October 12, 2012
Have you had a health checkup lately? No, I’m not referring to a visit to the family doctor. What I’m talking about here is a financial health checkup. Knowing your credit score and the particulars that influence it are only a small part of a financially fit health regiment.
While there are many factors that contribute to an overall healthy financial state, we are going to focus on just a few quick ideas you can use to gauge the health of your credit score. Right off the bat, let me say this: there are no overnight fixes! You will find though that diligent application of the following principles over time can help you move closer towards your goal of being a health-buff, financially.
Okay, here we go:
Tip 1: Reduce the number of credit applications you make. If too many potential lenders ask about your credit in a short period of time, this may have a negative effect on your score. However, your score does not change when you ask for information about your own credit report.
Tip 2: Always pay your bills on time. Although the payment of your utility bills, such as phone, cable and electricity, is not recorded in your credit report, some cellphone companies may report late payments to the credit-reporting agencies, which could affect your score.
Tip 3: Try to pay your bills in full by the due date. If you aren’t able to do this, pay at least the required minimum amount shown on your monthly credit card statement.
Tip 4: Try to pay your debts as quickly as possible.
Tip 5: Don’t go over the credit limit on your credit card. Try to keep your balance well below the limit. The higher your balance, the more impact it has on your credit score.
Tip 6: Make sure you have a credit history. You may have a low score because you do not have a record of owing money and paying it back. You can build a credit history by using a credit card. Stay tuned for the next in our “Credit Series” to find out how!
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