4 No-Fail Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

Credit repair is a hot topic in the CGS community! In our community, the financial topic members want to learn more about it credit repair.  The CGS Team recently shared the benefits of a good score and how to get credit when you have none, but today we’re sharing 4 no-fail ways to actually improve your credit score.  Remember, good credit can take some time to build, so stay consistent in your efforts!

4 No-Fail Ways to Improve Your Credit Score…

#1: Pay Your Bills on Time, Every Time

This is probably the easiest thing you can do to improve your credit! Ensuring your debt payments are made on time, paying at least the minimum, can do wonders for your score over time. On the contrary, one late payment can drop your score significantly and it may stay that way for a long time.

Since “Payment History” accounts for 35% of your score, the highest of all the categories, your efforts to pay on time will have the most impact on your score.  If your schedule is always hectic or you easily forget about your debt payments, set up automatic bill pay. Take the burden of remembering off of your shoulders and let technology take over. Although, do keep an eye on those automatic payments. Technology is not always fail-proof.

#2: Think Twice Before Closing an Account

The longer you’ve had credit, regardless of how you used it, the better your score will be.  Length of credit history is a factor that accounts for 15% of your score.  Length of credit history is calculated by the average length of time you’ve had your credit accounts opened. If you’ve had one card for 3 years and another for 1 year, your average length of credit history is 2 years.

What does this have to do with closing accounts? If you close a credit account, fast forward ten years, that credit account will fall off of your credit report and that account history will not help your score.  Closing a card never helps your score. However, if you need to close it for “personal” reasons, maybe lack of self-control, then consider closing a newer card.

#3: Don’t Move Your Debt Around, Reduce It

The second largest category in calculating your credit score is the “Amounts Owed” category, accounting for 30%.  The best way to improve your score in this category is to actually pay down your debt.  Transferring your debt onto interest-free cards can save you money, no doubt, but your debt is not actually reducing. Your amount owed is not going down by transferring the balance.

Create a plan that allows you to strategically knock out your debt.  Some people prefer to knock debts out by balance, others by interest. If you need assistance in this area, CGS Founder Raya can help! Visit the Start Your Budget page to learn more.

#4: Plan Ahead for Major Purchases

Your bills and living expenses should not be going on credit cards (unless you pay the balance in full each month). If you’re like a majority of young women, then your balance isn’t being paid off each month. That’s fine, just keep working to reduce it. What could stop you from reducing your debt? Taking on more debt because you failed to plan. Your score can be affected if a change in your behavior is noticed.

For instance, if you start charging more than usual or paying less than usual, your score can be negatively affected.  To avoid this, plan ahead for major purchases.  Do you know that your brakes need to be fixed? What about a dental exam you’re putting off? Start putting money away for these non-recurring items so that you aren’t forced into using your credit card, at least for the entire purchase.

 

If you’re working to improve your credit score because of your actions in the past, stay focused and positive. Debt can feel overwhelming, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel if you stick to your plan.  Check out the article Don’t Let Debt Get You Down to learn how to stay positive through the debt repayment process.  What habits do you do that help you maintain or increase your credit score? What’s one credit mistake you’ve made in the past? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment below to share!

-The CGS Team

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