1 in 4 Americans have poor credit - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

1 in 4 Americans have poor credit

 By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

NORTH PALM BEACH, FL --Using credit cards to weather the recession has finally taken a toll on many of us.

FICO, the company that developed the credit score model, says 1 in 4 American consumers has a score off 599 or less, In other words poor credit.

Enabled by lax lenders in the past, car dealerships are now keeping a close eye on who walks in the door.

"If you have a low credit, it's tougher to buy a car than it ever was," SAYS Earl Stewart, owner of the North Palm Beach Toyota dealership.

Stewart says he has seen a growing and alarming number of customers coming in to shop for a new car and leave empty handed.

And those low scorers that do get a deal, get hammered.

"The guy with a 740 score can get 2.9% financing. People with low scores might pay as much as 16 or 17% and many of these subprime lenders may charge a fee," he said adding that those fees can be as high as $2,500 dollars extra tacked on to the price of the car.

Here are some tips to reduce that credit score:

Pay down your credit cards.

Use cards lightly: You typically can increase your scores by limiting your charges to 30% or less of a card's limit.

Get some goodwill: meaning if you've been a good customer, a lender might agree to simply erase that one late payment from your credit history.

Check your credit history, there could be errors that are lowering your credit score.

"Paying your debt on time and keeping that debt modest. Together those things count for 2/3 of your credit score," said Greg McBride with North Palm Beach-based Bankrate.com

Powered by Frankly

1100 Banyan Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.