Your credit score is more than an arbitrary number. It is used to work out your eligibility for finance, which means it will have a direct impact on the quality of your life in that you may or may not be able to get finance for a home or take out a credit card. So if you have a low credit score and would like to raise it, here are five surefire ways to help you get started.
Track Your Credit Score
Out of sight out of mind is not a mantra that applies to improving your credit score. While some may choose to remain blissfully ignorant when it comes to their credit score they are not doing themselves any favors. For those who are worried that their credit score may not be the best simply ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You should be fully aware of your current credit score so you aren't caught by surprise. There are many online services that allow you to view and track your credit score, often for free. Keeping up with your credit score is the first step to managing your credit score as it keeps you informed of any problems that may come up and sets you on a path to fixing those problems.
Use Your Credit Care Sparingly
Racking up large amounts of debt on your credit card can severely cripple your credit score. The less you charge to your card, the better. A good rule of thumb is to keep your monthly expenses at or below 30% of your card's credit limit. Many credit care companies allow you to set a monthly limit and will send you e-mail alerts when you are approaching that limit. Keeping your monthly balance well below your credit limit will help improve you credit score. Maxing out your credit card will severely impact your credit score in a very negative way so make sure you stay as far from your credit limit as you possibly can. Otherwise you're just asking for trouble with your credit score.
Pay More Than Just the Minimum
While it may be tempting to charge to your credit card more than you know you can pay and then simply pay the monthly minimum payment that is one of the easiest ways to rack up a debt that you are incapable of paying on in a timely manner. The best way to avoid a mountain of future debt is to pay off your entire credit card bill every month. Of course, to do this you'll need to make sure that you're spending only as much as you can afford to pay but in these trying times you should be trying as best as you can to live within your means. Paying off your monthly bill in full is a great way to build credit and improve your score if you've had problems with it in the past.
Stick With One Card
An ongoing balance with multiple cards will not reflect well on your credit score. A good way to keep your credit score at a desirable level is to keep as few cards as possible active. Also, your credit score will improve the longer you keep a card active so long as you're paying off the balance in full each month. Instead of moving on to another card that you feel might work better for you stick with the one you have. The longer you use a card the more good credit you're building. Also, it will help you stay within your budget as it's very easy to get behind on your payments when you have your finances spread across multiple accounts. Keeping just one card active and sticking with it for an extended period of time will help you build trust with that company and improve your credit score.
Keep an Eye on Your Credit Limit
Being mindful of your credit limit can keep your credit score from being artificially low. If you notice that your credit score seems lower than you feel it should be call your lender and verify your limit. Many times if your issuer doesn't report your credit limit to credit bureaus the bureaus will simply use your highest balance as a proxy for your credit limit, making it appear as though you are regularly maxing out your cards. Making sure that your credit limit is being accurately reported to credit bureaus is another way to improve your credit score.
Good points..but tracking your credit score is not as easy as it sounds. You can get one free credit report each year (from EACH of the reporting agencies)...so I get one every four months. but they tell what is on your report and now what the score is. I do not know of way to get the score for free...and certainly not on a regular basis? If anyone knows, feel free to message me :)