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Good Credit is Key

The lower the interest rates on your loans, the more income you'll have available for other uses, including saving for retirement. Your credit score is the key to getting loans approved and determining the interest rate you pay. Here are four simple ways to improve your rating on the credit scoring system that most banks and mortgage lenders use.

Pay on Time

A younger couple discussing their finances.

Your payment history makes up about 35 percent of your total credit score. So, if you’re never late with your loan and credit card payments, you may be well on your way toward a stronger credit score.

Reduce Current Debt

The amount you owe to all your lenders makes up about 30 percent of your score. The less outstanding credit you have, especially on credit cards, the better your score. But a history of good debt management scores higher than having no debt at all.

Stick with Your Lenders

The length of your credit history accounts for about 15 percent of your score. So, it pays to maintain your credit relationships. Canceling unused credit cards to reduce your overall credit may work against you. That’s because your score considers both the average age of all your accounts and the age of your oldest account.

Limit Credit Applications

The rest of your credit score (20 percent) rates your debt mix, the number of accounts you have, and whether you have recently applied for a loan or credit card. Limiting the number of credit applications you fill out should help your score.

Notices & Disclosures
Article is adapted from content provided by DTS.

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