Credit Score vs. Creditworthiness: Understanding the Difference

Credit: the word that inspires both nervousness and necessity when heard. Credit is a huge part of modern life, and our credit identity is the make-or- break factor in determining how we can use the system. There are several factors that contribute to our credit rating, with credit score and creditworthiness being the most important. While both connected, they are different concepts and should both be understood in their own right before learning how to conquer both and be a credit crusader!


Let’s learn how to get the pulse on your credit, shall we?

Credit Score

A credit score is a numeric representation of a person’s creditworthiness that assists lenders in determining the probability that a loan will be repaid. Credit history, current amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit in use are all taken into consideration when calculating credit score. The credit score number itself is a three-digit number ranging between 300 and 850. The higher the number, the better the credit score.


No matter what the result, it is extremely important to know where you fall on the credit score scale.

The most common derivation of a credit score is a FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) score. Although there are other types of credit scores out there, you will probably interact with FICO the most. You might already be familiar with the term, even if you don’t fully understand its implications.

Creditworthiness

Your creditworthiness simply means your assessed ability to repay your debt or default on your loan. Factors that contribute to creditworthiness include credit score, payment history, and debt-to-income ratio. Additional assets can also be taken into consideration, as lenders prefer to know that there are alternative ways to repay the loan besides income alone.

Credit reports are a large part of what physically represents your creditworthiness to a lender, as they show your payment history trends over long lengths of time. Late or missing payments can show on the report for up to seven years past the occurrence. Think about that for a second – you could have completely changed your spending habits over the course of that time, but those negative strikes can still show. Do not fret, there are ways to improve your creditworthiness over time. It’s just something to be aware of to internalize the importance of paying all bills on time.

Score + Worthiness = Credit Credibility

Although two separate entities, credit score and creditworthiness both integrate and affect each other. Making smart, consistent decisions with your money and credit will have a positive impact on both. Here are some tips to help you on your road to being a credible credit client:

1) Utilizing free credit checks: There are tons of free credit checks out there that allow you to see your credit report. This is the best place to start; you want to see where you stand to get an idea for how financial institutions will view and receive you. This is also the best way to plan your strategy for improving both credit score and creditworthiness. NOTE: the free credit check is just the report, not your actual credit score.

2) Understanding my credit rating: Now that you have the report, you can understand your credit rating on a deeper level. It’ll be easier to identify the specific areas you need to improve upon and make small progress steps in those areas. Take a deep breath and remember that it will take time to make positive change in the system, but you can do it!


Okay, so understanding your credit rating might not be so cut and dry. But having your credit report in hand will help you understand your credit rating, where you currently are, and how to get where you want to go.

3) Small steps over time = big change: Armed with your free credit check and your credit rating, you can start implementing gradual changes to your financial habits that you can maintain over a long period of time. Some ideas for this are:

  • Keeping your credit card balance low: The lower your credit utilization ratio (or the ratio of your credit card balance to your credit card limit), the better your credit score.
  • Change around some household expenses: Sometimes good spending can be a result of reevaluating monthly expenses. See what expenses you really don’t need to give yourself a cushion for crucial expenses, or to contribute towards a lower credit utilization ratio.
  • Open new, manageable accounts and pay them off in full: this is a perfect way to build your credit worthiness and increase your credit score. Get a credit card you only use for one type of expense. That way, you know you will always pay on time, keep the balance low, and establish your credit rating in a positive way.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Not Cut Up or Cancel Your Credit Cards

The best credit cards are active credit cards, even if you have debt! The last thing you want to do is cut up a credit card or cancel a account, even if you are not in the best financial shape. And, don’t worry, you are not alone. As of March of this year, the total amount of revolving United States debt was $951.6 BILLION. And, although it’s contrary to what would probably be your normal reaction, check out these three reasons why you need to drop the scissors now and protect that plastic!


Don’t even think about touching these until you read the following reasons not to!

