Watching Your Wallet: New tools to help your credit score
Cellphone, Netflix bills could improve your score
INVESTIGATETV - A good credit score is essential for your financial health.
When you apply to rent an apartment, finance a car, or borrow money, lenders look at your credit reports and credit scores to help determine your eligibility.
Many credit card companies provide credit scores to their users for free. If yours doesn’t, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides information and resources for both free and paid methods for learning your score.
According to Credit.org, credit scores can range from 300 to 850, with a good score being 680 or higher.
If you are just starting out and have no credit history or if your score is below 680, you have a few options.
Experian Boost takes into account the bills you pay on time that don’t normally get added to a credit report.
Rod Griffin, the senior director of consumer education and advocacy for Experian, said even something as simple as streaming a movie can now indirectly help your credit.
“It can help you add your positive cell phone payments,” Griffin said. “Your positive utility payments even your streaming services like Netflix to your credit report that could help improve your credit scores.”
Historically, cell phone companies and utilities didn’t report positive information, they only reported accounts in collection. But with this product, you can get credit for keeping your account in good standing.
UltraFICO works much in the same way as Experian Boost by allowing lenders to see your positive banking account activity including how much money you have in your accounts, how long you’ve had those accounts and how much you use them.
Growing your credit score to 680 and beyond will make it easier, and usually cheaper, to borrow money.
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