5 ways to give your credit score a boost
There are several things you can do to ensure you maintain a healthy credit score. Follow these tips to get your credit score into good shape:
- Get a secured credit card – If you have negative credit history, or are just starting to build your credit, a secured credit card may be a good option. You'll make a cash security deposit into a special account that's equal to your line of credit. You build credit with a secured card by making responsible charges, keeping your balance low, and paying on time every month (this is the same as with a regular credit card).
- Pay your bills on time – Payments made on time can raise your credit score, and late payments may bring it down. Pay your credit card balance in full (and on time) every month to avoid interest charges, late fees, and to keep your credit score healthy.
- Manage debt wisely – Don't charge more than you can afford to pay back on credit cards, and don't apply for multiple credit cards at once. Sending out several credit card applications within a short time period sends a red flag to creditors.
- Keep your credit utilization low – This is your balance as compared to your overall credit limit. As mentioned above, we recommend paying your balance in full every month, but if you do carry a balance try to keep it under 30% of your credit limit.
- Check your credit report – Your credit report affects many parts of your life, so it's important that the information included is accurate and positive. As a DCU Member, you can visit any branch for a FREE Credit Report Analysis at any time. Plus, you can sign up to receive your credit score on a monthly basis – also a FREE service for DCU members! If you find any errors or signs of identity theft, contact the credit reporting agency. Fixing any errors can help get your score back on track.