How to boost your credit score: a 101 guide

Improve your credit score

Improve your credit score to have more opportunities

Let’s face it: life is so much better when you have a high credit score. In fact, credit cards with exclusive options, special benefit programs, better interest rates, bigger loans… All of this becomes affordable when you have good credit. However, no one is born with a good score: you have to build it! If you want access to this universe, you are in the right place. Read this article and take a step by step with the main tips to know how to boost your credit score.

Before teaching you how to improve your score, it is important that you understand what a credit score is. In fact, this is part of the whole process.

So, in a simplified way, we can say that the credit score is like a “confidence measure”. Compiling various information (histories, payments, financial behavior…) the credit agencies decide if you are good at paying your bills on time. The more responsible you are in managing your money, the better your score.

Thus, the market “rewards” this responsibility and offers exclusive conditions, as it understands that you will be able to take advantage of them responsibly. Thus, travel discounts, cashback programs, tax exemptions, and higher credit limits become part of your routine.

However, how is this number actually calculated? What criteria does it define as most important?

What is a credit score and how is it calculated?

As we said before, the credit score is a number that summarizes a series of information. In the list below, we will leave a list with the main criteria used to calculate this value. Next to each criterion is a percentage that indicates how decisive that factor is for this calculation.

The higher the value, the more important it is. The calculation itself is complex and done by computer. As it is not our intention to scare you with lengthy math formulas, let’s stick with the list of important factors:

  • Payment history (35%);
  • Use of credit (30%);
  • Extension of credit history (15%);
  • Credit mix (10%);
  • Recent credit applications (10%);
  • Derogatory information.

Derogatory information does not receive a percentage, as it is not a criterion used objectively. However, it is very important information for the total calculation. The final score is a value between 300 and 850. The higher the value, the more benefits you will have access to.

The percentages you saw in the list above are based on the calculation model used by the FICO agency. In fact, there are other agencies on the market that give different importance to these criteria. In addition, to facilitate the interpretation of numbers, there are categories that can range from poor to excellent.

For the FICO agency, the score ranges are:

  • Very poor: 300 to 579;
  • Fair: 580 to 669;
  • Good: 670 to 739;
  • Very good: 740 to 799;
  • Excellent: 800 to 850.

3 tips that will help you boost your credit score fast

Now it’s time to learn how to boost your credit score for real. For this, we have selected below the best tips from experts for those who have this mission. So read each of these topics carefully, but most importantly, put it into practice!

Choose a card that can really help you

If you’re starting from scratch building your credit, you’re going to need special help. That help can be a credit card. In fact, people with bad credit cannot find good card options on the market. However, with good research, you can find excellent options.

We advance that, for this credit score range, it is not common to find cards with reward programs. However, for now, this is not a problem. To improve your credit score, what you really need is a card that reports your payments to the credit bureaus.

In fact, you can find cards with this feature that have very low application requirements. On many blogs, you can even find lists of credit cards from people who want to improve their scores. Access these lists, choose the best option for you, and get to work.

Organize your financial life

Keep in mind that building credit is never a stand-alone job. In fact, it is only possible to achieve higher scores with a really organized financial life. Otherwise, even if you boost your score, you will see your work go down the drain on the first economic difficulty.

Organizing your finances is easier than you might think. For that, you don’t need to study economics or have very deep knowledge about the market. You just need to have access to good advice on how to manage your money and be willing to put it into practice.

You can start learning about financial management for free on the internet. However, make sure you are looking for information from good sources.

Control how much credit you use per month

You already know that using credit offered by credit agencies/banks well is an important factor in your credit score. However, you must ask yourself: how should I use my credit to improve my credit score? Well, experts are practically unanimous on this subject: do not exceed 30% per month.

So if your card offers a $2,000 credit, you should try not to go over $600 a month. But why? After observing customer behavior, banks realized that the more credit is used, the greater the chance of default. So it’s important not to overdo the number of times you use your card.

There’s a lot of other financial advice you need to know. However, for now, these are the ones we consider most important. We hope that you will put them into practice as soon as you close this tab of your browser.

Interesting Related Article: “7 Myths About Your Credit Score You Shouldn’t Believe’