Your credit is like a house of cards; you build a foundation with an account or two and as you pay off your loans and credit cards, your credit score grows higher until you hit your peak.
However, if you don’t pay off your loans, or keep borrowing more, your Credit House of Cards can begin to topple over. If this sounds familiar, don’t fret. You can rebuild and improve your credit score with these four steps.
- Pay off past due payments.
Clear up any past due payments as soon as possible to give yourself a fresh start and lay the groundwork for improving your credit score.
Pay on time and in full.
One of the best ways to improve your credit is by making your payments on-time. If you are using a credit card, paying off your card in full each month can boost your credit score as well.
Monitor your credit score.
Monitoring your credit score regularly is important to keep track of your open credit lines and catch any suspicious activity that may occur on your account(s). Most financial institutions offer free credit score monitoring so check with yours to see what your options are.
Try not to max out your credit cards.
Your credit utilization ratio is the amount you’ve borrowed (amount charged) divided by the amount of credit available to you (credit card limit). Maxing out your credit card by charging up to your credit card limit can negatively impact your score. It’s recommended to only charge about 30% of your credit card limit at a time, so once you hit that limit, pay down your card before charging again.