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MAKE IT MAKE CENTS

What’s Your Number? Your Guide to the Mysterious World of Credit Scores

APEF: Solving the Financial Illiteracy Crisis

Have you ever wondered why some adults get amazing deals on loans and credit cards while others seem stuck with sky-high interest rates? The answer lies in a mysterious three-digit figure: your credit score. Think of it as a secret report card for your financial habits, influencing everything from loans to apartments. So, grab your metaphorical magnifying glass, and let's unlock the mysteries of credit scores!


The Credit Score Chronicles: How Your Financial Story Gets Told
Imagine your credit report as a trailer for a superhero film about your financial life. It summarises your borrowing and repayment history, showing lenders (the audience) whether you are a responsible borrower (an economic action hero) or a loan-risk (a financial villain). The better your score is, the more you'll be able to get better credit and interest rates. 

 

Soft skills refer to a set of personal attributes, behaviors, and social attitudes that enable individuals to interact effectively with others in a workplace or social environment. These skills are essential for building healthy relationships, communicating effectively, solving problems, and collaborating with others.

So how is your credit score determined?

Payment History (35%). Your Payment History is like your financial report card, showing whether or not you pay bills on time; if this metric consistently increases, so does your score; otherwise if payments are often late or missed it decreases.

Credit Utilization (30%): Imagine eating pizza slices as representing credit you have available; too much consumption can damage your score; your score takes into account how much of that credit is actually being utilized, so it would be prudent to utilize only part of it at any one time. To protect your score as much as possible, aim for using less.

 

Length of Credit History (15%): Your length of credit history acts like the duration of a school assignment - the longer you've been responsible with credit, the better it is for your score. Therefore, starting early on building credit can only benefit you in the future.

Types of Credit in Use (10%): It's like being in school again: having different subjects at once! Being able to handle different types of credit accounts like credit cards and loans will do wonders for your score; but using too many at the same time might be counter-productive.

Starting Out (10%): Applying for new credit accounts can be like starting over, so take your time in opening accounts at once to protect your score and be as responsible as possible.

 

How to Build Your Financial Blockbuster Trailer:

 

  • Paying your bills on time can help you improve your score. Each timely payment is like a hero delivering a perfect blow!

  • Using credit cards responsibly, keeping balances low, and avoiding late payments builds trust with lenders, like a hero winning over the audience. Remember, with great credit comes great responsibility!

  • A mix of credit types that are used responsibly, such as a student loan and a small-scale credit card, will demonstrate financial flexibility and reliability. This will add depth and intrigue into your financial trailer.

  • Keeping debt low: Too much debt compared to income can drag down your credit score like a villain's evil scheme. Borrowing responsibly is the key to a great financial story!

 

The Credit Score Cliffhangers: How to Avoid Plot Twists

 

  • Missing payments: This is like a financial kryptonite, weakening your score faster than a superhero losing their powers. Avoid this cliffhanger at all costs!


  • Maxing out credit cards: Using most of your available credit is like overusing your superpowers – it can be tempting but ultimately lead to financial trouble. Choose responsible limits and stick to them!


  • Co-signing for others: Signing for someone else's loan is like sharing your financial superpowers – their mistakes can impact your score, even if you're not the borrower. Be cautious about who you team up with!


  • Becoming a Credit Score Mastermind:
     

  • Stay informed about your financial standing by checking your credit score regularly, like a hero monitoring their vital signs. Many banks and credit card companies offer free credit score checks!

  • If you see mistakes in your report, challenge them. Don't let inaccurate information be the villain in your financial story!

  • Build good credit habits early; even small steps like responsible bill payments can significantly impact your score in the long run. Every financial hero starts somewhere!

  • Don't be afraid to ask parents, advisors, or financial institutions for guidance; knowledge is your ultimate weapon in the quest for a healthy credit score!

 

Credit scores might seem like a complex code, but understanding them makes you a financially empowered young adult. By building a positive credit history, you secure your financial future, unlock amazing deals, and become the hero of your financial adventure. Now that we’ve unraveled the mystery of the credit score, you can write your own thrilling story of financial responsibility and success. With knowledge and action, you can take control of your credit score, and pave the path to a bright future.

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