Improving your credit score is a priority that will benefit you in the long run, regardless of your current situation. It helps you qualify for bigger loans, lower interest rates, and lower insurance premiums. These are all factors that can play a huge role in your personal finance management, and by extension, your overall quality of life.
If that sounds like something you want to achieve—and we hope that you do—this article will help you get started. We’ll offer a few proven methods of improving your credit score so that you can reap the same benefits mentioned above and perhaps even more.
1. Keep track of your debts and pay early
You need to ensure that you stay on top of your loan and credit payments so that you do not damage your credit score. This will require you to be responsible for managing your debt and avoiding late payments at all costs. Incidents of late payment—or worse, loan default—will reflect poorly on your payment history, which comprises a huge portion of your total credit score.
A good way you can ensure that this doesn’t become a problem for you is to not acquire debt beyond your capacity to pay in the first place. You can also enable automatic payments to avoid falling behind, and always have an emergency fund so that you have some breathing room when times get tough.
2. Avoid maxing out your credit card
You might have a generous line of credit extended to you by banks, but don’t be tempted to use it to the maximum amount. This is because your credit utilization ratio is another huge factor that affects your credit score.
You can avoid falling into this trap by avoiding large purchases whenever possible. For situations that you are unable to do so, however, you may want to make staggered payments on the balance ahead of the due date so that this ratio doesn’t reach too high.
3. Stop applying for more credit
Each time you apply for a new line of credit, the request is recorded in your credit report and will stay there for a year. Know that this actually has the potential to hurt your credit score, especially if you make multiple applications within a short timeframe.
You should also consider the likelihood that your application will be successful before submitting one, as a denied application may hurt your credit score. Check your credit score beforehand to avoid this situation. On a related note, you should make a habit of evaluating your credit reports regularly so that you can spot any errors that might damage your credit score.
4. Ask for help from someone trustworthy
Keep in mind that your entire credit history will contribute to your current credit score, and that includes the period since it was first active. Credit institutions consider the age of your oldest account as well the average across all your accounts.
What this means is that if you have a family member or loved one who has an account older than yours, you can ask them to add you as an authorized user of the account to effectively “lengthen” your credit history. This assumes that their account is in good standing as well.
At this point, you now know four practical ways to help you improve your credit score. You’ll have to be consistent with these habits, and it might take some time for any noticeable effects to happen, but we promise it will be well worth your efforts!
We are a credit counseling agency in Cincinnati OH. If you are looking for specialized advice tailored to your specific financial situation, get in touch with us today, and we’ll be more than happy to provide you with a free consultation.