Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
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March 8, 2024

Four Good Credit Habits to Improve Your Credit Score

Credit scores are on the rise nationally, with the average FICO® Score reaching 715 at the end of 2023 — up from 703 in 2019.1 If you’re looking to improve your credit score, work on developing good credit habits that will have a long-term positive effect on your finances. Not only does boosting your credit score feel like a personal win, but it also helps you get better interest rates on new credit, saving you money over time. Let’s talk about four good credit habits.

1. Pay bills on time.

A consistent payment history is the most important factor in your credit score. We recognize that this can be easier said than done, but there are ways to make debt easier to manage. Here are a few tips to help maintain a good payment history:

  • Request new due dates. Are some due dates difficult to meet based on where they fall in the month? Find out if your creditor will change your due date to better align with your paychecks and other bills.
  • Consolidate balances. If you’re struggling with multiple credit cards, consider consolidating balances into one monthly payment, especially if you can get a lower interest rate. This will make payments more manageable and help reduce compounding interest. Learn more.
  • Automate payments. Try using automatic payment options to avoid missing payment deadlines whenever you can. Grow members can automate payments using Bill Pay in Grow Online and Mobile Banking.2
  • Contact creditors to ask for assistance. When in doubt, try getting in touch with your creditors before you miss a payment. They may be able to work with you to restructure your payments, rearrange the due date, offer a grace period or provide other options.

2. Review your credit reports often.

Monitoring your credit will help you catch fraud and errors quickly. You’re legally entitled to a free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus, so take advantage. If you notice any errors, dispute them promptly with the credit bureaus. The official way to obtain your credit report is through

3. Keep credit utilization under control.

Your credit utilization compares what you owe with your total available credit. Experts recommend keeping your credit utilization below 30% for the best impact on your credit score because it shows lenders that you’re effectively managing your debt levels. For example, if your credit limit is $5,000, try to keep your balance under $1,500.

4. Be patient and consistent.

Focusing on improving your credit score can feel tedious, but consistency pays off. Making payments on time for even six months can notch your score up. Plus, past mistakes, like late payments, do eventually fade away. Most negative marks fall off within five to seven years.

In the meantime, do your best to live within your means, create a budget to help you navigate debt and stay diligent. Visit Credit Education to learn more.

1Experian. What Is the Average Credit Score in the US? January 22, 2024. Accessed February 15, 2024.
2Additional data charges may apply when using apps. Please see your wireless carrier for more information.

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