Having good credit comes with a number of benefits. For example, your credit comes in handy when you don't have the money upfront to pay for a good or service. However, you won't be able to reap this benefit if your credit score is too low. Lenders will likely reject your applications if your credit score isn't up to par. They want to ensure you're trustworthy enough to open an account and make regular payments. If your credit score could use some improvement, read about the following tips to raise your credit score.
1. Pay off Your Debt
Paying off your debt is perhaps the most obvious way to improve your credit score and fix bad credit. However, it can be a tough thing to do, especially if you're in a lot of debt. Having multiple creditors on your credit report isn't a good look if you want the approval of lenders. In fact, it shows that you're not responsible with your finances, which means they're likely to throw your application in the reject pile.
By paying off your debt, you'll be getting rid of those negative items on your credit report. As a result, your credit history will show that you don't have any negative judgments, which opens up the door to a number of credit opportunities.
2. Keep Your Credit Cards Under 30 Percent Utilization
If you're using credit cards, it's important to keep them under 30% utilization. In other words, spend no more than 30% of your total credit limit each month. For example, if your credit limit is $1,000, then your total credit card transactions shouldn't exceed $300. This will reflect well on your credit report as it'll show that you're using your credit cards responsibly and you're not running up your credit. Lenders will take this into consideration as they look over your credit history. In fact, they're more likely to approve of you because you have good money management skills and you're not abusing your credit cards.
3. Pay Your Credit Card Bills on Time
Another factor that can affect your credit score is whether you're paying your credit card bill on time. If you're always late on your payments, then this will reflect badly on your credit report. As a result, your credit score will suffer. Even though you're making your payments, you may still see consequences if you pay your bill late. For example, some credit card companies charge a late fee. Also, if you're late on your credit card payments, you may have to pay interest, depending on how late your payments are.
4. Automate Your Bill Pay
If you're finding that you're late on your credit card bills too often, you can choose to automate your credit card payments. This will ensure that you never miss a payment. So if you tend to forget your credit card bills, automating them will prove very useful. When you automate your bill, you don't have to think about it. This, as a result, reduces your chances of making a late payment. Consequently, you can raise your credit score because you're improving and maintaining your credit history.
5. Check Your Credit Scores Often
Being familiar with your credit scores from the three main credit bureaus can give you a good idea of where you stand. This can help you make preparations for what you need to do to improve your credit. It also shows how much progress you might have made in your credit improvement journey. For example, if your credit score started out at 550 and you improved it to 680, then you can conclude that you're on the right track. However, if your credit score stays the same, it could indicate that you should try other methods.
Raising your credit score can be a frustrating task. However, the results will be well worth the effort and headache.