1. Utilize and Optimize

Use those credit cards to optimize your credit score! Instead of getting rid of credit cards that you may have, compare credit cards and make sure to keep all your accounts open if possible. It’s not a bad thing to have more than one. In fact, in many cases, it’s better to have more. Think of it in terms of what is known as Credit Utilization Ratio. This is the ratio of your credit card balance to your credit card limit. Using less of your available credit raises your credit score.

Let’s say you have two credit cards open, one with am $8,000 limit and one with a $12,000 limit. Let’s say you have $5,000 in credit card balances. Your Credit Utilization Ratio would be $5,000/$20,000, or 25%. But, if you end up cutting up or canceling one of those cards (let’s say the $12,000 one) your new Credit Utilization Ratio is $5,000/$8,000, or 62.5%. This is a much higher percentage, and therefore impacts your credit in a much more negative way. In this case, the more credit cards the better.

However, if you must close a credit card account, try to close the “youngest” account you have. The length of your credit history factors into your credit score as well, just not as much as the ratio.

2. Credit Cards = Credit Score

Believe it or not, keeping credit card accounts open (even ones with debt) is positive for your credit score. First of all, a credit card is a great way to begin creating a credit profile for yourself. Many of us don’t have frequent opportunities while we are still in school or just finding jobs to begin a line of credit. To “get into the system”, you need to have some sort of credit attached to your name. A credit card is fantastic for money novices or recent grads to start establishing themselves so that, when it comes time to apply for a loan for a major purchase, like a home, you have already laid your credit identity foundation.


You’ve mastered your major, now it’s time to master your money.

Not using your credit card is virtually the same as canceling your card, which is not a wise choice for your credit score. An inactive card makes the bank think it’s an inactive account, and they can cancel it out after a certain amount of non-use on your part. Having the account close, no matter how, will negatively impact your credit score. A negative impact to your credit score takes a long time to repair.

If you are planning to get a line of credit anytime in the near future, do NOT do anything that could cause a credit card account to close!

3. Credit Card Accounts Lead to Credit Score Accountability

Probably the most beneficial reason for you to not cut up or cancel your credit cards is that you will have to be accountable for your spending habits.

One way to rectify a bad credit card situation is to change what you use your card for. Don’t jump to the extreme of getting rid of it completely. Instead, only charge what you can afford each month and make sure to pay in full. One idea is to use your credit card for just one type of purchase. You won’t think of it as a payment option as frequently if you have it set in your mind that your credit card is exclusively for gas or just for groceries.


Let this image be the only thing that inspires credit card use for you and journey on the path to credit score success!

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THOUGHT LEADER SERIES: 3 Ways to Save Money By Using Online Banking

Sherrian Crumbley is a freelance writer and editor who can be caught working on poetry or song lyrics when she isn’t tackling the world of personal finance. To learn more about Sherrian, visit KNSFinancial.com.

In our fast-paced world, time is definitely money, and one way to save a bit of both is by opting to use online banking. Online banking offers a way to securely handle monetary transactions without spending hours in bank teller lines. And online banking is available 24/7, so you are not limited to banking hours and you can check balances and set up payments in the comfort of your own home! Besides saving gas by skipping trips to your local bank branch, here are some other ways online banking saves you money.

Saves on Bank Fees

Paying overdraft fees have become a common occurrence with the common use of debit cards for every day purchases. Because of the ease of swiping a card, it is also easy to lose track of the amount of money really available in a bank account. According to a recent Pew Trust study, Millennials and Gen-Xers are the most affected, paying over $100 in overdraft fees per year.


Avoid Unnecessary Fees

Online banking can help prevent this occurrence by offering up-to-date account balance information. Most banks offer free mobile banking, as well, so you can get your account balances from your bank’s app. So whether you go online on your phone or use an app, you can check to see what’s in your account while you’re in the checkout line! Also, many banks allow you to sign up to be notified by email or text if your account falls below a certain amount.

