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Why Does Credit Score Matter

Carrying A Balance On My Credit Card Boosts My Credit Score

What is a Credit Score and Why Does it Matter?

False. Carrying a balance on your credit card doesn’t help your credit score, it only has the potential to hurt it and it will end up becoming expensive over time paying interest. Not to mention, it’s a waste of money to pay interest on your balance if you can afford to pay off your credit card bill in full each month.

Lingering balances on your account directly affect your . The higher your credit card balance, the higher your utilization rate, which can in turn hurt your credit score.

If you’re already carrying a balance on a credit card, consider transferring it to a balance transfer credit card, such as the Discover it® Balance Transfer. This can help you save money in the long run, if you commit to paying off your balance during the 18-month introductory 0% APR period .

How To Optimize Your Credit Mix

If youve already been making all your payments on time and keeping your credit utilization in check, the next credit score factor to improve is your credit mix. So what can you do to optimize this factor?

Lenders want to see that you can successfully manage different types of credit accounts. In turn, having a mortgage loan, an auto loan, a personal loan, and a few credit cards is better than just having credit cards, as long as you can manage them responsibly.

However, you shouldnt open new types of credit accounts solely to diversify your credit mix, especially if you cant afford to pay them back on time. Instead, focus on the following tactics:

  • Avoid closing old credit card accounts While installment loans are closed as soon as you pay them off, credit card accounts can stay open for as long as you want. You just need to keep your credit card account in good standing. Keeping your old credit card accounts open can help you preserve your credit mix. It can also help you maintain a longer length of credit history and lower credit utilization, both of which can improve your credit score even more.
  • Open new types of credit accounts as needed While you shouldnt open new credit accounts just to improve your credit mix, dont be afraid to take advantage of affordable financing when it truly comes in handy.

What Affects A Credit Score

While every credit scoring model is different, there are a number of common factors that affect your score. These factors include:

  • Payment history
  • Balances on your active credit
  • Available credit
  • Number of accounts

Each factor has its own value in a credit score. If you want to keep your number at the higher end of the credit score scale, its important to stay on top of paying your bills, using your approved credit, and limiting inquiries.

However, if you are in the market to purchase a house or loan, there is an annual 45-day grace period in which all credit inquiries are considered one cumulative inquiry. In other words, if you go to two or three lenders within a 45-day period to get find the best rate and terms available for a loan, this only counts as one inquiry. This means that they are not all counted against you and will not affect your credit score.

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Selecting ‘credit’ While Using My Debit Card For A Purchase Helps Raise My Credit Score

False. If you choose “credit” instead of “debit” next time you’re at the cash register, know that your credit score will not be affected in any way since your debit card activity does not get reported to the credit bureaus. Debit cards have no effect on your credit history nor credit score, so whether you use your debit card as debit or credit, the money is still withdrawn directly from your checking account.

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Use Credit Monitoring To Track Your Progress

What is a Credit Score and Why Does it Matter?

are an easy way to see how your credit score changes over time. These servicesmany of which are freemonitor for changes in your credit report, such as a paid-off account or a new account that youve opened. Also, they typically give you access to at least one of your credit scores from Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, which are updated monthly.

Many of the best credit monitoring services can also help you prevent identity theft and fraud. For example, if you get an alert that a new credit card account that you dont remember opening has been reported to your credit file, you can contact the credit card company to report suspected fraud.

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Apply For A Secured Credit Card

If you have cash available, you could be approved for a secured credit card. These cards can be used just like your typical credit card, but they only allow you to charge up to the credit line equal to a cash deposit put down in advance.

If you put down $500 in cash deposits, for example, youâll have $500 to spend with that card. Prompt repayment of the card bill will soon have you building that much-needed credit score.

Does Checking My Credit Scores Affect My Credit

Checking your credit scores and reports on Credit Karma wont hurt your credit its a soft inquiry. In fact, keeping tabs on your credit scores is a good way to spot potential issues early. For example, if your scores suddenly drop, it could be a sign that theres an error in your credit report information or that you may be a victim of identity theft.

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Factors That Affect Your Credit Scores

The individual components vary based on the credit-scoring model used. But in general, your credit scores depend on these factors.

Most important: Payment historyFor both the FICO and VantageScore 3.0 scoring models, a history of on-time payments is the most influential factor in determining your credit scores. Your payment history helps a lender or creditor assess how likely you are to pay back a loan.

