How to Improve Your Credit Score
Baylake Bank & ABA Offer Tips for Getting Better Loan Rates
The first step to acquiring the best mortgage
or home equity rate is ensuring that you have a good credit history, which helps
secure a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments. A personís credit score
is a key indicator, and more is better than less. A high credit score indicates
strong creditworthiness, which qualifies a borrower for better interest rates on
loans -- whether they are mortgage loans or credit card loans. To help ensure
you maintain a good credit score, Baylake Bank and the American Bankers
Association (ABA) advise that consumers:
-- Pay bills on time. Pay at least the minimum due, but paying more is even
better. Payment history makes up 35 percent of a personís credit score,
according to www.myfico.com. The longer you
pay your bills on time the better your score.
-- Watch for warning signs of credit trouble. If you pay only the minimum
balance, pay late or use cash-advances to pay daily living expenses, you might
be in the credit ďdanger zone.Ē For more information on debt management, contact
the National Foundation for Consumer Credit at
-- Evaluate your credit report annually. Your credit report illustrates your
credit performance, so it needs to be accurate. Everyone is entitled to receive
a free copy of their credit report through the Federal Trade Commissionís Web
site at www.annuacreditreport.com, or
-- Donít skim; read the fine print. A loan or credit card application is a
contract, so read it thoroughly before signing. Be aware of introductory rates
that expire as well as the length of monthly billing cycles.
-- Ask questions. Remember that you are the customer and your lender is
providing a service. If you donít understand something, ask. Itís equally
important to ask questions if youíre turned down for a loan. Find out why, and
ask the lender how you can improve your chances for approval in the future.
-- Set a budget and stick to it. Developing a financial plan will help you keep
your finances in order. Donít spend more than you can afford, and donít reach
your credit limit or ďmax outĒ your cards.
-- Comparison shop; donít jump at the first appealing offer. Compare rates and
fees offered through mail solicitation, on the internet, or at your local
Baylake Bank, serves Brown, Door, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Outagamie,
Waupaca, and Waushara Counties from 28 community financial centers, and from
their website at www.baylake.com.
provides rate comparisons, calculators, online applications for home,
refinancing, or construction loans, and more.
The American Bankers Association brings together all categories of banking
institutions to best represent the interests of this rapidly changing industry.
Its membership Ė which includes community, regional and money center banks and
holding companies, as well as savings associations, trust companies and savings
banks Ė makes ABA the largest banking trade association in the country.