by STAFF WRITER Published April 5, 2009 Credit Unions Online
Your credit rating is one of your most valuable assets. By using credit wisely, you can maintain a high credit rating that will allow you to take advantage of lower interest rates on auto loans, home mortgages, credit cards, or just about any other loan.
Many of these tips you have probably heard before, but here is a good starting list to begin with that should help you maintain your credit rating for the long term and save hundreds or thousands of dollars through lower interest rates in the long run. Follow these simple tips to get yourself on the right track.
Pay all your bills on time - even if it's just the minimum payment.
Pay down your credit cards - keep each of them below 30% of the total limit.
Don't have a lot of credit cards.
When you pay off a card and no longer use it, don't close the account. Having available credit can increase your credit score.
Keep records of everything - new credit card agreements, old statements, and any correspondence with your creditors.
Keep statements that show you've closed an account and have a zero balance.
If you are refused a loan, you're entitled to a free copy of your credit report.
Don't make too many credit requests in a short amount of time. This can have a negative impact on your credit rating.
If you asked for corrections to be made to your credit report, order a new copy to make sure they were made.
Watch out for companies that offer to fix your credit record - you can do it yourself.
These tips, along with basic common sense, should help you maintain your credit score. If you have had issues in the past, these tips will likely lead to a higher credit rating over time. Patience is a must when trying to increase your credit score. Old credit wounds heal slowly, but they do heal. Check your credit report at least once a year to check for improvements to your hard-earned credit worthiness.