Blog

Blog


How to Check for Credit Problems

Pipe

Spotting Credit Trouble

Americans aged 45 to 54, who have credit card balances, carry an average debt of $9,096 per individual.1

The wise use of credit is a critical skill in today’s world. Used unwisely, however, credit can rapidly turn from a useful tool to a crippling burden. There are several warning signs that you may be approaching credit problems:

  • Have you used one credit card to pay off another?
  • Have you used credit card advances to pay bills?
  • Do you regularly use a charge card because you are short on cash?
  • Do you charge items you might not buy if you were paying cash?
  • Do you need to use your credit card to buy groceries?
  • Are you reluctant to open monthly statements from creditors?
  • Do you regularly charge more each month than you pay off?
  • Do you write checks today on funds to be deposited tomorrow?
  • Do you apply for new credit cards, so you can increase borrowing?
  • Are you receiving late and over-limit credit card charges?

It is important to recognize the warning signs of potential credit problems. The quicker corrective action is taken the better. Procrastinating is almost a sure way to guarantee that you may face financial difficulty down the road.

The lowdown on those free credit scores. Did you know the credit score provided to you may be different from the one provided to lenders?

The first thing you should know is that you have a right to see your credit report once annually without cost. To receive your free credit report you can visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

This report will contain important information that may affect your credit score.

While your credit report can be obtained for free, your credit score will cost you money, except if you have been denied a loan based on your credit score, in which case you may obtain your credit score for free.

Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness, which considers past and current credit activities, including any late payments, judgments, liens, bankruptcies, and foreclosures.

When you see an offer for getting your free credit score, it may be a marketing-driven incentive to get you to sign up for a fee-based credit monitoring service. The score may be only available at no cost if you agree to sign up for a trial subscription and don’t cancel prior to the end of that trial period.

The dirty little secret of credit scores. Before you purchase your credit score, understand that the methodology used to calculate the score you buy is different from that used to determine the credit score lenders receive.

There are hundreds of methods for calculating an individual’s credit score, and many lenders use private models with proprietary outcomes. While knowing your credit score may be important, it may be more vital to review your credit report to correct any errors that may be hurting your score and take the necessary steps to improve your credit profile.

Robert L. Schein, AIF
Partner, Managing Director
Blanke Schein Wealth Management | HighTower


HighTower Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. This material was not intended or written to be used or presented to any entity as tax advice or tax information. Tax laws vary based on the client’s individual circumstances and can change at any time without notice. Clients are urged to consult their tax or legal advisor before establishing a retirement plan. This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Citations.

1 – thestreet.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/average-credit-card-debt-14863601 [2/14/19]

Tags:

Blanke Schein Wealth Management is registered with Hightower Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC, and with Hightower Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the SEC. Securities are offered through Hightower Securities, LLC; advisory services are offered through Hightower Advisors, LLC.

This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. No investment process is free of risk, and there is no guarantee that the investment process or the investment opportunities referenced herein will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of current or future performance and is not a guarantee. The investment opportunities referenced herein may not be suitable for all investors.

All data and information reference herein are from sources believed to be reliable. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, or other information contained in this research is provided as general market commentary, it does not constitute investment advice. The team and Hightower shall not in any way be liable for claims, and make no expressed or implied representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the data and other information, or for statements or errors contained in or omissions from the obtained data and information referenced herein. The data and information are provided as of the date referenced. Such data and information are subject to change without notice.

This document was created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the team and do not represent those of Hightower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates.