5 Smart Tips on How to Maintain a Good Credit Score
Your credit score can impact your ability to borrow money, secure loans, rent housing, buy cars and even get a job. To help you boost your credit score, we’ve put together a few simple tips to keep your score high.
Keeping your personal finances under control and maintaining a good credit score is always an uphill battle. Credit is often seen as one of the most important aspects of one’s financial health. With today’s economic climate, having a good credit score is important, especially when applying for loans, mortgages, and personal loans.
Getting a good credit card rating can be challenging, especially for first-time card holders. With so many things to consider, keeping up with your payments can be a bit daunting at first. However, as long as you’re able to keep these five simple tips in mind, then maintaining a good credit score isn’t as hard as you imagine it would be.
1. On-Time Payments
It goes without saying that this is one important tip you should apply for just about any kind of bill that you’re paying for. This is because late payments can wind up on your credit report, adversely affecting your score as a result.
A missed payment can damage your score. On-time payments, on the other hand, help your score by building positive history.
The number one cause of your credit score being dinged is late payments. Your credit score will suffer if you don’t pay your bills on time. When you make your first payment on time, the impact on your score is immediate. If you miss a payment, a grace period allows you to catch up, but the impact on your credit score will be immediate.
While many might simply dismiss bills that aren’t typically associated with credit reporting, creditors might call in collections agencies to report late payments that will wind up on your credit report.
2. Pay Your Entire Balance
You may be wondering why you should pay off your entire balance, but according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), not paying off your credit card balance will result in your credit score plummeting. So if you plan to apply for any loans, mortgages, or anything related to your score, you must pay your entire balance in full. By paying off all your debt in full, you’ll improve your score, allowing you to better access any opportunities coming your way.
This is especially true when you happen to manage multiple credit card balances. Smaller balances on multiple credit card accounts can add up, and it’s better to consolidate your purchases to only one or two credit cards. These nuisance balances tend to reflect poorly on your credit score, even if they individually don’t carry a large balance at the end of the month. The number of cards that retain a balance is factored in with your credit score, so it’s best to pay those smaller balances while keeping the main card for everyday use.
3. Maintain a Long and Healthy Credit History
There’s a running misconception that once you pay off a big debt, like a car or a house, you should try to have it removed from your credit history as soon as possible. Large negative items on your report don’t necessarily mean a bad thing, especially if you were able to handle their payment in a good and timely fashion.
Handling good debt also equates to good credit, and keeping a record of these payments will also pay off for you in the long run. This is what is known as a payment history. If your payment history shows that you have consistently paid your bills on time, it will be beneficial to you down the line. For example, if you’ve been paying your credit card bill on time every month, it will make sense to increase your credit limit on that card to keep you from having any problems in the future.
4. Don’t Always “Max Out” Your Credit Limit
One of the factors in computing the credit score is how much credit you’re using from your allotted credit limit. Ideally, you want to keep the percentage of credit used versus your credit limit at 30 percent or lower. If you’re spending more than 30 percent of your available credit, that can be a warning sign of trouble ahead.
Even if you fully pay your balance every month, if your utilization ratio is high, it might not reflect well on your credit score. This is because certain credit card issuers include the balance you used in their report to the bureau.
If you pay off your bill on time and keep a low utilization ratio, then it won’t reflect poorly on your credit score. One way to get around this is by requesting the issuer if it’s possible to make multiple payments throughout the month instead of paying everything at the end.
What’s the best way to manage your credit card balance? The best thing you can do is to always pay your bill before the due date. This will help you avoid interest charges and any late fees. You should also avoid using credit cards that carry high interest rates. These are usually credit cards with annual fees. You should also look for credit cards that offer rewards programs that will benefit you.
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5. Limit Your Credit Card Applications
Some may recommend getting multiple credit cards of varying credit limits to keep your overall balance relatively low. And while this is a perfectly valid way to manage your credit balance, just ensure that you aren’t biting off more than you can chew.
A high credit utilization rate could be caused by using one credit card to pay off another, or even applying for too many loans at once.
Neglecting to pay just one of those cards on time can seriously affect your overall credit score.
If your credit score is on the decline, it may be time to reevaluate your spending habits and get rid of the debt. If not, then it may be time to take a break from your regular spending habits. If you are still struggling with your credit score, contact the best personal loan lenders in the industry to find the right option for you.
Also, note that whenever you apply for credit, your score is taken down by a small percentage. So even if the rewards being offered by a new credit card seem attractive, make sure to think twice before signing up for another account. You can also check your credit score at some online tools. It’s free!
The first thing to do is to know your credit score. Credit scores are like a snapshot of your financial history. Every year, your credit score reflects your use of credit. As a consumer, you can control your own credit score by using credit responsibly. By using credit responsibly, you can improve your credit score.
When considering credit card applications, keep in mind that credit cards are a form of debt. If you are unable to pay off your balance each month, you may wind up having a negative credit score. Keep in mind, that the same goes for a mortgage and personal loans. So, before you apply for a new credit card, you need to determine if it is something you can afford. And, if you have good credit, use it wisely and don’t rack up too many charges.
Now that you’ve made the decision to have a good credit score, you might have started thinking about how to maintain a good credit score? While it’s always important to stay on top of your spending habits, there are certain ways that you can get a good credit score that is a bit different than what you might be used to.
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