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How to Check Your FICO Score With Citibank

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Want to check your FICO score and have a Citibank credit card? Well, you’re in luck, as Citibank offers a free FICO score for all cardholders of Citi-branded cards.

You can view your FICO score by following this link and logging into your account. Or if you’re already logged in, you can just click on the “Your FICO Score” tab to the right of your deposit information, and it will take you to the page with all your score information, including a list of the key factors affecting your current score. You can also see your score in the Citi mobile app.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • It’s an Equifax score. Citi was the first big bank to provide an Equifax based score. Below we’ll discuss other banks that offer free credit reports from the different bureaus.
  • The scale of the score is from 250 to 900, not the 300 to 850 you’re used to. This is because Citi is showing you the specific score used for credit card accounts. FICO offers a separate scoring model for credit cards that helps banks better target customers for the unique demands of a credit card. That score ranges from 250 to 900, rather than the 300 to 850 range you’re used to seeing, and Citi has decided to let you see the very score it uses.
  • There is no historic data. You are given a static score with the date the score was last updated by Citi.
  • You need a Citi-branded card to get the free FICO score. So if you, for example, have a store credit card from Citi, you won’t be eligible for this score benefit. But if your card has the Citi logo on it, you’re good to go.

How can I compare this score to others?

Because this score is different from the 300 to 850 scale you see on most credit reports, you might be confused.

citifico

Just focus on the range your score falls in, and you can easily convert it to scores you’re used to.

Here’s how the Citi credit card score compares to other scores you might be used to seeing:

  • Poor: 579 or less (579 or less for typical scores)
  • Fair: 580-699 (580 – 639 for typical scores)
  • Average: 670-739 (640 – 699 for typical scores)
  • Good: 740-799 (700 – 749 for typical scores)
  • Excellent: 800+ (750 – 850 for typical scores)

citificoscale

So, for example, if another credit resource, such as Credit Karma’s Transunion score, shows you as a 770, but your Citi score shows you as an 820, don’t worry. You are in the ‘Excellent’ score range for both.

What are other ways to view my FICO score for free?

Free real FICO scores are a great thing to have access to, because you can quickly diagnose errors that may arise across the three credit bureaus. Of course you should always request your free full annual credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com (the only government-endorsed truly free source for credit reports) and check for errors. But getting regular updates from your bank will keep you even more on top of things.

If you aren’t a Citi cardmember, there are numerous other ways to check your FICO score for free, across all three credit bureaus.

Here are some of them:

  • Citi isn’t the only place you can check your Equifax score. DCU Credit Union offers a free Equifax score for its members, as does PenFed.
  • If you have an account with American Express, Discover, Wells Fargo or First National Bank of Omaha, you can secure access to your Experian score. In fact, you don’t even have to have a Discover card in order to get access to this score; you can simply sign up at Creditscorecard.com.
  • If you have any Barclays credit card, you can gain free access to your TransUnion score. Bank of America offers access with select credit cards, and you can also view your TransUnion score if you have a Walmart Credit Card, Walmart MasterCard or Sam’s Club Credit Card.

There are also several services that offer free regular credit monitoring. MagnifyMoney’s parent company, LendingTree, offers free credit monitoring for anyone who wants to sign up. Keep in mind that LendingTree uses the VantageScore model, which is slightly different from FICO, although the score range is the same.

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What Do Mortgage Loan Officers Worry About Most? Not Your Credit Score

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As a nation, we obsess over credit scores. Once hidden in the computer terminals of banks, they’re now available for free to you via many providers on the internet. But in reality, getting a loan takes into account much more than just your credit score. And nowhere is that more clear than when you try to get a mortgage or refinance an existing one.

The process is usually murky, but a 2014 survey of loan officers by FICO sheds some light on what really matters.

The survey asked what factor would make a loan officer most hesitant to approve a mortgage, and the No. 1 answer took the lead by a wide margin:

  • High debt-to-income ratio 59%
  • Multiple recent applications 13%
  • Low FICO score 10%
  • Frequent job changes 9%
  • Lack of savings 8%

Clearly, your debt-to-income ratio is key.

Why is debt to income a bigger factor than your score?

It is crucial that a borrower be able to afford a loan. What you pay every month toward your house and other obligations compared to what you earn is the most important factor. A FICO score only tells whether you are a reliable payer, not whether you can afford a house.

The loan officer can look past a less-than-perfect FICO score if you’re buying a house you can truly afford. Being able to afford a house means keeping your debt-to-income ratio below 36% when counting all of your monthly debt obligations, including credit cards, car loans, student loans and housing expenses.

Officially, conforming loans can be secured with debt-to-income ratios as high as 45% or so, but that’s cutting it close, unless you have substantial savings or bonuses that don’t get counted in the income calculation. Ideally, you shouldn’t be going any higher than approximately 35%.

