Posted on: Oct. 05, 2017 in Credit

A low credit score can impact your life in a multitude of ways. From making it harder to rent an apartment, raising your insurance rates, and disqualifying you for a job to making you ineligible for a loan, a low credit score will set you back. Your credit history plays a large part in how your score is developed and every credit agency has a different methodology for calculating the score, but there are some things that are fairly universal.


If your score is low, whether because you haven’t used credit much before or because of a few missteps, it is possible to raise it back up. There are some steps you can take to improve your score. It will take some time, but it’ll be worth it.

  • Never be late with a payment. Late and skipped payments are the biggest killer of credit scores. Your payment history makes up a whopping 35% of your credit score, so it’s important to always be on time. If you do miss a payment, reach out to the lender immediately. Pretending it didn’t happen will only make things worse.
  • Avoid using a credit card for a cash advance. First, the interest rate on this type of transaction is often higher than for regular charges. Second, creditors may consider this to be a risky behavior, leaving them wondering if they should extend additional credit to you.
  • Keep your credit card balances low. Ideally, your balance will not be more than 30% of the total amount of credit available to you. While that may not be possible, keep working toward paying down the amount you owe. As you do so, your score will go up.
  • Attack the smaller balances. If you have several cards with small balances, pay those off first. The more cards you have with balances, even if they’re small, the lower your credit score will be. Fewer balances will make for a cleaner credit report.
  • Don’t close cards you’ve paid off. When you’ve successfully paid down a debt, don’t automatically close the account or attempt to have it removed from your credit report. Keeping evidence of your successes will make you more attractive to possible lenders.

Life isn’t perfect and sometimes you have to make some choices that will hurt you in the long run. But if you know the best choices to make when you can, you can help protect or repair the credit score that is so important.

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