Beefing Up Your Credit Score

So you’ve checked your credit score and it’s less than stellar. Not to worry.

What most people don’t realize is your score is increasing or decreasing every month with your good or not so great habits with your debt.

If you’d like to beef that score up, there’s a number of things that can help like:

  • Make your payment on time, every time!
  • Remember to give at least 3 business days for a payment to clear.
    • What that means is if you have a Scotiabank VISA for example and bank with Scotiabank, you can make the payment online (transfer from your account to your VISA), and the payment will be posted that day. But if you bank with Scotiabank and say have an RBC VISA and make a bill payment online, you’ll need to give at least 3 business days for that to arrive at RBC. So, keep an eye on your due dates.
  • Don’t use more than 50% of available credit.
    • If you have a $4,000 credit limit, you’ll want to never have a balance of more than $2,000.
  • Don’t apply for too much credit at once.
    • This often happens when someone moves to a new city. You get a new cell phone; your landlord checks your credit and then you try to get a car loan or laptop lease and are then declined. This is because the credit bureaus have flagged your account because you’re seeking a lot of credit in a short amount of time. Try to spread out your credit inquiries.
  • Limit all credit applications.
    • If you score really needs improving, aim to not apply for any new credit until it improves.

To watch my video on this topic, click here.

To learn more about what’s on your credit report, how to improve and check your credit score, check out my new book, Talk Money to Me: Save Well, Spend Some, and Feel Good About Your Money, in stores December 17th and available at Amazon and Chapters for pre-order now.

As the Consumer Advocate for FP Canada, I know that financial literacy is paramount to your well-being. Equally important to your long-term success is working with a qualified professional. To find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional in your area that will help guide you on all matters of money, check out this Find Your Planner tool.

FP Canada is a national professional body working in the public interest (formerly known as the Financial Planning Standards Council). FP Canada is dedicated to fostering better financial health for Canadians by certifying professional financial planners and leading the advancement of professional financial planning in Canada.

For more on financial planning and how to get started, watch What is a financial planner? and What is a financial plan?

I've written a new book to help you feel good about money.