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You thought the last score that would really matter was your ASVAB, but turns out being an adult has more tests and scores than you thought. While some of those scores might be far out of your control, there are some you can have a hand in improving.
One score that you can influence? Your credit. Sure, this magical number with such bearing on things like where you are able to live often feels like it's solely based on conjecture and someone with a dartboard, but it turns out, you do have the power to change your credit score. Here are 5 hacks for raising your credit score.
1. Get your report
The first step in raising your score is knowing it, identifying any problem areas and disputing any discrepancies. Looking at your credit report will show you any late payments or high balances which both can negatively impact your score. If you have late payments, get that money in!
2. Pedal to the metal
One of the factors of your credit score is your credit utilization. So you have a $10,000 line of credit … but if you've got $8,000 in charges on there, your utilization is too high.
Ideally, you want it to be below 30%. If you can, double your payments per month on your unsecured debt to pay it down ahead of schedule. The better your utilization rate, the better your credit score.
3. Boost your bills
It sounds like something that might be used in Space Force, but Experian Boost is a real thing. Experian, one of the major credit bureaus, offers users the opportunity to get credit for making their utility and cell phone bills on time.
Users link their bank account and Experian scans for on-time payments. If payments were late, no harm, no foul (which is not how this usually goes, for the record). Wins all around.
4. Give 'em a ring
Never underestimate the power of a phone call. If you can't make a payment to your credit card company and you're going to dance into that dangerous late zone, pick up the phone.
Ask the company if they can put you on a payment plan or give you a grace period. Making sure that your payments remain on time will keep your credit score climbing.
So you don't have a great credit score or maybe you don't have much in the way of a credit history at all. One easy way to rectify this situation? Piggybacking. Ask a trusted family member or close friend who has excellent credit if they will add you as an authorized user on their credit cards. Sorry kid, authorized users don't get their own black AMEX, it's just a status that allows you to "piggyback" on their good standing. Aside from some risk and the fact that the next 10 rounds are on you, as long as you know the account holder has an outstanding history in paying on time, there's not much of a downside for you. And, there's none for the cardholder. Hop on.
Just like your ASVAB, your credit score has an influence on your future, especially when it's time to buy your first house. Luckily, companies like Veterans United work with service members and veterans to utilize the VA Loan, meaning awesome rates and no money down for purchasing. Whether you use that extra cash to double up on a card payment or buy a beer for your "piggy," we aren't here to judge -- just here to help.
This post was sponsored by Veterans United.
An Army veteran from Columbus claimed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after a deployment in Afghanistan that earned him a Purple Heart and Silver Star.
As a result, he collected $76,000 in benefits for the mental condition.
He admitted Wednesday, however, that all of that was a lie.
He was not deployed to Afghanistan, never suffered PTSD and never received the two honors, which are among the highest bestowed for military service.
SAN DIEGO — Days after Rep. Duncan Hunter pleaded guilty to a federal felony related to a yearslong campaign finance scandal, he has finally stated explicitly that he will resign from his congressional seat before the end of his term.
"Shortly after the holidays I will resign from Congress," Hunter, R-Calif., in a statement. "It has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years."
A collision between a Coast Guard boat and a Navy vessel near Kodiak Island, Alaska on Wednesday landed six coasties and three sailors to the hospital, officials said.
The Navy has identified the two Defense Department civilians who were killed in a shooting Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.
A shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida has left four people dead, including the gunman, law enforcement officials said at a Friday news conference.
The shooter and two victims were killed at the base and another victim died after being taken to the hospital, said Chip Simmons, deputy chief of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.
Another seven people remain hospitalized, including two sheriff's deputies who engaged the gunman, Simmons said at Friday's news conference. One was hit in the arm and the other was shot in the knee. Both are expected to recover.