Your credit score impacts many different areas in your life. Whether you’re hoping to buy a used car or your dream home, having a low credit score makes it difficult to get a loan. This can impact your daily life and make things more difficult than they need to be.
What Affects My Credit Score?
According to Equifax, these are the things that impact your credit:
- Payment history. This one is simple, if you pay your bills on time for years, your score will go up! However, not paying on time will create a negative drop in your score.
- Public records. Things like bankruptcy can negatively impact your credit score. Do some research and make sure you’re doing what you need to do to avoid this problem.
- Length of credit history. The longer you have credit, in theory, the better it will be. A long credit history proves what you are capable of doing in the way of paying your bills on time… or not.
- New accounts. If you take a trip to the mall and open up a few new credit cards on the same day, you’re going to negatively impact your credit!
- Inquiries into your credit. It’s important to not be constantly checking your credit because the more times it is checked, the lower it gets.
- Accounts in use. If you have too many credit cards or open accounts, it can negatively impact your score.
What is a Good Credit Score?
Generally speaking a score of 750 or above is considered excellent credit. 700 to 749 is good credit. 650 to 699 is considered a fair credit score. 550 to 649 is a poor credit score and anything below 550 is considered a bad score.
Who Can See My Credit Score?
There are a few core companies, like Equifax, that track your credit score. Most of the time they need your permission, but any bank, landlord, employer, or legal court can access your credit score. Companies like Credit Karma and other companies can also access your number.
How Do I Improve My Score?
Be aware of the things that hurt your credit. If necessary, talk to a lawyer about clearing your public records. Pay down any outstanding credit. If you check your credit, use a company that will not impact your score. Do what you can to start establishing a healthy line of credit and you’ll be surprised how much it can help you in life!