With good credit comes great power! A higher credit score makes it easier to access credit, secure loans, and make significant purchases. Furthermore, you can often get better rates and terms with good credit. But if your credit score is on the lower side, have no fear! It doesn’t have to be permanent. Follow our credit counseling tips on how to improve your credit score.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
While there isn’t a step-by-step process to instantly raise your score, there are several financial actions you can take to contribute to its improvement. Each of these tasks focuses on enhancing a specific aspect of your credit that influences the scoring process. While there is no overnight fix, consistent effort toward these objectives will yield long-term benefits.
Methods for Score Improvement
Pay Down Debts: One significant factor that determines your score is your credit utilization ratio—the ratio between your outstanding debt and your total available credit. By reducing or eliminating debt, you improve your ratio and boost your score.
Limit Credit Card Usage: Reducing debt will get even harder if you continue accumulating it on different cards. If it’s possible, switch to a cash budget to gain control over your spending and prevent new debt.
Avoid Opening New Credit Cards: While it may seem like an easy way to improve your credit utilization ratio, applying for new credit negatively impacts your score each time.
Keep Old Cards Open: While paying off cards, it may seem tempting to close them – but doing so harms your credit utilization ratio. Instead, simply refrain from using those cards while you continue with your debt reduction plan. This is particularly wise since older credit card accounts reflect positively on your credit report.
Be a Responsible Borrower: Maintaining timely debt payments is crucial not only for your credit score but also for various aspects of your life. Your credit history follows you and significantly impacts your financial well-being. Ensure that you make payments on time and stay current on all your accounts. Effective budgeting will help you stay on top of your debt repayment. If you find yourself struggling despite your budgeting efforts, it may be time to explore debt management options.
Most of these methods are simply good personal financial practices to practice in general – but if you’re trying to raise your credit score, they become especially crucial. If you plan to purchase a home, buy a car, or take out a loan for any reason this year, stay committed to raising your score and getting the best possible interest rates.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.