If you are starting to build your credit score or are looking to improve it, there are many strategies and tools that can help. Follow these tips to improve your score:
Apply for a secured credit card
Secured credit cards are an excellent way to build credit or recover from a rough patch because they are easier to get approved for and guarantee good credit management. You will need to provide your lender with a security deposit equal to your credit limit, and this payment will remain as a backup if you don’t pay your bill. Secured credit cards report your behavior like any other credit card, so consider this a valuable asset.
- Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Card: This is an excellent alternative if you are looking for easy approval, as it does not require a credit check or a minimum credit score. Build your credit with a low fixed 9.99% APR. Once you get approved, you can increase your credit limit to $5,000 by adding further deposits.
Keep your balances low
The best thing to do is to keep your balances low when you are close to your billing date because lenders report to the credit bureaus after this date. Be sure to pay in full before this date or make payments throughout the month to avoid bad marks on your reports (a 30-day late payment stays for seven years). Your credit utilization rate refers to the amount you are using of your available credit. It is advisable to keep this indicator at 30%, but lower is better. This is a good indicator of good credit management and to help you avoid overspending.
Become an authorized user
If you have a friend or family member who has good credit management and a good credit score, ask them to put you on their account as an authorized user. It will put the account on your credit reports, and their credit limit will help you with your utilization. By doing so, you can benefit from their good payment habits. This does not require a credit check.