Tricks to Improve Your Credit Score
Woman sitting at table looking over her credit card bill

Creditors make it intentionally hard to understand your credit score and what credit score best practices are.

If you don’t know your credit score or you have a low score, it can stressful when it comes to renting an apartment or getting a loan for a car. However, taking the time to learn about credit scores can eliminate some of the stress. Here are a few tips and tricks to maintain a strong credit score.

NPR recommends focusing on your FICO score. This ranges from 300 to 850, but anything over 740 will most likely get you approved for most things. Budgetnista, Tiffany Aliche says, “If you have a decent FICO score, which is the typical score most lenders use, then your [other] scores will probably be good no matter what credit score system someone’s using. The FICO score ranges from 300, which is an F minus, minus, minus to 850, which is A plus, plus, plus, plus.” And she says there’s no point in trying to achieve an 850 if your score is 740 or above. “You’re likely to get a yes on most things that you ask for when it comes to your credit once you hit 740,” she says.

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How can I improve my credit score? If you had no credit or bad credit, a friend or family member could help boost your score by adding you as an authorized user on their accounts, provided they have good credit and pay their bills on time. This is Aliche’s main credit score hack.

credit score concept, poor or excellent

“Really the point of an authorized user was to give younger folks access to a card that they would not normally have access to. But we’re not using it like that. We’re just using it to boost their credit score.”

Never get too close to your credit card spending limit. Only spend 30% of your credit limit to maintain your score or less than 30% to increase your score. If you find yourself needing to use more than 30% try to pay off your balance before the statement is due.

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Another best practice is to pay off your account balance in full every month. “Paying off a debt in full every single month is like fairy dust on your credit score. It’s like you paid off a mortgage. It’s like you paid off a car,” Aliche says. It doesn’t matter how big or small your balance is. The credit bureau just likes to see that you pay off your balance, in full, every month. It’s the habit that counts.

Source: Article courtesy of NPR.org

Written by Diane Nelson

December 16, 2020

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