Why paying off your loan is bad for your credit

Recently, a friend of mine asked me if he should pay off his auto loan he had acquired years ago. While the interest rate on the loan is very low, less than 3%, he wanted to be free of debt and felt tempted to finish making monthly payments for the loan. He makes good income and is very disciplined about expenses, so paying the remaining balance would not cause any financial burden to him, and neither would maintain the monthly payments. His main concern was the impact on his credit.

I talked him out of it.

My friend should not pay off his auto loan early.

Continue reading Why paying off your loan is bad for your credit

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How I achieved 760 FICO credit score in just over 2 years

How I achieved 760 FICO credit score in just over 2 years

My credit journey has now lasted for 2 years and 10 months, and I’m in the mood for reflecting on the journey thus far. I did a lot of research about credit along the way, especially in the first year, to make sure I could achieve the most, credit-wise, in the shortest amount of time. And at this moment, I am about exactly where I wanted to be, and in just about the best position there could be for someone with 2 years and 10 months of credit history.

760 FICO credit score has long been considered a hallmark of excellent credit, and I hit it about 3 months ago.

FICO score 767
From MyFICO Score Watch

Continue reading How I achieved 760 FICO credit score in just over 2 years

Step-by-step guide to build credit in one year

I have written this guide as a balanced approach to building credit if you are starting out. It is not intended to give you the maximum credit score, since that would require that you know perfectly how to manage credit from the beginning, an unrealistic expectation. If you follow this guide, at the end of the first year you should have a solid credit history that would allow you to get approved for most credit cards and obtain reasonable interest rates on auto loans.

Continue reading Step-by-step guide to build credit in one year

Today’s feature: MyFICO Score Watch product review

I wrote in “Personal Finance 201: Credit scores” about how FICO scores are almost the only credit scores that matter. Most large financial institutions such as Bank of America, American Express, Discover Financial Services, and Citigroup, rely on FICO scores for creditworthiness measurement. Knowing your FICO scores is helpful in timing your credit application; a few points difference in credit scores can translate to thousands of dollars of payment on your mortgage.

MyFICO Equifax interest rates

Based on the table above, the difference between the first category and second category of credit scores translates to a difference between a 4.236% and a 4.014% on 30-year mortgage loan. For a $300k mortgage loan, the difference in payments is approximately $39 per month, which comes out to be around $460 per annum, or $14,000 over the duration of 30 years.

Continue reading Today’s feature: MyFICO Score Watch product review

The must-know graph for credit scores

The chart from FICO, the company that provides the most widely used credit scores, says it all:

ce_scorebreakdown

That is it, folks. To achieve a high FICO credit score, we only need to improve these 5 components. In order of importance, here are the 5 things we should do to increase our FICO scores:

Continue reading The must-know graph for credit scores

Personal Finance 201: Introduction to credit scores

OK, the credit score. This is perhaps the most controversial topic and most confusing element in the credit history universe. Humans in all stages of their history, have been easily fascinated by numbers, and today still retain a subconscious desire to summarize almost everything in hard numbers. What’s the temperature today? What grade did you get from the econ class? How many days are left till summer? Don’t we all love numbers! Continue reading Personal Finance 201: Introduction to credit scores