In an ever-evolving world, understanding the details of personal finance can be a complex and exhausting undertaking. Maybe you've just gotten your first credit card but still need help learning how credit works and how to improve your credit score. Perhaps you're about to make a larger purchase in your life, like a car or home, but your score isn't quite where it needs to be. Then again, maybe you have a good grasp of your credit score but want to build up your current score.
Whatever the reason, you may be wondering: How do I set an achievable credit score goal for myself?
That's where Chase Credit Journey's® credit planning feature comes in —a personalized action plan powered by Experian™ that can help you improve your credit score by more than 5 points. This is a feature within Credit Journey®, an online credit monitoring tool that gives you access to your free credit score as well as resources to help you better understand how credit history impacts your score and purchasing power. When you enroll in Credit Journey, a credit planning feature is provided to you free of charge to help you improve your credit score.
In this article we'll tell you all about Credit Journey's credit planning feature, including:
- How it works
- How it helps you improve your credit score
- Watching your credit score improve
- Is setting a credit score goal right for you?
How does credit planning work?
After enrolling in Chase Credit Journey, you'll receive a credit score provided by Experian using the VantageScore® 3.0 model. Within the Chase Credit Journey dashboard, you will have the option to create a score goal. So, how do you do that, exactly? Let's go through it step by step.
Step 1: Set a goal
After entering the Credit Journey platform you can click on the "Insights" tab, then "Score Planner." To set a goal, first tell us about your financial aspirations. What are you looking to achieve? Are you planning on buying a car? Considering a home? You'll be prompted with options to choose from which may help determine the right plan for you.
Step 2: Choose a timeframe
Next, choose the timeframe for when you would like to plan to reach your new credit score. We'll use your Experian credit report to set a score goal based off whether you're looking to achieve it within 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.
Please note: If you select a time frame for which a plan with an increase of at least 5 points cannot be generated, we'll let you know so that you can select a different time-frame, or come back when a plan becomes available! Plan eligibility can change as the information on your credit report gets updated by your financial institutions and lenders.
Remember that regardless of the timeframe you choose, the stated goal will be to improve your score by more than 5 points. Of course, your points may vary. This is simply the minimum. Depending on a range of factors, your score could potentially improve beyond that.
Step 3: Get your personalized plan
After you provide the necessary data needed to help set up your goal, you'll receive a personalized action plan provided by Experian to help you start taking action today to improve your score. At each step, we'll provide you with insights and details about what you can do today with your current accounts to help improve your score and stay on track.
How setting a goal helps improve your credit score
Your personalized action plan powered by Experian includes clear steps you can take to help improve your score—including but not limited to paying off an account in full or a portion of certain balances to opening a new account and more. Whether you're starting out with a poor credit score or not, if you take these actions, you'll start to see your credit score improve.
For example, let's say you are looking to improve your credit score by an extra 5 points or more so that you can land a better mortgage rate. You select your financial goal, set your timeframe and get your personalized plan. This plan includes paying off remaining debts toward active credit card accounts as well as lowering your credit utilization ratio. If you start to address the steps in your action plan and budget in ways that allow you to optimize your credit usage, you can start seeing the impact on your score. Each time you complete a step in your plan, you'll receive a ribbon as a way to congratulate you on your hard work (and hey—who doesn't love a ribbon?) And remember that plenty of other factors go into home lending and mortgages, but a better credit score certainly can't hurt!
On the other hand, if you don't meet your goal in the set timeframe—don't worry! Only you will see the effects of your choices on your score. Not reaching a goal does not have an impact on your credit score and lenders will not see your score goal performance. Remember, you can always set a new goal if the first one doesn't work out. Additionally, you can cancel and make a new plan at any time should your goals or financial health change.
Watching your credit score improve
If you're curious how quickly your results can show, check out the line graph included in the planning feature—this a visual representation of your score over time. Each time your score updates, this tracker will display the value, how it compares to your goal, and how your score increased/decreased over time.
You can also look at your score history—this lists all the times your credit score has been refreshed and updated. If you check your credit score regularly, you will receive an updated version of it every 7 days. You can also see how the choices you're making are helping to improve your score by tracking performance in the score goal line graph.
Note that the changes to your score are based on your current financial picture. Any major changes to your financial environment—such as the emergence of significant new debt or filing for bankruptcy—will affect the timing to achieve your goal. Your plan won't be affected if these changes happen, but your achievement of the goal might. If you're anticipating any huge changes or if something major happens unexpectedly, create a new plan that will provide new guidelines.
FAQ feature and additional support
If you have questions about your score, don't worry—the FAQ feature will anticipate your biggest concerns, such as: "I made a payment but it's not reflected, what's happening?" or "How does opening a credit card help improve my score?" If you can't find answers to your questions with this feature, remember that with Chase Credit Journey you have access to round-the-clock support and can connect with an agent online.
Is setting a credit score goal right for you?
The answer to this begs a few questions, personal to you: Do you have a credit score or financial goal that you're trying to achieve? Will a lender or issuer be looking at your score in the near future? What kind of big purchase plans are on your radar? Whatever your reason is, you tell us the why and the when—and we'll give you a personalized plan to help achieve that goal.
Credit Journey's credit planning feature is a free, simple-to-use feature that will help you create an action plan and stick to it. If you're looking to improve your credit score and have a specific financial goal in mind, credit score planning is what you need.