A credit score is one of the most important indicators of a person’s financial health. It’s the first thing that is taken into account when lenders want to identify the borrower’s capacity to take out a loan or apply for a credit card. Therefore, it’s very important to maintain a good credit score in the long run, and there are a variety of ways to do so.
What Exactly Is a Credit Score?
A credit score is simply a number that describes and rates the creditworthiness of an individual. It’s one of the most important indicators when someone is applying for a secured loan or a car loan.
A credit score is usually a number of anywhere between 300 and 850. The higher the number, the better the borrower’s reliability will appear to the lender. A credit score is calculated using a multitude of factors, such as the number of open accounts, repayment history, and the total amount of debt.
Factors Affecting the Credit Score
The payment history is the major factor affecting the total credit score. This is because the payment history shows the person’s capacity to pay their due obligations on time. The length of the credit history is also considered when calculating the credit score. Longer credit histories are considered useful in the long run because there is more data backing up the person’s capacity to pay back their due amounts. On the other hand, the type of credit is a category that describes the variety of installment credits the person has taken, such as mortgage loans or car loans.
What Does a Credit Score Tell About the Borrower?
It helps in identifying the current credit status of the individual. Many banks and credit unions provide a credit report that basically lists all the credit transactions. This report can help identify if the individual is spending way too much in certain areas. A good credit score also allows borrowers to get good deals on loans and credit scores. Additionally, a credit score makes clear the person’s ability to repay loans and maintain their financial standing.
Benefits of Maintaining a Good Credit Score
- Low-interest rates
One of the key benefits of having a good credit score is that lenders trust borrowers with a higher credit score. Not only are these individuals eligible for a loan, but they also enjoy low-interest rates. They can also get benefits like discounts on the application processing fee, and if the score is in the “excellent” category, higher loan amounts are a possibility.
- Ability to get better credit cards
Individuals with good credit scores can get more rewarding credit cards. These credit cards may either come with low-interest rates or other benefits like cashback and travel points.
- Eligibility for a higher credit limit
Another key benefit of a good credit score is that individuals with higher scores can receive a higher credit limit on their credit cards. This is because creditors may put more trust in the potential borrowers.
- Ability to receive pre-approved loan offers
Some borrowers may even be eligible to get pre-approved loan offers from banks. These banks may give pre-approved loan offers to their existing customers who have been diligent in paying back their dues on time.
Ways to Improve Credit Score
The first step is to pay back all the due bills on time. This is because payment history makes up the biggest chunk of the calculation when it comes to determining the credit score. Therefore, it’s imperative to pay the bills on time. On the other hand, credit utilization should also be kept low to avoid going above the limit. In case the borrower has a higher credit utilization, the best way to stay under the limit is to get the credit limit increased.
Moving on, it’s also important to keep track of the credit report. It’s worth checking the credit report from time to time because it’s possible that the bank or credit union will make a mistake on the report. Mistakes like a mistyped address can also negatively influence the score, and this can become a reason for the lender to refuse to give a loan or credit.
Therefore, one should stay updated on their credit report from time to time. In case there is a mistake, the credit card provider should be contacted immediately to get the report fixed. There is another benefit to checking the credit card report. It’s possible that some fraudsters gain access to the borrower’s personal details, and they might be taking out credit in the borrower’s name without their knowledge. By checking the credit report regularly, borrowers can ensure that there is no fraudulent activity being conducted under their name and that their account is secured.
Besides this, it’s recommended to have the old accounts open and showcase that the borrower has a long credit history. Instead of shutting down the accounts that are no longer in use, a better alternative is to simply stop using these accounts but keep them open. Many credit scoring models push the score higher if the borrower has mature and long-standing credit accounts. Therefore, having these accounts open regardless of their usage is a remarkable idea to increase the credit score.
The Final Takeaway
A credit score is an important measurement of the borrower’s credit health. Lenders consider the credit score and history of the borrowers as the top priority because it showcases whether the individual has the capacity to repay the loans. The higher the score, the lower the risk, and the more likely a borrower is to be approved for a loan. A good credit score is essential for anyone who wants to borrow money, whether it’s for a car loan, a mortgage, or a personal loan. Therefore, it’s imperative to maintain a good credit score in the long run.