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A credit score wheel

Emulate the High Credit Score Achievers

February 1, 2017

The Simple Dollar recently laid out 4 behaviors that are common among people who have exceptional credit scores. Whether you’re applying for a mortgage, a loan, an apartment, or something else, it’s a good idea to emulate these behaviors in order to improve or maintain a high credit score.

  1. Never miss a payment. And we mean NEVER. Being pretty good as paying your bills on time is not good enough. Even one late payment can damage your credit score.
  2. Use a small fraction of your overall available credit. Using too large a portion of your available credit can hurt your score. You can achieve this by truly keeping your balance low, or by obtaining a high credit limit. Sometimes credit card companies will grant a credit limit increase if you just ask!
  3. Apply for new credit as infrequently as possible. “Hard” credit inquiries hurt your score, so only apply for lines of credit when you actually need it.
  4. Keep your longest standing credit lines open. Longevity of credit is one of the most important factors in determining your score. If your very first credit card has been open for 20 years but no longer has good cash back or reward points, you should still use it once in a while so as to not allow it to expire or close from lack of use!