Need a boost? Here are 10 simple ways to improve your credit score.
Creating a positive credit history is essential. A poor credit rating can make it harder to do the things you want to do in life, like open a new credit card without a cosigner or deposit, buy or lease a car, rent an apartment or even apply for a job. Whether you haven’t established credit yet, had past credit troubles or want to get the best interest rates possible on credit cards or loans, you need a healthy financial habits to earn a good credit score.
Here are 10 ways to give your credit score a quick boost:
- Know what you’re working with.You’re allowed to see your credit report from all three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) for FREEonce a year. Review it carefully, checking for mistakes or inaccuracies. Just staying in the know can help you stay on track to a better score.
- Correct any errors that you see on your credit report. It could be something as simple as that another person has the same name as you or a glitch in the system – or something major like a case of stolen identity. Either way, incorrect information could be harming your credit score. If you find an error, report it to the credit bureau so you can get it removed from your credit report.
- Make payments on time. There’s no better way to establish a solid credit history than by consistently making your payments in full and on time, every time.
- Get points for every rent payment you make. Your on-time rent payments can help boost your score as long as they’re reported by a credit reporting service like CreditPop. This is a great way to build your credit score by using payments you’d make anyways, without incurring any debt.
- Pay down your debt. Doing this increases your amount of available credit, and in turn, your score.
- Keep old accounts. Once you pay down your debt, keep the accounts open. Having the credit available to you, but not in use, will boost your score by lowering your credit utilization ratio, which is the total amount of credit you have compared to how much you use.
- Ask for an increase. Another quick way to potentially give your score a little bump is to get creditors to increase your limit. The trick is not to use that increase up, which would have the opposite effect.
- Limit applications.When you apply for a new credit account, the lender pulls your credit report (known as a “hard pull”), which lowers your score.
- Mix it up. Installment loans, credit cards, and auto loans are all great to have. That said, don’t buy a car just to have an installment loan on your credit report - but know that it will help to build your score.
- Don’t be afraid to use responsibly your card.Even just one small purchase per month that is consistently paid off will positively impact your credit score.
Your credit score is more than just a number: it’s the key to the door of your new home or car, and might even help you land a new job. It’s also not set in stone. Credit scores are always evolving based on how you manage your money and use the credit available to you. If your credit score isn’t where you want it to be right now, there are lots of ways to boost it higher and reap the financial rewards.