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7 ways to build up your credit score to get the best interest rates

By Caitlin Bricker on February 18th, 2011

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Credit score requirements for loans are higher than they have been in the past, so a good credit score is more crucial than ever. In today’s economy most lenders are looking for credit scores of 720 or higher to secure a low mortgage rate.

Here are seven ways to build up your credit score so you can enjoy the best interest rates available.

  1. Request your credit reports and assess the situation. Credit bureaus (www.experian.com, www.transunion.com, www.equifax.com) are required to provide you with a free credit report every year, and nationwide consumer reporting companies get their information from different sources. The data in your report from one company may not reflect the same data in your reports from the other two companies, so request all three.
  2. Check to verify all of the information is correct. If there are any errors, contact the bureaus immediately.
  3. Your payment history accounts for 35% of your score, so make sure payments are on time every month.
  4. The amount owed is 30% of your score. A good rule is to use less than 10% of your credit available on each individual card.
  5. The length of your credit history accounts for 15%, so maintain your accounts instead of closing them. You are not penalized for available credit.
  6. New credit is 10% of your score and every time you apply for credit an inquiry is added to your report, which drops your score.
  7. Types of credit use d accounts for 10%. Installment loans like vehicle and personal loans demonstrate you can manage various long and short-term credits.