Credit scores. We all have them—and they exert a tremendous impact on our lives.
You may be surprised to find out that people have dozens of credit scores. The three most important credit scores are from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They’re the main credit reporting agencies that lenders, credit card companies, landlords, mobile phone companies, and even employers use to assess your history of paying off debts. And whether you get that card, that apartment, that house, that phone … or even that job you have your mind set on.
Most credit scores are on a range of 300 to 850, with 850 being a perfect score. But it takes time to build credit. For that you need a history of paying off credit cards and loans.
The good news: there are many ways to build credit. Opening a credit card, for example, or obtaining a mortgage can help you establish a credit history.
Another way to build credit is something you’re likely to do -- lease or buy a car. Suretys PlusOne policies help you get the car at a rate you can afford.
How does a Suretys policy help me build credit?
Building credit with Suretys is simple. With a Suretys PlusOne policy and financing from a lender like a credit union or bank, you receive an auto loan in your name alone, which means your car payments get reported to the credit bureaus, enabling you to build credit history on your credit report.
Before buying the car, PlusOne Preapproval by Suretys tells you what monthly car payment you can realistically afford based on your application. This allows you to shop within your price range and reduces the chance that you’ll take on too large of a financial obligation. And when you’re ready to buy, the pre-approval converts to a PlusOne policy that enables you to buy a car on your own without a family member needing to cosign. It also helps you make the best deal and allows the lender to offer preferred interest rates on your lease or loan.
But whether you build positive or negative credit history hinges on your ability to make payments on time. You’ll establish a history of using credit responsibly if you pay on time. If you miss car payments, you’ll be flagged as an irresponsible borrower.
Making on-time payments is the single most effective way to build good credit. That’s because payment history is the primary factor in calculating your credit score, accounting for 35 percent of your score. And just a single 90-day late payment can cause your credit score to drop by as much as 180 points. (Ouch!)
Keep on top of your credit score
Check your credit reports periodically for errors. In a recent Consumer Reports study, more than one-third (34 percent) of consumers found at least one error on their report. Don’t let those errors harm you. Currently, you’re entitled to free weekly credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion at AnnualCreditReport.com. Most important, you are offered opportunities to make corrections to them by writing to the credit bureaus.
The bottom line
Building positive credit history is crucial for many reasons. A car loan or lease agreement is one of the proven ways to build credit. Having a car loan with a Suretys PlusOne policy can help you establish good credit and build your way up to an excellent credit score of 760 or even to that perfect 850. Then you can truly reap the advantages of excellent credit.
For more information about how Suretys and our PlusOne policy can help you get the car or truck you want at a price you can afford, contact us here.