Do you remember the times we had in September at Wine, Women & Wealth? Well of course not if you weren’t there. So check out the highlights below.
The evening started with Barbara Tilka with Trident Consulting & Services hosting an interactive survey with a prize being offered to the person who got the most questions right. She then proceeded to clear up some common credit misconceptions, like does you personally checking your credit negatively impact it. The answer is no and in addition to annualcreditreport.com, where you can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the reporting agencies in the US, Barbara mentioned that Credit Karma is a good site to use also. At Credit Karma, you get 2 of your 3 reports. She also shared a surprising statistic that the average credit score in the US is in the 600s.
Here’s what contributes to those credit scores via the information on your credit report:
Next our speaker discussed some obstacles to saving for retirement, the most common of which considering the average credit score in the US is only in the fair range is higher loan interest rates. She highlighted the differences in buying a car and a home with good versus not-so-good credit. For each item you can end up spending hundreds of dollars a month more that you could be saving to exploit the rule of 72 if you had better credit.
So, how can I maximize my credit score?
- Pay every bill on time
- Pay down (or adjust) maxed out cards, 50% of limit
- Do not cancel any accounts even if no activity
- Do not credit “shop”
- Establish credit if you do not have any open
- Continue to monitor your Credit Reports
Most common credit “surprises”
- Medical collections
- Short sale credit report recording delays
- Utility companies
- Student loan late payments
- Apartment lease termination charges
- Liens on residential property
- RESOLVE ANY “STRESSED” REAL ESTATE DECISIONS
Following that advice to resolve real estate issues, we heard from Realtor Genni Jett with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. She gave a great update on the current housing market in Jacksonville, Florida providing the following interesting statistics be you in the market as a buyer or seller.
- Jacksonville is the 9th most expensive city for renters in Florida.
- Home values are 10-13% below 2006 prices
- Home prices have been increasing 4-9% year over year for past 3 years. (Higher in high demand areas like the beaches.)
- Zillow and Trulia aren’t the best place to go for home info. Realtor.com is the only site where realtors are required to update listing information.
- The median for sale by owner price is 15% less than when you sell your home with a realtor.
- Mortgage interest rates are still historically low.
Next month at the final Wine, Women & Wealth of 2016 expect to hear from a life coach and as always more financial tips.