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[00:00:00] Scott Dillingham: Thanks for tuning in to today’s show. Originally I was going to have Mike, our commercial manager on to discuss investing in commercial properties. But he had a bit of a family emergency. So I thought, you know what? One of the new episodes I was going to do was how to build or improve your credit score.
So this, it doesn’t matter if you’re an investor, a regular homeowner. It does not matter. You need to know how to improve your credit score. So a little story about me and how I Did this improve my score myself. So when I first went to buy my very first house, I went for a mortgage pre-approval.
And I had a couple of credit cards at the time and. I had a job and I thought, it’d be no problem. So I went, I did my pre-approval and they said my credit score was too low. They couldn’t they couldn’t help me out. I’m like, but why? What’s on there. I know I pay my bills. There’s nothing on there that, like it’s, I have no late payments.
Why am I declined? And they said I was declined. Because I had a best buy card that was past due and best buy closed that account. And I never had a best buy card, so I’m like, what the heck is this? I I got my Equifax report and I’ll dive into that in a minute on how to do that.
And I saw it on there. I saw that it was freed there. And so I fill out this form. To dispute the entry. And Equifax took it off right away. So they do an investigation whenever you fill out a dispute form. They investigate the credit item and they determine if it actually is yours or not.
So in my case, it wasn’t. So they removed it and that instantly brought my score up. So I went back to do my pre-approval. I got the mortgage. We’re good to go. So that happens to a lot of our clients that come see us for mortgages. There’s items on their credit that shouldn’t be there, like a car loan that maybe they’ve treated in, but that car loan payments they’re still showing up there. Now that’s not hurting their score.
But because that credit item is still on the credit report. It’s showing in additional liability, which means that erodes your purchasing power because it’s showing us a debt. And again, this doesn’t matter if it’s an owner-occupied home or rental, this all applies. I think step one to improving or building your credit score is to review your credit report. Like I said, with my story, I had no idea I had something on there that was not me.
And by reviewing my credit report and going through the application, I discovered that it was there, but instead of applying for a mortgage and then finding out that it doesn’t work or any other type of debt, I think it’s best to just get your credit reports yourself. It’s free with Equifax, you can get one free credit check or credit report per year.
Or they do have monthly payment thing that you can do when you can get, regular credit updates. So that’s up to you. But again, if there’s ever anything on the report that you see, that’s not there, you can dispute it. So to dispute it again, it’s you go to their website? Equifax.ca you had contact us.
Under there is a dispute form that you can print, fill out. You can fax it or mail it in. And by doing that, as long as the debt is not yours, they will eliminate it from your Application in your liabilities. And any negative score attached to that also goes away. So you can get an instant boost on your credit score.
Another thing that People don’t always realize is your credit score. It’s not only late payments. Or if you pay your bills on time, That’s not the only measure that the credit reporting agencies look at. You look at a couple things. So one is your payment history. So write that is whether you’ve paid late or not late.
Another one is your credit usage. So that means. How much credit are you using? Compared to your total limits and what’s available to you, how much is utilized, the age of how long your accounts have been opened? Also has an impact. The credit mix. So whether it’s just credit cards or is it credit cards, loan mortgage, right? Is it.
Of a diverse credit bureau or is it. Just all with credit cards or only your cell phone bill type deal. And a new credit inquiries. So are you checking your credit often by applying for different things? So they look at all of this. Another thing to keep in mind with your credit report.
Is it spans over seven years. So if you had late payments a couple of years ago, and now you’re good. It will still show up that you had late payments a couple of years ago. So some people think it doesn’t matter, but no, it does matter. And it spans over a seven year period. So you want to make sure you’re good.
Now. Obviously payment history. That’s quite easy. Pay your bills on time. Don’t don’t be late. That will give you a good payment history. Credit usage. This one is
It’s pretty cool. Like you can. There’s some tweaks here and I’ll share the tweaks in part two on how to. Optimize your credit usage to help boost your score. But ultimately every credit item you have is recorded differently under usage. So if it’s a car loan or a mortgage. That won’t really have an impact on credit.
