Credit Scores Could Rise This Fall

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This fall credit scores across the country may rise. There are four new changes to the VantageScore  (a new thing created by the big 3 credit bureaus) that may increase credit scores for those that need it most. Unfortunately for those looking to buy a home the FICO scoring model will not be effected.

KETV says, “The new method is being implemented later this year by VantageScore, a company created by the credit bureaus Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. It’s not as well-known as Fair Isaac Corp., whose FICO score is used for the vast majority of mortgages. But VantageScore handled 8 billion account applications last year, so if you applied for a credit card, that score was likely used to approve or deny you.”

The changes include:

Trended data CNBC says, “Using what’s known as trended data is the biggest change. The phrase means credit scores will take into account the trajectory of a borrower’s debts on a month-to-month basis. So a person who is paying down debt is now likely to be scored better than a person who is making minimum monthly payments but has been slowly accumulating credit card debt.”

Legal data – Civil judgments, medical debt and tax liens will no longer affect your score. Mortgages are still primarily using FICO scores so don’t get too excited but for other types of loans (credit cards, auto loans, etc.) this could really help some folks out.

High Limits – the debt ratio portion of scoring for VantageScore is about to be turned on it’s head. Instead of the lower the debt ration, the better people with “excessive” credit card limits could be hurt. the rational is that those with higher limits could rack up more debt, faster.

Less Robust History – According to the Motley Fool those that have fewer items on their credit histories may also see an increase in their score due to, “The model will examine thousands of various consumer behaviors in an effort to identify those who have a propensity to pay their bills on time, because these are the people that lenders want to attract.

Some changes may help and some may hurt depending on what’s going on with your credit scores right now. Motley Fool gives the easiest explanation of the biggest changes. Read more here.

 

ShayOlivarriaHeadshotShay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. Previous clients include: the Yorba Linda Water District, Verizon, and Friends of Allensworth, among others. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times.The 2nd edition of “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money” is available now.

7 Things High School Grads Must Do This Summer to Prepare for Life

 

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Congratulations on graduating from high school! Whoo hoo!

Since you’re graduating, you either 18 years old or about to 18 years old very soon. That means that you are, or will be, legally an adult. It’s time to think about starting your financial empire. Below, you’ll find 7 financial things high school graduates must do this summer:

Check Your Credit Report
It’s imperative that each graduate get a print out of their credit report from each of the “Big 3” credit reporting agencies. The government has passed a law that makes our credit reports available once a year for free from www.AnnualCreditReport.com. This is the only site that will provide a copy of your credit report at no cost to you, from each of the “Big 3”, once a year. You will not get your credit scores though; scores are computed through separate companies. Tip: Nothing in life is free. Any company offering you a free credit report and/or score is more than likely trying to sell you a monthly credit monitoring service. Read the fine print.

Figure Out How Much College Will Cost
Whatever college you choose, it’s important that you understand how much the total cost of your degree will be. Consider the costs of tuition, books, dorm fees, and any other monies you’ll have to pay. Take a look at estimates fees per semester and then multiple that by eight semesters, perhaps ten semesters if your school is impacted. Once you see the costs in terms of tens of thousands of dollars it might make you a little more motivated to be responsible with your money. Apply for as many scholarships and grants as possible because you don’t have to pay those back. When you take out loans not only will you have to pay the money back, you’ll have to pay it back with interest. Tip: Look for opportunities to make small financial changes that make a big difference. Buying used textbooks can save you hundreds over four years.

Consider the Return on Investment
You are going to make some decisions in the next year or two that will be the foundation for your life. Don’t make decisions based on your emotions or what your friends are doing; look at the return on investment. If you are spending money on something, it’s because you are expecting to get some kind of benefit. If you choose to attend an Ivy League university you expect to command top salary at a major fortune 500 company. If you choose to attend a community college it’s because you want to save a few dollars on your foundation classes. Did you know that you can attend a community college, transfer as a junior to a university and no one will know? You’ll cut your college expenses by half and end up with the classes you need. You must consider the return on investment with any purchase and paying for college is a big one. Tip: If you’re undecided about a purchase, sleep on it. Never make a decision in a hurry.

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Available on Amazon

Create a Spending Plan
Writing things down is good. I’m sure you have a general idea of how much money you’re expecting from jobs, financial aid, etc., but unless you have a written plan to spend it the money will pass through your account and you’ll have no idea what happened to it. Have you ever taken $20 out of the ATM and the next day you have no idea how you spent it? Research studies have proved that writing down your goals makes it easier to achieve them. When I want coaching clients to focus on spending, I ask them to write down the financial goal on a Post-It Note and stick it onto their debit card or credit card. The same thing works with writing a spending plan. Knowing how much money you want to spend in each category will help you stay on track. Tip: making the plan before you actually have the money is the key to putting the spending plan into action.

Move Your Money
Visit www.aSmarterChoice.org to find a credit union in your area. Credit unions are financial institutions that offer the same products and services as traditional banks, but they are not-for-profit. The only purpose of credit unions is to serve the community; each credit union member loans money to the other members so loan interest rates are usually lower than a bank. Pretty soon you’ll want to purchase a car and in the not-too-distant future, a home. Credit unions tend to be smaller, offer more personalized service, and offer better rates on loans so having a relationship is a good thing. Moving your checking and savings account to a credit union could potentially save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime. Tip: Search for a financial institution that is a good fit for you, don’t just choose whatever your parents have.

