Author and credit score expert visits USU, advises students

<strong>LOGAN—</strong> Al Bingham, a credit expert and author of “The Road to 850,” presented Wednesday to a full audience at Utah State University. Bingham advised students to know their credit score and to use the right resources to obtain the correct score.

“Your credit score is a driver of a lot of things,” Bingham stated. “Every bank and credit union will use your credit score. It influences how much they charge you.”

Bingham stated that there is no magic pill to fix your credit instantly. There always needs to be a plan. Part of this plan includes getting the correct score.

He stated that thirty two percent is the passing rate for a loan officer’s national exams.

“The worst information you can get is from a loan officer. It’s just too complex,” Bingham said. “They are good salesmen and will sell anything to you.”

Bingham also said no one gets their credit score for free. The idea that you can is the biggest fraud. Lenders do not use the score that the free websites give you.

Three credit bureaus; Experian, Equifax and TransUnion were compared. Each was found to be more than 50 points off the actual credit score. Bingham stated that each of these bureaus use their own formulas to calculate scores and that these scores would never match the real scores.

Bingham stated that myfico.com was one of the best places to find your credit score.

According to Bingham, a credit score is based on five things; payment history, amount owed, length, new credit and types of credit. The longer you have an account open, the greater your chance to have a credit score in the 800’s. However, to have a score of 850, one would need an account open for 49 years.

“Every credit repair company says they can repair your credit. They charge you huge amounts of money. They don’t understand the system and are not specialists. There is a 100 percent chance you could have done it yourself and saved yourself five hundred dollars.”

Bingham stated there are four major questions you should ask yourself.

“What accounts am I missing in my credit report, what accounts do I need to close or refinance, what accounts do I need to keep open and use and what accounts to pay down with the resources I have,” Bingham said. “If you answer those four questions right, you win. If you miss those questions, you lose.”

Casey Larsen, a student at USU, said that it made him more aware of his credit situation.

Bingham reiterated the point that to save hundreds of dollars, you need to pay attention to your credit score.

“I thought it was pretty interesting,” said USU student Hayden Nelson. “I don’t have a credit card or anything right now, but it would be interesting to see how this will affect my future and see what I can do now to prepare for my future.”

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