A Beginner’s Guide To Improving Your Credit Score

December 30, 2015

A Beginner's Guide To Improving Your Credit Score

If you’ve recently checked your credit score and was horrified at what you found, don’t despair. Improving your credit is simple. It requires patience, due diligence and attention to detail.

If you’ve tried to get a credit card or apply for a loan and been denied because of your credit score, you need to raise it. Not having a good credit score will affect your ability to get a mortgage, apply for a car loan and even find a job. Many employers look at credit scores and landlords often use the credit score to determine if you’re going to be a good renter.

Read our tips below to see what you can do to improve your credit score:

Your credit report is what determines your credit score. The report lists all the lines of credit you’ve ever had. It details any issues you’ve had, including late payments, defaults, bankruptcy and more.

creditscorescale Where does your score fall? If it’s not in the green, it’s OK, it’s something to work on!  (source.)

 

Basically, your credit report is like a report card for your finances. You can’t fix your credit score without knowing what’s dragging it down. Do you have a bill that went to collections? Do you have a credit card you forgot to make a payment on? Are you current on all your debts?

If there’s something that’s incorrect, let the credit bureau know. They can handle any disputes that you have. It might take some work to get it off your report, but it’ll be worth it. Sometimes these are honest mistakes, sometimes it might indicate that your identity has been stolen.

You can check your credit report once a year for free from each of the three reporting bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Set a reminder in your calendar to check it every four months.

Making your payments on time is a huge part of having a good credit score.  Creditors need to see that you are able to pay back your debt on time. It doesn’t matter if you carry a balance or not – just remember to make those payments.

Setting them on autopay can be a great way to ensure your payments always go through, even if you forget.

However, you don’t want to carry a huge balance. One factor that determines your credit score is your credit utilization percentage. That means that if you have a $5,000 balance and your total credit limit is $10,000, your credit utilization is 50%. Stick to 20% or less to ensure that your credit score doesn’t suffer. You can also ask to have your credit limit raised, which will also lower your credit utilization number.

If you don’t have any lines of credit, open one. It might be hard to get started, so a secured credit card can be a great gateway to a line of credit. Even if you don’t believe in having a credit card, a credit score is something that most people will need at some point. Of course, having a credit card does no good if you’re missing payments and carrying a balance, or if you’re spending too much each month on your credit limit.  To keep your credit healthy, pay off your bill entirely each month and do so on time.  Only use about 30% of your credit line (so, $300 of $1,000)- which means that you should not max it out each month.

Pace yourself on opening new cards, and do so mindfully.  Sometimes opening new accounts frequently can negatively impact your report. Try not to open too many if your focus is on improving your credit score.  Keep one card, and keep it paid off within your credit limits, and you should be able to turn around your score bit by bit!

 

ZINA

 

 

50 comments so far.

50 responses to “A Beginner’s Guide To Improving Your Credit Score”

  1. Thank you for reminding me I need to check my credit report! I set up my first secured credit card this past year and I’ve been trying to remember to use it more to help with my credit score, even though I hardly even think about using a credit card. It’s just not in my nature. But I know it’s important.

  2. Jana says:

    One thing I do to boost my score is make a payment on my card before the bill comes. Even though I have a bunch of cards, I have been able to bump my score over 800. The other thing I did for my son was I put him on one of my cards as an authorized user. He used it a couple times and it helped his score a bunch. We just took him off the card and we are going to see how it affects his score now. It’s a card I had for a long time.

  3. I have a love-hate relationship with credit scores. On the one hand, it’s a measure of how you’re doing; on the other hand, it forces you to be in debt! Personally, I don’t have a credit card (and never have), and I hope I can keep my credit up without changing that!

  4. Harry says:

    It’s important that I be his voice and express to the agent that while he may seem non-compliant, it’s not the case, it’s just that he doesn’t exactly comprehend what’s being asked of him. When I did that the agent actually offered for me to stand next to her and help with giving him directions – what a relief, seriously. Something else that is key for us is to be sure he is flanked by myself and his Dad so there’s someone on either side of the screening machine to guide him.pc training college

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  6. lisa says:

    It’s important that I be his voice and express to the agent that while he may seem non-compliant, it’s not the case, it’s just that he doesn’t exactly comprehend what’s being asked of him. When I did that the agent actually offered for me to stand next to her and help with giving him directions – what a relief, seriously. Something else that is key for us is to be sure he is flanked by myself and his Dad so there’s someone on either side of the screening machine to guide him.
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  7. lisa says:

