Field Notes Blog > Your Credit Score: A Key to Financing Opportunities

  • Your Credit Score: A Key to Financing Opportunities

    October 22, 2018

    Featured Guest Writer: Dan Brogdon, AgChoice executive loan officer

    In the financial world, establishing a good credit score opens the door to financing opportunities. It is the key to obtaining loans and leases. Your credit score also influences insurance rates and employment opportunities.

    Until they establish a credit score, many young borrowers find a locked door when they apply for their first loans. Understanding how to establish a good credit score opens the door to your financial future.

    What is a credit score?

    • A credit score is an estimate of credit risk based on your individual credit report.
    • A credit report includes information sourced from credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Transunion

    The higher your credit score, the greater your financial opportunities. Aiming for a score above 750 will unlock financial doors for you and grant you entry to the best rates and terms

    Establishing a credit score

    We are not born with a credit score, We have to earn it. The first step is to obtain a loan or credit card with a reputable bank/lender. If you do not have a credit score, the lender might require a co-signer.

    In most cases, the credit arrangement is reported on both the primary borrower's and co-signer's credit reports. Using the credit card wisely and paying off the entire statement balance each month, are the first steps to establishing a great credit score!

    Some lenders offer a “secured” credit card for first-time card holders. The credit card is secured by a savings account that has a minimum balance tied to the credit card limit. A secured card can also help establish credit history and a credit score.

    While payment history is the most important slice of the pie, having more than 50 percent of your credit card limit borrowed or too many credit cards with outstanding balances can hurt your score.

    When you are starting a business or household, sometimes you need to borrow from multiple sources. My advice is to prioritize your use of credit. Do you really need all of those promotional credit cards or financing offers? Limiting the amount of new credit until you build up your length of credit history will help you keep a healthy credit score.

    In as little as six months after you establish your first account, you can check your credit score. The government requires the major credit reporting agencies to provide a free report annually. There are two ways you can obtain your credit history and, for a reasonable fee, obtain your credit score:

    • 1-877-322-8228 (allow two-three weeks for delivery)
    • Annualcreditreport.com

    For more information, check with your AgChoice loan officer. Your loan officer can help you review your credit report and give you tips for success.

     

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