Having and Mantaining a Good Credit Score

Many years ago, my young bride and I went to rent an apartment.  The landlord told us, “You look like a nice young couple,” and that was all we needed to be in order to sign a lease and move in.  Today, renting an apartment is a little more complicated, and a credit score check is often part of the process.  Landlords know that a renter with a good credit score is more likely to pay their rent on time, than one with a lower score

When my son was young, I knew some day he’d be going to college and moving out and starting his own life.  So, as dutiful parents, we began planning for his future.  We did obvious things, like start a college savings account for him. But we did something else, too. We helped him establish a credit history, and taught him how to build a good credit score.

If you’re over thirty, or even over 25, you probably have a credit score, whether or realize it or not.  But what about young people just starting out in life.  Not too many teen agers are making monthly payments on credit cards or utilities.  But they can, and should be doing this in order to help establish a credit rating for themselves.

For example, when my son was a teenager, we put his cell phone in his name.  I paid the monthly bill, but cell phone companies report to the major credit bureaus, and that’s how a credit history is created.  Another thing a parent can do is to help a teen procure a credit card, say with a limit of $500.  In order for this to be actually in the teen’s name, you may have to secure the card by putting $500 in a savings account with the issuing bank.  Have the teen use the card for small personal purchases, and make sure at least the minimum payment is made every month.

When my son went to college and lived in an apartment community, again, we put the lease in his name, even though we paid his rent.  I co-signed on one vehicle he financed. After that, he was able to buy a car entirely with his own credit history.

So, the first goal is to establish credit.  You do this step by step.  If you can get a bank credit card, even with a small credit limit, and you use it and pay it off on time, the bank will start to raise your credit limit, and this is good for your credit score.

The exact method the big three credit reporting companies actually figure your credit score is not shared with the public, but some things are known.  The biggest one is just paying your bills on time.  But that’s not enough.  Having credit cards helps, but running your balance up to your credit limit seems to hurt your credit score.  Opening too many credit accounts also seems to hurt your score.  Even closing out a credit card can lower your score because it reduces the amount of potential credit you have.

While there is no quick fix to raising your credit score, doing these three things will help you over the long haul:

  1. Pay your bills on time
  2. Don’t keep your credit card balances too close to your credit limits
  3. Don’t apply for a lot of credit.  Every time you do, your credit score will drop a little.

 

Second Arrest Made in Apartment Break In

FW Police Car

A second man has been arrested in a string of apartment burglaries that started last fall.

Corey L. Harris, 21,  of the 1000 block of McKinnie Avenue, hasn’t been charged with committing the break ins, but rather with selling items taken during those crimes.

A second man, Devonte M. Hamlet, 20, of the 3500 block of Smith Street, was arrested a few weeks ago and charged with two break ins.

The arrests follow a period of several weeks where little or no crime has been reported at Fort Wayne area apartments.   Police urge residence to continue their vigilance.  If you see any suspicious activity, please report this immediately to the Fort Wayne Police.  If you notice any lights out in the parking lots or hallways, please report those right away to the Willow Creek Crossing management office.

Police are reportedly still looking for at least three others suspects related to the recent break ins.

 

This Valentine’s Day, Fall in Love with Your Apartment (Again)

apartment flowers

Valentine’s Day ushers in the season of love. How about rekindling some romance with your living space. Here are five ideas that can help you love your apartment.

1. invest in some house plants that can add color and fragrance to your apartment. They also add some responsibility to remember to water them, and to have someone look after them when you go on vacation. While not quite the same, artificial plant arrangements can also add warmth and color to your living space.

2. If you don’t want to add a real flower or plant, how about a painting or lithograph of one, or of anything else that you find stimulating or relaxing. Nice art work in your apartment can transform your apartment, Turn off your TV for awhile and just enjoy looking at the art on your walls. As you know, the artwork itself isn’t very expensive. It’s the frames that cost money. Visit thrift stores and garage sales to find low cost but interesting frames.

3. Again, if you don’t want to add plants and flowers, you can plug in a great scent. In fact today there are so many scents available, you can switch fragrances every week or so. Another good idea is the pay attention to the anti-scents, like that pile of laundry, the garbage or the cat box. A fresh clean fragrance can help you fall in love all over again with your living space.

4. Add lighting. Lighting can be decorative, of course, but it can also give your old place a completely new look. Bright lighting, especially during the darker winter times, can simply make your outlook on things brighter as well. Proper lighting has another design effect. If makes your rooms look larger. And who doesn’t love larger rooms?

5. Now that you’ve added the fragrance and beauty of fresh flowers, the color and look of fine art on your walls, and brightened up your life with more lighting, it’s time to sit back and enjoy your apartment. Valentines Day falls on a Monday this year, and hopefully, you’ll be out celebrating with your own Valentine. But the weekend before Valentines Day would be a great time to cocoon in your apartment, and read a good book. Anyone have any suggestion?

Living in 130 square feet of space

The view from your Paris apartment is one reason why the rents are so high and space is so small.

We Americans sometimes forget how good we have it.  Here at Willow Creek Crossing Apartments, our smallest floor plans offer 650 square feet of living space.  In Europe, living spaces are much smaller, and much more expensive as well.

Click here to see an interesting article about how designers turned a 130 square foot bedroom into its own apartment.   Click here to view our one bedroom 650 square foot unit, the Eastwind, a great one bedroom apartment that is also well designed to make the most of space.