How to Maintain Your Credit Score and Manage Your Credit

Learning how to maintain your credit score is essential for achieving good financial health. Follow our 6 steps for good credit scores.

Having and keeping a good credit score is crucial for financial stability.

It allows you to access credit for large purchases such as a home or a car and even impacts your ability to rent an apartment or land a job.

It’s vital to understand the importance of having a good credit score and the steps you can take to maintain and improve it.

Here’s where you should start.

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Pay Your Bills on Time

Timely payment of bills is critical in developing a good credit score. The history of your payments makes up the most significant portion of what lenders use to determine if you’re a trustworthy borrower. When you pay a bill over 30 days late, that information stays on your credit report for years.

Avoid Applying for Too Much Credit at Once

Applying for too many credit cards and loans can increase the number of inquiries on your credit report. Creditors see too many inquiries as potential creditors reflecting your desperation for credit, which can prevent you from getting new credit in the future.

Don’t Keep a High Balance on Your Credit Card

Carrying a balance signals that you are not good at managing your credit. Not only can it lead to higher interest and fees, but it can also cause your score to drop. To creditors and lenders, it looks like you could have trouble paying the card off if you’re near your limit.

Don’t Close Out Paid-off Credit Cards

When you pay off a credit card after carrying a balance, it’s the best feeling in the world. You may be so determined to never run up charges on that card again, so you’re planning on paying it off.

Stop before you do that. Having a credit card that is paid off can positively impact your credit. A longer credit history makes it easier for lenders to determine your creditworthiness. Cut the card up, put it in the freezer in a block of ice, but consider not closing the account if you won’t be tempted to charge again.

Keep Your Credit Utilization Ratio Low

Your credit utilization ratio is the amount of credit you use compared to your available credit limit. To maintain a good credit score, ensure you’re not using more than 30% of your credit limit. Creditors and lenders look at this like you have control over your finances and are using credit responsibly.

Monitor Your Credit Report Regularly

Continuously monitor your credit report for errors or fraudulent activities. Reporting errors to credit bureaus can help you maintain your score and avoid financial losses.

Maintain a Diversity of Credit Types

Maintaining a mix of credit types like credit card accounts, retail accounts, installment loans, and mortgage is essential. This shows your ability to manage different kinds of credit and can positively impact your credit score.

Finding the Best Debt Consolidation Loan Can Help

Dealing with multiple high-interest credit card bills can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when struggling financially.

However, a debt consolidation loan can be an effective solution to help you tackle your debts.

By consolidating all your credit card debts into one single monthly payment, you can save money and simplify your finances.

If you’re looking to get rid of high interest, high payment credit card debt, our loan comparison tool can help you find the best debt consolidation loan or credit card payoff loan that suits your financial needs and budget.

How Is Your Credit Score Decided?

Credit scoring models are complex and can vary among lenders, but they generally consider payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, new credit accounts, and credit mix when calculating credit scores.

Payment history and credit utilization have the most significant impact, making up over 60% of a FICO score.

Late payments, delinquent accounts, and bankruptcies can significantly negatively impact your score.

On the other hand, maintaining a low credit utilization ratio and having a longer credit history can positively impact your score. Understanding how credit scores are calculated to maintain and improve them is crucial.

The Bottom Line

Building and keeping a good credit score is vital for your financial well-being.

By following these steps, you can avoid the common pitfalls that can negatively impact your credit score.

Remember that a good credit score demonstrates to lenders that you’re a trustworthy borrower and can help you achieve financial security in the future.