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"Tips To Improve Your Credit Score"

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Tina Robinson
In this competitive credit market, it’s all the more important to have a good credit score. Your credit score affects your candidacy for a loan and the interest rate and terms you receive on a loan Many lenders determine credit risk by reviewing your FICO® score, a credit score based on a mathematical formula developed by Fair Isaac and Company. FICO® scores range from a low of 300 to a high of 850. Consider these steps to help improve your score:

Know your score. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with your credit score. Under federal law, the three major credit reporting companies –

Equifax, Experian and TransUnion –are each required to provide one free credit report to consumers each year.  While the credit reports are free, keep in mind that you may need to request and pay a fee to obtain your actual credit score.

Pay bills promptly. According to myFICO.com, 35 percent of your credit score is based on your payment history.  The importance of making timely payments cannot be overstated.  Limit debt-to-credit available ratio.  Try not to use more than 30 percent of your available credit, as a higher percentage of debt can negatively impact your score.

Tina Robinson is a senior vice president and regional manager for Union Bank, N.A., a full-service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies and major corporations. Visit www.unionbank.com for more information.

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