If you’ve ever wanted to buy something that you weren’t going to pay upfront and needed another institution to trust that you would make good on their ability to pay the full cost for you, you most certainly have had a run in with your credit score. It makes sense that you know how to boost your Credit Score when the time comes for you to need it.

WHAT’S YOUR CREDIT SCORE?

Your credit score is a measure used by credit providers to determine whether you are high or low risk, when applying for new credit agreements like a home loan, car finance or a store account. This credit score can be seen as a record of your pattern of debt behaviour over the past few years. And, your past behaviour is used as a measure of what your future behaviour is likely to be around debt.

You can use platforms such as ClearScore to find out your credit score.

WHY IS A GOOD CREDIT SCORE IMPORTANT?

The goal is to have a higher rather than lower credit score. This demonstrates that you are a trustworthy borrower. And as with anything in life, there are ways we can improve in this area too. As you begin to navigate life, you’ll realise why a low credit score could be holding you back as it impacts:

  • Being approved for a home loan and the interest rate the bank will offer you
  • Car finance and its interest rate
  • Short-term insurance policies (eg: car insurance)
  • Career opportunities – yes, even future employers are interested in your credit score!

Your credit score largely tracks your behaviour with debt in the past. This gives institutions an indication of how likely you are to manage your debt well going forward. Past missed payments or making payments which are less than the minimum required will count against you. 

HACK: Demonstrate payment behavior with low risk. Take out a store account and use it to make purchases that you are able to pay back fully within a month or two. For smaller purchases, you can even purchase an item on credit and immediately settle the outstanding balance. The idea here is to demonstrate your ability to incur and settle the debt.

Having accounts open and in good standing for periods of longer than 12 months will have a positive effect on your credit score.

HACK: Check which credit accounts you have open. Ensure you are on track with their payments. If you do not have any accounts open, a store account is one of the easiest. It may even help you for it to be a store you’re barely interested in. This may help reduce the temptation to buy above what you can realistically afford. And if you do not have any accounts open, consider a store account or credit card.

PS… DON’T FORGET! You are always in control of your credit limit. When applying for a new store account or credit card, you do not have to accept the full credit limit offered to you. Reduce the limit, reduce the temptation!

Once you have used more than 50% of your credit limit or more than 50% of the credit available, it starts to count against you for the purposes of your credit score. 

On the other hand, when settling a big debt such as car financing or a bond, your credit score can decrease temporarily as your total debt exposure is now smaller.

Making a number of queries for loans or financing over a short period of time gives credit providers the indication that your financial situation is possibly troubled. This makes them a lot less likely to offer you any further credit, therefore a significant number of queries will decrease your credit score.

There is a favourable effect on your credit score when having more than one type of debt. For example, many people would have only a retail store account but won’t really see their credit score improving. In this instance, credit mix refers to having a retail store account and a credit card, or car financing with the above.

THAT’S WHERE I CAN HELP YOU

I’ve put together a two session coaching experience geared at giving you one-on-one attention as we tackle the top of credit scores and debt together. 

You will walk away having a firm grip on your current debt and credit score situation and personalised tips to better your money situation. 

Ready to partner up and get your debt and credit score where they need to be?

DISCLAIMER: Remember, these are general strategies and your individual circumstances should always be taken into account when it comes to personal finances and debt. The Wealth Coach is not a registered Financial Service Provider (FSP) and any information contained herein does not constitute and should not be seen as advice. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *