Tips to Improve Your Credit Score
When you apply for a car loan, mortgage, or any other financing, the loan officer tells you that they must pull your credit score. But really – what does that mean? And how is it figured? Let us explain a bit more about credit scoring and how it affects your ability to receive credit in today’s market.
There are three consumer bureaus that collect and analyze credit information on consumers: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. The three agencies compile information on your open, closed and cancelled accounts. They also use public record to figure your credit score, including judgments, liens, and other public record items. Your score is considered a FICO® score. Each reporting agency may have a different name for the score. Scores vary from a range of 300-850. Typically the higher the score, the more likely you are to get the loan or financing request approved. Each lending institution has different cutoff scores.
Here are nine tips from FICO® to improve your credit score:
- Pay your bills on time.
- If you have missed payments, get current and stay current.
- Be aware that paying off a collection account, or closing an account on which you previously missed a payment, will not remove it from your credit report.
- If you are having trouble making ends meet, contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit counselor.
- Keep balances low on credit cards and other revolving credit.
- Pay off debt rather than moving it around.
- Don’t close unused credit cards as a short-term strategy to raise your score.
- Don’t open a number of new credit cards that you don’t need, just to increase your available credit.
- Avoid credit repair agencies that charge a fee to improve your score.
Are you now curious about your credit? Visit www.annualcreditreport.com for your free report today! To receive a free “Understanding Your FICO Score” guide, contact Farm Credit at 888.339.3334 or go to mafc.com.