Consumers who are in the market for auto loans or leases generally check their credit score to see where they’re at before they apply for auto financing to get a vehicle. It’s also widely known that to get the best deals like 0% financing and low lease rates, you have to have a good credit score.
In the ever-constant quest to improve our credit scores, we do research online to see what experts suggest and what advice we should take. CreditCards.com was able to get people with near-perfect credit scores to dish out their secrets and tell the world what they did to get such a high score. Their tips and advice can help anyone at any credit score level to increase their score for several types of credit, including auto loans and leases.
So what is a good credit score? And how do we get one? FICO, the most common credit score used by lenders, ranges from 300 to 850, while the VantageScore ranges from 501 to 990. The people in CreditCards.com’s story spill their secrets on how they achieved such a high ranking in the credit scoring game.
Dan Nainan, a professional comedian who constantly travels between New York and Los Angeles, has a FICO score of 830. He asks questions on everything that may affect his score and utilizes automatic payments for all his bills.
"If there’s anything at all that might affect my score, I ask a ton of questions and go to the Internet and do as much research as possible. If I test drive a car, or sign up for a health club, I look at the fine print very carefully to see if they have a right to hit my credit file with an inquiry."
He’s also programmed everything online "so that all of the bills pay themselves, and any and all credit card balances are paid off immediately."
Another consumer with an enviable credit score CreditCards.com spoke with is Brenda Avadian, founder of TheCaregiversVoice.com. Her advice is to build a long history of on-time payments. When Avadian was applying for a car loan, her 849 credit score helped her receive the best rates.
"Saving thousands on interest charges is a tremendous motivator," says Avadian, who locked in a zero percent interest rate for a five-year auto loan.
"And on those rare moments when a bill sneaks under some paperwork and it’s either late or due that day," says Avadian, "I call and take care of it."
Paul Entin, a marketing company president from Bloomsbury N.J., has a 990 VantageScore. Entin maintains his high score by using his business and personal credit cards regularly and paying them off every month.
"It’s not magic — pay your bills on time and pay the debt. Make it a priority. Pay attention to spending."
Another consumer they spoke with, Carrie Rocha, founder of pocketyourdollars.com in Minneapolis, was able to boost her score from about 730 to the 800s by formally closing store credit card accounts she never used. Rocha said she got out of $50,000 in debt in less than three years.
Although there are consumers out there who have perfect credit scores, most of us don’t and we most likely never will. But, the good news is you don’t need a perfect credit score to get approved for a car loan or lease. CreditCards.com suggests you pay all your bills on time, keep your credit card balances low, take on new credit only when you really need it and don’t obsess over small credit score variations.