Think about it this way: If you’re pulling in $5,000 a month before taxes, a 45% debt-to-income ratio means you’re paying $2,250 a month servicing your mortgage and other debt. With a 35% tax rate, you’re left with just $1,000 in cash each month for other expenses.

Yes, you may get a tax benefit at the end of the year for deducting interest, if you itemize, but the reality is you’re pretty house poor in this situation, even if you have a perfect credit score.

At a 35% debt-to-income ratio, you’ll have $1,500 a month in cash for your other expenses. That’s 50% more left to spend than with a 45% ratio.

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Will a better score help at all?

Your credit score can definitely help when it comes to getting a better mortgage rate.

Here is a national sample of 30-year fixed mortgage rates on a $300,000 loan by FICO score as of May 29, 2019 (these numbers will change frequently, but this should give you a general idea of how your score might affect your rate):

  • 760- 850: 3.701% $1,381 / month
  • 700-759: 3.923% $1,419 / month
  • 680-699: 4.100% $1,450 / month
  • 660-679: 4.314% $1,487 / month
  • 640-659: 4.744% $1,564 / month
  • 620-639: 5.290% $1,664 / month

The difference between a marginally excellent credit score (700-759) and a truly excellent one (760+) is about $38 a month on a $400,000 mortgage. That’s around $494 a year, and $14,820 over the life of the mortgage.

Don’t take on new credit

One thing you should understand if you’re in the market for a mortgage is that you should be careful about applying for new credit.

Loan officers don’t want to see a lot of recent credit applications, and each one can temporarily ding your FICO score five or 10 points. So if you’re on the borderline of 760, 700 or 680, it’s best to avoid opening any new credit accounts for about six months before getting a mortgage. Otherwise a couple of cards could end up ultimately costing you in extra payments.

And if you have a borderline score, pay as much debt off as you can before applying.  This will help your debt-to-income ratio, and improve your score. Just make sure you do it at least one month before applying for the mortgage, as banks typically report data to the credit bureaus only once a month.

And don’t be afraid to shop around for your best mortgage rate; just make sure you do all your shopping in a short period of time for the smallest impact to your score. Multiple mortgage inquiries during one shopping period (typically 30 days or less) only count as one inquiry on your credit report.

Need help figuring out which lender to go with? LendingTree, MagnifyMoney’s parent company, has a handy mortgage shopping tool. You may be matched with lenders who want to lend to someone with your score and income. You can start the mortgage comparison process by visiting LendingTree’s website:

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Bottom line

you don’t need a perfect FICO score to qualify for a mortgage, or even to get a fair rate. But you do need to be looking for a home you can truly afford based on your income.

While you may qualify for a bigger, better house than you thought you would, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford your current lifestyle with that bigger payment.

By clicking “See Rates”, you will be directed to LendingTree. Based on your creditworthiness, you may be matched with up to five different lenders in our partner network.

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Balance Transfer, Pay Down My Debt

The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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Before you read on, click here to download our FREE guide to become debt free forever!

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Updated – March 20, 2019

Digging out of credit card debt can feel frustrating, intimidating and ultimately impossible. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be any of those things if you learn how to take control.

Paying down debt is not only about finding the right financial tools, but also the right psychological ones. You need to understand why you racked up credit card debt in the first place. Perhaps it was a medical emergency or a home repair that needed to be taken care of immediately. Maybe you’d already drained your emergency fund on one piece of bad luck when misfortune struck again. Or maybe you’re struggling with a compulsive shopping problem, so paying down debt will likely result in you accumulating more until the addiction is addressed.

You also need to understand what motivates you to succeed. Do you want to pay down your credit card debt in the absolute fastest amount of time possible that will save more money or do you want to take some little wins along the way to keep yourself motivated?

Here’s a couple strategies consider as you learn the best way to handle credit card debt — and pay it off quickly.

2 common credit card debt repayment strategies

These repayment strategies can help you pay off credit card debt quickly. Keep in mind, you can use these strategies even for non-credit-card debt:

  • Debt avalanche: Focus on paying off the credit card with the highest interest rate first. Then, work your way down. This strategy can save you money on interest and get you out of debt sooner.
  • Debt snowball: Pay off your smallest debts first. Doing so can motivate you to continue making payments as you climb out of debt.

You don’t necessarily need to pick the repayment strategy that gets you out of debt the fastest. After all, if your repayment strategy doesn’t keep you motivated, you may not stick to it.

Using a personal loan or balance transfer credit card

As you seek to repay your debt, you could consider a personal loan or balance transfer credit card with a lower interest rate than on your existing debt. Transferring your debt to one of these financial products could help you reduce long-term interest costs.