Saves on Bill Payments

One of the greatest ways that online banking saves money is by giving you the ability to set up bill payments at the push of a button. Instead of struggling to remember if you mailed off a check in time, you are able to pay an account online and always see and adjust the date of payment. And, because you are not using a stamp, online bill pay saves the average person $6 per month. If the amount of a payment is consistent, like an auto insurance payment, you can set up a recurring payment so the same amount is paid on the same date every month. This saves you money by greatly cutting down the chances of late or missed payments.

Build Up Savings

Saving money is a constant struggle even though it is vitally important to a healthy financial plan. In a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve, 47% of the respondents state that they could not cover an emergency expense of $400. Online banking allows you the ease of “paying yourself first”. You can set up a recurring transfer from your checking account to your savings account, which will perhaps correspond to your pay date, so that you will be effortlessly saving!


Pay Yourself First

Online banking has become a standard free offering when opening a bank account. As a matter of fact, depending on the contract there may be a fee associated with in-bank counter transactions, so check the details of your account. Even though online banking is free, there may be a fee for certain aspects, such as bill pay. Shop around for the best rates, some of which may be waived if you allow your paycheck to be deposited directly to your bank account.

As you can see, online banking saves you money in numerous ways while allowing you to proactively manage your finances. It is a great tool that will set you up to improve your savings, avoid senseless fees that drain your money, and control the movement of your money.

Take a look at our top credit card offers to see if one is a good fit to help build your financial future!

THOUGHT LEADER SERIES: How to Improve Your Credit While You Sleep

Sherrian Crumbley is a freelance writer and editor who can be caught working on poetry or song lyrics when she isn’t tackling the world of personal finance. To learn more about Sherrian, visit KNSFinancial.com.

Lenders consult your credit report and credit score to determine the amount of risk they will be taking by offering you a loan. A better score means less risk for them and they will be more willing to lend you what you need at good rates. For this reason, it is in your best interest to build your credit to be within an impressive credit score range for most lenders. Building your credit is an active venture, requiring sacrifice and effort to be seen among the most creditworthy. There are also some parts to building credit, though, that require you to put a system in place and rest while it works in your favor over time.

Make A Credit Card Work for You

One of the easiest ways to build or rebuild credit is by using credit responsibly. No one wants to fall into out-of-control debt, so to get a credit card working in your favor, use it for a recurring payment such as a monthly subscription. For example, if you have Netflix or Hulu, use a credit card to pay that monthly bill. Then, use your online bill pay to pay that credit card amount every month. Because of your responsible handling of your account, your credit card company will eventually raise your credit limit (or you can ask after six months to a year). The increase will help your credit worthiness.


Set It and Forget It

Automate Payments When Possible

When people are juggling a number of bills, it is not uncommon for something to fall through the cracks. If this error happens enough, it shows up on their credit report. One way to prevent this is to automate payments with creditors when possible. This will take careful coordination, considering your pay schedule and due dates on accounts. Many times, lenders work with their customers regarding the statement date so you can find something that works best for you. By automating payments, your lenders will report your on-time payments monthly to the credit agencies, helping to bolster your credit worthiness.

Leave Your Old Credit Accounts Open

If you have older accounts that you are no longer using, don’t rush to close them. It may seem counter-intuitive but the credit agencies consider the age of your accounts in your credit score. The older the account, the more it can benefit you. So it is okay to cut up the credit card, or get it out of sight and mind, but you don’t need to call the company and cancel the account. As long as it is open and in good standing, it is working in your favor.


Remember It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Even though these allow you a little bit of ease, it doesn’t mean you can completely rest on your laurels. Building your credit means maintaining control of your finances and ensuring what’s being reported is correct. Take time to confirm the information on your credit report is correct. You can get your credit report for free once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com . Also check which of your credit card companies offer a free FICO score. Over time you will see that your diligent efforts have paid off.

