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Credit Score Showdown: J$ vs The Wife

by J. Money on Monday, March 21, 2011

credit score showdown
I got a funny little call the other night. The Mrs. had received a package from Chase Bank a few days ago, and when she opened it on up she was surprised to learn that a) someone had ordered her credit score for her, and b) it was quite the large number!

That person who had ordered it, unbeknownst to him (even though he probably just forgot and/or didn’t realize what he was doing in the first place) was me.  I had received a phone call from Chase where our 1st mortgage currently is, and they were interested in helping us refinance and lock in a lower rate before taking my business elsewhere.  Presumably (and correctly) USAA – who now happens to be on my list to call in case this Obama stuff checks out ;)  But that’s not the fun part here…

The FUN part is that my dear wife called to gloat inform me of her new shiny number – that of the awesomely high 778.  And as any good husband would do, I naturally applauded her for her supreme financial know-how. (I mean come on – that’s sexy, right?!)

And then I hear this:  “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe that’s higher than yours, right honey?” *Gasp!*  “Is that a challenge I hear from you, my dear lady?” I quickly shot back. “No no, Mr. BudgetsAreSexy.  Not a challenge, just an observation ;)”  (she didn’t actually SAY a smile there, but you could tell she was bursting with enjoyment after every other word left her mouth).

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  The wife was actually doubting the honorable J$! You don’t get away with that unless you’re incredibly beautiful and/or my mother ;)  And of course, even then I couldn’t leave it alone – now I just HAD to know what mine was! It’s true the Mrs. beat me 4 years ago when accidentally buying our 1st house, but times have changed a lot since then, and I was pretty confident my recent years of rockin’ it out have done some good.

So as soon as I got back from SXSW, I rummaged through the piles of mail until I finally came across that fateful envelope.  The one that would either prove my innocence, or force me to clean the entire house by myself this week — my punishment if I lost our bet ;)  So I tore that bad boy open, whistled for the woman to come downstairs, and read that sentence loud and proud:

“Your credit score is…. 791″ I won, I won!!!!!  Wooooooo!!!! Haha…

So there you have it.  J$ is back on top again :)  All that debt paying, on-time billing, smarty financial decisions is still pushing my boat forward.  And without a doubt my trusty wife is right up there with me – doing her thang just as well! There’s really no losers in this deal.

If you haven’t checked on your credit score lately, go out and learn what it is! And then drop it like it’s hot here in the comments.   I KNOW some of y’all gots both of us beat.  I wanna see one in the 800′s :)  Any of you already know yours?  Let ‘er shine!

————
PS: An easy way to do this is to first run your credit *report* (the most trustworthy one is Annual Credit Report, and you can run it FREE once a year (real free, not “spammy free”)), and then pay the $6 or $10 or whatever it is to then get your score use Credit Sesame to get your free *score*! That way you get the COMPLETE snapshot of your credit history, and can make sure there’s no nonsense on your actual report once you skim through it.

PPS: I literally JUST did mine right now (took me less than 5 minutes) and now I’m set for the year :)  And saved me the few bucks on the *score* since Chase just did it for me – W00T! Now go get your score!  Curious minds want to know…

PPPS: Discover credit card has run my score a total of FOURTEEN (14) times this year to try and get my business… (every wonder how you get pre-approved randomly?) WOW. Damn good thing those checks aren’t held against you!


{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauryn March 21, 2011 at 7:12 am

Wow congratulations,

I have no idea where my credit score is. I haven’t checked it in about 2 years. I’ll need to check mine and the spouse’s and see what’s going on. 778 and 791, wow that is totally awesome! Congrats!

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2 Bobby March 21, 2011 at 7:20 am

I checked mine last summer, 807.

First time I had ever checked and I knew my score would be pretty high but I never thought it would be that high. My only drawbacks on the report were lack of history and a recent inquiry (probably my apartment).

But that’s what happens when you have no debt.

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3 Brandon March 21, 2011 at 7:45 am

I check my credit reports for free every year and always encourage my friends to do the same just to make sure everything is on the up and up. Until I plan to take out any long term loans (basically just a house as I’d likely pay cash even for a car, when that time comes), I don’t see the need to pay to get my credit score. I did check it years ago before my debt troubles and it was a respectable 730 at that point.

