Monday, September 3, 2007

Letter from the Editor

Life and Times of JWN
Team Spirit 21
What's your score?

NOTABLE: I would first like to congratulate my friends Mark Rusin and Kathryn Hack on their marriage last Friday. I had the pleasure of attending the ceremony at The Lodge in Skaneateles Falls, New York. Best wishes Mr. and Mrs. Rusin.

Now, after doing some personal financial research this week, I would like to urge all of you to go check your credit score. If you already do this on a consistent basis (you can receive a free report every six months), then GREAT JOB! But, for many people, they don't have a clue.

I came across about a month and a half ago thanks to my brother Jack. Currently, I use the service to stay abreast of what is working for and against my credit score. The neatest thing about the service to me is that it runs an electronic scan of my report on a daily basis and emails me when something changes; i.e. an inquiry from an agency, a new account, etc.

This is invaluable information, because it also gives you tips on how you can improve your credit. My score is 734. The primary things negatively impacting me are a lack of longevity in accounts (over three years is the desired range) and a relatively low total credit limit.

Your score is created from a multitude of factors which help agencies determine your financial reliability. In life, your score matters because it can get you cheaper interest rates on credit cards and loans. It can also be pulled by your landlord. Either way, at the end of the day, IT SAVES YOU MONEY! You can literally save thousands on the mortgage on your home if you take the time to manage your credit score periodically.

ACTION PLAN: Get your score from one of the three credit agencies; Experian, Transunion, or Equifax. IT IS FREE!!! uses a subsidiary of Experian, so that is the agency you get your report from using that service.

That is my personal finance rant for the week. Get out there and take control of your financial future. What better way to start then by getting your credit score and learning how to make it better?

In other news: Senior year at Geneseo is starting well - finally getting organized so I can rock its world. Also, I'm enjoying a three day weekend. Happy Labor Day all. Respectfully yours and...

Always my best, ~JWN