Is one of your goals for the new year to raise your credit score? It’s important to have a healthy credit score so you can do things like get a loan or rent an apartment. Your credit score is like a financial report card and indicates how reliable you are with managing your money. If your credit score is lower than you’d like, there are definitely things you can do to improve it. Give it some time and some good strategic financial practices, and you’ll be sporting a credit score you can be proud of!

1. Keep Your Credit Card Balance Low

Most credit cards have a maximum amount of balance you are allowed to have at one time before paying it off. Keeping your balance significantly below your credit limit has a serious impact on your credit score–in a good way. You can achieve this with little effort by paying your credit card bill multiple times a month to keep that balance number down.

2. Pay Your Credit Card Bill on Time

It probably goes without saying, but being late on your credit card bill will put a hit on your credit score. You want to show your credit card company that you are financially responsible, and the best way to do that is to pay your credit card bills on time. Otherwise, you won’t be seen as a reliable person to lend money to the next time you, say, ask the bank for a loan.

3. Open a New Credit Card

Having more than one way to prove yourself to your credit card company definitely adds to their faith in you, raising your credit score. If you only have one credit card, consider opening another so you have more than one way to build credit. Only choose this option if you feel you can handle managing more than one credit card, however. If this choice will end up tripping you up into forgetting to make payments, it’s not the right strategy for you!

4. Automate Your Payments

Sometimes, the issue isn’t having enough money to pay off bills but actually remembering to do so. If you constantly forget to make your payments on time, it can be extremely beneficial to automate your payments. This means money will automatically be taken out of your bank account to pay off your credit card bill. You can schedule these payments to happen as frequently as you prefer, and they ensure you will pay your bills on time. You just need to make sure you always have enough money in the bank!

5. Increase Your Credit Limit

Because we now know that keeping your balance lower than your credit limit helps raise your credit score, raising that credit limit gives you the opportunity to keep your balance even lower! If your balance number stays relatively the same but your credit limit increases, the percentage below your credit limit lowers and your credit score will see the benefits.

No matter what your credit score is today, the experts at DeSantis, Kiefer, Shall, & Sarcone can help you raise your credit score and get it to a place where you feel comfortable. The strategies listed above as well as others are all tools in our toolbox to help us create a customized plan for your needs and goals.