But you’ll first need to learn whether or not you’re eligible. Your credit score will play a big role in determining your eligibility for a personal loan or balance transfer card. Use our widget below to figure out if a personal loan or a balance transfer is the best option for you!

What’s the best option for me?

Please enter information below and we’ll provide the best option to consolidate your credit card debt!

If you have a credit score above 640, you have a good chance of qualifying for a personal loan at a much lower interest rate than your credit card debt. With new internet-only personal loan companies, you can shop for loans without hurting your score. In just a few minutes, with a simple online form, you can get matched with multiple lenders. People with excellent credit can see APRs below 10%. But even if your credit isn’t perfect, you might be able to find a good loan to fit your needs.

Not sure what your credit score is? Click here to learn how and where to find out. If you know your credit score needs some work but not sure of what can be done, click here.

If you have a score above 700, you could also qualify for 0% balance transfer offers. We will talk more about balance transfers below but this option is the best way to pay off credit card debt if you’re able to qualify for a 0% APR balance transfer credit card.

A credit score of less than 600 will make it difficult for you to qualify for either option. If you have a credit score less than 640, struggling to make monthly debt payments and would like to explore your options to reduce your debt by up to 50%, then please click our option below to customize a personal debt relief plan.

Custom Debt Relief Plan

Now let’s talk about the financial tools to add to your debt repayment strategy in order to dig out of the hole.

Let’s say you have $10,000 in credit card debt, and are stuck paying 18% interest on it.

You already know that putting as much spare cash as you can toward paying down your debt is the most important thing to do. But once you’ve done that, so what’s next?

Use your good credit to make banks compete and cut your rates

You could save $1,800 a year in interest and lower your monthly payments based on several of the rates available today. That means you could pay it off almost 20% faster.

Here’s how it works.

Option One: Use a Balance Transfer (or Multiple Balance Transfers)

If you trust yourself to open a new credit card but not spend on it, consider a balance transfer. You may be able to cut your rate with a long 0% intro APR. You need to have a good credit score, and you might not get approved for the full amount that you want to transfer.

Your own bank might not give you a lower rate (or only drop it by a few percent), but there are lots of competing banks that may want to steal the business and give you a better rate.

MagnifyMoney regularly surveys the market to find the best balance transfer credit cards. If you would like to see what other options exist, beyond Chase and Discover, you can start there.

promo-balancetransfer-halfIt also has tips to make sure you do a balance transfer safely. If you follow them you could save money on your debt by remaining disciplined.

You might be scared of a balance transfer, but there is no faster way to cut your interest payments than taking advantage of the best 0% or low interest deals banks are offering.

Thanks to recent laws, balance transfers aren’t as sneaky as they used to be, and friendlier for helping you cut your debt.

Sometimes the first bank you deal with won’t give you a big enough credit line to handle all your credit card debt. Maybe you’ll get a $5,000 credit line for a 0% deal, but have $10,000 in debt. That’s okay. In that case, apply for the next best balance transfer deal you see. MagnifyMoney’s list of deals makes it easy to sort them.

Banks are okay with you shopping around for more than one deal.

Option Two: Personal Loan

If you never want to see another credit card again, you should consider a personal loan. You can get prequalified at multiple lenders without hurting your credit score, and find the best deal to pay off your debt faster.

Personal loan interest rates are often about 10-20%, but can sometimes be as low as 5-6% if you have very good credit.

Moving from 18% interest on a credit card to 10% on a personal loan is a good deal for you. You’ll also get one set monthly payment, and pay off the whole thing in 3 to 5 years.

Sometimes this may mean a higher monthly payment than you’re used to, but you’re better off putting your cash toward a higher payment with a lower rate.

And you’ll get out of debt months or years faster by leaving more money to pay down the debt itself. If you want to shop for a personal loan, we recommend starting at LendingTree. With a single online form, dozens of lenders will compete for your business. Only a soft credit pull is completed, so your credit score will not be harmed. People with excellent scores can see low APRs (sometimes below 6%). And people with less than perfect scores still have a good chance of finding a lender to approve them.

APR

As low as 2.49%

Credit Req.

Minimum 500 FICO®

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24 to 60

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LendingTree is not a lender. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. Terms Apply. NMLS #1136.



As of 17-May-19, LendingTree Personal Loan consumers were seeing match rates as low as 2.49% (2.49% APR) on a $20,000 loan amount for a term of three (3) years. Rates and APRs were based on a self-identified credit score of 700 or higher, zero down payment, origination fees of $0 to $100 (depending on loan amount and term selected). Terms Apply. NMLS #1136

If you don’t want to shop at LendingTree, you can see our list of the best personal loans here.