Do you know your credit score? It may be nothing more than number from 350 to 850, but your FICO credit score can have an impact on multiple aspects of your life. Whether you’re applying for a car loan, mortgage, credit card, small business loan, or even a student loan, chances are the lender will pay close attention to this number. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to improve it, making you a more attractive candidate for financing.
Keep Credit Card Balances Low
Try to get into the habit of maintaining low balances on your credit cards (assuming you have them). When determining whether you are a prime candidate for a loan/credit, the lender will look at your ratio of debt to available credit. As long as you have a good chunk of open credit that’s being used, you’ll reap the benefits of a higher FICO credit score. It’s just that simple.
Pay On Time
Yes, paying your bills on time will have a positive impact on your FICO credit score. This should come as little-no-surprise, however, given the fact that creditors pay close attention to repayment dates. Waiting just one week after the due date can hurt your credit, so try to make a reminder to pay your bills on time. If you are unable to make a payment for whatever reason, contact the creditor to see if they can work out a different plan or postpone the due date.
Limit Credit Inquires
No, this isn’t an myth like some people may believe. Pulling your credit card too many times in a short period of time can and will affect your FICO credit score — and not in a good way. There’s nothing wrong with checking your credit once every couple of months, but you shouldn’t be doing it any more than this. Keep credit inquires low to boost your FICO credit score.
Raise Your Credit Limit
Don’t be afraid to call the credit card companies and ask them to raise your limit. Even if you don’t intend to use the extra card — which you shouldn’t — having your limit raised may improve your FICO credit score. Again, this is due to the fact that it improves your debt-to-available-credit ratio, which is something creditors pay close attention to.