How to Build & Improve Your Credit
Having good credit is a great goal, but it isn’t always a requirement to buy or rent a home or pay bills. For example, someone with a less-than-ideal credit score can still get a loan, and your score would be part of determining how much interest you’ll pay on your loan.
So if your existing credit rating isn’t that great, you’re not alone, and you can work on fixing it. And if you don’t have any credit rating at all yet, you’ll want to build one.
Credit Builder Loan
The whole point of the Affinity Plus Credit Builder Loan is to help you establish or repair your credit rating. So it’s designed a little differently than most other loans.
When this one’s funded, the money you borrowed ($500 – $1,000) is put into your Affinity Plus Membership Savings account. But the borrowed amount is frozen until the loan’s paid in full, though it earns you dividends while it’s there.
Also, during the life of your loan, your payments are reported to the Equifax, Experian and Transunion credit bureaus each month. So make sure they’re all on time! Payment history is about 35% of your credit score – it matters.
A+ Tip: To help prevent late payments, you can schedule automatic monthly transfers from another Affinity Plus account, or from an external account at a different financial institution. In either the mobile banking app or online banking, you schedule transfers on the Move Money screen.
Free Credit Monitoring & More
Whether you’re just curious about your current credit score, or you also want the security of credit monitoring, there’s a free resource for both in Affinity Plus digital banking (on the Accounts screen).
You can enroll in monitoring that checks your credit report daily for things like new accounts opened, address changes, delinquencies reported, and more. And it’s not a bad idea to do that. Because even if you do everything right, your credit could be damaged by someone else trying to commit fraud with your info. So why not get a little help watching for that, for free?
A+ Tip: If you enroll in credit monitoring, your alerts will go to the email address listed in digital banking. So make sure your contact info’s current! You’ll find it on Profile screen. In the mobile banking app, there’s a link to it on the More screen. And in online banking, you’ll see a link in the upper-right.