Quick Tips to Improve Your Credit
Posted on Apr 27, 2017 in Mortgage Market Updates and News
It's no secret credit is important. Having a low credit score can prevent you from a doing things; from setting up a cell phone account to getting a mortgage. Credit is such a huge part of life nowadays, and everybody's been through something, so people often end up stressing a lot over their scores. The nice thing about credit that I've found, is everything is repairable.
Credit is the first thing we look at when going through a mortgage application. If a score is low, we're often stopped dead in the water before we can really even get going. The best time to start looking for ways to repair your credit is now, because it can take any where from a couple months, to a couple years.
Here are some quick tips to improve your credit, and as always, give me a call to go over it with you in person and help make a plan that works specifically for you.
Pay off any collections.
if you have collections showing on your credit bureau, it's important to get them paid off right away. Making payments on collections often only covers the interest and doesn't actually get to the debt owed, so it's vital to talk to your creditor about when your debt will be paid off with your current payments if you're making them.
Keep credit card and line of credit balances below 50% of the available limit.
This is a really important one that is not widely known. Using less than 50% of each credit card or line of credit you have available is very helpful to your credit. As soon as even one debt becomes high or maxed, your score starts to drop.
Make sure you don't miss payments by setting automatic minimum payments for credit cards.
Did you know you can set up automatic minimum payments for your credit cards so that you'll never miss one of those annoying $10 minimum payments? It's crazy how many people I see with derogatory marks on their credit bureau because they've missed a $10 payment, just out of forgetfulness. Most major credit cards give you the option on their website of setting automatic payments (even from a different bank). Then you know it's always taken care of.
Avoid letting companies pull your credit unless they're totally necessary.
Each time your credit is pulled it drops your score a few points. A few points here and there shouldn't make an impactful difference on your score, but if you pull it too many times in a short period of time, it can start to effect you more heavily. Places like Telus, Fortis, Hydro, etc will often allow you to pay a small deposit, rather than having a credit pull done. This can save an unnecessary pull if you're in a time of trying to repair your score.
Avoid taking on new debts
That pre-authorized credit card with a low introductory rate may seem appealing when you get the letter in the mail, but if you're trying to increase your credit score, opening new debts (car loans, personal loans, lines of credit, credit cards, etc) will likely reflect badly. Credit pulls and new debts (especially when there are a couple of each around the same time) give the illusion you're shopping for credit and therefore having money issues.
Everybody's situation is different so this isn't meant to be a guide that will necessarily build every person's score to where they need it, but rather some quick tips that if followed, will have a positive impact on your credit score. The great thing about credit is in a lot of situations, making some small adjustments can have a quick impact. If you're looking for a home, the sooner you sit down with me and review your credit report, the better.