While retirement does not hurt a credit score, the lack of credit activity can ruin a pristine credit score. The biggest determining factor in a credit report happens to be the payment history and if there is no current activity, that can drive a score down – and a good credit score is important even for retirees.
“It’s an important tool to have available and to protect,” said Rod Griffin, director of Public Education for Experian, one of the three major credit-reporting agencies.
Here are five things to do with your credit.
Experian Boost Program: if you have experienced a decrease in your credit score, the Experian Boost Program allows consumers an option. The credit agency will look at checking accounts to verify if there is positive payment history to expenses such as a cell phone bill or utility bills. Two-thirds of people who try the Experian Boost Program see a positive change in their credit score, with an average of an increase of twelve points. Please note that this program doesn’t change bad credit behavior.
Do a Credit Clean Up: closing an unused credit line can impact your credit score negatively, however not for very long.
“If you close an account your scores will dip, but they usually recover within two or three months,” he said. If you’re not planning to buy a house or a car in the next six months, cleaning up orphan accounts may be a good idea now, Griffin said.
Credit Freeze: retirees who don’t plan to purchase anything in the near future or make a move can opt to put a freeze on their credit with all three bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. During a credit freeze, creditors can not access your information until the freeze is lifted.
Preparation is Key: If you are considering a reverse mortgage (a loan for those retirees sixty-two or older that ties to home equity) – be advised that credit history is now a consideration by mortgage companies. Since 2015, lenders have been required to review whether or not a borrower has the ability to continue maintain the home, pay property taxes and a solid credit report is important.
Be Vigilant: If you want to learn more about your credit score, you can visit these website for more details. https://eligibility.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/en/eligibility. To file a claim, go here: https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/file-a-claim.
“You should always be diligent about managing your credit history,” Griffin said. “It can affect a wide range of financial transactions and you want it to be there to work for you when it is needed.”
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