Usage or utilization. Because it’s it’s alone. It’s an installment. So you’ve got the lending. That was it. Where they really measure your usage is on your credit cards. Lines of credits. They’ll look at your limits in that case. Versus your balance and that’s where they get that ratio. So again, regular loans and mortgages, they don’t count as part of your credit usage.
The age of the credit accounts. So I have some clients that see why I didn’t use the card. So I canceled it. Never do that. Just lock it up in a safe, put it somewhere where you’re not going to use it. Because even though that card you might have in your wallet or purse, And you’re never using it. The fact that it’s staying open.
And there helps boost your credit. So again, never close an open credit account that you have because it can hurt your credit. Just lock it up. Don’t use it, put it somewhere safe. And then you’re good to go. So credit mix again, that’s very general. They’re looking for, do you have a diverse amount of credits? So mortgages loans, line of credit cards.
Cell phones that they want to see, you have credit in different areas. Because some people, they could be good with their credit card, but they’re always late on their cell phone bill. So they’re going to see that and that’s why they like you to have multiple things so they can tell. What your habits are. Okay. And then obviously new credit inquiries. Again, that’s people checking your credit. So that is one of the major benefits of going to.
A mortgage brokerage for your mortgage, as opposed to shopping independently for the banks. Or just independent lenders doesn’t have to be a bank, but what happens is if you take your application and you apply it, Lender one. And you don’t like the result or you want something better or a better rate or better service. And you go to lender to they’re checking your credit. And if something doesn’t go good there, and you wanted another opinion, you go to lender three that’s, three credit checks where you work with.
A mortgage broker or mortgage agent. They will check your credit and scan and filter through all the lenders who meet your criteria. So then you can know right away. Who is a good lender to work with, and that’s all done on the one credit check instead of multiples. So keep that in mind as well. Going for car loans dealership to dealership to see who has the best financing. That’s not a smart idea, right?
It’d be a smarter plan to find the car that you want and then apply at that dealership, providing they have access to many. Lenders. So it doesn’t matter if it’s a mortgage car, whatever. Now, as far as credit utilization is concerned. The key for credit utilization is you want to be under 30%.
Of your total limit. So if you have a limit of $10,000, You want to be under $3,000 as money owing. To maximize your credit score. Now your score will still improve. If you’re above 30%. But it will improve faster if you’re under. However, once you get over 70% of the utilization of your credit score.
Limits. That’s when your score can actually go down. I’ve seen clients that never missed a payment, but their utilization was high. So every month their score was going down. So you don’t want to be over utilized. So when we come back, I’ll dive into my score or not my score, but my secret on how to improve your credit utilization.
Without doing a single thing. And paying money. And how to improve that and then we’ll dive into the other ways to improve your credit
We’ll come back okay. I want to dive right into my trick on the utilization. I love this. It’s so cool. And anybody can do this. Now it does have. To do this. You will have a credit check, like a credit check does need to happen. But if you look at the grand scheme of things, your credit usage or utilization,
Accounts for roughly 30% of your credit score. We’re credit checks. Only account for about 10% of your credit score. So it’s actually better to get a credit check if it lowers your credit utilization. And what I mean by this is. Any credit cards that you owe money on or lines of credit where your utilization is high.
A quick trick to get an instant boost to your credit score and to lower your utilization. Is to call up the credit card companies and say, I’ve been paying my bills on time. Everything’s good. I’ve been a customer for X amount of years or however long it is. And I would like you to increase my credit card.
And they’re going to say, okay, we can increase your limit, but you need to authorize us for a credit check. So say yes, move forward. And then If your credit score, sorry. If your credit limit, if they can increase it. Instantly that lowers your utilization. So it’s a great trick to lower your utilization.
Now, if they say no. And they don’t move forward. I wouldn’t call another credit card company and do it again and try it again and again, because then you’re going to have all those credit hits and it’s not going to be good. So if they say no, stop right there. Okay. That means you haven’t built up enough credit.
Or tenure with them or your credit score overall is not strong enough and they don’t want to increase it. So if you get that first, no, don’t keep trying. Cause a lot of times, visa and MasterCard, a lot of times they make the rules and the credit card agencies just follow it. If you’ve got visa with one bank,
And you go to visa for a second bank. It’s going to be pretty similar results. Okay. If they say no to you, don’t move forward. But if they say yes, bump it up, don’t spend it though. Cause then you’re back. At square one, but now you’ve got more debt. So don’t spend it, but that will instantly improve your credit score.
