Eight Simple Tips To Boost Your Credit

Eight Simple Tips To Boost Your Credit

Photo of a credit score report

 

Your credit score can affect whether you qualify for a loan, are approved for a credit card, and the rates you will receive for financing. Credit scores take into account years of previous history and behaviors and may take time to improve. But with these simple tips you can start improving your credit score now. 

1.) Pay attention to your credit card balance.
Big balances can hurt your score, even if you pay your bills in full each month. You often can increase your scores by limiting your charges to 30% or less of your card's limit. 

2.) Apply for and open new accounts cautiously. 
You likely receive a discount when you open a new credit card at a department store, but make sure you compare rates and fees for different cards and choose the credit card that is the best fit for your needs. 

3.) Pay your bills on time.
One the largest factors in determining your credit score is your past payment history. Having a long history of monthly on-time payments will pay off when your credit is evaluated. If you struggle to pay your bills on time, your credit score will be affected. 

4.) Continue to show old debt on your report. 

Some consumers mistakenly believe that old debt on their credit report is bad and once they have completed an account payment, they try to have it disappear from their credit report. But if you’ve handled your debt well and made on-time payments, that debt is actually good for your credit score. Good debt in your credit history will actually improve your credit score. 

5.) Request a copy of your credit score- and make sure it is correct. 
Your credit report illustrates your credit performance, and it needs to be accurate so that you can apply for loans-such as a mortgage. Everyone is entitled to receive a free copy of his or her credit report annually from each of the three reporting agencies, but you must go through the Federal Trade Commission’s website here. Note that you may have to pay for the numerical credit score itself. 

6.) Build credit through renting.
VantageScore’s scoring model, created by the three major credit bureaus, will now weigh rent and utility payment records. This will allow it to score as many as 35 million people who previously couldn’t get a credit score. 

7.) Set up automatic bill pay.
Payment history makes up 32% of your VantageScore credit score and 35% of your FICO credit score. The longer you pay your bills on time, the better your score. Avoid missing payments by setting up as many of you bills to automatic pay as possible.

8.) Start building a strong credit history early.
Ideally, you should try to establish credit early. Your credit score takes into account several years of past history in fully determining your score. Be patient- it takes time to build credit. In the meantime, remind any young adults in your life to consider building credit history early. 

Access NCB's interactive financial education center to learn more about what impacts your credit score. 

Media Contacts

Mary Alex Blanton
Senior Vice President
(703) 302-8876
mblanton@ncb.coop

Heather Cummings
Vice President
937-393-6429
hcummings@ncb.coop