Education - Credit Scores

Why is your credit score important?

Many people look at your credit score to help determine your creditworthiness. Lenders look at your credit score to determine if they want to extend credit to you and also to determine the interest rate that you are charged. The better your credit score is, the lower your interest rate will be. Insurance companies are also looking at credit scores to determine your premiums. Employers look at credit scores when you are applying for a job.

What makes up the credit score?

35% is based on your credit history
30% is capacity (your available amounts on charge accounts)
15% is length of credit
10% is the accumulation of debt in the last 12-18 months
10% is the mix of credit (installment vs. revolving debt)

What factors do not affect your credit score?

Your debt ratio, income, length of residence, and length of employment do not affect your credit score at all.

What actions hurt your credit score?

Missing payments
Credit cards maxed out
Closing credit cards out
Shopping excessively for credit
Opening up several new accounts in a short period of time
Having more revolving loans than installment loans
Borrowing from finance companies

How can you improve your credit score?

Pay down the balance on your credit cards
Do not close out credit cards because this decreases your capacity
Continue to make payments on time
Slow down on opening new accounts
Acquire a solid credit history with years of experience
Move revolving debt to installment debt

How can you find out what your credit score is?

Our Financial Service Officers will be happy to obtain a copy of your credit report, explain to you what makes up your credit score, and discuss ways of increasing your score.
Or:
By contacting the three credit reporting agencies directly:
Equifax: (800) 685-1111, www.equifax.com
Experian: (888) 397-3742, www.experian.com
TransUnion: (800) 888-4213, www.transunion.com

You can obtain a free credit report through the following methods:

  • Internet web site of www.annualcreditreport.com
  • By calling 1-877-322-8228

Mailing a request to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

 

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