Member Education

Build Killer Credit

Your credit score could be one of the most important numbers tied to your financial name. Whether you’re applying for a loan, buying a house, determining interest rates, or even job-searching, your credit score carries serious weight.

A credit score is a three-digit number ranging from 300 to 850 that helps lenders, landlords, or potential employers assess your credit risk. It’s generated by information in your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

A score above 700 generally will mean you’ll be granted credit at a good rate.

To build credit the right way, hold at least three open and active lines of credit—a mix of credit cards and fixed payment loans (like an auto loan or mortgage, for example). Use a credit card with some degree of frequency, as the activity creates the information for the credit report and subsequent score.

More ways to boost your credit:

* Pay bills on time. This can account for up to 35% of your credit score.  A great way to ensure timely payments is by using Badger Globe Credit Union's online Bill Payer.

* Keep a low credit utilization ratio. Don’t charge more than you can pay in full when the bill arrives, and don’t use more than 30% of your available credit.

* Don’t open a flurry of new accounts in a short time period. This can send a red flag to lenders that you are taking on new debt—and will temporarily lower your score.

* Don’t close existing credit. Even if you are not regularly using a credit card, do not close it. Closing cards can shorten your credit history and affect your credit utilization score—thus lowering your total credit score.

* Pay your fines. Whether it’s a parking ticket or a library fine, pay up. If debts are reported to a credit reporting agency, they can knock your credit score.

The professionals at Badger Globe Credit Union can help you understand your credit score and help you access a low-interest rate credit card to help you build credit. Stop by or call today for more information.