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Take Charge of Your Credit Score

Learn how the scoring works and how to improve your score

Your FICO credit score is an objective measurement of your credit risk. Your score can impact the credit offers and interest rates you are eligible for. The percentages listed below reflect each of the FICO categories used to calculate your score.

  • 35% Payment History
  • 30% Amounts Owed
  • 15% Length of Credit History
  • 10% New Credit
  • 10% Types of Credit Used

Here are a few simple ways that you can build better credit and raise your FICO score. Keep in mind that repairing your score will require about 15 to 24 months of responsible budgeting.

Check your credit report

A regular check of your credit report for unauthorized activity is a smart move. You can get a free credit report once each year from any of the three major credit bureaus. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get your free report. MyFICO.com is another good source for more detailed information about FICO scores.

Set up bill pay reminders

If there is one factor above all that can lift your score, it’s making your credit card and debt payments on time. Create a system of reminders for yourself. Set up automatic payments through your credit union, bank, credit card company, and lending institutions. Then monitor your budget.

Use your credit card responsibly

A good rule of thumb is to keep your credit card balance at or below 30 percent of your credit limit. So, if you have a $1,000 limit, you should use $300 as a personal benchmark.