• Rusty Bresse

USING YOUR CREDIT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

Your credit score is perhaps the most important rating you receive in your life. Credit scores impact your ability to rent an apartment, purchase a home, obtain certain jobs, and even get a cell phone plan. Though your credit is massively important to your life, most of us are not equipped to build or resolve our credit. We are constantly reminded of how absolutely pertinent your credit score is, and might have an understanding that paying your bills on time helps, but did you know that your credit score can be incorrect? Your credit data behind your score could be inaccurate or outdated, which is completely resolvable, but addressing incorrect data points requires knowing what they are. The good news is you have the resources around you necessary to take charge or your own credit report, enabling you to achieve your personal financial goals.


How Credit Data Empowers You

If you are not already regularly checking your credit score, you should be. Your credit data is your best offense to ensuring your identity or credit information has not been stolen or mishandled. Of course, identity theft is the worst-case scenario that you could find on your credit report, but there are certainly many other variables, far more frequently occurring, that might be on your credit report right now. Studies have shown that 79% of credit data is incorrect – that is an absurd number, but if you think about that percentage under the context of millions of credit accounts being opened every day, it’s easier to see how that number is possible. Do not allow yourself to be subject to incorrect credit reporting by taking charge of your credit score. Monitoring and understanding your credit data will help you catch any inaccuracies to ensure your credit score is in alignment with your current financial situation. When you take the reins of your credit score, you will also enable yourself to make the changes to your lines of credit that matter most – skyrocketing your credit score.

With countless technologies and platforms available to help you better understand your credit score and credit data, it can feel extremely intimidating to know which to choose. You need to ensure the platform or technology you select not only provides you with your credit data, but also gives context into your credit data and where you should prioritize improvements. ScoreNavigator does just that. Their exceptional technology awards a point system to your credit data, simplifying your journey to improve your credit score. With their Point Deduction Technology, you will be able to gain insight into the biggest value-add areas you can make credit improvements with just a quick glance. Take control of your credit and finances with ScoreNavigator.


Building & Maintaining Your Credit

Working diligently to improve your credit score, using your credit data, is a waste of effort if you are unable to maintain your newly achieved score. It is pertinent that you build productive habits and hold yourself accountable. Your credit can very easily get away from you with just one forgotten credit card bill. Do not let all of the energy you just spent resolving your credit discrepancies, and making credit improvements, be for nothing. Thankfully, with ScoreNavigator, you not only get a credit report prioritized with a flawless point system, but you also gain access to resources that help you create the positive change you need for lasting credit and financial results. With short-term and long-term score recommendations, simulators that equip you with step-by-step tasks, credit and financial coaching to support you through all of your questions and concerns, identity left protection, credit monitoring to assure you are always aware of credit updates, and perhaps most helpful, their financial tools that allow you to maintain healthy financial habits. Let’s discuss how to use some of those exceptional benefits in practical situations:

  • The most horrifying aspect of having your identity stolen, beyond feeling violated, is your hard-earned money being taken from you. With 24/7 identify theft monitoring, you can catch fraudulent charges or credits lines instantly, allowing you to mitigate the loss you could have suffered if you were left unaware until you received your credit card statement.

  • If you want to build or improve your credit, the most important step you can take is ensure you pay your bills on time. There is no faster way to see your credit score drop than with past-due bills. With a budget you follow closely, you can help yourself reliably stay current on all of your bills, every month. With ScoreNavigator’s Financial Section of your report, you can visually see where all of your money is going each month, while receiving recommendations you can easily build into your personal budget – helping you improve your credit score and decrease your debt-to-income ratio.

  • Beyond paying your bills on time, when you better understand your credit data, you will be able to make small adjustments in your day-to-day that will make you feel as if you are “gaming the system.” An example of that is simply asking to increase a credit line without any intention of using the additional credit. Your credit data will show you that the amount of debt you are carrying on your credit lines is a large component of your credit score. By simply increasing your credit line, you can drop your debt percentage, or debt-to-income ratio, increasing your credit score.

Setting & Achieving Credit Goals

After learning more about your credit score and credit data, and seeing the priority of where changes are needed, it is time to set some goals you can act on promptly. No need to worry – ScoreNavigator has created tools to help you set and reach financial and credit goals. Thanks to their Target Score, Manual, and Money Simulators, you can gain actionable recommendations that are customized to your individual needs, versus trying to follow some blanketed template you found online.

