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Improving Your Credit Score 101  

Home Blog Improving Your Credit Score 101  

Improving Your Credit Score 101  

Just by glancing at a single number, lenders can determine how financially responsible you are and decide whether to lend you money or not. Your credit score determines other important things like interest rates as well, which is why it’s so important to make sure your score is good. If you don’t have the greatest credit score, here are some basic ways you can improve it.   


Check Your Credit Score Frequently  

Just like you should be monitoring your checking and savings account balances frequently to make sure you’re on track, you should also take a look at your credit score occasionally. If your score goes down, you might be able to pinpoint the reason and make adjustments as needed.  


Always Pay on Time  

One of the biggest things that affects your credit score is whether you pay your credit card bill on time. Late payments can take a hit to your score, so do everything in your power to make sure that’s not an issue. There’s usually a way to schedule automatic payments so you don’t even have to worry about forgetting to do it yourself.  


Keep Those Old Accounts Open  

If you have credit accounts open that you don’t use, it may seem obvious that you’d close them. Instead, you’re actually more favorable to lenders if you have an older credit age. As always, everyone’s situation is different so speak to a financial advisor if you’re unsure what to do with open and unused accounts.  


Keep Your Credit Utilization Percentage Low  

The general rule of thumb is to aim for 30% credit utilization or less. One way to do this is to pay your balances in full every month or at least keep your outstanding balance at 30% or less of your limit. You could consider asking for a credit limit increase which would help your credit utilization as long as your balance doesn’t increase at the same time.  


Monitor Your Credit Using a Service  

Credit monitoring services are very helpful and lots of them are even free. These services monitor the changes in your credit report over time and can help you figure out how to improve it. One of the best parts about credit monitoring services is that they can help prevent fraud and identity theft by alerting you, for example, when a new account has been opened in your name.  


Now that you know the basics, it’s time to kickstart your journey towards improving your credit score. If you don’t have a credit card yet, we’re here to help with that. Contact Exchange Bank of Northeast Missouri to get started!  


Exchange Bank of Northeast Missouri  

Member FDIC  

Equal Housing Lender 

NMLS #483241