Most of the time, when writing this blog, a single subject jumps out at me. Not so for this one. In the last couple of weeks, I found at least four subjects that would make good blogs in and of themselves. I thought about holding off on them for future blogs, but since the subject matter was timely I thought why not share them in a bit of a condensed form? A sort of ‘Bloggers Potpourri’ as it were.
So here we go.
- Did you recently see an improvement in your credit score?
You may have, which is good news. Financial health can be monitored and enhanced by working to maintain and improve one’s credit score. Jessica Dickler writes in a blog for CNBC (read it here) that due to improved standards for using public records, all three major credit reporting agencies now are eliminating tax liens from credit reports. As a result, some scores could jump as much as 30 points. This took effect last month. This does not affect everyone. Only about 11% of us will see a difference. If you don’t track your credit score you should!
- Understanding more about credit reports and credit scores.
We write a lot about credit reporting, credit scoring and credit scores. Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies, recently posted three common questions regarding credit reports and scoring in a newsletter. There is also a link to a credit monitoring primer (find them here) to help further educate consumers. Among the common questions are:
- Are credit reports and credit scores the same thing? Answer: “A credit report is a detailed report of your credit history. A credit score is a numeric calculation of your repayment risk.”
- What information is in your credit report? Answer: “Your credit report includes a summary of your credit history, including credit accounts, lenders and repayments.”
- How are credit scores calculated? Answer: “The main factors involved in calculating a credit score are:
- The number of accounts you have
- The types of accounts you have
- Your used credit vs. your available credit
- The length of your credit history
- Your payment history”
All of us are entitled to one free copy of our credit report each year. You can get a copy through the reporting agencies. Many banks, credit card companies and even credit monitoring apps may provide this information free to its customers or subscribers.
- American’s greatest financial regrets.
According to data from Bankrate (read the blog here), here is a list of the top financial regrets we have as Americans:
- Not saving enough for retirement—18%
- Not saving enough for emergencies—14%
- Taking on too much credit card debt—10%
- Taking on too much student loan debt—8%
- Not saving enough for children’s education—7%
- Buying more house than you can afford—2%
- Consumer debt set to top $4 Trillion by the end of 2018.
Data recently released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows consumer debt could top a whopping $4 Trillion dollars by the end of this year. A summary and analysis of the data by LendingTree (read the article here), points out that total consumer credit as a percentage of personal income is 26%! Consumer spend about 10% of their income paying these debts each month. The good news is that delinquency rates are 2.4% overall and reflective of the strong economy and employment.
- How much money is enough?
No, it is not all about money, but the question still is asked: How much money to you need to feel “wealthy” or “financially comfortable?” In a CNBC blog by Kathleen Elkins (read it here) she summarizes findings by the investment firm Charles Schwab that says that Americans polled think it takes a net worth of $2.4 million to be considered “wealthy” and $1.4 million to be “financially comfortable.” As she points out, though, “Since less than 10 percent of Americans have $1.4 million, by that standard, only the top tier of American households qualify as ‘comfortable.’ Well, that certainly leaves a lot of us…well…uncomfortable.
A. Alliance Collection Agency, Inc. is a full service, licensed accounts receivable management and debt collection agency providing highly effective, customized one on one management and recovery solutions for our business partners. Founded in northern Illinois in 2005, we have been proudly improving the bottom-line on behalf of our business partners in and around Chicagoland for over 13 years.