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Take Charge of Your Credit Score

Learn how the scoring works and how to improve your score

Your FICO credit score is an objective measurement of your credit risk. Your score can impact the credit offers and interest rates you are eligible for. The percentages listed below reflect each of the FICO categories used to calculate your score.

  • 35% Payment History
  • 30% Amounts Owed
  • 15% Length of Credit History
  • 10% New Credit
  • 10% Types of Credit Used

Here are a few simple ways that you can build better credit and raise your FICO score. Just keep in mind that repairing your score will require about 15 to 24 months of responsible budgeting.

Check your credit report

A regular check of your credit report for unauthorized activity is a smart move. You can get a free credit report once each year from any of the three major credit bureaus. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get your free report. CAP COM also suggests www.scoreinfo.org for specific information about FICO scores and even more ways you can improve your score. To get your up-to-date FICO score, visit www.myfico.com.

Set up bill pay reminders

If there is one factor above all that can lift your score, it’s making your credit card and debt payments on time. CAP COM’s Connect-24 Web Banking System offers payment reminders and a dashboard view of your budget. That’s a great way to stay informed. What’s even better: Set up automatic payments through your credit card and lending institutions. Then, monitor your budget over time.

Use your credit card responsibly

A good rule of thumb is to keep your credit card balance at or below 30 percent of your credit limit. So, if you’ve got a $1,000 limit, you should use $300 as a personal benchmark.

Please call (518) 458-8986 or visit a branch to talk with an Associate about improving your credit future.

Information and recommendations may have changed since this article was written. Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results.