How to improve your credit score

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — You might not need a credit card, but you do need good credit to qualify for affordable loans.

When asked how to improve their scores, Memphis residents had a variety of ideas.

“What you can do with those credit bureaus (is) negotiate with them to not pay the full balance,” explained Derrick Cubit.

“If you have a lot of different credit cards, you should not max them,” explained Katrena Newson. “You need to most definitely pay them on time.”

In life, a good credit score will help you get an affordable auto loan, home mortgage, and credit interest rate.

“It is vital to concentrate on having a good credit score,” said LaTina Moore, the founder of Moore Financial Services in East Memphis.

A recent Zillow report found that users with just a fair credit score will pay almost $104,000 more over the course of a 30-year fixed mortgage than someone with an excellent credit score.

“With a great credit profile, it will allow you to keep more of the money you earn because you’re not paying it out in astronomical interest rates and high fees,” she explained.

Here are Moore’s recommendations for improving your credit score:

  • Use less than 10% of your credit limit
  • Make payments on time and pay off debt as frequently as you can
  • Reach out to creditors to resolve debts

“If you’re maxing out your credit cards, that is a sure way for your scores to drop rather quickly,” Moore said. “A good rule of thumb is that the lower the balance is, the higher your credit score.”