Want to close this financial year on a happy note? Ensure your credit health is in check.
Always make sure your finances are in place.
Your taxes? Check.
Your credit score is one of the most important aspects of your financial health. That’s right. Making sure that your credit score is in good standing could be the silver lining in dark clouds. If you are looking for emergency funds, or financing options to buy a car, home or start a small business, it all starts with a winning credit score. So with the year coming to a close, it’s time to ask yourself … How is your credit health?
If you’ve cleared your dues on time, give yourself a pat on the back. This is the most important factor that affects your credit score. Your payment history; i.e., the way you pay your bills, the amount of overdue payments and their severity determines how good your credit score will be. Any notable late payments could lower your credit scores drastically, irrespective of whether you paid off your dues on time for the rest of the accounts or not.
Here’s the deal: Your credit score is based partially on your credit utilisation (percentage of your credit limit you’ve utilised). If you use up more than 30% of your available credit, it may negatively impact your credit score.
In the world of credit, it’s good to be old-fashioned. While it may seem convenient to dispose of an old credit card or two, many people often don’t realise that the opposite is true in terms of your credit score. The older your credit accounts are, the better it is for your credit score.
A mix of credit accounts is generally better for you than a single type. A mix of instalment based (loans) and revolving accounts (credit cards) shows the lender that you are capable of managing various kinds of credit accounts, and this helps your credit score.
Every time you apply for a new loan or credit card, the lender will make a hard inquiry. A hard inquiry is one where the lenders pull your credit report from the bureaus to check your credit score and hence creditworthiness. Too many hard inquiries can hurt your score.
Lastly, checking your credit score and credit report regularly helps you understand your spends and payment behaviour, and can also bring any fake/inaccurate entry to your notice.
You see, maintaining a good credit score isn’t so tough after all. Think of it as a lot like healthy eating. If you’re eating a balanced diet every day, you’ll maintain a good eating regime. If you’re following all the basics when it comes to your finances, such as knowing your monthly budget and paying your bills on time, then your credit score will benefit. And by working towards a good credit score now, you can help secure yourself a happy financial future.
- OneScore , March 30, 2022