Maintaining a good credit score is one of the panacea for getting a loan or credit card approval. As you may know, most lending institutions require a good credit score as criteria before an individual can take a loan. Not only that, some credit card issuers also need a good credit score before giving out their credit card. Hence, the importance of a good credit score cannot be overemphasized.
According to the Financial Accounting and Controlling(FICO) scoring model, a good credit score is between the range of 670 – 739 but on the VantageScore model, a good credit score is the one that falls between the range of 661 – 780.
However, getting a good credit score is one thing but maintaining a good credit score is a different thing entirely. Hence, we have designed this blog post to give you useful tips on how you can maintain a good credit score over a period of time.
Before we proceed, let’s establish the basis of our discussion and that’s exactly what we shall be discussing in the next section.
What Is A Good Credit Score?
According to FICO, a good credit score is one that falls within the range of 670 – 739.
Credit scores are normally used in determining individuals creditworthiness. If you’ve a good credit score, there’s a likelihood that you’re going to get loan approval with ease.
10 Tips For Maintaining Good Credit Score
The useful tips with which you can maintain a good credit score are outlined below;
1. Ensure That Your Credit Balance Is Low
Ensuring that you’ve a low balance with a high credit limit is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy “debt-to-credit ratio.” This ratio determines your available balance when compared to your credit limit.
Experts suggest that it’s best to keep your credit utilization rate around 20% or lower because the lower your credit utilization rate, the better your credit score and vice versa.
To reduce the spending limit of a certain credit card, it is best to get another card if you notice that you’re spending too much on an existing credit card.
2. Repay Your Bills In Full & On Time
One of the easiest ways to maintain a good credit score is to pay off your bill in full and on time too. From the FICO scoring model, your payment history constitutes about 35% of your credit score. Hence, repaying your bills on time is very important even if you’re going to pay only the minimum balance.
No matter the kind of bill, be it your utility bill or credit card, ensure that you pay it off before the due date. Perhaps, if you have lots of things to catch up that would make you forget the due date, consider setting up automated payment for any kind of financial commitment.
However, if you’re experiencing any unforeseen circumstances which makes it difficult to repay your loan before the due date, do not hesitate to opt for the financial assistance programs of card issuers since most of them offer programs that could permit you to defer your payment to a later date.
3. Stop Applying For New Credit When Not Necessary
As you may know, sometimes if you apply for a new credit card that requires running a hard inquiry into your credit report, it will definitely affect your credit score negatively.
So, it is best to avoid applying for new credit cards except if there’s no other option left because the more you continue to apply for new credit, the more your credit score will be affected.
4. Spend Wisely & Don’t Exceed Your Credit Limit
Being prudent in your financial spending is also a good way to maintain your good credit score. Hence, when spending don’t allow your credit card debt to pass 20% of your yearly income after taxes.
5. Use Credit Monitoring Service
The credit monitoring service is designed such that it regulates and notify you for any unexpected daily changes on your credit score. It works on the principle of alerting you on the increase of your credit score. Not only that, it is also a signal for any unscrupulous activities related to your card.
6. Keep Your Oldest Credit Account Open
Keeping your old credit card open even when you no longer use them is another way to maintain a good credit score. This is because your credit history accounts for about 15% of your total FICO credit score hence keeping your old credit card account open will go a long way to maintain your credit score.
It is also important to note that closing your credit card not minding its history will definitely impact your credit score negatively.
7. Contact The Creditors
We know that life can happen to anybody, so if you are going through difficulties that will make you not to pay off any of your financial commitments on time, do not hesitate to reach out to the creditors because they are still human beings.
Once you reach out to them, explain the situation you’re passing through and hopefully, they’ll be able to defer your payment to a later date.
8. Try Reducing Your Overall Debt If Any
If you’re owing debt of any sort, try paying it off bit by bit until you eliminate it to enable you to improve on your overall credit score. You can set up a particular budget for that where you’ll start paying-off the loan with a higher interest to the least debt. Try it and thank me later.
9. Watch Your Credit Report Keenly And Report Any Unauthorized Deduction
Since errors are bound to occur in your credit report due to common mistakes, it is best to keep a close eye on your credit report to notice any error and report to the appropriate authority.
Additionally, you can also keep a close eye on your credit report to enable you to take advantage of the yearly credit reports entitlement from Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.
10. Use You Credit Card Regularly
Another way to maintain a good credit score is by using your credit card often.
Using it regularly is important because if your credit card is inactive for a long time, the card issuer may decide to deactivate it which will definitely affect your credit score negatively.
Some credit cards will even earn rewards when you use them in gas stations and grocery stores. All you need to do is to pay off your balance before the due date to earn the massive rewards they offer. To ensure you’re getting it right, you may decide to set automatic payment so that you won’t miss any payment.
It is important to maintain a good credit score because it may help you in rainy days like opting for a loan. Once your credit score is good, it goes a long way to showcase your creditworthiness.
Maintaining a good credit score is not difficult, just ensure that you pay off any kind of your financial commitment in full and on time, ensure that you don’t exceed your credit limit and don’t go for new credit cards that may involve hard inquiry into your credit report. With these tips, you’ll be able to maintain a good credit score.