21 Jun Complete Guide: Credit Scoring
A credit score is a key metric that lenders use to evaluate a person’s financial solvency. It’s important to understand how it works and how to take care of it from an early age. In this guide, we’ll explore how to view your credit score, how to properly care for it, and how to start building a credit life before you reach the age of majority.
What is a credit score and why is it important?
A credit score is a number that reflects your ability to responsibly manage credit. Lenders use it to assess the risk of lending you money. The higher your credit score, the more trustworthy you will be considered and the better your chances of obtaining credit at favorable interest rates.
What is considered when calculating my score?
Your credit score is calculated using different factors, including your payment history, the amount of debt you have, the length of your credit histories, the type of credit you use, and recent credit inquiries. Each factor has a different weight in calculating your score.
How can I check my score?
- Credit bureaus and credit reports. Credit bureaus, such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, collect information about your credit habits and generate credit reports. You can get a free copy of your credit report once a year from each agency. Explore how to request and review your credit reports to make sure the information is accurate and up-to-date.
- Online services and mobile apps. There are numerous online services and mobile apps that offer free access to your credit score. Some of them even provide additional information, such as tips for improving your score and alerts for changes to your credit report. Do your research and choose the service that best suits your needs.
How to take care of your credit score?
- Establish good financial habits from an early age. Encourage saving and responsible money management. Teach young people about the importance of paying bills on time and living within their financial means. These habits will lay the foundation for a healthy credit life.
- Create a credit history. Before they reach the age of majority, it is possible to start building a credit history. One option is to apply for a secured credit card or a student credit card under the supervision of a responsible adult. Use the card responsibly, making timely payments and maintaining a low level of credit utilization.
- Maintain a low level of credit utilization. Credit utilization refers to the amount of credit you use in relation to your total available credit. Keep this percentage low, as a high level of utilization can negatively affect your credit score. Avoid accumulating excessive debt and try to pay more than the minimum required.
Starting to build, increase and take care of your credit from an early age is key to increasing your score and gaining access to financial products faster. Starting a savings account in your name will help you demonstrate financial responsibility and develop a positive track record. Make regular deposits and avoid unnecessary withdrawals.
If you have the opportunity, ask to be authorized on the credit card of a responsible parent or guardian. This will allow you to begin building a credit history as an authorized user, as long as payments are made on time.Another option is to use a prepaid card or debit card. These cards allow you to make transactions just like a credit card, but the money is pre-loaded onto the card. This will help you acquire financial management skills before accessing actual credit.
Remember that time and discipline are your best allies in building a healthy credit score!