Similarly, majorities correctly identified individual actions that help raise a low credit score or maintain a high one – make all loan payments on time (89%), keep credit cards balances under 25 percent of the credit limit (72%), and do not open several credit card accounts at the same time (66%). Yet, little more than half of respondents (56%) correctly identified all three factors.
And, only 21 percent know that on a $20,000, 60-month auto loan, borrowers with a low score would typically pay more than $5,000 in interest charges than would a borrower with a high score.
How Consumers Can Raise Their Credit Scores
In brief, consumers can raise their credit scores or maintain high scores by:
- Consistently making their loan payments on time every month. A late payment may lower one’s credit scores by dozens of points.
- Using a small portion of the credit available on a credit card. In general, the higher the percentage of a credit line that is drawn down, the lower one’s credit scores.
- Paying down credit card debt rather than just shifting it to another credit card or to a home equity loan.
- Regularly checking one’s credit reports to make sure they are error-free. This can be done for free annually by contacting www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.
Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-939-1018; Jeff Richardson, VantageScore Solutions, 203-363-2170
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