Finance advice

What can and can’t affect your credit score?

By Sasha Karen
Credit score, good credit, bad credit

Making sure you have a good credit score so you can borrow is vital for any investor, but do you know what can and what can’t change it? A new study takes a look at some of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to understanding your credit score.

The study, performed by comparison website finder.com.au, revealed that 37 per cent out of a survey of 2,033 respondents believed not paying tax on time will negatively affect their credit score. This is a belief that Bessie Hassan, money expert at finder.com.au, said is incorrect.

“Lenders look at indicators such as loan repayments and credit card repayments, not if you’ve paid your taxes on time,” Ms Hassan said.

“If you’re looking to take out a loan with your partner, your partner’s credit score can also affect your borrowing capacity.

Over a quarter at 27 per cent also believed missing a credit card repayment from 10 years ago can influence your credit score, but this is also incorrect.

What can haunt you however are late payments on bills, defaults and infringements:

  • Late payments – a payment is considered late when it is overdue by 14 days and stays on your credit file for two years;
  • Defaults – a payment is considered defaulted when it is overdue by 60 days, more than $150 and stays on your credit file for five years; and
  • Infringement – a payment is considered an infringement when a lender tries and is unsuccessful in contacting you and stays on your credit file for seven years.

If you are unaware of what your credit score is based on or what it means to have a poor credit score, Ms Hassan warned that it would be difficult to get a loan in the future.

“Busting credit score myths and ensuring perception matches reality is critical especially for Aussies considering to take out a loan because lenders use your credit score to determine your borrowing capacity,” Ms Hassan said.

“It is near impossible to make changes to improve your score if you do not know what you need to change or worse yet, you do not know what your credit score is.

Depending on your credit score, knowing may either give you the peace of mind you need or the wake-up call you need,” she said.

The full results of the finder.com.au study are:

Belief

Perception that this belief affects score (as a percentage)

Does this actually affect your credit score?

Failing to meet loan repayments

80%

Yes

Bankruptcy

79%

Yes

Failing to pay bills on time

66%

Yes

Failing to pay the minimum monthly credit card balance

61%

Yes

Missing rent repayments

46%

Yes

Not paying tax on time

37%

No

Not having debt

31%

Yes

Going to jail

30%

Yes

Not paying credit card balance from 10 years ago

27%

No

Your credit card balance

24%

Yes

Failing to pay the full monthly credit card balance

23%

No

Your credit card limit

23%

Yes

Your salary

23%

No

Your bank account balance

16%

No

Partner’s credit score

15%

Yes (only if applying together)

Checking your credit score

12%

No

The neighbourhood you live in

8%

No

Level of education

5%

No

Other

2%

N/A

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FROM THE WEB

podcast

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Luke’s first property investment included what he now looks back on as “learning experiences”. He chose it only because it was close to where he lived, he bought it at the peak of the market and he elected to manage his (unreliable, damage-prone) tenants alone. Sixteen years on, Luke now has 30 properties and a much better idea about how to approach the investment game.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(3388) "

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show Luke joins host Tim Neary to unpack how he went about educating himself, how his investment style has changed over time and why patience is the name of the game.

Luke will also share how his initial mistakes discouraged him and had him doubting the wisdom of being an investor, and how his realisation of the importance of active management bought him back into line.  He will discuss the importance of having a strong support team and why it’s smart to put a proper value on your personal time.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

How to profit from changing market conditions
Quit the 9 to 5: Taking control of your income and your career
4 tips for first time property investors

AREAS MENTIONED: 

Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide
Wollongong
Geelong
Melton South
Cairns
Perth

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  string(115) "

Promoted by Blue Ink Finance.

Budgeting tips when your Personal Debt is High.

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Credit card debts and personal loans are the greatest obstacle between everyday people and their potential to live in financial freedom.

Of course, I understand that sometimes getting a small personal loan is absolutely necessary. Unexpected costs like medical expenses can make personal loans the only option.

However, the majority of us have debt simply because we spend more than we earn.

In either case, your number one priority is unlocking those chains of debt that are holding you back.

I’m going to give you some tips for budgeting with hefty personal debt, but first I want to talk about the impact those loans are having on your life.

How much is your debt really costing you?

