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Improve Your Credit Score

Photo by Scott Graham

At Sunfish, we believe everyone who wants to build a family should be able to afford it. We estimate that 80% of intended parents are interested in financial support or parenthood loans but don’t know where to start. 

This month, we are sharing tips on an important component of obtaining a low interest loan for a parenthood journey: improving your credit score. This week, Federal interest rates were increased one final time for 2022, which means interest rates for personal loans or fertility loans will continue to rise.

6 tips to improve your credit score
One of the main factors that impacts your interest rate for a fertility loan is your credit score. Although there is no silver bullet – here are a few tips that can help your credit improve over time.

1. Boost your score with on-time payments
Credit scores are based on experience over time. The more experience your credit report shows with paying your loans on time, every time, the more information there is to determine whether you are a good credit recipient. Set up automatic payments or electronic reminders. If you’ve missed payments, get current and stay current. Paying off the balance each month helps get you the best scores.

2. Reduce your total requested loan amount
Credit scoring formulas look at your recent credit activity as a signal of your need for credit. A lender may be more likely to issue you a loan if it’s smaller. Consider asking family members for financial assistance for your parenthood journey, family building grants, crowdfunding, and employer benefits. Schedule a call with a Sunfish Financial Advocate if you’d like guidance. 

3. Use a loan marketplace to leverage your best credit score
Your score may differ slightly across different rating agencies such as Equifax and TransUnion, so a loan marketplace, like Sunfish, will allow you to search across different lenders. This allows you to check your rate across a variety of lenders quickly, and your initial rate check will not impact your credit score.

4. Don’t get close to your limit
Credit scoring models look at how close you are to being “maxed out,” so try to keep your balances low compared to your total credit limit. If you close some credit card accounts and put most or all of your credit card balances onto one card, it may hurt your credit score if this means that you are using a high percentage of your total credit limit. Experts advise keeping your use of credit at no more than 30 percent of your total credit limit. You don’t need to revolve on credit cards to get a good score. 

5. Check your credit reports for errors
Fact check your credit reports, and if you suspect errors, dispute them. If you have old credit card accounts you are not using, keep an eye on them to make sure that an identity thief is not using them. There are several free tools, such as Credit Karma, to view your credit.

6. Consider a cosigner
If all else fails, consider having a cosigner for your loan. A cosigner is someone who has a strong credit score and stable income, usually a family member or a close friend. The cosigner would be responsible for the monthly payments on your loan if you can’t make them. A cosigner reduces the risk to the lender, so they are more likely to issue you a loan or offer better terms.

We are not a financial advisor and do not intend this email to be taken as financial advice.

Sunfish’s mission is to make the journey to parenthood financially attainable for everyone. Our goal is to democratize access to the family building resources that historically have only been available to those with large financial resources.