Very important: Credit usage or utilizationYour is calculated by dividing your total credit card balances by your total credit card limits. A higher credit utilization rate can signal to a lender that you have too much debt and may not be able to pay back your new loan or credit card balance.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends keeping your credit utilization ratio below 30%. This may not always be possible based on your overall credit profile and your short-term goals, but its a good benchmark to keep in mind.

Somewhat important: Length of credit historyA longer credit history can help increase your credit scores by showing that you have more experience using credit. Your history includes the length of time your credit accounts have been open and when they were last used. If you can, avoid closing older accounts, which can shorten your credit history.

Take Advantage Of Your Good Credit

Why Does Your Credit Score Matter? Credit Tip #1

Once your scores near 700 or so, youre considered a good risk. When theyre over 760, youre golden. You should expect the best rates and terms lenders have to offer, since theyll be competing hard for your business.

Reconsider your auto insurance as well, especially if your credit has improved substantially since your policy was set up. Your current insurer may not check your credit at renewal time ask it to re-run your rates. Its a good time to shop around as well.

With all the money you save, you can make progress on important financial goals such as saving for retirement, boosting your emergency fund or getting out of debt faster.

Thats the real power of great credit scores. Instead of begging for loans, paying too much and trying to make do with whats left over, youll finally have some options to get ahead.

Liz Weston is a certified financial planner and columnist at NerdWallet, a personal finance website, and author of Your Credit Score. Email: Twitter: .

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by The Associated Press.

About the author:Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet. She is a Certified Financial Planner and author of five money books, including “Your Credit Score.”Read more

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Financial Learning: Why Does My Credit Score Matter

Managing your credit score can be tricky, especially if you’re new to applying for credit. This guide will help you understand this important financial concept.

Originally Posted: Jan 4, 2022

If you borrowed federal student loans for college, youve already experienced the benefit and convenience that credit offers. By taking out your first student loan or applying for other lines of credit , youve started the foundation of your credit history and now have a credit score. Every subsequent credit-based activity you conduct moving forward will affect that score, including your repayment history, the types of credit you open, and other factors. If youre new to the credit world, this guide will walk you through how scores are created and the importance of keeping yours high.

What Is A Poor Credit Score Range

Poor credit score = 550 619: Credit agencies consider consumers with credit delinquencies, account rejections, and little credit history as subprime borrowers due to their high credit risk. Although it is possible to qualify for credit, it is often at very disadvantageous terms you will pay much higher interest rates and penalty fees.

If you find yourself in this range, you should begin to address any specific credit problems you have to try to boost your score before applying for credit. Subprime borrowers typically become delinquent 50% of the time.

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What Is A Bad Credit Score Range

Bad credit score = 300 549: It is generally accepted that credit scores below 550 are going to result in a rejection of credit every time. If your score has fallen into this range, improving your score is going to take some work.

Filing for bankruptcy can bring a score down to this level. Statistically, borrowers with scores this low are delinquent approximately 75% of the time. But if you continue to make your payments on time, your score should improve. There are certain types of loans, like home loans, that are hard to get with a score in this range, but there are still options for getting a mortgage with bad credit.

Why Your Credit Rating Is So Important

Why does credit score matter?

    In recent decades, consumers have become increasingly dependent on credit. When you use credit, you are borrowing money that you promise to pay back within a specified period. Having lenders extend you credit is a great privilege. If you have a good , enjoy it. Also, use credit responsibly. Credit is fragileone slip-up can create major problemsand you can harm your credit rating without even being aware of it. Therefore, you must understand your .

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    From A Landlords Point Of View

    As a landlord for the past 10 years, a credit score with a clean report is only one of several things I look for in a tenant. Here are all the things I look for:

    * A record of consistent employment

    * No felonies, no sex offenders

    * Good references from previous landlords and roommates

    * A resume

    * A balance sheet that can cover at least six months worth of rent in case of lost employment

    * A pleasant personality that recognizes the importance of caring for the property

    * A 720+ credit score

    * A clean credit report with no outstanding judgments

    Even after evaluating a candidate based on these eight basic variables, selecting someone is still a leap of faith. My very first tenants had no credit score because they came from France. But, one of the tenants owned a rental property in London, so that went a long way in allowing me to trust they understood the viewpoint of the landlord.

