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Old 06-10-2009, 09:34 AM   #41
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The website is called creditkarma.com and I checked it out. Interesting and accurate for my score (at least from the last time I checked). I check my credit report several times a year, but don't pay for the score feature.
Do you have to pay for the score, now? The last time I checked was the first year that we could check through annualcreditreport.com . At that time, each of the credit agencies would give you a score for free which, while not the official FICO, was their credit score for you. If you wanted a real FICO then you had to pay.

I should probably look at my credit again when I have time. Just haven't got around to it. I have been following the old adage, "When in doubt, procrastinate!" My insurance bills do not seem unusually high for my area, so with any luck it's still fine.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:09 AM   #42
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You've got credit score and report confused, W2R--easy to do. The report is free, the score has always cost you something. The report is still free from each of the three reporting agencies, but now they market the scores pretty heavily as a revenue generator.
This is the only place I've seen scores that were really free.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:14 AM   #43
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So, for people like me who probably will not be taking out any loans in the future, how important is a credit score anyhow?

I've read it affects insurance costs, but someone mentioned that as long as the score is decent, probably not by much/any. I came in around 760. Anything else a retired person should worry about regarding credit score?

I played with the info a bit - seems the only thing that would marginally help my score would be to take out another credit card (?). I don't see where I benefit in any way from that, my two cards seem to be all I need, it would just be another account to track, an added potential for fraud, etc.

Since all my ins is with one company, and for a long time, I was thinking of calling and asking them directly.

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:24 AM   #44
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You've got credit score and report confused, W2R--easy to do. The report is free, the score has always cost you something. The report is still free from each of the three reporting agencies, but now they market the scores pretty heavily as a revenue generator.
This is the only place I've seen scores that were really free.
Thanks, Sarah. I probably forgot. How crummy!! There seems to be little point in paying for a credit score that isn't even a FICO score. I am embarrassed that I did that - - maybe I am repressing what to me seems like a stupid way to have spent my money!
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:27 AM   #45
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So, for people like me who probably will not be taking out any loans in the future, how important is a credit score anyhow?
It probably affects your credit card interest rates or maxima, wouldn't it? I don't plan to ever take out another loan for anything, or mortgage, and I don't use credit cards. I guess if my insurance ever seems like it is more than other people are paying, I would be more concerned than I am. I probably shouldn't be so cavalier about it.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:35 AM   #46
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Do you have to pay for the score, now? The last time I checked was the first year that we could check through annualcreditreport.com . At that time, each of the credit agencies would give you a score for free which, while not the official FICO, was their credit score for you. If you wanted a real FICO then you had to pay.
It's still that way. There are a few so-called "FAKO" scores that you can get for free (or very cheaply), but there's no way I know of for a consumer to get a "free" FICO score unless they are applying for credit and they can get the creditor to share the details of their hard pull for credit.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:39 AM   #47
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It's still that way. There are a few so-called "FAKO" scores that you can get for free (or very cheaply), but there's no way I know of for a consumer to get a "free" FICO score unless they are applying for credit and they can get the creditor to share the details of their hard pull for credit.
So then, is the score that you get for free from creditkarma a real FICO score? Or is it one of the proprietary scores put out by Experian and the other two? Or something completely different?
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:42 AM   #48
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So then, is the score that you get for free from creditkarma a real FICO score? Or is it one of the proprietary scores put out by Experian and the other two? Or something completely different?
No, it's not a real FICO -- it's a proprietary score created by TransUnion. For a lot of people it seems to come close to a FICO but it's not the same thing. Still, for an "rough order of magnitude" kind of calculation, it probably gives a pretty good idea about where you stand relative to most other people.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:45 AM   #49
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Sorry, I saw this after I asked:

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They don't use FICO. They use a proprietary scoring system developed by TransUnion.
Didn't mean to make you repeat stuff. I guess that's the same score I got from TransUnion through annualcreditreport.com, way back when. Mine was much higher than I had anticipated, surprisingly enough. I'd have to check but I think it was in the 800's.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:59 AM   #50
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It probably affects your credit card interest rates or maxima, wouldn't it?
Yes, I suppose it does. But since I never pay credit card interest ( I mentally lumped that in with "not taking out a loan"), that is not an issue for me personally. And my CC maxes are already way above what I could imagine spending in any one month (unless the car dealers are taking CCs).

I suppose the only *real* way to know about the insurance is to get a competing quote, but I've been with State Farm a long time - not sure that counts for anything anyway, but also not too motivated to change, unless the bucks were big.

