There are few things as important as a credit score when it comes to a person's finances. Not only can it help a person acquire a lower interest rate on a credit card, but it can also impact the availability of cost-efficient personal loans. That's because lenders look at a consumer's credit score to determine if the person is responsible enough to receive and repay the loan. In most cases, the higher the credit score, the better a prospective borrower looks to a lender. Loan agents want to make good investments and tend to look for the least amount of risk possible. A high credit score usually indicates financial responsibility.
However, a credit score can be negatively influenced by various occurrences. Some of these instances include overspending or opening multiple lines of credit within a short time. Several hard credit inquiries within a short period of time are also known to hurt credit scores.
That's why maintaining a strong credit score can be crucial to a person's financial well-being. Here are a few ways to improve a sagging credit score:
Keeping a low utilization ratio
When consumers spends outside their financial means, they will typically use up their credit card balance, which can knock a credit score down a few points if the outstanding balance is large.
For instance, if a consumer has a credit limit of $5,000 and spends $4,000 on lavish purchases during a single month, they will have a credit ratio of 80 percent, which is seen as risky to lenders. Most financial experts recommend keeping a credit utilization rate below 20 percent, which means a person shouldn't keep an outstanding balance of more than $1,000 on a credit card with a $5,000 limit.
By keeping a healthy ratio, potential borrowers will be able to maintain their credit balance and improve their score in the process.
Don't wait, make payments on time
Being punctual is a great asset to have when trying to improve a credit score. One of the most common ways a consumer loses points on his or her credit score is by missing or being late on payments.
Not only will tardy payments negatively impact a credit score, the credit user will also be charged a late fee and could see interest rates increase.
Consumers finding it difficult to remember when their payments are due should consider setting up a calendar reminder on their phone or computer. Taking a few seconds to set this alert and make payments on time can save money and improve credit scores.
In some cases, people can even link their checking account to their credit card to automatically pay the balance each month.
Fixing credit report mistakes
A credit report is a great tool for anyone trying to improve their credit score. This document will contain a comprehensive history of their credit, showing what accounts are open and what payments were missed. However, errors do occur and consumers should comb through the fine print to make sure their credit report does not contain any inaccuracies.
These errors can be as small as an incorrect digit on an address or as big as an unfamiliar line of credit being open in someone's name. Any type of mistake can have a major effect on the state of a person's finances and their credit score. If a credit blemish or mistake is noticed, it's best to contact the credit bureau that issued the report to fix the problem. This can help solve the problem quickly and make sure a consumer's credit score does not get knocked down.
. 7 simple ways to improve your credit score