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About Credit Scores

A credit score is a three-digit number on a scale from 300 to 900 (the higher, the better) that indicates your risk level to lenders. Those with low credit scores are considered higher risk and receive higher interest rates on loans. Before you apply for a car loan, make sure you know what your credit rating is. There are things you can do to increase your standing and improve your credit score.

Where To Find Your Credit Score

When a bank or lender, etc., pulls your credit report it can affect your credit score. When you need your credit score information, you may want to consider getting it online from Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. These credit bureaus allow you to access your credit report through a free trial, but will start to charge a fee once the trial period is over. Getting your credit report online does not negatively affect your credit score, but cancelling a subscription to an online service provider can be difficult once you no longer want the service.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Here are a few tips on how to improve your credit score:

  • Obtain a free copy of your credit report and make sure all the information is accurate. Sometimes lenders or companies fail to accurately report payments to credit bureaus. Reviewing the report will also ensure you are aware of all the debts that are currently under your name. There may be errors you are unaware of that can affect your credit score.
  • Limit the number of times you apply for loans, or apply in a short period of time. Remember, whenever an institution pulls your report, it decreases your score, but if the various credit inquiries are made in a short time, it won’t affect your credit score.
  • When possible, take steps to significantly reduce your debt: pay off the smallest amounts first, or the amounts with the highest interest rates.
  • Consider a consolidation loan. This puts all of your debt together so you only have one payment and one interest rate, helping you pay less interest and pay off your debt faster while improving your credit score.
  • Make sure you always pay your bills on time, as this is a major factor in your credit score.
  • Keeping your credit card balance below 30% of the limit increases your credit score.
  • Get a gas store card. They are easier to get than regular credit cards and can help you build credit fast and improve your credit score.

Auto Credit Approval can help you find out your credit score. We can also provide suggestions on how to improve your credit score.