Select Page

Credit scores can have a tremendous impact on your life. Banks use them to make nine out of 10 decisions about lending, according to the Dallas Morning News. They affect your access to employment, insurance and housing as well. Consequently, it’s vital to know what financial accounts can increase or reduce your rating.

Long-Term Loans

People take out loans to finance a variety of costly products and services. They typically pay the same amount every month until the principal has been repaid. The timeliness of loan and other debt payments constitutes about one-third of a person’s score, according to the Fair Isaac Corporation.

Mortgage

A home loan can greatly enhance your rating. However, this will only hold true if you consistently earn enough money to cover the mortgage payments. Financial planners can help potential homebuyers determine if ownership would actually benefit them. Keep in mind that it involves considerable insurance, property tax, maintenance and utility costs.

Education

Student loans offer another way to boost your score. They normally feature comparatively low interest rates that don’t rise or fall. It’s often possible to qualify for smaller monthly payments if your income remains low after graduation. Nonetheless, students should exercise caution to avoid overly demanding loans or academic programs.

Automotive

Both new and used car loans can improve scores. Take the time to conduct thorough research and find a dependable, efficient vehicle. This will help you minimize expenses and make your payments on time. Most banks send auto loan data to credit bureaus. On the other hand, Experian notes that many “buy here, pay here” dealers never do this.

Lines of Credit

Some people succeed in raising their scores by using credit cards or other revolving lines of credit. These accounts have monthly payments that vary, and rates may change from time to time. Your current debt level and the promptness of payments will affect your score.

Secured Cards

Financial institutions sometimes refuse to approve applications from people who defaulted on debt or haven’t borrowed money in the past. Secured credit cards are easier to obtain, but the funds must be prepaid. They come in handy for rentals and online purchases that require card payments.

Authorized Users

An alternative is to become an authorized user of another person’s credit card account. Some individuals let their spouses or adult children do this. Debt levels and payments affect both parties’ scores. If an authorized user spends responsibly, he or she may qualify to borrow money independently.

Non-Debt Bills

Some firms rarely tell the bureaus about bills that you pay on time. However, they might decrease your rating by reporting late or missed payments. This becomes more likely when you conduct business with large corporations. You can always ask a company for information about its policy on reporting overdue bills.

Services

In early 2015, Credit.com revealed that the Fair Isaac Corporation had begun using more data from utilities to calculate credit scores. Water, natural gas, electricity and cable TV providers may send information to the bureaus. Although they rarely report lateness, many phone companies check scores before establishing contracts.

Housing

Most landlords don’t notify credit bureaus about missed payments. Nonetheless, some building owners will report tenants who repeatedly fail to pay the rent. It’s also not unusual for landlords to review credit histories before accepting applications. Be sure to prioritize on-time rent payments.