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Building and improving your credit score | Money Smart

Jim Degaetano, president of Diamond Wealth Advisors, shared some tips on how to build and/or improve your credit score on FOX43 Morning News.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Credit scores are something most Americans worry about. 

After all, it's one of the most important financial tools we all have; it determines whether or not you can take out a loan, the rates you pay on your credit cards, and what kinds of financial options you have. 

Jim Degaetano, president of Diamond Wealth Advisors, shared some tips on how to build and/or improve your credit score on FOX43 Morning News.

First, he said if you're having trouble getting an unsecured credit card, you can get a secured credit card through most major credit card companies. This, he says, is a credit card that is funded by you. You deposit the money, and that determines your spending limit.

"They (credit card companies) don't have much risk in this situation," he said. "It starts building a credit history."

Second, get a fresh start loan at a community bank. Also called “poor credit loans,” or “express loans,” these are loans with higher interest rates. 

"Once these are paid in full, it appears on your credit report as a paid-in-full loan," Degaetano said. This, in turn, improves your credit. 

Degaetano said that Americans should aim for their credit scores to be above 680. If it's below that, you might want to consider trying to improve your score. 

A few more things you can do to improve your credit score include:

  • Paying off small loans
  • Paying your bills on time
  • Trying not to close credit cards (this reduces your line of credit, which hurts your credit score)

Seeing substantial change in your credit score takes at least six months, according to Degaetano. 

To hear more of what he had to say, check out the clip above.

Download the FOX43 app here.