6 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a three-digit number that lenders use to predict your creditworthiness. Credit reporting companies calculate your score based on your payment history, how much you owe, how long you’ve had credit and how often you apply for new credit. If your score is lower than you’d like, here’s how to raise it:
- Check your credit report regularly.Request a copy of your report at least once a year from Equifax and/or TransUnion. Make sure your report agrees with your records. Correct any errors as soon as possible and watch for signs of identity theft.
- Always pay bills on time. Try to pay bills in full by the due date. Failing this, pay the minimum amount shown on your statement. Late payments, collections, and bankruptcies have the greatest negative effect on your credit score.
- Don’t exceed the limit on your credit cards. Try to stay below 50% of your limit.
- Reduce the number of credit applications you make. If too many potential lenders do a credit check over a short period of time, your score may be damaged. This is often interpreted as a sign that you’re over-extending yourself by taking on more debt than you can repay.
- Make sure you have a credit history. You need a record of owing money and paying it back over time. The longer your record of good credit, the higher your credit score. To get started, apply for a credit card and use it responsibly.
- Keep old credit cards active. The longer you’ve had an account open, the less likely you are to default on it, and the higher your credit score. But it’s not enough to simply keep old accounts open, you have to use the card, even if it’s only once every six months.
If you’d like to learn other proven ways to improve your credit score, talk to me today!