Let us help you find the perfect credit card to assist you in building your credit.

The Secret Herbs and Spices in Your Credit Score

Are you in the market for a credit card, a car loan, or a mortgage? If so, any bank or other lending institutions will look at your credit score as a major part of their decision about loaning the money to you. It makes sense to know what your credit score is, how it is arrived at, and what you can do to improve it, if you need to.


Lenders all use a credit score.

What Is a Credit Score?
Simply put, a credit score is a number between 300 and 850 that indicates how credit-worthy you are. Any number above 740 is considered excellent. You are very likely to receive the credit card, car loan, or mortgage you’re applying for if you have this score and a job.

However, a credit score of 650 or below is on the poor side. If you have a score between 300 and 650, your application for credit may be turned down. Or, if you receive it, a bank or lending institution may charge you a higher interest rate. In their eyes, this is justified: Your credit score indicates that you’re a higher risk than a neighbor whose credit score is higher.

What about the average scores? How can you bring your scores up if they are currently less than ideal?

How Credit Scores Are Determined
It’s not so easy to know exactly how credit scores are determined. Most credit scores come from a company named FICO. FICO calculates scores. Behind FICO is a the company that created it, Fair Isaac. Just as Colonel Saunders never let slip the herbs and spices in Kentucky Fried Chicken, Fair Issac never lets out exactly how the FICO score works.


Credit scores determine whether you can get a mortgage.

It has, though, revealed the criteria that are used and what percentage of the total score those criteria make up.

Of your total FICO score, your payment history contributes 35%, the total amount you owe makes up 30%, length of credit history makes up 15%, new credit contributes 10%, and types of credit used accounts for 10%.

Let’s look a little closer at these. Payment history, the biggest percentage, just means that FICO takes into account whether you pay on time. Amount owned, the second category, examines what credit folks call a “utilization ratio.” They are looking at how much credit you use versus how much you have available. Why? Because borrowers who max out all their credit miss payments more often, in the eyes of the banks. Therefore, if you have credit cards, but carry a small balance, it likely affects your FICO score favorably.

Length of credit history takes into account the average age of the credit you have as well as when you last used it.

New credit means how many new accounts you have opened, whether they are credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and so on. A lot of recent new accounts can send your score south (because it indicates you really need credit badly). A good mix of credit in the eyes of the banks can be good for your score, because it indicates you’re responsible with many different types of credit.

Trying to understand can be frustrating. If you have a 0 credit card balance, for example, you might think it would help your credit score. It doesn’t. The impact is negative, perhaps because lenders want some information on how you handle credit.

Raising Your Score
Can you raise your credit score? Definitely. Even if you’ve had late payments, once you start making them on time, the score rises. The key is to check your credit score, pay on time, and use a responsible amount of credit.

Are you in the market for credit right now? See our top credit card offers.

Use Credit Cards to Manage Your Budget

Credit cards are harmless. It’s how you use them that matters. While others may use them to run amok and lose control, that’s not what they were designed for. Credit cards were created to help to maintain control of expenses. Learn how to use credit cards as budget management tools instead of budget-busting culprits.

1. List all of your monthly expenses.


Gather your bank statements together so that you can get an accurate depiction of your monthly expenses.

This is similar to creating a regular budget, except we’re going to be using only credit cards to pay for everything. So take a look at last month’s expenses. Look at your last bank statement or download an app that allows you to categorize all of your expenses. List everything you pay for on a monthly basis – mortgage/rent, utilities, gas, groceries, etc. Then, list all of your non-essentials, like gym membership, eyebrow waxing, or general entertainment.

2. Add your monthly expenses up and compare it to your income.


Calculate your monthly expenses and compare that to your monthly income – is it more or less?

Once you’ve completed step one and compiled a list of your monthly expenses (both essential and non-essential), you will want to add them up and compare them to your income. Hopefully it’s less (or about equal), but if it’s more, you probably know this by the debt you keep racking up.

