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The 5 Things You Need To Do For a Great Credit Score

[Monday, December 19th, 2016]

Do you know what your credit score is?

Having good credit is essential for more reasons than you may think. If you want to get the lowest APR on credit cards, not to mention be approved for the very best credit cards, including elite cards, you’ll need to have the very best credit score possible. But you also need good credit in order to be approved for a mortgage or an apartment lease, and maybe even to get a job.

If you don’t know your credit score, the first thing to do is order a copy of your credit report and find out. It will be somewhere between 300 and 850, with anything under about 650 being problematic. You really want to shoot for a credit score somewhere in the 700 range, with 800 being excellent.

So, how to improve your credit score if it’s not quite there? Here are five ways to get a great credit score:

1. Make all your payments on time. This means paying the minimum amount due by the due date, every single month, come hell or high water. If you can’t pay the entire balance, don’t sweat it. But at least make sure that minimum is paid each month.

2. Keep your balances low. Another important thing is to not max out your cards. Make sure you have plenty of available credit. Keep room on your credit cards. Have more credit available than the amount you owe, and you’ll be in good shape.

3. Don’t apply for too much credit. Apply for new cards thoughtfully, one at a time. Too many applications in too short a time is a warning sign for creditors, and can lower your score.

4. Try to utilize a mix of types of credit. Rather than just having credit cards, it looks better if you have a credit card, a mortgage, a car loan, and a business loan – just for example. You don’t have to take out credit you don’t need, but using more than one kind of credit will benefit your score.

5. Keep your accounts open. A longer credit history looks better on your credit report, so never close a line of credit, even if you’re not using it much anymore. Keep those accounts open and active for the best possible credit score.

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