Seven Tips for Improving and Maintaining Your Credit Score

Headquartered in Valencia, California, Think Credit Reports is an online provider of credit scores and reports. Think Credit Reports offers its members detailed reports and scores from all three major credit bureaus on a monthly basis, with unlimited access to reports and daily credit monitoring and alerts. Credit scores indicate an individual’s creditworthiness to banks, landlords, insurance companies, and lenders. In order to maintain good credit standing and improve lower scores, review the following tips.

1. Be sure to pay bills and balances before payment due dates. When making payments, always at least pay the minimum, but try to pay balances in full at the end of each month.

2. Make use of bank services such as payment reminders and automatic payments in order to remain current.

3. If unexpected charges put you close to your credit limit, split up payments to avoid negative marks on your credit report. Make one payment before the statement closing date to reduce the balance seen by credit bureaus, and pay the remaining balance before its due date.

4. Rather than charging different credit cards for different purchases, select one or two cards for everyday use. Balances across multiple cards can hurt your score.

5. Keep unused accounts open. Canceling a credit card causes a decrease in available credit. Keep accounts open and consider using an unused card for reoccurring charges, such as a utility bill, to keep the card active.

6. Maintain low usage rates. A significant factor in credit scores involves your revolving credit versus your usage rate. Aim for a small percentage, between 10 percent and 30 percent of your total revolving credit, and keep balances low.

7. Establish an emergency fund. A 15 percent cushion of available credit or a savings fund of three to six months of living expenses can lower the amount you may need to borrow in the case of a dire situation, such as losing your job.

Reasons for Maintaining Solid Credit

Think Credit Reports offers consumers credit data reports from all three major credit bureaus. For more than five years, Think Credit Reports has also provided users with quarterly credit score refreshers for no additional charge.

There are a number of reasons indiduals should stay up-to-date on their credit score, as a poor score can cause a number of issues. Buying a house or car are two of the major purchases that require good credit. In both instances, consumers will likely be signed up for a payment plan that will last many years or even decades. A solid credit score indicates that an individual has a history of making timely payments. Starting a personal business is another example of when a reliable credit score can come in handy, as a variety of loans may need to be taken out in order to launch a start-up. Investors may even be interested in a young entrepreneur’s credit score before bankrolling a new project. Lastly, a good credit score can land an individual lower interest rates when seeking any type of financial assistance.

The Diverse Factors That Determine Credit Scores

Think Credit Reports is a Valencia, California, firm that offers customers nationwide tools for accessing their current credit reports and protecting against identity theft. Think Credit Reports customers receive Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian scores each quarter and are notified automatically each time a major transaction, such as a mortgage or auto loan payment, is processed.

The credit score acts as a widely accepted measurement of individuals’ financial solvency and how likely they are to make good on debt obligations. In addition to being accessed by lenders prior to approving loans at specific interest rates, reports are also increasingly checked by employers and landlords prior to making decisions about hiring or renting to applicants.

As a general rule, anyone maintaining a credit score exceeding 720 has excellent credit and will likely be able to access loans at optimal rates. People with scores lower than 620 may experience difficulty in taking out loans and will incur high interest rates on those that they do qualify for.

The factors that make up the credit score are complex and varied, but as a general rule, 35 percent has to do with simply staying current on bills. Outstanding balances make up 30 percent of the score and have to do with the balance-to-limit ratio on credit cards. Account age defines 15 percent of the score, while the makeup of available credit affects 10 percent of the score. Other factors, such as the number of credit inquiries, also influence the ultimate score received.

Ways to Improve a Credit Score

Think Credit Reports is a credit data provider operating for more than 5 years in Valencia, California. The company, which can provide data from the three major credit bureaus, offers a range of services, including free quarterly updates for premium account holders. While it is important to obtain data from providers like Think Credit Reports, it is also important to take action to maintain a score when it falls to a low number. The following are some ways to improve a low credit score.

Pay attention to credit card spending, and keep balances low. Using a range within about 10% or lower for the limit for the card is suggested. Furthermore, even if a person pays off a card each month, the lower the spending amounts, the better the rating.

-Do not stretch usage across several different cards. When a person owes varying small amounts on a number of cards, it can reflect poorly in a credit report. It is best to use only a couple different cards for most spending purposes.

-Do not try to revoke good debt from the past. Good debt refers to outstanding balances that have been paid and taken care of, meaning that old debts can actually contribute to a better score. It is inadvisable to strike a debt from the record just because it has already been paid off.

-Do not avoid paying off simple bills and debts in favor of saving money for a large purchase, like a home. Rather than sitting on a large sum of money, it is better to spend time paying off debts and regularly making payments on time for an extended period so that any prospective deals on a large purchase are not negated due to bad credit.

These are just several of many methods of improving credit scores. Visit www.thinkcreditreports.com for more information.