Five Ways to Boost Your Credit Score

Services | 06/14/24
Post-it note with "Boost credit score" written on it.

A good credit score is paramount to a successful financial future. It unlocks doors for competitive loans, employment opportunities, and more.

Achieving and maintaining an excellent credit score is sometimes easier said than done. While there’s no sure-fire way to dramatically boost your score quickly, you can take steps to increase your credit score gradually. Here are five strategies that you can begin to employ today that will help you reach your credit score goals.

Pay your bills on time
Your payment history is the most impactful factor in determining your credit score. A missed credit card payment can significantly impact your score and it can take months to recover the loss. Set a reminder a few days before your bills are due to ensure you never miss a payment. With Ascend’s bill pay feature, you can choose which bills you want to pay, schedule payments, make one-time or recurring payments, and more with just a few clicks. This will mitigate the chances of missing a payment. Bill pay is available to all members through Ascend’s digital banking platform.

Reduce your credit utilization ratio
Your utilization ratio refers to the amount of available credit you use. It’s best to keep your utilization under 30%, or even 10% if you can swing it. This means, if you have $50,000 of available credit, try to keep your usage below $15,000 at most and, ideally, below $5,000.

It can also be a good idea to accept offers of increased credit or to request an increase on your own, which can instantly bring down your credit utilization ratio. However, only go this route if you know you are not at risk of overspending as soon as you have more credit at your disposal.

Use your cards
Taking a pair of scissors to credit cards can seem like the perfect way to increase your credit score, but you need to use your cards to keep your score high. A great way to make sure you use your cards on occasion but don’t overspend is to charge fixed expenses, like monthly subscriptions, to your card. Just be sure to pay the balance in full before the credit card bill is due.

Work to pay down outstanding debt
If any of your cards are carrying a balance from month to month, showing that you are working to get rid of this debt can do wonders for your credit score. Maximize your monthly payment by trimming an expense category in your budget and putting that extra money toward your credit card bill. Also, consider consolidating credit card debt with a personal loan from Ascend Federal Credit Union, which will help you get rid of your credit card debts and leave you with one low-interest payment each month.

Look for discrepancies on your bill and credit history
A fraudulent charge on your credit card can bring down your score without your knowledge. That’s why it’s important to check your statements each month and look for charges you don’t remember making. If you see anything suspicious, contact your credit card company immediately to dispute the charge. It’s also a good idea to get your free credit report once a year from for a more comprehensive look at your credit usage and signs of possible fraud. If you’re an Ascend member, monitoring your credit is easy thanks to our partnership with SavvyMoney – a tool that provides you with credit score monitoring and helpful resources at no extra cost to you. Click here to learn more.

Credit scores are a crucial component of financial wellness, but achieving and maintaining a high score can be challenging. We hope that these tips equip you with the knowledge and confidence to begin boosting and maintaining a healthy score today.

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