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A good credit score is important in today’s world. It can help lower your borrowing costs and help you to pay less for insurance. It could even help you land a job! That’s because lenders, insurance companies and a growing number of employers are using credit information to make decisions. What’s the best way to increase a credit score? Here are three things that people with high credit scores have in common:

1. They pay their bills on time. On-time payments can provide a big boost to a person’s credit score. Likewise, late payments can dramatically lower it.

2.They check their credit report regularly. Credit bureaus make mistakes. Checking your credit report at least once each year is key to making sure the right information is being reported to the credit bureaus. Credit scores reflect the quality of your credit record; mistakes can lower your credit score.

3. They use credit sparingly. Aim to use only a small percentage of your available credit. Maxed out credit cards or balances approaching a credit limit tend to lower your credit score. Consumers with high credit scores often enjoy lower rates for mortgages and other types of consumer loans and lower premiums on some types of insurance policies. A high credit score also can help you during a job search, since nearly half of U.S. employers conduct credit background checks on applicants.

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