How to use Amex’s expanded credit score tool to increase your credit score
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Your credit score is an important part of your overall financial health. The higher your credit score, the better your approval odds are for mortgages, car loans, small-business loans, the best credit cards and more. Not only that, but your interest rates across all of these lines of credit are likely to be much more favorable when you have a high credit score.
All major credit card issuers do provide a free credit score tool for cardholders where you can check your score. But there are a number of factors that go into your credit score, and it can be tough to know where you should focus your efforts when trying to improve your credit score. Well, American Express has officially entered the chat.
American Express has a free credit score tool (even for non-cardholders) called MyCredit Guide, which gives you access to your Vantage 3.0 score. Now, Amex has added a new capability called “Score Goals.” Users can set a goal credit score and receive tailored recommendations on areas to focus on in order to hit that goal in a set recommended period of time.
This is the screen you’ll now see when you log on:
Hit “Get Started,” to set your credit score goals. I set mine to 800.
When I put in my goal of 800, Amex automatically suggested a goal time frame of 24 months. From there, you’ll get a set of recommendations of specific factors to look at.
You can then click into these factors to see how you are measuring up to the recommended standards to help increase your credit score.
When is the Score Goals tool worth it?
I’ll be honest: If you already have a high credit score, there probably isn’t much you’re going to get out of this tool. Even my goal of hitting 800 will really just be dependent upon me keeping up my current responsible credit habits until I have a longer history. I’ve only had credit cards since college — about five or six years total. I recognize that my payment history and length of accounts will be key for me to hit that 800 score goal.
However, if you are just getting started on your credit journey, or if you are looking for ways to take your score from “average” to “good” or “excellent,” this tool could help you figure out the factors you’ll need to pay the most attention to over time while giving you a snapshot of how your current credit report stats measure up.
The best part is that this tool is available to non-cardholders as well. If you already have four Amex credit cards and a 770+ credit score, you probably don’t need a ton of guidance to increase your score over time. But there are plenty of beginners who are trying to build credit for the first time, as well as people looking to repair their credit after financial hardships. In those cases, an Amex credit card may not be an option for them right now.
This tool is free to anyone who signs up with an account — no Amex card needed. And it can help guide you with general credit best practices so that you can make a plan to increase your score so that you can potentially apply for a credit card later on (or get a better rate on a car loan or hit some other financial goal).
Related reading: How to build credit without a credit card
This is a free tool that anyone can take advantage of. While those with 770+ credit scores may not find a ton of useful data in this tool, it could potentially be quite valuable to beginners and those trying to raise their credit score. If nothing else, it can give you more insights into the factors that are impacting your credit score.
Featured image by Maskot / Getty Images.
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