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4 tips for healthy credit

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4 tips for healthy credit

Improve your financial well-being and stress less.

1. Understand the components of a credit score

Healthy credit is more than just the rate you pay on a credit card. Your credit can affect your ability to purchase a home, send your child to college and plan for retirement. Your credit score is used in over 90 percent of U.S. lending decisions, so understanding how this number is calculated is an important step to improving and managing the health of your credit.

2. Aim to use only 30 percent of your available credit

Using more than 30 percent could negatively impact your score. Keep in mind that most credit card companies report your outstanding balance as of the statement closing date. Paying your bill in full each month prior to the statement closing date will help keep your utilization down and your credit score up. You can easily set up automatic payments using the bill pay feature in online banking.

3. Be careful not to close out your older credit accounts

Closing older credit accounts could decrease the reported length of your credit history and negatively impact your credit score.

4. Be mindful when submitting multiple credit applications

If you are considering a large purchase such as a car and will be submitting multiple credit applications, try to do so within two weeks to avoid having multiple inquiries impact your credit score.