Building Better Credit seminar

I attended the “Building Better Credit” seminar here at the Chamber this morning. It’s a bit unnerving to think about how much your credit can affect future plans and goals you may have for yourself- whether it be making a large purchase such as a home or a vehicle to interviewing for your dream job. This seminar really made you think about that, which for many, I would assume, would be a little scary.

At the same time, Terri from CCCS of NEPA presented strategies on how to improve your credit score along with resources for doing so. The resounding feeling the seminar gave me was that our personal credit is something that we should protect and monitor so that we can use it to our advantage to achieve our goals rather than allow it to be a deterrent.

Perhaps I was reading between the lines, but I also felt that there was an underlying message that even people who have had indiscretions in their credit history can make changes to their habits that will have a positive impact on their credit score. Credit is not something that is irreparable, but it certainly takes more work to fix it than it does to damage it.

Some interesting points that stood our in my mind were:

  • You can add a 100 word comment to your credit report to explain extenuating circumstance relevant to things that appear on the report.
  • Call 1-888-5-opt-out to stop receiving pre-approved credit card offers by mail. It’s like a “do not call” registry for credit card companies- reduce temptation and paper waste- BRILLIANT!
  • 30% of your credit score is based on the amount you owe, a good rule of thumb is to keep your credit card balances at 15-20% of your credit card limit at maximum.

Elizabeth Rightor

Communications Director, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce