Three Steps Toward A Better Credit Score

The truth is, most people don’t think about their credit score often. But the day you start talking about buying a home or car, or when you’re drawn into an electronics store by those big “12 Months Same As Cash” signs, suddenly your credit score is going to feel really important.

So, why wait? Here are three things you can do now to safeguard your credit score.

1. Get Smart

Maybe you’ve seen them on commercials or heard about credit scores on the news, but what are they really? Your credit score is essentially your reputation—financially speaking. It’s a number that tells financial institutions and credit card companies how risky it will be for them to lend you money. So when you’re ready to buy that new car or just want to get a store credit card so you can purchase that nice TV, the lender may look at your credit score and decide whether or not to let you borrow money for the purchase, and at what interest rate.

As a lending institution, we think about credit scores a lot and we want to make sure our members’ are aware of their score and how to improve it, so we’re offering a free workshop about Understanding and Improving Your Credit Score. Come learn more about why your credit score matters and how you can improve it.

2. Get Help

Credit scores may look like a simple number, but they represent a complex set of variables. The good news is you don’t have to figure them out by yourself. One of the other great perks of BMI Federal Credit Union’s Money Management Program is that our members get free access to our Certified Financial Counselors. Meet with a counselor at one of our branches, and they will be happy to assist you in better understanding your credit score and helping to teach you healthy credit habits.

3. Get Going

If you want to improve your credit score, there are lots of steps you can take. No single one is a silver bullet, but they work together and add up over time.

● Run a credit report so you know your score and are aware of what is documented in your credit history.
● Start a smart credit routine that includes paying all your bills on time and getting current with any missed payments.
● Keep your credit card balances as low as you can or pay them off, but don’t move the debt to another card.
● Don’t open a new card unless you need to, and keep unused cards open to preserve your credit history.

Your credit score has the ability to make your life a lot easier or harder, so getting a handle on what it is, why it matters, and how to keep it healthy will pay off in the long run.