Tips for Maintaining a Good Credit Score


Tips for Maintaining a Good Credit Score

Improving your credit score is important when shopping for a home, a credit score is a key component for financing eligibility and approval. Here are some helpful tips for maintaining or obtaining a good credit score.

What to do with Existing Debt

  • Pay rent by check and keep copies of your cancelled
    • checks: obtain copies of previous months (will need a 12-24 month history)
  • Pay all bills indicated on credit report either on time or early if possible
  • If possible, DO NOT close accounts over 24 months old:
    • Well-seasoned accounts kept open, active and always paid on time really help bring your score up!
  • Pay down the balance to below half of the max allowable limit to raise your score. When revolving account balances rise to more than half of your maximum allowable limit, the Credit Bureau considers the account to be “maxed out” and your score is lowered. Ironically, instead of paying off the balance, carrying a nominal balance such as $15 may increase your score.

Best Practices:

  • Set aside as much money as possible in a savings or checking account or a short-term Certificate of Deposit.
  • If you must switch jobs during this period, stay in the same line of work, if possible, until you have finalized the purchase of a new home.

Possible New Credit Options:

  • Establish additional lines of credit by either:
    • Opening a new credit card account: keep the balance low, just enough to make regular monthly payments to establish a good payment history; OR
    • Finding a local credit union that will issue you a small personal loan as another way to establish a good payment history; OR
    • Opening up an account with a local merchant or vendor, such as Amazon or Home Depot, and use same guidelines as with a new credit card.

Fico Score Breakdown:

Moving forward, it’s important and helpful to keep in mind the components of your credit score: