Credit scores are the key to advancing in life. Mortgages and auto loans and even getting a new job or career promotion can depend on the quality of your credit score and the your financial history over time.
It isn’t always easy keeping our credit score high enough for the banks and credit card companies to love you. Financial accidents and disasters do happen. Often they are not your fault but can mean that we can’t always pay every bill on time. A few unpaid bills doesn’t have to mean you live a painful life with bad credit where every door seems to slam shut.
These easy to follow steps towards a better quality credit score can help will boost your credit score instantly. They are good financial habits to learn and persist with across your life over the long term.
Start Working On Your Credit Score As Soon As Possible
Did you know that the total length your financial account has been open can make up 25% of your credit score. You might be nervous giving a teenager or young adult a credit card. Teach them to use it responsibly and they will reap credit benefits throughout their life.
Starting to build a credit history early means that financial organizations learn who you are as opposed to seeing you arrive out of the blue one day. No matter your age, you should have a credit card open to put basic expenses on.
You don not need to use a credit card facility significantly, just make some small shop purchases . The shop clerk may hate you, but it’s okay, you’re boosting your credit score with minimal risk of gaining debt that you cannot repay.
Each New Month Try And Pay All Outstanding Bills On Time
Sounds simple in theory, but harder to practice. Credit card debt has a tendency to snowball if you don’t watch it. It just gets out of hand so easily. We advise only putting charges you can afford to repay on your credit card.
This may mean cutting back on everyday expenses. Think about what you need versus what you want and desire. Money is supposed to buy freedom, not happiness. Food, insurance and utility bills are all fine for credit cards; new 70″ 4k televisions and holidays to the south Pacific, not so much.
Get Used To Checking Your Credit Score Frequently
This is a difficult one but a good financial habit to adopt over the longer term. While some people hear that if you check your score too often it will be detrimental. This is true, but only if you officially check your score. Simply logging into a credit agency to view your details is not the same as when a financial institution runs an eligibility check.
Free, unofficial, credit score checkers allow you to view your score with any negative impact to your credit score. We recommend using Credit Karma or Experian credit score to check your credit files. It’s free, safe, and will allow you to keep a watchful eye on your credit score. Keeping an eye also means better protection against identify theft and incorrect entries on your credit file.
Leave Sensible Gaps Between Credit Applications
Some people get a new credit card every month. Banks will give you negative credit marks if you do not wait at least 6-8 months before getting another line of credit. To the bank applying for credit too often carries a scent of real financial desperation and suggests that you may struggle to repay the debt which is bad for their business.
You have rights as a consumer! Make sure to research all of your options before taking out another line of credit. Look for ways to reduce your overall expenses so you can pay off more principal than interest every month. It is vital to stay in charge of your financial affairs when it comes to personal credit and your credit file.
Keep Your Credit Card Debt As Low As Possible
Banks check how much your monthly balance is before they give you a new loan or credit card. If you know you are about to apply for a loan wait until you can pay off most of the balance.
It might be wise to take out another credit card to put very small purchases on. Designate a credit card to only put bread and milk on, and pay off the balance in full so that it does not weigh you down later on.
There we are, I hope that all of these credit score hacks help demystify some of the burning questions about how financial institutions assess our credit scores and how we manage and master our financial lives.