Possessing a good credit score can bring many exciting opportunities for your life! However, without the right knowledge, that score can go downhill rather quickly. Things you are not aware of could affect your score and may make all the difference when you make a large purchase.
Pay Every Bill On Time
It may seem obvious, but pay your bills on time! Not only can just one missed payment affect your credit, but not paying ALL of your bills on time can have a negative impact too. Late credit card payments, utilities, rent, or loan payments all have the potential to be reported if paid late. Even one late payment in your history can have major repercussions when it comes time to apply for a mortgage, or car loan. Make sure that all bills are paid on time, even if they aren’t that important. A good tip is to store all of your bills’ due dates in your phone’s calendar one week earlier than they are due. By doing this, you will ensure that all of your bills are paid on time.
Be Careful Asking For More Credit
Applying for more credit will surprisingly lower your score as well. Every time you ask for more money, whether it is a store credit card or a mortgage, the company will complete a hard credit inquiry. By doing this, your score will be impacted even if you’re not approved for the credit. It’s important not to apply for multiple credit cards at once. If you don’t qualify for the card that you choose, spend some time working on your credit score before you apply for another.
Keep Lines of Credit After Paying Them Off
You may also find yourself in a situation with one of your credit lines paid off! If this is the case, do not cancel this line of credit. Even if you don’t need it, zero-balance credit lines will increase your total credit amount and also raise your credit utilization ratio. It’s also beneficial to have a long credit history, so keeping the line of credit will show you have a long relationship with the creditor. This is especially true with store credit cards. It may be tempting to rack the card up again, so hide the card itself, or shred it.
Be Careful Who You Co-sign For
One of the easiest ways to find yourself with a declining credit score is to co-sign for someone with less than stellar credit. Being someone’s co-signer makes you responsible for their debt if they are unable to pay it. It is always best to encourage others to build their own credit history and score to apply for credit themselves without help! Do not put your credit on the line for someone who would not do the same for you.
Read Your Credit Report
The most important thing you can do to have a strong credit score is to pay attention to your credit report. Several websites offer free credit reports. Take the time to verify that the information presented in the report is accurate. There are times when there are possible errors in the credit report, and it’s critical to report them.
The credit score is composed of a lot of information. If you have been working on your credit but still aren’t seeing your goal score, pay attention to these tips. Maybe you or your spouse can benefit from knowing some of these things that you may not have realized affect your credit score.