How to Build a Strong Credit History
Any time you want to borrow money, such as applying for a mortgage or an auto loan, your credit becomes very important. Lenders will look at your credit score to help determine how likely you are to repay a loan. The better your credit, the more likely you are to be approved for a loan and the better your chances are to receive favorable loan terms, including a lower interest rate. If your credit is less than ideal, lenders may think you are a greater risk and you may be saddled with a higher interest rate. It’s in your best interest to get your credit in the best shape you can. So how do you do that?
How to Establish Credit History
- Make sure all of your utilities are in your name – and always pay them on time
- Apply for a Credit Builder Loan from Robins Financial Credit Union, then charge small amounts and always pay back on time
- You can also look to retail and department stores for a store credit card, then promptly pay back any charges you incur
How to Build Your Credit
- If you have a lot of debt, focus on putting as much extra money toward debt repayment as possible so you can pay your debts down more quickly
- If you struggle with paying bills on time, set up payment reminders to help keep you on track
- Set up automatic payments when possible so you never have to worry about late payments and extra fees
Other Steps You Can Take
If you meet resistance from lenders after following the above tips, there are still steps you can take to help you get the loan you need.
- First, make sure your creditors are accurately reporting your activity to the credit bureaus. You can request a free copy of your credit report to ensure all of your information is correct. You are entitled to one free credit report every year from AnnualCreditReport.com
- When financing a purchase with a loan, offering a larger down payment can help you get approved with better terms. Paying more money upfront means less money on the loan, so you will likely be able to get a lower interest rate.
- If you are able to, finding a co-signer for your loan can help increase your chances of being approved.
Credit Best Practices
Once you build your credit up, keep it there! Follow these credit tips to ensure you are using credit wisely so you can keep your score up.
- Once you build your credit up, keep it there! Follow these credit tips to ensure you are using credit wisely so you can keep your score up.
- Charge small amounts
- Always pay on time
- Pay your balance in full whenever possible
- If you can’t pay in full, pay at least the minimum; the more you can pay the better
- Don’t max out your credit
- Stay away from extra (and avoidable) fees, like late fees
- Avoid cash advances
- Don’t open too many new credit accounts at once, as this looks like a red flag to lenders
Start building your credit today! We are committed to helping our members build good credit and keep it there. We make sure our credit cards work for you, which is why we offer the lowest rates possible, low to no fees, great perks through the Scorecard® Rewards Program, and convenient payment options to make sure you never miss a payment. Plus, eligible members can view their FICO® Score for free within Digital Banking so you can always stay on top of your score. View our rates and credit card agreement for more information, or apply online now or over the phone.
At Robins Financial Credit Union, our mission is to enhance the financial well-being of our members and community. We honor this commitment by providing educational content to help you make the most of your finances. Read our other blog articles to help you gain the financial knowledge you need to succeed.