Do you have an excellent credit score? Are you aware of how much good this will do you when applying for a credit card?
With excellent credit, you’ll qualify for almost every credit card offer imaginable. This allows you to more easily find an offer that suits your many requirements.
However, there’s something to remember: it only takes one financial mistake to harm your credit score, thus making it more difficult to secure one of the best cards on the market.
According to Experian, 20 percent of Americans have an exceptional (excellent) credit score. This is defined as a score in the 800 to 850 range.
So, here’s the million dollar question: what’s the best way to maintain an excellent credit score before applying for a credit card?
Here are some of the many things you should do:
Continue Paying Your Bills On Time
Neglecting to pay a bill on time doesn’t always impact your credit score, but it’s a risk you shouldn’t be willing to take.
You’ve done a great job paying your bills on time in the past, so keep this up in the future. Doing so will help keep your credit score in the excellent range as you search for the perfect offer.
Pay Down Your Debt
Too much debt, such as maxed out credit cards and home equity lines of credit, can keep you from boosting your credit score.
You don’t have to eliminate all your debt at once – unless you have the financial means to do so – but instead take one small step at a time.
As your debt ratio falls, you’re in position to boost your credit score (as long as everything else remains positive).
Inspect Your Credit Report
Here’s an interesting excerpt from the Federal Trade Commission:
“The 2012 study found, among other things, that one in five consumers had an error that was corrected by a credit reporting agency (CRA) after it was disputed on at least one of their three credit reports. The study also found that about 20 percent of consumers who identified errors on one of their three major credit reports experienced an increase in their credit score that resulted in a decrease in their credit risk tier, making them more likely to be offered a lower auto loan interest rate.”
You can have an excellent credit score even with an error on your report, but you don’t want this to remain in place. By filing a dispute and having the error removed, you’re likely to see an increase in your score.
As you move closer to applying for a new credit card, pay attention to your credit score. While doing so, answer these questions:
- What is my current credit score?
- Is my credit score high enough to apply for the best credit cards?
- What steps can I take to boost my credit score before applying?
By answering these questions, among any others that are on your mind, you’ll feel better about your ability to apply for and obtain the right credit card for your financial situation.