Your credit score determines a lot more than the loans you can get or the interest rates you pay. Insurers use credit scores to set premiums for auto and homeowner’s coverage. Landlords use them to determine the best renters for their apartments. Credit scores can also determine who gets a better cell phone plan or who may pay a larger deposit for utilities. Understanding the power of your credit and working to continually build it are key steps to a strong financial future.
First Commerce is committed to helping you achieve your financial goals. Consider these factors for improving or maintaining your credit health.
Understand your credit score. Your credit score helps lenders decide how likely you are to repay your debts and it plays a significant role when securing any type of loan. Credit Scores are based on five categories:
- Payment History and your ability to repay debts on time.
- Credit Usage and the total amount of debt you owe.
- Length of Credit and how you have managed it.
- New Credit and how often you take on new debt.
- Credit mix and the types of credit you use.
Review your credit report at least once a year. Lenders rely on a credit report to determine your creditworthiness and the likelihood you will repay your loan. Federal law allows you to request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus once a year. As another helpful resource, First Commerce offers a comprehensive Credit Score program called SavvyMoney, that empowers members to understand and manage their credit score over time. <Bold and link “Credit Score program called SavvyMoney” to https://www.firstcommercecu.org/creditscore>
- Commit to build or maintain good credit. Building good credit can take time. Here are a few simple examples that can help strengthen your credit.
- Pay bills on time. Late payments can stay on your credit report for up to 7 ½ years.
- Avoid maximizing credit limits.
- Allow credit accounts to age over time. This shows lenders you have more experience using credit.
- Dispute credit report errors. Ask credit bureaus to remove wrong information that can negatively impact your credit report.
For more smart money management tips, visit First Commerce’s free online courses available on the FCCU Foundation web site at FCCUFoundation.org.
Insured by NCUA. First Commerce does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. The information on this page is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your tax, legal or accounting advisors for further guidance.