By: Jocelyn Wood | Category: Financial Services | Issue: September 2017
Your FICO® Score is calculated based on five factors: • 35 percent: Payment history • 30 percent: Amounts owed on credit and debt • 15 percent: Length of credit history • 10 percent: New credit • 10 percent: Types of credit used
Do you know your credit score? A good score matters if you want to qualify for lower loan interest rates. It may also improve your chances for lower fees on insurance premiums, like home and auto for example.
Your credit report tracks how well you manage debt, which is then reflected in your credit score. FICO® Scores are used in 90 percent of credit decisions, according to Experian, a nationwide consumer credit reporting agency.
Lenders use your FICO® Score as one tool to gauge the risk of lending you money. A high FICO Score may qualify you for better interest rates.
I asked Lender Jake Dwyer, AVP at RCB Bank, what is the easiest way to maintain a good financial footprint?
“The biggest influence on your credit score is payment history,” Dwyer said. “A record of ongoing, on-time payments will help your credit. Basically, pay your bills on time and keep your credit card balances low.”
“Lenders want to know you can afford to make your monthly payments,” Dwyer said. “Owing too much debt, carrying high balances on your credit cards and having too many credit accounts opened at one time are high risk factors. We want to see a long history of you responsibly managing a variety of credit, like student loan, credit card and mortgage.”
He also mentioned your credit score reflects your risk at the time it was pulled. It can change depending on your credit behavior.
"The best way to repair your credit is to pay off your debts,” said Dwyer. “Pay your credit card bill in full each month. Don’t spend what you can’t pay. Lenders want to see responsible money management and self-control.”
The first step to improving your credit score is to know what is in your credit report. Request a copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com. Federal law allows you one free report annually from each credit reporting agency: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Ask your lender for tips on how to improve your score, or give Jake Dwyer a call at (918) 259-1342.
Visit RCBbank.com/GetFit for more ways to build wealth, reduce debt and take control of your financial well-being.
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