA charging me $19 in late fees for not paying exactly $5 (mininum required each month) on a $20 balance, I choose them as the Weakest Link and the one I want to get rid of. When I call them today to cancel, what should I expect because I have never cancelled a Credit Card before? Will they try to play games to keep it open or what? Will they send me something in the mail? Also, how long should I wait to cut the Credit Card up. And yes, I realize my Credit will go down but I will be better off in the long run. Thanks in advance. - Mike G.
  18. Not sure if I understand the question. The goal of every man and woman in America should be to get out of debt and start making their money work for them (ie lower interest rates, lesser payments, higher credit scores) work for them instead of the other way around. If you got 500 bucks to pay it off, by all means pay it off. Your overall outstanding debt is going to increase, the number of accounts with a balance decrease and that is going to be a positive for your credit. - Mike G.
  19. I had 3 Addresses removed from 3 of my Credit Reports because they were erroneous. Now, it seems like you are saying yours are correct but you want to get them off, so your situation is different from mind. When I sent them the letters telling them to remove the incorrect addresses, I reminded them that ID Theft and Fraud were on the rise and that this would go a long way in preventing Incorrect Information being placed on my Credit Report whether by mistake or from Fraud. The book, "Good Credit is Sexy" says that whenever you contact the CRAs, you want to make sure your letter stands out. - Mike G.
  20. Yep. I work for a Mortgage Company, but I work as a Software Developer and will be nowhere near any of the main business, which is loans. Yep. Recently switched to Progressive 2 months ago and they required a Credit Check to see if I would be paying 110+ a month or 85 a month, which my Credit is in the mid 700s thanks to this site. Has nothing to do with my driving record whatsoever. They should be looking at my driving history and how long I have had insurance.
  21. Yes. Normally the Employer outsources this task and the inquiry would show up under the outsourced company's name. - Mike G.
  22. Spot on. It really sucks at how they have set the "game" up. Man, I remember just agonizing over being stuck with that 18% interest rate. Thank God for posters like you and many others on this site, went from a 620 to around about a 763 (per Equifax) in about 6-8 Months. - Mike G.
  23. Huh? They absolutely care about your debt..... link A Financial institution, the one with the "Lien" on your car is a Creditor and will be until you pay off that loan. And? By paying my car off in 1 1/2 Years, I got rid of 11,5 K worth of debt, that is a GOOD thing. And yes, you are correct, that is how the game is played but that is because the institution that has the most money, Banks and Credit Bureaus general set how the rules are going to be paid. If you can pay your car off early, I say do it and DO IT FAST. Do not worry about your credit history being shorten, you want to get out of debt as quickly as possible so you can save on interest and start making that money work for you in other areas such as stocks, bonds, or you can start attacking other outstanding debt. They dont want you to pay your car off because they dont make as much money. When I got my Honda Civic 2 years ago, I had not found this site yet and had bad credit. I got stuck with an 18% interest rate and the the car was financed at around 11,5K. When making my extra payments to AmeriCredit and making sure it was applied to the principle, the lady over the phone would always joke with me and say "Why are you making extra car payments, dont you know we dont make as much money if you do that"? Car was paid off in May 2005, but if I would have sat on it and listened to people saying dont pay it off early, I bet in the end they would have made about 10 K profit off of me. F That Now my money is freed up 3 1/2 Years earlier than it should have been and I can start attacking my student loans. The goal of every American should be to use credit wisely and get out of DEBT as quickly as possible. And we all know the negative factors are associated with alot of DEBT. - Mike G.