Your credit score determines the credit you’re eligible for and what rates you get. Lenders check this three-digit number when they’re processing your application, and it’s a significant factor in car loans, mortgages and even credit cards.
While there’s no magic wand for your credit score, as it’s influenced by past behavior, you can take immediate steps to get yours back on track and get yourself into a new car.
Watch your card balances.
One significant part of your credit score calculation is how much credit you have available versus how much you’re currently using. The less credit you’ve used and the more you have open, the better. Try to keep your usage at 30% or lower to help boost your score.
Pay off small cards.
Credit agencies check how many of your cards carry balances. So, if you’ve got a lot of small balances across multiple cards, you’re hurting your score. Avoid doing things like charging $20 on one card and $30 on another when you can just charge $50 on one, for example, and pay off all those small balances you’ve got.
Pay bills on time.
Even if you’re not sweating late fees financially, your credit score is suffering if you don’t pay your bills on time. Make a calendar if you have trouble keeping track of due dates.
By making some changes today, you can work toward a better credit score and open up your financing options in a way that suits your needs and budget.