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Why Do I Need A Good Credit Score
Bad credit can affect you in areas of your life you wouldn’t even expect. Prospective employers and landlords may look at your credit score to see if you’d be a responsible employee or tenant. Some car insurance companies may also see a direct relationship between your credit score and the likelihood of you being in an accident. And in certain states, this even means you’re charged a lot more for insurance.
So how do you build a good credit score, or protect what you’ve already built? In general there are five things you should know:
First and foremost is your payment history. Pay your bills when they’re due and never skip payments. One easy way to stay on top of things is to set up automatic payments for the fixed costs like your mortgage, gas and electric.
The second most important factor is how much debt you owe. The lower you owe the better. If you get too close to your limit, creditors may think you’re biting off more than you can chew or that you are supplementing your income with credit. So whenever possible, keep this debt-to-credit ratio as low as possible.
Third, creditors want to see that you’ve been managing credit for a long time. Your credit history shows how long you have been using credit and how responsible you’ve been. Establishing a good long history means you’re an old pro at borrowing or managing money and are likely to repay what you borrow.
Next, your score can also be affected by the mix of credit types you have. A good mix will span different types of credit — from a mortgage to credit cards to installment loans like car or cell phone payments, which are repaid over time — and can help you improve your overall score. This proves you have experience handling a variety of account types instead of having a lot of accounts in just one area. And when it comes to balances, lower is always better for your score.
Lastly, creditors want to know what you’ve been up to lately. They’ll look at recently opened accounts and where you’re inquiring about credit. Even if you’re relatively new to credit or were just thinking about borrowing, they want to see who gave you credit and when. Applying for too much credit can be seen as high risk because it looks like you’re desperate for loans.
If you take these steps, you can reach new heights and achieve a higher, healthier credit score. And that’s something that money just can’t buy.
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