Thanks Clark!

I've been listening to Clark Howard for several years now off and on. If you're not sure who he is, he is a consumer expert on just about any subject you can imagine. His motto is "save more and spend less." A few weeks ago I was reading his Facebook page where he recommended a credit monitoring website called CreditKarma. This sight offers credit scores from TransUnion but also includes a VantageScore, Car Insurance Score and Home Insurance Score.

All of your scores are compared to other CreditKarma members and show how you rate. There is one tab to see your overall credit report card. Graded from A-F on different factors such as Credit Card Utilization, Payment History, Age of Credit History and Total Accounts. One part that confuses me though is that we're graded a C on our Credit Card Utilization. I understood that the lower your credit card debt, the higher your score. It may be because we don't  use our card since it was paid off earlier this year. So I've decided to use it once a month then pay it off right away. This was not always the case in being able to do that. The other bad grade of a D was for the number of accounts open. Apparently the more you have the better your score. So does that mean that I need to apply for more credit? Because this score has a low impact on the overall credit score I don't think I'll do that. The other 4 points we scored an A.

There's so much more to this website and all of the information is free with the simple reason being is that they advertise on the page with recommendations for different credit cards or refi offers. It's not in your face though so I can live with it for the overall helpful info I can get from it.

OK, so now I'm going to brag some. We've always had good credit (or I should say I have), but after you've gone through a bad time financially it makes you wonder how it's going. That's what made me want to know.

TransUnion ranges from 300-850. Ours is 770
VantageScore ranges from 501-990. Ours is 930
AutoInsurance ranges from 150-950. Ours is 920
HomeInsuance ranges from 150-950. Ours is 950

I've got to say I was pretty darn happy to see this. And I'm going to get puffed up more by taking all credit for having good credit. My husband doesn't mind borrowing money but has a hard time with the concept of paying it back. A little back story--when we met, very poor, he had in the past borrowed 500 from 2 different Uncles. Of course when you don't pay family back, all relationships deteriorate. I made it a point to get these two men paid off and it wasn't easy. But it was done before they both passed away so that was a good thing to have those fences mended. I've been diligent and bills were always paid before anything else. If you have a little left over then you've earned it and can go out to eat or buy something special.

The best gift I can give my daughter is this idea on how to treat money and the debts you have. She's a comparison shopper, likes thrift stores, rarely splurges on herself, and has already paid back her subsidized and unsubsidized loans for the first quarter of college, with refunded financial aid money. If she can't spend it all on school supplies then she should put it to the best use she can, something that will serve her in the future.

Comments

Grumpy said…
More available credit does equal a higher score. Seems counter intuitive, I know. Also, don't cancel credit card accounts, even if you don't use them; cancelling accounts will lower your score.

Financial responsibility is one of the best lessons you could have taught your daughter.

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