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.