Boosting Your Credit Score Can Save You Money

Whether you know it or not, your first impression to a potential
lender is your credit score, which can not only decide your approval fate, but
also, if approved, what your rate and terms are.  For many, credit score is not something that is
often thought about, unless you fill out an application and then have to answer
to your credit report.  By staying on top
of not only your credit score, but your credit report as well, you can actually
save money in the long run by securing better interest rates and paying less in
interest every month.  Think about a
mortgage of $300,000 at 5% paying around $1,610 approved with a lower credit
score, while at 4% paying $1,432 at the best available rate with a high credit
score, a difference of $178 every month. 
That added up over the course of a year is over $2,100, while over the entire
thirty-year mortgage, over $64,000!  That
alone should be the reason to keep your score as high as it can, since you have
to borrow anyways, might as well take advantage of the best interest rates on
the market.

Keep Your Eye Out

We hear about so much fraud these days, whether it’s someone
taking a peek at your card at the gas pump or leaving it out too long when
paying a bar tab, you just never who could have your information at their
disposal.  Even retailers aren’t safe
anymore, as hackers will get in and have customer’s information breached,
opening up for potentially getting social security numbers and account
information to use against you by opening up new accounts.  Since the credit bureaus offer a free copy of
your credit report to view once a year, it’s a good idea to pull every year and
look through to make sure that every account and information is accurate.  Beyond that though, in order to view your
score, you can take a look on your credit card statements, as it will be listed,
so you can see month over month to make sure your score is trending in the
right direction, and if you see a dip, you can begin to investigate.  Just keep in mind that it can take a month or
two for the score or report to update, if you think there is information/payments

Avoid Carrying Over a

This is where credit card debt can be easy to fall
into.  Sure, you can charge all you want
throughout the month with virtually no stopping you, but it’s when the bill
comes is when you have to figure out how to pay it off, after the shock has
wore off.  By carrying over a balance to
next month and the following months, you begin to be charged interest, which depending
on the balance, can add up quickly with the typically high APR% on credit
cards.  It’s not bad to charge throughout
the month, especially when it comes to the rewards that can add up by making
the purchases that you would normally be making anyways, but if you’re unable
to payoff the balance, it’s just asking for a path down the quicksand of debt.

Leave Accounts Open

If you have had a history of credit card debt problems, it may
be the best feeling in the world to finally have that balance paid off, so much
that your first reaction will be to close the account so you never travel down
that road again, but that can actually hurt your credit score.  Since your credit utilization is such a high factor
in determining your credit score, closing an account will take away all of that
available credit, and if you have balances on other cards, your utilization now
goes up and your score goes down.  If you
can keep your account open but even cut up the card so you don’t use, that zero
balance and available credit will help your score over time.

Don’t forget to Pay On-Time

Sure, even missing a day will not hurt your credit score,
but it will cost you a late fee or even a spike in interest rate, but it’s when
you get past a month late is when it shows up on your credit report and can
even stay there for just under a decade at seven years, whether it was a
mistake or not.  If you are having
trouble trying to keep track of all of your payments, you can always schedule
in advance on the due date so you at least have a backup if you forget to schedule
around your paychecks.

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