Tips to boost your credit score

Credit Cards and Money
Credit Cards and Money(MGN)
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 10:16 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Your credit score can decide where you live, what you buy and how much you buy it for. Many Americans struggle to afford daily expenses and, as a result, credit card balances have jumped 15% over last year. Holding high balances can hurt your credit score. While it’s difficult for many people to pay down their debt in a time of high inflation, you can still increase your credit score.

- Check your credit report to make sure there’s nothing on there that you’re not aware of, like fraud or an old debt. It will also make you aware of what exactly your debts are so you can make a plan to manage them.

- If you have a high balance on your credit card, you could try to take advantage of a 0% balance transfer offer to a new card. Length of card history will positively impact your credit score so consider keeping your old card open. A lower interest rate on the new card can make paying your balance down a little easier.

- If you rent or have utility bills, you can have them added to your credit report; that includes your streaming services, cell phone bill and more. Experian has an option called Experian Boost that uses this method to raise your credit score an average of 12 to 19 points. Reach out to a credit bureau to have your bill captured.

- Try to get a better utilization rate. The utilization rate is how much of your credit card limit you’re using. The ideal utilization rate is 30% (i.e. $300 on a $1000 credit limit). Try to pay your balance down to that amount or ask for a credit increase.

Also, be aware of the following changes to credit reporting:

- The three credit rating agencies are now wiping paid medical debit off credit reports.

- If you have unpaid debt, they’ll now wait a year before adding it to your report to give you more time to pay it off.

- Equifax, Experian and Transunion will also remove medical collection debt under $500 from credit reports.

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