How does your credit report look? Did you know that most people do not even check theirs? Failing to stay on top of your credit can result in you paying more interest or being denied for loans. Here are some tips to help you maintain your score so you can borrow when you need to without being penalized.
Only Paying the Minimum Payment
If you are only paying the minimum payment, you are not helping yourself. Not only because this barely helps pay down your existing balance, but also because it shows up on your credit report. Even one dollar above the minimum payment can help you gain more points for each payment that you make, and can help you get your balance paid down quicker, too, explains Nerd Wallet.
Borrowing Too Much
Lenders will carefully review your credit report to determine your creditworthiness. If they find that you are borrowing too much or have overextended yourself financially, they will decline you for new loans, advises Money Talks News. The experts say that you want to keep your credit card utilization below 40% on any given card, preferable beneath 30% if possible.
One of the worst things that you can do with your credit is make late payments. These negatively impact your credit score and present a higher risk factor to banks. Even payments that are just 15 days late can sometimes show up, says CreditCards.com. So make sure you are on top of your bills and that they are all paid in a timely manner.
A lot of people want to help a friend or relative by cosigning. But this means that you are putting your credit on the line too. Also, it means that their debt counts as yours because you are responsible for it if they default. It can be so risky in fact, that Bank Rate lists the top 10 reasons why you should never cosign ever, for anyone.
Too Many Inquiries
You want to minimize how often lenders pull your credit. If not, you could be risking losing points because you may appear to be desperate to get credit, says MyFico. Rather, limit inquiries to only when you need them. They stay on your credit report for two years and can affect your credit score for a full year.