Here are some questions often asked of credit restoration specialists Shalvah Schottenfeld and Rachel Collins of Slate Group Credit LLC, based in Kew Gardens.
What is a credit profile?
A credit profile is your financial report card that is checked by potential lenders, employers, car lessors, landlords and others to decide how likely you are to pay back loans and/or handle credit responsibly.
Most of a credit profile is your payment history that includes mortgages, installment loans and credit cards culminating in a score that informs potential lenders of your creditworthiness. Depending on timeliness and accuracy of payments, the payment history can include both positive and negative accounts. Examples of negative remarks on accounts include “lates,” “settlements,” and “charge-offs.” An account can also go into negative status due to collection activity and public record reporting (any account that has gone through legal proceedings).
The higher the credit score, the greater chances there are of securing future loans at the best possible interest rates.
Who’s reporting my credit history?
Most lenders and vendors (banks, car lessors, credit cards, student loans, hospital and medical offices, utility companies, etc.) report your monthly payment history to the three main credit bureaus -- Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. These credit bureaus in turn record your payment history. Based on your credit profile with the bureaus, credit scores are formulated using many different algorithms. Although there are a host of scores out there, most lenders use the FICO (Fair Isaac) score that ranges from 300-850 with 700 being a good score. Many scores you find online, and even scores supplied by the bureaus, are not necessarily compatible with the fico score your mortgage broker uses to secure a mortgage.
How has the pandemic affected my ability to get a mortgage?
For existing loans, some lenders have been willing to extend payment deadlines and even lower interest rates during the pandemic, but only if a special agreement had been pre-arranged, otherwise missing payments still affect your credit history. Even if an arrangement provided for by the CARES act was made in advance, and lates were excused during the pandemic, before a mortgage application will be submitted, payments have to be brought up to date in order to be deemed creditworthy.
Although mortgage interest rates are at a historic low, obtaining a mortgage during the pandemic has become harder due to more intense scrutiny of increasingly risk-averse lenders. We are facing the toughest loan-approval standards in years, now often requiring financial statements as proof of on-time payments. Over the past months, lenders have tightened up credit score and down payment requirements, resulting in favorable loans that are hard to attain. This makes your credit profile and score more important than ever.
How do I improve my credit profile and raise my credit score?
We at Slate Group Credit LLC have over 15 years’ experience at improving clients’ profiles and legally raising credit scores through analyzation, restoration and resolution services.
A higher credit score can result in significant long-term savings. For example, when a client applies for a new mortgage, if the FICO score has been successfully raised from 660 to 700, the client may now be eligible for a lower interest rate which leads to tremendous savings over the life of the loan.
Don’t sell yourself short! Check out our website at www.slategroupcredit.com, and contact us for a credit profile consultation.