iQuanti: Good credit is essential for anyone looking to make large purchases or take out loans. A good credit score can help you qualify for the best rates and terms on loans and credit cards and can save you money in the long run. Otherwise, low credit scores might impact your ability to get favorable interest rates—or to even get a personal loan at all. Here are a few key things you can do to build up your credit.
Get a secured credit card
A secured credit card is a type of credit card that requires you to put down a deposit when you open the account. This deposit usually acts as the credit limit for your card. It may also serve as collateral if necessary, by covering as much of the unpaid balance as possible.
Make on-time payments for all your bills
Your payment history is one of the most important factors in your credit score, so it's important to make sure you always pay your bills on time. Depending on your lender, you may be able to set up automatic payments for some of your bills. It's easy to forget when bills are due, so setting up automatic payments can help you make all your payments on time, keeping your credit card balances and interest payments low.
Keep your credit utilization ratio low
Your credit utilization ratio is how much of your credit card balance(s) you've used compared to your total credit limit. For example, if you have a single credit card with a $1,000 credit limit and a $500 balance on it, your credit utilization ratio is 50%. By paying down the balance and keeping it near $0, lenders will start to see how responsible a credit user you are.
Don't apply for too many new financial services at once
Every time you apply for a new credit card or loan, your credit score takes a small hit. This is because lenders see multiple applications as a sign of financial instability. So, if you're looking to build your credit, it's best to space out your applications rather than applying for several at once. Instead, make sure you can manage minimum interest payments on a credit card or personal loan before applying for a new one.
Monitor your credit score
Checking your credit score regularly will help you understand what actions impact your credit score. You will also be able to track your progress and catch any errors or discrepancies on your credit report.
You can get free copies of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—once a year. You can also check your credit score for free on websites like CreditKarma.com or CreditSesame.com.
Consider a cosigner if you need help getting approved for a loan or line of credit
If you have trouble getting approved for a personal loan or line of credit, you may want to consider finding a cosigner. A cosigner is someone who agrees to take on the responsibility of repaying the debt if you can't.
This can be a good option if you have bad credit or no credit history, as your cosigner's good credit should help you secure a loan. Be aware, though, that if you default on the loan, your cosigner will be on the hook for your payments due. Always make sure you can afford the payments before you agree to take out a loan.
Building credit takes time and patience, but it's well worth the effort. By following these tips, you can improve your credit score and get access to better interest rates or limits.
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Original Source: 6 Ways to Build Credit