Debt consolidation options let you join problem debts into a single loan with an affordable, monthly payment to pay off the numerous debts. Everyone is ranked by a credit score called a FICO score. FICO stands for the Fair Isaac Company who developed the credit tracking software used by three main credit bureaus. One's credit score is determined by the credit bureaus who track when you acquire debt and whether you pay the bills on time. A high score lets you get lower interest rates on mortgages and other loans, and on credit cards. It is also used to evaluate how much of a risk you are when you apply for utilities, a new job or a new apartment or home.
Your credit score is excellent if it is 760 or above, good if it is above 700, fair if it is between 600 and 700, and poor if it is below 600. You are entitled to one free credit report per year, and entitled to dispute anything in the report and either get it corrected or add a permanent statement to the report explaining the disputed item and its inaccuracies.
Here are the factors that improve a credit score: . Pay all bills on time. . Reduce outstanding debt balances. . Do not apply for new credit. . Do not have creditors check your credit report too often. . Keep only two credit cards, those you have had the longest, and cancel the rest. . Realize your credit history builds daily, and the longer, the better.
Your credit score impacts what type of debt consolidation options are available to you and how much those options cost in overall repayment costs. Debt consolidation actions impact your credit score in either a positive or negative way, depending on the type of consolidation program.
If you decide to use a debt consolidation loan, your present credit score impacts whether you can qualify for a debt consolidation loan, the interest rate you pay and if your loan is secured or unsecured. When you pay off your problem debts with the loan, your credit history shows reduced debt, but it also confirms the new consolidation debt. Your timely repayment of the debt consolidation loan also improves your credit score over time. Overall, your credit score improves.
When you use a debt consolidation program, your credit score initially suffers, but it improves gradually as your problem debts are repaid, usually in three to five years. If you use a debt settlement option, where your debt is significantly reduced through negotiation, your payments are held until creditors agree to debt and interest rate reduction. Your credit score reduces significantly during the process, but improves as each individual problem debt is paid off.
With each debt consolidation option, the long term effect is a credit score improvement, provided you do not accumulate more debts as you pay off the old debts. Be sure you have a good understanding of what your debt consolidation company is doing with your creditors at each stage of debt consolidation and the impact the actions have on your credit score.
For more information regarding your credit scores, credit reports or debt options currently available to you, please contact Gateway Credit Connection or visit us online at http://www.creditmonkey.com
Michael Goff is the Co-Founder of Gateway Credit Connection, helping empower consumers to take control of their personal and business finances. With offices in three states, Gateway Credit Connection has helped thousands of families put the past behind them legally.