Your credit score is an important number to know and to keep track of. A good credit score is something each of us aspires to have. It is an important factor when it comes to borrowing money. However, trying to pinpoint a specific number to consider “good” can be tricky. There are a lot of different variables that lenders consider when trying to decide if they should grant you a loan or not. On average, most credit scores operate within the range of 300 to 850. Within the range, there are different categories from bad to excellent:
Excellent Credit: 750+
Good Credit: 700-749
Fair Credit: 650-699
Poor Credit: 600-649
Bad Credit: below 600
These ranges are not set in stone. Lenders can vary with what they look for. But if you want to improve your credit score, you need to be aware of these four things that could be harming your score significantly.
- Paying bills late
Paying bills late is one of the main actions that will lower your credit score. It will be a red flag to lenders who might be considering loaning you money. Late payments are reported to the credit bureaus, therefore, reducing your credit score. This can lead to denial of credit or can lead to higher interest rates to borrow money.
- Utilizing too much of your available credit
Credit utilization is the ratio of your credit card balance to your available credit limit. If you have several credit cards that are maxed out, this is also another warning to lenders. Experts say that you should use approximately 10-20% of your credit limit or less for an optimal score.
- Requesting new cards
The age of your credit can also impact your credit score. About 15% of your credit score can be impacted by the age of your oldest credit card account and the average age of all your credit card accounts. Your credit score may also be lowered if you open new credit cards and an inquiry is placed on your credit report.
Property repossessions can remain on your credit report for seven years from the date of the delinquency of the original loan. Even though you may make other choices in order to offset the repossessions, it will still ultimately lower your credit score.
Credit scores are important when making financial decisions. However, if you have come to the point of filing for bankruptcy or are considering it, contact me to schedule a consultation to learn more about the bankruptcy process.