It's a new year! Start off 2018 right by rebuilding your credit

A few simple steps to rebuilding your credit…

A poor or bad credit score falls below 619 on the FICO score. Having a bad credit score makes it hard to qualify for loans, can result in higher insurance premiums, and some employers check credit reports before they’ll even hire you. Even with an average score between 620 and 679, you won’t get the best terms from lenders. A good score is 680 to 739. If you want the best terms on loans, especially mortgages, you need an excellent credit score of 740 or higher.

There’s room for improvement on most scores. It’s especially important to improve your rating if your credit is poor. Rebuilding your credit doesn’t have to be complicated. You just need patience and a plan.

1. Check your credit report. Know where you are financially. See where you need to improve. Lot of late payments? Missed payments? Debt utilization too high? Free reports at

2. Pay bills on time. Includes non-credit bills like utility bills and rent.

3. Avoid closing credit card accounts. The longer your history, the better.

4. Pay down debt. Credit utilization is a measure of how much of your credit you are using.

Adrielle Cabahug