Your Questions About Credit Reports And Score

Ken asks…

How might having no credit score affect my ability to get a menial job as a retail associate?

I have no credit score, however I do have one thing on my credit report–an unpaid $300-$400 overdraft of a student checking account from 2-3 years ago when I was 18-19. I recently was hired for a retail position, pending a credit check and was wondering how this might affect my ability to get the job. There is no other sort of credit history in my name.

John answers:

It shouldn’t affect your ability to get an entry level job. What companies are looking for when they pull your credit is serious delinquency and failure to pay your bills which could indicate financial troubles or lack of responsibility. I would suggest that you contact the credit agency and get a note added to your credit report explaining the item on your credit report. While tihs does not affect your score, it is visible to anyone accessing your credit report. I would also open a secured credit card at your bank to help you start building credit.

Helen asks…

Can i get an apartment with a low credit score?

I’m trying to rent an apartment in April but I just got a copy of my credit report and my credit score is very low. Will an apartment complex automatically turn me down or do they usually make you pay an deposit? Any help would be great. Thanks.

John answers:

You need to review the Tenant Laws in your state.

I know in Masschusetts landlords/apartment complex are limited to how much they can charge for a deposit. So they can’t raise the deposit because you have poor credir or because you have a pet.

You need to also look at both apartment complexes and private landlords. You should have a list of references (possible job reference, previous landlord). You need to also have proof of income that you can afford the actual apartment as well as the utilities (paychecks or statement of where you will be recieving money). You might also want a co-signer just in case.

When renting out an apartment landlords/apartment complexes take a lot into account. They will review to see if you have proof of income and references. Based on that they will then progress to checking your credit history if needbe.

I’ve been renting for the past 2 1/2 years and they have never checked my credit history, but I rented mostly from private landlords and one apartment complex. (Boston has more private landlords/management than actual apartment complexes).

So as long as you come prepared and look professional then you can apply. If they say your credit is not good enough, the most they will ask for is a co-signer so if you default they are responsible. Good Luck

Donna asks…

How can I get my credit score without paying?

I’m looking to get my creditscore-, not credit report (I already know the 3 bureaus have to give you a report once a year), but I don’t want to sign up for one of those 30-day free trials that are all over the internet and have telemarketers calling me and hassling me when I try to cancel. Anyone have suggestions how to get the number itself without paying or signing up for anything?

John answers:

Ask your credit card companies!

I was on the phone with my credit card company, Washington Mutual, one day. I asked if I could get my credit score. I meant if they could tell me what it was.

Turns out, they offer it to their customers for free on their website. Point, click and your score pops up. One agency per month.

Are people not reading your question?????

Dude wants a SCORE not a report!

Donald asks…

What is the scoring range on a credit report from low to high?

What is the scoring range on a credit report from low to high?

John answers:

A rating [Credit score 720 or higher] — You can easily obtain financing at the best rate; you can get approved for a credit card online in a few seconds. Note that a score above 750 means you have extremely good credit.
Typical debt- to- income ratio: Below 35%
Mortgage: You have not been late with a payment in the last 24 months
Installment loan: You have been 30 days late making payments 0 or 1 time within the last 12 to 24 months
Revolving credit: You have been 30 or 60 days late with a payment 0 or 1 time in the last 12 to 24 months
Additional requirements: Good/excellent credit during the last 2 to 5 years; no bankruptcy within the last 2 to 10 years

B rating [Minimum credit score 620] You can get approved, but not at lowest rate. You can get credit cards and such, but at a higher rate than someone with an A rating
Typical debt-to-income ratio: Around 50%
Mortgage: You have been 30 days late with a payment 2 or 3 times in the last 12 months
Installment Loan: You have been 30 days late with a payment 2 to 4 times during the last 12 months
Revolving credit: You have been 30 days late with a payment 0 to 2 times in the last 12 months
Additional requirements: You have no 60-day late mortgage payments; if filed bankruptcy, it must be discharged 2 to 4 years ago

C rating [Minimum credit score 580] Have trouble getting approved. Very high rates. The lender might ask you to get someone to co-sign for you.
Typical debt-to-income ratio: 55% or higher
Mortgage: You have been 30 days late with a payment 3 or 4 times in the last 12 months
Installment Loan: You have been 30 days late with a payment 4 to 6 times during the last 12 months
Revolving credit: You have been 60 days late with a payment 2 to 4 times in the last 12 months
Additional requirements: If you filed bankruptcy, it was discharged 1 or 2 years ago

D rating [Minimum credit score 550] Serious trouble getting approved. Co-signor required.
Typical debt-to-income ratio: Around 60%
Mortgage: You have been 30 days late with a payment 2 to 6 times in the last 12 months; and 60 days late 1 to 2 times during the last 12 months
Installment Loan: You have a few 90 and 120 day late payments during the last 12 months
Revolving credit: You have a few 90 and 120 day late payments during the last 12 months
Additional requirements: If you filed bankruptcy, was discharged within last 12 months

E rating [Credit score under 550] Unlikely to be approved.
Typical debt-to-income ratio: Around 65%
Mortgage: You have a pattern of 20, 60, 90 and/or 120 day late payments
Installment Loan: You have a pattern of 20, 60, 90 and/or 120 day late payments
Revolving credit: You have a pattern of 20, 60, 90 and/or 120 day late payments
Additional requirements: You may have a current bankruptcy or foreclosure

Hope this answers your question

Ruth asks…

How high will my credit score increase if I get out of default student loan?

I made payment arrangements with Department of Education to pay on a default student loan. She told me if I make 6 timely payments on my default loan, the info will drop off my credit report. How much of a score increase will I get once they remove it from the credit bureau? I’m trying to buy a house.

John answers:

Difficult to say without looking at the rest of your report. Also, how long has this student loan been on your report?

When a negative item first appears, it has a very large effect. After 4 years the impact is not as bad, and your credit begins to improve. After 6 years it only has a small impact….but again depending on the rest of your credit history.

If this is a recent negative on your report, it should have a fairly large impact. Just make sure that they actually take it off your credit report…..NOT show it as paid. That does nothing to help your report because the fact it was in collections will still show up.

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