When it comes to improving your credit score, consumers are left in the dust. Most individuals have basic knowledge of what can destroy their credit. Few know the steps to increase their credit score. Here’s 5 tips that will help build your credit score to where you would like it to be.
1. Positive Trade Lines of Credit
Without positive trade lines of credit, you cannot have a good credit score. Your credit score is determined upon the following factors: payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit used. The more positive trade lines of credit you have, the better. Does that mean you should go out and apply for loads of credit? Not exactly.
The more credit you apply for, the more inquiries you will acquire on your credit report. The more inquiries on your credit report, the lower your score. Also, anytime you take on new debt, your scores will initially see a drop. It is not until a few months of on time payments that you will start to see them increase again.
Individuals with no or few trade lines of positive credit may not be able to get approved for new credit. If this is the case, you may want to seek out secured credit cards. Secured credit cards are credit cards that the consumer backs themselves. These cards report to all three credit bureaus and will generate positive credit after a few months of use. Secured credit cards are a great tool to help build your credit.
If you already have trade lines of credit, it is critical to make sure they are paid on time. This includes: student loans, credit cards, car payments, and mortgages, among others. (We’ll get more into this further in the article)
2. Become an Authorized User
Everyone knows that one person who has immaculate credit. Maybe it’s a close family member or one of your best friends. They never miss a payment and are never denied. If it is alright with your friend or relative, it would be beneficial for you to become an authorized user on one of their accounts.
Becoming an authorized user will build your credit as it will show a positive trade line on your credit report. You can essentially “piggy back” your way to better credit with the help of a friend or relative’s account.
Becoming an authorized user on the account will not require you to get your own card or make any payments. Your name will just be attached to the account. Just make sure your have the OK from your friend/relative. However, if they miss a payment and the account becomes derogatory, it will negatively affect your credit as well.
3. Pay Down Accounts
Keeping your credit utilization down will allow your scores to go up. It is recommended to keep your credit utilization rates as low as possible (but not at zero). The closer you come to the high balance on your account, the more your scores will decline. If an individual with maxed out credit cards has no derogatory accounts, his score will negatively reflect that.
A recent study shows the highest credit scores belong to individuals with 1-10% credit utilization. It is also worth noticing that consumers with 0% credit have an average score lower than consumers with 31-40%. The idea is to use your credit cards, but pay them off and use them minimally. Also take into consideration that the more debt on your account, the more interest you will wind up paying over time.
4. Avoid Derogatory Accounts
Derogatory accounts are negatively reporting items on your credit report. These accounts devastate your credit score. Most derogatory accounts will start off as just one late payment. If not handled correctly, late payments can change to charge offs or collections.
It is essential to your credit to always pay on time! Set reminders or use autopay features to ensure that you are always current. Just one derogatory account will drop your credit score dramatically, making it difficult to build your credit score.
5. Seek Credit Repair
If your credit report is flooded with derogatory accounts or incorrect information, you need to contact Better Qualified. Even if satisfied or current, derogatory accounts can remain on your credit report for 7 to 10 years. Better Qualified will attack derogatory accounts and correct false information. It’s what we do! Give us a call at (888) 533-8138, or fill out the form to the right for a free credit analysis. Even after our dispting process, Better Qualified will continue to advise you towards building your credit score.