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A credit score is a numerical figure that helps creditors determine how likely one can pay a loan on time. Having a high credit score enables one to easily access more credit card options and more loans with friendly interest rates. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people faced economic insecurity, impacting their credit scores. Furthermore, many people have reported errors on their credit reports, limiting their access to affordable credit and financing. The following article will give you strategies that can help you get your credit score in good shape.
1. Create Automatic Bill Payments
Most creditors look at your payment history to enable them to decide whether to give you a loan or not. An autopay protects you from missed bill payments which will help maintain a good score. You are only required to ensure enough money in your checking account, and all your bills will be automatically cleared.
2. Pay Down debts
Having huge outstanding debt outweighing your credit limit can impact your credit score. Paying up any high-interest credit card debt you owe will reflect well on your credit score by proving that you’re responsible with credit. To improve your score, ensure you maintain your credit utilization below the 30% credit limit. It is also essential that you make it a goal to avoid taking any more debts until you pay up current ones.
3. Get a Secured Credit Card
This type of credit requires paying a certain amount of cash deposit that becomes their credit limit. The deposit paid acts as a protection to the issuer because it guarantees that you will pay off your debt easily. This type of card enables one to learn how to be responsible with credit which can help them qualify for an unsecured credit card in the future.
4. Keep Old Accounts Open
Keeping an old credit card account that is no longer in use open can impact on credit score. This is because the long credit history and high total credit limit can assure the issuer whether you can pay up your loan based on records. After closing an account with a good credit score, it takes time to reflect well on your credit history and enable you to get a loan. Some credit card accounts are closed due to high annual fees, but you can talk to your bank or issuer to downgrade the card so that you keep maintaining it.
5. Limit New Lines of Credit
Anytime you apply for a loan or new credit card, the information will automatically appear on your credit report, which affects your credit score. It’s essential to thoroughly conduct research and only go for credit that you genuinely need. Therefore, improving your credit score requires avoiding loans and credits that you will struggle to pay.
6. Track Your Credit Score
Tracking your credit score will enable you to make adjustments if you notice it’s dropping. Most banks and credit card issuers help their clients keep track and monitor their scores for free, which you can take advantage of to help you know your position. Ensure you minimize late payments, hard inquiries from new loans, and high balance to get a healthy and improved credit score.
7. Create a Budget
Creating a budget will ensure you keep track of your spending and pay any outstanding debts. Additionally, a budget helps you know how much you’re earning and guide you to spend responsibly because most people spend more than they earn. A person who has a credit card and uses a budget makes wise choices before using it, thus limiting credit utilization. To ensure a good credit score, draft a budget and strictly follow it.
8. Plan to Resume Paying Loans
Most countries passed some relief measures due to the pandemic; however, it is good to plan to repay when the measures are lifted if you want a good credit score. Visit or contact your bank or credit issuer to know about any modified repayment terms and plan out how you will make up the payments. It would help if you also made some adjustments in your lifestyle to pay off your debt. These changes could include getting an extra job or reducing your expenses, and saving the extra income for debt payment. This will enable you to pay off your loan on time and in full, thus reflecting well on your credit score.
9. Cultivate Patience
A good credit score is often a result of long-term financial decisions and habits. It is impossible to get out of debt overnight; therefore, patience is required to reach this goal. Have a realistic plan that will help you raise your credit score step by step, doing what you can and avoiding strategies that don’t work for you.
10. Add rent Payments to Your Credit Report
Ensuring you always pay your rent on time can have a good impact on your credit score. When you present the payments to your credit issuers, it will impact your creditworthiness. Whenever you consider taking a loan or applying for a credit card, it’s good to involve your property management company or landlord because it can reduce the fees or interest charged on your loan.
11. Protect Your Personal Information to Avoid Fraud
Cyber fraud is common the world over. The fraudsters engage in identity theft by accessing your personal information, opening accounts in your name, and their action may send your credit score down the wrong path. To protect yourself, ensure that you create unique passwords only to you and minimize making transactions on public Wi-Fi networks.
12. Pay Off Credit Card Balances Every Month
Strengthening your credit requires that you lower existing debt balances and minimize your debt by paying up your credit cards monthly. It takes a lot of self-discipline to achieve this goal, but in the end, it’s worth the effort. It will help you keep your credit utilization and minimize high-interest charges.
A good or excellent credit score can give you limitless opportunities and easy access to credits with favorable terms. If you are having trouble raising your credit score ratings, you do well to implement what we have discussed. Remember, you cannot fix your credit score in minutes or days; it takes time. Therefore, be patient with yourself and make the needed adjustments in your lifestyle to get out of debt.