ORLANDO, Fl – Your credit, it can build you up and it can tear you down. It has an impact on almost every big purchase you make and can be affected by almost every little purchase. The average credit score in the United States is 716 and only 23.3% of Americans have a credit score in the 800 to 850 range.
We all have it, and we all need it, and a difference of just 10 or 20 points can make all the difference when it comes to buying homes and cars. But how do you boost your credit score?
Joel Garris, a Financial Adviser at Nelson Financial Planning shared the tricks.
“Credit is the ability of someone to borrow money,” Garris said.
Bad or fair credit, which is between 580 and 669, can be a result of late payments or using more than 30% of your credit limit. Fortunately, taking steps to improve your credit can help you lower the cost of borrowing.
“Unfortunately, it’s not a ‘one-size fits all’ solution on that; it takes diligence, it takes patience to improve your credit score. The first thing that we would advise folks to do is get ahold of their credit report from the three credit scoring agencies,” said Garris.
Be sure to pay your credit card balances strategically. Pay down the balance before the billing cycle ends, Garris said.
“Make sure that the accounts that you have, have a long length of time to them,” Garris said. “You don’t want to go and pay things off too quickly because that reduces the amount of age that is associated with that credit item.”
Also, blend your credit. Lenders like to see that you can handle multiple accounts at once. Other ways to boost your credit are disputing errors, resuming paying federal student loans, and continuing to use your credit cards.
“Lastly, you want to make sure that you don’t apply for credit too often that pulling of credit actually winds up potentially reducing your credit score if you do that too frequently,” said Garris.