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By Tammy Engel
Mortgage Advisor 

Keeping Your FICO High Through the Holidays

Mortgage Matters


If you’re a typical consumer, the holiday season means you’ll be using your credit cards to buy gifts for those you love. Be smart about your FICO score while you’re doing your shopping.

Of the five components that make a credit score, the one that weights the most is your payment history. It should go without saying that you need to make all your payments on time to keep a good credit score.

How much you owe on credit accounts makes up the next 30% of your score. History shows that once you charge more than about 30% of your stated credit limit, your score starts to drop. Owing 50% of the reported limit seems to be the next biggest hit.

Here’s where you can help keep your score high. Instead of buying everything on one credit card, even if you pay if off right away, consider spreading your purchases over several accounts. Keeping any given card at less than 30% of your credit limit gives you the best profile according to current scoring models.

The last two pieces of your score are new credit and type of credit. If you are tempted to take a new department store card to get a price break, consider that it might negatively affect your credit score in coming months. Too, if you take other than A-rated cards (Capital One brand is an example of a finance company brand) your score may take a hit.

Remember that in home loan pricing, there are up to 26 pieces that make up your interest rate and points. Credit scoring plays a huge role in the price you pay for all kinds of credit, so be wise as you indulge your inner Santa.

Tammy Engel is your local Mortgage Advisor and has been working for your best interest since 1990. Contact her at 661/822-7325 for purchase, refinance, and reverse mortgage.

Tammy Engel is your local Mortgage Advisor, and can be reached at 661/822-REAL with your questions about purchase, refinance, and reverse mortgage. Referrals available

on request.


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