These days, it seems like everyone is focused on their credit score—what their current number is, what score is needed to get a credit card and how new purchases and old debt affect the larger picture. Admittedly, it's a lot to consider, especially when your financial welfare is at stake. Whether you want to secure a better rate on a car loan, increase your chances of getting a new credit card or put yourself in a better position to be approved for a mortgage, improving your credit score can make a difference.
If you're looking to realistically increase your credit score, it can be hard to visualize how your day-to-day actions can affect your progress. That's where credit planning comes in. By presenting you with an action plan, this feature of Chase Credit Journey® can help you to improve your score by more than 5 points. Let's explore how a personalized action plan can help lift your credit score.
What is credit planning?
Before we dive into increasing your credit score with credit planning, you first need enroll in Chase Credit Journey. This free online tool provides you with a VantageScore® 3.0 credit score, a credit report provided by Experian™—one of the 3 main credit bureaus—and helpful resources to better understand what your current credit score means. This tool is essential for setting achievable credit score goals, whether that's looking to improve a credit score that has dropped or trying to figure out how to make significant purchases then improve your score.
Once you receive your credit score, you can determine what it is that you're looking to do with it. Want to improve it? Looking to take out a new credit card account? Whatever your motivation is, you can set up a personalized score goal for yourself by going to the "Insights" tab of Credit Journey®. From there, click on "Score Planner," which is the feature that will be able to generate your action plan.
First, you'll want to provide us with information about your upcoming financial plans. Are you looking to improve your score to get a good rate on a mortgage? Are you looking to rent your first apartment and want to be approved for a lease? Our questions will prompt you to narrow in on your goal (or goals).
Next, set a timeframe. Goals are chunked out in increments of 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. You set the timeframe and we'll tell you what's achievable.
Finally, receive your action plan provided by Experian. This is an essential part of credit planning—it will serve as your personal guide to improve your credit score. This plan is based off your current credit score, credit report and when you want to reach it by.
How planning with Credit Journey helps improve your score
Using your personalized plan doesn't directly impact your credit score—it's what you do with the plan that determines the outcome. It all comes down to your actions and choices that you make guided by your personalized action plan offered by Experian.
For example, let's say you set a goal to improve your credit score by 10 points within a 12-month time period. You may be given a list of action items, including, but not limited to:
- Pay off a specific account until the balance is less than $100.
- Pay a total of $1,000 towards any of your accounts.
- Open a credit card account with a limit of at least $500.
- Pay down on these accounts until each of their balances is less than $100.
- Bring your credit usage below 50% on all open accounts.
- Keep your accounts open and continue making your payments on time.
Once you've completed a certain task, you will receive a ribbon congratulating you on achieving a step towards your reaching your goal. As a result, you could begin to see improvements to your score by more than 5 points—that is, if you perform these actions without impactful events (such as bankruptcy) interrupting the plan. You may very well reach your goal of 10 points by the 12-month mark if you continue to follow the steps in your action plan.
Over time as you complete these tasks, your credit score may start to trend upwards. You can use the score tracker to help visualize how far you've come and how much left you have to meet your goal.
Why monitoring your credit score is important
Monitoring your credit score helps you catch suspicious activity early, see how your actions affect your score and assists with keeping your credit score healthy. This is a part of regular maintenance needed to keep a strong credit score.
The credit planning feature provides you access to visual aids that show how your credit score performs over time. Every credit score refresh is archived so you can check when your score changed. This can help you track how far you've come and how far you have left to go towards reaching your goal.
Regardless of the reason why you want to start planning your financial goals, remember that actionable steps are an important part of achieving credit score goals. By setting up goals with Chase Credit Journey's credit planning feature, you'll feel empowered by following a path that can help improve your credit score and enhance your purchasing power.