gmf|us|en|financial-resources|articles|your-top-credit-questions en_us en-us
Back to top

WANT A NEW RIDE?

Get prequalified! It’s the first step in financing your next vehicle.

Apply Now
A hand holding a phone that shows a credit score range with 735 displayed and a similar credit score range in the background.

Your Top Credit Questions Answered

Making a smart financial decision requires understanding your credit and mindful money management. KEYS® by GM Financial is here to help you get where you want to go. Below, learn more about how credit works, the best way to build credit and how often to check your credit report.

  1. What can I do to increase my credit score?

    While there are no hard and fast rules for boosting your credit score, there are some best practices to help you manage it. Make sure your credit report is accurate, and immediately inform credit bureaus of any errors. Always pay your bills on time. If you’ve missed payments, get current and stay current. Finally, build new credit responsibly by carefully considering new credit accounts and opening them only as needed.

  2. What is my credit score, and how is it calculated?

    National credit bureaus collect information about your borrowing and payment habits to compile your credit history. From that, each bureau creates a score that helps lenders determine your credit risk. The exact calculation formula varies slightly between bureaus, but a generally accepted credit score chart uses the following:

    • 35% payment history
    • 30% amounts owed
    • 15% length of credit history
    • 10% credit mix
    • 10% new credit

    Learn more about how to build a better credit score.

  3. Does negative reporting fall off my credit report?

    According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), most negative items fall off your credit report after seven years. While you can’t change the past, you can focus on building good saving and spending habits now.

  4. How often should I check my credit report?

    You can obtain a copy of your credit report for a fee from a major credit bureau, or you can request a free copy once per year from annualcreditreport.com. The report outlines all your open accounts, how much you’ve borrowed and if you have a credit history of late payments. It’s important to review your credit report annually to ensure accuracy. Dispute any errors immediately, as they may affect your score.

  5. Should I prioritize working on my credit or saving money?

    The answer depends on your personal situation and your financial goals. If you want to manage credit, start by making debt reduction (or debt elimination) a priority. Your credit report can help you identify your accounts and amount owed. From there, look at your budget and make a plan to manage and reduce debt. If your goal is to save money, take a look at some of our top saving tips.

 
Brooke Howell
By Brooke Howell, GM Financial

Brooke Howell loves digging up new ways to improve money management and make smarter financial decisions. She has four pit bulls and a Chihuahua and volunteers with animal rescue groups, so she knows the importance of making every cent count and setting yourself up for financial success (as well as the value of a really good vacuum).

 

Ready to get in the driver's seat?

See if you prequalify for financing.

Apply Now
From above, relaxed mature couple floating in the sea.

Planning for Retirement With Your 401(k)

Get answers to your most pressing questions about saving for retirement.

TELL ME MORE
College student doing work on her dorm room bed.

Lighten Your Loan Load

Welcome to Student Loans 101! Discover how student loans factor into financial aid and ways to help reduce the amount you borrow.

LEARN MORE
/content/gmf/en_us/search-results.html /content/gmf/en_us/financial-resources/articles/your-top-credit-questions/jcr:content true https://www.buick.com https://www.cadillac.com https://www.chevrolet.com https://www.gmc.com /en-us/resources/lease-end/get-going.html /en-us/resources/lease-end/get-inspected.html /en-us/resources/lease-end/get-started.html /en-us/resources/lease-end.html