And yes, it is a good thing those credit checks by companies looking to pre-approve you aren’t counted against you…I’ve had over 20 since January from various companies, but I suppose that’s nothing compared to 14 from just Discover. :o)

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4 Kim March 21, 2011 at 8:48 am

This is hilarious, J$. My hubby and I both have credit scores in the 700s, but it was September when we last ran them and the information is filed away. I believe his is a tad higher than mine, which made me defensive at the time, but I’ll get him. I’ll get him really soon.

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5 T$ March 21, 2011 at 9:01 am

After a lil hard work and paying bills off, as of last qtr, this is what my Scores are:
Experian 778
Equifax 775
TransUnion 828

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6 Mercedes March 21, 2011 at 9:12 am

First, I have to say congratulations, but second, I have to also say is that those aren’t necessarily your true scores. If you only got it from one of the three credit report agencies. I was looking through old loan paperwork from when I was buying my house and I was pretty pleased with my first two scores (both were over 730) and then I looked at my third score and it was under 700!

Odd to me that there would be such a big difference between the three, but I guess they all do their math a little different.

I always check my report every year, but never pay for the score. (I just want to know there isn’t any false information being reported, the number doesn’t mean much to me right now) but I’d hope it’s more than 730 by now!

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7 Karmella March 21, 2011 at 9:17 am

804 baby!! I am disappointed though – I want higher, but I don’t know what I could be doing better!!

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8 Jhenny March 21, 2011 at 9:25 am

I am at 757, and proud of it. This score is a recovery from a 400 range score 10 years ago when I was divorcing and investigating a possible bankruptcy. It also includes a judgment that has been settled, and should come off my report totally before the end of 2011, that should boost a few more points :o)

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9 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com March 21, 2011 at 9:29 am

I’m kinda pissed off about my score. I’m at about 706 and I don’t understand why. I’ve only ever been late on payments when I traded in a car and the dealer I traded it to didn’t pay off my trade in for about 90 days. That was stupid, but it was 3 years ago. Everything else I have looks great as far as I know. I think the other thing hurting me is I’m 25 and don’t have long histories of credit (even though my average is about 5 years, which I think is pretty long). Could two late payments three years ago really drag me down 100 points?

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10 Trinnie March 21, 2011 at 9:46 am

800 right on the money, baby! I think the husband’s is at like 815 (but I’m not tell him, let him think that momma who works for the best financial company EVER has it better!)…

It took me A LONG TIME to build it up to that score. Thank god for buying a house and paying my bills on time each month!

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11 Diane March 21, 2011 at 10:07 am

Last time anyone checked mine it was over 800, and that was when I refinanced. The last time before this that I had checked it was 7 years ago when I bought my house.I will not ever check it again most likely, or at least not for a very long time.

Most ways of checking it require you to pay for that service, which I would never do. Additionally I have a credit freeze on my account at all the three major credit scoring/tracking agencies and I’m not paying to lift it just so I can satisfy my curiosity.

I think worrying about credit score is foolish. If you are responsible with your finances, chances are it’s good. If you are not, chances are it is not. Modify the core behavior and over time it will improve.

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12 Allison March 21, 2011 at 10:18 am

829

Unfortunately I have no idea why or what I did to get it there. I really need to pay more attention to my finances.

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13 Paula @ AffordAnything.org March 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

My boyfriend has a whopping 803 credit score. The banker who discovered his score literally told him that he had never seen one so high. Mine is …. well … definitely not in the 800′s. Yet.

His score came from an old-fashioned combination of:
1) buying a house 10 years ago and making consistent payments on it
2) using less than 20% of his available credit on his credit cards (even though he pays the bill in full each month)
3) Um …. that’s it. He never had student loans or car loans. He has no other credit history besides those two things.

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14 Jon the Saver March 21, 2011 at 11:39 am

Ah crap! Mine is 740 and I’m pissed! Must be all the credit cards I open and close. it’s a bad sign when you get denied for a new credit card… I guess all the free miles and hotel stays will be put on pause for a while… sad day in Jon’s life haha.