Start an Emergency Fund
Ever heard of Murphy’s Law? It states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. It’s up to you to make sure that you have at least $500 in an Emergency Fund at your credit union or bank because there will always be something that you need money for unexpectedly. Having at least $500 in an account that you can have access to when times are rough might be the difference between having to borrow from a family member or take out a cash advance loan or being able to borrow from your stash and go on about life without being a hindrance to anyone. Start by opening a money market account at your credit union or bank and then add $20 a week to the account until you have at least $500. Tip: Don’t touch it unless it really is an emergency.

Open a Retirement Account
Did you know that investing $5 a day will make you a millionaire by retirement? You read that correctly, investing just $5 a day in an average performing mutual fund account that returns 9% a year (industry average is 10%) will put $1.3 million in your pocket. The first step is to find a mutual fund company that will let you open a no-load Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with no money as long as you contribute at least $50 a month. Put your money in an account that’s not too risky and not too safe. You have a long time horizon so don’t be scared to invest more in stocks, but you have to be able to sleep at night. A fee-only advisor can help you determine how comfortable with risk you are and suggest some mutual funds to you. The process is as easy as filling out a one page application and sending in your credit union or bank checking account information. The second step is to commit to adding at least $50 a month to the account. The third step is to watch your account become fatter every month. Tip: Set up the account so that the money is added to the retirement account automatically every month from your checking account. Add at least $150 per month to reach that million with no sweat.

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In case you’d like to find out more financial information, you can order 10 Things College Students Need to Know  About Money from Amazon. Happy summer!

 

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ReasonCode.org

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This Sunday I read about ReasonCode.org in the LA Times. Reason Code is a website powered by the new Vantage Score that aims to help people understand their credit reports a bit better. The name Vantage Score might ring a bell because I wrote about the new Vantage scoring system over at Black Voice News a few years ago.

When you visit the website, you can enter the code that was given to you by a lender that refused to give you a loan and you’ll be provided with an explanation of what the code means. From what I understand, the codes don’t always align with the codes from the FICO scoring system that Equifax, TransUnion and Experian use however if you type in a word or two with the code you’ll more than likely be able to get a reason.

This is a new service so I can’t say how well it works, but when I put in a few codes to test it they all came back correct. Give it a whirl yourself and let me know what you think of it.

 

Student Loan Debt Infographic

In case everything we’ve been talking about isn’t clear …

 

It’s important to think about:

Order a copy from Amazon.com.

Choosing to attend college. (Look at the ROI)

Choosing which college to attend. (Look at the ROI)

Having a strategy for paying for that college.

Having a strategy for paying any loans taken out.

 

3 Reasons to Buy Money Matters

Order Money Matters on Amazon.com

If you are looking to make some changes and get on track financially, Money Matters by Shay Olivarria is the book for you. There is a check-up for where you are with your financial goals. The book addresses savings; short term and long term. It tells you how to set up retirement accounts, investments, and how NOT to get into deep debt. This is great for those beginning their journey into the real world. Also, for those that have already messed up, Olivarria has steps on how to get back on track.

Olivarria creates a great guide for you to create your own individual plan to get out of debt and on the track to financial freedom. She states that you have to be patient and consistent. It is never too late to turn it around. I suggest you gift this book to college graduates. It is straight to the point and interactive.

This book was provided courtesy of the author for review.

DCSquared

 

#1 You want to know more about personal finance, but you’re not sure where or how to begin.

We all want to make better financial decisions. The challenge is that sometimes we’re not sure what to do or we have hard decisions to make where both options seem like bad ideas. We get so caught up in running from day to day that we forget that we can make changes if we take a moment to plan instead of react. Money Matters was written with that in mind. The very first worksheet is one page long and helps you see the bigger picture by asking a few simple questions.

#2 You are intimidated by personal finance jargon.

Have you ever tried to read a personal finance book or spoke with someone in the financial services industry and you didn’t understand what they were saying? Me too! Personal finance is not complicated, but it’s easy to make it seem complicated by using industry jargon. Money Matters is written clearly. I don’t try to confuse the reader by making things sound harder than they are. That’s why media outlets across the country have quoted me and asked me to write for them. I make money management simple.


#3 You want to know what you need to know to make things change.

Take a look at the Table of Contents from Money Matters in the image above. This book covers “just the facts ma’am”. There are tons of books that do into depth about any area of personal finance that you might be interested in. This is not that book. Money Matters is a bare-bones, simple read with worksheets to help you make good decisions about money. The book covers net worth, retirement planning, paying off debt, managing your credit score, payday loans, rapid tax refunds, and even saving money on your groceries.

 

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com

NBC Latino

Shay Olivarria was interviewed by NBC Latino! Whoo hoo!

 

We’re so proud that Shay Olivarria was interviewed by Kristina Puga of NBC Latino for this article with tips about dealing with the possible doubling of the student loan interest rate that’s coming July 1. Read it and share it!

 

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com

Free Library of Philadelphia

Shay Olivarria with staff from the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Thursday, April 5, 2012 Shay Olivarria was pleased to present financial education workshop “Creating a Foundation for Wealth” based on her book 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money to student-workers at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Wow! The students were so much fun! We weren’t able to film because the students were minors, but there are some comments from the evaluation to give you an idea of how the workshop went.

What was the most important thing you learned today?

“Stop being idiot and save some cash!”

“Savings and a bright, ready mind can get you ANYWHERE!”

“How to think critically about money”

“The difference between a bank and a credit union”

“Invest in retirement and have an emergency fund”

“”I learned about small opportunities that make a big difference”

“The most important thing I learned today was how I can start saving now, to benefit my future”

“Avoid fees was the most important thing I learned. The fees can add up and put you in a hole”

“You can buy stock at any age”

“I leaned about saving money and shopping smart”

Book Shay to speak at your event today.

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com.