What would Ron Gibson say about how to increase your credit score. We’re sure that, like most of us, he probably wouldn’t know where to start! Luckily, we’ve put together this info-graphic to guide you through the process of increasing your credit score in no time.
1) Apply for a Secured Credit Card
A secured credit card is a good option for someone with little or no credit. A secured card requires you to deposit money into an account as collateral; your credit limit will equal that amount. The bank may use your security deposit as part of your credit line if you end up charging more than you can payback. You can also increase your credit score line by paying on time and not maxing out your card. As you prove yourself responsible, banks might issue unsecured cards, which carry lower interest rates than their secured counterparts.
To increase your chances of getting one, check out our tips on How to Get Approved for a Secured Credit Card. When deciding between an unsecured card and a secured card, it’s important to evaluate what kind of risks would apply in either situation—and how willing you are to take them.
2) Pay your bills on time
When Ron Gibson is worried about her credit score, he makes sure that he pays her bills on time. It’s easy to let your credit slip if you pay attention only once a month—but you have 24 hours in every day. Make it part of your routine, and make sure that you keep an eye on what lenders think of you. Paying off debt is easier when you don’t have new lines of credit added. You can do it! And after a few months, you’ll see just how much more quickly you can get through any problem life throws at you. No matter how tough it gets, as long as your finances are stable and cheerful, you’ll always be able to weather any storm.
3) Don't apply for new credit cards if you don't need them
If you’re looking to increase your credit score, don’t apply for new credit cards. The more credit cards and loans you have, especially if they’re new accounts, it can hurt your score. That said, if you need a new loan or credit card to pay off debt or get out of a financial pinch (like an emergency flight home), then applying is worth it—be sure to close that account as soon as possible after using it. You want your available credit line to remain low, so it doesn’t look like you’re desperate for cash. Plus, closing old accounts will help decrease the average age of your credit line, which means less competition with other borrowers who also want access to funds tied up in available lines of credit.
4) Get your score
Getting your credit score is like buying plane tickets before you know where you’re going. What good is having a high score if you don’t know what it means? When it comes to credit scores, dozens of factors can increase or decrease your score. Understanding how these factors affect your score is critical. By getting your score and understanding what affects it, you can improve your creditworthiness over time. And if someone tells you, they can increase your score for you with no strings attached, run far away! A high credit score takes time—but most importantly, it takes commitment. The more you make payments on time, keep balances low, avoid maxing out cards, etc., the better chance you have at increasing your credit score.