Improving your credit health takes time and requires discipline. While you will most definitely not see results overnight, it is never too late to start developing good habits that will make your financial journey worthwhile, way into the future. Like it or not, a good credit score will go a long way in helping you qualify for a home loan or car loan, get a lower interest rate on your loans and credit cards, qualify for more rewarding credit cards, get the cell phone service you require and more. Below are some tips for you to improve your credit health.
1. Pay all your bills on time
Your lenders and creditors need to know the probabiilty of you repaying what you owe. This is why it is so important for you to make payments to all your accounts consistently every month. When you keep up with your payments, your lenders and creditors should see that you are a reliable individual who cares about paying what you owe. By paying all your bills on time, including cell phone bills, utilities, rent, credit card bills etc, your credit health will gradually improve.
A smart way to ensure you pay all your bills punctually before their due date is to enroll in automatic payments. This way, your payments will be debited automatically from your bank account and you will never have to worry about making late payments! Of course, you need to first make sure you have sufficient funds in your bank account for this to work.
2. Keep your credit utilization ratio low
Your credit utilization ratio essentially is the ratio of your debt to the amount of available credit you have at your disposal. By keeping your credit utilization ratio low, your lenders and creditors will be more convinced that you are borrowing within your means hence have the ability to pay back what you owe.
How do you keep your credit utilization ratio low? The very first step is to keep your balances low on credit cards as well as other revolving credit. This requires you to reduce the amount of debt you owe. The easiest way for you to do that is to pay off all your credit card balances in full every single month, before their due date. You can also negotiate with your credit card company to see if your credit limit can be increased. An increased credit limit will also improve your credit utilization ratio.
Also, it helps to keep your unused credit cards open despite how silly this might sound. Your unused credit cards offer available credit, after all. The length of your credit history can play a role in determining your credit score, too.
3. Use secured credit cards
Secured credit cards are not the most rewarding and they certainly do not have the best terms for cardholders. However, secured credit cards will come in handy if you are determined to give your credit health and credit score a boost. It is important that the secured credit card you go for is offered by a reputable financial institution and that your payments are reported to the main three major credit bureaus in the United States - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Secured credit cards require you to make a security deposit although it is refundable and the amount you have to pledge depends on your creditworthiness. The credit limit extended to you is obviously rather limited, but don't worry. All you need to do is use your secured credit card and then make your monthly payments punctually before their due date. Make sure to pay all your other bills on time, too.
Be sure to keep at it consistently so your lender knows you are responsible in making your credit payments on time! When you manage your secured account well with a good spate of payment history, the improvement of your credit health and credit score will follow.