Monday, February 13, 2012
Whether you're buying a vacation home or just buying a fun retirement car to roll around town in, you've probably picked up that your credit score has become one of the most important numbers in your life. While you probably aren't going to be taking out 30 year fixed loans, sometimes you want to pay for part of your large purchase with a loan so you can keep that hard earned cash on hand. Having a good credit score is paramount.
First, what is a good credit score range? According to Fair Isaac Corporation, originatore of the FICO score, anything above 760 is fantastic. Anything above 700 is great. If your score is lower, you might want to improve it before taking out any large loans.
In retirement, chances are you can do little to affect your credit history. Whatever you've done, good or bad, has been done and has marinated in your credit report. There are, however, still some things you can do to affect positive change.
Check your credit reports for errors. Errors and omissions on your report are not uncommon, so use AnnualCreditReport.com to review your credit reports. The most common credit report errors are erroneous accounts, inaccurate personal information, outdated information, and improper collections and chargeoffs.
Keep inquiries to a minimum. Anytime you apply for a card, the company makes a hard inquiry of your credit report and it'll cost you a few points. If you plan on taking out a loan, avoid this at all costs.
Keep making payments on time. If you have any outstanding debt, like credit cards or a mortgage, just keep making payments on time. Missing a payment will hurt your wallet, in fees, and your score, in a late payment record.
Keeping your credit score high, especially if you have a nice long history of good behavior, should be fairly easy. You can knock out some of the low hanging fruit by disputing errors on your credit report but otherwise just keep doing the right thing and you'll do fine.