Expert Tips To Improve Credit Scores

Good credit history starts with sound financial planning. At Community Partners of South Florida (CPSFL), we refer to a budget as a road map we use to navigate our finances toward a favorable destination with our creditors.  

As we go through our financial journeys, we realize the importance of good credit. Very few of us can buy a car, house, or any large asset with cash, so we all need credit to some extent. If we have no credit history or access to using credit, we may be unable to make large purchases.   

In the 1990s, the financial industry came up with credit scores. It is essential to maintain good to excellent credit scores. A good credit score is between 700-750, and an excellent score is above 750. Credit scores that fall within these ranges mean we may get better loan terms, including lower interest rates, reduced fees, or no fees. 

Many of our scores are not there yet, but that does not mean we can’t access credit to help make a few significant purchases. It does mean we have to be resourceful, do research, and talk to leaders in the industry. 

At CPSFL, we have expert financial coaches, housing advisors, and lenders in the financial and residential mortgage sectors who are ready to help!  

Here are a few of our favorite tips to achieve and maintain good credit: 

  • Create a spending plan. 
  • Maintain accurate bank records. 
  • If you must buy on credit, ensure it is part of your spending plan.  
  • Make all payments for all bills on time, every time.
  • Avoid late fees. These can be the most detrimental to our credit scores as they show poor behavior rather than a lack of resources. 
  • Develop a payment plan to pay off your entire balance monthly. 
  • If you can’t pay off your balance, pick the card with the highest amount and double the minimum payment. Continue to pay off the other cards at a steady rate. 
  • Maintain only one or two mainstream-type credit cards. 
  • Avoid store cards because the interest rates tend to be higher. 
  • Strive to have a credit utilization of 30% on all your credit cards because the percentage of credit used determines your score.
  • Research and stay on top of your bank accounts to avoid late fees.
  • Check all bills regularly to ensure that there are no discrepancies.   
  • Review one credit report annually to check for fraudulent activity. 

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