You hear a lot about your credit score. Is it good enough to get a car loan? A mortgage? Does checking your score make it go down? The commercials on tv make it sound like it’s hard to get a good credit score, and they make you worry that you’ll never own a car or a house! They also make it sound like the only way to build your credit score is to get a credit card. That’s not exactly true.
- Opening a secured credit card account may be the easiest way to build your credit if you pay it off every month, and always pay on time. A secured account requires a cash deposit to be used as collateral.
- Opening multiple credit card accounts, however, does not build your score faster. In fact, it can lower your score because creditors look at your credit report and if it looks like you have the potential to take on more debt than you can pay, they aren’t going to extend more credit to you.
- Paying your student loans on time can boost your credit score.
- Consistently pay your rent on time, and ask your landlord to report to the credit companies. You can do the same with your utility and phone companies. If they won’t report it directly to the credit companies, you can use websites and apps to track your payments.
- If your bank requires a co-signer for a loan, that’s okay. By making the loan payments on time, you’re building your credit.
- Become an authorized user on someone else’s credit or debit card. This can useful if the owner of the card has already established good credit.
- Lowering your existing debt can also build up your credit score.
There are many websites and apps that will let you check your credit report for free. Equifax, Experian and, TransUnion are the three main credit bureaus and may charge a fee for checking your score. It’s smart to look over your credit report at least once a year, and address any errors you might find.
Are you concerned about your credit score? Contact one of our personal bankers about checking your credit score, and what, if anything, needs to be done to make your financial goals a reality.
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