There is a lot of talk about your credit score. It’s stated or implied that just about everyone is looking at it, particularly employers, loan officers and insurance agents. Any time you apply for credit or want to do something that requires a review of your finances, that score is going to be reviewed and analyzed. It can seem like a rather arbitrary number, and many people become frustrated with trying to understand and improve their scores. Here are a few things you need to know:
Your Credit Score Matters
When the economy began to plunge and people were caught up with job loss, foreclosure and major stock market losses, economists began to question whether or not a credit score really mattered. After all, very few people were immune to the tough economic times. However, it does matter. It matters when you want to get the best possible loan for a home, a car or to go to college. It matters if you’re renting an apartment because a lower credit score will require a higher security deposit. It matters when you apply for a job in the financial industry because recruiters will look for financially responsible candidates.
You Can Improve Your Credit Score
Your credit score may be less than perfect right now, or even less than good. However, there’s no reason to brood. You have a lot of control over your credit score. Make it a point to pay down your debt systematically and aggressively, and do your best not to amass new debt. Pay everything on time, including your mortgage, your car payments, credit card bills and utilities. Establish a good record of paying your bills and reducing your debt, and the credit score you’ve worried about will start looking brighter almost immediately.
You Get a Free Annual Report
There is no reason to be in the dark about your credit score. You can access it at any time. You’re also entitled to a free credit report every year. The credit report won’t include your credit score, but it will give you a good idea about how you’re doing. You’ll also have an option to buy extra products and services when you access your free account.
Most lenders and financial experts will consider you a good credit risk if your score is between 700 and 800. If you fall a little short, take some time to evaluate where you can improve. You can rebuild your credit by making good financial choices and living within your means.