Your credit score is one of the most vital parts of your financial life. Many people think that keeping your credit score in good standing is only important when it comes to being approved for a loan or credit card. However, it goes far beyond that. Your credit score can affect everything from insurance premiums to employment opportunities.
Below are a few mistakes that can cost you some major points:
1.) Closing old credit cards. It’s easy to assume that if you pay off your bills, cut up your credit cards and stop spending you will magically have good credit. However, good credit is built over time and with smart spending habits. When a credit report is run, points are given for the cards you have carried balances on the longest. Be strong and resist the urge to make large purchases on these cards, if you cannot afford to pay the balances off in full each month.
2.) Using up all your available credit. If a credit card company grants you a line of $5000, you should only use 20% of it. This would allow you to spend no more than $1000 on that particular card. Because the credit card companies report your balances to the credit bureaus monthly, you want the balances to be as low as possible. According to My Credit Group, the balance-to-limit ratio will ultimately have a huge effect on your credit score.
3.) Applying for too much credit. If you are filling out application after application because you are strapped for cash, keep in mind that credit card companies note all of these requests and consider them a red flag. Let there be 6 months between each credit card or loan application.
4.) Not paying late fees. When it comes to late fees, pay up. The longer you wait, the worse it looks on your credit report. Once you acquire a late fee charge, your inability to pay shows up on your credit report.
5.) Moving. Lastly, for those of you who are moving to a new location make sure you change your billing address immediately. Bills can become lost in the mail and even end up going to your old address. This can cause you to miss your payment due date, get stuck with late fees, and rack up additional charges. Paying all of your bills online can help avoid this.
Remember, it is possible to have a good credit score if you discipline yourself to spend wisely. Know your options when it comes to credit and use them to your advantage! For more information on ways to improve your credit score, visit www.mycreditgroup.com. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. Web site at www.miamibankruptcy.info/.
-Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy Kingcade