Tips to Raise Your Credit: Part One

A close up of a red credit cardYour credit score is quite possibly the most important grade you’ll ever be given. Your rating determines your approval for things like car loans, credit cards, and mortgages. Beyond initial approval, the score influences the interest rate you’ll have to pay on those loans. A 700 or above is generally considered a good credit score. If you’re not at that level, or just want to shoot for the stars, see these tips for raising that number.

Pay Your Bills On-Time

One of the simplest ways to stay on top of your credit score is to make your payments on time. Creditors want to see that you are consistently holding up your end of the bargain and paying off your debts. Missed or late payments can add up fast and be detrimental to your score.

Set Up Payment Reminders

A great way to ensure you remain on track with your payment plan is to set up personal reminders for upcoming due dates. If your lender does not offer automatic reminders for upcoming payments, you could easily set up alerts on your phone through an app or calendar. Common due dates for payments are midway or at the end of each month.

Make Sure You Aren’t Being Double-Charged

If your creditor has unsuccessfully tried to collect from you for too long, they may sell your debt at a loss to a collection agency that is willing to hunt you down for the money you owe. When this happens, your credit report is supposed to close the original debt with the credit card company and show a new debt with the collection agency. Sometimes though, the original debt is accidentally missed, and you have two of the same balance on the record.

Check Your Credit Report for Inaccuracies

Inaccuracies on your report can be a serious issue. Monitor your report regularly for mistakes that are dragging down your rating like incorrect amounts on charges or payments you’ve made that weren’t recorded. This can be done through a score checking service online or by requesting your report from your bank or credit card issuer. Mistakes like incorrect charges could also be an early sign of identity fraud. Report any and all inaccuracies immediately to get the issue resolved before any more damage can be done.

Don’t Split Small Charges Between Credit Cards

Another piece your score looks at is how spread out your debt is. Raters don’t want to see you owe money to too many lenders. Having a $40 balance on two cards can actually hurt your score more than an $80 balance on a single account. If you can fit all your debt on one card, that will benefit you more than splitting up the charges between cards.

Your credit score is your greatest tool for getting approved for things like a home or car. Once you’ve secured those assets, however, you’ll need to protect them with insurance. This is where the experts at the TJ Woods Insurance Agency really shine. Contact us with questions you have about insuring your home, automobile, or other possessions. We’ll offer you a free quote for your situation. Also, check out more credit raising advice in Tips to Raise Your Credit: Part Two.