7 Steps to Getting an 800 Credit Score
Five years ago I had a 650 credit score with a total debt of $4,000. In this blog I’m going to share with you how I turned that all around. I will take you through the steps I took to eliminate my debt and raise my score to an 807.
1. Pay off Credit Card Debt
We will get the hardest task out of the way first. Paying off debt can be difficult and takes discipline and budgeting. What helped me with my budgeting was downloading an app called Personal Capital. Personal Capital keeps track of all of your assets, liabilities and transactions. It breaks down all of your purchases and shows you how much you’re spending on groceries, restaurants etc. Having all of that in front of my eyes really showed me where I could cut back and helped me pay off my debt that much faster. Paying off my debt lowered my utilization and that alone boosted my credit score.
2. Pay Bills on Time
Almost everybody knows that this is the most important rule of having excellent credit. Paying your credit card bills on time and in full. Although I was in debt at one point, my payment history has always been 100%. If you pay your bills on time that will keep your credit score afloat.
3. Don’t Cancel Credit cards
Credit age plays a big factor in a good credit score. If you’re thinking about cancelling, think again. If your credit card company won’t cancel you for inactivity then you can always just cut your card up and throw it away and keep the account open. Or just buy a coffee with it every so often if you don’t plan on using it. But don’t cancel it.
4. Don’t Spend What You Don’t Have
I continue to make 90% of my purchases with my credit card. But I am smart about it. I DO NOT spend what I don’t have. That means if you only have $10 in your bank account, you can only charge $10 to your credit card.
5. Watch Credit Card Utilization
Credit bureaus will punish you just as much for using too much of your credit line as they will if you make a late payment. You want to keep your credit utilization below 10% before your credit card statement date. Not the billing due date. I’m always aware of all my credit card statement dates so I know not to have my credit utilization over that 10% mark by then.
6. Check Credit Score Constantly
During my journey to the 800 credit club I would check my credit score once per week. That helped keep my eye on the prize. Its like someone who is trying to lose weight hopping on the scale on a weekly basis. A good site to check your credit score for free is creditkarma.com
7. Raising Your Line of Credit
I know this could be intimidating. And it’s not a total must. But having a higher line of credit helped keep my utilization down. In my case, I just signed up for more credit cards. In a year span I signed up for 6 credit cards, raising my total credit line to $75,000. I did it for the rewards also. But that’s a whole different blog topic. Although each hard inquiry dropped my credit score a couple points, taking on more credit and paying each card off on time catapulted me higher. These cards will also carry a lot of weight in the future in terms of helping my credit age.
These steps helped me immensely to raise my credit score. Having zero debt, paying bills off on time, not spending what you don’t have, constantly keeping track of your score. It all takes discipline and responsibility. If you want to buy a new home, a new car, cheaper car insurance, take out a loan, having excellent credit will make all of that so much easier for you.