Do Multiple Mortgage Applications Hurt Credit?

If you are thinking about taking out a loan to buy a home, you might be wondering whether multiple mortgage applications will hurt your credit score? We will discuss the answer to this question in much detail below.

Do Multiple Mortgage Applications Hurt Your Credit?

Although multiple mortgage applications can hurt your credit score and lower it, applications made within a 14 to 45 day window while shopping for a mortgage will be counted as a single hard inquiry, only slightly lowering your credit score. Hard inquiries appear on your credit report whenever you're applying to borrow money and they remain on your credit report for 2 years from the date the lender reviews your credit report. Hard inquiries can slightly lower your credit score (by only a few points). That said, the credit reporting bureaus understand that many consumers shopping for home loans will apply with several lenders while seeking to obtain the largest loan amount at the best interest rate. Therefore, any inquiries incurred within a 14 to 45 day windows count as only one hard inquiry, slightly lowering your credit score.

Typically, when you go to a mortgage broker, the mortgage broker will apply for several home loans on your behalf. Each time a mortgage provider checks your credit, a separate hard inquiry will be added to your credit report. Each hard inquiry can lower your credit score by a few points. However, the credit reporting bureaus offer special treatment to those shopping for a mortgage, and therefore any hard inquiries placed while shopping for a home loan will only be counted as a single hard inquiry provided that they are made within a 14 to 45 day period, depending on what scoring model is used to calculate your credit score.

Hard inquiries can lower your credit score because they account for 10% of your credit score. The more hard inquiries you have on your credit report, the lower your credit score will be. Hard inquiries remain on your credit report for 2 years from the date that a mortgage lender reviews your credit report. After the 2 year period, they're automatically removed from your credit report. Experts agree that the impact of hard inquiries on your credit report begins to lessen as the hard inquiry ages. After 12 months, a hard inquiry should have no impact on your credit score.

The 14 to 45 Day Window

When shopping for a mortgage, most people shop around for the best mortgage. So, any mortgages that you apply for within a 14 to 45 day period are treated as a single hard inquiry on your credit report. The 14 to 45 day period depends on which credit scoring model that's used to calculate your credit score. Different models use different periods during which to county hard inquiries as a single hard inquiry. Typically, the newest scoring models count hard inquiries when mortgage shopping within a 45 day period as a single hard inquiry, offering shoppers some leeway when it comes to finding the right mortgage. So, when you're applying for 1 mortgage or applying for 10, all of the hard inquiries you rack up within a 45 day period are counted as a single hard inquiry when calculating your credit score.

Proceed With Caution

The 45 day mortgage shopping window only applies when shopping for home loans and auto loans. It does not apply to credit card applications. If you want to open a credit card and submit multiple credit card applications, each application counts as a single hard inquiry. So, if you submit multiple credit card applications, the 45 day grace period does not apply and each hard inquiry will lower your credit score, so please proceed with caution. So, if you submit too many credit card applications within a short period of time, you can significantly lower your credit score because each hard inquiry counts as a single inquiry, lowering your credit score. This is different from home loan applications where multiple hard inquiries are grouped into a single hard inquiry.

Should You Submit Multiple Mortgage Applications?

As previously mentioned, no matter how mortgage applications you submit within a 45 day period count as a single hard inquiry. So, feel free to shop around for mortgages, just make sure that all of your applications are submitted within a very short time frame so all applications and resulting hard inquiries only count as a single hard inquiry on your credit report. Shopping for a mortgage this way will only drop your credit score by a few points since multiple mortgage applications will count as only a single hard inquiry. When you're seeking to make a large purchase, such as a home purchase, it's wise to shop around for the best rates, so submit as many applications as reasonably necessary to obtain the loan amount and interest rate that you're looking for. Finding the right mortgage can save you a substantial amount of money, so shop around and rest assured that all applications submitted within the 14 to 45 day window will only count as a single hard inquiry.

That said, to get your mortgage applications within the 14 to 45 day period, it's helpful for you to make a list of potential lenders that you want to apply to before submitting a single application. This ensures that all applications result in a credit review within the 14 to 45 day period. Also, make a list of questions that you have for your lenders so that you can ask them and have them answered within a short amount of time.

Even if you submit applications outside the 45 day window, your credit score will not significantly suffer as hard inquiries only account for 10% of your credit score. 65% of your credit score, however, depends on your payment history and the balances you keep on your accounts. So, as long as you continue to make your payments on time and keep low balances on your credit cards and loan accounts, an extra hard inquiry is unlikely to cause much damage to your credit score.

How much does a mortgage application affect your credit score?

Whenever you submit a mortgage application and a lender reviews your credit report, a hard inquiry is placed on your credit report. A single hard inquiry can lower your credit score by just a few points. For this reason, the credit reporting bureaus treat multiple credit reviews performed for the purpose of obtaining a mortgage within a 45 day period as a single hard inquiry, only slightly lowering your credit score.

Here Are Some Things to Avoid When Applying For a Mortgage

You should avoid doing the following things when applying for a mortgage to keep your credit score as high as possible to qualify for the large mortgage amount and the best interest rates:

  1. Credit Applications - Do not submit other credit applications. Refrain from applying for auto loans, credit cards, and personal loans until your mortgage is approved and you're sitting comfortably in your new home. This ensures that no other hard inquiries lower your credit score.
  2. Do Not Miss Payments - Do not miss any payments on your credit cards, auto loans, auto finance account, personal loans, and student loans. A single missed payment can cause significant damage to your credit score. So, if you've never missed a payment, continue the good streak to ensure that you're approved for the best home loan at the best interest rate.
  3. Do NOT close accounts in good standing - If you have accounts that are in good standing because this could lower your credit score. So, even if you have a credit card that you barely use, but you've built good credit behind, you should avoid closing the account as the account closure will reduce your mix of credit as well as lower your available credit, causing a drop in your credit score. So, avoid closing accounts in good standing when applying for a mortgage to ensure your credit score does not drop.
  4. Don't add to your debt - When applying for a mortgage, you should avoid raising the balances on your credit cards and other accounts. This is so because your credit utilization (how much of your available credit you're using) accounts for 30% of your credit score. Substantially raising your credit utilization can lower your credit score, so avoid racking up more debt to keep your credit score as high as possible. If you want to improve your credit utilization, pay down some of your balance and you could raise your credit score.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. When submitting multiple mortgage applications, how long do hard inquiries stay on your credit report?

Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for 2 years from the date that the lender reviews your credit report. After the 2 year period, the hard inquiry will be automatically removed from your credit report. That said, experts have stated that even though it takes 2 years for a hard inquiry to be removed from your credit report, it no longer impacts your credit score after 12 months.

2. Does applying for multiple mortgages affect credit?

Yes, when you apply for a mortgage, hard inquiries are added to your credit report. Hard inquiries can lower your credit score.

3. Is it bad to apply for multiple mortgages (sending home loan applications)?

No, there is nothing wrong with applying for multiple mortgages. In fact, you should shop around for mortgages because finding the a reasonable mortgage could save you a substantial amount of money. Shopping around for a mortgage will not significantly impact your credit, as it only has a low impact.

4. How long does it take for a mortgage application to show up on your credit report?

A mortgage application shows up on your credit report as soon as a lender requests to review a copy of your credit report. The second a lender reviews your credit report, a hard inquiry will show up on your credit report, alerting you that a third party has accessed your credit report.


Student Credit Card vs Regular Credit Card

If you are trying to choose between applying for a student credit card vs a regular credit, you might be wondering, what is the difference between a student credit card vs a regular credit card. We will explain the difference between the two in more detail below.

Student Credit Card vs Regular Credit Card

Student credit cards are usually marketed towards college students, they offer limited rewards, have lower credit limits, but they are easier to get than regular credit cards. On the other hand, regular credit cards are directed at all adults in the united states, offer plenty of rewards, but typically require very good or excellent credit for a person to be approved for one. That said, both types of credit cards affect your credit, so use them responsibly.

Student credit cards are great for students who have never applied for a credit card because they can help them build credit, especially when used properly. If you open a student credit card, you should spend responsibly and make all of your payments on time. Making your payments on time and keeping your credit card balance low will improve your credit score and help you build your credit.

Student credit cards work the same way as do regular credit cards. So, having a single student credit card that you responsibly use and pay on time can get you a credit score in the mid-700's within just a couple of months. For example, when I opened my first student credit card and paid it regularly, I was able to attain a credit score of 740 within just a few months of opening the student credit card just by spending a couple of hundred dollars a month on my student card and paying the bill in full every month.

So, if you were wondering whether a student credit card works the same way as does a regular credit card, rest assured that it does. Use it responsibly and it will help you build credit. Misuse it and miss payments and you will cause significant damage to your credit. So, use it responsibly and start building your credit with a student credit card.

What Are the Differences Between Student Credit Cards vs Regular Credit Cards?

Let's discuss some of the differences between regular credit cards and student credit cards:

1. Credit Limits - The credit limits (how much you can spend on the credit card) are usually lower on student credit cards than regular credit cards. This is so because students are usually new to using credit cards and giving them too much credit may cause them to overspend and fall behind on making their payments. That said, after you've had a student credit card for 6 to 12 months, your card issuer may increase your limit, or you can request a credit limit increase. If you've been making your student card payments on time, your request should be approved. Once approved for a credit limit increase, you will be able to spend more on your credit card.

2. Limited Rewards - Student credit cards are often barebones, meaning they function as a credit card but offer little rewards. Some student credit cards offer student rewards, such as discounts on subscription services, such as Amazon Prime, but offer nothing more. That said, recently, some student credit cards are offering rewards such as 1% cashback and rewards points on every dollar spent. So, if you want a student credit card that offers rewards, you should research and find one that offers such perks. Regular credit cards, on the other hand, typically offer rewards points, cashback, and other perks for having the credit card.

3. Secured vs Unsecured - Typically, student credit card are unsecured, meaning the student is not required to place a security deposit (cash payment) with the credit card issuer to obtain the credit card. Regular credit cards, on the other hand, can either be secured or unsecured, meaning to obtain some regular credit cards, persons may be required to place a security deposit and the security deposit determines the credit limit. For example, if you were to open a secured credit card and you want a $500 credit limit, you would need to deposit $500 with the card issuer and the card issuer would then open a credit card for you with a credit limit of $500. Student credit cards do not usually require security deposits because the credit limits offered are low and card issuers understand that student are just starting to build their credit.

4. Very Good / Excellent Credit - Typically to get a regular credit card from the major banks in the United States, you need very good to excellent credit. This is different for student credit cards. You can often get a student credit card with a good credit score that ranges from 630 to 850, so even if you don't have much credit established, it's significantly easier to be approved for a student credit card than it is to be approved for a regular credit card. This makes student credit cards great for student who are just beginning to build their credit.

5. Annual Fee - Most student credit cards do not charge an annual fee. This is different than regular credit cards that offer rewards because they often charge hefty annual fees to offset the value of the rewards that they offer customers. Some student credit cards charge annual fees, but they are very low fees, but most card issuers don't charge them.

6. International Students - Card issuers know that some students come to the U.S internationally and therefore do not have a social security number. So, some of them provide students with the ability to obtain a student credit card without a social security number. This is extremely helpful for international students who do not have an SSN. Regular credit cards are very difficult to obtain without an SSN as it is the primary way for card issuers to verify a person's identity.

Should You Apply For a Student Credit Card?

If you're a student and you're just starting to build your credit, student credit cards can be a great option for you as the requirements for approval are significantly lower than those to get a regular credit card. That said, if you think that you might not be approved for a student credit or regular credit card that you have in mind, you can ask a parent or sibling to cosign with you on your credit card application. If you have a co-signer who has good credit, your odds of approval are much better because the card issuer will consider their credit in addition to yours. However, co-signers should be cautious when co-signing on credit card application because both you and co-signer will be liable for repayment of the credit card debt. If you primary cardholder fails to make payments on the credit card, the primary cardholder's credit will suffer and so will the co-signer's credit.

