Sunday, December 04, 2022
My observations with my personal credit reports began shortly after I moved away from home after graduating from college. I think the one thing most undergrad students know, on campus there is a concerted effort to have students apply for credit, and I did.
My parents gave me a gas credit card when I was in high school, so until that point, that was all the understanding I had to have about credit.
While in college, I lived at home, however had a part time job and attended as a full time student. My credit profile began while in college and quite frankly looked good. Creditors loved me.
Early, in my four year journey for my undergrad degree, I think my parents wanted to ensure I was serious about college. So one semester they requested I take out an education loan (only for that semester's fees) with my credit union (Tower Federal Credit Union). I also took out a new car loan in my sophomore year.
My parents paid all of my living expenses while in college, except the payments on those two loans. Including my auto insurance. During my high school and college years, you would not believe how many times my car was hit, while parked in front of our house.
The year I started my first professional job, I purchased a little two seater with a higher insurance premium. This was in September 1981. In December 1981, my relatively new car was hit while parked in front of my parents house. My auto insurance was high, however always paid through the family policy. These accidents, though no fault of mine, were paid through the family policy however my cars were always registered in my name.
When I moved away from home (June 1982), a year after graduating and acceptance of my first professional position (Boeing), I began to look into credit. I cannot now remember why, however I still remember the credit reports I ordered from the credit reporting agency on occasion.
When I left home, I had more expenses including my own auto insurance policy. Maybe I should have had more expenses before I left home. I did have a low interest college loan, several credit cards, and my new sports car loan, but that was all by the time I moved in 1982. Other loans had been paid off while in college.
The other thing I understood about my credit rating- because I was a defense contractor with a top secret security clearance, I wanted it to remain in the good range.
All of this to explain- why I began looking at my credit ratings early in my professional career. When I wanted to purchase a new home, I set about ensuring my credit rating would be inline with what a mortgage company would accept. And they did.
If I had problems early, it was because I was spoiled as related to credit and had to learn somethings quickly, after I left home.
As a matter of fact, 3 and a half years after first signing with Boeing, I decided, I wanted a career change and looked at different positions. General Electric, explained they would like to hire me, however they would need a lifestyle polygraph. I explained to the hiring manager that I had no problem with the lifestyle poly, however one of the reasons I wanted a career change was I wanted more in the way of salary and also explaining the minor issues I had with debt. He said, there would be no problem with the debt issue and I said there would be no problem with the lifestyle issue. I accepted the position with General Electric.
I left the position with General Electric because it was not what I expected it to be. Boeing had perks that GE did not offer, e.g., my own office, phone, business cards, etc and GE was different. I wanted a more formal setting like I had with Boeing and Rockwell International offered the perks I was used to. I accepted the Rockwell International offer 6 months later. I was with Rockwell for 10 years.
So why am I discussing this? Last night I received an email from the bank that extends credit on my Mastercard (Citi Bank), explaining my FICO score had been updated.
I was a little concerned given my recent observations with the TransUnion reports provided via my Mint account. Mint updates my credit score every 7 days or whenever they receive updates to my credit standing, e.g., new cards added, new inquiries, etc. Applying for credit does impact FICO scores. In 1983 or so, when I first started researching my credit reports, FICO scores were not used. Back then I wanted an "R1" with a lot of months with the same rating- for each credit item on the report.
Today the FICO score offered by my Citibank Mastercard uses Equifax and their latest rating is shown below.
Last night, I was relieved when I took the screenshot shown above. This morning, I checked Mint (TransUnion), and wanted to be annoyed with the screenshot shown below.
I went over the TransUnion report trying to understand why there might be so much difference between the two scores. I have written notes on the screenshots I am using in the illustration below:
I am not sure why the Mint credit report does not show the Citi Mastercard payments on 11/04/22 and this might be a factor as to why the rating is lower. That said, Mint's aggregation process used to stay up to date with all of my financial accounts and related activity- does reflect the payments to Citibank on November 4, 2022.
I am hoping all of this updates early next year, reflecting more positive scores across the board. Even if it does not, I will have learned more about how modern credit ratings are derived. See this post- FICO Realities and Recent FICO Activity for more about my recent credit activity.
I thought of a title for this post, after I had written it.