Credit Scores 101: How Prepaid Debit Cards Can Help

Credit score, those are 2 scary words that tend to make most people shudder.   A lot of people haven’t developed a credit history yet or may have no clue what a credit score is or why it is important to them. There are lots of ways to improve your credit score and monitor it.

What is a Credit Score?

Credit bureaus provide information about your credit history and assign you a number based on how worthy you are of receiving credit for things like loans or credit cards. Basically, the score indicates how likely you are to pay off those bills. It is a combination of payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, types of credit used, and the amount of credit requested. The most commonly used credit score is the FICO which ranges from 300 to 850, the higher the number, the better. In the U.S., each person is allowed one free credit report a year from the credit bureau; however, the actual credit score will cost an additional fee.

How do Increase my Credit Score?

One of the most common problems is that a person has no credit history to obtain a credit card, and therefore has trouble building their credit score. It can often take a number of years to develop your credit history. The most important thing to do is always pay off your bills on time. Another key to protecting your credit score is to not apply for too much credit. This means obtaining multiple credit cards or applying for loans. If you need a way to spend funds easily and safely, but don’t have enough credit, another option is a prepaid card.

How can a Prepaid Card help me?

Prepaid credit cards work much like a typical debit card would, but without the risk. With a prepaid card, money is loaded onto the card and available to be used in stores or at ATMs. One of the biggest advantages of prepaid cards is that you can’t overdraft or incur fees. Prepaid cards can even be used to pay bills, which, as previously mentioned, will help improve credit scores. These cards can be reloaded any time online or at specified locations. They also allow you to keep track of your finances online, a helpful tool for anyone trying to be more financially responsible.  Prepaid cards are ideal for anyone with a low credit score who needs the convenience of a credit card.

What’s the bottom line?

Everyone has to start somewhere with their credit history and in the current economy it can be particularly difficult.  If your score is low, there are a number of ways to work on improving it and in the meantime you do have other options. Work on managing your finances and paying off bills, but avoid requesting too much credit. Credit scores don’t have to be something that you’re afraid of. It generally takes time to develop a good credit history and maintain it.

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