Overall, if you choose to open a credit card, regardless of whether it is a regular credit card or a student credit card, you should use your credit responsibly. By responsibly we meaning not going over your credit limit, keeping a low balance or no balance on the card, and making your payments on time. Keeping a large balance on your credit card or missing a payment can cause significant damage to your credit.

If You Aren't Approved For a Student Credit Card, What Are Your Alternatives?

If you applied for a student credit and were denied by multiple card issuers, here are some alternatives that you should explore:

  1. Secured Credit Card - Secured credit cards are a great alternative to student credit cards, especially if you were denied when you applied for a student credit card. Secured credit cards are very easy to obtain even if you have no credit or you have bad credit. This is so because card issuers do not take any risk when issuing secured credit cards. This is so because to obtain a secured credit card, you must make a security deposit in order to obtain the card. The security deposit you make will set your credit limit. For example, if you want a secured credit card with a $500 limit, you will have to give the card issuer $500. The card issuer will then provide you with a secured credit card that works the same exact way as does a regular credit card. Also, it impacts your credit the same way as does a regular credit card.
  2. Authorized User - The second option that you have if you need a credit card is to become an authorized user on another person's credit card. Although this is not a great alternative to have your own credit card account, it is an option if you need a credit card. Becoming an authorized user means that you will be issued a credit card in your own name, but you'll be on another person's credit card account. To become an authorized user your friend, parent, sibling, or another person must add you as an authorized user on their account. Once added, you will be issued a credit card that you can use under your own name. That said, use the card responsibly because it will impact your credit. Nevertheless, the primary account holder will be liable for making the payments on the card. So, you should trust the person who is adding you onto their account, and they should trust you to use the credit card responsibly because they are liable for making the payments on the card.
  3. Apply for a Different Student Credit Card - If you have applied for a single student credit card and were denied, you have the option of applying for a different student credit card. Check the requirements for the credit card before applying as some student credit cards have lower requirements than others. That said, do not apply for too many credit cards within a short period of time. This is so because every time you apply for any credit card, a hard inquiry is placed on your credit report. Although a single hard inquiry will only lower your credit score by a couple of points, submitting too many applications will lower your credit score significantly. Also, if lenders and card issuers see that you've submitted too many applications within a short period of time, they may deny you because of too many hard inquiries.

What Are the Requirements to Get a Student Credit Card?

To get a student credit card, the requirements are the same for a regular credit card, however, since student credit cards are designed for students, the credit score and history requirements are relaxed. That said, here is what you will need to obtain a student credit card:

  1. Must be 18 years of age or older
  2. Name
  3. Address
  4. Date of Birth
  5. Social security number
  6. Government-issued ID
  7. Employment status
  8. Income

These are the most common things you will have to provide when you apply for a student credit card or any other credit card.

Bottom Line

At this point, we hope that you now know the difference between a student credit card vs a regular credit card. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. That said, student credit cards are a great way for students to begin building their credit. Just remember to use your credit card responsibly, keep low balances, and always make your payments on time to avoid damaging your credit.


Does Getting Married Affect Your Credit Score?

If you're like many Americans, you probably want to get married and settle down with that special someone, however, you might be wondering whether getting married affects your credit score? We will answer this question in much detail below.

Does Getting Married Affect Your Credit Score?

No, getting married does not affect your credit score because your marital status is not included on your credit report and is not used by the credit reporting bureaus to calculate your credit score. However, after you get married if you and your spouse apply for joint accounts, joint loans, or other types of joint debt, your ability to borrow money will depend on both spouse's credit scores and the debt will affect both of your credit scores. So, it is vital that you and your spouse discuss your financial history in order to avoid surprises when applying for joint debts. This is so because if one spouse has excellent credit, but the other spouse has bad credit, the spouse with bad credit will impact both of your abilities to obtain approval for joint debts.

So, if you want to buy a home by taking out a mortgage to do so in both of your names or want to open a joint credit card, both spouses must have good credit in order to be approved. If one spouse has excellent credit but the other spouse has bad credit, this will make getting approved difficult since both of your credit scores and credit reports will be examined. This is so because when applying for joint debt, both spouses are on the hook for the debt, and so lenders want to ensure that both spouses are capable of repaying the debt on time.

Furthermore, when applying for joint debt, the interest rate will be based on the credit of both spouses. So, if one spouse has excellent credit but the other spouse has bad credit, the spouse with the bad credit could cause both parties to pay higher interest rates and fees to obtain the joint debt. Nevertheless, your odds of approval might be better if you apply jointly because the lender can consider both incomes when determining how much money they are willing to lend you.

If you're planning to buy a home with a spouse who has bad credit, you might be disappointed to learn that the home lenders look at the spouse with the lower credit score when determining whether to approve you for a mortgage. If you have excellent credit but your spouse has bad credit, you should consider having the spouse with good credit apply for the home loan on their own, but only their income would be considered by the lender. That said, you might not qualify for as large of a mortgage if you're applying without your spouse because only your income would be considered.

When you open a joint debt, such as joint credit card or joint loan, the positive and negative actions that you take will appear on both spouse's credit reports. So, before applying for joint debt, you and your spouse should discus how you're managing money in order to pay off the debt responsibly and have the joint account boost your credit scores instead of hurting them.

Does Getting Married Hurt My Credit If My Spouse Has Bad Credit?

Even if your spouse has terrible credit, his or her terrible credit will not impact your credit score. If you have good credit, your good credit will not improve your spouse's bad credit. However, if you apply for accounts jointly in the future, and either spouse fails to make timely payments on the account, both of your credit scores will suffer because when taking out joint debt, both spouses are liable for the debt, meaning if either fails to pay on time, the negative information will be reported on both spouses credit reports.

