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How to Give Your Credit Score a Boost

It can be hard enough to make ends meet throughout the month as it is, let alone throw in extra interest on top of what you’re already paying just because you have a poor credit score.  You know that if you’ve ever applied for a mortgage, loan, credit card, even insurance, your credit score not only is the primary factor in the approval, but if approved, it also decides the interest rate at which you will be grated for the terms and conditions.  The higher the credit score, the better the interest rate, so it would make sense that you should strive for the best score you can get, otherwise being careless can cost you money, so try holding yourself with a few tips that can boost your credit score.

Check Your Credit Report

With the amount of fraud circulating, whether it’s your card information being stolen as you wipe at the gas pump, or leave it out for too long while you’re paying a bar tab, it can be a matter of seconds before your info is taken and the charges can start to show up.  On an even larger scale, even stores and credit bureaus have been impacted as well, so the only way to make sure your accounts are up to date an accurate is to review your credit report, which you can get for free once a year from the major credit bureaus.

Keep Up with Your Score

While checking your free credit report is a great way to stay on top of your credit, a score is not included, so either you have to add for an additional fee, or the good thing is now your score is included with each monthly credit card statement you receive.  This way you can watch every month to make sur your score is on the rise, and if you see a sudden dip, you can pull a new report, which may incur a fee, but it will be worth it for being able to catch the error now.

Make On-Time Payments Every Month

One of the largest factors in your credit score has to do with the payment history on the account.  Scheduling payments in advance is a good way to make sure you never forget a payment, which while being a day late will not hurt your score, you can get a late fee or an interest rate spike.  It’s when you are thirty days late on your payment is when it’s reported to the bureaus, and even if it was by mistake, it can stay as a blemish on your report for years to come.

Avoid Maxing Out Available Credit

Just as important as payment history is your credit utilization on your account, so the more you charge towards your credit limit, the lower your score will go.  While it may sound like charging on your account is a negative against you, but if you at least pay the full statement balance every month you can keep your utilization as low as you can by the time it catches up the bureaus, not to mention using a rewards credit card is an easy way to earn free money.  Carrying over a balance not only can hurt your score, but if will start costing you interest until the balance is paid, so that could create a downward spiral into a life of constant debt, sometimes taking years or even bankruptcy to get out of.

Keep Zero Balance Accounts Open

Being in debt can put a huge weight on your shoulders, so it’s a good idea to make sure you keep your significant other in the loop if you share finances, or even a family member or friend that you trust to ensure you’re making the best money moves.  If you have recently come out of debt and you finally see a $0 on your credit card statement, it’s certainly cause for celebration, but you may think you need to close the account so you don’t go down the same path.  Closing the account could actually negatively impact your score, so if you are afraid to use it, cut it up, but keep the account open to have the length of the account, zero balance, and solid payment history continue to factor into your score.

Apply Only for What You Need

Each time you get your credit pulled on an application can cost you points, and even stay on your report, so it’s a good idea to only apply for accounts that really make sense, such as for lower interest rate, or a credit card with rewards.

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