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Old 01-02-2020, 06:48 PM   #21
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I have a mortgage and have never been late with a payment and pay my 2 credit cards off in full every month. Apparently that's enough although I don't track my scores closely.

I still want a decent credit rating. The unhappy day may come when I need to replace the car and I want alternatives if I don't want to pull the money out of my investments. My next move from where I live now is likely to be an Independent Living place and I have no idea whether your credit rating matters- if you're on the gook for steep monthly expenses I'd think it would. I might also switch credit cards if I get a good offer and the credit bureaus stop making you jump through a dozen hoops to un-freeze your credit.

If I got a call like the OP from some bottom-fishing debt collector threatening to report me to the credit bureaus over a smallish debt, I'd laugh at them, too.
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Old 01-02-2020, 07:22 PM   #22
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I have never found it a difficult task to maintain a high FICO score. Just by virtue of the way I live my life, it has been between 830 and 840 for at least the last 20 years or so. A little dip to the bottom of that range when I have gotten a new credit card or a car loan or refinanced the mortgage, followed by an immediate trend right back up to the top in subsequent months. So I don't see retirement as somehow lifting some enormous burden on me.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post

Basically, businesses can and do use your credit score as a proxy for how trustworthy and reliable you are. Many won't want to deal with someone who has a bad credit score. And, besides that, how can you ever be sure you won't have to borrow in the future? Life happens. Why restrict your options when it does?
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I thought I would age in place too. Then things changed. I decided to move and rent. I had no recent rental experience and investment income for rent. They checked my credit. Glad it was fine.
Agree with both of these. I once thought that after retirement and buying the "final" house I wouldn't care about credit score either.

But...there are all those ways that it affects you even if you aren't borrowing money -- insurance, utilities, etc. For instance I was going to change electric companies the other day and they run a credit check. Decided to get the Apple credit card as it gave me a 3% discount on my iPhone. Credit check. Stuff happens.

Also - we bought our house with a mortgage and rates are lower now and so we plan to refinance. Credit check.

Oh - we took a car loan when we bought our last car. Most of our money is in tax deferred accounts. If we paid cash for the car we were going to be in a higher tax bracket than if we took a loan. The tax difference was way more than the small cost of interest.
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:55 PM   #24
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to tell the truth we never have worried about them. never checked it until recently when it started showing up on credit card statements. we never missed a payment on anything and were debt free well before we RE. cash for cars starting in 1990, no mo' mortgage in '03 (3-yrs ahead of schedule)...just monthly bills and CC payments. we married in 1970 and after 1971 or 72 never paid a penny in interest since we paid the balance in full each month. i think the only reason we still have a credit score is because of the CCs.
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:02 AM   #25
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never really paid attention to it while working. Only know about it now because CC companies have teasers to check it out.
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:06 AM   #26
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Well our credit scores are nice and high (usually exceeding 800), even though we’ve been retired long time, haven’t borrowed money even though we have added a lot of credit cards due to good deals. If we’d take on some debt with regular payments, our scores would be even higher!
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Old 01-03-2020, 06:45 AM   #27
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GTE ran a credit check when we opened our CD's there.
One also never knows when they might rent again, so I do look at our credit score monthly and like to keep it over 800.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:05 AM   #28
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True.
But, I am still trying to figure out how to get my FICO score above 817.
It is a game.
+1 Me Too! That 817/818 seems to be a ceiling for me. I just use CreditKarma, but my Credit Union just checked my credit on one of the big 3 and it was 817. Yes, I had to unfreeze it for a day for them to do so.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:11 AM   #29
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My two major credit cards give me the option of seeing my "estimated FICO credit score" every month when I go on their website to pay my bill. On the same day, one card reported a score of 835 for the past several months. Two minutes later, the other card reported a score of 809, also for the past several months.

Whatever. I mostly don't care, but it shows that the number is hardly an exact science.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:35 AM   #30
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I agree with the OP's point that I don't have to make decisions with any fear about credit impacts, and would probably also fight any ridiculous medical bill vs. pay it just to keep my credit score.

And with all else being "perfect" a single medical bill in collections wouldn't plummet a great score to any real depths.

