Your credit score and the information on your credit report are used by potential lenders to determine how you’ve handled credit up until now and whether they’re willing to loan money to you.
It can also be used by landlords, employers, insurance companies, and cell phone companies to make decisions about whether to work with you. Like a lot of people, you might be wondering if your credit score is as good as it could be.
Well, there’s no magic credit score that guarantees approval for credit, but a score of at least 700 is considered good. If you want to bring your score above 700, it’s important to take care of your credit and avoid these common mistakes:
- Paying late
If you’re having financial issues and couldn’t make a payment or simply forgot to pay a bill, it’s going to hurt your credit if the payment was more than 30 days late. For a healthy credit score, it’s important to pay your bills on time every time.
- Taking on too much new credit
Your credit score improves when you demonstrate that you’re responsible with the money you’ve borrowed. Applying for new credit too many times in a short amount of time is a factor that can bring down your credit score. Instead of relying on borrowed money to make ends meet, get into the habit of living within your means. Look for ways to cut expenses or increase your income so that you can start paying down your debt while avoiding borrowing any more money.
- Paying only the minimum payment
By letting charges stay on your card, you could be dragging down your score without even realizing it. By comparison, using your card and promptly paying off the balance shows financial institutions you’re responsible enough to pay back a loan. Paying off balances will bring down your credit utilization and help your credit score go up.
- Closing accounts you’re not using
It might seem reasonable to close a credit card account that you aren’t using, but doing so can actually hurt your credit. Closing accounts in good standing raises your credit utilization because the amount you owe becomes a higher percentage of the amount that you’re able to borrow.
Not paying attention to your credit report
The information on your credit report may not be 100% accurate. Loans that have been paid off could be showing as still open or loans that you have open could be showing up twice. Payments may have been reported as past due even though they were paid on time. Any inaccurate information like this on your credit report should be disputed as soon as you find it. Our partner Dovly can make the process as easy as possible. Dovly is an automated credit repair engine that helps you track, manage and fix your credit.
Listen to the LifeBlood podcast episode featuring Dovly CEO Nirit Rubenstein.