And there’s quite a bit of benefits for having a better credit score. You can get better interest on your car loans. Potentially you get better interest on your mortgage. Also the higher, the credit score. The more money that you can potentially borrow for your house, right? If you’re over six 80,
The lenders will allow you to borrow. A higher percentage of debt ratios than if your credit scores under six 80. So having a good credit score greatly increases your borrowing capacity. But it also helps with jobs, some jobs check credit. And if they’re analyzing two good candidates and they’re not sure who they’re going to choose.
Going by the credit score is often a factor. So there’s an unlimited amount of reasons why you would want a better credit score. I recommend, following this podcast So obviously checking for credit. Is not good. You want to keep that as minimal as possible.
Another thing too, is if you have credit cards would say capital one or MBNA things like that. It doesn’t have as much weighting as if you have a credit card at a major bank or financial institution. So I’ve seen clients and applied. And they got declined because they didn’t have a bank credit card.
They had a capital one. Or I’m MBNA and that’s because like capital one, they do have that credit repair program where they’ll give almost anybody and everybody a credit card. If the lenders know anybody can get a credit card, not anybody, but mostly anybody can get a credit card at capital one. Then they don’t put much.
Strength in that credit card that you’ve opened. Where, if it’s at a bank, they know the banks have much tougher rules, so they will value the fact that. You’ve got a credit card at the bank. So if you’re someone who only has a capital one or MBNA, I would suggest getting a bank card, if you can. And then that will give you a nice boost to your credit.
Another thing that people can do. And this is through any bank that you would go to is you can do a debt consolidation. So if you have a lot of. Debts, and I’m not talking like a consumer proposal or bankruptcy. You literally will go to the bank and they’ll give you a loan and they group in all of your credit card debts.
And lines of credit and they give you just a loan. So by doing this, you’re going to save an interest because credit card interest is usually around 20%. We’re a loan from a bank can be from seven to 12%, maybe lower. If you’ve got a lot of income or really good credit. But generally speaking, it cuts the interest rate in half, right? So you have half the
Interest is cut in half. Then you’re also paying the principal. So with these loan payments, you’re paying into the principal and you can set the loan depending on the lender, anywhere from one year. To seven years. To pay back the debts. So you’ll know you’ll be, those debts will be paid in that amount of time. So it gives you a nice.
Little security blanket. Another. Thing to do is if you do sign up with Equifax or TransUnion, they do have a credit monitoring service. Where every. Every couple of months, you can log in, get an updated score. They’ll also alert you if there was new credit checks and you can see if that was, or wasn’t you.
What happens when people apply for credit? We can pull their credit would their first and last name, or we can pull their credit with their sin number. Now the sin number is much more accurate because everyone has a unique sin number. Where lots of people have the same names. So sometimes someone could be applying for credit with your name. It actually happened to me. My father has the same name as me. He opened a cell phone.
And the cell phone reported under me now, it, he was not late. Everything was paid. That was all fine. But still seeing a cell phone opened up on our meals. Like what the heck? So if you have the same name as someone that’s at risk, so I do encourage you to try to get your credit checked, using your sin number.
That way you’re not registering under somebody else, but I also realize in the same sense that. Not everybody wants to give out their sin number and that’s why they use their name. So just keep in mind, if you’re someone that applies with credit only using your name and not your sin number that it could potentially get mixed up with somebody else.
Just check that and that’s a lot of time. That’s how things get on your credit report that are not yours. It’s just from the name. It could have even been a typo in the name, like somebody typed the name wrong and it went to you. Instead of the other person. But high level, I think getting your.
Report regularly, checking it out. That is the most important thing you can do. The banks and many like online banking services. They give you access, like free access to review your credit report. And I encourage you to leverage those. And again, if you don’t have that free service as part of your banking, you can go direct to Equifax and you can get one free report per year. So they’ve got you covered there.
And again, If you have the capacity to increase your limits and your utilization is high, do that. That is the number one quickest way to, get your score up. And again, you’ll get better interest rates, more lending options, all those good things. So thanks for tuning in today i’m looking forward to chatting with you next time.