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Maintaining a Good Credit Score

By Sally Maison
Published: Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

You can either go to your bank or go online at the comfort of your own home to check your current standing in regards with your credit score.  Credit score is the analysis of your credit performance.  This can be helpful when you are planning to apply for more credit or if you have any interests in car loans or mortgages.  The usual range of scores is 300-850.  The higher score you have, the more likely those lenders will trust you.  It is easy to earn those scores.  All you have to do is use your credit card and make payments on time.  The difficult thing is to maintain a good credit score.  Here are some tips on how you can keep within a high range of credit scores. 

An estimated 35 percent of your credit score depends on late payments.  When it comes to paying your credit card, you are given 30 days to make the payment.  It is alright to be late but do not go past the 30 days that has been allotted for you.  This will assure you of better deals and lower interests when you apply for credit or loans. 

If you have multiple credit cards, it is recommended that you pay for those cards that are almost reaching their credit limit.  Do not prioritize higher-rated cards if they are not yet close to their limit.  It is also important for you to use your cards as lightly as you can.  If you keep spending, this will reflect on your credit report and may hurt your credit score.  It does not matter if you pay your balances on time and if you have no debts; your credit score will still be affected. 

You can maintain your score or make it higher by monitoring your expenses.  Try limiting it to 30% or less below your credit limit.  You can monitor your spending by using a check register.  You can also login to your account online to check on your transactions and balances.  

You could spend all you want with your credit card, which should be below the credit limit of course.  A great strategy is for you to handle your balances before the statement period closes.  You can base the cut-off date from your previous statements.  A week before that date, check your credit balance and pay whatever you owe.  It may not be enough to raise your credit limit but it is helpful in widening the gap between your credit card’s limit and your balance when statements close.  This will help lift your credit scores to a better level. 

Keep your old credit cards.  Credit-scoring formulas also measure the length of your credit history.  It would be great if you can keep the history of your old cards.  But you must use these cards every now and then to make sure that its history will not be disabled.  Try using these cards for small purchases, just enough to make it active enough to reflect credit history.  In calculating your credit scores, the length of history weighs enough to affect your score.  Credit cards are not hard to deal with; you just have to be careful in keeping your credit score within acceptable range for future transactions.

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