Many of my clients are what I consider true insurance credit score improvement warriors.
How To Earn A Great Insurance Credit Score
While completing the homeowners insurance application for N.R.65, a new member of the Bridge Insurance Family, I asked her how she managed to obtain and maintain her sterling credit score.
N.R.65 said she pays her credit cards twice monthly.
“Twice each month?”
“Yes. Twice each month.”
Instead of paying the minimum payment each month, she doubles the payment. Then, she makes another payment of $60.00 or $70.00 whether she uses the card or not.
Her mantra? “My credit is so good, it looks better than me!”
So here’s to N. R. 65, a true credit warrior!
Another Great Tip for Rapidly Lowering Credit Balances and Improving Your Insurance Credit Score.
My client, A. B. 22 does not make her credit card payments on the due date. She instead makes her monthly payment no later than two days before monthly interest is applied to her outstanding balance. So monthly interest is applied to a lower balance, hastening how quickly she pays off each credit card.
Her system really works. She’s quickly cut down her outstanding balances using this method. And the balances fall even faster when you don’t use the cards for anything other than an emergency.
“Where do you find this interest due date” I asked.
“It’s on your monthly statement. The same monthly statement too many people tend to ignore until the last minute.”
“I looked around my apartment,” she said, “and saw books I purchased and never read. Blouses I thought I couldn’t live without still in the original wrapping with the sales tag still attached. In several cases, two or three years after I brought them home. Money wasted. Money which should have been applied to paying off credit card balances. Better still, not creating new balances or adding to existing balances.”
The Beat The Interest Payment Due Date Worksheet
I asked how she keeps up with every credit cards’ monthly interest date. She said she devised a “Beat The Interest Payment Due Date Worksheet.” She created a simple grid on a page in an inexpensive marble composition book she bought at an office supply store.
Along the X-axis, she enters the names of each card in date order and the date the payment must reach each bank. She also enters the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for each card in each box. This keeps her aware of just how much she is paying to for the use of the credit card companies’ money.
Along the Y-axis at the top of the page, she creates a column for each month where she enters every monthly payment she makes for each card. Following each payment is the date she actually made the payment. She does this to remain honest to her system.
Did The System Work?
“Two years ago, I owed about $25,000 in credit card debt. Now I’m down to just over $10,000. And I raised my insurance credit score from poor to good.”
This future homeowner is well on her way to owning her own home because she lowered her credit utilization and improved her savings.
Why Does A Good Insurance Credit Score Matter?
Your credit score is a reflection of how well or how poorly you handle your finances. You don’t have to adopt miserly ways to attain a good credit score. It’s simple really. A bad credit score will cost you more money for mortgages, automobiles, and many forms of insurance.
When you are purchasing home, renters, co-op, condo, or auto insurance, your premium depends on many factors. In my experience, one of the most important is your insurance credit score.
An excellent or good score will yield the lowest premiums. A fair or poor score will saddle you with higher premiums. For example, with a fair or poor score, you can wind up paying at least 50% more in premium than someone with an excellent or good score.
There are no quick fixes to improving your insurance credit score. Insurance companies go back five years into your credit history. Important factors are your payment history, length of credit, delinquencies and credit utilization.
What’s Credit Utilization?
Just imagine your total lines of credit come to say $25,000. If you use $15,000 of your credit lines, you have a 60% credit utilization.
To get a great credit score, you shouldn’t have a credit utilization percentage of more than 19%. Anything higher and your insurance credit score will begin to drop.
Any Other Good News?
Try to avoid any of the insurance credit no-no’s on your credit record during the past five years.
There are five of them and they are:
- Bankruptcies, whether in, coming out, or beginning one.One or any combination of these will result in a much lower insurance credit score, with higher premiums.
When I Start To Work On Improving My Credit?
There’s no time like the present. Do a little each day and watch your credit score soar to new heights.
About the author
Eustace L. Greaves, Jr., LUTCF is an NYS-licensed Independent Insurance Agent and Broker with 40 years of experience. He is celebrating 25 years as an Independent Insurance Agency Owner.
Like to speak with Eustace?
Eustace is ready to assist you with your life, disability, home, flood, renters, auto, cooperative and condominium, and wedding insurance needs. He can be reached at 718-489-2218, or by email at infogreavesinsurance.com. You can also contact him by going to his website, https://greavesinsurance.com, and completing any of the available “Contact Us” forms.
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