Useful Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

Applying for a new apartment can be a stressful ordeal. In an ideal world, it would be a smooth and pleasant process from start to finish, but in reality, there are many things that can hold you back and prevent you from getting that one-of-a-kind rental you always dreamed of. For example, you’re finally ready to move out of your parents’ house, you find that amazing apartment, but then you find out that you can’t get it because of your poor credit score.

It can seem like a checkmate at first, but don’t worry — there’s plenty you can do to improve your creditworthiness and show potential landlords and rental agencies that you’re an amazing, financially stable tenant. Let’s take a look at some effective tips you can use to improve your credit score, and leverage it to maybe even negotiate a better deal

Pay all bills on time

Your payment history plays a big role in your overall credit report, and it can significantly boost your credit score over the long term. If you have a history of late payments on your bills, whatever those may be, it will reflect negatively on your credit score. In fact, it can account for as much as 35% of your entire credit score, which makes it a big deal.

So, your first order of business is to make sure you’re always paying your bills on time. You want to build a positive payment history to boost your credit score, but if you already have a bad record, then you can fix it by paying your bills on time from now on. Keep in mind, improving or building up a good credit score takes some time, so be patient. 

More like this: How to Rent With a Low Credit Score

Get a loan and settle your debt

Getting rid of debt is one of the most powerful and effective ways to improve your credit score quickly and show everyone that you are financially stable, responsible, and can be trusted in the long run. Of course, eliminating debt is usually easier said than done, and it can take years, if not decades before you’re able to achieve this goal.

That’s why getting a personal loan is a great way to push this process forward. You can compare your options for a personal loan and choose a reputable lender with a low interest rate that you can easily pay off within the agreed-upon period. This will improve your credit score because you settled your debt and, so long as you commit to making regular payments towards repaying the loan, will continue to improve your credit score over time. 

credit card

Piggyback on someone else’s good credit

You probably didn’t know this, but you could use someone else’s good credit score to improve your own. If you have a friend or a family member whom you trust and know is diligent with their finances, you could ask them to become an authorized user on their credit card. 

If they add you as an authorized user to their account, they will effectively feed your own credit score with their positive creditworthiness. Yes, this is a delicate process because they need to trust you, and you need to trust them, but if you have such a person in your life, it can be a good idea to try it and help boost your credit score.

Work with your current landlord to improve your score

If you’re already renting, but you’re considering the option of moving into a better apartment, then you can use your existing relationship with your landlord to improve your credit score. Though this tip takes some time to generate the desired results, it’s effective, and there’s no reason not to implement it.

A potential landlord will screen all new tenants, and they will also get in touch with the previous landlord. Before that happens, try to get your landlord to report your on-time rental payments to the credit agencies. This is a great way to improve your reputation as a tenant across the board and elevate your credit score seamlessly over time. 

More like this: Together Is Cheaper: How to Save Money While Renting with a Friend

Aim for less than 30 percent credit utilization

Last but not least, a great way to improve your creditworthiness and improve your personal finances in the process is to aim for less credit utilization. This means using as little of your credit limit as possible throughout the year, and the best way to do that is to simply pay your credit card balances each month in full. 

If that’s impossible for you, if you can’t do it consistently month to month, then you should aim to keep your total outstanding balance at 30%, but preferably less. If your credit utilization starts getting high, make sure to set up high balance alerts to prevent adding any new charges. 

Wrapping up

It’s not easy getting that dream rental, and a bad credit score can certainly make the whole process harder. With these tips in mind, though, you should have no problem improving your credit score and snagging that amazing apartment for yourself in no time.

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