PHOENIX — Want the best credit card and loan rates? Well, the higher the credit score, the better.
Here are 6 ways to raise that score now:
-Pay bills on time. It's 35 percent of your credit score. 30 days late, lose 50 points. 90 days late, lose 100. It can make up for past problems. And payment plans are always better than not paying.
-Lower amount owed. It's 30 percent of your score. Pay more than the monthly minimum and spread out debt trying not to use more than 20 percent of your credit limit on any card.
-Ask to increase credit limits. You want as much unused space as possible between your spending limit and the amount owed.
-Use more good credit than bad. Good would be mortgages, auto and student loans. Bad is unsecured credit like personal loans and credit cards.
-Keep your oldest credit open and avoid too much new credit. Rule of thumb, have four credit cards max, which also decreases ID theft issues.
-Check your credit report regularly for errors. Look for accounts you didn't open and fight any errors you see.
Go to annualcreditreport.com to get 3 free credit reports each year.