CONNECTING TO OUR FINANCIAL FUTURE
Economic equity is a crucial part of establishing holistic racial equity for Black people. It's not just important that Black people be able to contribute to the economy as workers and consumers, but also as small business owners with the same access to resources and chance at success as anyone.
Taking control of our credit is one step to building financial health that's in our control. It's never too late to start - or restart.
Though it's a system built with structural barriers limiting equality, we can make credit work for us. Use this toolkit to connect your understanding of credit to your financial goals. No matter where you are on your journey, get started below.
CHOOSE YOUR PATH
Want to learn how to establish and build your credit? You're new to the credit journey and have a lot of questions? Prioritizing your financial education and financial health will benefit you, your family, and your community.
Sustain your gains
Want to focus on increasing your credit score and financial health? Get the ins and out while continuing to prioritize your financial education and health. You'll not only benefit but your family and community will benefit as well.
stretch to prosperity
Prepping for a large purchase? Learn how to prepare your credit against uncertain financial times. Hard work pays off, and you can build a strong financial foundation not only for yourself but for future generations to come.
HEALTHIER CREDIT IN 3,2,1
KNOW YOUR 3-DIGIT CREDIT SCORE
Your credit score is a three-digit number. For major credit scoring models, the top score you can get is 850. But shooting for 850 may not be realistic or necessary. Your credit doesn't need to be perfect for you to benefit from higher odds of application approval and potentially better terms and rates for your loans. Remember, building healthy credit is all about making incremental progress. Start by learning where your score is today. Then you can track it over time to see how it changes as you practice healthy credit-building habits.
FOCUS ON 2 TOP CREDIT SCORE FACTORS
There are many different scoring models, but generally speaking, they tend to place the most emphasis on two important factors: Your payment history and utilization percentage. In short, you want to make sure you're making all your payments on time and are keeping your debt balances low. Your utilization percentage measures your outstanding balances compared to your total credit limit. Shooting for under 30% of your credit limit is a good start, but the lower the better. If you can make sure you're keeping up with your payments and continue paying off your debt, it will go a long way to improving your credit score.
Create specific financial goals
To track your financial progress, it helps to have reachable goals. If you're looking to improve your credit health, consider a goal related to paying down debt, if you have it. The more specific your goal, the better. For example, saying "I want to pay down $800 off my credit cards by the end of the year" is better than the generic, "I want to pay down debt." It gives you a specific amount and date, which will help you create your own monthly payment structure. In addition to being a savvy financial move, your credit score can benefit from debt reduction, as well.