Keep Your Credit Score Strong

  • Complete credit applications carefully and accurately.
  • Use your credit cards responsibly and don't let them reach their limit or spend beyond your means.
  • Attempt to pay your credit card balance in full each month, but at least make the minimum payment by the due date.
  • Always pay bills on time.
  • If you have problems paying your bills, contact your creditors. In many cases, they will work with you to figure out a payment plan.
  • If you move, let your creditors know your new address as soon as possible to avoid losing bills or receiving them late.
  • If your credit card is lost or stolen, report it immediately.
  • Review your credit reports periodically for accuracy and report any errors immediately.
  • Establish a consistent work history

Credit Scores

When you apply for credit, lenders determine your credit risk by examining your credit scores, also known as FICO® scores because they are calculated with software developed by Fair Issac and Company. Each of the three main credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax - keep credit information about you that is used to calculate your FICO® scores. Such information includes your payment history, the amount of money you owe, the length of your credit history, and the number of recently opened credit accounts.

Your FICO® scores guide lenders as to what your credit risk is. Scores range from 300 to 850. The higher your score, the lower your perceived risk to a lender.FICO score chart

For a free estimate of your credit score, visit www.whatsmyscore.org/estimator.