Everyone could use a boost these days. Your credit score is no different. According to Experian, millennials feel held back back by their credit score. Credit scores influence where you live, what you drive, and even your employment. So grab a seat, a pen and a piece of paper because these ten life hacks will keep your credit on track.
Bring down your balances
High balances on your credit cards decrease your credit score. Try to keep your balances under 30% of your credit limit. Financial professionals call this credit utilization, but the simple explanation is "less is more."
Make payments on time
FICO, or Fair Isaac Corporation, attributes 35% of your credit score to on time payments. Think of this bill date as your financial anniversary, you won't want to forget it. Mark it on your calendar because these payments will only increase your score over time.
Increase your limit
Say yes to the increase when your credit card company increases your credit limit. These limits will help keep your credit utilization low while you make the purchases you need.
Buddy up as an authorized user
If your credit score needs some help, ask a close family member with good credit to add you as an authorized user. You reap the reward of their good credit habits and you can be removed from their credit account at any time.
Dispute inaccurate information
Misinformation on your credit report brings down your credit score. Balances, name misspellings, or even incorrect mailing addresses can be easily disputed online through the three credit reporting agencies.
Make your rent payments count
When applying for a mortgage, ask your lender to add non-traditional credit lines like rent or utilities. Make sure to have your payment records ready for your lender to review.
Avoid frequently applying for credit
Applying for too many new credit cards or loans throughout the year can mean a dip in your credit score. New credit counts for 10% of your FICO score. If getting a new card is a must, try applying and getting approved in as little time as possible, preferably under one week.
Get a secured credit card
If your credit is less than perfect, consider opening a secured credit card. Secured cards take a deposit or collateral as little as $200 to allow you to pay for your purchases. Like any credit card, on time payments can help boost your credit score.
Mix up your credit accounts
Creditors like to see a mixture of different kinds of accounts. A mix of revolving and installment accounts for 10% of your credit score. Think of revolving accounts like credit cards and installment accounts like mortgages or auto loans.
Pay before the due date
Your credit company reports your balance to the credit reporting agencies once a month. By paying your bill before the due date, your credit utilization will be lower and this can boost your credit score.