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Credit Tips

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When it's time to make a purchase, one of the first decisions to make is how to pay. When cash isn't readily available to cover the costs, it might make sense to borrow the money. This is credit.

When borrowing money with credit, you promise to pay back the original amount of money you borrowed, plus any finance charges that may apply.

Credit Score, powered by SavvyMoney, gives you instant access to your credit score and report. You can find this helpful feature in the e-Banking menu under Financial Wellness. Learn more

What is a credit score?

Long ago, it was up to individual lenders to make judgment calls on whether or not to approve loans. For consistency, a standardized scoring system was introduced to help lenders determine creditworthiness. This is your credit score.

A credit score is a number used by financial institutions and credit card companies to determine risk level when issuing you a loan or a credit card. As of January 2021, Community Choice relies on VantageScore® 3.0, which uses a collaboration of all three major credit reporting bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

Learn why we switched to VantageScore

Why does my credit score matter?

Your credit score will fall somewhere in the 300-850 range, and is an indication your financial behavior. The higher the score, the lower the risk for the lender.

Borrowers with a high credit score have a better chance of getting approved for a loan with favorable rates. Borrowers with a low credit score may be approved to borrow less money at higher rates, or may not be approved at all.

Why Credit Matters

In addition to borrowing money, your credit score is important in other aspects of your life. Landlords may take your credit score into account when making a leasing decision. Utilities that involve renting equipment may also rely on your credit score to determine how to proceed. 

How is my credit score determined?

Your VantageScore is influenced by your financial behavior:

Credit Score Influencers

As the chart indicates, paying your bills on time is the most important factor in your credit score, coming in at 40% or “extremely important,” Which is great news because that’s something you can easily control.  

“Highly influential” factors include:

  • Percentage of credit used - Keep revolving credit balance low, below 30% of your available credit.
  • Age and type of credit – a mix of credit, such as credit cards, a mortgage, and an auto loan are good for your score. Again, with an understanding of how credit works, these are things you can manage.

Less important to VantageScore are things like, “recent credit inquiries” and “available credit” (applying for too much credit).

Credit Score, powered by SavvyMoney

Credit Score on iPhoneCredit Score, powered by SavvyMoney, gives you free instant access to your credit score and report directly within e-Banking! Simply login and select Financial Wellness from the menu, followed by Credit Score.

Credit Score and Report

Talk about convenient! View your latest credit score and report anytime, and explore key factors that impact your score. Don't worry, your information is obtained through a "soft pull", and will never impact your credit score.

Money-saving Offers

Credit Score also provides personalized recommendations and up-to-date offers that can help reduce your interest costs or lower your monthly payments. 

Simulator

Wouldn't it be great to know the future? With Credit Score's built-in simulator, you can learn what could happen to your credit score if you were to take certain actions such making on-time payments, increasing balances on credit cards, getting a new auto loan, and more!

Alerts

Credit Score monitors your credit report daily and alerts you of key changes. You'll see what changed on your score and learn how you can improve your financial wellness. Active credit monitoring also assists you identify unauthorized activity and helps prevent identity theft.

Explore Credit Score, powered by SavvyMoney, today in e-Banking. Simply login and select Financial Wellness from the menu, followed by Credit Score.

How do I keep track of my credit score?

With your credit score being such an important indicator to lenders (and others), keeping a watchful eye on your number is a sound decision. Where can you find your score?

Credit Score, powered by SavvyMoney

Credit Score on iPhonee-Banking is a convenient place to quickly see your score and more! With Credit Score, powered by SavvyMoney, you have instant access to your credit score and report, along with personalized tips on how to improve your score or maintain an already great score.

 

Choice Checking

Community Choice members with Choice Checking can review their credit score and get helpful tips in the Club Checking mobile app.

 

My Special Offers

e-Banking users can check “My Special Offers” to see what loans they are pre-qualified for and see their credit score and estimated rates.

Loans

Any member who applies for a loan through any channel will receive their score and additional resources.

AnnualCreditReport.com

You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the major credit bureaus. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get started. Your credit report does not list your actual credit score, but it is still helpful—especially if you understand how a credit score is calculated.

Helpful credit tips

Use these tips to help your credit score shine.

When you receive a bill, pay it

40% of your credit score is determined by your repayment history. Continue to show you are a reputatable and dependable borrower.

Keep your balances low

Having credit is great, but using all of your credit may indicate you are struggling financially. Try to maintain a revolving balance less than 30% of your available credit.

Reconsider before closing accounts

In your quest to maintain a low revolving credit balance, you might have thoughts of closing an account. That might actually work against you by decreasing your overall credit and increasing the percentage you are utilizing. Instead, keep the account as is, and rely on self-discipline to avoid adding more to the balance. 

Credit Report

When reviewing your credit report, take note of account openings, account closings, re-payment history and mix of credit. 

Report errors

See something incorrect on your credit report? Mistakes happen, and an error or two may have a big influence on your credit score! Don't hesitate to file a dispute.

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do you know? Get to know your credit score

When's the last time you checked your credit score? Here are five tips to keep your score moving in the right direction.
Explore Five Tips

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