Mostly just curious, I guess insurance would be the only thing in my life it could affect (my small ARM mortgage is a done deal at this point, I wouldn't bother to re-fi, I would just pay it off if the rates rise) - certainly my utility bills, gas, taxes, and groceries are not an issue with FICO scores, so I guess ins is all that's left?

I might run this for my son, might be some value for him if there are suggestions to build up his score in anticipation of a mortgage someday. But if the suggestions are to get more credit cards, I'm not sure that's worth it.

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Old 06-10-2009, 12:37 PM   #51
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Some time back I posted info regarding credit score relative to insurance rates. When I started with Progressive Auto Ins., they sent me a letter telling me why I didn't get their "best rate" and it was due to my credit score. It might have been a ploy but in working with Progressive and Experian on this matter, I quickly got my credit score raised and Progressive lowered my rate and sent me a refund. They lowered my premium by $400/yer. I would call my insurance companies and ask how your credit score affected the rate. My car ins policy just renewed and I called them again to make sure I was still getting their best rate.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:47 PM   #52
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I had precisely the same experience, Johnnie, but don't pay nearly that much in insurance for the POS fleet, LOL! All I had to do was email the credit reporting agency and it was fixed within a week. I got a check back from Progressive right away for the overpayment.

Progressive is very competitive on rates if you have a higher score.
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:39 PM   #53
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Some time back I posted info regarding credit score relative to insurance rates. .... I quickly got my credit score raised and Progressive lowered my rate and sent me a refund.
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I had precisely the same experience, Johnnie,
Thanks, Johnnie & Sarah - good to have real life experiences reported. I will call.

Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if they throw me a bone just for snoopin' around and asking, figuring they might lose a customer. Can't hurt.

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Old 06-10-2009, 04:05 PM   #54
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773 for me, 781 for DW. This is after a few years of stoozing dozens of CC accounts with 0% rates. We still have 30-40 accounts open right now. Only using 2% of available credit though. Apparently all those new cards pushed the average age of accounts down to 3.x years. Our credit scores are way better than when we were actively stoozing and borrowing 6 figures on the cards. This equates to a couple hundred dollars in savings on our insurance. Nowhere near the thousands we were earning from stoozing though. Oh yes, 1077 on time payments out of 1077. A perfect 100%!
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:00 PM   #55
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I had precisely the same experience, Johnnie, but don't pay nearly that much in insurance for the POS fleet, LOL! All I had to do was email the credit reporting agency and it was fixed within a week. I got a check back from Progressive right away for the overpayment.

Progressive is very competitive on rates if you have a higher score.
Progressive is the best company I've ever dealt with. They give you a lot of discounts and then cut your bill by a $100 if you pay in full for 6 months. I have a 2008 Saturn Vue and my 1998 Escort (golf car) that I get for $1100/year total. I carry $100k/$300k on both, $500 deductible on the Vue and no collision on the escort. You need to check them out.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:45 PM   #56
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I have an 'F' for Total Accounts with Only 3. This is a hard catagory to figure out. In the simulator if I open more my score goes down. In fact, there does not appear anything I can do to raise my score. However, it did go up 10 points from last month.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:51 PM   #57
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I have an 'F' for Total Accounts with Only 3. This is a hard catagory to figure out. In the simulator if I open more my score goes down. In fact, there does not appear anything I can do to raise my score. However, it did go up 10 points from last month.
I was feeling bad that I got a "D," and I have 14 total accounts. I hope this factor doesn't get a lot of weight.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:25 AM   #58
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My score is still rated 'Good', but I would imagine it has the same problems as others on this board. I still have a mortgage, but no income, and as above only two credit cards, both with 0 balance. Also never had a late payment. I would expect the score to go down if we pay off the house.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:47 AM   #59
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42 accounts gets you an A. 40 (as DW has) gets you a B.
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:42 AM   #60
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42 accounts gets you an A. 40 (as DW has) gets you a B.
That is what I noticed after finally seeing the "report card" tab.

42 accounts!! I can't imagine that, or why it would be "good". I got A or n/a in every category, and an F there with my 2 CCs and small mortgage.

Hmmmm, maybe they figure with that many accounts, the odds are extremely high that you will be late on one of them once in a while, and they can collect their late fees? And that lateness would be an accident, not really a credit risk (based on other areas)?

I dunno, don't make sense to me.

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