Before you make a major purchase that requires a loan, such as a car or a home, it’s wise to boost your credit score. Your efforts will secure more desirable terms, such as a reduced interest rate or a larger loan amount. Learn what to do and common mistakes to avoid as you work to improve your credit.
Pay bills on time.
Late payments on credit cards, loans, utility bills, and other bills will hurt your score. Pay these bills in full rather than the minimum amount. Set up notifications on your calendar or automatic payments to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Check your report for inaccuracies.
You get a free credit report from each of the credit agencies once a year: TransUnion®, Equifax®, and Experian®. As a result, you can request a free report once every four months. They aren’t perfect, so check for any discrepancies and dispute them if you find any. Fixing inaccuracies will improve your score.
Close your unused accounts.
Your credit utilization ratio refers to the amount of credit you have available versus the amount you use. The general rule of thumb is more unused credit you have, the better it will boost your score, so keep extra cards open. However, having too many cards open is not good for your score either.
Apply for new credit accounts.
Applying for new credit will create a hard inquiry on your report, which will reduce your score for about two years. Instead, ask your creditors to increase the spending limit of your existing accounts. This will avoid a hard inquiry and reduce your credit utilization ratio if you keep your credit usage the same.
With hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and over 60,000 members across Hawaii, Hawaiian Financial Federal Credit Union is one of the leading financial institutions in the state, with a reputation for combining personalized service with technologically advanced personal banking solutions. Learn more about our broad array of services online, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news and updates, or call (808) 832-8700 on Oahu or toll-free at (800) 272-5255 with any questions.
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