If you’ve recently started looking for a home or are hoping to take out an auto loan, you might have noticed that companies will automatically run a quick credit check before letting you apply. The reason companies will review your credit is because your credit history can provide good insight into whether you’ll be able to pay your bills on time.
Building up good credit can be difficult if you’re young, though, so it’s essential to do all you can to earn yourself a good credit history. Keep reading to learn 5 quick tips on how to improve your credit score.
Pay Your Bills on Time
Your credit score is dependent on several factors, but your payment history is the most important. Making all bill payments on time is essential for building up good credit. The best way to make sure you’re making your payments on time is to create a budget. If you aren’t sure how to outline a budget for yourself, you can find some fantastic resources online to help you.
Build Up a Long History
A long credit history is also one of the most critical factors that make up your credit score. To make your history as long as possible, avoid closing old credit card accounts, even if you don’t use them.
Keep Your Debt Low
The best way to keep your debt low when you have credit accounts is to pay off your balances in full each month. If you can’t pay off your entire balance, pay at least double the minimum payment. This will show a solid history of payments and help prevent interest fees from building up on your account.
Avoid Hard Inquiries
Hard credit inquiries are the type of inquiries that poorly affect your credit score. For example, applications for credit cards, mortgage loans, or auto loans are considered hard inquiries and can negatively affect your score. Credit inquiries you perform yourself are considered soft inquiries, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your credit score if you check it yourself.
Monitor Your Score
Many banking and credit institutions will provide credit monitoring free of charge. Credit monitoring will let you keep an eye on your credit score and help you avoid identity theft by alerting you to any suspicious activity.
Building and maintaining a healthy credit score might seem tricky at first, especially if you’re just starting out. However, if you use the steps outlined here, you’ll be able to get a handle on your credit in no time.