Since so much financially hinges on a good credit score, increasing it to its highest potential should be a priority. A credit score of 750+ is the goal to aim for, and at this level many financial doors will begin to open that will enhance your lifestyle.
The exceptional range of 800-850 could make you eligible for the very best lending terms, including the lowest interest rates and fees, and the most enticing credit-card rewards programs.
Your credit score can also determine your ability to land a job, an apartment, a car, or your dream home, and may be the only impression a financial lender, landlord, or employer has when deciding your future. You’ll need to start raising your score gradually, through a variety of different methods. Because building a credit score can take several months, there’s no better time to get started than today.
Sign up for credit monitoring
This is the most important first step to raising your credit score, as credit monitoring keeps you instantly informed if a thief violates your credit. Credit monitoring like IdentityIQ, tracks the credit history shown on your credit report, then alerts you immediately of any changes via email, text or phone. This service provides an automated, easy, and fast way to track changes to your comprehensive credit file.
The best credit monitoring services cover the following:
Pay your bills on time
35% of your credit score is determined by your payment history. This is the largest factor so don’t overlook the obvious. Paying your bills on time should come before indulging in entertainment, eating out, or purchasing anything not necessary. The reward might be delayed, but well worth the sacrifice.
Over a period of time of being diligent, you will begin to see a big difference in your credit score and it will only continue to improve. Within about 6 months of being consistent with your payments, you will dramatically see your credit score moving up the scale.
Apply for credit
Getting approved for a loan or credit card is one of the best ways to build your credit. Lenders will look closely at your credit score to determine how much of a risk it is for them to lend you money. Your score might temporarily drop a few points after getting approved for a loan, but in the long run it’s worth this temporary fluctuation.
Be careful not to finance every purchase just to raise your score. Make sure to live within your means since having too much debt can get you into financial distress that can take years to recover from. Also watch out for your dept-to-income ratio by having high balances on too many different credit cards. This poor spending habit can raise a red flag to lenders and affect your credit score negatively.
Applying for credit should be kept at under five inquiries per year to keep your credit at its optimal score. Having multiple inquiries that were not approved will show on your report for two years before disappearing. Think carefully before you continue to apply again.
Use a credit card
It might seem contradictory for some, but using a credit card responsibly has its rewards. The key is to have enough discipline to pay off the balance in full each month and your score will increase dramatically.
Look for credit cards with no annual fees like Bank of America’s Travel Rewards credit card, in combination with the lowest interest possible. With a typical rewards program, you have the opportunity to earn cash back of at least 1% on most purchases.
To maximize your score by using credit cards, keep your account balance 30% below your available credit amount. Don’t spend all the money you have available to you. This exhibits financial stability and control to other financial lenders, and keeps your score at its optimal height.
3 Key Questions to Find the Best Credit Monitoring Service If you’re looking for the best credit monitoring service, it pays to know what questions