How to Boost Your Credit Score

HOW TO BOOST YOUR CREDIT SCORE

 

Your credit score is one of the most impactful numbers of your life, but what is it? And how can you improve it?

Your credit score represents your reputation as a borrower. Your three-digit score, or FICO score, is calculated from your credit report and ranges from 300 to 850. This number simplifies all the complex and detailed information in your credit report into a simple three-digit number. In general, 680-850 is considered good credit, 600-679 is fair credit, and 599 or below is considered poor credit. This number can affect everything from your ability to borrow money, loan interest rate, car insurance rate, getting a cellphone or even getting a job!

So how do they come up with this number? It’s not as complicated as you think. You credit score is broken down like this:

35%     Payment History - how often you pay on time

30%     Amounts Owed - the % of your credit card limit that you are currently using.

15%     Length of Credit History-how long you have had credit in your name

10%     Credit Mix - what types of credit you have: auto loans, student loans, mortgage, credit cards, etc.

10%     New Credit - how often your credit has been checked in the last 12-18 months

 

If your credit score is not where you would like it to be, how do you raise it? There are a few simple steps you can take,

  • Pay on time, every time! A single late payment can drop your score by 30 points or more and will stay on your credit report for up to seven years!
  • Keep your credit card balances below 30% of your limit. If you go over, this can substantially reduce your credit score.
  • Keep old accounts open! This helps your score in two ways; you will have a longer credit history and you will also have more credit available to you, which can help your available credit.
  • Have different types of credit. Do you only have an auto loan? Think about adding a credit card too, just use it wisely!
  • Do not apply for lots of credit at once. Try to wait at least 6 months between opening a new account or applying for a new loan.
  • Check your credit report for signs of identity theft or errors. You get one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year that will NOT affect your credit score. Visit annualcreditreport.com to request yours today.

By following these tips, you will be well on your way to a good credit score. Be patient, it takes a while to build up a good credit reputation!

As a reminder, you can monitor your credit score for free by logging into Online or Mobile Banking.