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Advisor: Creditworthiness in the USA
In the USA there is no getting around the topic of "credit history". Even if you do not want to take out a loan, sooner or later you will need a credit history report. But how do you get a credit history and what is it good for?
The following guest ...article was written by Mr. Christian Schimanski, an expert in this field, who our readers can also contact at the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
For many years it has been common practice in the USA to obtain data on new customers before granting even the smallest amount of credit. And with credit does not necessarily mean money lending! No matter if it is the car insurance, the telephone connection or the new house. Always the data of the applicant is used to ensure that you do not take too much risk. This data is collected by various credit agencies, which are constantly gathering the latest information. Even insurance companies are increasingly checking whether the applicant belongs to the desired clientele or not. The main credit bureaus (credit agencies) in the USA are Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. These bureaus meticulously record every "movement" of the client and constantly determine an up-to-date credit score.
Here is a brief overview:
DEFINITION When you look at a persons credit history, you look at their financial history.
Information is given about how creditworthy the person is. Using a special formula, which each office has developed differently, a number is calculated that allows a comparison with other people. At the same time, this figure is often a basic prerequisite for a particular credit offer.
WHAT EXACTLY IS INCLUDED?
can be read off:
- employment information, where, how much, what was earned
- Score information, i.e. the rating number (see below)
- Information on current credit lines and the resulting monthly charge
- Deleted credit lines with details of who cancelled the credit
- How often and when a payment to the creditor was delayed
- Non-performing loans
- enforced collection by a creditor
- Financial court decisions (e.g. oath of disclosure)
- Number of requests to the credit bureaus
- Artist and middle names (aliases)
- Social Security Number as an ordinal number
WHAT IS A CREDIT SCORE? The credit score is a number that can range from 375 points to 900 points. The more points you have, the more creditworthy you are. Surely you dont have to be at the top end of the 900 points to get a credit. However, the banks expect a higher risk with a lower number and will of course let you pay for it. Anyone who has ever followed the USA advertising television or radio regarding the financing of cars or other items will always come across the small clause "Qualified Customers only" or a similar clause. Because not everyone gets the promised financing of the dream car at the advertised conditions without further ado.
Since each individual credit bureau works individually and independently of the others, three different valuation figures often appear. This results from the fact that each credit bureau has its own formula to evaluate the applicant and/or one or more information was not known to all bureaus during the determination.
WHY DO YOU NEED A GOOD CREDIT SCORE? There are certainly an infinite number of applications to consult the credit history and I hope you will forgive me if one or the other application is missing in my article. It is only an excerpt of some common possibilities.
Everyday: Even the simplest things in the USA require a good payment morale. You will notice this at the latest when you want to register your phone. If you do not meet the requirements for new customers, you can expect a deposit that is not too tight. Unlike in Germany, where practically everyone who was not terminated by the Telekom gets a telephone connection without further notice.
Further it goes with cable TV, mobile phone, electricity, gas, water. All these companies take a look at the credit history to see the payment morale of the customer. You can see from this example that these are things of simple life, which are denied you with bad entries in the credit history.
Real estate purchase:
While in Germany, the primary focus is on the collateralization of the mortgage and "only" the income for the installments has to be proven, the situation is somewhat different in the USA. As already mentioned before, you can be denied the purchase of a property with a small mistake and just because you forgot to make a payment you lack the certain points to get the credit approved.
I myself have had clients who, due to their lack of knowledge, were unable to get a loan.