Your credit score is a number based on the information in your credit file. This score shows the likelihood of your ability to re-pay a debt on time. Lenders use this score to determine whether you qualify for a loan and what interest rate you will pay.
What actions will hurt your credit score? Missing payments – missing one single payment can take up to 24 months to restore good credit. 35% of your total credit score is based on pay history.
- Maxing out credit cards – maxing out a credit card can reduce your credit capacity and lower your score.
- Closing credit cards – closing credit cards also reduces your credit capacity.
Shopping for credit excessively – don’t have your credit pulled just to get a shopping store credit card to save 10% on a purchase. In the long run, you will pay back more than 10% on that purchase.
- Having more credit revolving lines than installment loans – If possible, move balances on high interest revolving lines to an installment loan, but do not close the revolving line.
What actions will improve your credit score?
- Pay down credit cards – try to get your balance down past 50% of the available credit line.
- Always make payments on time – set up an automatic payment, if possible. With today’s technology in mobile banking and on-line banking, this is easy and convenient.
- Don’t open new accounts, unless absolutely necessary.
- Have a good mix of credit – installment debt raises your credit score, and revolving debt will lower it.
Did you know that if you are denied credit for any reason, you are entitled to a free credit report? Check out www.annualcreditreport.com.