I know you are the type of person who will only be satisfied with the best. Your credit rating should be treated in the same manner. A score of 750 or higher is what you want to have full stop. A FICO rating of 750 or higher will prove to employers that you’re a “steady ship” and get you the job, your lenders will give you the best rates to save you money and landlords will give you the lowest down payment on your apartment. Anchor yourself to this number and get it!
Know your credit rating and make sure that you keep it above 750.
Find out what your credit rating currently is and then make a plan to keep it if it’s over 750 or get it there if it is less. You find out your rating from the three credit rating agencies (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) once a year for free in most states and provinces. Your credit rating is very important so be sure to treat it like you would any other important person or item in your life. Respect and nurture it and it’ll pay you back in the long run.
Don’t say yes to more credit just because it feels good at the time.
One of the ways to keep a high credit rating is to keep only two (max three!) credit cards. When you have loads of credit cards it lowers your overall credit available and your rating too. Keep it to two or three cards and fix the limits to your desired amount. Call up your bank or credit card company and make sure that they don’t have auto limit increases. Be master of your “money house” and tell them what your limit will be.
Make sure to “pay” your bills automatically so there is more time to “play”!
Your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score so it is crucial that you pay all of your bills on time. This makes total sense if you think of it from a lenders point of view. They want to make sure that you are paying back your loans in full and on time. Why not make this a win win situation. Make all of your monthly bills such as electricity, mobile phone, cable, gym, etc. all come out automatically from your account or on a credit card and then pay your card off completely at the end of the month. This way you will never forget a payment or lose a check in the mail. This will automatically build your rating as you pay your bills month after month after month and free up precious time. Spend that time that you’ve been paying them individually online or writing and mailing checks doing something you love like your career!
Don’t burn your credit bridges!
Missing one payment won’t hurt your rating but missing them chronically will put you on the late payers list or worse. If you’re in an emergency and can’t pay your loans or credit cards call your lender and have an open dialogue with them. Don’t ignore the problem because your rating will be hurt the most in that situation. Like in the job world, having a negative relationship with an old employer or lender does not serve you in the long run. Lenders would rather work with you to get their money then to drive your rate lower and lower.
Don’t always be searching for credit.
Employers are like creditors in the sense that they don’t like it when you’re always searching for credit or a new career. If you’re applying for a loan make sure that the credit officer is going to give you the loan and you’re going to take it before they check your credit. If you have several credit inquiries on your report it’ll lower your rating. A good rule of thumb is to have it checked only once a month max. If you’re buying a car, house, etc. then spread them out so your rating doesn’t take a huge hit in that one month.
Have a great long weekend,