What Does Your Credit Score Say about You?
Whether you are looking to buy a car, refinance a mortgage or rent an apartment for the first time, your credit score can tell a lot about your financial history.
Your FICO® score is a number formulated based on your credit history. It helps lenders evaluate your credit risk. Several factors go into your score, including payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history and types of credit used.
What’s a Good Credit Score?
Your FICO score is rated on a scale of 300-850. You want a high score, because a good credit rating can help you obtain better rates on all of the major purchases that life brings, including a car, home and credit cards.
To improve your credit score, follow these tips:
- Keep current on all your payments. This is the biggest thing you can do to boost your credit score. Be sure to pay your bills on time each and every month.
- Avoid closing old accounts. It diminishes your total credit available and can raise your credit utilization ratio.
- Don’t open new accounts. This can look like you plan to borrow a lot of money, which could stretch your finances too thin.
- Settle all fines and tickets. An outstanding library fine or parking ticket can reduce your score if a collection agency gets involved
- Check your credit report for errors. Your credit score is based on the information included in your credit report, so it pays to review it for inaccuracies. Federal law entitles you to a free copy of your report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus. Your credit score is also available for an additional charge. Simply go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.
For more information on how Navigator Credit Union can help you with your financial needs, call 228-475-7300 or visit www.navigatorcu.org for more information.
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Cut Your Credit Card Interest Rates and Payments
Many Americans are paying hundreds of dollars in interest each year – needlessly! By consolidating credit card balances, loans and lines of credit, you can pay down debt faster with one easy monthly payment – often at a lower interest rate. Two options are:
- Transferring balances to a low-rate card or loan. If you transfer from a high-interest rate credit card to a card with a low fixed rate or a low-rate personal loan, you’ll reduce the amount you pay in interest charges.
- Getting a home equity loan. A home equity loan may offer a lower rate than a credit card and may allow you to deduct the interest you pay.
For more information, contact a Financial Service Representative today at Navigator Credit Union. We can help you find the best solution for consolidating your cards and loans.