    There was a super nitpicky doctor a couple years out of residency who made $300,000. The only problem was his credit score was around 680. If he was a normal person who appreciated my apartment, didnt complain about the size of the kitchen, and other stuff, I would have welcomed him as a tenant. But because he seemed like a PITA from the very beginning and had a mediocre credit score for someone with such a high income, I passed.

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    How Can I Improve My Credit Score

    Just a few years ago, I was in over my head. I was suffocating under the weight of $80,000 worth of debt. Needless to say, my credit score back then isnt what it is today.

    In the course of 8 months, I was able to develop a strategy to successfully pay off all my debt and begin building a future that my family and I can be proud of!

    If you are in debt and are struggling with your credit score, I want to share with you the exact steps that I took to regain control of my financial life and my credit score!

    Featured Post

    Do you have advice on improving your credit score?

    Please leave your feedback and personal experience in the comments section below! Here at TBM, were building a community of like-minded people who want to help better their financial lives and the lives of those around them. Wed love to see your input!

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    What Are Your Available Options

    With that said, heres a closer look at your available options for a credit card type:

    • Standard credit cards

    This credit card type doesnt offer any extra benefits, apart from its basic functionality. You may need a score of 600 or higher to qualify for standard credit cards.

    • Rewards credit cards

    Reward credit cards allow you to receive rewards for every transaction you make. There are three basic types of reward cards, namely cashback, travel, and points.

    Cashback refunds a flat amount or a portion of the money spent on each of your transactions. Travel cards provide travel-related benefits, such as hotel stays and free flights. Points cards give you points for every transaction, which you can redeem later for a reward. A credit score of 670 or higher might be required for this type of credit card.

    • Balance transfer credit cards

    Although most credit cards grant the ability to transfer your balances, a balance transfer card requires a lower rate whenever you engage in a balance transfer. The interest rates on these balance transfers can be as low as 0 percent. You may need at least a 670 credit score to qualify for a balance transfer credit card.

    • Zero percent and low-interest credit cards
    • Business credit cards

    This type refers to any credit card that separates personal and business expenses. A business credit card can be a reward card or a standard credit card. You dont have to own a business to qualify for this type of card, but you need a score of more than 670.

    Does My Credit Score Really Matter

    Why Does Credit Score Matter? [Ways Credit Score Affects Your Life]

    Have you seen any of the television commercials on checking your credit score? It seems that accessing your credit score is just as confusing and frustrating as it is to check your credit reports. Credit scores were once a mystical number you had to pay for or werent easily obtained. You may have noticed that over the last few years, many credit card issuers and other financial companies have begun to offer free credit scores to their customers.

    Be aware a credit score and credit report are two different financial documents. Your credit score is meant to illustrate your credit worthiness. Generally, your credit score reflects the information in your credit reports. The three biggest credit reporting companies are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Federal law gives you the right to get a free copy of your credit reports from each of the three national credit reporting companies once every 12 months. Coloradans may get a second free copy from each company each year.

    When you obtain your credit report, look for

    • Mistakes in your name, phone number, or address.
    • Loans, credit cards, or other accounts that are not yours.
    • Reports saying you paid late when you paid on time.
    • Accounts you closed that are listed as open.
    • The same item showing up more than once such as an unpaid debt.

    Fair Isaac Corporation

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    Why Your Credit Rating Matters

    Few things in life follow you as your credit report does. Your credit report and rating compose a financial snapshot that presents you to the business world. Your financial history can affect how easily you can get a mortgage, rent an apartment, make big-ticket purchases, take out loans, and in some industries even get hired.

    When you apply for a credit card or even a cable hookup, lenders check your credit rating. Your credit rating helps to determine the probability that you could and would pay back the money that you have borrowed. It also indicates the degree of risk that you pose to a lender.

    Increased credit risk means that a risk premium must be added to the price at which you borrow money. If you have a poor credit rating, lenders may not shun you and instead, they’ll lend you money at a higher rate than that paid by someone with a better credit rating.

    Minimum Credit Score By Mortgage Loan Type

    The minimum credit score you need to qualify for a mortgage in 2021 depends on the type of mortgage youre trying to obtain. Scores differ whether youre applying for a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration, better known as an FHA loan one insured by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, known as a VA loan or a conventional mortgage loan from a private lender:

    Type of loan

    FHA loan requiring 3.5% down payment

    FHA loan requiring 10% down payment

    500 – Quicken Loans® requires a minimum score of 580 for an FHA loan.

    VA loan

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