Score Advice

Difference between “balance-to-limit ratio” and “debt-to-income” ratio

Posted on Mar 28 2014 by

Dear Experian,

What is the appropriate balance-to-limit or debt-to-income ratio? I do not maintain a balance on my credit cards but worry that I have credit limits that are too high and could impact my overall credit.

- TBL

Read more

Authorized user unaffected by mother’s missed payments

Posted on Mar 27 2014 by

Dear Experian,

I am an authorized user on my mother’s account. Will it affect me if she misses payments? Will it hurt my credit?

- SHN

Read more

How to temporarily lift a security freeze

Posted on Mar 13 2014 by

Dear Experian,

I need to lift the security freeze for 24 hours to buy a car. How do I do that?

- PDT

Read more

Collection accounts are not removed immediately after being paid in full

Posted on Mar 13 2014 by

Dear Experian,

If you have a derogatory record on your credit report from a collection agency and you pay off the debt in full, will the debt be taken off of your report sooner? Or do you still have to wait the seven years?

- MSK

Read more

Utilization rate may be cause for lower scores when you have few accounts or low credit limits

Posted on Feb 26 2014 by

Dear Experian,

I only have one debt which is less than $1,000. I also have two credit cards. Together they have a balance of about $2,000 each month, but I pay them off monthly. Why isn’t my credit score higher?

- KCE

Read more

Voluntary surrender of truck cosigned for during relationship could wreck credit scores

Posted on Feb 26 2014 by

Dear Experian,

I recently co-signed for someone, and our relationship ended. They gave me the truck back and said they no longer wanted it. I have a car payment myself, so it will be hard to have two payments. I also am trying to save money to buy a house within next year. I have thought about voluntarily surrendering the vehicle. My credit has just recently improved. If I decided to do this would it ruin my credit to the point where I wouldn’t be able to get approved for a mortgage?

- CZC

Read more

Car returned under Service Member Relief Act is a voluntary repossession

Posted on Feb 12 2014 by

Dear Experian,

I am in the military and currently serving in Afghanistan. Prior to my departure I turned in my car lease under the Service Member Relief Act. When I check my credit report, it shows up as voluntary repossession, and then right after that it says “Due to military service.” Does this have a negative impact on my credit?

- JSP

Read more

“Short sales” usually deleted 7 years from the mortgage’s first late payment

Posted on Feb 05 2014 by

Dear Experian,

How long is a short sale on your credit report? We did a short sale in December 2010, and it is still on our credit report.

- SPG

Read more

Closed accounts will remain in credit history for up to 10 years

Posted on Jan 15 2014 by

Dear Experian,

How do I have old credit card accounts that are long ago closed or paid off removed from my credit report? I know that my score is negatively affected because of so many “open” accounts!

- EDC

Read more

Missing payments will worsen impact of mortgage short sale

Posted on Jan 15 2014 by

Dear Experian,

How will it affect my credit score if I short sell my house without missing any mortgage payments versus missing payments prior to the sale?

- BSB

Read more

Cosigining for an apartment lease could hurt your credit

Posted on Jan 01 2014 by

Dear Experian,

I would like to better understand how co-signing for apartment leases affects credit.

- IAB

Read more

Paid student loans listed by semester won’t hurt credit

Posted on Jan 01 2014 by

Dear Experian,

I have student loans on my report with different amounts but the same account number. They are all under accounts in good standing. I think that they are repeated. They are listed nine times! I also have two other student loan accounts with the same account number but with a different company. I have consolidated my school loans twice so I’m assuming that they are from before I consolidated. Do all these hurt my credit? They are all paid/never late/closed, but I’m concerned it shows that I over extend myself.

- AMS

Read more

Being removed as a cosigner from children’s student loans

Posted on Dec 04 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I co-signed college loans for my children. They are now both out of school, working and re-paying the student loans on time with no delinquencies. I would like to remove my name as co-signer. Will this increase my credit score, and will it decrease their credit scores?

