The problem with credit scores is it takes years to build and only days to destroy. A person must pay the bills on time month after month to get a score to a decent level. According to Money Magazine, it usually takes around three years for a credit card to affect your credit rating positively.
There was a time when college students were advised to steer clear of credit card offers. Still, many financial experts recommend that students use credit wisely to position themselves for the future. Having a credit card won’t get your credit scores where you want them to be after graduation. Here are some tips on getting your score moving.
On The Record
According to the credit information website, Consumer Info, credit scores range between 330 and 830. A good score is above 700. So how do you know your score? Get a credit report. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, Credit Karma, Credit Karma Canada provide credit reports. By law, every consumer is eligible to receive one free copy of their credit report per year.
Steps to Improve
Once you know where you stand in the eyes of a lender, you can take steps to move your score upward. But first, you need to make sure there aren’t any mistakes in your report. According to interest rate know-it-all Bankrate.com, about one in four people have an error on their credit report. A mistake can seriously affect your score, so you will want to contact one of the three bureaus and get mistakes corrected.
To increase your score the good old-fashioned way, follow these tips from Consumer Info
- Never spend more than 30 percent of your maximum credit limit.
- Pay all your bills on time. This includes credit cards, utilities, everything.
- Don’t apply for more lines of credit than you need. Lots of inquiries about your record can damage your score.
- Charge small amounts on each of your cards. Using your credit and paying the bills on time builds your history.
The way to build good credit scores is to not spend above your means and regularly purchase on credit. Remember, taking out a credit card and throwing it in the sock drawer will not increase your score.