3 Ways to Help Improve your Credit Score Kirsten Thuringer August 25, 2016 • 1 Minute Read Credit Basics Your Credit Score is very important and having a low score can affect you in more ways than one. Whether you’re buying a home or applying for a credit card, having a low credit score can impact your Annual Percentage Rate (APR), as well as determine if you are able to get a loan or approved for the credit card. Before making any decisions, your first step should be to check your credit score. CreditSoup offers your VantageScore® 3.0 by TransUnion®, which is absolutely free, without a credit card required. Another great benefit of using CreditSoup is the Credit Card Match service which shows you possible credit cards based on your credit score. If you receive your credit score and it’s not as high as you had hoped, take a look at the 3 suggestions below to help you improve your score. After making some improvements, come back to CreditSoup to get your updated score, as well as the new credit card offers that could be available to you. 1. Keep your old accounts open – It may seem crazy to keep credit card accounts open that you no longer use, but keeping them open could most likely be in your favor. Closing the accounts eliminates those available limits, making it seem like your total balances are a greater percentage of your total available credit limits. That ratio is your utilization rate. The higher the utilization rate, the greater the lending risk. 2. Keep your credit utilization rate low – This segment reveals how deeply in debt you are and contributes to determining if you can handle what you owe. If you have high outstanding balances or are nearly "maxed out" on your credit cards, your credit score will be negatively affected. A good rule of thumb is not to exceed 30% of the credit limit on a credit card. 3. Pay your bills on time - This component encompasses your payments on credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans (such as automobile or student loans), finance company accounts, mortgages and etc. Public records and reports detailing such items as bankruptcies, foreclosures, suits, liens and judgments are also considered. A history of prompt payments of at least the minimum amount due helps your score. Late or missed payments hurt your score. Follow Us Here! #CreditScore Editorial Disclaimer: Information in these articles is brought to you by CreditSoup. Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles. The information is accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted; however, all credit card information is presented without warranty. Please check the issuer’s website for the most current information.