Meanwhile, if your credit score isn’t quite where you want it to be, knowing the score is the first step to improving it. Most mortgage lenders require that you have 3 trade-lines on your credit report. This can be auto loans, credit cards, personal loans, or other qualifying lines of credit. There can be exceptions to this rule, including alternative bills that are often allowed (phone bills, utilities, etc.).
Make sure the lender — typically a credit union or community bank — will report your payments to the three major credit-reporting agencies. There are ways to build up your bad score to get better deals. Understanding how credit scores work will help you know where to focus your efforts. To find out what your credit score is with TransUnion, simply sign up for TotallyMoney’s Free Credit Report.
While a bad credit score may affect your ability to access affordable credit products, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it. You can work on building your credit scores by reducing your credit utilization ratio and by paying your bills on time. Knowing where your credit falls on the credit score range is important. Depending on your scores and ranking, you may receive lower interest rates and may be more likely to be approved for loans and other credit products.
You can’t really guess what your credit limit will be beforehand, but if you need a card with a specific credit limit secured credit cards are an option. While many credit cards for fair credit fall into the no-frills category, some offer features such as cash back, points credit score 616 and other benefits. On the other hand, you’ll probably have trouble qualifying for a zero-interest intro offer on a balance transfer credit card with a credit score below 670. Your credit score gives lenders a general idea of how likely you are to pay what you owe.
Together, these factors are considered to be a good indication of how likely you are to honour future credit commitments. We’re transparent about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you by explaining how we make money. Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions. The content created by our editorial staff is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades.