Those with bad credit should know that they have many options when it comes to applying for things like car loans, mortgages and insurance. While those with less-than-perfect credit scores should know that they are pre-approved for car loans in many cases, it is still a good idea to learn more about the factors that go into determining a credit score and how to raise one in order to get better financing options.
The New York Times recently talked to credit expert John Ulzheimer about tips to raising a credit score. According to Ulzheimer, his credit score is “almost as important to me as my cholesterol score,” and he checks it at least once a week – though he recommends normal users to check theirs about every six months.
Ulzheimer says that one of the keys to maintaining a good credit score is having access to a lot of credit- and this means a lot of credit cards. Before dreams of shopping sprees go through buyer’s heads, however, Ulzheimer cautions that keeping a low ratio of used credit is integral to having a great score.
Ulzheimer, for example, keeps 12 different credit cards and $188,000 in credit available to him. However, he only uses two cards primarily and simply rotates the others in so the accounts aren’t closed due to nonuse. He pays off each bill in full every month and aims to use less than 5 percent of his total available credit each month.
Using this and other strategies, buyers can raise their score and find themselves in a great new car.