9 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score & Save Money

credit score

Your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your life – it determines everything from the interest rate you pay on a mortgage to the amount you can borrow. While improving your credit score may seem daunting, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to get started.

9 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

Improving your credit score is essential to your financial health. Here are X easy ways to get started! 

1. Join Kickoff to Improve Your Credit

Kikoff addresses 3 major factors that determine 80% of your credit score. Kikoff reports your monthly payments to the major credit bureaus. Each one builds your payment history (and your credit).

There are two ways you can build using Kikoff:

  • Kikoff Credit Account – This is their standard product for all new Kikoff customers. This account builds monthly payment history and helps reduce your credit utilization. The Credit Account gets reported to Equifax and Experian every month and costs ONLY $5/month.
  • Kikoff Credit Builder Loan – This is an optional add-on if you want to build even more credit. This is a 1-year savings plan for $10/month. You’ll be able to add this product after your first payment with the Kikoff Credit Account.

2. Check Your Credit Score with Credit Karma

Checking your credit score improves your credit because you can easily see what is affecting it. If you see a negative mark, you’ll be able to take steps to improve it.

Credit Karma is a great (and free) tool to check your credit score. Check your scores anytime, anywhere, and never pay for it. Save smart with Credit Karma. Additionally, you can:

Compare personalized offers for credit cards, loans, and more without hurting your scores.

  • Get alerted when there’s an important change in your reports.
  • Learn what affects your credit scores and what you can do to improve them.
  • See personalized recommendations for ways to use your credit more wisely.

3. Save Money Using Self

Self offers an accessible and responsible way for you to establish payment history and build credit, while saving money, through a credit builder account.

Basically, you apply for a loan that is held by their bank partners. Your money is secured and protected in a bank account. Over the next 12-24 months, you “pay off” the loan.

Each payment builds credit history and adds to your savings. Your payments are reported to all three credit bureaus. At the end of the loan, your paid-off loan unlocks and you get the money back minus fees and interest.

4. Pay On Time

One of the biggest factors in your credit score is payment history, so it’s important to make all of your payments on time. You should also try to keep your balances low, as high balances can negatively impact your credit score.

If you have trouble remembering to pay your bills on time, you can set up automatic payments through your bank or credit card issuer. This way, you’ll never have to worry about missing a payment.

Additionally, you can sign up for email or text reminders from sites like Mint.com or Personal Capital. These tools will help you keep track of your bills and make sure you always pay on time.

5. Reduce Your Credit Card balances

Credit utilization is one of the biggest factors in your credit score. So, if you want to improve your credit score, it’s important to keep your balances low.

If you have multiple credit cards, focus on paying down the balance on one card before you start paying down the other cards. Once you’ve paid off the first card, you can focus on the second card, and so on.

If you have a balance on your credit card, try to pay it off as quickly as possible. You can also transfer your balance to a 0% APR credit card if you need some time to pay it off. Just make sure you don’t miss any payments, as this can negatively impact your credit score.

6. Take out a Personal Loan

Another option is to take out a personal loan and use the money to pay off your credit card balance. Personal loans have lower interest rates than credit cards, so you’ll save money in the long run. Plus, you can get a 0% APR personal loan if you have good credit.

7. Don’t Close Your Credit Cards

There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re trying to reduce your credit card balances. First, don’t close any of your credit cards. This can actually hurt your credit score. Second, don’t make any late payments, as this will also hurt your credit score. And finally, don’t transfer your balance to a new credit card every few months. This is called credit card churning, and it can actually hurt your credit score.

8. Become an Authorized User

If you have a family member or friend with good credit, you can become an authorized user on their credit card. This can help you improve your credit score because the credit history of the primary cardholder will be reported on your credit report.

However, it’s important to note that you won’t be liable for any of the charges on the card. The primary cardholder will be responsible for all of the charges.

Additionally, you should only become an authorized user on a credit card if you trust the primary cardholder to make all of the payments on time. If they don’t, it could hurt your credit score.

9. Get a Secured Credit Card

If you have bad credit, you can get a secured credit card. With a secured credit card, you put down a deposit, which is usually equal to your credit limit. So, if you have a $500 deposit, your credit limit will be $500.

Secured credit cards can help you improve your credit score because they report to the credit bureaus just like regular credit cards. Just make sure you make all of your payments on time and keep your balance low.

One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to have the deposit before you can get the card. So, if you don’t have the money for the deposit, a secured credit card may not be an option for you.

More Ways to Save

Improving your credit score can take time, but it’s worth it. By following the tips above, you can improve your credit score and get access to better interest rates and terms. Just remember to be patient and consistent, and you’ll see results.

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