Having a good credit score is essential for financial success. A high credit score means it’s easier for you to get loans, acquire lower interest rates on mortgage payments, and be approved for rental housing. If your credit score needs a boost, there are many simple and easy ways to improve it.
- Check Your Credit Report – The first step to improving your credit score is making sure the information on your report is accurate. You can check your credit report with all three of the major bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Make sure all the information listed is up-to-date and correct—if not, contact the bureau in charge and take the necessary steps to have it removed or corrected. Credit Karma is not as accurate as we would like to think; instead, use MyFico.com.
- Pay On Time – Making timely payments on all your debts will help build your credit score over time. Set up automatic payments if you need reminders, or use an app like Mint which helps keep track of all due dates at once.
- Lower Your Credit Utilization Ratio – This is the ratio of how much of your available credit you’re using at any given time—in other words, what percentage of your limit are you utilizing? Aim to keep this ratio below 30%, as having too much outstanding debt has a negative effect on your score; paying off all balances in full each month would ideal, but may not always be achievable depending on life circumstances.
- Don’t Close Accounts – While closing old accounts can sound like a good idea when dealing with debt consolidation (as doing so keeps available funds higher), this can actually work against you when trying to maintain a healthy credit utilization ratio (see number 3!). Closing older accounts will also lower the average age of opened accounts which negatively impacts scores as well; keeping these older accounts open even if they’re not being used will make them look better on paper long-term!
- Consider Different Types of Credit – Having different types of lines of credits such as mortgages or auto finance deals can help diversify one’s financial portfolio and boost their overall scores; while these do involve taking on greater financial responsibility than credit cards alone, they can have positive effects especially if paid responsibly over time.
By following these five steps you should see results with improved scores within months! As always however consult with professionals such as financial advisors before making any life impacting decisions regarding personal finance!