A credit score is mainly based on your history of managing debts, such as whether you tend to make payments on time. It plays a significant role in your everyday life because the next time you apply for a loan or a credit card—or perhaps a new apartment or insurance—your score could affect the final decision, including your costs.
For the many consumers with damaged credit scores and those with no credit record, here are some ways to improve your credit scores from the FDIC:
Consult with a reputable credit counseling service
to help develop a customized plan to improve your credit score, which can help you prioritize your spending choices. Counseling services are available to help consumers budget money, pay bills and develop a plan to improve their credit histories.
Bear in mind, however, that not all counselors are looking out for the consumer's best interests. Be cautious of counseling services that advise you to stop making payments to your creditors or to make your payments to the counselors instead. These programs can be costly, may result in your credit score becoming even worse, and they could be scams. For suggestions on finding a reputable counseling service, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website at FTC.gov.
Understand what information is most likely to influence your credit score.
In general, the most significant factor affecting your score is whether you repay debts on time, and how much you currently owe on each account compared to its original loan amount or credit limit.
Additional factors include how long you have had your current loans and credit cards, and the types of credit accounts you have.
To obtain and review a free copy of your credit report, visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com or call toll-free 1-877-322-8228.
Published with permission from RISMedia.