Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

Tips to Improve Your Credit Score
Published on May 24, 2024

Are you looking to improve your financial standing and access better borrowing opportunities? Your credit score is pivotal in determining your eligibility for loans, credit cards, and favourable interest rates. Fortunately, there are practical steps you can take to enhance your credit score and strengthen your financial health. Here are seven valuable tips to help you improve your credit score:

Know Your Credit Report Inside Out

Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report from major credit bureaus such as Equifax and TransUnion. Review it thoroughly to ensure all the information is accurate and current. Look for errors or discrepancies, such as incorrect account details or fraudulent activity. Disputing and rectifying these errors can positively impact your credit score.

Pay Your Bills on Time, Every Time

Payment history is one of the most significant factors influencing your credit score. Consistently making timely payments on your credit cards, loans, and utility bills demonstrates your reliability as a borrower. Set up automatic payments or reminders to ensure you get all the due dates. A single late payment can harm your credit score, so prioritize prompt payments.

Reduce Credit Card Balances

High credit card balances relative to your credit limits can negatively affect your credit score. Aim to keep your credit utilization ratio—the amount of credit you’re using compared to your total available credit—below 30%. Paying down your credit card balances can help lower your utilization ratio and improve your credit score. Focus on paying off high-interest debt first to save money on interest payments while reducing your overall debt load.

Avoid Opening Too Many New Accounts

While it may be tempting to open new credit accounts, doing so can harm your credit score, especially if you apply for multiple accounts within a short period. Each new credit inquiry generates a “hard inquiry” on your credit report, which can lower your score slightly. Additionally, opening several new accounts in a short time-frame may signal to lenders that you’re experiencing financial strain or are at risk of overextending yourself financially. Instead, focus on managing your existing accounts responsibly and only apply for new credit when necessary.

Diversify Your Credit Mix

Lenders like to see a mix of different types of credit accounts on your credit report, such as credit cards, installment loans (e.g., auto loans or mortgages), and retail accounts. A diverse credit mix demonstrates your ability to manage various types of credit responsibly. If you primarily have credit card debt, diversify your credit portfolio by taking out an installment loan or opening a retail account. However, only take on new credit accounts if you can manage them responsibly and without accruing excessive debt.

Keep Old Accounts Open

The length of your credit history also plays a role in determining your credit score. Closing old accounts, especially those with a long history of on-time payments, can shorten your credit history and potentially lower your score. Even if you no longer use a particular credit card or account, consider keeping it open to maintain a more extended credit history, which can positively impact your credit score.

Regularly Monitor to Improve Your Credit Score

Stay proactive about regularly monitoring your credit score and credit report. Many credit card issuers and financial institutions offer free credit monitoring services that allow you to track changes to your credit score and receive alerts about suspicious activity. By staying informed about your credit status, you can quickly identify any issues or discrepancies and take appropriate action to address them.

Improving your credit score requires patience, discipline, and responsible financial habits. By following these tips and committing to managing your finances wisely, you can steadily raise your credit score and pave the way for a brighter economic future.

Pre-approvals for a mortgage are subject to continued good credit and are usually good for 60, 90 or 120 days depending on the lender. Building good credit takes time, but the long-term benefits are worth the effort if your plans are to purchase a home.

Written by:

Royal LePage Locations North
330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4 (705) 445-5520

Let us put you in touch with a Real Estate Agent you can trust!

Have questions about buying real estate and don't know where to begin? Contact one of our agents today.

    Please Note: Information you supply in the contact form will be kept fully confidential.