Understand & Improve Your Credit Score
One of the most important aspects of your financial well being is your credit. In order to make any major purchases in your lifetime, such as a home, you will need to have a good credit history.
Whether youíre looking to repair your credit score, improve your credit score, or looking to maintain it, this guide will help you. Weíre going to breakdown the myths, facts, and helpful tips that will give you a hand in repairing, improving, and maintaining your credit score.
Checking Your Credit Score
What do you know about your credit score? Credit scores are on a scale of 300-900, remember, the higher the better! The first step of understanding how to improve your credit score is to check it. See the full scope of the scale!
You can check your credit score as often as youíd like. There are two types of credit inquiries, soft, and hard. Hard inquiries are when you are formally applying for a loan, while soft inquiries are simply checking your score. Soft checks are permissible, in fact you are encouraged to check your credit once or twice each year.
However, hard checks will affect your credit rating. Be advised that when it comes to shopping for a mortgage, inquiries within a 30-45 day period is considered a single hard hit, if youíre unsure about this process, contact your financial advisor or mortgage broker.
Having Multiple Credit Sources
How many credit sources do you have? Itís not the number of sources you possess, itís how you look after them. Learn how to check your credit score.
False! As long as you take care of your payments, you can have multiple credit sources. There is a method to having more than one credit source that is very important to follow in order to maintain a good credit score. The trick here is to keep your credit card at under 75% capacity. When your credit card maxes out, itís very damaging towards your credit score. Itís better to have two credit cards under 50% than to have one card and have it maxed out.
Follow The Rule Of Twoís
The ideal credit source setup would be to have two sources in your name alone, each with a minimum of $2,000. The most important thing is to pay all of your minimum payments in full, and on time.
Remember that while keeping up with your payments is not recorded, any and all missed payments are. Delinquencies have the biggest negative effects on your credit score. If youíre in a tough spot, make an appointment with your creditor. They would rather help you get back on track than send collections after you. Plus, you donít want that on your record either.
There is a method to applying for credit that should be followed in order to get the best out of your situation. For example, applying for multiple credit sources at once could be seen as a red flag for many creditors. This will hurt your ability to get credit.
What Is Included In Your Credit Score?
Credit scores are made up of more than just credit cards, or lines of credit. There are other aspects of your bills and payments to consider when youíre trying to improve your credit score.
Paying utilities on time and in full is an important aspect of repairing your credit score, however, itís not the be-all-end-all. In fact, utilities will only be reported if a payment is overdue. When considering the aspects of building your credit score, examine the following:
- Overdue Utility Bills (i.e. electricity, hydro, etc.)
- Telecommunications (i.e. telephone, cable, etc.)
- Anything bought on a payment plan (i.e. mattress, smart phone, etc.)
Be Aware Of Your Activity
- Any other loans or debts (i.e. mortgage, vehicle, etc.)
Sometimes we can lose track of our finances, but there are always ways to ensure that we donít fall behind on payments. If you need to repair your credit fast here is a list of 9 fast fixes.
Setting up automatic payments will make certain that all of your payments will be made on time and in full. This is one of the most important aspects of repairing, improving, and maintaining credit.
Remember that to get back on track, the first step is to check your credit score. If youíre lost in the numbers, rest assured that you can contact your creditor to have a conversation about how you can repair your credit score.
If you are looking to apply for a mortgage, having a good credit score is important. Even if you arenít ready to buy today, it will be beneficial to speak with your mortgage advisor about your credit and ensure that you are on the right path.
Talk to Tim today about your credit score and you will be on your way to owning your own home sooner than you think.