Daily Dupaco

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Know your score with our Bright Track credit report

Building your credit score

With Dupaco’s Bright Track, it’s easier than ever to keep tabs on your credit score.

Knowing that all-important number can help you better manage your credit so you can pay lower insurance and interest rates—and save more green.

If you find your score isn’t as high as you’d like it to be, ask yourself whether you’re practicing these credit-building habits:

Are you maintaining low credit card balances?
“One thing people don’t realize is that their credit card limits and balances play a huge role in determining their credit score,” says Stacia Shore-Vaassen, lending consultant and operations assistant at Dupaco’s Platteville, Wis., branch. “The capacity, or potential to borrow, is almost as important as your payment history.”
It’s important to stay below 20 to 30 percent of your available line of credit. The higher your balance is, the lower your score will be.

“The misconception is that you have to have a balance on your credit card to help you develop credit, and that’s not the case,” Shore-Vaassen says. “You don’t have to make purchases on it. You just have to keep it open and active, and it will show good capacity and being reported as paid.”

Are you making payments on time?
When it comes to building your credit, making on-time payments is critical. If you’re more than 29 days late on credit-card, auto, mortgage or other payments, the late payment will be reported to the credit reporting agencies and can negatively impact your score by 100 to 150 points, Shore-Vaassen says.

“It’s huge. Payment history is the biggest part of your credit score,” she says.

Are you monitoring for errors on your report?
You have free access to your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. You can get a free copy of your report every 12 months from each of the three credit reporting companies.

Check that your report contains only items about you, and look for information that is inaccurate or incomplete, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advises.

“If you find errors, you should contact the credit reporting agency from whom you obtained the report, and the creditor or whoever provided the information. The copy of your credit report will include information about how to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information,” the CFPB says.

While it can be tedious and time-consuming, it’s well worth your time to correct errors on your report, Shore-Vaassen says.

Are you limiting the number of accounts you open?
If you’re trying to establish or build your credit, resist the temptation to open multiple accounts all at once.
“Don’t get crazy with building credit,” Shore-Vaassen says. “Having your score pulled on a frequent basis can actually drop your score, because there’s too much activity on it. Let your credit rest for a while.”

By Emily Kittle

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