Do you know your credit score?
How do I find my credit score
If you’re a member of LGFCU and currently have a loan or an active credit card with us, you can check your credit score for free within Member Connect! Your credit score is automatically updated within Member Connect each quarter.
Another convenient way to get your credit score may be through additional financial institutions where you have free credit score option is available.
Three things you can do right now:
1) Pay down revolving credit and keep your balances low.
2) Don't let your credit balances get too close to their limits. Try to keep your used/open credit ratios to no more than 30% for each account.
3) Only apply for and open new accounts when you really need to.
Remember! A credit score is just a snapshot in time based on information currently available within your credit report. Credit scores can change over time based on your credit behavior. LGFCU uses the FICO® scoring system.
Credit bureaus vs. credit scoring models
A credit bureau, also known as a credit reporting agency, collects credit information, turns it into a credit report and keeps track of your credit history.
There are three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. A credit scoring model assigns a number to your financial outlook. There are many models; the two best known are FICO Score® and VantageScore®.
Lenders use credit reports and credit scores to help them determine your creditworthiness, so you can better understand your own credit situation.
What’s in a credit score?
Five key factors are used to determine a credit score. It’s important to know what those factors are and what activities impact each. This way you’ll know what steps you may need to take to improve or maintain your credit score. That means it will take time to improve a credit score, and consistent monitoring to maintain a good score. The good news is — you can do it!
Payment history on current and past accounts, and any public record or collection items.
With payment history being the most important factor in determining your credit score, it is important to ensure you make all payments on time, every time.
Ratio of overall credit use — balance — compared to credit limit — amount of credit available.
It’s best to keep your balances consistently below a 30% credit utilization ratio. Example: If your balance is $250 and your limit is $1,000, your ratio is 25%.
Amount of time credit accounts have been open and how long it’s been since those accounts have had activity.
Closing old credit card accounts could hurt your score. It’s better to keep these open to show a longer credit history.
The variety of open credit accounts, like credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans and mortgage loans.
Maintain different types of credit accounts to show diversity within your credit report.
Record of how frequently new credit accounts are opened or applied for.
Be strategic when shopping for a new loan or credit card to avoid opening multiple credit accounts during a short time period. You don’t want your credit report to show you’re constantly applying for credit.
FAQs about credit scores
The number that represents your credit score is calculated by a statistical model that compares your credit information to others with similar credit reports.
Five key factors are used to determine a credit score:
- Payment history
- Amounts owed
- Length of credit history
- New credit
- Credit mix
Learn more by viewing What’s in a credit score?
For lenders, your credit score indicates how good you are at repaying your debts and may be used to determine also used to determine the interest rate you receive on certain types of loans.
Yes. Usually, your credit score is not impacted when you check your own credit reports or credit scores. It’s good to check your credit reports and credit scores regularly to make sure your records are accurate and complete.
Yes. The credit score you see can depend on the credit scoring model and credit bureau that the credit scoring company uses to calculate it. There are many different credit scoring companies and models, as well as several credit bureaus, which means you could receive different credit scores from different companies.
There is no minimum credit score required for a loan at LGFCU. Credit scores may determine the documentation needed during the loan application process, but are not a factor in loan pricing.
According to the FICO® scoring system, a credit score of 819 is considered "excellent."
Credit unions are a great option to consider if you're trying to improve your credit score. Your Credit Union provides support for credit score management, including complimentary in-branch financial counseling services and affordable financial products. Both of these can help you get on track with your finances, which in turn, affects your credit score.
While different financial institutions use varied credit score models, LGFCU uses the FICO® Score 8 model, provided by Equifax.
COVID-19's impact on credit scores
Soon after the pandemic began, many lenders allowed consumers to defer payments on certain credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and student loans. Lenders reported consumers who opted for the break in payments as “current” on their loans to credit bureaus. However, some creditors incorrectly reported them as “late” which caused a drop in many credit scores.
If you’ve been affected, here’s what you can do:
- Make sure the information in your credit report is correct. Now through April 2022, you can get a free copy of your credit report online, once a week from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. View and download your credit reports from the three credit reporting agencies.
- Dispute any discrepancy you find on your credit report with the credit bureau as soon as possible to have it corrected. If you need additional help, you can contact the CFPB.
- If one or more of your payment schedules are currently on hold, use this time to request Financial Counseling, available at no charge, through your Credit Union. Ask for help with a plan to pay off these payments and more once the extension period ends.
- Ask about our Mortgage Assistance Program to help keep you in your home if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage.
- Use the Financial Hardship section to help you navigate your financial challenges.
Continue on your credit score journey
Stay tuned for more credit score tips and advice from the Credit Score Mentor!