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Credit History (March 2023)

Dr. Mercy Otieno, Ph.D. Economics and Finance

© International Foundation for World Freedom

Credit history is a record of how you borrow and repay your debts. This information includes the credits card you have, the loans you have taken (car loans), mortgages, how you pay your bills (On-time or late payments). Financial institutions run your credit history and use it to determine whether they will extend credit to you or not and at what rate. In other states landlords’ employers and insurance companies rely on this information too.

Is your Credit history good or bad?

Credit history is reported on a scale range of 300-850.

  • Scores above mid 700s are considered very good- Attracts better lending rates, although this is at the discretion of the lending company.

  • Scores above 600 to low 700 are considered fair to good- People with scores at this level should avoid frequent credit enquiries as this can lower their scores.

  • while those below 600 are considered poor- At this level one attracts high fees and interest rates. At this level one should consider using a secured credit card in case you have to apply for a new credit card line as this allows you to build your credit faster with better terms.

How can one boost their credit score?

While building credit takes a while, one can make these practices a norm to enable them consistently build their score:

  • Make your monthly payments of loans/fees on time.

  • Keep the balances low to at least below 30% of the allocated limit.

  • Take new credit lines only when necessary.

  • Carefully create a good credit mix. A good credit mix refers to different credit card accounts or loans you own.

How do I get Information about my credit history?

Free copy of your credit history can be obtained from these three major reporting agencies namely: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can also check which allows access to users once a year or call 1-877-322-8228 (toll-free).

This far, you can see that knowing your credit history is important in the US, it determines whether you are approved for financing and the terms of your loans.

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