Driving back from the grocery store the other day, I spotted one of those clear-up-your-credit-score-quick signs that dot the corners of major roads.
As eye catching as the brightly colored signs are, of course, grabbing financial advice off the street is one way to pay high fees for something you can find for free. Or you might pay outlandish sums for services that you can do yourself.
The good news for consumers is that extra help regarding credit scores and credit reports is now available from a variety of sources. Unfortunately, many consumers still aren’t sure where to look or they don’t want to be bothered.
More than half of consumers surveyed — 58% — didn’t even know their credit score, according to a report the American Bankers Association released last fall.
Many times, consumers start caring about a score when a lender tells us that we don’t qualify for a low rate on a major loan because of a low score. Unlike what signs on the road imply, there isn’t a quick fix for boosting a credit score. But educational information can offer a realistic plan of attack.
“Everybody wants the ‘What Next?’ button,” said Ian Cohen, CEO of Credit.com.
So Credit.com has new “personalized action plans” to help consumers figure out what they can do to raise their credit scores. One strategy? Start paying more than the minimum required payment on credit cards to lead to lower balances and possibly raise the score.
Detroit-based Quizzle.com, a provider of free credit reports and scores, offers free tools that used to be part of a premium package. No purchase or credit card is required.
“We provide credit comparison, credit trending, a score analysis, and a credit time line that shows how your personal credit was built over time,” said Todd Albery, CEO of Quizzle.
In January, Quizzle …