Get Smart About Credit

Insights | Get Smart About Credit

Author: Amanda Hall, CFEd, Education Engagement Manager, Retirement Plan Consulting

Did you know that your credit score impacts more than just your ability to borrow money? Utility providers, rental companies, and even prospective employers evaluate your creditworthiness to determine if and how they will do business with you. A healthy credit score can give you an edge in more ways than you might imagine. Here are some tips to consider as you as you work to keep your credit score fit. 

Keep Credit Utilization Below 30%. This means that you shouldn't carry balances on revolving debt (like credit cards) that are higher than 30% of the available limit. For instance, if your credit card has a $2,000 limit, try not to hold a balance above $600. Remember, the credit bureaus receive reports on your account balances and whether you made a payment on time. They won't know if your balance being carried over each month or paid in full and charged up again. Having balances over 30% of your limit on any given statement period could create the illusion that you're maxing out that debt, which is a major risk factor in the eyes of the credit bureau. 

Make Your Payments On Time. Make your minimum payment each month and don't be late.One late payment can do serious harm and it can take a couple of years to redeem yourself in the eye of the credit bureaus. Late payments reflect poorly on your report for at least two years. If you are a couple of days late making a payment, don't panic just yet! Institutions only report an account as "late" if you're at least 30 days past the due date. Being a few days late may cost you a fee, but it won't impact your credit.

Review Your Credit Report Annually. Reviewing your report goes far beyond tracking your score. Look for inaccuracies and submit disputes if you find any. Specifically look for accounts that aren't yours, credit pulls you didn't authorize, incorrect names or addresses, past due accounts, etc. An inaccurate address or unauthorized credit requests on your report can be a sign of attempted identity theft. Financial institutions can also make reporting mistakes that may negatively impact your credit. Ensure everything is accurate and take immediate action if you spot anything out of the ordinary. You can access your full credit report for free each year by visiting

Small changes to how your manage your credit can have a meaningful impact. Consider speaking with your HORAN financial advisor if you have questions about your credit history. 


Securities offered through Horan Securities, Inc. ("HSI"), a dually registered investment firm, member FINRA | SIPC.. HORAN Wealth Management ("HWM") is the associated investment advisory firm. HWM is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") as Investment Adviser. Horan Securities, Inc., Horan Wealth Management are apart of HORAN, located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Investing in securities involves risks, and there is always potential of losing money when you invest in securities. The information herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but we cannot assure its accuracy or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Any reference to past performance is not to be implied or construed as a guarantee of future results. Market conditions can vary widely over time and there is always the potential of losing money when investing in securities. HORAN Securities, Inc and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. Please see the SEC Investment Adviser Disclosure hub for our Client Relationship Summary and Forms ADV 1&2. Always check on who is managing investments at FINRA's BrokerCheck. For free investment educational information, visit the SEC's website. 

Linked Website Sites: We Do Not Take Responsibility for Links to Third Party Content. Please note: clicking on external links means you will be leaving this Web site and you assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the site(s) you are visiting.