Hi, The finance guy who gave me such good advice was at a VW dealership where I had -had huge problems of involving a lack of integrity on their part. I had to file a complaint with the BBB and they were VERY eager to make me happy after that which COULD have played into the extra helpfulness. Also, the guy was young, enthusiastic and had fairly recently graduated from college so he was very idealistic, high energy and seemed to genuinely enjoy educating people. My credit score prior to that wasn't bad as I recall, it just wasn't good and wasn't moving upward no matter how well I paid my bills on time over the years. That's what made me really listen to him when he shared his advice. I knew there must be tricks that would move the needle up on my credit score and it worked in my case. I recently checked and one score in particular was quite high while the other two seemed very good too. I dont have numbers off the top of my head. The impact on my life so far hasn't been huge yet. That dealership gave me a 1% loan on my car even with just decent credit which surprised me. The benefit of that loan was its obvious low cost while allowing me to stay more liquid and continue to build better credit via over -payents paid on time. In the future, I am thinking about buying a house or condo and I suppose thats where the real savings could come into play. I did apply for a mortgage pre-approval and was given a loan amount that I think is semi-insane , and not quite at the lowest interest rate I was hoping to get, so maybe I have a little more work to do in my credit building. Also, its nice to know that future employers who may check my credit will not be ruled out.
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When I went to buy my car, the finance guy there gave me a few tips that really helped my score. 1. I was going to pay a big down payment up front. He pointed out a VERY low interest rate (1%) at the dealership and encouraged me to keep my money liquid, and build up my credit by setting a monthly payment that I could comfortably pay a bit extra on each month. (Even just paying $5-$15.00 extra makes it look like you can easily handle your bills. 2. He told me to put EVERYTHING possible on my CCs and pay it off in full each month (I know- this is a bit different from other advice here to carry over a very small amount). 3. He mentioned the idea of not opening too many CCs and try to keep them active if possible- and set up autopay so I don't forget to pay them or be late with payments. 4. He recommended doing a credit freeze to protect myself from credit fraud. Its more trouble if you are thinking about opening a new credit card or making a large purchase, (because you have to unfreeze your credit) but it adds a sense of security in this age of credit fraud. 5. He recommended checking your credit often (which I didn't do, but I am going to try to be better about.) 6. I thought about paying off a big chunk of my student loan but when I researched it, someone mentioned that having a long-held loan that you are making regular payments on is very good for your credit, so I decided to keep doing that for now. Payments are pretty low and interest rate could be worse, so it's OK. I would say I did all this for about a year now and my credit score has really gone up. Out of three scores, one was REALLY good. I am in a MUCH better position should I decide to buy a house or condo at this point. Ive also been surprised to find out how many employers are checking credit history as an indicator of employee reliability.
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