Three Ways to Bring Up Your Credit Score

by Trish Townsend

Credit scores are a necessary part of making big financial decisions these days. Whether it’s buying a car, getting a mortgage, or even applying for some jobs, a high score shows you’re a responsible individual. If you’ve made some mistakes with your credit in the past, all is not lost. Here are three tips to help increase your score:

  1. Make payments on time. Don’t skip payments or send them in late. The best way to build or rebuild credit is to make on-time payments with your regular bills month after month. Make sure you pay one-time fees on time as well, such as for a doctor’s appointment, library overdue fee, or membership dues. These kinds of charges don’t normally appear on your credit report, but they will if you are late paying them and they end up going to a collection agency.
  2. Make consistent payments. Sending huge amounts to a creditor, then pulling back and barely making minimum payments or skipping a payment may hint at underlying financial issues and could suggest that you are not responsible with your money or your credit. Likewise, suddenly taking out cash advances or applying for short-term loans may set off alarm bells and lower your credit score. Set a monthly payment amount for debts you owe or credit cards, and pay that amount month in, month out over time. Concentrate on paying off one debt at a time if you have several by making one robust payment and paying the minimum on others, rather than throwing varying amounts of money at different accounts month to month. Once you pay off one, focus on consistently paying down the next. Never skip payments. Consistency and perseverance can pay off in the form of a higher credit rating.
  3. Keep credit card balances manageable. That high spending limit can be extremely tempting, especially if money is tight and you’re yearning after a big-ticket item, want to buy gifts or a few extras, or are planning a vacation. Resist the urge to just “charge it.” A good rule of thumb is to never let your credit card spending exceed 30 percent of your available balance. Remember, if your balance soars above that, it could take many years to pay off if you’re making minimum payments—and you’ll repay it many times over due to interest charges. Carrying too much credit card debt can also further damages your credit. Keeping your debt level low helps to show you are a responsible and trustworthy borrower.

If you are concerned about your credit rating or struggling to get out of debt or control spending, help is available. Speak to a Milford Bank representative for more advice about how to improve your credit score and manage your overall finances.


Go Mobile with The Milford Bank

by Becky Tudor

The Milford Bank recently updated our mobile platform for customers by adding a mobile app for Apple, Android and Amazon tablets. The app is designed to make your banking experience more convenient by enabling you to manage your day-to-day finances from your own smart devices. Best of all, the app is free! (Although cell phone carrier charges may apply.) If you are not already enrolled, you can sign up here.

The app provides five basic services: deposits, balance inquiries, transaction history, bill and person-to-person (P2P) payments and funds transfers. Within Apple and Android devices, the app also provides ATM and office locations.

Customers are now able to access their bank accounts from wherever they are and whenever they want without having to worry about the security of their private information. The application was designed with your privacy in mind, and by making P2P payments you’ll be able to avoid points of sale which have been linked to instances of hacking like those perpetrated on card users at Target locations in 2014.

The mobile deposit feature is extremely convenient. Forget about deposit slips and envelopes –or even bothering to leave your desk. After endorsing your check, simply pick up your tablet, take a photo of the front and back of your check, open your app and use your photo to make an immediate deposit.

Plus, now you can check your deposits on the fly to confirm the time and date when the funds are made available in your account. While you’re in the app, feel free to check your balances and any other transactions that have occurred. All your accounts are visible through the app.

Fund transfers are easy too. You simply click on the “transfers” tab, and it opens the screen to a page that is designed for easy navigation and convenience. After choosing the accounts you want to transfer money to and from and the amount you would like to transfer, click the “transfer now” button, and your funds are on their way.

Another benefit is that you can pay your bills directly from the app. Once you’ve set up online automatic or one-time payments online, you can alter the amount of the payment(s) or cancel them altogether hassle-free and on the move. These electronic payments will allow for timely bill payments without the cost of stamps or physical handling.

Finally, the P2P feature can save you the hassle of writing a check to a friend or family member and then wondering when the person will deposit the check. A notification is sent to the recipient of the check, and then the recipient accepts the notification. This allows for information about your accounts to be up-to-date and accurate.

We understand that our customers today are constantly on the move and need the convenience of bringing us with them wherever that may be. The new features of our mobile app are designed to do just that. If you’d like more information on using the Milford Bank mobile app, visit our website here or stop in at any of our branch locations to speak with a representative today.