Likely if you’re reading this, you have scored your credit goals and are ready to reap the rewards of your hard work. With newfound access to better loans, high-demand credit cards and lower insurance rates, you want to make sure you are taking advantage of these opportunities while also practicing maintenance tactics for your higher, healthy credit score.
Although necessary to financial management and profile diversity, loans and insurance are a double-edged sword when it comes to your score – The higher your score is, the more lines of credit you can take out. The more credit you take out, the higher the risk of missed payments. As a partner to you, Platinum Resolutions will always be just a call away if your score ever needs restoration, but with these five maintenance tips you can take pride in keeping your score in that sweet spot.
Tip 1: Always pay your bills on time
If you take anything away from this article, let it be this first tip. Making up 35% of your total score, your payment history is the most impactful piece of your credit score. However, this can also be the easiest thing to do with proper planning and organization. By keeping a calendar of monthly payments, setting accounts to autopay and even using tools like phone reminders, alarms and more, you can stay up-to-date with all payments.
Tip 2: Conquer your debt with frequent payments and money management tools.
The next influential factor to your score is current debt. Whether this is credit card debt, a mortgage or student loans – remaining balances on these events can drag your score down if not managed. But how do you avoid accruing debt when these types of loans are necessary? With loans like these, it isn’t about avoiding debt, but being proactive with the inevitable debt that comes with attending college, buying a car or a home – making frequent payments and even paying over the minimum balance when possible. Tools from your bank like automatic savings accounts or even manually set up emergency funds can help you consistently save money on a month-to-month basis to support debt payments and get you on the other side faster.
For tips on how to pull yourself out of debt when it feels like too much, check out this article for money management tips and tools.
Tip 3: Keep your credit card balance well below the 20% limit
Of course we want to sit here and recommend that everyone pays off their entire credit balance at the end of every month. However, we know that isn’t always possible and having a small balance carry over month to month doesn’t have to be detrimental to your credit score. Platinum Resolutions recommends that your balance not exceed 20% of your credit limit to minimize effects on your score. For example, if your credit limit is $20,000, you don’t want to carry a balance of more than $4,000 in your account. The best way to accomplish this goal is to take advantage of credit management technology like Mint, Credit Karma and even your bank’s native apps to track spending and credit use with just a touch.
Tip 4: Apply for credit sparingly.
Every time you apply for a new line of credit, something called a hard credit inquiry is initiated. For every hard inquiry, your credit score is taken down five points. Although this may not seem like a lot and hard inquiries only affect your score for twelve months, if you are applying for multiple lines of credit at once, this can pile up and make a larger impact than expected. Before you start applying for a new credit card, mortgage, car loan or other credit that initiates a hard inquiry, make sure you are doing adequate research into the line of credit and/or space out credit applications, as to not slam your account with these deductions.
Tip 5: Check your credit reports monthly
Just like you pay your credit cards, rent and car payments monthly, add checking your credit reports to that same checklist. Keeping an eye on your reports is a great way to double check yourself on all lines of credit and catch any blunders that may pop up along the way. You worked hard for that high score, and playing a little defense never hurts when it comes to keeping yourself on top. Your credit reports can be found through many major banks and even credit card companies like Discover. Or, check out Platinum Resolutions free credit analysis for a full audit of your lines of credit and strategic planning for the future of your score health.
If you haven’t caught on yet, these five tips are directly correlated to the five factors that affect your total score: Payment history, current debt, length of credit history, new credit and credit mix. With Platinum Resolutions as your credit partner and resource, we will make sure that your hard work stays paying off – long past your initial credit recovery.
For advice, questions or anything else you need as you continue your credit journey, call (832) 872 1057 or email firstname.lastname@example.org