If you haven’t heard, your clients’ credit scores may have gone up! Thanks to the new standards adopted by all three credit bureaus, including the removal of library fines and parking tickets, many consumers are seeing a noticeable jump in their credit score.
Now, the big picture of credit health matters the most. New oversights apply to inaccuracies that previously went unnoticed and certain types of debt that had harmful effects on credit scores. For example, a client with good payment history who makes a one-time purchase of an expensive flight and raises their utilization will no longer suffer from such a drastic shift in their score.
Before you post the news and offer clients guidance, review the changes below and what it means for your credit repair company and finding new leads.
New Credit Score Calculations
Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion shifted how they calculate credit scores to gain better insight into cardholders’ credit behavior and risk level. There are significant updates to reporting, like the new notation system citing when an overdue balance has been paid in full.
The bureaus’ new model for calculation focuses on trends in credit history including timely payments or amount of total debt owed. Consumers will see some major changes and you can read this guide to show them the benefits and pitfalls they’ll see.
What Is Different
In the past, paying the minimum amount due on cards wouldn’t ding a credit score, but that’s no longer the case. Now, people will be penalized for holding a small amount of debt and can only improve by paying down larger sums of money. These changes will likely affect individuals with high credit limits.
The following will cause harm to a score:
- Accumulating more debt regardless of the amount
- Only paying down the minimum amount
- High credit card limits
- A High number of open accounts
The following behaviors will positively affect a score:
- Larger payments
- Getting rid of debt on all accounts
- Fewer open accounts
Many of the older rules still apply, including:
- Utilization should stay under 30%
- Overdue balances have negative results
- New card applications have a negative impact
What Does This Mean for My Business?
As a credit repair business owner or a financial service provider wanting to help improve a client’s financial well being, you need to change services to match the latest news. For example, it used to be good advice to keep all credit accounts open. Now, even with low balances, a larger number of open accounts can hurt a client’s score.
Contact clients directly to help keep them on the right track. Set up an appointment and use these tips:
- Tell clients to close excess accounts
- Keep credit utilization at the lowest possible ratio
- Make larger payments to get rid of debt
- Avoid overdue balances and more than 30% credit usage
The tightening of credit standards will benefit many families financial security. Share the good news and make sure to include that the following items longer impact scores:
- Civil judgments
- Medical debts
- Tax Liens
- Library Fines
- Parking tickets
Consult this last list when reviewing a credit file to make sure each is removed and a client’s score if caught up with the latest score calculation standards.
Help Clients See the Benefits
Now that you are updated on the latest news, you can offer insight to both new and established clients who may not realize they have a new score or how to reap the benefits. Take action to use the momentum of this change in credit scores to grow your credit repair business, such as:
- Offer advice on how to continue the upward swing of their credit score by paying on time and keeping balances low, so they can secure a better financial future
- Mortgage clients won’t see much benefit because FICO scores are unchanged, but apartment applicants can benefit if their Vantage score is pulled
- Advise clients with increased scores to consider refinancing their car to capitalize on better rates
- Provide credit card comparison and consultation services to help newcomers to credit
- Advise clients to restrain the temptation to go deeper into debt with large purchases or stop checking up on their credit scores
- Find new leads by offering a class on the new credit standards
A new higher score is great news for many, but a credit hero knows that credit health has to be monitored no matter the change in calculation.
Find more insight into helping individuals establish good financial habits regardless of changing bureau standards here.