So, if your spouse has bad credit and is bad at handling finances, you should apply for joint accounts and debt cautiously. This is so because when opening a joint account, both spouses are liable for repayment of the debt. So, if you do not have the money to make the payment and your spouses refuses to assist you, your account will be reported as late, causing significant damage to your credit. So, only take out joint debts that you know you can pay off even if your spouse refuses to assist you with making the payment. This ensures that you do not damage your credit score.

Does Changing Your Name When You Get Married Affect Your Credit Score?

No, changing your name when you get married does not affect your credit score. Although when you change your name, you will have to change it with the DMV, Social Security Administration, on your accounts, and with your bank, changing your name has no impact on your credit score. That said, your previous name and your new name will appear on your credit report under the Names or Aliases section. Your new name will be added to your credit report as soon as your creditors and lenders begin updating your personal information with the credit reporting bureaus.

Sometimes when you change your name, financial institutions may report the wrong name or mix up your first name with your last name. If this occurs, you can file a dispute with the credit reporting agencies to have the wrong name removed from your credit report.

That said, you will not be able to remove your old name from your credit report as it will continue to appear on your credit report. So, if you were thinking that you would lose your credit history if you changed your name, rest assured that you will not, as your name will only be updated with the credit reporting bureaus. All you have to do for your new name to be updated with the credit reporting bureaus is contacting your creditors (credit card issuers, banks, and lenders) and the information will automatically be updated with the credit reporting bureaus.

How to Use Your Souse's Good Credit to Improve Your Bad Credit?

Although your spouse's good credit does not affect your credit, there is a way to use your spouse's good credit to improve your bad credit. You can improve your credit by asking the spouse with good credit to add you as an authorized user on his or her account. Once added as an authorized user, the good credit behind that account will appear on your credit report. If your spouse has made all of his or her payments on time and has a lengthy credit history, this will significantly boost your credit score just as if you had opened the account and made all of the payments on time.

That said, once added as an authorized user, you should use the account responsibly because if you rack up too much debt on the account and you and your spouse cannot make the credit card payments on time, this will hurt both of your credit scores. His credit will be hurt because he is the primary account holder and is responsible for the account, your credit may be hurt as well because the account will appear on your credit report too.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Does being married improve credit score?

No, getting married does not improve your credit score. This is so because marriage has no impact on your credit score. Your status of married or single is not even reported on your credit report. So, if you were curious about whether getting married will improve your credit score, we are sad to inform you that it will not.

2. Will my credit score affect my partner's credit score?

No, your credit score will not affect your partner's credit score. So, if you have bad credit, rest assured that your bad credit will have no effect on your partner's credit score.

3. When you get married does your spouse's debt become yours?

No, when you get married your debt does not become your spouse's debt. For example, if you have $12,500 of credit card debt and you get married, this debt does not become your spouse's debt. You are solely liable for repaying this debt.

4. Can I buy a house if my spouse has bad credit?

You may be able to buy a house if your spouse has bad credit, however, if you include your spouse on your mortgage application, the banks will consider his or her credit. If they have bad credit, they might lessen your chances of approval.

5. Will my wife's credit score affect mine?

No, your wife's credit score has no impact on your credit score. Each person's credit file is separate. However, if you apply for any joint debt, such as a joint credit card, you both will be liable for repaying the debt.


Can You Pay Medical Bills With a Credit Card?

If you've had unexpected medical expenses and don't have the funds to pay your medical bills, you might be wondering whether you can use a credit card to pay your medical bills. We will answer this question in much detail below.

Can You Pay Medical Bills With a Credit Card?

Yes, you can pay medical bills with a credit card so long as your healthcare provider accepts credit cards. Usually, there is nothing in the terms of your credit card agreement that prevents you from paying medical bills with your credit card. That said, there are some disadvantages to paying your medical bills with a credit card.

Although you can pay your medical bills, such as emergency room visits or any other type of medical bills using a credit card, there are some disadvantages associated with doing so.

The first disadvantage is that you will have to begin making payments on your credit card if you're going to leave a balance on your credit card. There is no grace period and most card issuers will require you to make at least the minimum payment on your credit card. If you fail to make the minimum payment due on your credit card, your financial institution will report your account to the credit reporting bureaus as soon as the payment becomes more than 30 days past due.

On the other hand, not paying your medical bills and leaving them unpaid may give you some time. This is so because medical providers don't usually sell your unpaid medical debt to a collections agency unless it is 60, 90, or 120 days late, offering you some extra time before the debt impacts your credit score.

Once the debt is sold to a collections agency, if the collections agency adds a collections account to your credit report, the three major credit reporting bureaus will not report the medical debt until it is 180 days or more past due, giving you almost 6 months of extra time before the debt impacts your credit score.

Additionally, leaving medical bills unpaid gives you some negotiating power with the collections agency or the medical provider. You may even be able to have the medical charges significantly reduced from the original amount owed. However, if you pay them using your credit card, you will lose that negotiating power and as soon as your credit card becomes 30+ days late, your late account will be reported to the credit reporting bureaus, causing significant damage to your credit score.

So, before you rush to pay your medical bills with a credit card, think about the consequences we just listed above. It might be in your interest to leave the medical bills unpaid. However, if you know you can make your credit card payments on time and the bills seem fair, you can go ahead and pay them using your credit card.

When Should You Pay Medical Bills With a Credit Card?

You should pay your medical bills with a credit card only if you're reasonably certain that you can pay the balance in full shortly after paying it with your credit card. If you leave the medical bill payment balance on your credit card to pay down the amount gradually, you may end up paying a ton of fees in the form of interest on the balance.

Additionally, when paying a medical bill with your credit card, you should consider how much of your available credit you're going to utilize. As a rule of thumb, you should never use more than 30% of your available credit, and you should always strive to keep your credit utilization below 10%.

For example, if you have a $10,000 credit limit, and your medical bills total $6,500, you will use 65% of your available credit, which will cause a drop in your credit score. This is so because your credit utilization accounts for 30% of your credit score, and when you use too much of your available credit, your credit score will drop significantly. So, make sure you're not going to use more than 30% of your available credit by paying your medical bills.

What Other Options Do You Have to Pay Your Medical Bills?

