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What to Do and Not to Do When Paying off Credit Cards to Raise Your Credit Score
January 30, 2020

What to Do and Not to Do When Paying off Credit Cards to Raise Your Credit Score

The process of building a credit rating has its own rules. Will paying off credit cards raise my credit score? Let’s explore how much paying off credit cards will improve your score.

The Credit Card Should Be Used, the More Often – The Better

1If you have received a credit card and do not use it, your credit rating drops by several points per month. To start building your credit history in the U.S., you not only need to get your first credit card, but you also need to start using it, and if you want to have a high credit rating, you need to use it as much as possible.

You can use several credit cards in different ways: for example, one card is used to pay for food, the other to buy clothes, and the third to pay for restaurants. After using all of these cards for a year and a half, and properly paying for your purchases, at that time, your credit rating will increase to an excellent level.

Paid Off Credit Cards on Time: Better if in Full, but at Least Make a Minimum Monthly Payment

2This is probably the best way to increase your credit score with a credit card. If you are late or forget about it, even once, you will get a black spot on your credit history. Banks send their customers’ account statements in advance as a reminder, indicating the amount to be paid.

Paying the card on time is the essential condition for building a good rating, and it is better to pay in full, as it will help you avoid paying additional interest. But if there is no way to pay the total amount at once, then at least the minimum payment must be made. And it is obligatory to do so before the due date, indicated on your monthly statement. Don’t ever forget about it! The “paid off my credit card” process is always better to complete on time.

You can set up an automatic payment via online banking on a specific date. If you pay by mail, send your payment a few days before it should be paid. Some banks have developed special financial genius services that help customers to build a credit history and use credit cards correctly.  This gives customers the opportunity to explore the smartest way to pay off credit card debt.

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Should I Pay Off All My Credit Card Debt at Once?

We also recommend that you try to pay your monthly balance in full. You will start building a good credit history if you pay your credit card balance in full every month. If that’s not possible, try to pay more than the minimum payment you need. Always pay as much of the total monthly balance as you can, especially on cards with high interest.

Avoid Frequent Credit Checks After Paying off Your Credit Card

3There are two types of credit rating checks: Soft pull and a Hard pull. The first check – Soft Pull -only shows your score to the store and does not affect your credit rating. This check is done by your landlord when you rent out your home, if you have internet or electricity connections, or if you pay for your gadgets in installments. You can do these checks at least 50 times a day.

The second type of checkup, the Hard Pull checkup, is an analysis of all of your financial actions. Banks make these checks for loans and mortgages, landlords, employers, and various organizations that want to know how reliable and responsible you are. Hard Pull tests significantly reduce your credit rating. Experts advise doing no more than two to three such checks per year.

As a rule, all services request your social security number. Otherwise, you will not be issued a credit card, and, accordingly, it can only be a Hard Pull-check. If you need to rent an apartment, buy a car on credit and open several more credit cards, within one year, you need a Hard Pull-check; it will be a massive drawback to your credit score.

Credit History is Positively Influenced By “Secured Loans”

4Real estate and cars in the U.S. are usually bought on credit, and paying cash to buy a car in the U.S. makes no sense. But leasing is a long-term arrangement to use a car with the right to buy it in the future – and that’s a smart option. Moreover, all of the monthly payments for the use of the vehicle will be accounted for by the bank and inform your credit history.

With a regular cash purchase, you might only lose money. You will have to give away a considerable amount of money at once, and it won’t improve your credit rating in any way. In the future, you won’t be able to claim more advantageous offers, services, or transactions without a good credit score.

Open Credit Cards for Shops, Supermarkets, Gas Stations – Paying off These Credit Cards Will Improve Your Credit Score.

5Start small. First, open a checking account. Use it correctly, and don’t go into the minus. A checking account is not a credit line, but it will also affect your reputation in the eyes of the bank. You can also open a savings account and move forward with your goal. Once you have a checking account at the bank, ask for a credit card at one of the shops or gas stations. These cards are more comfortable to obtain, but your credit limit will be low. Use these cards and pay on time.

Do Not Close Old Accounts Even If You Do Not Use Them

6If you close your old credit card, your total credit history will be reduced. The shorter your credit history, the lower your rating. So, weigh the pros and cons when you decide to lose one of your accounts. When you wonder, “If I pay off a credit card, how much will my score increase?”, then don’t forget to care about your every credit owned.

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Try to Have a Credit Limit That Is Acceptable for You For Now

7If you are a good customer, banks often increase your credit line. But you can speed up the process by asking banks to improve your credit limit about every six months. Try not to ask for too much at once – for example, if you have $500, you can request to increase it to $800.

Also, banks are looking at how much of your credit line you spend – it is advisable not to use the entire amount available on your credit card. The logic is as follows: you can spend $500 if your limit is $1000. You don’t need to spend $500 if your limit is $600.

The amount is the same, but for banks, the percentage of your credit line that you use is far more critical. It is believed that if you have credit cards for large amounts of money, but you spend only a small part of it, then you know how to handle the money properly. In such a situation, the score grows consistently.

A good rule of thumb for a high credit rating is not to let your credit balance exceed 20% of your net annual income (income after paying all taxes). Don’t use more than 10% of your monthly income to pay for credit cards every month.

Another good rule is not to have a credit limit higher than your savings account. If you have an emergency, you will have enough money to cover it. If your credit card company offers to raise your credit limit too much, ask them not to continue extending it or even to lower it. This way, you will limit your desire to spend too much and protect yourself from debt.

Don’t Vouch for Other People Financially

8The financial problems of someone you know or care about can also hurt your credit score. For example, your friend has asked you to be a guarantor for their purchase. But what if he struggles with financial problems? What if he doesn’t pay on time? What if he forgets to pay? This will harm you, too.

Self-Control Tips

9Once a year, the government allows everyone to check their full credit report on AnnualCreditReport.com for free. All other checks will be charged. There are also specialized websites (CreditSesame.com, CreditKarma.com), where you can check your credit score for free.

Credit Sesame service forms your total credit score, guided by the information of one of the three main credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and Fico. Credit Karma tracks your credit rating using data from all three credit bureaus in the United States. Both services allow you to access your credit reports at any time and find out your credit score.

So, in case you’re asking whether paying off a credit card can immediately improve a credit score, the answer is yes. If you are experiencing some difficulties with raising your credit score, you are always welcome to use DebtQuest USA specialists to assist with any of your financial questions. Do not hesitate to ask DebtQuest USA to provide you with professional credit guidance!

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