Rocking an exam isn’t even close to the feeling you’ll get when you see your credit score go up. If you’re not sure how to achieve this kind of financial freedom, you’ve come to the right place. There are several steps you can take to keep your credit score high.
Before you can improve it, you need to know what hurts your credit score. Only then can you take steps to improve it and achieve financial health. Take a look below at the top reasons your credit score might not be as high as you like.
New Credit Applications
If you’re asking the question, “What can hurt your credit score?” then you need to know about applying for new credit. This affects about 10% of your score, and if you have a lot of new applications, it may bring your score down.
Make sure you talk with lenders and find out if they can do a soft pull first, which doesn’t affect your score. Then you’ll have an idea of whether you’ll have a good chance of being approved, before you let them go ahead with the official credit check.
You may also wonder, “Does credit card consolidation hurt your credit?” If they’re pulling your credit score and you already have several recent inquiries, it could bring down your score. Yet the many benefits to debt consolidation may outweigh the small hit on your credit.
Types of Current Credit
What kinds of debt do you have? Having different types of credit is what affects credit score, up to 10% of your total. Make sure you diversify to show you can be responsible for things like a mortgage, a personal loan, and credit cards, all at once.
Your Current Debts
What affects your credit score even more than credit applications or types of credit is your current debts. Lenders will want to know how close you are to your credit limits, and how much of a balance you carry each month. This is part of figuring out your debt-to-income ratio, and whether you can handle making any more repayments.
Keep your balances low, under 50% of your limits, so that you can show room for growth.
What Hurts Your Credit Score the Most
Late payments are what hurts your credit score the most. They make up to about 35% of your credit score, and they stay on your record for up to 7 years. The best thing you can do to make sure your credit score isn’t affected is to pay your bills on time.
Lenders want to know you’re reliable and you’ll pay every month, by the deadline. It’s important to show a history of this. Every month you pay on time, you’re building up a reputation as a dependable person when it comes to your debts.
Use automatic payments or even your digital calendar reminder feature to help you remember. If you’re still having trouble, maybe enlist your partner’s help with handling the finances, so that you aren’t the only one carrying the burden.
Building Financial Freedom
Understanding what hurts your score is the first step to improving it. Things like your credit inquiries, types of current credit, and current debts are big factors. Yet what hurts the most is making late payments.
If you can avoid the pitfalls that bring a score down, you’ll start on the slow journey toward improving that score and reaching your goals.