3 Top Ways To Improve Your Credit Score For Fast Loan Approval
A credit score is a three-digit number ranging from 300 to 800. It helps lenders determine the likelihood of an applicant repaying their loan in full and on time. Those with a lower credit score pose a greater risk and thus receive higher interest rates than those borrowers with higher scores.
Keep reading for a closer look at what components make up an individual's credit score, as well as some basic steps consumers can take to improve their creditworthiness.
How Your Credit Score Is Calculated
The exact algorithm credit bureaus use to calculate a person's credit score is not public. That said, we do know what factors are calculated and their relative degree of importance.
- Payment History: Payment history makes up roughly 35% of one’s credit score. The primary factor considered here is how often an individual makes at least their minimum payment by the listed date. Too many missed or late payments can have major negative effects on one’s credit score.
- Total Debt Owed: If a person is carrying a debt load close to or at their credit limit, it is a sign that they do not use credit responsibly. A borrower’s debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is also considered - how much of one’s monthly income goes to servicing their debt. If their DTI is too high, it may mean they do not have the financial resources to take on more debt.
- Length Of Credit History: Having credit-based accounts open for long periods is a plus for a consumer’s credit score. It shows lenders that the individual is responsible enough to maintain an open account for several years. This accounts for around 15% of the credit score.
- Debt Type: The type of debt balances borrowers have outstanding matters to lenders. Debt, such as low-interest mortgages and lines of credit, are looked upon more favorably than high-interest consumer debt. The type of debt category constitutes 10% of consumer credit scores.
- Newly Opened Accounts: Lenders do not like to see applicants who have several newly opened credit accounts. It can mean they are experiencing financial hardship and require access to capital. Like debt type, this accounts for 10% of an individual's credit score.
Now that we know how a person's credit score is determined, read on to uncover the best ways to raise a credit score.
Pay Bills In A Timely Fashion
Since payment history makes up the largest single portion of one’s credit score, it would follow that the first step to improving a credit score is to make payments on time. Just a couple of late or missed payments can have a significant impact.
Keeping up with at least the minimum payment is crucial, and many people set up recurring payments through online banking platforms to ensure this happens. Improving payment history will have the single largest impact on a credit score.
Do Not Open Too Many New Accounts
When a person finds themself going through some form of economic hardship, they are likely to take on more debt. Lenders are aware of this, and for this reason, are skeptical about people who have opened multiple new credit accounts within a short period.
For those who find they need more access to credit, applying for a credit limit increase is a better option. Not only will it supply them with access to funds, but it is also likely to decrease their credit utilization ratio, leading to an improved credit score.
Check Your Credit Reports And Dispute Errors Or Irregularities
All credit reports are generated from one of the three major credit bureaus - TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. While the credit reports provided by these organizations are generally quite accurate, errors do sometimes occur.
For instance, a borrower may have paid off an outstanding account that the lender forgot to report to the credit bureaus. Having this delinquent account shown as unpaid on one’s credit report can drag down the score, even if the account was repaid in full.
A good credit score can take years to build up, and just a few missed payments to destroy. It is hard to plan for situations that may require access to credit, whether for emergency purposes, business ventures, medical expenses, or a mortgage. Having a poor credit score can result in a loan with high-interest rates or application rejection. In severe cases, it may bar someone from accessing unsecured debt altogether, requiring them to pledge an asset to secure a loan or line of credit.
One of the most common reasons for seeking out increased access to credit is to pay medical expenses. Those with good credit will be able to take advantage of the best online medical loans available, whereas those with weaker scores may not be approved at all. Because it is hard to predict when a medical emergency will arise, it is always important to maintain a good credit score to improve access to affordable financing.