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Keys to Building a Great Credit Score

November 4th, 2014

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A great credit score can make your life easier but a poor credit score can make it more difficult for you and your loved ones to enjoy all that life has to offer. Please share this advice with your friends and family.

1. Start Early

One of the keys to a great credit score is having a great credit record over a long period of time. Start building credit while you are young.

2. Start Slow

Don't try to run before you can walk. Start by opening a credit card account. Use the card each month but don't max it out (stay well below the credit limit). Always pay your bill on time and if possible pay more than the minimum payment. Cards with balances that are near their credit limit will hurt your credit score.

3. Stay in Control and Plan for the Future

Showing that you can keep steady employment and make your monthly payments will allow you to get a car loan. Don't buy an expensive car. They depreciate too quickly and you can find yourself owing more than your car is worth very quickly. A car that is too expensive for your budget could also prevent you from buying the home that you want. Keep your car a long time, make your payments on time and be responsible with your money.

4. Get a Home Loan

Making regular monthly house payments on time will improve your credit score more than any other type of credit account; but missing a house payment will also hurt your score more than missing a car or credit card payment (try very hard to never miss a payment).

Before you shop for a home, find out how much you can safely afford. Call me and I'll be glad to give you an idea of how much you can borrow and what your monthly mortgage payment would be. You'll be tempted to buy a big home. Don't overdo it. It's no fun to be house rich and cash poor. Be responsible and make a good decision. Keep monthly payment, resale value, proximity to work, shopping, safety and schools in mind.

5. Don't Close Credit Accounts

This one is hard for most people, but believe me; lenders like seeing that you've had accounts open for a long period of time and that you've always paid on time. It gives them more confidence that you'll keep their account open for a long time and make their payments on time as well.

6. Monitor your Credit Score

Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service from one of the major credit bureaus. They'll notify you of any problems with your credit, and when new accounts are opened in your name, and of any other transactions out of the ordinary. Monitoring services aren't free but they are worth the money, so at a minimum check your credit score each year for free using the government sponsored site: AnnualCreditReport.com.

7. Be Generous to Others; But Don't Co-Sign

Responsible living and great credit will allow you to be generous to others. Be generous as often as you can. Along the way you'll be asked to help someone that is credit challenged by co-signing a loan for them. Think long and hard before you do it. It could kill your great score quickly and prevent you from living life to its fullest.

We hope this information helps you or a friend. If you have any questions please give us a call today. We want to help you, your family and your friends!

If you need any help buying or refinancing a home, please call us today or click here to contact us and discuss your situation.

Thank you for being such a valued friend, client and partner in our success!

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