Credit affects everyone! It demonstrates your reliability in paying back borrowed money and affects your ability to borrow money in the future. It is important to build and protect, so you can access it when you need it most.

Benefits of Good Credit

  • Lower deposits on utilities and cellphones
  • Lower insurance rates
  • Increased access to rentals and jobs
  • Easier access to loan approvals
  • Lower interest rates on loans

What makes up your credit score?

This is the most influential factor affecting your credit score. To have the most impact on your score, the best thing you can do is pay your bills on time.

TIP: A bill calendar can help you get in the groove of paying on time.

The ratio of credit used to the amount of credit you have available. Example: If you have a credit card with a $1000 limit and you have used $200, then your credit utilization is 20%

TIP: Never use more than 30% of your credit limit or else it will have a negative impact on your score.

Credit history is based on the length of time each of your accounts has been open and the length of time since the account’s most recent transaction. Opening and closing multiple accounts can hurt your score.

TIP: Opening and closing multiple accounts can hurt your score. The best thing to do is to stick with the accounts you have and resist seductive credit offers for short-term gain.

Applying for and accessing new credit can be harmful to your score due to the hard inquiries it creates. This is especially true when done often within a 6 to 12 month period.

TIP: When shopping for an auto loan or mortgage, some credit score models will view multiple inquiries within a 14 to 45 day period as just one inquiry, lessening the impact on your credit.

Having a variety of loan types can help your score. Revolving loans, like a credit card versus installment loans, like a car or mortgage payment.