Why be concerned about your credit score? A higher score means you may be able to borrow money at lower interest rates, which means more money in your pocket in the long run. Follow these tips to develop good credit habits—and improve your credit score.
Pay on time, every time
On-time payments—for all your bills, not just credit card accounts—are the foundation of good credit. Here's what you can do to help make sure you always pay on time.
If you have a lot of bills due at the same time, you could ask your credit card company to change your future due dates to a more convenient time of the month.
If you never borrow, lenders have no way of knowing about your repayment habits—but borrowing too much could lead to bills you can't afford to pay. Here are some suggestions for finding the right balance:
Substantial payments are a good indication that you're willing and able to repay a debt. To help improve your credit score, keep your debt under control:
Keep at least one account open that you've had for a while. Use it occasionally, and pay it off in full. This will show lenders that you have a long history as a responsible borrower.
Don't let errors, fraud or identity theft ruin your reputation as a trustworthy borrower. Prevent problems when you can, and correct any that may have occurred. Make it a habit to:
Even the most responsible people can get into credit trouble when they lose a job or have health problems. If you're in a situation that's making it difficult to manage your credit card payments, talk to your creditors immediately. They may be willing to work with you to come up with a solution.
Good credit habits won't just help you improve your credit score—they could help you save money. So make these habits part of your financial plan today.