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Credit Advice

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Review your Credit Report Annually

Did you know that you can get a free copy of your credit report annually?  Under the FACT Act amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act you are entitled to one free credit file disclosure in a 12-month period per credit bureau.


—Phone:  1-877-322-8228 (toll free)

—Mail:  Request a form that you can mail in.

This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  You can order them all at once or spread them out through the year.

“Reviewing your credit reports annually is recommended for several reasons,” says James King, chief lending officer.  “It allows you to check your payment history for accuracy, see if any credit lines have been opened in your name without your knowledge and see if any balances are due on accounts that you thought had been paid off.” 

Credit Scores

In addition to your credit report, you can also obtain your credit scores, most commonly referred to as a FICO score, developed by Fair Isaac Corp. Most creditors use a credit score to determine credit worthiness and the rate to charge for a line of credit. FICO scores are being used more frequently outside the credit industry (e.g., insurance companies, employers) for other types of risk determination. This score is based on a complex formula that includes the manner in which you pay your bills (i.e., on time, late, never), length of time on the job and at current residence, how much credit is available, how much is currently owed, and other determining factors. The higher the score is, the better your credit worthiness.  Though the credit reports are free, the scores are not.

If you would like assistance in reviewing your three-part credit report and understanding your credit score, please contact a loan officer [link to Contact us] at your nearest branch [link to Locations].  Southern Security loan officers can also provide helpful advice on how to increase your credit score and your credit worthiness.

Simple Interest vs Compound Interest on Loans

Simple Interest means that you pay a fixed amount over time.

For example, John takes out a personal loan for $4000 (principal) at an annual percentage rate of 8% for 4 years. Over the four years of John's loan, he will re-pay $4690.11.

Compound Interest, on the other hand, charges interest on top of principal and accrued interest to date. So let's say John charged $4000 to his credit card instead, since most credit cards use compound interest. Let's also say that this card has 12 payment cycles per year. Each month that he does not pay off the entire balance, his remaining debt and the amount of interest he has yet to pay is added together and more interest is charged. If John made no additional charges and only made the minimum payments he would end up paying $5796.24 and it will take him 15+ years to pay it off. That’s a difference of over $1,100, not to mention the additional 11+ years. Don’t you have something better to do with your $1,100?

Compound interest can increase your debt even if you're making payments. A simple interest loan does not grow, as long as you're making payments on time and for the full payment amount (otherwise penalties are likely to apply).


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