It’s good to be trusted, especially if you want to borrow money. Unfortunately many consumers across the country have lost the trust of lenders due to having bad credit scores. The ability to borrow money can be critical in times of emergency or unforeseen circumstance. It is necessary for most who wish to purchase a home, car, or send their children to college. Credit plays a big roll in our lives, and our credit score is probably the most important number we have attached to them. Our credit score though, reveals more about us than just our ability to pay back a loan.
Credit scores are used by employers, landlords, cell phone companies and insurance companies to make decisions about a possible relationship with us. Employers consult them to check for signs of reliability or trustworthiness, especially with positions that require high security or the handling of cash and merchandise. Landlords check them to look for histories of unpaid rent or a record of damage to properties previously inhabited. Moreover, all of these organizations look for evidence of a person’s credibility, stability, consistency and predictability. In other words, they use our credit score to decide whether they can trust us or not.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
The first step to improving your credit score is to find out what it is by ordering a free copy from AnnualCreditReport.com, a website hosted by the three main credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can do so for free once a year, and it is recommended you get a report from each of the three agencies as they may all have different information about you. Once you receive your reports, look for any errors such as bills listed as unpaid that you have paid, or accounts listed as overdue that are up to date. If you find any mistakes, you’ll need to contact the creditor involved and ask them to have it removed from your credit history.
The majority of your credit score is based on your bill payment history. Paying your bills on time is a sure-fire way to increase it. The types of credit you have also makes a difference, so pay off any high interest loans as quickly as possible. If you have credit cards, maintaining a balance of no more than 30% of your limit will also gain you a higher rating, as will paying off your balance in full every month within the grace period.
By making the effort to maintain or improve your credit score, you’re investing in both your financial security and good social standing. The way we handle our finances does say something about us, especially to entities that only see us as a number. Building our credit scores builds trust in us, and not only is good to be trusted, it can be profitable as well!