Even though having a low credit score can make it more difficult to do things like buy a car or a new house, low credit does not always have to be a life sentence. No matter why you may have low credit, there are things that you can do to help take your credit score into your own hands, and aid in raising it. If your credit score could use some help here are a few things you can try to help give it a boost.
Pay Off Your Cards
While this may seem obvious, many might underestimate how much of an impact simply paying off their cards could potentially have on their credit. The more of your credit line that you are utilizing, the more it could hurt your overall credit score. Creditors may see that you have little free space on your credit cards and view you as being too dependent on your lines of credit, and therefore risky. If you cannot pay your credit cards off or keep your balances low, another option is to request higher lines of credit, which could help to improve your credit by lowering your utilization ratio.
Don't Close or Open Too Many Accounts
Making too many unnecessary changes to your accounts is another thing that can have a negative impact on your credit. If you open too many accounts that you don't need, the hard credit enquiries can lower your score, as well as make you appear to be credit hungry, and therefore risky to a lender. Closing accounts when it isn't necessary can be damaging to your credit, too. This is in part because when you close an account, you raise your utilization ratio.
Stay on Schedule
Making sure that you pay your bills on time is another way that you can help protect your credit score. This goes for both your home and utility bills, as well as your credit card bills. Even just one or two late payments could have a negative impact on your credit, which it could take a long time to recover from. Staying on schedule can be even more important if you have many different bills and payments to keep track of. In this situation, moving your card payments to the same day could be a helpful strategy to aid preventing you from forgetting due dates.
Keep Track of Your Credit
Another way to protect your credit is simply by keeping track of it and checking it regularly for any changes. While this might not make a big difference if nothing ever happens, it could make a big difference in the event that any kind of fraud is perpetrated against you. By keeping track of your score, your credit cards and their balances you will know more quickly and be able to take proactive measures to prevent fraud from majorly damaging your credit score.
When your credit is low, it has potential to impact your life in a negative way, and can add stress to the process of trying to buy a home or car, or prevent you from making these kinds of purchases altogether. However, low credit does not necessarily have to be a life sentence. There can be many ways that you can help look after and raise your credit.
From more defensive strategies like keeping track of your card balances and making sure there are no unusual charges, to more active ones like paying down your credit cards, there is more than one way that you can help to boost your credit score. Often, taking advantage of more than one strategy at a time will be more helpful than simply trying one or the other, and may help you get your credit back on track faster. So, no matter what financial goals you would like to achieve, taking a little time to look after your credit may go a long way towards helping you reach them.