How to Take Control of Your Credit
Concerned your credit needs some work? Now is a fantastic time to take control of your credit and ensure the accuracy of your credit history. Here are a few things you can do to take back your credit.
Examine Your Credit Report Once a Year It's essential to conduct an annual examination of your credit report to check for inaccuracies. You can go to Annualcreditreport.com for your free credit report. There are three major credit reporting companies, so you can actually request a credit report once every four months if you only get a single report at a time.
Make sure any debt on your credit report belongs to you and see that any info that pertains to your debt is correct. If you spot incorrect info, notify the credit reporting company in writing about the inaccuracy. They must investigate your request and remove the erroneous info if it's found to be incorrect.
Monitor Your Credit Score Once you know your credit report contains accurate info, it's time to turn your attention to your credit score. Your credit score is the number lenders use when evaluating your creditworthiness. Not only do they use your credit score when deciding whether to approve your loan, but they use it when deciding what interest rate to offer you.
The main factors that impact your credit score are:
- Whether your debt payments are on time
- Your credit utilization ratio (how much of your revolving credit lines you've utilized)
- The age of the accounts in your credit history
- What kind of debt you have
- How many credit inquiries are on your credit report
Making all your debt payments on time is one of the easiest ways to boost your credit score. Another simple way to raise your score is to make sure your credit utilization ratio is 30 percent or less. For example, assume you have a credit card with a credit limit of $10,000. To optimize your score, keep the balance less than $3,000 ($10,000 multiplied by 0.3).
Consider Freezing Your Credit One way to minimize your risk of identity theft is to have a credit bureau freeze your credit. When you freeze your credit, you restrict creditor access to your credit report. This makes it harder for a thief to open an account in your name since creditors usually need to perform a credit check.
If you need to open a new account, you can usually have the credit freeze removed the same day if you make the request online or via telephone.
Review the Terms of Your Credit Cards See that the credit cards you're using are beneficial for your finances. Look for a credit card with a low interest rate and no annual fee. If possible, seek out a card with a cashback or point rewards program. Make sure your card helps you minimize your interest expenses and keeps more money in your bank account.
Open a Savings Account at CCCU
As you work to improve your credit score, opening a savings account can help you save money and become more disciplined with your finances. Contact CCCU at 702-228-2228 to learn how to become a member.