Have you wondered how you can either maintain your credit score or increase it?
Whether you’re happy with your current score or whether you want to attain a good or excellent score for future loan applications, it’s important to keep a close eye on your credit score and report on a regular basis. Though you may not often think about its significance, your credit score can indicate your general financial health and trustworthiness to lenders, and a lower-than-ideal score could have numerous ramifications in a range of ways.
If you’re still looking for simple ways to raise your credit score over time, here’s how you can check up on your score and start to improve it.
Check Your Free Credit Report Every Year for Possible Mistakes
If you don’t already do an annual credit check by poring over your free yearly report, there’s a chance you could be missing some crucial details. Checking your credit report allows you to spot potential issues that might be dragging down your credit score.
It’s important to review your credit report every year and look out for signs of:
- Credit reporting error
- Minor administrative mistakes
Get in the Habit of Paying Off All Credit Card Bills Early or On Time
Although it may be fairly common to leave credit card payments to the last minute, this habit can lead to late or missed payments, which in turn can severely harm your credit score. To avoid this issue, it’s crucial to get into the habit of paying off your bills on time or even early when possible. Make sure you:
- Mark the due date for your credit card bill on your calendar every month
- Pay off your bill in increments if it helps you stay on track
- Try to pay your credit card bill in full every month, or at least make the minimum payment
- Start paying off your bills early when possible to avoid missing a payment
Avoid Too Many Hard Checks on Your Credit in a Short Period of Time
You can safely do “soft checks” on your credit without harming your score, but having too many “hard checks”, or checks lenders perform in certain situations, can lower your score significantly. Avoid too many hard checks in a short period of time, and keep in mind that hard credit checks may be required for:
- Apartment leases
- Mortgage applications
- Certain job applications
- Large loan applications
Carefully Monitor Your Usual Bank and Card Transactions for Fraud
Monitoring your bank transactions and card statements closely can help you stop fraud that could be harming your credit score. Carefully check each statement for potential credit or debit card fraud and look out for:
- Charges for purchases you did not make
- Suspiciously small transactions
- Suspiciously large transactions
- Transactions that were made and then immediately debited back
Your credit score can have a wide-ranging impact on your life, from future loan applications and mortgage applications to apartment leases, job offers, and more. If you don’t regularly check up on your credit score, it’s important to start doing so in order to maintain or gradually improve your credit score.