Building and maintaining good credit are the key components to being able to borrow money for large items such as a home or a car. Your credit history begins with your first credit account, and how you pay your bills impacts your credit score. To maintain a good score, you must use your accounts responsibly, pay bills on time and keep balances low.
Here are five quick tips for building your credit:
- Borrow what you can afford to repay. Making a habit of only borrowing what you can afford will ensure that you can pay the money back in a timely manner. This allows future creditors and lenders to know that you are a responsible borrower.
- Use only a small portion of the credit you have available. Maxing out your credit cards is never a good idea when you are trying to build credit, especially if you do not pay off the entire balance each month. Experts say it is best to stay below 50% of your credit limit, but less than 30% is even better.
- Avoid multiple credit cards. The more credit you have available, the more you may end up using, which, in turn, makes it difficult to pay off the bills each month. Learn how to be responsible with one account before you open others.
- Make payments on time. The best bet is to pay your bills on time each month so that you don’t have to overcome the hurdle of a debt collection or have your score lowered by late payments.
- Say “no” to incentives. When the cashier offers you the opportunity to save 10% by opening a store card, don’t be tempted. With so many credit awards programs available, it may be alluring to open multiple cards in an attempt to rack up points. Fight the temptation and begin with one credit card.
When you are ready to make the move to purchase a new home or refinance your current home, I will run your credit report and review it with you. Call me today to set up an appointment, and we can work together toward your homebuying goals.