Are you looking to raise your credit score?
If you see yourself getting denied for a mortgage loan or denied credit repeatedly, you need to check your credit score and take steps to improve it.
In fact, having a good credit score is crucial to your financial well being.
For example, you need a good credit score to get a mortgage loan.
Yes, you may be approved for a home loan despite having a low credit score, but your interest rate will be much higher than someone with a better credit score.
In other words, a good credit score can save you thousands and thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
Check out: 5 Signs You’re Not Ready to Buy a House
What is the highest credit score you can have?
And do you need a good credit score?
The highest credit score you can get is 850; and the lowest credit score is 300. Having an excellent score can help you negotiate a better deal with lenders or find another lender that will reward you for your good credit history.
Raising your credit score to a perfect score (i.e. 850), however, will not happen overnight. It can take a while.
Follow these tips to get the best credit score possible.
In no particular order, this is how to raise your credit score to 850.
How to Raise Your Credit Score to 850
To get the best credit score, you need to:
1. Obtain a free credit report at Credit Sesame or Credit Karma;
2. Pay off your debt, especially your credit card debts;
3. Pay off your bills promptly;
4. Keep your credit card balance under 30 percent;
5. Limit your credit inquiries;
6. Regularly check your credit report for mistakes.
7. Diversify your credit.
1. Know what your free credit report say.
The first step to raising your credit score is to get a free credit report.
There are several credit report agencies that you can contact to get a free credit report:
Then you need to take a deep breath and look at where you went wrong and what you can do to improve your situation.
In other words, you must know the contents of your free credit report.
That way you can learn what causes the low credit score and can work on correcting any mistakes on your credit report.
Your credit report will show:
1. how much money you owe;
2. your payment history;
3. the type of credit you have;
4. the number of accounts you have;
5. how long you’ve been using credit.
It’s important to know these things so you can have a plan of action to improve your credit score.
2. Pay off your debt.
To increase your chance of getting a perfect credit score, you need to pay off your debt.
Those outstanding loans, overdrafts and credit cards will continue to drag your score down for as long as they’re around.
Having them hanging around is costing you extra in interest and it also makes it harder to prioritize your payments.
Simply review the debts listed on your free credit report and start a plan of action to start paying them off.
One way to attack the debt is to pay down the one with the highest interest rate and bring it down as fast as possible.
If you need financial advice because you’re having trouble paying your bills or need to sort out your debts, see financial advisor first.
3. Pay your bills on time.
This is the most obvious solution as well as one of the easiest.
Paying your bills on time is one of the ways to achieve the best credit score, considering that payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score.
So late payments can keep you from obtaining the highest credit score.
In fact, late payments can be recorded as a default on your credit report.
Defaults are one of the worst things to appear on your credit report, so avoid these at all costs.
If you know you have difficulty with a bill, pay as much as you can and talk to the provided before the due date.
So, be consistent with utilities, your cable bills, phone bills and any monthly subscriptions.
4. Keep your credit card balance under 30 percent.
One of the factors that results in a low credit score is using a large percentage of your credit.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your credit balance at 30 percent or lower.
If you have several credit card balances, you can consolidating them with a personal loan.
5. Limit your credit inquiries.
The higher your credit inquiries, the lower your credit score can become. Anytime you apply for a loan or a credit card or when a landlord checks your credit, it is considered a credit inquiry.
Having too many of them can cause a small dip in your credit score.
So multiple credit inquiries can hurt your credit score rather than improving it. If you really want to apply for new credit, do so at a minimum.
Indeed, the only circumstances where you should be thinking about credit cards or personal loans is to consolidate your debts and make them more manageable..
6. Regularly check your credit report.
In order to maintain the best credit score possible, you should check your free credit report regularly.
That way you can ensure that your information is correct and that all of the inquiries and listings on credit report have been made by you.
Also, criminals can steal your identity and take out credit in your name.
So, if you notice a horrible mistake on your credit report, you can correct it right away.
So, checking the accuracy of your credit report is crucial.
7. Diversify your credit.
While the more debt you have may make your situation worse, having several different types of debt can add points to your credit score.
For example, if you’re looking for home loans with bad credit, then showing that you’ve recently been able to manage an auto loan, an overdraft, a credit card and your utility bills, will help raise your credit score.
If you follow these tips above on how to raise your credit score, chances are you might get the best credit score possible.
Tools to Grow Your Savings
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Call to action: speak with a financial advisor.
You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.