    It’s important that I be his voice and express to the agent that while he may seem non-compliant, it’s not the case, it’s just that he doesn’t exactly comprehend what’s being asked of him. When I did that the agent actually offered for me to stand next to her and help with giving him directions – what a relief, seriously. Something else that is key for us is to be sure he is flanked by myself and his Dad so there’s someone on either side of the screening machine to guide him.jeftine avio karte

  8. lisa says:

    Thank you for reminding me I need to check my credit report! I set up my first secured credit card this past year and I’ve been trying to remember to use it more to help with my credit score, even though I hardly even think about using a credit card. It’s just not in my nature. But I know it’s important.
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  9. lisa says:

    Thank you for reminding me I need to check my credit report! I set up my first secured credit card this past year and I’ve been trying to remember to use it more to help with my credit score, even though I hardly even think about using a credit card. It’s just not in my nature. But I know it’s important.Omio Coupons

  10. hgfd says:

    Thanks for the valuable tips. We have had a few annoying experiences and a couple of good ones when we signed up with tours in China. Since we will be making many more trips over the next few years I would prefer to get local guides who can take us to authentic restaurants and basically assist us in our desire to find some off the beaten path places to check out. Can you give me some ideas on where or how to go about finding them. Awesome recipes btw. Thanks again.general store

  11. Hello, It’s important that I be his voice and express to the agent that while he may seem non-compliant, it’s not the case, it’s just that he doesn’t exactly comprehend what’s being asked of him. When I did that the agent actually offered for me to stand next to her and help with giving him directions – what a relief, seriously. Something else that is key for us is to be sure he is flanked by myself and his Dad so there’s someone on either side of the screening machine to guide him.

  12. Smith says:

    Wow, cool post. I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article… but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though.

  13. lisa says:

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  14. lisa says:

    Hello, On the one hand, it’s a measure of how you’re doing; on the other hand, it forces you to be in debt! Personally, I don’t have a credit card (and never have), and I hope I can keep my credit up without changing that!general store

  15. tuky says:

    It’s important that I be his voice and express to the agent that while he may seem non-compliant, it’s not the case, it’s just that he doesn’t exactly comprehend what’s being asked of him. When I did that the agent actually offered for me to stand next to her and help with giving him directions – what a relief, seriously. Something else that is key for us is to be sure he is flanked by myself and his Dad so there’s someone on either side of the screening machine to guide him.fussball wetten

  16. lisa says:

    I had never heard about the Kyocera DuraForce phone but I am going to let my family that lives in a very cold state know about this. I live in a warm weather state so I usually have more issues when it heats up in the summer.
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  17. lisa says:

    It’s important that I be his voice and express to the agent that while he may seem non-compliant, it’s not the case, it’s just that he doesn’t exactly comprehend what’s being asked of him. When I did that the agent actually offered for me to stand next to her and help with giving him directions – what a relief, seriously. Something else that is key for us is to be sure he is flanked by myself and his Dad so there’s someone on either side of the screening machine to guide him.
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  18. lisa says:

    Thank you for reminding me I need to check my credit report! I set up my first secured credit card this past year and I’ve been trying to remember to use it more to help with my credit score, even though I hardly even think about using a credit card. It’s just not in my nature. But I know it’s important.DC party rental

  19. shiza says:

    Never mind, I just saw the suggestion for orgeat in the comments. I’ll try that or another recipe! Thanks!free software club

  20. omia says:

    Nice post, Lynda! I have found that sealing my bowls with the Clear acrylic sealer I get at the local building supply store really helps to stiffen the all-purpose rope bowls I make. They end up pretty rigid, so they are functional as well as decorative, and the sealer protects the surface from stains. I’m not sure if this would be an issue with your dyed cord – do you rinse the cord or wash out after the dye has set? If not, there could be bleeding issues with the sealer.Agen Domino Kiu

  21. king says:

    Nice post, Lynda! I have found that sealing my bowls with the Clear acrylic sealer I get at the local building supply store really helps to stiffen the all-purpose rope bowls I make. They end up pretty rigid, so they are functional as well as decorative, and the sealer protects the surface from stains. I’m not sure if this would be an issue with your dyed cord – do you rinse the cord or wash out after the dye has set? If not, there could be bleeding issues with the sealer.captain cook snorkeling tour

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  24. carry says:

    Lol, you sound like my husband! He has complained about the ROI at this park for years! Every time we go, he makes the comment that it the only park anywhere that you have to spend a lot to get in, to “get the right” to spend even more money for your “entertainment” – shopping & dining.

  25. jack says:

    Nice post, Lynda! I have found that sealing my bowls with the Clear acrylic sealer I get at the local building supply store really helps to stiffen the all-purpose rope bowls I make. They end up pretty rigid, so they are functional as well as decorative, and the sealer protects the surface from stains. I’m not sure if this would be an issue with your dyed cord – do you rinse the cord or wash out after the dye has set? If not, there could be bleeding issues with the sealer.