3. Cut your spending.

Regardless of whether you have money left over each month, there are probably areas that you can cut back on spending. Apps like Prosper Daily or Mint allow you to allocate your spending into different categories to see how much you’re actually spending on what. You might not even realize that you’re spending $300 or more each month going out to eat, when you actually want to keep that closer to $100-150. Find two to three areas that you can cut down your spending in an attempt to save or invest more each month.

4. Create your budget and spending categories.

Now that you’ve really taken a look at what you’re spending, it’s time to buckle down and create a new budget with your spending goals in mind. Subtract all of your essential bills from your monthly income to see what you’ve got to work with. Allocate the rest of your income to different categories, like savings, restaurants, entertainment, etc.

5. Start the month with your credit card.

Now that you’ve got your budget set and you’ve determined problem areas that you’re going to cut back on, you’re ready to go. Big difference, though: you’re going to put all of your spending on credit cards. If you have a rewards card, this is a great way to reap the benefits without going into debt. You know how much you’re allowed to put on your credit card every month. Just like you have to stop spending once you run out of cash, you have to stop spending once you’ve used up your budget. Then you pay off your credit card every month when you receive your statement. In order to show credit bureaus that you are an active card user, always make sure to only pay your bill once you’ve received your monthly statement.

Using credit cards does not have to be a financial death sentence. If you stick to a budget and use them wisely, you’ll be able to rack up rewards points and cash back bonuses and become financially stable. See our top credit card offers to find your perfect credit card and map out your budget today.

What’s In Your Credit Card Holder?

If you lost your credit card holder right now, could you tell police what cards were in it? Do you know? Do you know the issuers? Do you know the card numbers? Do you know their expiration dates? Do you know the spending limits for purchases and cash advances? If your answer is “No,” raise your hand. Don’t feel bad, nearly everyone else is raising theirs. This post explores ways to have this information readily accessible – as it should be.


Don’t let your credit cards stress you out. Keep a Card Management System to keep everything under control.

In order to keep track of your credit cards and everything that comes with them, it’s important to keep a Card Management System. The best way to do this is by keeping a pencil and paper file locked in a file cabinet in your bedroom or home office or by keeping a digital spreadsheet, password protected, on your computer. Yes, you want to have this information easily accessible – but only by you.

There are many things you need to keep in your Card Management System:

Card Holder: If you’re the only member of your household, then this may not be necessary, but if you and your spouse are creating a system together, you’ll want to keep track of whose card is whose.

Card Name/Card Type/Last 4 Digits/Exp Date/CVV: This is simply to help you identify which card this information pertains to. This is also essential information should any of your cards get lost or stolen.

Card Issuer: This helps you to keep track of the number of credit cards that you have from each issuer. You may have multiple cards per lender, or only one card per lender. It’s important to keep track of where each card is from.

Annual Fee: If a certain card comes with an annual fee (many times, rewards cards will be accompanied by one of these), keep track of that fee.

Credit Limit: This information is incredibly important, as you don’t want to max out any of your credit cards. That’s an embarrassing shopping trip. Keep track of all of your credit card spending limits so that you don’t get declined at the checkout by trying to use the wrong card.

Card Status: Don’t delete information from your old cards. Even if you’ve closed out an account, you still want to keep track of your historical data. So in this box, simply mark active or inactive.

Closure Date: For cards you’ve closed, enter the closing date.

Rewards: Keep track of reward type and value. For example, you may receive miles from one card, but cash back from another. You’ll want to know what you receive from which card.

Interest Rate: This may be a section that you’ll need to update, as many cards have a lower introductory interest rate. Card interest rates can greatly affect your spending, so you’ll want to remember these.


Know where your money is going with a proper Card Management System.

Remember to check in with and update your Card Management System regularly. Also, remember to keep it in a safe place that only you (and your spouse, if applicable) can access. Keeping track of your credit cards is essential for financial wellness. If you’re in the market for a new card, let us help you find your credit card.

