14 Helpful Tips For Maintaining A Good Credit Score
There are lots of things you can do to help maintain the excellent credit rating you’ve worked so hard to build. Just one reason you need to keep doing so: money.
Generally, a good credit score means less interest, which means more money in the bank. It can also be easier for you to get loans and credit.
My top 14 tips for maintaining good credit are listed here:
- Treat all of your debts equally when it comes time to pay.
Just because you’re behind on your credit card bill doesn’t mean you need to skip the upcoming elections. Refraining from paying your credit cards is always going to take a toll on your credit score, no matter who your creditor is.
- Keep old credit cards open to maintain the longer history.
It doesn’t matter how old your credit rating is, keeping your record is helpful.
- Consolidate cards to have fewer balances.
Having a number of small balances dispersed over a number of different cards may appear to be smart, but approaching it may be a miscalculation if you abuse it.
John Ulzheimer of Credit Sesame suggests that paying off these amounts is better if you want to improve your credit rating. “A good way to help improve your credit score is to eliminate nuisance balances,” he recommends. This is because having multiple credit card balances can have a negative impact on your score, rather than increasing it.
If you’re looking to pay off your credit card debt quickly, try using a balance transfer card to consolidate all your monthly payments onto one card.
- Make sure you pay every bill on time, every time.
Your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score. If you have a hard time keeping your bills organized and making timely payments, set up a recurring billing system to receive electronic reminders and paid bills.
If you don’t mind taking the time to track what’s due, there’s an app for that.
If you have a busy life, you can set up automatic payment plans with your credit card or with your bank to ensure that your payments are taken care of on time, every month.
While you are paying your credit cards and rent on time, make sure you also get your credit rating for paying for your utilities and phone bills. You can sign up for Experian Boost, link your bank account, get credit for paying these bills on time as well. This service is free and includes your Experian Boost score and myFICO score.
- Try not to rack up the balance on your credit cards.
If you only use one credit card with a $1,000 limit and have a $500 balance, your credit utilization ratio is 50%. Aim for 30% or lower.
People with good credit scores only use 8% of their available credit.
- Keep an eye on your credit report and make a stink about errors.
If you are on the lookout for errors on your credit report, you might want to make sure you’re logging on each year and free yearly credit reports are an option available to you from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
Get through to each report carefully to see whether there are errors and, if there are, contact the people responsible to get everything resolved as soon as possible.
- Avoid applying for new credit whenever possible.
New credit applications account for about 10% of your total credit score. Each time you request a credit line that raises your inquiries into your credit score, your score will be reduced by that amount.
Unless it’s indispensable, don’t believe in getting new credit cards or loans if you want to maintain your credit standing.
- Make payments in full when possible, and otherwise pay at least the minimum.
There are at least two reasons for you not to check the minimum, and one is because this is a lousy manner to pay your debts! Paying just the minimum permits even the smallest of debts to persist for years, which will incur high interest payments.
However, to ensure you can afford the minimum, be sure to pay at least that amount each month. Otherwise, you’ll have late payments or missed payments on your report for seven years.
- Creditors are real people too, so contact them if you encounter problems.
In the event that anything occurs and you struggle to pay your bills, make certain that you contact your creditors right away. Frequently, you’ll be in a position to talk in person with your lender or servicer, subsequently finding an alternative payment strategy, adjusting to a more affordable interest rate, or otherwise alleviating the situation.
- Live within your credit means and don’t exceed your limit.
According to Wells Fargo Bank, a 20–10 rule is a good rule of thumb for credit. Don’t “let your credit card debt exceed more than 20% of your total yearly income after taxes. And each month, don’t spend more than 10% of your monthly take-home pay on credit card payments.”
- Chip away slowly to reduce your overall debt load.
To start rebuilding your credit as early as possible, you should take proactive steps toward eliminating or repaying your debt. Do not utilize your credit, develop a spreadsheet of your monthly finances, and pay your highest interest rates first while paying the minimum on the rest of your debts.
- Get all your rate shopping done within a two-week period.
Your FICO score won’t be affected by new loan inquiries if you happen to finish your shopping within two weeks because there’s a 30-day grace period.
- Consider using a credit monitoring service.
Credit monitoring service monitor your score daily and send you a warning when it hits undesirable levels. While the program may notify you of worrisome changes, it additionally serves as an early warning sign of identity theft.
- Use credit boosting services.
Among the most effective techniques for improving your credit rating besides the usual “pay on time” approach is through a referral service to loan you money. Similarly to one that helps individuals repay loans, a company that offers these kinds of services is Self. Whenever a payment has been made, their service adjusts the relevant credit scores and records.
You can implement a number of wise tips and techniques to help maintain and even improve your credit rating. Some of the best things you can do involve keeping your credit upon footing to all creditors, avoiding reckless buying, and maintaining prompt payment to all of your bills.
In conjunction with these efforts, it’s also important to avoid applying for, monitoring, and taking actions to rectify errors on ones of all your financial accounts.