Having a good credit score is important for many reasons. A strong credit score can help you get approved for credit cards, get lower interest rates, and even rent an apartment. If your credit score needs improvement, don’t worry – there are some quick and easy things you can do to start boosting your score today. Read on for 9 tips to improve your credit score.
1. Maintain a mix of different types of credit
You’ve probably heard that it’s important to maintain a mix of different types of credit. But what does that mean, and why is it important? Basically, having a mix of different types of credit helps to prove that you’re a responsible borrower. It shows that you’re able to manage different types of credit products and that you’re not overextended.
In some cases, having a good mix of different types of credit can help you qualify for more affordable car insurance. So if you’re looking to improve your financial situation, maintaining a mix of different types of credit is a good place to start.
2. Request higher limits on your credit cards
One simple way to improve your credit score is to request higher limits on your credit cards. This can be especially helpful if you have a lot of high-interest debt. By requesting a higher limit, you’ll lower your credit utilization ratio – which is the amount of available credit you’re using. A lower credit utilization ratio is good for your credit score. So if you’re carrying a lot of debt, request higher limits on your credit cards to help improve your credit score.
3. Stop ignoring collection accounts
If you have collection accounts on your credit report, it’s important to deal with them. Ignoring collection accounts will not make them go away – and it can actually make your situation worse. If you’re dealing with collections, try to negotiate with the creditor to have the account removed from your credit report. In some cases, you may be able to have the debt forgiven entirely. However, even if you’re unable to have the debt forgiven, paying off collections can still help improve your credit score.
4. Check your credit report for errors and dispute them
One common reason people have low credit scores is because of errors in their credit reports. If you find an error on your credit report, dispute it with the credit bureau. By doing so, you can help improve your credit score.
5. Pay your bills on time, every time
This one should be a no-brainer – but it’s worth repeating. One of the most important things you can do for your credit score is to pay your bills on time, every time. Late payments can have a significant negative impact on your score. So if you’re looking to improve your credit score, make sure you’re paying your bills on time.
6. Keep your credit card balances low
Another way to help improve your credit score is to keep your credit card balances low. Credit utilization – which is the amount of credit you’re using compared to your credit limits – is one of the most important factors in your credit score. So if you’re looking to improve your score, it’s important to keep your balances low.
7. Don’t open too many new accounts at once
When you open a new credit card, it can temporarily lower your credit score. So if you’re looking to improve your score, it’s best to avoid opening too many new accounts at once. Instead, focus on using the credit cards you already have and paying your bills on time.
8. Use a credit monitoring service to track your score and identify potential problems
Credit monitoring services provide you with regular updates on your credit score, as well as alerts if there are any changes or activity on your account. This can help you keep track of your score so you can take steps to improve it. Additionally, credit monitoring can help you catch any errors or fraudulent activity on your account, which can help you avoid potential financial problems down the road.
9. Avoid applying for store cards or other types of credit you don’t need
One way to improve your credit score is to avoid applying for store cards or other types of credit you don’t need. When you apply for new credit, they will run a hard inquiry on your credit report, which could temporarily lower your score.
Additionally, each time you open a new account, it can also increase your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of debt you have compared to your total available credit. A high credit utilization ratio can ding your score, so it’s best to keep it below 30%.
If you’re not sure whether you should apply for new credit, you can check your free annual credit report to see if there are any red flags that might indicate you’re not ready.
Improving your credit score can be daunting, but it’s worth it in the long run. These nine tips should help you get started on the path to a better credit score. With time and effort, you’ll see your credit score improve.