  26. lisa says:

    Nice post, Lynda! I have found that sealing my bowls with the Clear acrylic sealer I get at the local building supply store really helps to stiffen the all-purpose rope bowls I make. They end up pretty rigid, so they are functional as well as decorative, and the sealer protects the surface from stains. I’m not sure if this would be an issue with your dyed cord – do you rinse the cord or wash out after the dye has set? If not, there could be bleeding issues with the sealer.

  27. lisa says:

    We are planning to get friends at NYC. photos are beautiful. Thank you this sharing post.

  28. harry says:

    Lol, you sound like my husband! He has complained about the ROI at this park for years! Every time we go, he makes the comment that it the only park anywhere that you have to spend a lot to get in, to “get the right” to spend even more money for your “entertainment” – shopping & dining.homestay melaka

  29. jack says:

    Nice post, Lynda! I have found that sealing my bowls with the Clear acrylic sealer I get at the local building supply store really helps to stiffen the all-purpose rope bowls I make. They end up pretty rigid, so they are functional as well as decorative, and the sealer protects the surface from stains. I’m not sure if this would be an issue with your dyed cord – do you rinse the cord or wash out after the dye has set? If not, there could be bleeding issues with the sealer.bitcoin loophole software review here

  30. lisa says:

    Nice post, Lynda! I have found that sealing my bowls with the Clear acrylic sealer I get at the local building supply store really helps to stiffen the all-purpose rope bowls I make. They end up pretty rigid, so they are functional as well as decorative, and the sealer protects the surface from stains. I’m not sure if this would be an issue with your dyed cord – do you rinse the cord or wash out after the dye has set? If not, there could be bleeding issues with the sealer.lisa

  31. lisa says:

    I just love New York! We get to visit once in a while with my husband on business and it is a real treat. I also travel with food allergies so I feel like I have found a friend!! Thankfully my allergies are to pecans and kidney beans which are both way easier to avoid than yours! Traveling while allergic can really be hard. Our next trip is coming up soon and it will be super cold for us Texans so we need to bundle up.

  32. lisa says:

    I’m so jealous that’s all your food allergies are! I actually have seven total (can you believe that luck) and I didn’t travel for a LONG time because I was honestly terrified of what could happen…but it’s really down to planning your food well during a trip and making sure to inform the server every single time – good luck on your next trip, hope it’s for something fun!

  33. lisa says:

    Maybe you should walk while writing. Will be looking forward to seeing the new little one. Good Luck…hope it ‘s very soon.

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  38. lisa says:

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  40. jack says:

    Yeah! Am I the first comment? I guess waking up at 3am paid off! I do visit blogs a lot, but I don’t have a blog. I hae seen the pinterest button a few times, and never paid much attention to it. I just went to that website, pinterest. Okay, I am sorry if I sound dumb, but what is it about? Or, why would someone like me want to visit that site? Thanks Amanda! –Mindylisa

  41. jack says:

    I just love New York! We get to visit once in a while with my husband on business and it is a real treat. I also travel with food allergies so I feel like I have found a friend!! Thankfully my allergies are to pecans and kidney beans which are both way easier to avoid than yours! Traveling while allergic can really be hard. Our next trip is coming up soon and it will be super cold for us Texans so we need to bundle up.
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  42. carry says:

    When I was a child my parents had close friends that we visited often. Both our houses were middle class and children played outside. To reach the friends house we had to go through Beverly Hills where the houses are large and beautiful, but not a child in sight. It’s still that way today in every upper class neighborhood I’ve been to. I guess the wealthy don’t need laws to protect their kids.Tierras del Este

  43. lisa says:

    I love the traditional look–you still managed to keep it modern and fresh. I am always jealous of other peoples thrift store finds . . . we don’t have many thrift stores out here, and it’s next to impossible to find anything good in the ones we do have. Those stockings are super cute!

  44. lisa says:

    I’m so jealous that’s all your food allergies are! I actually have seven total (can you believe that luck) and I didn’t travel for a LONG time because I was honestly terrified of what could happen…but it’s really down to planning your food well during a trip and making sure to inform the server every single time – good luck on your next trip, hope it’s for something fun!

  45. lisa says:

    Well you know some lefty journalist wrote the article because it starts with calling this jerk a “Major Hollywood Celebrity”. First, in my humble opinion there are no major celebrities in Hollywood, or anywhere else. There are folks who make movies because for the most part they’re too damn lazy to go out and get a job

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