Monitoring your credit report and credit rating is important, especially if you’re considering purchasing a home. Here are five tips for improving your credit. It’s not about quick fixes, but responsible financial activity over time.
1. Get a credit card: OK, this may seem counterintuitive, but let me explain. When used correctly, a credit card can be an effective tool for building credit. Charge a few budget-conscious purchases each month, and pay the balance off before your due date.
2. Keep your balance low: This is the other side of the coin with credit cards. Try to only charge for items you could pay for out-of-pocket, and try to stick to a balance of only 10 percent of your credit limit.
3. Food: If your kitchen is being torn apart, preparing meals becomes a lot more difficult. You may be able to keep your food budget steady by switching to meals that don’t require counter space, the stove, or the oven, but don’t be surprised if you end up dining out more often.
4. Leave paid debts on your report: Paid off debts like car loans show that you have a history of paying your debt on time.
5. Ask! If you’re looking to pay off a debt quickly, it can’t hurt to ask the lender to lower your interest rate. You can’t get what you don’t ask for!
Of course, any concerns about your credit rating or how to improve it should be discussed with your lender or a qualified professional.