In these unprecedented times, life may seem out of your control. You may be having trouble paying your Bills, but it’s so important to be vigilant and protect your credit rating so you can qualify for the best interest rates available as you plan to buy your first home, your next home, purchase a second/vacation home or invest in real estate.
Follow these 4 tactics to keep your credit score protected:
- Check your lenders as many may be willing to work out new repayment terms that are more acceptable to borrowers. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau recommends discussing these issues with the various types of lenders. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) just recently improved on forbearance terms (ability to pause mortgage payments) for borrowers with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-backed mortgages. Previous rules required borrowers to repay the missed payments in one lump sum leaving borrowers owing a large amount at the end of the several month forbearance period. Now these lenders will present several options they can make available for repayment. Credit scores should be less impacted.
- Know all of your accounts. Keep track of all including student loans, car loans, mortgages, credit cards, and all other lines of credit. It is crucial for you to be aware if someone opens or closes an account without your consent.
- Monitor your scores. There are three credit bureaus – Experian, Transunion and Equifax – each with their own scoring system. Different lenders trust different bureaus, so it is important to know where you stand with each of them.
- Read your reports. Your credit scores give you a quick view of your credit health, but read the reports so you can see all the information used to calculate the scores. Analyzing these reports will help you see any suspicious activity before it undermines your financial health.
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