From car dealerships to cell phone plans, home insurance to loans, it seems like the whole world is obsessed with credit scores—and if you aren’t careful, that can be a bad thing.
There are a million reasons to want to make sure your credit score is shining, but to a lot of people, improving a credit score might certainly be easier said than done. Fortunately, we know of a few simple tricks that are almost guaranteed to bump up your score. Take these 5 tips into account and you’ll be seeing improvements in no time.
Authority Looks Good
This tip is helpful for people who have a thin credit file without much or any recent credit experience—remember, no credit is not good credit. This can include people that are new to credit cards or that have never had a credit card, people that have recently immigrated into the US, or even people that have mostly paid everything in cash.
Having someone you know, a close friend or family, with a great credit history can be a huge asset for you. If this person adds you to their card as an authorized user, your credit score can benefit immediately and effortlessly. You don’t even have to use the card or know the account number.
Due dates are put in place for a reason, right? As long as you cover your balance by the time your payment is due you should be fine…right? Sort of…
Always make sure to pay off your balance before payment is due, but waiting to pay off your entire balance right before its due can actually work against you. Instead, try making smaller payments, also known as micropayments, throughout the month. This works towards your credit utilization, which is a major factor that’ll start to send benefits your way almost immediately.
If you tend to overspend, maybe pass on this tip. But, if you’re consistent in your spending and don’t go past your limit, however, this can be an essential tip for you.
If you have a stable, reliable history, you might be able to ask your card issuer to raise your spending limit. This does not mean you should spend more—keep spending what you spend! If you keep up your regular, responsible spending but have a higher limit set in place, proportionally, you’re spending less. While nothing has actually changed, this can look great on your credit.
If you are an overspender, this might be a better tip for you. Secured credit cards are backed up by cash. Instead of waiting to pay what your balance amounts to, you pay upfront—usually whatever your limit is. This way, you’ve already paid and don’t have to worry about paying late, or not being able to pay at all.
Mix n’ Match
There are multiple ways of building credit, not just credit cards. Loans are another common way, and having only one kind of credit in your history can be holding your score back. Mixing up your credit types (and paying on time and responsibly) can show that you’re trustworthy with your credit and can be a great way to build up your score effectively.
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