5 Simple Ways to Boost Your Credit Score
Sometimes we encounter unforeseen difficulties and our credit suffers. This is where re-establishing or establishing your credit score is really important. In the United States, your credit score is a number, ranging anywhere from 300 to 850 (Base FICO score). This number represents the creditworthiness of an individual.
When inquiring about a credit score, most lenders will pull a general FICO score. FICO is a company that specializes in “predictive analytics.” They take and analyze information to predict what will likely happen in a person’s finances. If you know the rules and how the score is calculated, it’s easy to maintain a good credit score. Unfortunately, many people make simple mistakes that hurt their credit score. At Citizen’s Savings and Loan we want to help, so we’ve compiled a list of tips that will help you improve your score!
Pay All of Your Bills on Time Each Month
Payment history takes up a third of your credit score formula. It is the factor that will affect your score the most, so it is imperative that you pay your bills on time. Missing monthly payments is one of the worst things you can do for your score because it inhibits you to from being seen as a good candidate for a loan or any other type of financial service you may need.
Keep Credit Card Balances Low
The second largest piece of the pie when looking at the formula for credit scores is the credit utilization section. This section makes up another 30% of your credit score. Credit utilization is essentially looking at how much money you owe on things. In relation to credit cards it is a good rule of thumb to only use up to 49% of your card's total credit. If you use more than 50% of the available credit, even if you pay it off each month, you can hurt your credit score significantly.
Avoid Applying for Credit Lines Back-to-Back
New credit is a factor that takes up 10% of your credit score formula. This includes applying for home or auto loans and also credit cards. As it may seem good to attain new credit by applying for credit cards, it can actually be a problem if you do it a lot in a small period of time. Your credit score lowers each time you apply for a credit card by about three or four points.
Start Your Credit Reputation as Soon as Possible
Together, the length of your credit history and the types of credit take up about 25% of the credit score formula. So it is a good idea to go ahead and get started as soon as you can. The longer the reputation you have of being responsible and timely with finances, the greater your score will be. However, be cautious. Don’t open a bunch of new credit cards just to increase your credit, this could backfire and actually lower you score!
Don't Close Credit Card Accounts that You Don't Use
Every time you cancel a credit card, you decrease the amount of credit available to you. This affects your credit utilization. If you continue to use your available credit, but have lowered the amount of credit overall, you will be using more than 50% of your credit. This can hurt your credit score. A good idea is to keep the credit card and use it for small purchases while continuing to pay them off.
Boosting your credit score is not a quick fix and takes some serious work. It is something that, with time, can be improved greatly. Keep track of your spending and be responsible with purchasing to get on the right track. The key to a good credit score is to make good habits and then be consistent in your actions.
If you would like to learn more about the process of obtaining a personal loan from Citizens, or if you would like to learn more about other types of loans we provide, we encourage you to contact us today or stop by any of our convenient locations. You can also get the process of applying for a loan started now, simply fill out our online application form and a friendly Citizens representative will contact you!