Knowing These Five Secrets Will Make Your Credit Score Look Amazing
If you’re trying to improve your credit status, get approved for financial products, or make a major life purchase, chances are you check your credit score regularly. On a scale of 300 to 850, your score is a numerical portrait of where you stand. It gives creditors, lenders, and service providers an overall idea of your financial responsibility and risk level. Although the goal is to maintain an excellent score, fluctuations can cause your score to change seemingly overnight.
The Ever-Changing Credit Score
One minute, your score is in the high 700s, and 30 days later, it drops to the mid 600s. While a minor drop won’t do much harm, a significant fluctuation in your credit score can lead to financial challenges.
It could mean the difference between getting approved or rejected for a loan, credit card, or line of credit. A change in your credit score could also mean paying more in interest, deposits, and other fees. Fortunately, there are five secrets that can keep your credit score intact.
How Credit Scores Are Calculated
Do you know how credit scores are calculated? When you know what actions can cause significant fluctuations in your score, you can make better decisions to prevent it from happening.
According to Experian, there are essentially five factors that contribute to your credit score. Each category accounts for a different percentage of your total score. There’s credit history length (15%), credit mix (10%), credit utilization (30%), payment history (35%), and new accounts (10%).
Five Secrets To Better Scores
There is a ton of information out there on how to maintain or acquire a better credit score. Below are a few methods you may not have been aware of.
- Online Banking Features – Are you taking full advantage of your bank’s online features like direct deposit, mobile check deposit, automatic savings, bill pay, and more? With easier access to cash, you can utilize these features to pay your bills on time, keep your credit utilization low, and improve your score.
- Pay Bills Bi-Weekly – Another way to maintain good payment history and low credit utilization percentages is to pay your bills bi-weekly. Breaking your bills up into 26 payments means you’ll end up paying more on the balance over the course of a year.
- Increase Credit Limits – If you’re financially responsible but want to improve your credit score, you could always request an increase in your credit limit. If your credit card limit increases, it automatically lowers your credit utilization rate.
- Keep Accounts Open – The length of a credit account has an impact on your credit score. The longer you’ve had a credit card or line of credit, the better it looks to those reviewing your financial history, especially if it’s in good standing. So, it’s best to keep accounts open. For instance, if you have a credit card with a $500 limit that you don’t use often, use it to pay your utility bills and pay the balance off every month. It shows positive activity on the account and helps to improve your score.
- Diversify Your Credit Portfolio – Credit mix accounts for 10% of your score, but most people overlook this factor. If you have a home or auto loan but have never owned a credit card or borrowed a short-term loan, it may be worth considering. While you should never open an account, you can’t manage financially, having a variety of credit types can increase your score.
Maintaining an excellent credit score is essential. It saves you money and makes acquiring financial products and services easier. While several factors contribute to your credit score, causing it to fluctuate regularly, there are things you can do to keep it in positive standing. While paying off debts, disputing misinformation, and resolving collection accounts are some ways to boost your score, the five little-known secrets listed above can help you take your score to the next level.