Everyone needs a loan occasionally. That’s why I want to go over some dos and don’ts to help you manage your credit score. If you have been following me, you know how important that is. The more favorable your financial picture, the better interest rates you will receive from creditors.
These are suggestions for what you should do:
- Pay your bills on time. Late or delinquent payments and collections accounts have a huge negative impact on your credit report and score.
- Only apply for new credit when you absolutely need it.
- If you have had problems in the past, re-establish your credit with new accounts that you pay on time.
- If you forgot and/or didn’t make a payment, get caught up immediately.
- Check your credit report on a regular basis. At www.AnnualCreditReport.com you can order a free copy 3 times a year. Just make sure you choose a different credit reporting agency each time. This is perfectly fine to do and ordering a copy for yourself will NOT be affect your score.
- If you don’t pay your credit cards off each and every month, keep your balances low. Aim to get your balances under 10% of your total credit limit. This is a big factor with your credit score.
- Make sure that you use your credit cards every couple of months so that the cards stay active.
Here are suggestions of what to avoid:
- Don’t close a credit card when you have paid off the balance. This will throw off your utilization credit ratio, and therefore lower your credit score.
- Don’t open new credit card accounts at every store you shop in. Don’t be tempted by the offer of a discount or other perks.
Remember, your credit will improve when you make the effort – so many problems occur when you don’t. Trust me, I have seen people spend years cleaning up credit mistakes that were completely avoidable. Don’t let this be you.