Good credit is a privilege that comes with great responsibility. However, before lenders can give you this type of privilege, they need to first check on your reputation as a borrower.
This is where your credit scores and credit reports come into play. Having excellent credit will allow you to receive better benefits and perks with lower interest rates and higher limits.
But, what if you have low credit scores or some negative marks on your credit reports?
Lenders may still grant your credit request, but it can come with a lower limit and steeper fees. The idea is that the lower the risk you are to a lender, the better benefits you can get.
Here are four of the best ways you can use to start building great credit.
Understand & Lower Your Credit Utilization
This is where a lot of people get hung up. And since it accounts for 30% of your FICO score, it can severely impact their credit health.
Let’s say you have a credit card with a credit limit of $2,000. Instead of paying it off each month, you’ve been carrying a balance of around $1,200.
If we divide that $1,200 by $2,000, we get 60%. If this is your only credit card, this means that you’re already utilizing 60% of your total credit.
To start building better credit, you can try lowering your utilization to under 10%, if possible. For most people, however, keeping it under 30% is more realistic and manageable.
Increase Your Credit Card Limits
Raising your credit limits can have a profound effect on your credit since it will give you more freedom when it comes to its utilization. Increasing your card’s limit can be as easy as calling your credit card provider either through email or phone.
I recommend doing this once every six months. You can keep asking for as long as you want to keep increasing your limits or until your issuer won’t increase your limits any further.
If you have a lot of cards and you’re getting pinged with hard inquiries, then it might be a good idea to space out your requests to avoid having to answer to lots of inquiries in a short amount of time.
Become an Authorized User of a Credit Card
If you’re struggling to build better credit on your own, see if a family member or trusted friend can add you as an authorized user of his or her open credit card. Although you’ll be able to use the account, you need to remember that the primary account holder will still be liable in case you don’t get to pay your debt.
To avoid conflicts, try to negotiate the payment details with the account owner first. If he has a poor standing in his account or if there are any delinquent credit card activities, these data can reflect in your credit reports, too.
Open a Credit Builder Loan
This last option is for those people who have bad credit but are looking for a quick option to start rebuilding their credit health. A typical credit builder loan can cost around $500.
If you get approved, your bank will deposit the money into a savings account. You won’t be able to access this account until you’ve fully paid it back. The bank, however, will report the said deposit to your credit card company to help build a better credit for you.
These four options are reliable and safe to use in building great credit immediately. Aside from these tips, it can also help if you can start understanding your credit and using it responsibly. Always pay your bills on time and keep your balances low. These ideas are very basic, but they can help you build better credit faster.