Having a high credit score can afford you to: Get a lower interest rates on credit loans and improve your chances for credit card and loan approval. It can also hand you more negotiating power, garner better car insurance rates, and much more. Although there’s no specific order to building a credit score, the first and foremost thing you should take into consideration is building your credit if you have none. Those making loans want to see two thing from you; history of paying your bills on time and enough income to cover your expenses. However, to fix your credit score, follow this step-by-step guide:
Start by Building Your Credit
You cannot prove your ability to pay a loan without a good track record that demonstrates it. Your regular use of credit enables creditors to report it and thus prove your creditworthiness. This step is key — and very important for anyone interested in building credit. Zero or poor credit scores will hinder you from securing any loan in the future.
Check Your Credit Reports for Errors
While it is easy to assume that your credit reports and credit scores are the same, they are different. Your credit scores are normally derived from your credit reports. As you work towards building your credit score, it is advisable to check your credit reports regularly for errors. There may be some incorrect information listed on your credit report that can damage your credit score without your knowledge. When you find errors follow up with the credit reference bureau as soon as you can.
Pay Your Bills on Time
No one bill is more important than any other; look at this. All of your bills will affect your credit score if not paid. They can be credit card bills or mortgage payments; neither has a smaller effect than the other when there’s a delay in payment. It is, therefore, important to pay every bill on time, including rent and utility bills, which might not be regularly reported to credit bureaus.
Pay Off Debts
Paying off debts is one way to increase your credit score. However, the debts which you pay off first matters a lot. You should pay credit card debts first because credit bureaus do not consider credit card debts as good debts. You can also make multiple payments per month. Any extra payment pushes towards your principal. The lower your principal, the lower your principal accrual.
Keep Your Balances Low
How much credit you have used, divided by the total amount of revolving credit available, gives you your credit utilization ratio. By maintaining a low ratio (of up to about 10%) will greatly increase your credit score.
Apply for New Credit Sparingly
You need to avoid applying for new credit cards or loans. They put a lot of strain and hard inquiry into your credit. If you decide to use a lot of credit for a short period, you risk being seen as a credit risk. Any new credit tempts you to spend, more resulting in more debt and a higher credit utilization ratio.
No matter how long it takes, increasing your credit score is worth it. It gives you the freedom to borrow wisely and utilize your creditworthiness.