access intranet after hours circle-arrow apply blog caret circle arrow close closer look community outreach community outreach contact contact us down arrow facebook lock solid find a provider find a clinical trial find a provider find a researcher find faculty find-a-service how to apply join leadership left arrow locations logo make a gift map location maximize minimize my chart my chart notification hp notification lp next chevron right nxt prev pay your bill play previous quality and safety refer a patient request a speaker request appointment request an appointment residents corner rss search search jobs Asset 65 submit a story idea symptom checker Arrow Circle Up twitter youtube Dino Logo External Link University Logo Color University Logo Solid Health Logo Solid Arrow Right Circle Book Calendar Date Calendar Search Date Diploma Certificate Dollar Circle Donate Envelope Graduation Cap Map Pin Map Search Phone Pills Podcast

Building Credit

Credit is your reputation as a borrower.  Some benefits to having a good credit score include enjoying lower interest rates and saving money on insurance and security deposits on new utilities and cell phone service.  Important credit factors are your payment history, level of debt, credit age, and recent credit.  They key is controlling your credit to achieve your financial goals.

Other tips include paying all bills on time, be organized and pay attention to payment dates, sign up for automatic payments, always pay at least your minimum monthly payment, and keep your contact information current.

You should always try to keep you credit card balances low.  Charging more than 30% of your credit limit can be very risky.  Credit card companies usually report the balance when your statement closes, so keep the balance low.  Although credit cards are the most common example, other things influence your credit as well.  These may include loan balances and line of credit.  Always keep your debt as low as possible.  Do not cancel old credit cards.  Your card issuer will discontinue sending updates to credit bureaus and the scoring formula places less weight on inactive accounts.  After ten years, the credit bureau will remove the account’s history.  This will shorten your average credit age and cause your credit score to drop.

Mistakes do occur.  Always keep records of checks written, credit card transactions, and ATM usage.  Always keep an eye on your credit score and report possible discrepancies immediately.