4 Things You Need to Know About Small Business Finances

It’s one of the more bothersome, but most essential, parts of running a small business: your finances. Sure, you may have a solid entrepreneurial head on your shoulders, but that doesn’t mean that you know anything about small business finance. Small business owners typically don’t begin with a lot of cash in the first place, which tends to lead to a huge number of small businesses that fail in a short time. Business finances cannot be an afterthought – they must be a part of the plan. In fact, there should be no business plan without knowing how much cash is needed and where it’s going to come from. Here are a few small business finance concerns that you should keep top of mind.


Be cautious with your small business finances until your profits really begin to grow.

1. Create a reasonable budget.

Just like you would do with your personal finances, you need to create a business budget. Especially at the beginning of your business, when you’re making little to no profit, you need to make sure that your business expenses are not going to drive your business into the ground. Catalog the expenses that are necessities for running your business, then write a list of things that would be nice to have, but are not essential. When your business starts pulling in more revenue, then you can allocate to those other expenses.

2. Keep your business and personal finances separate.

When you start your business, you should have a separate business checking account, debit card, and credit card to put all business expenses on. See our top credit card offers to find the best one for your business. It is essential to have a log of all business expenses. This can get murky if you keep all expenses together. It’s also a smart idea to open a business savings account that you can transfer a certain amount of money to from each invoice. This money can be used to pay taxes each year or for emergency expenses.

3. Don’t use business profits for personal gain.

When you start a business and begin making a serious profit, it can be extremely tempting to blow some of your newfound income. Don’t. One of the biggest mistakes that a new business owner can make is spending too much at the beginning. Down the road, after your business is established, you’ll have the ability to live large. At the beginning, though, you should allot yourself a certain salary and stick to it. Leave the rest to go towards business expenses or to save for slower months when profit isn’t as steady or guaranteed.

4. Don’t hire too quickly.


Outsourcing can help you get tasks completed for less money than hiring an employee.

One of your business’s biggest monthly expenses will be payroll. At the beginning, don’t want to try to expand too quickly. Do as much as you can yourself and, if need be, consider outsourcing certain tasks or hiring a virtual assistant on a part-time basis.

Small businesses are fragile. Pay attention to your finances so that you don’t run your money too thin. If you need small business financing, manage your debts wisely. If you’re careful with your finances, your business is that much more likely to succeed.

Do You Have a Financial Mindset?

Managing our finances can seem like an uphill battle when life varies so much and we are trying to keep up with its ebbs and flows. Sometimes financial mistakes are made and other times things like medical expenses and lost jobs make it difficult to stay above water. Whatever life has thrown at you, the important thing is to start today to make solid financial decisions to secure a healthier tomorrow. The first step, though, doesn’t begin with our wallets, but with our mindsets. Our attitudes about money have to be correct so that we move forward in the right direction.


Be Wise About Money

Money Takes Discipline

There is no way around this one. In order to be financially healthy, you have to be disciplined in your finances. Do you track your finances? Do you know where your money where you really spend your money? Make a budget. A budget puts you in control so you control where your money goes. According to a recent BankRate poll, many budgets go out the window in difficult times. This is where a disciplined, financial mindset comes in.

An important part of making a budget is including emergency savings so you are better prepared when an unexpected event rears its ugly head. A person who can be disciplined in their spending and saving is also in a great position to wisely build or re-establish their credit history.

Money Is a Tool

A person with a financial mindset sees money as a tool, and not the source or answer to life’s problems. A recent study showed that 44% of lottery winners lose their winnings in five years or less. Why is that? It’s because millions of dollars did not erase poor spending habits, the inability to keep boundaries with family members, the lack of proper financial counsel, or other issues that existed before they hit the jackpot.

