The lower the interest rates on your loans, the more income you’ll have available for other uses, including saving for retirement. Your credit score is the key to getting loans approved and determining the interest rate you pay. Here are four simple ways to improve your rating on the credit scoring system that most banks and mortgage lenders use.
Pay on Time
Your payment history makes up about 35% of your total credit score. So, if you’re never late with your loan and credit card payments, you may be well on your way toward a stronger credit score.
Reduce Your Current Debt
The amount you owe to all your lenders makes up about 30% of your score. The less outstanding debt you have, especially on credit cards, the better your score. But a history of good debt management scores higher than having no debt at all.
Stick with Your Lenders
The length of your credit history accounts for about 15% of your score. So, it pays to maintain your credit relationships. Canceling unused credit cards to reduce your overall available credit may work against you. That’s because your score considers both the average age of all your accounts and the age of your oldest account.
The rest of your credit score (20%) rates your debt mix, the number of accounts you have, and whether you have recently applied for a loan or credit card. Limiting the number of applications you fill out should help your score.
Once your credit rating is boosted, don’t forget to check your credit report annually by going to AnnualCreditReport.com. You’re allowed one free credit report per year. This is in accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act), AnnualCreditReport.com is a secure way to obtain your credit report from the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies— Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Have you got your free annual credit report?