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A New Year, A New Score: 3 Tips to Improve Your Credit in 2018

Good credit (above 700) is used for more than just determining approval for credit cards or loans. Businesses can also depend on credit to decide whether they can extend products or services to you. On top of that, the effects determine if you can purchase a house, how much you’ll pay, the car you can purchase, their payments and if you can start your own business. In 2018, set a goal to improve your credit score with these three tips.

You can start saving for your future with Valley Federal Credit Union! We offer low interest rates, fees and better incentives for new members. Learn how you can become a member today!

Check Your Credit Report

Repairing or improving your credit score begins with checking a report first. Everyone has a report from the three major credit bureaus in the United States – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You’re permitted a free copy, once a year, of all three.

When checking yours, make sure that your personal information is current and verify your account history. Most importantly, check for negative debt information outside of the reporting time limit. Most credit card collections can only be listed for seven years while bankruptcy can be listed for up to 10 years.

Mistakes or outdated information can harm your score and may even be signs of fraud. In fact, in 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that one-in-five Americans have a mistake on their report. This can lead to higher loans and overcharging. In a follow-up study, the FTC found that 20% of consumers who identified errors on their reports saw an increase in their scores after fixing them.

Set Up Payment Reminders

Timely and consistent payments make up about 35% of your score, so you can imagine how much it can dip if payments aren’t being made. Your score can actually fall if payments are consistently late or ignored, and creditors can even increase your interest rate as a result, making it even more difficult to repay. Setting up payment reminders can help you stay on track and not miss a payment.

Most financial institutions and credit card companies offer payment reminders through e-mails or text messages when a payment is due. It’s a convenient and easy way to remember when a payment is coming up.

Limit Hard Inquiries

When applying for personal loans, mortgage applications, auto loans, apartment rentals and student loans, you can authorize lenders to inquire for a copy of your credit report from a bureau. These hard inquiries, or hard pulls, are listed in your report. While one hard pull can decrease your score by up to five points, more inquiries in a short period of time can decrease a score dramatically. For a more details on hard inquiries and how they affect your score, click here.

Taking Care of You Every Year

Year after year, Valley Federal Credit Union has worked hard to ensure that our members are well taken care of. We’ve been operating in the Rio Grande Valley for over 81 years, building our credit union on honesty, trust and stability. In 2018, we want for you to know that achieving financial success is possible! If you’re looking to open a savings/checking account or improve your credit score, get in touch with us in Brownsville so our team can help you get started!

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