Tips for Improving Your Credit Score
Having a high credit score is important for many reasons. A high credit score and good credit history can help you to get a loan, debit card, or secure large purchases like a home or car. Credit scores can be difficult to keep in check if you don’t consistently and correctly manage your finances. It can seem impossible to improve your credit score if you aren’t familiar with how credit scores are impacted by account activity to begin with. But have no fear; there are plenty of things you can do immediately and over time to improve your credit score, as well as things you should avoid or stop doing that could be hurting you.
DO: Check your credit score– The first thing you should do if you want to build up or improve your credit is to check your score. Frequently requesting and checking your own credit score can actually lower your credit score, however, so be sure to do this through a credit reporting agency to avoid having your credit score negatively impacted. As long as it’s done in the right way, requesting your own credit score can give you a better insight into your account standing. Checking your own credit score can also allow you the opportunity to check the report for errors. You can call to have all bad collections disputed and have any errors fixed.
DO: Pay off debt– The most obvious and immediately effective way to raise your credit score is to pay off any outstanding debts you currently owe. Keeping your credit card balances low and paying them off as soon as possible will also earn you a higher credit score. You should avoid transferring your debts from one card to another in an attempt to put off having to pay them. Always pay down your revolving debt instead of opening new credit cards, which can actually contribute to a lower score.
DO: Show responsibility– Holding and managing credit cards over time helps to show that you’re a responsible card holder. You can begin building your credit score from the ground up by getting a card with the right plan for you. Don’t apply for a credit card for which you do not meet the requirements, and make sure you understand the terms of your agreement for the cards you do have. Another thing you can do is wait to build your credit history before opening up multiple new cards.
DON’T: Close cards in an attempt to reduce outstanding debts– One way people commonly think they can easily raise their credit score is by closing cards, but doing this can actually lower your credit score.
DON’T: Avoid showing signs of risk– Don’t alert the credit company by missing payments or suddenly charging less or more than usual. This can be perceived as a sign of financial risk or instability. Making consistent, timely payments of moderate amounts is the best way to show that you’re handling your finances responsibly.
Improving your credit score is an ongoing process that takes time and close attention. Raising your credit score won’t happen overnight, but doing so can help you secure loans, make large purchases, and acquire other credit or debit cards. For further resources on how you can build or raise your credit score, check out this helpful article.