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15 J. Money March 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm

@Lauryn – Thanks! Yeah, def. check it out and then let us know :)
@Bobby – Damn, son! That is GREAT. Wow. Good for you :)
@Brandon – It’s amazing how many companies dig around for your score just so they can pitch you. So much work goes into it all just for us to skim and tear apart in .2 seconds, haha… guess the odds are good though or else they wouldn’t keep going at it.
@Kim – Haha, you get ‘em girl, and get ‘em good ;)
@T$ – Lookin’ smooth, sir T$!
@Mercedes – Yeah, true – pulling it from all 3 places ain’t a bad idea to get a more accurate estimation down (haha “accurate estimation”), but I’m pretty happy w/ just the 1. It gives me somewhat of a good idea of things.
@Karmella – At least you broke the barrier! That is hot hot hot :) Would be cool if a super expert said “do this, this and this – and you will have 850″ haha… nice and easy.
@Jhenny – Wow, almost doubled!! CONGRATS!
@Kevin @ Thousandaire.com – Interesting… I don’t *think* so, but ya never know. Do you have a lot of credit OPEN that you’re not using? That really helped me out. I had a credit card at $5k max and I called and upped it to $30k :) So my debt to credit ratio was wayyyyy low. Did that on another card right after and my score has def. gone up since then…. prob. due to a mixture of things, but from what I’ve heard/read it helps. As long as you don’t go and SPEND all that money then! Which I know YOU wouldn’t do, but others might. Your age prob has stuff to do with it too, but luckily every year you’ll get older ;)
@Trinnie – Hahaha… I’m officially more impressed by you now, Trinnie :)
@Diane – “Modify the core behavior and over time it will improve.” – Yes! Love that.
@Allison – Well damn girl, you are doing something right!! Well done :)
@Jon the Saver – Haha… are you a credit card whore, sir?

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16 Jeremy Streich March 21, 2011 at 12:08 pm

When we bought our house a couple years ago, I was proud I had gotten rid of my score for two of the three agencies. Now, because of the mortgage, I’m sure I have scores again. I can’t wait till I see that nice message “Not enough information to provide a score” once again; but that will be seven years after we pay off the house. Ah, a perfect zero credit score, how I miss you.

I don’t get the FICO worship, all it means is that borrow a bunch of money and pay it back, and it’s only useful if you plan to borrow money again in the future; which I don’t. I still do my credit report to check to see if anyone has stolen my Identity.

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17 Dan March 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm

It’s over 9000!!!

(Sorry, just had to…)

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18 Jon the Saver March 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

@ J Money- indeed I am… haven’t paid for airline miles or hotels in a looooong time. Chase just sent me a letter that states “sir, you have too many credit cards open with us, we will not be able to give you the Continental CC.”

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19 retirebyforty March 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm

791 is really good. I’m impressed. :)
I think mine in in the 760s range. I guess it’s time to check again.

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20 Ruth March 21, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I was actually curious what my score was after reading this post. Last time I checked was last year and it was sitting at around 623. I checked Equifax today and it sits at 810…I know, WTF? (that was my exact reaction).

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21 Lori March 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm

In August mine was 824

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22 Michelle March 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I totally lose this competition – 660! (near foreclosure in 2008 = LOTS of 30, 60, 90, 120 lates in the 2007-08 timeframe)

but next time you’re at SXSW, you MUST stay for the music portion. I’ll show ya around all the fun+free stuff that makes frugality sexy down here!

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23 Debbie Beardsley March 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Funny you brought his up but I just found out that my credit score (820) is higher than my husbands (815)! He was not really thrilled that his was different than mine but its all good!

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24 Brianna March 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Holy cow–I usually get my free credit report each year, but your post motivated me to look at my credit score. TransUnion’s credit report software is also offering a 7-day free trial, so I didn’t have to think twice about looking into!

Are you ready for this?? 838!!!!!!!! I never imagined it would get that high! Thanks for the motivation J.! This made my day. :)

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25 Ryan March 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm

I have to admit, I’ve never heard of a credit score competition before, haha. So, what was the wife’s punishment? ;-)

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26 L.G. March 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Equifax credit report is 803 on a scale of 150-930
Experian credit report is 759 on a scale of 150-930
TransUnion credit report is 816 on a scale of 150-930
Which is an average of 793.. Although 4 months ago TransUnion had me at like 683.. idk what I did to change their minds so much..

