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Credit tips for retirees and empty nesters

Don't linger in the 'no-score' zone
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Don't linger in the 'no-score' zone

You apply for a loan and find out you don't have a score. Now what?

Not to worry, says Paperno. The answer could be as easy as buying a pair of socks.

First, get a copy of your credit report, he says. " If you have something like an old retail card or gas card, use it," he says. "That will generate a score."

All of your old accounts are still on the report; there just isn't any recent activity, so the scoring formula can't generate a score.

Years ago, he counseled a man in just that situation who was trying to get a mortgage. Paperno remembers the man saying, "I've bought and sold homes, put my kids through college and bought and sold cars -- and I have no credit score?"

Paperno's solution: Grab an old retail credit card that's still active and buy a pair of socks. That small credit purchase would allow the FICO formula to generate a score.

From a practical standpoint, the scoring system doesn't always make sense, Paperno says. Buying a pair of socks to get a house, he says, "is kind of goofy when you think about it."




Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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