Building your credit score is part of being an adult in this day and age. Without a solid credit score, you will have a hard time renting places to live, being approved for certain contracts, or being approved for loans to make big purchases like homes or vehicles.
It’s important to remember that it’s not something that happens overnight. Building your credit score is something that takes consistent effort, planning, and strategy. It’s something that you should monitor regularly and remember to actively remember to checks.
So now you’re ready to start thinking about building your credit score. Take a look at the steps you need to take in order to get started and keep that score climbing.
Get a Credit Card
First thing is first! It’s time to get your first credit card. Getting your first credit card is a bit like getting your first job. It’s a catch 22. You’re less eligible to get a job unless you have experience, but you can’t get experience until you get a job. Therefore sometimes you have to start with whatever you can get.
Opt for the lowest possible interest rate that you can find, although lower interest rates are offered to people who have greater credit scores so you won’t find anything outstanding.
Get a card that has a small credit limit, and start using it and paying off the balance in full each month. Some people choose to keep a small balance each month, which you can choose to do as well as long as you are making on-time payments each time.
Always Pay On Time
It is crucial that you pay your credit card payments on time. A late payment can set you back years as a derogatory mark on your credit score and can take a long time to erase from your credit history.
Set reminders in your calendar to make your payments. If you can’t remember on your own, the easiest way to remember is to set up auto payments with your bank. You can decide to set up either the minimum payment due or larger payments.
Larger payments are ideal since this will lower your balance due faster and lower your interest rate. Try to pay as much as you can afford to pay. The larger the payment the better!
Don’t Make Too Many Credit Inquiries
Every time you apply for a credit card or anything that requires a hard credit inquiry you are losing points on your score.
Try to only apply for 1 or 2 things maximum a year to avoid lowering your score more than necessary.
Keep Your Balance Low
Always keep the amount you owe lower than the amount of total credit available. This will keep your debt in check and your credit score nice and high!