Over the years that you’re paying off your loans at the minimum repayment, the interest on those items will end up costing you multiple times more than the original borrowed amount - and those endless due dates will haunt you. There’s no freedom in that!

Let me give you an example. You’ll be shocked, I guarantee it!

Let’s say you have around $4,000 of credit card debt, charged at 19.99% p.a. If you paid only the minimum monthly amount, it would take 37 years to pay off the total debt.

How much will that $4,000 debt cost you? $19,200. Depressing, isn’t it?

You might feel like you need a full-blown money explosion to get out of debt, but don’t despair just yet.

What you need to do is arm yourself with a strategic budget, and I’ve got some tips to help you.

Budgeting while you have hefty personal debt is tough, but possible – and it’s essential for eliminating that debt forever. Let’s have a quick look at how you can start to tackle that mountain of borrowed money.

It’s time to take charge and break some chains!

There’s a method for reducing debt that has an excellent success rate, if you’re committed:

  1. Make a realistic budget (and stick to it)
  2. Reduce your expenses and/or increase your income until you are in the black
  3. Save an emergency fund first
  4. Pay off your personal loans and credit cards, starting with the either the smallest debt first or the debt with the highest interest rate
  5. Revise your budget as you go along.

Why an emergency fund is paramount to success

You’ll see I’ve put saving an emergency fund before paying off your loans. Even a small amount initially, like $500, is enough to stop the cycle of borrowing to pay bills, then paying out even more in interest each month, which leaves less in the bank to pay the next bill.

Once you have a buffer saved, then you can start aiming some serious firepower on your debt, and that’s when it gets exciting!

Think back to my credit card example. If you upped the payments each month from $84 per month to $212, you would have the card paid off in two years and save $14,285 in interest. That’s worth a little bit of effort, wouldn’t you agree?

Tips for a budget that works

You may need to cut back drastically on your expenses to clear your debt, but here’s some other ways to make the most of your budget:

  • Find micro-ways to reduce your expenses every day. Make work lunches at home, cancel a pay TV subscription, find a better phone deal, or pass on your afternoon chocolate bar from the vending machine. Instead of spending $40 on a takeaway dinner, have a bowl of cereal!

  • Find a friend who will keep you accountable. Having someone else who shuns a pricey outing to the day spa for a walk along the beach instead will make you feel better about saying ‘no’ to expensive events that will blow the budget.

  • Refinance your home loan to release some funds. If you have a mortgage, talk to us at Blue Ink Finance about the possibility of refinancing your home loan to allow you to release some equity to help clear your high interest, personal debt. It’s not always the best strategy, but it’s worth investigating, especially if you can consolidate it into a home loan that has a significantly lower interest rate.

  • If your income increases, leverage it! The only place that extra money should go is into paying off more debt. Enough said!

  • Refine and polish your budget as your circumstances change. Your budget shouldn’t stay the same. As you find more ways to decrease your expenditure and become adept at sticking to your financial plan, fine-tune your budget to reflect your savvy saving. Any spare change goes directly onto your debt.

  • Automate payments of bills, so you don’t spend the money first. This saves you from late fees if you forget, too.

The reality is that you won’t have a profitable budget until you get rid of that high-interest debt. The beauty of a budget is that it can get you there! Knock the debt, stay away from borrowing except for assets like property, and you’ll have a well-oiled financial plan that kicks goals instead of paying lenders!

At Blue Ink Finance, we have a team of expert brokers as well as a panel of industry experts that understand all the nuances of positioning your personal finances to kick real goals with Property Assets and can support you in achieving your goals.

Give the team at Blue Ink Finance a call on 1300 888 796 or click here to request your Complimentary Finance Review with one of our experienced Finance Coaches now.

And see how having a panel of industry experts on your side, can fast track your property goals.

About The Author

David Wegener
Chief Executive Officer
Blue Ink Finance

Who I am, and why I want to help you succeed.

As an award-winning Mortgage Broker with nearly 20 years’ experience in the finance industry, I’ve seen it all.

I’ve gone through constant industry changes and yet I still successfully help my customers borrow the money they need to get ahead.

As a Finance Coach, my goal is to help you understand your financial potential so that you can borrow with confidence.

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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AREAS MENTIONED: 

Sydney
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Adelaide

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Can property presentation result in a higher valuation?

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