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Are you a 710 or a 540? Your credit score has a crucial impact on your ability to be approved for loans and the interest rate you’re eligible for. Here are BCL’s top 10 ways to improve your score and increase your financial fitness:
10. Know your score
Whether you’re improving your mile time or trying to lose 20 pounds, every goal has a starting point; know yours.
9. Don’t pay!
There are many places that allow you to access your credit score and report at no charge. You can use apps such as Credit Karma to track your score for free, or request your free credit report from each of the major bureaus each year at the government-powered annualcreditreport.com.
8. Tap into the power of 3
Did you know that you have three different credit scores? Make sure to check your report from all three of the major U.S. credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
7. Verify information
Checking your score is the first step, but you should also request a full copy of your report so you can verify that there is no incorrect information in regards to accounts, payment history, and debts.
6. Learn the credit factors
Your score is influenced by several factors: credit card use, length of credit history, credit inquiries, on-time payment history, total number of accounts, and derogatory remarks (such as bankruptcies and foreclosures).
5. Don’t miss payments
This goes without saying, but did you know that a payment made more than 30 days late will stay on your report for 7 years?
4. Pay down debts
The quickest way to impact your score is to improve your debt percentage by paying down outstanding balances. It’s generally recommended to start with the highest-interest debts first.
3. Use credit inquiries sparingly
Having more than one to two inquiries on your report can begin to negatively affect your score, so only apply for those loans or cards you really want to open. Credit inquiries generally stay on your report for about two years.
2. Know the 30-day rule
In most cases, credit inquires made within 30 days of each other are only counted as one inquiry. This allows consumers to shop around for the best rate for home and auto loans.
1. Schedule a free appointment with a BCL financial counselor!
BCL has trained experts ready to help you achieve your financial and credit goals. Visit our website to schedule your free appointment today.