- PBK

Read more

Adding an authorized user to your account won’t hurt your credit scores

Posted on Dec 04 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Will adding one or more authorized users (my husband and my daughter) to my credit card accounts affect me negatively? My daughter will not have a card to use; I only want to help establish her credit.

- AGF

Read more

Recent late payments hurt credit scores the most

Posted on Dec 04 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Why has my credit score dropped 42 points? There is a late payment on one of my cards which has since been brought current, and four of my accounts have been paid off and have a “0″ balance. Why doesn’t my score increase as quickly when I pay off accounts as it does when I miss a payment?

- KRS

Read more

Voluntary repossession would have seriously damaged credit scores

Posted on Nov 20 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I am trying to trade-in my car; however, I am upside down on my current car loan. If I trade it, my payments will be really high. The salesperson is trying to convince me to do a voluntary repossession on my current vehicle. She said that it would not be a big hit on my credit and my new car payment will then be lower. I told her that was something that I really had to think about and research. I don’t know much about what she was talking about, and I did not want to make an impulse decision.

- NTN

Read more

Mortgage loan not being reported after declaring bankruptcy

Posted on Nov 20 2013 by

Dear Experian,

We filed bankruptcy two years ago and want to either refinance our home or possibly buy a new home. When the bank pulled our credit they said that our existing mortgage is not being reported on Equifax, Experian or Transunion. We have all of our monthly statements from our lender verifying that we have been paying on our house for the past 2 years. How do we show this information to you so you can start reporting all of our mortgage history on our credit report?

- ETL

Read more

Multiple inquiries when shopping for an car loan

Posted on Oct 30 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I went car shopping one day and now there are lots of inquires that say they will be on my credit report until 2015. Is it right for all these inquiries to be on my report so long from just one day of shopping for a car?

- RLM

Read more

The meaning of “too few accounts paid as agreed”

Posted on Oct 30 2013 by

Dear Experian,

How can “too few accounts currently paid as agreed” be a reason for an adverse effect on my credit score when I currently have no unpaid accounts?

- MIJ

Read more

How utilization rate affects credit scores

Posted on Oct 30 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I have been led to believe that a component of one’s overall credit score is the ratio of current credit card balances to one’s total available credit. If one had three credit cards, is each card’s ratio calculated individually, or is it one’s total credit card balance compared to one’s total available credit? Also, I’ve heard that the important thresholds are 30 percent and better yet, 10 percent; is that correct?

- RLS

Read more

Establishing credit before going to college

Posted on Oct 09 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I am a 19 year old college student trying to establish credit early, and it would be helpful throughout college to have a low limit credit card just in case. Also, I am trying to get a car loan, and I know I need to use credit to gain credit. I applied for a credit card through my bank and was declined. I also applied for a student credit card and was declined again. How am I supposed to establish a credit history if I can’t get approved for anything? My parents are just starting to rebuild their credit themselves. Is there any way that I can establish credit without having to have somebody cosign for me?

- FCS

Read more

The meaning of “key derogatory” as a credit score factor

Posted on Oct 09 2013 by

Dear Experian,

What does “Key Derogatory” mean?

- RTC

Read more

Time it will take to recover after paying a tax lien

Posted on Sep 12 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I am currently paying off a state tax lien. After the tax lien has been paid in full, how long will it take for my credit to be restored to good standing?

- APM

Read more

Becoming a guarantor or joint account holder for son’s motorcycle loan

Posted on Sep 12 2013 by

Dear Experian,

I want to help my son, a recent graduate, build good credit. He wants to buy a used motorcycle. I was willing to guarantee the personal loan, but the bank wants me to be a joint borrower. If I agree, it is not clear to me whether my son’s credit rating will improve as much as if I were just the guarantor. Which approach would produce the greatest benefit? Would being a joint borrower help my son’s credit score at all?

- HRC

Read more

Car accidents don’t affect your credit report

Posted on Sep 10 2013 by

Dear Experian,

Does having a car accident hurt your credit score?

- OYD

Read more

  • ©2014 Experian Information Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.