Whether Norwalk residents are looking for a home equity line of credit, a refi, or a new mortgage, when it comes to getting a loan, everyone knows that it’s the credit score that ultimately determines the outcome. Yet when it comes to a working knowledge of what major factors affect your score, a new survey shows that many of us are less certain than we should be.
The Consumer Federation of America is a nonprofit outfit that from time to time releases reports designed to improve that situation. Their latest is a sort of report card on how much average adults understand about credit scoring — the key factor in getting a loan of any kind.
On the plus side of the report card, CFA says that people who have obtained one or more of their own credit scores within the past year are significantly better-informed than those who have not. No surprise there. Those people tend to know that there are three large credit bureaus (although how anyone who watches TV doesn’t already know that is a mystery to me).
On the minus side, more men than women misunderstand how age and marital status affect their credit scores (those factors have no effect). Men, on the other hand, “are more skeptical than women about the value of credit repair agencies.” CFA doesn’t go into why that is, but I’d like to think that it’s because they understand that a more straightforward way to repair your credit is to pay all bills on time.
Sandwiched in among the charts and graphs are various bits of good advice for any Norwalk resident getting a loan? A few bear repeating:
Avoid maxing out credit cards; try not to even get close
Pay down debt instead of just moving it from account to account
Keep track of your credit from time to time, even if you’re not planning on getting a loan right away
If you are planning to become a Norwalk buyer or seller in the near future, I’m here to help you make the most it. Call me anytime (203-414-9435).