- Personal Loans
- Personal Loans
- Home & Auto
March 11, 2021
Develop These Four Habits to Improve Your Credit
If you find yourself worrying about your credit score, you aren’t alone. Most of us care about improving our credit scores, not only because boosting your credit score feels like a personal win, but also because it helps you get better interest rates on new credit and saves you money over time. It’s great news, then, that credit scores are on the rise nationally, with the average FICO® Score hitting 711 in October 2020, according to Experian. If you’re looking to improve your credit score, start by developing these good credit habits that will have a long-term positive effect on your finances. Your credit score will thank you.
Pay bills on time.
Keeping a consistent payment history is the most important factor in your credit score, and missing payments can ding your score quickly. We recognize that this can be easier said than done if you’re experiencing financial difficulty, but there are ways to make debt easier to manage. Here are a few tips to help you maintain a good payment history:
Request new due dates. Are specific due dates difficult to meet based on where they fall in the month? Find out if your creditor will change your due date to a time in the month that better aligns with your schedule.
Consolidate balances. If you’re struggling with multiple credit cards, each requiring their own minimum payment, consider consolidating balances into one monthly payment, especially if you can get a lower interest rate. This will make payments more manageable and help reduce compounding interest overall. Read more about consolidating debt with Grow.
Automate payments. Whenever you can, try using automatic payment options to avoid missing payment deadlines. Do you bank with us? Automate payments easily using Bill Pay in online banking.
Contact creditors to ask for assistance. When in doubt, try getting in touch with your creditors before missing a payment. Sometimes they may be able to work with you to restructure your payments, rearrange the due date, offer a grace period or provide other options. You’ll never know until you ask, so it can be a big benefit to discuss your situation with your creditors.
Review your credit reports often.
Monitoring your credit will arm you with information and help you catch fraud or errors quickly. The official way to obtain your free reports? Visit AnnualCreditReport.com. You’re legally entitled to a free credit report every year from each of the major three credit bureaus, so take advantage. Plus, to help people monitor their finances during the pandemic, everyone is eligible for free weekly credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, until April 20, 2021. If you notice any errors, dispute the errors directly with the credit bureaus.
Keep credit utilization under control.
Credit utilization is a fancy term for everything you owe (student debt, auto loans, credit cards and other debt) compared to your total available credit. Experts recommend keeping your credit utilization ratio below 30 percent, which helps boost your credit score. If you’ve got your credit cards maxed out, that hurts your credit score because it signals to lenders that you may be in over your head.
Be patient and consistent.
Focusing on improving your credit score can feel tedious. Even though your score won’t improve overnight, it will improve over time with steady effort. Making payments on time for even six months can notch your score up a bit. Plus, past mistakes, like late payments, do eventually fade away. Most negative marks fall off within five to seven years. In the meantime, do your best to live within your means, create a budget that’ll help you navigate debt and be diligent. Visit Credit Education to learn more.
How to Find Your Routing & Account Numbers
When you make a payment online, by phone or on a mobile device, you may be asked for our routing number and your checking account number. Credit unions and banks use these numbers to identify accounts and make sure money gets where it’s supposed to be. You’ll also need to provide your routing and checking account numbers for:
- Direct deposits
- Electronic checks
- Military allotments
- Wire transfers
Where to Find Your Routing & Checking Account Numbers
Your personal checks include both our routing number and your account number, as shown on the Grow check example below.
Don’t have a Grow check? No worries.
Visit any Grow store and ask for a Direct Deposit Form. It lists both your routing number and checking account number.
Making a Loan Payment
When it comes to making payments, we try to make it as painless as possible to pay your loan every month. We have several different ways to pay, including convenient online options.
You have two ways to pay online by transferring funds from another bank or credit union.
- Grow Online Banking (Preferred payment method for any loan)
This is the simplest way to pay your loan. You can make one-time payments or set up automatic recurring payments in Grow Online Banking. Once you log in, select “Transfer/Payments” from the menu. If you’re not enrolled in Grow Online Banking yet, you can set up your account in just a few minutes.
- Debit Card or ACH (Available for auto, personal loans and HELOCs)
Note: ACH and debit card payments are not available for credit cards or most mortgages, except HELOCs.
We accept ACH payments with no additional fees or Mastercard® and Visa® debit cards with a convenience fee of $4.95. To get started with an online ACH or debit card payment, select Pay Now below.
Pay by Mail
You can also pay any Grow loan by check through the mail. Please remember to include your account number and Grow loan number on the check. (For credit card payments, please do not write your 16-digit credit card number on the check, which can cause a delay in processing the payment.)
Address for auto, credit card, personal loan and HELOC payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 75466
Chicago, IL 60675-5466
Address for personal first or second mortgages and home equity payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 11733
Newark, NJ 07101-4733