Credit Smart

Unit 4: Get the Loan

Getting the Loan: A Plan

So, now you know how to improve your score and obtain information about your credit history.  It’s time to apply for a loan, but getting there still requires some homework: 

  1. Review Personal Finances: Determine how much you can afford to pay towards a loan.  Do you have a down-payment?  What are your current savings?  How long are you looking to finance? 
  2. Download PDF: Trinity Budget

  3. Track Monthly Expenses:  However much you review your budget, you cannot begin to evaluate your personal spending habits without tracking your spending.  Review total amounts spent for items such as transportation, clothing, entertainment, or other variable expenses.
  4. Download PDF: Where Money Goes

  5. Review Your Credit Report: Obtain a free credit report from Review your report for outdated, duplicate, or incorrect information.  After reviewing your outstanding debts, begin with small debts and pay down larger debts by 35 percent. 
  6. Evaluate Your Credit Score.  Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your score.  Review the credit scoring variables: Are you making late payments?  Are you carrying high credit card balances?  Do you open and close accounts?  Take a few months to improve your score before applying for a loan. 

Credit Counseling and Debt Management

If you have been denied credit or need help with paying down credit card debts, we have partnered with Trinity Debt Management, a nonprofit credit counseling agency.  Call them to review your credit report or manage credit card debts. And you may consider a Debt Management Plan (DMP) that will reduce your interest rates and consolidate your monthly payments.   

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