But life happens, and hopefully it extends further than the horizon, so I wouldn't wave my hand and say I never have to think about my score again. I could be wrong but i think most car insurance rates factor in your credit.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:53 AM   #31
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Whatever. I mostly don't care, but it shows that the number is hardly an exact science.
I agree with that; the formula is secret but you can get dinged if you have low credit lines in total but high utilization (balances due divided by total credit lines) OR massive credit lines but low utilization (because, who knows, you might go out on a wild shopping spree and max them all out). I just do what I do and keep an eye out for fraudulent transactions.
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:07 AM   #32
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In my experience the salesperson always asks about financing well before you get back to the office..."What kind of monthly payment are you looking for?"... "Are you approved for financing at your bank?"..."How many months do you want to finance?"

How do you answer those questions?
I don't. I usually just smile and change the subject with some comment like " lets see the car I have in mind". If they press ( and they usually do) I will simply say " I'm not here to discuss my finances, I'm here to potentially buy a car". That usually works however I have turned around and walked out several times when the low life scum just couldn't take a strong " hint".

Another tactic os to indirectly let them thing that you are going to finance ( without saying so directly) and when you get into that little room simply pull out a check book and ask..Show me the bottom line. Always be prepared to walk out since most dealerships are nothing more than a giant con job and corrupt as hell.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:14 PM   #33
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I don't. I usually just smile and change the subject with some comment like " lets see the car I have in mind". If they press ( and they usually do) I will simply say " I'm not here to discuss my finances, I'm here to potentially buy a car". That usually works however I have turned around and walked out several times when the low life scum just couldn't take a strong " hint".

Another tactic os to indirectly let them thing that you are going to finance ( without saying so directly) and when you get into that little room simply pull out a check book and ask..Show me the bottom line. Always be prepared to walk out since most dealerships are nothing more than a giant con job and corrupt as hell.
+1
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:32 PM   #34
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True.
But, I am still trying to figure out how to get my FICO score above 817.
It is a game.
I'm not actively trying to raise mine, and it's 849!

Game over.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:46 PM   #35
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+1 Me Too! That 817/818 seems to be a ceiling for me. I just use CreditKarma, but my Credit Union just checked my credit on one of the big 3 and it was 817. Yes, I had to unfreeze it for a day for them to do so.
In general, I believe that the scores from Credit Karma tend to be higher than FICO scores.
IIRC, they use the Vantage 3.0 scoring system.
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Old 01-03-2020, 04:35 PM   #36
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In general, I believe that the scores from Credit Karma tend to be higher than FICO scores.

IIRC, they use the Vantage 3.0 scoring system.


I compared the free credit scores from several accounts and the Vantage scores were 30-35 points lower than the Fico scores.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:03 PM   #37
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I don't. I usually just smile and change the subject with some comment like " lets see the car I have in mind". If they press ( and they usually do) I will simply say " I'm not here to discuss my finances, I'm here to potentially buy a car". That usually works however I have turned around and walked out several times when the low life scum just couldn't take a strong " hint".

Another tactic os to indirectly let them thing that you are going to finance ( without saying so directly) and when you get into that little room simply pull out a check book and ask..Show me the bottom line. Always be prepared to walk out since most dealerships are nothing more than a giant con job and corrupt as hell.
Aggie; I'm trying to wrap my head around this approach. The last two cars we bought, were financed, at less than 1% interest after we planned to pay cash, but were presented with financing at .75% interest. We never tried to negotiate a lower price after opting for financing, vs paying cash.

These two purchases date back to 2010 and 2011. We later realized a missed opportunity in better out the door cost if financing, after these transactions.

Fast forward to 2020, we will be purchasing a new vehicle in April and I've thought about how to obtain better pricing, based on borrowing vs cash. I had planned to get to the bottom line cost, based on a cash purchase and then once presented with the opportunity to finance, ask for a further discount if we agreed to finance. I gather you are saying, agree upfront to finance at a set cost and then switch gears at the last moment to cash. Am I correct?
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:08 PM   #38
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can you check your own credit score without adversely affecting it?
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:16 PM   #39
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Sure, no problem. I use Credit Karma, but most banks and credit unions have a tab to check the score also. As does AMEX.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:35 PM   #40
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Like most we don't chase the credit score because it's high enough just because of the way we handle finances. But as Gumby notes it isn't something to ignore either since, rightly or wrongly, it is used as a proxy for how trustworthy and reliable you are. And in some places and in some conditions it gets you better financing if it is advantageous to go that route, or gets you lower insurance rates.
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