A credit score is a number between 300 and 900 and is based on your credit report. It is used by lenders, banks, credit card companies and financial institutions to decide whether or not to lend you money and what interest rate to offer. Most of us only think of our credit score when we need to apply for mortgages, personal loans, car financing or renting a new place.
Sometimes, the approval happens quickly, and our credit score is not an issue to get access to the credit line needed, but in some cases, credit can be denied due to a low credit score.
Well, this is not a lost cause. There is always space for improvements when we talk about your credit score. We selected 10 simple ways to take care of it, and the best time for starting this process is today.
Ask for your credit report, read it carefully and search for any errors. It is possible to have some missed payments indicated that were already acquitted, or another type of mistake that is lowering your score. If you find any, open a dispute and fix them.
Another possibility is to find fraudulent activities. This means that someone is making financial transactions using your credit card number or your identity. Follow your credit card statements to see if there are any transactions you do not recognize or any other sign of debt in your accounts that was not made by you.
If you had a mortgage, car financing, a bank account or a loan associated with another person, your credit score could have been tied together. You can remove a financial association if you no longer have (or never did have) a line of credit or joint account with the person involved.
Set up payment reminders and do not miss any payments. If you have too many overdue statements or installments, maybe it is time to get a personal loan and take care of them. Information about missed payments can remain on your credit score for up to seven years, and it does not look good on your credit report.
If you don’t have a credit card, it is time to apply for one. Not eligible for regular credit cards? Try a secured credit card. Just one credit card for everything? Consider applying for one more credit card; it can help you to increase your credit availability and reduce your credit use percentage.
Call your credit card operator and ask for a limit increase. Improving your available amount of credit can help your credit score.
Split the payments among your credit cards and never overuse them. The ideal percentage is 30% of the limit’s use. If it is not possible to keep this usage level, you can pay the credit card debt twice a month.
Use different lines of credit to compose your financial portfolio. Combining different types of credit will demonstrate that you are a reliable customer.
Call the collectors before they report the missing payments and renegotiate your debt. You can also ask them to take the complaint out of your credit report.
The length of credit is another relevant factor in your credit report. Even if you are not using all of your accounts, keep them open, unless you’re paying taxes or fees on them.
Always remember, your credit score is the snapshot of your financial health and you are the one most interested in your own personal finances. Keep track of your credit score and check your credit report once a year. When you start building good financial habits, a good credit score will be the result.
Finjoy Capital is not a financial advisory firm.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice.