Credit Building Tips

1. Building Credit History

The Exchange Credit Program is committed to helping service members build their credit wisely. Lenders use credit history/score to determine your credit worthiness. A low credit history/score can prevent you from qualifying for a credit card, home mortgage or car loan at the best possible interest rate. The Exchange Credit Program has created a set of credit guidelines to guide you in building your credit history/score.

Tips for raising your credit score
  1. Payment history (approximately 35% of your credit score)
    a. Pay your bills on time
    b. Stay current on all your credit accounts
  2. Account balances (approximately 30% of your credit score)
    a. Keep low outstanding balances on credit cards
    b. Pay off debt rather than shifting it between credit cards
    c. Do not close unused credit cards (this can possibly lower your credit score)
    d. Do not apply/open unnecessary credit card accounts
  3. Length of credit history (approximately 15% of your credit score)
    a. How long have you had credit
    b. How often you use credit
  4. New credit (approximately 10% of your credit score)
    a. Manage how many new accounts do you have
    b. Do not open several new accounts in a short time (this can possibly lower your credit score)
    c. Maintain a good recent credit history
  5. Types of credit used (approximately 10% of your credit score)
    a. Credit score is a combination of all your outstanding credit cards, retail cards, loans, etc.
    b. Closed accounts will show up on your credit report and may be included in your credit score

2. Check your credit report

It is important to check your credit report from each credit reporting agency at least once a year. Knowing what is on your credit report allows you to catch mistakes or dispute erroneous charges/accounts. A credit report containing mistakes will affect how potential lenders determine your credit worthiness.

Check your credit report by contacting:
Equifax (800) 685-1111
Experian (888) 397-3742
TransUnion (877) 322-8228
Innovis (877) 261-7685
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