Although the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over yet, Americans are totally ready to move into a post-pandemic era. Here’s how you can tell: Suddenly — BOOM! — way more people are interested in buying houses and cars.
Seriously, the housing market in lots of cities has gone from red-hot to white-hot, and U.S. car sales are picking up noticeably, too. Zillow predicts the number of home sales will grow by nearly 22% in 2021, the biggest increase in nearly 40 years. And CNBC reports that U.S. auto sales could increase as much as 10% this year.
Are you interested in buying a home or a car? Here’s something you need to start thinking about right now: Your credit score. We know that sounds boring, but it’s actually super important, if you’re going to be signing up for a car loan or a mortgage sometime this year.
The higher your score is, the better deal you’ll likely get on your loan. So a good credit score can save you thousands of dollars over the life of a five-year car loan, and tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a 30-year mortgage. For example, on a $21,000 auto loan, the total cost difference between someone with very good credit and someone with fair credit can be $5,000 or more.
If you’re looking to get your credit score back on track — or if you just want to bump it up some more — try using a free platform called Credit Sesame.
Within 90 seconds, you’ll be able to see your credit score, as well as a breakdown of what factors are contributing to your score and personalized tips on how to manage your credit better.
This way, you’ll be in a good position for that major life purchase.
How to Boost Your Credit Score Before Buying a House or Car
First, find out what your score is, right away. See what’s affecting your credit — specifically, see what’s holding you back. Your score will be based on your payment history, how much of your credit limit you’ve used, and a few other factors.
Consult the personalized tips you’ll get from Credit Sesame. If you make a couple of strategic decisions and manage your credit a little better, you could get tipped over the edge into the next-highest bracket. That could save you thousands.
James Cooper, of Atlanta, used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.*
“They showed me the ins and outs — how to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” he said.
Getting your free credit score takes just 90 seconds. Your wallet and your checking account will thank you down the road.
Mike Brassfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He has a Credit Sesame membership.
*Like Cooper, 62% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 21% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.