Your credit score is a key element to your overall financial health and influences the interest rate you will pay on a mortgage, car loan or credit card, and even the premiums for your insurance.
Here are some tips for building and maintaining a good credit score:
- Check your credit report. You can get a free copy of your report from each of the 3 major credit bureaus once every 12 months from annualcreditreport.com. If you see any errors on the report, make sure you immediately investigate them with the credit bureau.
- Make your loan payments on time. This is one of the largest contributing factors for your credit score, and it should be where you have the most control. Consider setting up email reminders of your payment due date, or establish automatic payments for your loans.
- Be aggressive. If you can, try to at least double the minimum payment on high interest loans. When you pay just the minimum, it might feel easier, but it will actually take you much longer —and you’ll ultimately pay more money over time.
Your overall goal with debt should be to pay it down. Use credit wisely and make regular payments to keep your debt low, because when your loan payments are low, it leaves more money in your budget for savings and investing.
The information on this page is provided for educational purposes only and is not tax, legal, financial planning or investment advice. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed in this section constitutes an offer to buy or sell any securities or advisory products. The information provided is general and is not information reasonably sufficient upon which to base an investment decision and should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. You should not regard this information as a substitute for the exercise of your own judgment. Investing involves risk.