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27 J. Money March 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm

@Jeremy Streich – Haha, I can imagine! I don’t think I’ve ever had “not enough history” before, beside when I was a wee lad. Even if I never need any again for the rest of my life, there’s something soothing about knowing you have a high score – at least for me. Not that I really focus on it all too much, but when it comes up I get excited. Like a nerd.
@Dan – Wow that’s large! (twss)
@Jon the Saver – Thataboy. I use my credit card for everything I possibly can too – gotta get those points when they’re free!
@retirebyforty – I think mine was in the 750′s the last time I checked – maybe yours will go up nicely too :)
@Ruth – Dang, girl! Print it out and throw it on ya fridge! :)
@Lori – WOW. you all are rockin’ it, man! Jeesh… way to kill it.
@Michelle – Okay! I really want to next year, that would be fun :) Caught some bands the very last night I was there, and it was pretty sad to leave it all the next morning… don’t be surprised if you have an email from me in one year.
@Debbie Beardsley – All is good is right! Seriously, how are y’all getting it that high? That is impressive. Well done to the both of ya :)
@Brianna – !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
@Ryan – You know, I wasn’t smart enough to come up with one. I guess we just assumed she’d beat me again! Haha…If you have any ideas though, I’d be more than happy to run them by her ;)
@L.G. – You got awesome’er, apparently :)

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28 LaTisha @FSYAonline March 22, 2011 at 12:17 am

Wow, I won’t even share my score lol. It’s definitely not beating 791. I wanted to add that you can also check your score for free at CreditKarma DOT com. It’s filled with offers to help you ‘improve’ your rates, and I’m guessing that’s the way they make their money. But there’s nothing spammy about the site. No pop ups, email blasts, or blatant advertising. I use that inbetween my annualcreditreport check ups.

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29 J. Money March 22, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Oh cool, thx LaTisha :) I’ve def. heard of them before, just never used personally. Glad they’re legit.

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30 Ryan March 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm

704 according to Credit Karma! While not amazing, I think it’s awesome since I’m only (barely) 19.

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31 J. Money March 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Oh, HECK yeah man! This is great for a teenager. Keep that up!

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32 Michelle March 22, 2011 at 8:56 pm

you are totally invited, J.Money – for full disclosure, I’m a transplant who FLED the horrors of No.Va suburban living – Manassas – for Austin 10 years ago…haven’t looked back since. Oh, and I’m old -37…but my husband and I definitely showed my 25ish houseguests (my baby bro’s best friends) a great time – how it’s done really – last week. :)

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33 J. Money March 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Hah! Coming right over, then! :)

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34 michelle March 24, 2011 at 10:53 am

i checked in on mine yesterday using creditkarma.com (LOVE them), and it took a huge dip. i knew a dip was coming cause i had to have my card replaced last week. i just wasn’t expecting as big a dip as it was. here’s to hoping i’m back up next month :)

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35 J. Money March 24, 2011 at 11:56 am

Really? Getting it replaced did that to you? Did you get an entirely new one, or was the same just different expiration dates?

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36 Jessie March 24, 2011 at 12:26 pm

809! 809! 809!

Sorry for the yelling, but I’m just so excited to share that number with someone! While I have been pretty dilligent the last few years about requesting my credit report and checking for errors, I’d never actually laid out the cash to get The Number…I figured it could wait until someday when I’m in the market for a mortgage or whatever. I’m still not ready to buy, but I’m moving soon and the new landlord checked my credit score during the application process. I was absolutely delighted to see that pretty number on the paper. It happened at a great time, too, because lately I feel like I’ve been suffering from frugality fatigue. All the saving and avoiding extra expenses and making dinner at home instead of going out was starting to feel a little stale, but finding out my score reminded me that it’s totally worth it.

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37 JennyDee March 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I refied my house in December (closed in Feb) and was SHOCKED that my credit score was…779! I guess all that revolving credit I can’t quite get rid of has paid off :/

Down to one credit card, but sadly, must now get a new car as mine is dying :(

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38 J. Money March 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm

@Jessie – Hot damn, congrats!!! It is all worth it indeed, my friend :) Way to make me jealous, haha… keep it up!
@JennyDee – Yeah, I hear ya on getting a new car — mine’s about to go too at any time and just dreading the idea of getting back out there and finding one I like again (which also fits the budget). Hope you get a great deal out there! Maybe your dream car will somehow magically appear at a low price ;)

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