Honoring God With Our Money: Maintaining Good Credit

This week lesson in our series on honoring God with our money covers way to deal with debt and to build credit.  Today we will look at ways to maintain good credit and improve poor credit.

A good credit score is important to maintaining a good reputation.

Proverbs 22:1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

It is easier to maintain good credit than it is to rebuild a poor credit rating.  A  credit score of about 680 or higher is generally considered to be good or excellent.  If your credit score is not good, you should take steps beginning today to rebuild your credit.

credit scores

A good credit score:

1)      Improves your chances of being approved for a loan.

2)      Allows you to get better interest rates on loans and credit cards

3)      Lowers your car insurance premiums.

4)      Helps you to rent an apartment.

To maintain a good credit score or improve your credit score,

1)      Always pay bills on time.

2)      If you missed a payment, get current and stay current.

3)      Never take on more debt than you can repay on your current income.

4)      Keep credit card charges to 30 – 40% or less of your credit limit.

5)      Don’t close old accounts as they contribute to a longer credit history.

6)      Review your credit report annually to check for errors, identity theft, and issues that are pulling your credit score down.  Checking your credit report and/or score does not hurt your score.

7)      Minimize the number of credit cards you have.  Opening new accounts lowers your score.

8)      Have different types of credit, such as a mortgage or lease, education loan, car loan, and credit cards.

9)      If you have never had credit, you will have no credit history.  This can make it difficult to be approved for a mortgage or lease.

10)   When shopping for a new car, do so in a short period of time, so it is viewed as a single inquiry rather than multiple.  Multiple inquiries in a short time period will lower your score.

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report each year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies:  Experian, Equifax, and Transunion.  To request your free credit report, go to

www.annualcreditreport.com