March 10, 2022
March is Credit Education Month and one of the biggest favors you can do for yourself financially is to build and maintain good credit. That may seem like a daunting task, but here are seven tips to help you get started. There’s no better time than now!
- Check your credit reports. It’s more common than you think for mistakes to pop up on your credit report and these mistakes can be harmful to your overall score. Dispute any discrepancies you find.
- Keep debt to a minimum. Lenders typically like to see a credit utilization ratio (amount of debt you carry, compared to your combined credit limits) of less than 30%.
- Apply for new credit accounts sparingly. Applying for credit results in a “hard inquiry” on your report which has a negative effect on your overall credit score and can last up to two years.
- Keep your credit card out of the ATM. Don’t withdraw cash from your credit cards! The interest rate on a cash advance is much higher than your regular interest rate.
- Make your payments on time. Consistently paying your bills on time can raise your score within a few months! Set up auto payments or payment reminders if you need a little extra help staying on track.
- Try to make more than one payment per billing cycle. Doing so lowers your credit utilization and improves your score.
- Pay down “maxed out” cards first. We’ve talked a lot about credit utilization because it’s important! If you use multiple credit cards and the amount owed on one or more is close to the credit limit, pay that one off first to bring down your credit utilization rate.
Remember, with SavvyMoney you can quickly and easily view your credit score and full credit report right from your DIGITAL BANKING+ dashboard. As your financial partner, we’re always here to help with your credit needs and questions. Happy Credit Education Month!