Your Money Matters: Tips for securing a loan

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Tony Zimmer

Tony’s Tips:

Know your score:
The most important thing is to know what your score is. You can get a free report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year. I have a link on my website to get your free report.

Dispute errors:
Once you get that report, look at it closely. If there are errors like late payments, charge-offs or collections, or if your credit limits are reported as lower than they really are, it is usually worth the effort to correct it with the bureaus.  1 in 5 people have credit report errors.

Watch your ratio:
Your credit score depends a large part on the ratio of credit used to credit available. Ideally you want to be using less than 10% of your available credit. If you are using more, work on paying down that debt. One way to do that is to make micropayments throughout the month.

Use your cards lightly:
Racking up big bills on your credit cards can hurt your scores – even if you pay them off each month! Try to limit your charges to 30% of a card’s limit. You can set up text or email alerts with your credit card company to help you keep track.

Keep cards active:
You can also boost your credit score by keeping your cards active. The older your credit history, the better – so it is good to keep an older credit card active as well. If you stop using a card, the company may stop reporting it to the credit bureaus.

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