Raising Money for Vulnerable Youth - Contribute Here!

 

Spring is a time for planting seeds, these can be thoughts, habits, or actual physical seeds. You can think of your finances as a garden, a garden that needs to be weeded, have the right soil, water, light and plant diverse species of vegetation. Let’s use the garden analogy to apply it to your credit score. A credit score is a number, usually between 300 and 900, that indicates your creditworthiness. The higher your score, the better chance you have of getting approved for a credit card, loan or mortgage and the rate that you get.

 

Here are 5 steps to growing good credit:
Weeding

 

Debt is like weeds, the weeds can easily take over the garden preventing the plants from growing if the weeds aren’t tended to. Reducing your debt load will have a positive affect on your money garden and your credit score. In general, most lenders are comfortable with your debt-to-credit ratio at about 30%. For example, if you have a $10,000 credit card, carrying 30% on it would be about $3000. If you owe a significant amount, particularly across products, a debt consolidation strategy may help improve your score. Debt consolidation means moving your debt from different lenders into a single, lower-interest product.

 

Diversify the Seeds You Plant

 

Carrying and successfully managing multiple kinds of credit has a positive affect on your credit score. In addition to credit cards, these might include car or personal loans, lines of credit, a mortgage or a student loan. With any loans, make sure you make your payments in full and on time. However, be careful handling too much debt because you may end up finding yourself in a pile of debt which will worsen your credit score over time.

 

Maintain Your Garden Regularly

 

A garden needs regularb watering and weeding. Your credit also needs regular maintenance. Lenders report your payment history to the credit bureaus, which use this information to help determine your credit score. When you pay your bills in full and on time, it’s strong evidence of trustworthiness, so make complete and timely payments a priority. If you can’t pay a bill in full, make at least the minimum payment amount by the due date. Set reminders or automatic payments to help you keep track of due dates.

 

Minimize hits

 

Protecting a garden from the weather might look like bringing plants inside or covering them outside. For your credit score, hits come from lenders pulling your credit report. If you’re seeking a new credit card or other forms of credit, research the product thoroughly before you apply to minimize hits or use a broker so that they can pull it once for multiple products.

 

Review Your Garden Regularly

 

It is recommended to get your report annually, which is free of charge. When you get your reports, review them carefully for errors. Common mistakes include discrepancies in your personal information, incorrect records, expired negative records and accounts that aren’t yours, which could signal identity theft. Report any inaccuracies to the credit bureaus.

 

Conclusion

 

Growing your garden takes time, effort, patience, and perserverence. Remember that a greenhouse does not grow in a day, so don’t expect your credit score to be high immediately. However, if you stay consistent, pay your bills on time, and continue to follow the tips we’ve given you, then you will be well on your way to a high credit score to ensure that you can get one stop closer to your financial goals!

 

 

For more information on how to improve your credit score, visit:
https://www.moneysense.ca/spend/good-habits-that-can-help-you-improve-your-credit-score/