Building Credit

Learn how to raise your credit score using these important tips and strategies. Know what credit rating agencies are, how they work, and what matters most when it comes to your credit score.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is it possible to check your credit score without affecting it?

    Yes, it is often possible to check and monitor your credit score without having to pull a full credit report. Many credit card issuers now offer free credit scores and even put cardmembers’ credit score on their billing statement each month.

  • Can someone get credit after declaring bankruptcy?

    It is often possible to get additional credit after declaring bankruptcy but it depends on the lender and their credit underwriting policies.  Any credit that is made available will typically be considered subprime, however, and likely carry much higher interest rates due to the enhanced risk to the lender for someone who has defaulted on previous credit obligations.

  • Do you have to pay to see your credit score?

    There are options available to see one’s credit score without paying. Many major banks and credit card issuers such as American Express, Barclays, Bank of America and Chase make credit scores available for free to their account holders and even print the current score on their billing statements each month.

  • What is on my credit report?

    Credit reports contain credit-related information between the borrower and various lenders such as the lender name, account number, age of the account, late and on-time payment status, credit amount and current balance information.

  • When should you begin trying to build your credit?

    Establishing credit and building a positive credit history should begin as soon as the teen years and can take the form of a young person being added to a parent’s credit card account as an authorized user. Then, once a child turns 18 they can be eligible to get credit in their own name, though this still may require a parent or adult over 21 to serve as a co-signer unless the young person can show sufficient income to service the account.

  • What do different credit score ranges mean?

    Lenders consider credit score ranges when assigning credit limits and interest rates on a risk related basis. The highest FICO credit score range, which lenders designate as excellent credit, typically runs between 740 and 850 and the lowest range for bad credit is usually below 600. Credit score ranges for fair and good credit can be between those extremes at levels set by individual lenders.

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