Making your credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit scores. Some banks offer payment reminders through their online banking portals that can send you an email or text message reminding you when a payment is due. You could also consider enrolling in automatic payments through your credit card and loan providers to have payments automatically debited from your bank account, but this only makes the minimum payment on your credit cards and does not help instill a sense of money management.
When a creditor reviews your application for a loan or credit card, they’ll check both your credit report and credit score to determine your creditworthiness. Based on that and other financial information, they’ll decide if you qualify for a loan or card. If you do, you’ll receive a higher interest rate if you have poor credit because they think you pose more of a risk of defaulting on your payments if you have a rocky financial past.
New credit tips: Re-establish your credit history if you have had problems: opening new accounts responsibly and paying them off on time will raise your credit score in the long term.
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Collections are complicated because paying them off may actually end up hurting your credit score by resetting the start date from when it was reported. Before taking action on collections, read on to find out how to navigate these murky waters. Like charge-offs, collection accounts may be reported for up to seven years from the date you first fell behind with the original creditor.
Pay Down “Maxed Out” Cards First – If you use multiple credit cards and the amount owed on one or more is close to the credit limit, pay that one off first to bring down your credit utilization rate. Diversify Your Accounts – Your credit mix — mortgage, auto loans, student loans and credit cards — counts for 10% of your credit score. Adding another element to the current mix helps your score, as long as you make on-time payments.