How can you improve your credit score?

Keep an eye on your overall available credit:

Having too much available credit can sometimes harm your credit score. Credit or service providers may feel that you have the ability to spend more than you could potentially pay back. It makes sense to accept only the credit you require instead of carrying high credit limits as this unused credit reduces your ability to borrow more.

You might want to consider closing a few inactive accounts or asking to have your credit limits reduced. Qualifying doesn’t always mean affordability. “Congrats! You qualify for a new BMW M4” doesn’t actually mean you will be able to afford all of the costs that come with running an expensive vehicles (insurance, maintenance, security, etc.).

Keep your account balances reasonable.

High levels of debt can signal to potential credit or service providers that you are spending more than you can afford. It is a good idea to use your credit cards regularly but remember to keep your balances below 35% of your available credit limit.

If you have balances above 35-50%, you could see your credit score start to drop. Before booking the vacation to Bali it’s definitely worth running the numbers first to make sure you can repay it as quickly as possible.

Pay on time:

Late payments will drop your score. Always pay at least the minimum amount on your credit account each month. Missed payments materialize as your inability to keep with obligations on your credit score which lenders will view as negative in deciding to grant you additional credit.

Have fewer accounts:

Looking for new credit can equate with higher risk if the enquiries are done across many different industries within a short period of time. Opening several credit accounts in a short period of time affects your credit score.

The impact from applying for credit will vary from person to person based on their unique credit histories. Building a good credit profile does not require you to take on 10 different store cards. Apply and pay on time for credit that you require and will use.

Keep your public records clean:

Listings such as judgments, debt review flags and sequestrations on your credit report are items of public record, which means that anyone can see them. An item in this category will significantly lower your score. Payment of these types of items will not immediately undo the damage to your credit score so preventing going into a legal dispute with a credit or service provider resulting in a public record is thus highly advisable.

Written by kbmoyo

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