It takes hard work to improve credit score ratings, and much of that hard work revolves around research, planning, and patience.
Unfortunately, a few points can make a huge difference when you’re filling out rental applications or trying to get approved for a loan – sometimes those long-term credit-building goals just aren’t enough.
But there’s plenty of good news: while you’re waiting for your credit cards to mature and your debt to stabilize, you can take a few quick actions to give your score that extra “boost” you need!
Diversify your Credit
Go ahead and take out an affordable small personal loan if you don’t have the installment history. As with any other investment, borrow within your budget.
These small changes, when made with care and discretion, can improve your average credit score ratings just enough to save you a significant amount of money when you need to borrow something bigger – for instance, a home, RV, or automobile.
You can further diversify your available credit by using an older credit card. Sure, you’ve probably neglected your oldest card for a reason (bad rates, etc) but that extra age really helps to improve credit score figures.
Reduce Risky Behavior
Remember the 30% rule – try not to use any more than one-third of any given credit line at a time.
This is another good reason to spread out your credit sources, and an excellent reason why you shouldn’t lower your credit limits unless you absolutely have to.
There are safer ways to adjust your score in a pinch: like combing over your credit report for potentially damaging errors and inaccuracies.
Sometimes damaging credit situations sneak up on you. Don’t get so caught up in building credit that you forget about your existing obligations. A single 30-day late payment can reduce your score by more than 100 points – ouch!
Make it a habit to pay all bills in full when they’re due, but remember that paying part of the balance on time is still better than being late.
But whatever you do, don’t mess with a good thing. If your score is already 750+ you should count your blessings and focus on long-term strategies for success – unless your lender has specifically mentioned that you’re within a hair of your goal.
Improving credit score figures is a perpetual struggle; the moment you slack off is the moment those numbers begin to sink, but the payoff is worth it in more ways than one.