Three ways to improve your credit score
Your credit score is important in determining whether you land your dream home or apartment, what cell phone plan you are eligible for and the interest rates you’ll pay on loans. Your credit score is considered a measurement of how likely you are to pay back the money you borrow from a lender. The better your score, the more likely you’ll pay it back on time.
The average American has a credit score of 711, which qualifies as “good” under the FICO credit score breakdown. But if you’re looking at your score and see room for improvement, here are three things you can do to start building back up your credit.
1. Pay your balance on time, every time
There’s no quicker way to hurt your credit score than missing payments, which is why you should always make sure to pay your bill on time. Setting up autopay can be immensely helpful when you get a new credit card; it helps you demonstrate that you are a reliable borrower.
2. Keep your balance low
In addition to making sure you always pay your credit card bills on time, keep an eye on how large your statement gets. In the eyes of lenders, using a high percentage of your line of credit — a figure known as a credit utilization rate — could be a sign that you’re a risky borrower.
Generally, experts recommend having a credit utilization rate below 30%. That means that if you have three credit cards with combined lines of credit worth $10,000, you don’t want to put more than $3,000 total on them each month.
3. Review your credit report for any mistakes
Your credit score is based on the information in your credit report. It is recommended reviewing your reports from all three major bureaus at least twice a year — once in the summer and once in the winter — to make sure there aren’t any errors that are dragging down your score.
People would be really surprised to know how many mistakes are on their credit report, consumers should keep an eye out for payments that may have been mistakenly marked as late.