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Credit cards, used properly, can be a great way to improve your credit history and boost your credit score. There are many ways to responsibly use credit cards to improve your score, including secured credit cards. Best of all, you won’t need to incur debt or make expensive purchases.
How Using a Credit Card Can Raise Your Score
Let;s take a look at how responsibly using your credit card can help improve your credit profile.
Responsible Credit Utilization
The easiest way to use credit cards to raise your credit score is to make small purchases each month. This will keep your accounts active and reflect positively on your credit report.
The purchases can be anything, from filling your tank once a month to buying groceries. The important thing is to make sure you pay the balance each month, never carrying a balance.
Your credit report will reflect a credit limit that’s not highly utilized with accounts that are active and used.
Show a Strong Payment History
Another way you can improve your credit score with your credit cards is the obvious: pay your bills on time.
Your payment history makes up about 35% of your credit score, meaning that a missed payment can have a serious affect on your score.
This is the easiest way to make your credit cards help you, although it can take a bit of time to see an improvement in your score. Generally, six months of on-time payments will go a long way in helping you improve your score.
Increased Credit Limits
Increasing your credit limit on your existing cards is another important, and often easy way to increase your credit score.
Call up your credit card companies and request a credit increase.
If you’ve been making payments on time, don’t carry a balance, and have been a long-time customer your request should be granted. A higher credit limit will up your overall available credit, giving you a boost to your credit score.
Restoring Credit with Secured Cards
Lastly, if your credit is hurt by missed payments in the past, consider a secured credit card.
There are many benefits to secured credit cards. They’re easier to get than unsecured credit cards, are great for people with poor credit, and the money you deposit into your account as collateral earns interest.
Secured credit cards also give a very quick boost to your credit score if you make sure to choose one that reports to all major bureaus.
One of the main reasons people get secured credit cards is to improve their credit history and establish a period of on-time payments. Secured cards also give you the ability to decide your own credit limit based on the amount of money you deposit, letting you potentially increase your overall available credit limit by thousands.
Credit cards are one of the most efficient and easy ways to improve your credit score. Although it may take time for your score to show improvement, stick to responsible credit usage and you’ll soon qualify for low interest rates and the best loans out there.