Call Lexington Law at
833-333-8277
for a FREE Consultation
Should You Pay Your Credit Card Balance In Full Each Month?

Should You Pay Your Credit Card Balance In Full Each Month?

It’s more than likely that you’ve heard the advice to keep a balance on your credit card. Well-meaning parents, friends, even bankers and advisors may tell you that keeping a balance on your card proves financial responsibility and usage. But the truth is that keeping a balance is not necessary to build your credit. This is a huge myth that costs a lot of people a lot of money in interest, and also a lot of points on their credit. What is a “balance?” To make sure we’re clear, let’s explain what we mean by “keeping a balance.” A balance on a credit card is simply the amount you still owe. If you make the minimum payment, the balance is what is still owed after the payment is made. This is also the amount on which you’ll pay interest if a balance rolls over into the next billing period. Most people believe that keeping a balance shows that you’re using the card and keeping your utilization ratio low, proving good financial habits. And while this is true, it also doesn’t hurt your score to pay it off in full, after you’ve received the billing statement. Timing matters Paying the balance in full is less important than the balance at the time of a credit report pull. It’s about the debt utilization ratio, so while paying in full is a smart financial practice, if you’re maxing out your card each month but paying it off in full, you’re still damaging your score. However leaving it completely unused is also harmful to your credit, as it does nothing to prove your...
5 Tips for a Budget-Friendly Fall

5 Tips for a Budget-Friendly Fall

It may feel like summer just ended, but once those leaves start changing it’ll be no time at all until you’re faced with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Finding the perfect Halloween costume and stocking up on candy, planning a Thanksgiving feast, and shopping for Christmas gifts are just a few of the festive yet costly expenses that come with the season. Face this fall with financial confidence by using these 5 tips that will help you stick to your budget. Plan for EVERYTHING Far before any events occur, sit down with a calendar and your memory and make a list of every single event that will cost you money. Any parties, birthdays, trips, etc. that you have historically spent money on in the past during the holiday season, and anything new that might happen, should be accounted for. And even then, it’s not a bad idea to create a “surprises” line so that you’re not scrambling if something comes up you didn’t think of. Start saving extra now If you haven’t already, now is the time to sit down and look over your bank account and bills, and get some concrete numbers in your head as far as what you make, what you owe, and what you can spend. Saving a little each paycheck throughout the entire year is ideal for making sure you have the extra cash for the holiday season, but if that wasn’t possible then start looking for ways now to save that extra cash. A side job, selling some unused goods online, or even babysitting or pet sitting are good ways...
How Often Is My Credit Report Updated?

How Often Is My Credit Report Updated?

Hopefully, you’ve been following our blog and working hard to take control of your finances. And if your goal was to clean up your credit report and reach a higher score, then you’ve likely been able to start paying off debt and making payments on-time. But how long do you have to maintain this good financial behavior to see the benefits on your credit report? The answer is immediately, constantly, monthly, and over several years. Allow us to explain. Most businesses and credit card companies operate on a schedule, considering they have millions of accounts. This means that they likely report payments at the end of a billing cycle, once per month. This is where the monthly update comes in. However once the credit bureau receives the information, your report is updated almost immediately. And because you likely have various credit cards or loans, all operating on different schedules, your report could change from one day to the next if the businesses to which you make payments send their information on different days, which is likely. Other information, specifically public records, can take a bit more time. If you filed for bankruptcy, a tax lien, or another civil judgement is filed, it could take anywhere from one week to several months for it to appear on your credit report. Removing items from your credit report also affects your score and history, and also can happen daily. Once the 7-year time-frame for delinquent accounts is up, it is automatically removed, as is other negative items after their respective time has been served. This is another factor that can cause your...
How to Get Your Credit Score Into the 800 Range

How to Get Your Credit Score Into the 800 Range

Now that you’re on the road to a better credit score, you probably realize that being in that top 800 range is basically being part of a super elite money club. And it pretty much is an unofficial club full of perks and benefits not available to anyone else. It’s not easy to get into, and it can be difficult to stay there, but it’s definitely a worthy goal and once you’re there, you’ll never want to leave. So how do you get into the esteemed 800 club, and what are the benefits? We’ll spell it out for you so you can set your goals and join the club yourself in no time! What it Takes Getting into the prestigious 800 club takes patience, self-discipline, and strategy. First, you need to know what’s on your credit report. Make sure you review yours annually so you can identify and negative issues that may hold you back or any mistakes you should fix. Next, keep your debt ratio low, under 30 percent for the best results. If you are paying off a balance on a credit card, spread out the balance among several lines of credit so one card isn’t maxed out, because that can also affect your credit score. Perhaps the most important factor to getting that score up there is to make your payments on time! And not just your car or mortgage payment – even your phone bill or utility bill can affect your credit, so set everything up to be paid on time no matter what. If you have one slip-up, and I mean one, you can...
How Do Student Loans Affect Your Credit?

How Do Student Loans Affect Your Credit?

Student loans have become a part of the educational process for many students, but how will this debt affect your future? It’s easy to take out a student loan and forget about it while you’re in school, but with the class of 2015 having averaged more than $35,000 in debt per student, it’s time to consider what the cost of that debt truly is, and what to do about it. To understand the full impact of your student loans on your financial situation and future, you need to know how it affects your credit. How Student Loans can Help You There are some benefits of having a student loan on your credit report. First of all, it is considered installment debt, which is generally considered “good” debt because it has value attached to it. Having an education usually means higher income, so this debt is considered an asset, like a mortgage. Additionally, if you have no other debt, your student loan will allow you to establish a good credit history which is very important to your borrowing ability. Your history of making your payments on time will improve your score over time. Student loans are also not weighed heavily when your credit score is calculated, so don’t worry too much about your student loan if you’ve been making your payments on time. The Downfalls of Student Loans When it comes to student loans, debt is still debt. And when you apply for more loans, like a car or house loan, your debt-to-income ratio is still a highly-considered factor. So if your student loan is astronomical and your income isn’t...
/* */