February 26, 2010 5 Comments
I know there are people who are obsessed with their credit score. Who check it monthly or daily. I don’t. I get it once a year.
If you’re a US citizen you’re entitled to check your report every year for free. Please use THIS LINK. It goes through the government federal trade commission web site to the ONLY truly free credit reporting. Do no believe “Free Credit Report. com” – they are NOT truly free – they just have a catchy jingle.
Okay, so that will give you your report, but I also like to monitor my score. By I don’t like to do it a lot. So I actually use Credit Karma (a completely free site). I read some reviews on it last year and I liked what I read, so I decided to use them once a year to check my score.
Last year when I checked my score, it was 679. I made the comment in the post that within a year I’d like to raise my score to 700. Amazingly, I did just that, my credit score is now at 705. Here is that information visually for those of you who hate to read:
To be honest, I’m not quite sure how that is right, since I had the “late” payment in August. Perhaps paying down my balances and length of time is greater than one late payment?
Here were a few interesting things that I pulled off of Credit Karma’s website:
This is a graph of credit utilization (percentage) as a function of what “grade” Credit Karma gives you, and your average score for that level of utilization:
What you should be noticing, is that if you use 1-20% of your credit card available balance every month – you get an A for a grade. If you PAY OFF your balance every month, you get a C.
I hate this. I hate this so much.
You truly have to be a credit monkey jumping through hoops in order to get the highest score possible.
I also found this little graph interesting:
This is the number of accounts you have open, and the grade that you are given. I have 14 accounts, so I was given a D in this respect. (Only 5 are open and “active” – I can’t figure out what that 5th one is though….)
But look at how many accounts you have to have open in order to get an “A” – 41! 41 accounts!!! Who has THAT many credit lines? Who would WANT that many credit lines?
I’m sorry, but if opening up 41 accounts and have a revolving balance of at least 1% is what I need to do to get the highest maximum score, I’m sorry, but no.
I’m perfectly content paying for things in cash now – even a house – so playing by these stupid rules seems – well, STUPID.