Best Ways to Boost Your Credit Score
It’s no secret that your credit score determines most things in our lives, everything from the car we drive to the home we live in, and even how much you pay for insurance. So, what happens when our scores are less than perfect? The good news is, even if your score is not where you would like it to be, there are ways you can give it a boost.
Tips for Improving Your Credit Score
There is no doubt improving your score makes your life easier, especially if you are in the market to buy a new home. Here are the top tips for giving your score a much-needed boost.
Check for Credit Errors
Most of the time, errors on your credit report stem from human error, but they could have a significant impact on your score. You can request at least one free report every twelve months from each of the three major credit bureaus- Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Once you request yours look for mistakes such as payments marked late when you paid on time or negative information that is old and should not be listed. Then you can dispute the items to have them removed, the credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate and respond.
Pay Credit Cards Down
Few people realize that it’s not just paying your balance off every month that can increase your credit score but keeping that balance at a minimum. Making multiple payments during the month improves your credit utilization, which has a significant effect on your score. If you keep your usage low by treating your credit card like a debit card paying off purchases as soon as they post, you should see it benefit your score right away.
Request a Higher Credit Limit
Increasing your limit without increasing the balance lowers your overall credit utilization, boosting your score. Call the card issuer and ask if they can increase your limit without performing a hard credit inquiry. Hard inquiries can temporarily lower your score.
Ask to be an Authorized User
Asking a friend or relative to be an authorized user on one of their accounts can thicken your credit file and help your credit utilization. Of course, this only works if the other party has good credit and high limits.
Do Not Close Credit Card Accounts
When working on your credit, it is better to keep credit cards open after you pay off the balance. Even if you don’t want to use for big purchases, use it for smaller ones, so the issuer keeps it open. Keeping that open limit will help with your overall utilization.
Maintain a Good Credit Mix
You want both loans and credit cards to help boost your credit score. You need both installment debt and revolving credit to look good for lenders. If you only have one type, try applying for the other.
Pay Those Bills on Time
Of course, there isn’t much that works better than paying your bills on time. Payment history is the biggest factor in credit scores. Even missing one payment can have a considerable influence on your score.