If you have racked up medical expenses, here are some other options that may be available to you to pay your medical bills:

1. Negotiate - If you were charged with unreasonably high medical bills and are having difficulty paying your bills, you should try to negotiate the amount of your medical bills with the the hospital or medical provider. You will be surprised, but many medical providers will be willing to work with you to ensure that you pay your medical bills, often providing large discounts to persons who pay a large amount or all of the medical bills at once. So, negotiate with them and see if they offer you a discount. This method could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the amount you were billed.

2. Payment Plan - If you do not have the full amount to pay your medical bill, you should ask your medical provider about being placed on a payment plan. A payment plans allows you to break down the amount you owe into several payments, making it easier for you to pay down the amount you owe your medical provider. Before you agree to a payment plan, ask your medical provider if they're going to charge you any interest or fees for this service. Based on the interest and fees, you will be able to make an informed decision as to which method best suits you.

3. Personal Loan - If you've have medical bills that you do not want to pay with a credit, you should explore the option of taking out a personal loan to pay your medical bills. Personal loans often have a lower interest rate than paying your medical bills with a credit card, making them less expensive than credit cards to pay off your medical bills and debt.

4. Medical Bill Advocate - If you are having trouble paying your medical bills because they are unreasonably high, you should look for a medical bill advocate. Medical bill advocates are experienced in reading and understanding medical bills and common costs for procedures. So, if you've been overcharged for a procedure or medical, they will be able to spot the overcharges and negotiate the bill with your healthcare provider. So, if you want the help of a professional health bill advocate, contact the Medical Billing Advocates of America and ask for their assistance. They might just be able to have your medical bills reduced.

The Bottom Line For Paying Medical Bills With a Credit Card

Although paying your medical bills with a credit card is possible, you should explore other options before using your credit card for such bills. This is so because credit cards often charge high-interest rates, so unless you are paying your medical bills with your credit card and immediately paying them off, you will have to pay interest on the amount. Also, if you're using a credit card, you will need to make your monthly credit card bills on time to avoid a negative impact on your credit score in the event that you do not make the minimum payments that are due. Failing to make minimum credit card payments is an extremely fast way to cause significant damage to your credit because late credit card payments are reported to the credit reporting bureaus once they become 30+ days past due. We provided you with some alternatives that you should explore prior to using your credit card to pay your medical bills. So, if you have any general questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can you put medical bills on a credit card?

Yes, you can put medical bills on a credit card. Typically, there is nothing in the terms of your credit card agreement that prohibits you from charging medical bills to them. Check your credit card agreement for more information.

2. What medical bills can you pay on a credit card?

You can pay all sorts of medical bills on your credit card. This includes dentist bills, hospital bills, and other types of medical bills.

3. Why can it be a bad idea to pay medical bills with a credit card?

It can be a bad idea to charge medical bills on your credit card because if you charge medical bills and need time to pay them off, your card issuer may charge you a ton of interest on the amount. Make sure you can make the minimum payment on your credit card, if you can, pay more than the minimum to reduce the interest you're charged. You should explore other options before using a credit card to pay medical and hospital bills.

4. What is the best way to pay hospital bills?

This all depends on your situation. If you do not have the money to pay the full medical or hospital bill, you should ask your medical provider about paying in installments and ask for a discount on the overall cost of your medical treatment.


Can I Get a Mortgage With Late Payments On My Credit Report?

If you're like many Americans, you might be thinking about borrowing money to buy a home. We often get asked whether a person can get a mortgage if they have late payments on their credit report. We will answer this question in much detail below.

Can I Get a Mortgage With Late Payments on My Credit Report?

You can still get a mortgage with late payments on your credit report, however, this depends on the strength of your credit report, the lender's lending criteria, and how much damage you've done to your credit by making your payments late. Typically, the more late-payments and the longer the delinquencies, the more difficult it will be for you to get a mortgage. If you have strong credit despite having a few late payments, lenders may still be willing to offer you a mortgage at a decent interest rate and terms.

When determining whether to offer you a mortgage, lenders will review your credit report and place great emphasis on your past payment history. Payment history is important for mortgage lenders because it shows them how you've handled paying down debt in the past, which shows them how you are likely going to handle paying down your mortgage in the future. So, the better your payment history, the more likely you are to be approved for a mortgage. This is so because people who have paid their debts on time in the past are likely going to pay them on time in the future. The opposite applies, as well.

Having a late payment will raise some red flags for lenders, especially if the late payments are recent (within the past 12 months).

Nevertheless, as late payments age, not only will their impact on your credit score lessen, but old late payments will have less of an impact on a lender's decision to lend you money. Recent late payments, however, will, unfortunately, impact your ability to get a mortgage.

If a lender sees that you have recent late payments on your credit report, they might require you to place a bigger down payment and/or you might have to pay a higher interest rate than would a lender who has never missed any payments on his or her credit cards and loans. So, when seeking to get a mortgage, you should consider all of these factors before applying.

Pro Tip - Some experts state that if you have any late payments, you should wait for at least 12 months before applying for a mortgage. This waiting period is done to establish a track record of on-time payments to encourage lenders to approve you for a home loan. Making on-time payments prior to applying for a mortgage is critical to ensure that the lender does not ask for large cash reserves, bigger down payment, or other income sources prior to approving you for a home loan. So, although you can still get a home mortgage with late payments, you may be asked for a bigger down payment or cash reserves prior to being approved. So, make your payments on time for the best chances to be approved.

How to Improve Your Credit Score & Get a Mortgage With Late Payments on Your Credit Report?

Here are a few tips on how to improve your credit score in order to get a mortgage with late payments on your credit report:

1. Make Timely Payments - Make all of your payments on all of your accounts on time. Your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score and is the biggest factor that lenders look at when deciding to approve you for a mortgage. So, making timely payments will not only increase your credit score but will also increase your chances of being approved for a mortgage. If you have a late payment on your credit report, as the late payment ages and becomes older, its impact on your credit score will lessen and lenders will not view it as negative as a recent late payment. So, continue to make payments on your accounts and make sure that you do not make late payments for the best chance to be approved for a mortgage. Late payments will remain on your credit report for 7 years from the date you became late on your account. After 7 years it will be automatically removed from your credit report. That said, the impact of a late payment on your credit score and a lender's decision to give you a mortgage lessen as the late payment ages.

