Posts Tagged ‘Credit’

Check Your Credit Score & Report

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2010 at 11:27 am

Today I invested in my credit rating. I bought my credit report and score online. Normally I request my free credit report in writing, or by phone, every year from each of the credit reporting agencies (Transunion and Equifax). I have them on a rotation so that I get a credit report mailed to me every six months. It keeps me feeling like I have a finger on the pulse of my credit. Fun! (and someone yells ‘nerd!’ from the crowd)

But today I spent the money and got my FICO Score. I haven’t done that in about two years. It is better than it used to be, but there were a few things I needed to attend to, and one thing on my report that I didn’t know was there!

An old joint account that had three missed payments! Eek! FICO don’t like 90 days past due. It was one of those annoying cards that add the interest even though you paid off the balance in full. Then they neglected to send us any statements for months. When I called to confirm that they received the payment they informed me that the account was still owing $6.11. I was so stinkin’ mad. I paid the stupid $6.11 and called immediately to confirm. I got them to not only mail me a letter but also to fax a written confirmation that it was paid and the account was closed. That account is closed, but now I just have to wait for it to drop off my report. Shouldn’t be long now..

The other housekeeping items I took care of were two things: one account that doesn’t get used and has been paid off for over 4 years. It was revolving credit, so I called them up and closed it. They are mailing me a confirmation letter. Check! The second item is to close off some of my paid credit cards. I’ve decided to close off Credit Card #1. As you may or may not recall, Credit Card #3 was dropped to a $500 limit. I’ve decided to use this one as my regular use card.

Here’s why.

It has no annual fee. It has only a $500 limit. They will give me 5% cash back on groceries and gas purchases for the first 6 months, then 3% after. Once my cashback credit gets to $50 they send me a cheque. Who can say no to free money? This works well for me as I’ve been using Credit Card #1 as my gas card. I charge all my gas purchases to it and pay it off right away (weekly). So I’ll just switch that habit to Credit Card #3 and cancel out Credit Card #1.

I will also be closing, or at least reducing the credit limit on, Credit Card #2 – the one I’ve had the very longest. It will be paid off in full in only three more payments. I can’t wait. At that point, I will be down to one credit card, or line of credit and will be just that much closer to my credit-card-debt-free life!


What I Did with Credit Card #3

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm

For the time being, I’ve left Credit Card #3 open and decreased the limit to $500. The thought behind this is to keep the amount of credit available to me at a minimum without closing the account entirely. Once I’ve paid off Credit Card #2 to 75% of its limit, I will cancel Credit Card #3.

I’m really hoping that come May when I check my credit score it will be in the higher bracket. I don’t have a number to compare it to as I simply just order my free credit reports annually from Equifax and TransUnion and they don’t come with a score. But once I do get my score, I will keep track of it yearly to watch it slowly climb up higher.

My Credit Cards

In Uncategorized on January 14, 2010 at 8:00 am

You’ll notice, if you ever visit the actual blog and scroll way down to the bottom, that my credit card total amounts have changed slightly.

Credit Card #1 was paid off back in May and is now just used regularly for gas purchases paid monthly.

Credit Card #2 is a VISA, and the card I’ve had the absolute longest.

Credit Card #3 is my newest card, and was opened to transfer some higher interest debt on a balance transfer offer of 1.99%. Unfortunately, that ran out in December 2009 and it still wasn’t paid off. I still had $2,899 left. I don’t want to pay their insanely high regular interest rate of 19.9%.

Credit Card #4 is actually a LOC and is last on my debt repayment plan as it has the lowest interest rate.

For months prior to December, I was calling Credit Card #1 to see if they had any balance transfer offers I could use. Nadda. I really REALLY don’t want to apply for ANY NEW CREDIT if at all possible, so new balance transfer offers on new cards or any LOC’s are not an option.

This left me with a balance transfer to a lower interest rate card that I already have.

This means the new debt on my Credit Card #2 is now what was remaining PLUS the transferred balance from Credit Card #3. This will actually save me about $300 over the life of the balance versus just leaving it on Credit Card #3. Figured it was the best option I have available.

BUT, this means I can now close Credit Card #3. Hurray! (Maybe?)

Question: should I cancel Credit Card #3 now, taking a temporary dip in my credit score, or should I lower the limit to the lowest possible and wait until I can get my two other cards to 75% of their limits (which increases your score) before cancelling it?

Debt Update

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2010 at 11:19 am

It’s been awhile since I updated my debt, and this blog. For that I apologize. I don’t have any reason to give you other than that I’ve been busy (typical excuse) and that I have not been motivated to write.

My current credit card debt sits as such:

Starting Amount (April 2009):
Paid Off: $9,155.12
Current Amount (January 2010): $20,877.35

I’ve paid off $9,155.12 of my debt in 9 months, or reduced my debt by 30%, on a salary of $42,000. I also contribute to our mortgage and housing costs (50%) and make regular payments on my car and student loan in addition to contributing to savings.

That makes me feel good.

Do You Know Your Credit Rating

In First Steps on May 12, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Did you know that you can request your credit report for free?

Canadians can access their credit report free once a year from each of the three reporting agencies. It is highly recommended you do this. Who doesn’t love something that is FREE and could give you a leg up on your lenders?!

The three credit reporting agencies in Canada are:

Equifax Canada
TransUnion Canada and
– Northern Credit Bureaus Inc. (which seems to have shut down its services)

In order to obtain your report from these agencies, apply by mail. If you want the reports faster, you may pay a fee to do so.

Just follow their guidelines on their website to send away for your report.

I am going to send away for my report once a year from each, but I will spread out the timeline so that I will be receiving a report either every 4 months or every 6 depending on the status of Northern Credit Bureaus…

You can find more information on deciphering your ratings on the Government of Canada website here.