  • Target Score Simulator: The Target Score Simulator demonstrates your current credit data, while allowing you to input credit goals. That could be a credit goal to be able to take out a line of credit in the future, or simply just a personal goal to improve your score. After inputting your goal score, the Target Score Simulator will highlight specific steps you can take to improve your score quickly, while also sharing insight into the best days of the month to pull your credit, for the best result.

  • Money Simulator: With the help of the Money Simulator, you can simply enter in a dollar amount you would like to contribute toward your bills, and the Money Simulator will demonstrate the most effective and valuable use of those funds. You do not have to feel as though you are blindly choosing the more impactful way to use your hard-earned money. Let the Money Simulator, expertly created with accuracy guaranteed, do the hard work for you. It’s time for your money to work for you, versus you working for your money.

  • Manual Simulator: The most flexible simulator offered, the Manual Simulator allows you to test just about every scenario with your credit to help you set goals that are most important to you. You can adjust your credit limits to see the impact to your score, simulate paying different balances and the effect on your score – really anything you want to understand to help you build a credit and financial goal that best suits your needs.

As you can see, with fantastic credit and financial Simulators at your fingertips, you can be equipped every step of your credit improvement journey. With the right resources, you have the power to take back control of your credit and create healthy financial habits that last.


Sample Scenario

To truly drive home the importance of your ability to take charge of your own credit and finances, let’s look at a sample scenario that is very practical, and perhaps familiar to some. You’ll quickly notice how everything we have previously discussed is intertwined, and required together, to help you achieve your goals.

Our sample individual’s name is Sally Susan. Sally has understood that her credit score is important, but has never known how to dissect her score, set credit or financial goals, or how to monitor her credit data regularly. Due to Sally’s lack of knowledge, like many of us, she doesn’t really understand how she can improve her credit score. Unfortunately for her, beyond her score being low, her credit report is riddled with problems that are holding her back from applying to a mortgage.

The first step Sally needs to make is get a breakdown of what is in her credit report, the accurate and the inaccurate, then identify where she needs to make improvements in her finances or take resolutive action. Using ScoreNavigator’s Point Deduction Technology, Sally is able to see all of her credit lines, what is currently happening with them, and the highest value areas she can take action to improve her scores. She notices a discrepancy on her report that is incorrect, giving Sally her next action step.

Sally’s next step is resolving the inaccuracy on her credit report – those are things that can be accomplished without the requirement of money, so it is a free way to quickly increase her credit score. In Sally’s situation, she has a past-due balance on a credit card she had previously paid off, so she simply needs to reach out to that creditor and show proof of her payment. Once Sally demonstrates her previous payment, she gets an alert that her score has improved, thanks to the resolved credit issue.

Now that Sally has taken care of the inaccuracy her credit report had, she can focus on setting financial goals that build her credit. In Sally’s situation, since she knows she has a specific goal of purchasing a home, she is going utilize use ScoreNavigator’s Target Score Simulator, using a credit score she has learned will ensure a good mortgage rate. After inputting Sally’s goal credit score, the Target Score Simulator equips Sally with step-by-step recommendations to reach her credit score goal quickly and seamlessly. In her specific situation, she plans to follow recommendations to increase her monthly credit card payment beyond the minimum amount due, as well as call her two credit card companies to ask for an increase in her credit line, due to her reliable on-time payment reputation with them.

This is where the real excitement happens – Sally starts to see dramatic improvements to her credit report all thanks to her dedicated effort following the guidance of ScoreNavigator’s recommendations. The increase in her credit lines decreased her debt-to-income ratio, and she is now paying down her debt even faster. After several months of healthy and intentional financial habits, Sally follows the recommended date of the month to run her credit, and she is able to fulfill her dream of purchasing a home at a fantastic mortgage rate.


Conclusion

You do not have to feel victim to your credit score and the creditors around you. Credit scores impact almost every facet of our lives, and without the right resources or knowledge, you can get stuck in a vicious cycle that does nothing but hold you back. Do not rely on your creditor to teach you the best way to handle your credit line – their interests are not aligned with yours. They make more money when you stumble with your finances, so why would they want to help you completely mitigate that? Equip yourself with the resources you need to be an expert in your credit report, build lasting financial habits, protect your identity, and more. No one cares about your financial security and future success like you do. Do not undervalue your independent ability to achieve your financial goals. We all have the power to take control of our finances and improve our credit scores. Financial stability is not something that’s out of reach anymore – it’s right at your fingertips.

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