2. Reduce Balances - The second thing you can do to improve your credit score and still get a mortgage despite having late payments on your credit report is to reduce the balances on your accounts. Your credit utilization (how much of your available credit you're using) accounts for 35% of your credit score. So, a quick way to improve your credit score is to pay down the balances on your accounts. As a rule of thumb, you should strive to keep your account balances below 10% of your available credit, and to never exceed 30% utilization. If you exceed 30% of your available credit, you will notice a drop in your credit score because you're using too much of your available credit. Your credit score will drop because utilizing too much credit tells lenders that you may be having financial troubles, and are therefore relying too much on your credit cards. So, a quick way to improve your credit score and qualify for a mortgage is too pay down your accounts as much as you possibly can.

3. Makes Paste Due Accounts Current - If you have accounts that are passed due and/or reported as late on your credit report, you should make them current so that when the lender reviews your credit report, you're not behind on any payments, showing them that you're financially responsible. Additionally, making a past due account current will help your credit score because past due account can cause a significant drop to your credit score.

4. Review Your Credit Report - If you're not already in the habit of periodically reviewing your credit report, you should review it to ensure that there are no negative items bringing down your credit score. If you find an item that does not belong to you, you should dispute it to have it removed from your credit report. The dispute process typically takes a few days, but in some circumstances can take up to 30 days to complete.

How to Qualify For a Mortgage With Late Payments?

  1. Remove Late Payment - If you're wondering what you can do to qualify for a mortgage with late payments on your credit report, the first thing you should do is to contact your creditor and lender and ask them to remove the late payment(s) from your credit report. Some lenders will be willing to work with you while others will not. You will probably have more luck with this method if you have a very good payment history and relationship with the lender. If you contact a lender and the representative refuses to remove your late payment, ask them to speak to their supervisor. Supervisors have more leeway when it comes to helping customers. Be polite and explain your situation to the supervisor. You may be surprised, but this could help you.
  2. Larger Down Payment - If you want to get a mortgage to buy a home, but you have late payments on your credit report, some lenders will still be willing to work with you if you agree to make a larger downpayment. The larger downpayment shows borrowers that you are creditworthy and likely to pay your mortgage payments on time since you've invested a lot of money in your home. Also, a combination of bad credit and a small down payment doesn't play too well with lenders. So, this could be an option if you want to take out a loan to buy a home.
  3. Reduce Your Balances - Another way to show lenders that you're creditworthy and should be approved for a mortgage is to pay down the balances on your accounts. This shows lenders that you have the cash to pay your debts and shows them that you're not too reliant on credit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can you buy a house with late payments?

Yes, you can still buy a house with late payments. However, recent late payments (less than 12 months old) will make it very difficult for you to buy a home. That said, you may still qualify for a mortgage, but the lender may require a bigger down payment.

2. Do missed payments affect your ability to get a mortgage?

Yes, late payments will make it difficult but not impossible to get a mortgage or home loan, especially if the late payments are recent. As late payments age and you make on-time payments on all your credit cards and loans, it's impact on your ability to qualify for a mortgage will lessen until the late payment is automatically removed after 7 years.

3. Can you remove late payments from your credit report?

If a late payment is valid, meaning you were in fact late, it will be difficult to remove it from your credit report. This is so because the credit reporting bureaus are not obligated to remove accurate information from your credit file. You can contact the lender or creditor and ask for it to be removed. That said, if the late payment does not belong to you, you can file a dispute with the credit reporting bureau to remove it from your credit report. The credit reporting bureau will then investigate to determine whether the late payment is indeed valid. If it's valid, it will remain on your credit report. However, if it is indeed inaccurate or does not belong to you, it will be removed.


Can a Collection Agency Charge More Than the Original Debt?

If your debt has been sold by your creditor to a collection agency, you might be wondering whether a collection agency can charge more than the original debt that you owe? We will answer this question in more detail below.

Can a Collection Agency Charge More Than Original Debt?

Yes, a collection agency can charge more than the original debt that you owe them, however, the collection agency can only charge you fees and interest that were set forth in the original agreement between you and your lender or creditor. They cannot charge you more fees than initially agreed upon between you and your lender.

This is so because there are State and Federal Laws in place, such as the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) that dictate that a collection agency can only charge you interest and fees listed in the terms of the original agreement between you and your lender. So, if a debt collector has charge you fees that are not listed in your original agreement, you should contact the collection agency to understand exactly what fees and interest they're charging you. If they are charging you more than what was initially agreed upon, you should be aware that you have the option of contacting your State's Attorney General to inform them that the collection agency is violating the law by charging you unlawful fees.

For example, if you agreed to pay a $50 late fee for every month that you're late on making your credit card payment, a collection agency that purchases the debt cannot charge you more than that fee. If they are, you can file a complaint against them with your State's Attorney General office and they may be able to provide you with the legal options that you have against your debt collector.

When Does a Collection Agency Get Involved?

Typically if you default on a debt, such as credit card debt, auto loan, or any other type of debt, your creditor may sell the debt to a collection agency for less than what you owe. The collection agency then proceeds to attempt to collect the debt from you. When collecting the debt, many collection agencies charge additional fees and interest on the amount that's due. Some people have reported a doubling of the amount that they owe.

As mentioned previously, you should keep in mind that debt collectors are only able to collect money you agreed to pay under the terms of your agreement, so if your agreement states that you're liable for interest and fees, there is nothing stopping debt collectors from collecting such interest and fees. However, some debt collectors go above what they can charge you, so it's important that you're aware of what they can charge you.

Can a Collection Agency Charge You Interest?

