A good credit score is important. Many companies check your credit, from mortgage lenders to insurance companies to landlords. If your score is low, you may not be able to borrow money or live where you'd like. Or you may pay more for loans.
The good news is, there are steps you can take to monitor your credit score for free and to increase it if necessary. Your credit score can change quickly if you embrace responsible borrowing behavior and remove inaccurate information. It's worth taking these steps due to the importance of good credit.
It's important to know where your credit score is at in order to know what steps to take to improve it. You can visit Credible to check your credit score for free without negatively impacting it.
Why is having a good credit score important?
A good credit score is important for five key reasons
- Having good credit gives you a choice of borrowing options
- A good credit score makes borrowing cheaper
- Landlords check your credit score
- Your credit score affects insurance rates
- Employers check your credit score
You may have fewer borrowing options with poor credit. For example, refinancing private student loans might not be possible since refinance lenders require good credit. Poor credit may also prevent you from getting the best rewards cards or a good rate on a personal loan.
A low credit score won't just leave you with fewer borrowing options. While loans for bad credit are sometimes available, lenders will typically charge a higher interest rate for it. For these reasons, one of your top financial goals should be to improve your credit scores.
Finally, insurance companies, employers and landlords also check your credit. You may be denied the chance to live in your chosen apartment. Or an employer may not offer you a job if you have a problematic credit history. Your insurance rates will typically also be higher.
What is a good credit score?
There are actually different types of credit scores, but FICO scores are the most common score used by many lenders. FICO scores range from 300 to 850, with higher scores representing better credit and lower scores showing bad credit.
A score of 300 to 579 would be considered very poor; while scores between 580 and 669 are fair. Good scores are between 670 and 739, while very good scores range from 740 to 799. Finally, scores above 800 are classified as excellent credit.
You can visit Credible to check your credit score for free to see if you have bad credit, excellent credit or somewhere in between.
Is it important to watch my credit score consistently?
Keeping tabs on your credit is important.
By monitoring your credit, you can see how your financial decisions, such as paying down your personal loan, improving your payment history or lowering your credit utilization, are affecting your credit. You can also make sure no one has applied for unauthorized credit in your name and can confirm there are no mistakes on your credit report.
It's a good idea to check your score at least once every few months, if not more often. You can visit Credible to learn more about credit monitoring and find out how best to keep track of changes in your credit history.
How can I quickly raise my credit score?
If your credit score isn't as high as you'd like it to be, you have options for improving your credit. In fact, making a few smart financial moves could help improve your credit scores quickly. The moves that rank highest when it comes to affecting your credit include:
- Repaying debt: The credit utilization ratio is one of the key determining factors in your score and a major factor to focus on when it comes to credit repair. It's determined based on the amount of available credit used. If you repay some of your debt, you'll reduce your ratio because you'll be using less of your available credit -- and your score should go up.
- Becoming an authorized user: When someone adds you as an authorized user to a credit card with a long, positive payment history, the credit card history shows up on your credit report and improves your own credit record.
- Using Experian Boost: Credible's marketing partner, Experian, offers a tool called Experian Boost that allows you to connect your bank accounts to your credit record. This enables data on utility payments and payments to streaming services to be considered in determining your credit score. It can increase your score if you don't have a long history of positive credit payments.
Since good credit is very important for so many reasons, it's worth considering financial goals that boost your credit score and, if necessary, include credit repair. You can visit Credible today to sign up for credit monitoring or to see how your score impacts your insurance rates or affects your ability to qualify for loans such as student loans or personal loans.
Have a finance-related question, but don't know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at firstname.lastname@example.org and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.