Score Goals from American Express MyCredit Guide: A brand new way to help you achieve your credit score goals. Simply select your desired credit score to see personalized recommendations and start working towards better credit health.
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*This score is provided for educational purpose. American Express and other lenders may use different credit scores and other information to make credit decisions.
Have a question about improving your credit score?
Score Goals provides recommendations on how you can achieve your target credit score based on what others with a similar credit profile (full file, thin file, or previous bankruptcy) and score range have done over the course of a given timeframe.
Score Goals returns recommendations that you can consider in order to achieve a desired score goal within specified timeframe(s) of 6, 12, 18 and 24 month durations. The recommendations can fall into 1 of 4 categories: Payment Activity, Percentage of Credit Used, Debt and Balances and New/Recent Credit. You can receive recommendations in a minimum of one category and up to a maximum of all four categories.
The current state associated with your credit report is also returned to offer you a snapshot of where you stand in relation to the recommendations generated.
We recommend a timeframe where the goal you’re trying to reach was achieved by a relatively high number of consumers with a credit profile similar to yours. For shorter timeframes this goal was achieved by a relatively low number of consumers with a credit profile similar to yours.
In general, credit score issuers use similar types of credit behavior factors to determine a credit score for an individual.
Understanding how much of your available credit you use is a big factor in calculating your credit score. One way to understand your credit utilization ratio is to take your current open balances across your revolving credit accounts and divide them by the total available credit limits on these accounts. If you have two cards, one with a balance of $1000 and a credit limit of $5000 and another card with a balance of $500 and a credit limit of $1000, you would combine your
balances ($1500) and divide them by your credit limits ($6000) to find your credit utilization ratio of 25%. Card holders with ratios below 30% are typically viewed as responsible credit users, and higher credit scores are possible when they move below that 30% mark.
A mixture of many credit accounts shows creditors that you are able to manage multiple accounts, assuming you keep them in good standing. Likewise, keeping an account open for a long time demonstrates your ability to maintain a healthy credit account over time. When you can combine a diverse set of credit accounts for a long time, you send strong signals of creditworthiness, which can help move your credit score higher. For this reason, keeping your accounts open—even when they reach a zero balance— can contribute positively to your credit score.
The more you pay your bills on time (avoiding late payment penalties, default, or bankruptcy), the more trustworthy you appear to new lenders inquiring about your credit score.
While new accounts or young credit card holders will not be penalized, successive years of an account in good standing can help build up your credit reputation and can add a bit to your credit score.
New accounts: Less influential
New credit accounts do not necessarily lower your credit score—however, when you make multiple requests to open new credit accounts over a short time period, you signal to credit score users that you may be risky to lend to, which can push your score down a bit. This factor of new accounts will typically not affect your credit score as you shop around for a single loan or line of credit (known as rate shopping) but the factor is considered in trying to determine if a borrower seems to be acquiring as much credit as the borrower can, which can suggest that the bprrower’s ability to repay across many lines of credit is drying up.
With a VantageScore above 661, it is more likely than not that you should be able to earn approval for a variety of credit card products and loans that match your income's ability to repay. But to earn the lowest interest rates on credit cards and loans, along with higher borrowing limits and appealing credit card rewards programs, you may need to move your score into the “Excellent” range above 781. Here are a few actions that can contribute to moving your credit score higher:
Borrowers with credit scores above 800 use, on average, only 7% of their available credit. While many people with credit scores in the “Good” range have paid every debt on time over the past two years and have no records of default, foreclosure, or bankruptcy on their credit report, the difference between “Good” and “Excellent” credit scores is many times the amount of debt compared to the available credit limits. By paying down your debt significantly, which usually requires paying more than your monthly minimums each month, you can move your debt down to levels that can contribute to an improved credit score.
If you do get to a zero balance, resist the urge to close the account. Closing a line of credit can reduce three main factors that can help build your credit score: your mix of credit accounts, your average age of your credit accounts, and your available credit limits (which affects your credit utilization). To prevent cards with zero balances from being closed by the card issuer for inactivity, put a small monthly charge on the card that you can pay in full.
If you do not already have a lot of credit accounts and you start seeing attractive prequalified offers for credit cards, consider applying. Prequalified offers more often that not will be approved when you apply, and adding a new card to your set of accounts can improve two factors that can impact your credit score: your credit mix and your credit utilization (which goes down when you add additional lines of credit). Of course, be sure not to be tempted to spend more than 30% of your credit limits, as that can push your debt to levels that won't earn you an “Excellent” rating.
After you enter the credit score you are aiming for, our tool will analyze your current credit report to recommend actions you can take to reach your goal. From adding a new credit account to paying down a certain amount of debt, Score Goals recommendations will suggest a path for you to take to manage your credit and improve your credit score.
There is no standard time period in which your credit score will improve. Ultimately, large movements in your credit score will depend on your actions across all of your credit accounts, so coordinating your credit actions can contribute to improvement in your credit score within the next 24 months.
No, MyCredit Guide relies on “soft” credit inquires to view your TransUnion credit report. Your credit score will not be affected by any soft inquires on your credit report.
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