Debt collectors can only charge you interest that you agreed upon with in your original agreement, meaning they cannot charge you more than what was initially agreed upon. So, if your contract included a low interest rate, a collection agency cannot charge you more than that interest rate. The same applies to late fees. If your agreement did not include a late fee, you cannot be charged a late fee. This prevents collection agencies from being punitive, charging you fees and interest simply because you failed to answer their phone calls. For example, if you have an unpaid medical bill where you did not agree to be charged late fees or interest in the event that you did not pay, the collection agency cannot charge you more than the dollar amount of the bill.

Can More Than One Collection Agency Report the Same Debt?

When you debt is sold to a collection agency, your debt can be sold to a collection agency. When your debt is sold to a collection agency, both the original creditor and the collection agency can report the unpaid debt on your credit report. The original lender will report that the account has been paid late and/or charged off, and the collection agency can add a collections account to your credit report, significantly lowering your credit score.

That said, can more than one collection agency report the same debt?

Oftentimes a collection agency may attempt to collect the unpaid debt for a certain amount of time, after that, the collection agency may sell the debt to a different collection agency, and this is totally normal and permitted.

However, if a collection agency sells a debt to another collection agency, you can end up with two collections accounts for the same debt. If this happens to you because your debt was sold from one debt collector to another, you should dispute the collection account that was previously report to have it removed from your credit report. The reason for your dispute should be labeled as the debt collector no longer has collection authority on the account. Provide any evidence that you may have and the debt should be removed from your credit report by the credit reporting bureau.

However, you should first contact the previous debt collector and explain your situation to them. If they agree to remove the collection account, then good you're done. However, some will refuse to remove it, and so you will have to dispute it with the credit reporting bureau reporting the collection account.

After you file the dispute, the debt collection agency will have to validate the debt and show that it's an active debt. Of course, since it sold the debt and transferred it to a different collection agency, it will not be able to do so, and the credit reporting bureau will remove the collection account from your credit report. In the event that the credit reporting bureau refuses to remove it from your credit report, you have the option of contacting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and explaining your situation to them.

The Bottom Line - Collection Agency Charging More Than Original Debt

At this point, you should know that although a collection agency or debt collector can charge you more than the amount of money you owed, they are limited to charging the interest and fees in your original agreement if such terms were included. If no interest and late fees were included, they cannot charge you such fees. If you have any general questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.


Does a Company Credit Card Affect My Credit Score?

Whether you work at a large company and you've been given a credit card or you have your own small business and have opened a credit card, you might be wondering whether having a company or business credit card affects your credit score? We will answer this question in much detail below.

Does a Company Credit Card Affect Your Credit Score?

A company credit card can affect your credit score if you are the primary account holder on a small business credit card because small business credit cards typically require a personal guarantee, causing them to appear on your credit report and affect your credit score. Additionally, if you are an authorized user on a small business credit card, the credit card can also affect your credit score. However, if you work with a large company and have a corporate credit card issued in your name, the credit card is unlikely to affect your credit score as the account status is only reported on the corporate company's credit file and not your personal credit file.

So, if you have a small business and you're the primary cardholder or an authorized user, the credit card will appear on your credit report and will impact your credit score. So, be careful how you use the credit card and make sure to make all of your payments on the card in time to ensure that the card does not negatively affect your credit score.

If you're unsure as to whether a company credit card affects your credit score, you should pull a copy of your credit report and review it. If the account appears on your credit report, this means that the credit card will affects your credit score, so use it responsibly.

Even though you're not using your business credit card for personal expenses and the account has your business name on it, if it appears on your credit report, it will have an effect on your credit score just as would a personal credit card. So, if you make late payments, the late payments will appear on your credit report and they will have an impact on your credit score.

On the other hand, if you use your company credit card responsibly, make your payments on time, and keep your credit card balance low, these things will improve your credit score. However, if you miss payments and carry a high balance, this will lower your credit score.

This applies to the primary account holder and any authorized users on the account. For authorized users, if the primary account holder manages the account responsibly, makes payments on time, and keeps a low balance, this will help your credit score.

So, even if you're just an authorized user, you should ensure that the primary account holder responsibly uses the account because you're credit will be affected just as would the primary cardholder's credit.

Did The Card Issuer Check Your Credit Report When You Got Your Company Card?

When a small business borrower applies for a small business credit card, the card issuer will almost always check the primary cardholder's credit report before issuing them a credit card. This allows the card issuer to examine the person's credit report to determine whether the person is creditworthy enough to be approved for the credit card. However, if you're an employee of a small business and a small business owner wants to add you to the company credit card, the card issuer will likely not check your credit report. Only the primary account holder's credit report is reviewed prior to the card issuer opening the account. If you're uncertain as to whether your company card affects your credit score, you should review all three of your credit reports to determine whether it will impact your credit. If the account appears on your credit report, it will affect your credit score.

How to Avoid A Negative Impact On Your Credit Report?

If you have a small business credit card and you want to avoid the credit card from having a negative impact on your credit report, you should make sure to make all of your payments on time and keep your credit utilization (how much of your available credit you're using) at 10% or below and never to exceed 30%. Use the card just as you would your personal credit card because if you're the primary cardholder or an authorized user it will affect your credit just as would your personal credit card.

Also, to keep your account in good standing, you should periodically login into your online banking dashboard and check to see if someone else used or account or if there is unauthorized activity on your account. This ensures that no one else is misusing your account. Also, if you're not already in the habit of reviewing your credit report on a monthly basis, you should. This ensures that no one else has opened accounts in your name and that nothing negative that does not belong to you hurts your credit score.

Bottom Line

So, if you were wondering whether a company credit card affects your credit score, now you know that it all depends on the type of card that you have. If you have a small business credit card, the card will most probably affect your credit score because the status of such accounts is usually reported to the credit reporting bureaus just as would a regular personal credit card. Also, if your employer is a small business owner and he or she adds you as an authorized user on a small business credit card, this will affect your credit score the same way being added as an authorized user on a personal credit card affects your credit. That said, if you've been added to a large corporation's credit card, chances are that it will not affect your credit score because the account status is only reported as part of the organization's credit file and not your personal credit file. If you have any general questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Do business credit cards affect your credit score?

If you are a small business owner and you open a small business credit card for your business, you are essentially making a guarantee to being held responsible for the debt on the card. So, if you have a small business credit card, your account status is likely going to be reported on your credit report, and the card will therefore have an impact on your credit score.

2. Can you be declined a company credit card?

Yes, you can be declined a company credit card. That said, corporate credit cards are easy to obtain as most corporate card issuers will not check your credit in the initial application process.

3. Is it illegal to use a company credit card for personal use?

Not necessarily. You can use a company credit card as agreed upon between you and your employer. Also, if you own the business, you are permitted to make personal purchases on your credit card account as there are no laws that prohibit a person from using a company credit card to make personal purchases. There may be some tax implications, but other than that the practice is permitted.

4. Does a business account affect personal credit?

Yes, a small business credit card account can affect your personal credit and credit score. So, review your credit report to determine whether the account is reported on your credit report and affecting your credit score.


Is Unemployment Public Record?

If you're like many Americans and you've collected unemployment due to being unemployed, you might be wondering whether collecting unemployment compensation is a public record viewable by anyone in the general public or by future employers? We will answer this question in much detail below.

Is Unemployment Public Record?

No, unemployment is not part of your public record, so no one from the general public can see whether you've filed for unemployment or received unemployment benefits. So, if you're worried that your friends, family, prospective employer, or anyone else in the public can check whether you've received unemployment, rest assured that they cannot. The only party that will be notified that you've received unemployment benefits is your previous employer because the state unemployment office is required to verify some information, such as your employment status, wages, and benefits with your last previous employer before they are able to approve your claim for unemployment.

Your last previous employer is notified because unemployment benefits are funded in part by your last past employer. Other previous employers may be notified of your claim if the unemployment office in your state decides to check additional previous employers. That said, whether even if you've collected unemployment for months, your prospective employer will not be able to obtain this information from public records, nor will they be able to obtain this information from the unemployment office.

So, now that we known your unemployment status is not public record, in what situations can your State's unemployment office disclose your unemployment status?

Your State's unemployment office may disclose your unemployment status in the following circumstances:

  • State or Federal Government Official - A state or federal government officials may request access to your unemployment records and the unemployment office may be obligated to share some information with them. Additionally, some government offices may request access to your unemployment records and the information may have to be shared with them.
  • Subpoena - If the unemployment office receives a subpoena for your unemployment records, they may be obligated to provide the requester with certain information.
  • Consent - If you provide consent to a person or organization to request access to your unemployment records, that person or entity may be granted access to your records.

Does Unemployment Show Up On Your Credit Report?

Applying for and receiving unemployment benefits will not appear on your credit report. Only your credit card accounts, home loans, car finance, student loan accounts, and personal loan accounts appear on your credit report. Furthermore, if you have collection accounts, collection agencies may add collection accounts to your credit report. Additionally, if you've filed for bankruptcy, your bankruptcy will be reported on your credit reporting, alerting lenders and creditors that you have filed for it. Things such as unemployment, your income, marital status, and checking and savings account balances do not appear on your credit report.

That said, it's important for us to reiterate that collecting unemployment benefits do not appear on your credit report and therefore do not affect your credit score.

So, at this point, you might be wondering, why are your employers showing up on your credit report if employment and unemployment records are not part of the public record? The only reason your employer may appear on your credit report is if you included the name of your employer on a credit application. The employment information you provided on your credit application may appear on your credit report when the lender reports the information to the credit reporting bureaus.

That said, you should be aware that your employer appears on your credit report does not mean that all of your employment histories will appear on your credit report. This is so because only the name you provided on your credit application will appear on your credit report. Also, you should keep in your mind that your employer's name does not affect your credit score, it's only there to serve as a record of the employer you provided on a credit application.

Will Future Employers Know That You Applied For or Received Unemployment in the Past?

If you're seeking new employment, new employers will not be able to know whether you've received unemployment benefits in the past. However, there is nothing stopping them from asking you about your employment history and whether you've received unemployment in the past. Some employers even run background checks and call your past employers to verify that you were employed in the past. So, although prospective employers will not know that you've been unemployed in the past, they may ask you about any gaps in your employment history and verify your employment history by contacting past employers.

What Information Can An Unemployment Office Disclose About You?

Unemployment offices in most states are not permitted to disclose any information about you. This is so because laws make it illegal for government agencies to disclose information about whether you've applied for and/or received unemployment benefits you've received in the past. Additionally, we should remind you that employment and unemployment records are not public records, therefore, rest assured that your information will remain undisclosed. That said, your last employer and other previous employers may be notified that you're applying for or collecting unemployment because the unemployment offices often need to verify your past employment history when determining whether you're eligible for unemployment.

What Information Can Prospective Employers Find Out About You?

Employers may run background checks themselves or use third parties to run employment background checks on prospective employees, which can often uncover which employers you've worked for in the past, as well as any gaps in your employment history. So, although you may not want to hear this, it's pretty easy for employers to figure out whether you've been continuously employed in the past. That said, rest assured that whether you've collected unemployment in the past is confidential information that no employment background check will reveal. So, if you're applying for a new job, make sure to be truthful on your employment application because it will be easy for your employer to uncover items that are not true on your application by running an employment background check.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is unemployment public information?

Unemployment benefits are not public information, meaning they will never appear on public records that can be accessed by the general public. There are some exceptions, check above to see if one of those exceptions applies to you.

2. Do unemployment benefits show up on background checks?

No, unemployment records do not show up on background checks. In fact, it is against the law for a government agency to share your unemployment records with anyone. There are some exceptions, but they do not apply to members of the general public. So, if you were worried about your neighbor or anyone else checking whether you've received unemployment, rest assured they cannot.

3. Are unemployment claims confidential?

Yes, unemployment claims are confidential.

4. Is collecting unemployment bad for your credit?

No, collecting unemployment is not bad for your credit. In fact, collecting unemployment does not even appear on your credit report, and therefore it has no impact on your credit score.