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New Year, New Credit Score: Credit Tips and Reminders for 2022

The start of a new year is a perfect opportunity to focus on smart financial habits, including building, improving and maintaining a healthy credit score! If you're ready to become more credit savvy in 2022, check out these helpful credit tips and reminders.

Refresh Your Credit Knowledge

Your credit score plays a key role in your ability to borrow smarter. Lenders use your credit score to measure your creditworthiness, or how likely you are to repay the money you borrow on time. The higher your score, the better!

Do you know what makes up your credit score? There are six main factors to know about:

#1: Balances — Try to keep your total outstanding credit balances paid down as much as you can. 

#2: Recent Credit — Too many new credit accounts or hard credit inquiries in a short period of time can lower your score.

#3: Available Credit — Available credit is the amount of your credit limit you have available to use, given your current outstanding balances. The lower your balances, the more available credit you will have, which can help your score. 

#4: Payment History — It's very important to make consistent, on-time payments.

#5: Age and Type of Credit — This factor considers how long you have held credit accounts in good standing and whether you have a diverse mix of credit accounts, such as loans and lines of credit. 

#6: Credit Utilization — Your credit utilization rate compares how much credit you are currently using with your total credit limits. Having a low credit utilization rate can help your score.  

Develop Smart Credit Habits

Building a good credit score takes time, but the hard work is worth it! Here are some quick tips to help you develop smart credit habits in the new year:

  • Pay bills on time and in full. Remember, payment history is the most important factor making up your credit score.
  • Keep credit applications to a minimum within a short period of time.
  • Use credit responsibly — don't borrow more than you can comfortably afford to pay back!
  • Try to keep credit balances at no more than 30% of your total limit.

Stay on Top of Your Credit with My Credit Score

When was the last time you checked your credit score? Because your credit score is a major part of your financial life, it's important to keep track of your score and understand how your borrowing habits affect the numbers.

Now it's easier than ever to monitor your score and stay on top of your credit with My Credit Score, available through WPCU's Mobile and Online Banking. My Credit Score is designed to help you better understand your credit so you can take steps to establish and maintain a healthy overall credit picture. Best of all, it's free and easy to use anytime, anywhere!

Here are a few ways My Credit Score can help you become more credit savvy in 2022:

Real-time credit monitoring — Use My Credit Score to keep a close eye on your credit score and credit report activity. Staying on top of any changes with your score and report will also help you spot signs of potential fraud and identity theft so you can take action right away.

Daily credit score updates — Never miss a thing with credit score updates from My Credit Score. Checking your score with My Credit Score is always a “soft inquiry," which does not affect your credit score.

Credit score analysis — Understand the factors that make up your credit score and what you can do to help strengthen it.

Personalized offers — Take advantage of recommended offers based on your personal credit score and money-saving opportunities like consolidating debt or reducing monthly payments.

Helpful financial resources – My Credit Score offers useful tools and resources to help you increase your credit score, borrow smarter and achieve greater financial flexibility and freedom. For example, try the Score Simulator tool to see what could happen to your credit score if you were to take certain actions, like applying for new credit or paying down debt balances!

How to Access My Credit Score

It couldn't be easier to use My Credit Score on your desktop or mobile device! If you haven't already done so, enroll in WPCU's easy-to-use Mobile and Online Banking so you'll be able to access My Credit Score on top of our other convenient Digital Services.