PERSONAL FINANCE

TOOLS & TIPS

3. FOCUS ON CREDIT

Key takeaways: maximize credit limit, minimize interest paid, minimize utilization

What is a good credit score?

Excellent Credit: 750+
Good Credit: 700-749
Fair Credit: 650-699
Poor Credit: 600-649
Bad Credit: below 600

 

Free Credit Basics Guide

General advice for people looking for a first credit card in the USA:

Since you probably have limited history, find a family member (such as a parent) who has good credit, and ask them to add you as an "authorized user" to one of their cards. You want a card that's been open for several years and has never missed a payment. Wait a couple of months for the card to appear on your credit report. Its history will help you. (There has been mixed reports of this still working, for best results make sure you have the same last name and address of the account holder.)

After the card appears on your report (could take up to 3 months), and it's showing more than 6 months of history (some banks immediately show all the history for the card, and some only show since you were added as an AU), then you can start applying again.

You can see your credit report for free at Credit Karma (not FICO), and a more official score at CreditScorecard.com (FICO). You can also order an official credit report for free once a year at annualcreditreport.com. If you are willing to pay to see all 3 FICO scores I would suggest MyFico. money

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Below is a list of tools that will help you take control of your credit:

May 08, 2020

Increase Your Credit Score, Pay Off Your Debts, And Gain Better Control Of Your Finances

Novae is a financial services & training company founded in 2014 with a simple goal: to INSPIRE people to get more out of life, EDUCATE them on ways to go about it, and provide them with an OPPORTUNITY to make it happen!

Novae Money is a unique blend of products and services that will assist you in your journey toward financial wellness, independence, and freedom!

How Can Novae Money Transform Your Life?

1. Better Credit

  •   Qualify for a loan to purchase a home if you’re a renter

  •   Get approved for lower car payments when you’re buying

  •   Start a business and get the funding you need

  •   Pay lower insurance premiums and little to no deposits

  •   Save more money by paying little to no interest EVER AGAIN

2. Debt Elimination

  •   Pay down your debts in 50 – 75% faster time with our software

  •   View all your credit card, loan, and bank accounts in one place

  •   Get a specific personalized game plan for your situation

  •   Improve your credit score as your debt level decreases

  •   Become debt free and start investing into your future

3. Better Budgeting

  •   Get focused on your future financial goals

  •   See where your money is going and take control

  •   Get help organizing your spending and savings

  •   Easier conversations with your significant other about money

  •   Learn to save effectively for unexpected and expected costs

4. Financial Literacy

  •   A guide to wealth building and making solid financial decisions

  •   Learn more about finances than you were ever taught in school

  •   Begin to learn the language of money and building wealth

  •   Learn how to leave debt, save money, and start investing like a pro

  •   Access to a basic understanding of investments and how they work

Other Services That We Offer

  1. Business Funding & Credit

  2. Financial Wellness Program

  3. Smart Credit Monitoring

  4. Credit Builder

  5. Home Ownership Program

  6. Loan Programs

  7. Novae Personal Finance

  8. Credit Card Offers

Customer Reviews

Get great credit.

July 06, 2017

FREE

Free access to your credit scores, reports and monitoring. Can help you dispute an error on your credit report or lower your interest. 

Credit Karma provides you with your credit score and report, no strings attached. It’s really free, and you don’t need to put in your credit card number or remember to cancel your free trial. Credit Karma users also get access to their TransUnion credit report in addition to credit scores from TransUnion and Equifax.

Should you use Credit Karma?

Ultimately, yes. Credit Karma is safe. And while they may use personal information to serve ads, they’re not sharing it with third parties (to my knowledge). At the end of the day, Credit Karma provides really useful insights into your credit health.

Credit Karma performs what’s known as a “soft” inquiry on your credit reports, so this will not be reflected on your reports as a credit pull or cause your score to go down in any way.


You’ll have to create an account and provide your personal information… including your social security number to verify your identity and pull your credit, but unlike other so-called “free credit score” sites there’s NO CREDIT CARD or any purchase required.

 

CreditKarma Reviews: MoneyUnder30, AAACreditGuide

Get credit for your phone and utility bills

June 04, 2020

FREE

Only Experian can raise your FICO® Score* instantly

  • Get credit for your phone and utility bills

  • Access your free Experian credit report & FICO® Score

  • Includes Experian credit monitoring and alerts

Refinance your car loan.

July 06, 2017

FREE

RateGenius provides vehicle refinance services and auto, home and life insurance products from a network of top lenders and insurance providers. I used RateGenius to refinance my car in June 2017; my interest rate went from 3.74% down to 2.85% with Air Force FCU. My monthly payment decreased from $425 a month to $250 a month, although I continue to pay off $500 each month. 

Best for: 

Good credit applicants looking for a streamlined process to refinance an auto loan. RateGenius is a “vehicle refinance loan broker,” which means that the company does most of the work of shopping for a refinance loan for you. When you apply, rateGenius searches its network of lender partners to find you the best offer and helps you complete the loan approval process with that lender. If you qualify for a lower rate, refinancing your auto loan can save you a sizable chunk of money over the life of your loan — get an idea of how much by using our refinance calculator. According to data on the rateGenius website, refinance customers save an average of $89 per month. Because a hard credit inquiry is required to receive a pre-approved loan offer, RateGenius is best for serious shoppers who intend to get an auto refinance loan.

RateGenius Reviews: CreditKarma, NerdWallet, BBB

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