A good credit score is paramount to obtaining a home loan or any type of financing in general.
The higher your credit score, the better your potential interest rate and terms will be, whether you are applying for a home loan, a consumer loan or a credit card.
There is often times conflicting information when it comes to your credit score and how it is determined. However, there are some key factors that help determine your score, which we will discuss in this article.
Furthermore, we will also provide some tips on how to best monitor and improve your credit score as well.
We do however know the factors that affect your credit score. Therefore, this article will attempt to help you to get it right when it comes to either maintaining or increasing your credit scores.
Monitor Your Credit Report
The first thing you need to do, is to monitor your credit report and at the very least, take an annual review of what is appearing on your credit report.
There are many monitoring services available for a free, but one free way to do this, is to go to: https://www.annualcreditreport.com and pull all three of your credit bureau reports on an annual basis. If you see anything inaccurate on the reports, you can then ask for these items to be corrected electronically as well.
Don’t Close Old Accounts
When it comes to your credit score, the longer history you have, the better. For this reason, we recommend that you keep open any older accounts you have, such as long-standing credit cards. It is ok to close newer accounts, but the more aged your credit profile is, the better.
Keep Your Month End Credit Card Balances Low
It’s certainly ok to use a credit card, but it is important to try and keep your ending monthly balances low. Credit card companies will generally report your credit card balances once a month to the credit bureaus, based on the amount owed as an ending balance of your most recent credit card statement.
If you owe more than 40% of limit of any credit card on a month end statement, that could hurt your credit score. So, if possible, make sure to pay down balances, before credit card statements generate.
But Don’t Close Your Accounts
As mentioned above, the age of your credit accounts matter. While it is important to pay down your credit balances on a monthly basis, you should not close old accounts (unless an annual fee dictates that it makes sense too).
And Don’t Have Your Credit Run Too Often
Having your credit run occasionally when opening a new account is certainly fine. However, you should limit how often your credit report is pulled, as excessive credit pulls, will lower your credit score.
These are just some of the many things you can do to monitor your credit score and keep it looking good. As always, making your payments on time and not accruing too much debt, will also help you to keep your credit score as high as possible.