Dear Deborah

0 comments Posted on September 14, 2012

Dear Deborah,
What information is in my credit report? Does my score really matter? Thanks.

Your credit report contains:

1)    Personal Information: Your name, previous and present addresses, Social Security number, past and current employer(s) and your spouse’s name may be listed.

2)    Credit Accounts: This includes the types of loans you’ve taken out (such as credit cards, car loans, or mortgages) and the current balance, and whether payments have been made on time. Accounts turned over for collection may be listed.

3)    Public Record Information: This includes tax liens, bankruptcy, money judgments, and in some states, delinquent child support payments.

4)    Inquiries: This lists the lenders, employers or other companies that have reviewed your credit report in the previous two years. Source: Financial Literacy Center.

Most lenders refer to an elaborate scoring system compiled by Fair Isaac Corporation. FICO scores range from 300 to 850, with scores above 700 considered more acceptable.

Higher credit scores can mean you pay a lower rate for loans and insurance.

Many credit card companies increase your interest rate if payments are late with another creditor.

For a credit report from the major credit bureaus, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.

 

Dear Deborah,
What is the “rule of 72?”

This is an easy way to calculate how long it takes to double your money at various interest rates. Divide 72 by the yield, or interest, you expect to earn. The resulting answer tells you how long it will take for your money to double.

For example, if your investment earns four percent in interest annually, take 72, divide it by 4, and you get 18. It will take 18 years to double the money.

The rule works in reverse, as well. If you want to double your money in twelve years, divide 72 by 12 and the result is that you will need an average growth rate of 6 percent.

The rule of 72s offers a close estimate for growth rates as you save.

Copyright 2012 Deborah Nayrocker. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint required.

Deborah Nayrocker writes on personal money management topics, showing others how to take control of their financial future. She is the award-winning author of The Art of Debt-Free Living and the popular 12-lesson Bible study Living a Balanced Financial Life. Her Web site is www.ArtofDebt-FreeLiving.com.

 

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