As a person with a healthy financial mindset, it is your job to keep money in its place. Your happiness, your dreams, your sense of satisfaction in life should not depend on how much money is in your bank account. You should utilize money wisely to help you achieve your goals and some of your wants and needs, but you are the one in the driver’s seat. You lose that advantage when you are continuously indebted to lenders and you spend all your time trying to dig your way out of debt.

Money is a Journey

An important part of having a financial mindset is being educated, especially as your financial needs change. Right now, you may be concerned about your credit scores and how credit cards can help you improve your credit rating. In a few years, you may be considering buying a home or investing in the stock market. Wherever you are, it is important to be educated to match where you are on your journey and to be ready for what lies ahead. A healthy financial mindset knows they never ‘arrive.’ In a 2015 survey, three in four adults agree that they could benefit from advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional. Seek out credible resources to help you grow in your financial literacy.


Financial Health is a Life-Long Journey

The key to having a financial mindset is having a correct perspective on money. Money is a tool, and you are the driving force behind that tool that determines how it works in your life. If you are willing to use good resources to develop financial disciplines and commit to them, then your financial health and future will be assured. It is important to have a plan and carry it out day by day, whether you have one dollar or a million. The dollar amount may change, but success depends on the fact that the correct mindset won’t.

We have numerous credit card offers that may fit your financial plan. Sign up for top offers and we’ll send them right to your email inbox.

Creditworthiness: How to Get It and Keep It

If you will ever need a loan for a house, a car, education, or want to apply for a credit card, then you have to care about your credit rating. This credit score is a number used to determine a person’s ability to take on and pay off debt. This creditworthiness is determined by a number of factors, many of which can be controlled by the borrower. Let’s take a look at some of these factors and how to keep them in good standing.

Check your credit report regularly

Your credit report lists all the activity reported by lenders on your account activity. They let the credit agencies know the total credit available to the borrower, how much of the available credit they have used, and if bill are being paid on time. You can receive a copy of your report from AnnualCreditReport.com from each of the three credit reporting agencies for free every 12 months. It is imperative you check your report carefully to ensure there aren’t any errors. Sometimes the lender can make a mistake in what they report or you could be a victim of identity theft. The latest FTC study found that one in five Americans had some sort of error on their credit report. An error on a credit report could be responsible for a low credit score, resulting in higher interest rates and overall payments on loans.

Use a credit card regularly and pay it off on time every month


On Time, Every Time

Lenders want to see your ability to handle debt, so having a healthy and lengthy credit history is a good thing. If you have multiple credit cards or other revolving debt, the utilization should be below 30% overall. That means, if all your cards have a total limit of $1,000, make sure you’re using no more than $300. Also, be sure to pay off your credit card bill, and all your other bills, on time every month. Your on-time payments show your reliability as a borrower.

Do not open multiple new credit accounts at once

Applying for multiple credit cards accounts at once may negatively affect your credit score. Each inquiry will stay on your report for two years and may appear to be a sign financial desperation. Opening multiple new accounts will also lower your score because it will shorten your average account age. It is safest to apply for credit only as needed and when you are sure you can afford it.

Have a variety of credit types

As you are able, try to get a mix of credit cards, retail store cards, car loans, and, eventually, a mortgage in your credit history. Lenders look favorably on your ability to handle multiple types of finances. It displays your financial maturity and acumen in different situations.

Show your staying power


Consistency is Key

Creditors believe constancy on your job or with your residency exhibit stability in your financial character. Along with owning a home (or a long stay in a rental) and tenure at your current employer, they are also interested in whether or not you have maintained a checking and savings account.

Whether you are just starting out, building a credit history, or repairing past mistakes, you can show your creditworthiness by exhibiting and maintaining financially healthy behavior. Most important is taking responsibility for your finances, making sure you are handling the perception of your financial character, and not letting things slip through the proverbial cracks. By doing things like automating your credit card bill payments and checking your credit report religiously, you can maintain a positive credit rating.

If you are looking for the right credit card to help you establish your creditworthiness, find your credit card here.