Improve your credit score with free credit improvement services at LSS Financial Counseling
An estimated 11% of Americans have poor credit, according to FICO, the largest and best-known company that provides credit scores.
March is National Credit Education Month, a month dedicated to teaching people about credit and how it can affect them. It is a great time to learn some of the ramifications of having a low credit score and what steps can be taken to boost your score.
According to Experian, one of the major credit reporting bureaus, FICO credit scores can range anywhere from 300-850. Credit scores from 670-739 are considered “good,” credit scores from 740-799 are considered “very good” and 800-850 are considered “exceptional.” On the other side of good credit are credit scores from 669-580 which are considered “fair” and finally, credit scores from 579-300 are considered “poor”.
While barriers may exist with higher credit score ranges, these barriers become considerably more apparent with lower credit scores.
“Many people may know what makes a good credit score but aren’t aware of the issues that can arise from having low credit scores,” states Dan Park, financial counseling supervisor for LSS Financial Counseling, a service of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.
Park points out some of the barriers that can arise from having a low credit score:
• Utility companies may charge more for a deposit or even deny access.
• Both automobile and home insurance premiums can increase.
• Individuals can pay higher interest on loans.
• Accessing a loan may be difficult.
• Employers may take credit score into consideration, affecting employment prospects.
While these issues can exist, action can be taken to improve credit scores. One of the most important things someone can do is thoroughly review their credit report to look for any errors and dispute them if any are found.
“Now is a great time for people to pull their free credit reports,” Park said. “Mistakes on credit reports are very common and there are simple steps that can be taken to fix them.”
LSS Financial Counseling offers free Credit Improvement Services. Certified financial counselors are available to review credit reports and assist with steps that can increase credit scores.
LSS Financial Counseling can also help individuals and families develop a budget, prioritize which debts should be addressed first, and explore beginning a Debt Management Plan. For an appointment, call 888.577.2227 or visit lssfinancialcounseling.org.