If your credit score isn’t as high as you’d like it to be, consider following these easy tips to give it the quick boost you’re after.
Set up automatic bill pay reminders.
Your payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score, according to MyFICO, which means delinquent payments can affect your overall credit. Even if everything else seems to be in place — such as your amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit and types of credit used — your payment history still plays a large role in how lenders will assess your credit.
To ensure you always pay your bills on time, consider using an online bill reminder and account management service, such as Manilla.com, which sends you text and email bill pay reminders when your bills are due. Not only will this keep your payment history consistent (and therefore help out your credit), but it will also help you to avoid wasting money on late fees.
Pay off your bill in full each month or consider transferring your balance.
While it’s better to pay off debt, rather than moving it around, you may be in a situation where you’ve acquired monstrous amounts of credit card debt and you’re simply unable to pay off the balance in full each month. If that’s the case, consider transferring your credit card balance with a zero-percent introductory APR (annual percentage rate) balance transfer credit card, says Tony Wahl, credit expert for CreditSesame.com. Transferring the balance will help you pay less in interest over time, but it is still important to continue to make on-time payments every month, even after transferring.
Keep your credit utilization ratio at a minimum.
Utilization measures the percentage of your credit limit that you’re actually using each month. It’s important to keep use only about 10 percent of your credit limit each month, according to MyFICO.
Check your credit report for accuracy.
If something about your score isn’t making sense to you, it could be that there’s an error or fraud issue on your credit report. Check your credit report regularly to ensure that it’s accurate. It’s also good because it makes you aware of why your credit score is what it is and it can teach you what you need to improve to make it better.
Sarah Kaufman is the editor-in-chief of the Manilla Blog at Manilla.com, the leading, free and secure service that helps consumers simplify and organize all of their bills and household accounts in one place online or via the 4+ star customer-rated mobile apps. Sarah is also a regular contributor to Yahoo! Finance, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, The Motley Fool, The Jane Dough and other sites.