Tag Archives: #Fitness

When was the Last Time you Checked your Credit?

credit score

When was the last time you checked your credit? Was it the last time you bought a car? The last time you refinanced or purchased your home? Or years ago, or so far back you’re not even sure?

Well, just like getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist, getting your oil changed, and filing your taxes, you should be checking your credit report carefully at regular periods.

However, studies show that 42% of Americans don’t regularly check their credit!

So, unless you’re apply for new credit accounts, or trying to improve your score for a big purchase like a home loan, or see evidence of identity theft, do you really need to go through the trouble of looking up your FICO?

Why should you check your credit regularly?

Your credit may have errors:

Did you know that your credit report may have errors? A study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that more than 1 in 5 credit reports (21%) contain errors.  Even worse, 5% of consumers suffer through errors so serious that they are continuously overcharged for credit card debts, auto loans, insurance policies and other payments.

Over time, these errors may cause serious damage – not only to your credit score, but to your finances and by extension to your life. In fact, credit report errors may result in a lower credit score and a higher interest rate on a mortgage, a turn down on a zero-interest credit card, lower loan limits on an auto or student loan, higher insurance rates, and in some cases even cost you that dream job.

The good news is that 79% of consumers who disputed credit report errors were successful in removing them

Hacks, breaches, and ID theft:

I’m sure you’ve heard the news about the massive data breach at Equifax, one of the big three credit reporting bureaus. It’s expected that up to 143 million Americans – or just about half of all adults in the U.S.- had their data or sensitive financial information stolen.

It’s quite possible that your information was stolen, too, and that very well could mean ID theft or financial fraud is coming your way.

Consider that:

  • Last year, there were an estimated 15.4 million victims of ID theft and fraud, costing the victims more than $16 billion!
  • A new study by Bankrate.com found that at least 41 million Americans have already been a victim of ID theft, about one in six adults. Additionally, 50% know someone who has had their ID stolen.
  • About 50% of all victims realize that their identity has been stolen within three months.
  • But about 15% don’t learn of their ID theft for four years or longer!
  • 64% of ID theft improprieties and fraud involve stolen credit card accounts.
  • 34% involve misuses of bank accounts and debit cards.

If a cybercriminal gets a hold of your data, passwords, or even basic information like name, address, birthdate, etc., it’s easy for them to sell your info on the dark web or open new credit card or bank accounts. But all of this can be identified and taken care of very early, before the damage is done, just by checking your credit regularly.

Here is when you should check your credit:

In advance of a loan or big purchase

If you plan on refinancing your home, buying a home with a mortgage, applying for a new credit card, business loan, or student loans, etc. you should check your credit scores at least a few months ahead of time. Not only will you be able to research what rates and terms available to you based on your credit scores this practice will help you to become a smarter consumer, and hopefully you’ll be able to identify and update any issues on your credit report ahead of time.

Annually

Just like paying your taxes, your annual doctor’s visit, or spring cleaning, it’s recommended that you give your credit report a thorough review once a year.  Each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian and TransUnion and Equifax), will give you your credit report for free once a year. If you stagger your requests for those reports every four months with a different bureau, you’ll have a full survey of your activity over time.  Remember that these bureaus act independently, and so a credit issue may not be discovered for many months if the credit issue is not on the credit bureau you pull.

Monthly

These days, wise consumers conduct at least a quick once-over of their credit every single month. The best way to do this is by looking at your credit card statement, which should provide an updated credit score. While these scores may not be consistent across all reports and bureaus, they will give you a good indicator of general trends and what’s going on with your credit.

Here is where you can check your credit and all three scores without the credit check showing up as an inquiry on your report:

www.CreditKarma.com , www.MyFico.com and www.AnnulaCreditreport.com

Also, you may check your credit and credit scores at each bureau individually at:

www.Experian.com , www.Transunion.com , www.Equifax.com   

With these different periodic checks, you should feel confident that your credit is being watched sufficiently and you’re well protected! Contact me if you have more questions regarding your credit!

Purchase-Refinance-Conventional, VA, FHA & Jumbo Loans

Call Me Today 916-722-0395, Email Me Today kathleen@wcmtg.com or visit my website www.kathleenbeck.com   Let’s start you down the road to home ownership now!

 

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Life Beyond Raising Children

As a mortgage lender and mother of two wonderful boys, Bryan (18) and Josh (14), life can become both hectic and routine, depending on the day. I enjoy working with my clients and seeing their home ownership goals become a reality just as much as I love watching our boys grow and reach new milestones. It has been fun over the years learning to balance work and my home life and I know that my family has benefitted from my commitment to both. As our boys are growing up, I have seen a shift in my time management as they need me less each year.

It is important for parents to rebalance as their children grow and find ways to take the time to nurture our own lives. Often as parents our children are the priority which is a beautiful blessing. But there comes a time when we need to refocus and make sure we are taking care of ourselves. Some people even manage to do this with young kids and I admire them greatly. I am learning more and more the importance of making myself a priority, which can be hard as a mother of two.

Find new hobbies.
Make it fun and do something you thought you would never like! What is the worst thing that happens? You hate it and never do it again? Well chances are you may actually enjoy it. I thought I would hate doing artsy things like ceramics and painting, but sure enough here I am returning to my Saturday night ceramics class, meeting new people and having a blast.

Get involved in your community.
This is one that I remained close to, even with children as they grow older I see myself finding new fun ways to participate.  Such as the Antelope CPAC (Antelope Planning and Advisory Council) and the Center Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee.  I am also active socially in the Ladies of Antelope which started about a year and a half ago so the women in our area had a place to connect and socialize with each other.  Even if you are just attending meetings or going to an outdoor community fair, making the time to do these things means that I am meeting new people and fostering fresh relationships.

Make a personal health commitment.
This is something we should all do regardless of where our lives are at. Most focus on physical health but lets not forget about emotional and mental health. Living a healthy life means less stress and more energy. For me as a mother I have found more time to make this a priority as my boys get older. I am now food prepping, finding time for myself at thy gym and also focusing on my emotional health, which has been an amazing experience. Self-love is something we assume we need to schedule. Sometimes it is a s simple as taking your coffee outside and walking around the block, or the river if you are near one. Sometimes self-love is a simple as just taking five breathes of fresh air without interruption.

As a mother this wouldn’t be fun unless I highlight my two boys. We adopted both our boys, Brian who is now 18 at 13 months and Josh who is 14 at six weeks. Brian is autistic and we have seen him grow and reach incredible milestones like teaching himself how to play guitar and also teaching all of us about the latest tech trends. His sense of humor always lifts our family and his autism has never been a something he has allowed to slow him down. Our younger boy Josh is an adventurous, gracious, empathetic and caring boy. With an autistic big brother brother, you can see how much he cares for all those around him no matter what their circumstances. His kindness makes me so proud. Josh just earned his second degree black belt in taekwondo and what makes me even more excited is his interest in helping the kids that attend his academy learn and grow.

Our boys inspire me to work harder and be a better person. I hope this sheds some light into what I am working on now that my children are growing up and also helps you think about how you can prioritize yourself in all that goes on around you. Carve out time for something fun. Be adventurous and do something you said you would “never” do. Who knows, maybe you’ll be like me and laugh at how much you love it.

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
2716 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818
916-722-0395
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