Your Credit Score: How to Get It, Read It, and What It Means For You
Dan Levenson April 12, 2021
Though you may have heard about your credit score before, you may not realize just how important it is. You are going to need to have a nice score so you are able to buy the things that you need and want. In order to do that, you need to understand a little more about your credit score.
Here are some ways to get your credit score.
There are several ways you can get a copy of your credit score.
- You may be able to see it on your credit card or loan statement. Some credit card and other loan companies provide a credit score on their monthly statement.
- Find someone to talk to. There are many credit counselors who are able to provide you with your credit score. They should also be able to help you review what you find and help you make any changes that are needed.
- Find a free credit score service. Many places offer a free credit score. However, you need to be careful of this. They may ask you to sign up for something in order to get a free credit score. If you have to do this, make sure that you cancel it when you need to.
- Buy it. You may be able to buy your score from credit reporting companies. You can buy your FICO credit score.
Here is how to read your credit score.
Credit scores range from three hundred all the way up to eight hundred and fifty. The higher your score, the better your credit is. Here is a chart that determines how good your credit really is.
- Above 750, you have excellent credit
- If it ranges between 700 and 750, your credit is good
- If it is between 650 and 700, it is fair
- If your credit score is between 600 and 650, you have bad credit
- If it is below 600, you have very bad credit
What does it mean for your financial future?
If you have good credit, it means that you are good about paying your bills on time, and you don’t have a lot of debt. When you go to get a loan (or even apply for a credit card), you are more likely to get a better interest rate because you aren’t high risk. If your credit score is too low, you may not be able to get a loan for the things that you need. If you are lucky enough to get a loan, your interest rates will be much higher because it is risky to lend you money.
What can you do about your credit score if it isn’t as high as you want it?
If your credit score leaves something to be desired, the truth is that you can make some changes to get it better.
- The best thing that you can do is to get out of debt. If you have several loans and multiple credit cards, your credit score is going to go down. Find ways to pay off your debt as quickly as possible. Start with the smallest balance. After you pay that off, work on the next one, until your debt is much more manageable (or gone).
- You also need to budget, so you can pay all of your bills on time. Another red flag when it comes to your credit is how you pay your bills. If you are late every month, your credit score will show that. If you can’t pay your bills, you are going to need to find a way to bring in more money. If you just waste your money on other things, you are going to need to start a budget so that you pay off everything that you have to, before you spend your money on other things.
- Review your credit score. You may have some information on your credit score that is incorrect. You are going to need to change it so that your score is more accurate.
It is really important that you know where you stand when it comes to your credit score. Even if you aren’t planning on any big purchases any time soon, it is always a good idea to keep your credit score as high as possible.
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