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Your Credit Score

When you apply for credit with us or with other lenders, your credit score matters. It may determine whether your loan request is approved. Just as important, it may determine your payment amount, your interest rate, and the total interest you will pay on the loan. Therefore it is vital that you understand how your credit score is calculated and how to improve your credit score.

Your credit score is calculated by a credit reporting agency. Each of the three national credit reporting agencies use slightly different scoring systems, but each system uses the same information, and therefore, your score at each of the three national credit reporting agencies will normally match closely. Click on the links to the left for information regarding your credit score.


Straight Facts on Improving Your Credit Score

By: Don Goldammer,
President/General Manager-California Credit Information Services

We all hear about the wonder cures for FICO scores, but raising your score isn't magical or mystical. It just takes common sense. Here are a few things that you can do to improve your FICO score:

  • Review your credit report for errors - your first step should be to go to www.annualcreditreport.com and get your free annual copy of your Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax credit reports. Review each to ensure there are no errors. Errors can affect your FICO score. Dispute any and all erroneous information.
  • Plan your credit spending - do not do too much in too short of time. This will bring down your FICO score. Too much activity is considered high risk. One or two new credit accounts per year are great.
  • Pay down your credit cards - keeping your total credit card balances below 50% of your total credit card limits will positively affect your FICO score. Carrying a balance to limit ratio greater than 50% will negatively affect your FICO score.
  • Be conservative - FICO scores reward for conservative behavior and punish for high risk behavior. Pay your bills on time, keep your debt load as low as possible, and live within your means.

These small changes can make a big difference in your ability to obtain reasonable rates and terms on your next car loan, credit card or even your next home loan. Remember, you have complete control over your FICO score. If you have any questions regarding your credit score, please email me at tcg@askthecreditguy.com.

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