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Tag Archives: career advice

The Top 5 Factors That Affect FICO Scores

Credit information form

One way for planners to help clients access credit at lower interest rates is to teach them how to manage their FICO scores. This score can range from 330 to 850. The higher the score, the better. To get the best interest rates, clients should try to keep their FICO scores at 760 or higher. The score value is based on information from credit reports. Understanding how this information affects the score can provide an opportunity for planners to help clients make the right decisions to increase their FICO scores.

 

Payment History, Amount Owed and Length of Credit History

 

Payment history is the largest factor in the score. Planners should make sure clients understand the importance of making payments on time. When students enter college, they will typically apply for their first credit card. Students should do so with the understanding that failing to make timely payments can impact their ability to qualify for other types of credit like auto and home loans. This impact can continue well into the future.

 

The second major factor affecting the FICO score is the amount that’s owed. It’s an assessment of whether or not a borrower might already be overextended on credit. Being overextended means the borrower may have borrowed so much that he or she is unable to make the payments required on this amount of debt. Utilization affects the score positively if credit cards are used periodically and paid on time, but there is no effect on the score if someone has a credit card available but never uses it.

 

The longer the credit history, the better the score. In the example of the college student getting his first credit card and making timely payments, he’s also increasing his credit score for buying a home in the future by having a longer credit history from the credit card account.

 

Types of Credit and New Credit

 

Ten percent of the FICO score comes from looking at the types of credit that are used. These types include credit cards, retail cards, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgage loans. Having a credit card and using it responsibly provides a higher score than not having any credit cards at all.

 

The final category that affects the FICO score is new credit. Opening several accounts in a short period of time can indicate a higher credit risk and will lower the score.

 

Checking a Credit Score

 

When a consumer checks his or her own credit score, there is no impact on the score, and it is recommended that clients check credit reports on a regular basis to identify and correct any errors and to ensure that there has not been an identity theft situation. Every individual is entitled to one free copy of the credit report from each of the three credit bureaus each year. A good practice to monitor activity throughout the year by requesting a report from a different company every four months.

THINK LIKE A PLANNER (sm) for CFP (R) Exam Success

Student preparing for the exams

When you use the Keir CFP® Certification Examination Review materials, you will be trained not only for the CFP®  Board exam, but for your career.  The CFP® Board exam is designed to test whether you are ready to use the financial planning process and to think through the issues like a financial planner.  You must learn to THINK LIKE A PLANNERSM.  The Keir Educational Resources materials teach you to use the technical knowledge you have learned and to solve financial planning issues in the organized manner of the financial planning process.

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CFP® THINK LIKE A PLANNER(sm) Talking points

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The THINK LIKE A PLANNERSM Method is a unique study plan developed by Keir Educational Resources to prepare students for the array of questions that can appear on the CFP® exam. This approach does not just prepare students for exam questions that have appeared in the past but gives students the thought processes that will allow them to succeed as the exam changes and new questions appear.  The CFP® exam is constantly changing, so it is important for students to learn the method that will prepare them for the many transformations of questions and the multifarious reincarnations of concepts. The exam preparation of the THINK LIKE A PLANNERSM Method will make students ready for whatever may come their way on the test.

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The 5 Things Successful Financial Advisors Take Very Seriously

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Financial planning professionals who are great at what they do enjoy their work. The most successful financial advisors understand that enjoyment does not exclude taking things seriously.

 

When pundits tell students to follow their passion, they often gloss over a very important component of what passion truly means. True passion for work comes from mastery. And the only way to get really good at something is to work hard and focus.

 

So if you’re working towards a future in this field, it’s definitely smart to learn as much as possible from trained financial advisors who are already successful. With that goal in mind, let’s look at the five things excellent planners take very seriously:

 

1. Character: An advisor who’s committed to long-term success is always going to do what’s best for their clients instead of being influenced by things like a quick payday.

 

2. Collaboration: It’s easy to romanticize the idea of the lone wolf professional. But great advisors know that’s not the best way to work. That’s why they look for opportunities to collaborate and create a positive outcome for everyone involved.

 

3. Commitment: Successful advisors honor their commitments to others. They also make a conscious commitment to putting in the work that’s necessary to find lasting success in this field.

 

4. Consequences: Stellar financial advisors don’t blame anything that goes wrong on other people or the market. Instead, they think through scenarios with the realization that they’re responsible in the event something goes wrong.

 

5. Control: Successful financial advisors who do well understand that they’re in control of things like their daily activities, and not in control of other elements like their clients’ attitudes.

 

How Can Future Financial Advisors Get This Type of Experience?

 

After passion and mastery, the most important requirement for a financial planner is getting the right kind of experience. One of the biggest challenges for upcoming financial advisors is gaining experience from exposure to the situations professional advisors deal with on a daily basis. Although it’s obviously important to pass the CFP®Certification Exam, this exam isn’t simply about regurgitating knowledge. Instead, students who want to put themselves in the best position for future success should use this exam as an opportunity to develop the critical thinking skills of an advisor.

 

With Keir’s THINK LIKE A PLANNERSM study program, students preparing for the CFP® Certification Exam will learn the thought process needed to ace the exam and thrive in the world of certified financial planners. Keir’s THINK LIKE A PLANNERSM Method goes beyond simply comprehension and incorporates analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of information. For any student who wants highly relevant experience for what a future job will demand, our proven method of study is the way to go.