By managing credit responsibly and not over-extending, you’re helping to establish good credit. But, did you know that good credit (and a strong credit score) enables you to qualify for lower interest rates on loans, saving you money? And that you’ll have a better chance at securing an apartment or obtaining a job?
Employers, landlords, retailers, and loan officers are just a few of the people in the public sector who are interested in how you handle your credit. It reflects your character and judgment. In fact, how you handle your money tells A LOT about you.
What’s In A Number?
Your credit score is more than a number. It can mean the difference between getting the best rate on a loan, an “okay” rate, and sometimes, getting the loan at all. Rate will impact your monthly payment and the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan. Its add ups with any type of loan, but especially with a car loan or mortgage; you’re two largest purchases.
Tips To Improve Your Credit Score
Verify Your Credit Report Information: Everyone is entitled to a FREE copy of their credit report annually. Request yours from www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Review the information to ensure that it’s accurate. If you see a mistake or potential fraud, be proactive and make corrections where needed. For a small fee, you can also ask for the calculation of your credit score. Knowing your score can help you to obtain better rates on loans.
Stay Balanced: Your credit history is comprised of timely payments, the amount of outstanding debt, length of history, recent applications, and the types of accounts you have. Keep your credit history balanced with a mixture of closed-end loans (like a car loan) and open-end loans (like a credit card).
Pay Your Bills ON TIME: This is the single most important thing you can do to keep your credit strong. Set up a consistent payment plan that works for you —electronically or manually—and follow it closely. Confirm due dates, time of day postings, and weekend and holiday policies for creditors. Be consistent and organized; you’ll reap the rewards. Take advantage of the online services to keep your payments timely.
Correct Errors: Visit www.FTC.gov for legal tips and steps to take to correct errors you may find on your report. You have rights, so use them whenever necessary.
Beware of Repair Scams: There are “companies” that will offer to repair your credit for a fee. Many promise a clean report or instant results. The truth is, anyone can repair their own credit for free. Take caution for deals that sound too good to be true.
If you need help reviewing your credit report, or have questions about establishing credit, contact us at 800-845-5025. At Connexus, we’ll take time to review your information and suggest ways to improve or build on your current history. Remember, we’re your financial partner, and your success means our success. We’ve even partnered with GreenPath to provide financial counseling to those who need it!
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