Working to improve your financial health is a lot like working to improve your credit score. Follow these tips and you’ll be improving your financial health in no time:
- Make on-time payments: Your payment history is the single biggest factor in determining your credit score. Late payments can ding your score significantly, so focus on making on-time payments when working to improve your score.
- Pay down credit card balances: It’s recommended that you keep your credit card balances below 30% of your credit limit. If you’re carrying high balances on your credit cards, try making more than the minimum monthly payment to pay them down.
- Avoid opening multiple new accounts at the same time: FICO considers borrowers who open multiple accounts within a short timeframe to be riskier to lend to, which could lead to a decrease in credit score. For this reason, it’s wise to only open new accounts when necessary.
- Keep unused credit card accounts open: Part of your credit score is determined by the average age of your credit accounts. The longer the average age, the better for your score – so it helps to keep older accounts open, even if you don’t use them regularly.
- Diversify your credit mix: Lenders like to see that you have experience with different types of credit like revolving credit accounts and installment loans. While it’s not worth opening a new account just to improve your credit mix, it’s something to keep in mind when you’re working to improve your credit health.