5 Ways to Raise Your Credit Score

credit-report1.jpgCredit score – even reading it might make you nervous. So many people have come into our branches asking about this mystery. What does it mean? How do I start it? How do I fix it? Before we give you some tips on how to boost your credit score, let’s explain what we are talking about.

  1. What is a credit report? It’s a report card of your history of paying bills and credit habits over a period of time. We like to compare it to homework.
  2. What is a credit score? It’s a “grade” given to you based on your history of paying bills and credit habits. It interprets how well you have done on “homework.” The higher the credit score, the better.
  3. What does it say about me? Lenders, insurance companies, employers, etc., look at your credit as a way to determine your trustworthiness. If your credit is high, you are more likely to get approved for a loan at a great rate, or maybe you won’t have to put a down payment on your new cell phone plan.

Now that you have a general idea of what we are talking about, here are some tips on how to boost that “grade” you are given based on your credit report.

  1. Pay your bills on time! – This accounts for approximately 35% of your score.
  2. Try to pay off your debt quickly, and keep your revolving debt below 30% of the available loan. Approximately 30% of your score is based on how much you owe to creditors.
  3. Get in the game – The length of your credit history contributes 15% of your score. If you decide you want to build credit, starting the process sooner is better.
  4. Have a healthy mix – The types of credit you have contribute to 10% of your score. Do you only have credit cards on your report? That appears as a red flag to lenders.
  5. Pay more than the minimum balance and do it early – This helps you pay down debt faster and reduces the amount of interest you will pay later.

What other tips and tricks do you know of to keep your credit score up? Share them in the comments below.

PS – Click here to check your credit report and learn more about credit reports and scores.

Money Smart Week Seminars

‘Money Smart Week @ your library’ is a national initiative between the American Library Association and the Federal Reserve Bank (Chicago) to provide financial literacy programming to help members of the community better manage their personal finances. Insight Credit Union has partnered with the Lake County Money Smart WeekLibrary System to provide a series of financial seminars during Money Smart Week that are FREE and open to the public. These seminars cover a variety of financial topics, including wills and trusts, mortgages, debit cards and identity theft. If you’re in the area, check them out! We hope to see you there!

  • Home Buyer Basics: Thurs, April 16 at 2pm at the Leesburg Public Library
    • Learn tips and tricks for buying a home, what you should know about the paperwork, the numbers and how to choose professional support.
  • Identity Theft – What’s Your Liability?: Tues, April 21 at 10am at the W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora
    • Discover when you do and don’t have to give your Social Security number and how to minimize the risk of identity theft online and offline. You’ll also learn tips to protect yourself from phishing attacks and warning signs that you might be a victim of identity theft.
  • Financial ABC’s of Debit Cards: Tues, April 21 at 11am at the W.T. Bland Public Library, Mount Dora
    • This seminar will reveal tips for using a debit card wisely, alternative ways to use a debit card, and the differences between debit cards and credit cards.
  • Money Saving Tips and Tricks from a Travel Agent: Tues, April 21 at 2pm at the Leesburg Public Library
    • Travel agent Sheri Mruz will discuss money wasting blunders, money saving tips and how to get the most out of your vacation.
  • Florida Wills and Trusts, Deeds and Power of Attorney: Tues, April 21 at 6pm at the Tavares Civic Center
    • Attorney Tom Olsen will explain how to prepare wills in Florida, establish trusts and avoid probate.
  • Florida Wills and Trusts: Wed, April 22 at 10am at the Cagan Crossings Community Library, Clermont
    • Attorney Tom Olsen will explain how to prepare wills in Florida, establish trusts and avoid probate.
  • Identity Theft: Wed, April 22 at 11am at the Cagan Crossings Community Library, Clermont
    • Discover how to minimize the risk of identity theft online and offline. You’ll also learn what to do if you are a victim and where to get help. Registration is required. Please call: (352) 243-1840 to register.
  • Identity Theft: Thurs, April 23 at 1:30pm at the Astor County Public Library
    • Discover how to minimize the risk of identity theft online and offline.  You’ll also learn what to do if you are a victim and where to get help. No registration is required.  For more information, please call: (352) 759-9913.