(NewsUSA) – You probably know the importance of a high credit
score, as many companies, from lenders to insurers to cell phone service providers, use it to
evaluate your credit risk. In today's tough economy, keeping your credit score high is more
important than ever, as your ability to secure a loan or refinance your home for a better mortgage
depends on it.
With a little discipline, raising your credit score and keeping it high don't have to be
difficult. Discover Card offers the following tips for people who want to raise their credit
-Don't Be Late With Your Payments. When it comes to raising or maintaining your credit
score, the most important thing you can do is pay all of your bills on time. The "pay by" date is
the date by which your payment must be received. When you're paying your bills, be sure to allow
sufficient time for mailing to avoid a late fee. You may want to consider other payment options,
such as online payments or pre-authorized debit, which are fast and free. Plus, you'll save money
-Avoid Carrying a Balance. If you can pay your bills in full and avoid carrying
balances on your credit cards, your credit score is likely to increase. High balances are bad for
your credit score. Even if you pay more than the minimum and all of your bills on time, high
utilization of credit is a sign of financial stress and will lower your credit score. If you must
revolve your balances, keep them to a small amount of your available credit.
-Minimize Inquiries. When you apply for credit, the lender pulls your file. That's called an
"inquiry," and it will be recorded on your credit history. Too many inquiries within a short period
of time may have a negative effect on your credit history and score. So, if you're planning for a
big purchase, like a home or a car, keep excess inquiries off your credit history by not applying
for other loans or opening up credit accounts while you're in the process of shopping for the loan
for that purchase. And when you're shopping for that home or car loan, make all of your
applications within a two-week period. Then all the inquiries will count as one inquiry, not
multiple checks, with only a five-point hit to your credit score.
To find out more about how Discover Card helps its cardmembers make their money go
further, visit www.discover.com/edge.