The Road to 800
Staying along the course of my last article The People vs. Debt, I had promised my readers to share a little more insight on my attempts to get my credit score to 800 by the end of this year. My main objective of course is to pay off my debts, but this makes a great add on to my goal.
In this article, I would like to give a brief history as to where I stood when I first checked my credit last September and where I stand currently.
I will also use screen shots from my Equifax account so that you can get a glimpse of how it appears, but I won’t show any detailed info for obvious reasons.
Now, let’s get started.
As you all know, I am Canadian. Equifax is the most popular of our two credit bureaus. (TransUnion being the other) I would also say that it appears to be the most accurate.
I’ve had to register to the TransUnion site to correct errors on their report I’ve noticed through Credit Karma. I’ve sent a request for a correction last week and once they get back to me, I will provide an update as to whether it was corrected and if my score jumped by doing so.
It is currently at 697 on TransUnion…ugh!
The Equifax score ranges from 300 to 900 and I currently stand at 731 from 686 last September- PROGRESS!
For a sample of how your score rating would be explained, you can find it here.
It’s great to see because I get a visual and the piece of mind of knowing that my discipline is paying off…more specifically, paying off debt.
Equifax breaks down your debt utilization amounts into 4 payment types: Mortgages, Installments, Revolving and Other. It is recommended to stay below 30% on each. (mortgage is an exception in most cases)
**There are other factors that impact your credit score such as paying your bills on time and the type of debts you hold. For this topic, I’m focusing on utilization only.
I’ve only been paying down the revolving portion of my debt so far which were mostly my major credit cards and store cards. My revolving utilization was initially at 98% when I started, ouch! The combined cash flow of my revolving debt alone is $1106. I can’t wait until May when it will show 0%.
As seen below, I’ve been putting in work and getting very close to achieving my goal. And yes, my car loan will be next. I already have a plan for that one.
One thing I’ve been reluctant to investigate with Equifax is my missing mortgage. I was going to dispute it, but I didn’t know if that would improve my score or hurt it. I had my mortgage for 10 years and there is ample equity, but I don’t want to risk ruining my current efforts. I will follow up only after I’ve reached my goal of 800.
Sounds like a good idea, right?
In all, I really like Equifax. The platform is simple, and I like the fact that it breaks down where you stand compared to other Canadians. You also see all your credit providers and if you are up to date with your payments as they would see it should you apply for credit. .
I strongly recommended knowing where you stand with your credit score. It’s a strong motivator when you want to pay off debt. I chose the monthly plan at $16.95 CAD, but they do have various other options. You can also have it sent to you once a year by mail for free.
Although I have the monthly plan, I recommend only checking it quarterly or semi-annually and pay the 1-time cost instead. I do not think it is necessary to check it more than that.
Reading books from successful people such as Dan Lok is also a huge motivator for me. Or any blog or success story from any person sharing the same journey as you; even if it’s from a nobody like me.
Look up Dave Ramsey if you have to. I don’t follow his exact methods or believe in his belief about credit cards, but a lot of his advice has been useful.