What is a credit score
Your credit score is a three digit number ranging between 300 and 850. This number evaluate your credit worthiness or how likely you repay your debt.
In her blog post How to fix a bad credit score, Brianna McGurran states that a credit score between 580 and 669 is considered fair, and one between 300 and 579 is poor. In fact all score under 670 is considered bad. A good credit score is one between 670 and 739, a very good is between 740 and 799 and an exceptional is between 800 and 850 on FICO score ranges.
On VantageScore, it varies slightly: between 300 and 499 it is a very poor score, a poor score is in between 500 and 600, a fair score is in between 601 and 660, a good score is in between 661 and 780 and an excellent score is in between 781 and 850.
So as a credit user, your goal should be to have a credit score as close as of 850.The closer you are from 850, the more credit worthy lenders will see you and you will pay less on interest than the ones with a bad credit score.
How to start building your credit score
I never thought i will need a credit card in my life. It was when i started looking for an apartment that i learned the importance of having a credit history. In fact my application was denied due to lack of credit history. I’ve never used a credit card before.So to fix that, i went to my bank and ask for a credit card but i couldn’t get one because i needed to show a good history of responsible repayment.
If you are new to credit, and want to get a credit card, you could start with a secured credit card.
I was said.
A secured credit card
To do so,I was required to deposit $300. My credit limit was equal to the amount deposited and i was said if i was able to improve my credit score enough to qualify for a regular “unsecured” card, i could upgrade or close my “secured” card and get my deposit back.
And if you are willing to build your credit without a credit card, there’s several other ways you can do so :
Get a credit builder loan :
It is a type of loan created to help people build their credit score. Unlike most loans where you get the money up front and then start making monthly payments until you’ve paid off your debt,a credit builder loan is the complete opposite.
When you are approved for a credit builder loan, you start making monthly payments for several months and at the end of the loan term, you receive the money.
Become an authorized user:
It is a way to build your credit score with a credit card without actually owning one.It is suitable for parents or even siblings willing to help a younger member of the family.
That’s how it works:
You add the relative as authorized user on your card or whoever willing to do the sacrifice. The advantage is he or she doesn’t even need to use or possess a credit card at all in order to benefit of this.
The only concern is to make sure the primary cardholder has a good history of responsible repayment and continue paying on time and that the card issuer reports authorized user activity to the credit bureaus.
It is a new way offered by Experian to make your phone and utility payment count towards building your credit.
The five steps towards a 850 credit score
1-Make always 100% of your payment on time :
This the most important thing to always keep in mind. Your payment history have a huge impact on your credit score.
It is the first factor by which you will be evaluated.So always make sure to pay your balance in full each month before the payment date.
2-Keep your credit utilization low:
It is recommended not to use over 30% of the balance in your account.And if you have less to pay on credit card each month, it makes it easier for you to pay off your balance in full each month. And you are perceived by the credit bureaus as a responsible user. A factor that help increase your credit score.
Even though it can happen that you need to use more than the 30% recommended, make sure not to max out your credit. If it happen, you will have to pay higher interest rates and it will definitely lower your credit score.
3-Do not apply for multiple credit account or loans in a short time span:
When you apply for a credit card, the card issuer will check your credit score in order to decide and that simple check can cause a small, temporary dip in your score, and several in a short time will just make it lower.
If you are rejected for a loan or credit, the best advice is to try to find out why your application was denied. And take steps to avoid denials next time.
4- Check your credit score and reports often and dispute any information that you believe is false:
Some banks or credit lenders offer their clients the opportunity to check their credit score for free. If not, according to a post on Experian titled “How often should i check my credit score?” by Stacy Smith, Federal law allows you to request a free report from each of the national credit reporting companies once every 12 months at www.annualcreditreport.com. You can also get a free report and FICO score at www.freecreditscore.com, which is an Experian company, and does not require any credit card information.
5-Keep your credit card account open:
Sometimes, when you have a bad credit score or you want to limit your debt, you may think of closing your credit card account. But it is not always a good idea. And before doing so, i recommend to read a post by CHIZOBA MORAH on Investopedia titled “Should you close your credit card?”. This blog post features reasons to close and reasons not to close a credit card account.And always make sure to consult a financial adviser before taking such decision.
Thanks you guys for reading my post. What steps are you taking in order to improve your credit score. Let me know in the comments below.
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