Having good credit is super important today. It can make the difference between paying higher interest rates on loans and getting great deals on them, being approved for a lease or not, getting the credit card you want or not, and so many other things. The problem is that so many people don’t have good credit. In fact, over 38% of people don’t have anything even close to a good credit score. They have no idea what their FICO score is, let alone how they can improve it. That’s why we created this quick yet comprehensive guide to help you understand what you can do to improve your credit score.
Check Your Credit Report Regularly
You actually have three credit reports, one from each bureau — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. However, these companies rely on creditors to report information to them — and creditors aren’t perfect. Sometimes they make mistakes, like reporting that you owe money on a loan you paid off years ago. Discrepancies like this can really bring down your credit score. Given this, it’s a good idea to check your credit reports regularly. If you’re planning to borrow money for an important purchase or are dealing with debt problems, it pays to know your credit score so you can correct any issues before they affect you financially.
Pay Your Bills on Time
Bill payments have the biggest impact on your credit score. If you pay your bill even a few days late, it can cause a dent in your credit score. And the more you don’t make your payments on time, the more it will hurt your credit rating. So, if you’ve not been prompt with bill payments in the past, it’s important that you focus on making payments as soon as possible.
Next to making repayments on time, the biggest factor affecting your credit score is how much credit you utilize. If your credit utilization ratio, or credit utilization score, is low, your credit score goes up and vice versa. So, make sure to repay as much debt as you can. And if you have several debts, focus on repaying the ones with the highest interest so you can save some money in the process as well.