Like most people, you might only think about your credit score when it comes to applying for a mortgage or other loan. Suddenly that late payment you made to your credit card company or that car payment you forgot to mail on time become a lot more important.

Even if you don’t think about your credit score all that often, though, the credit bureaus do. As do financial institutions that lend money for any reason. If your credit score is okay, it could be better. Even if it’s good, it could be better.

Here are five tips that will help you raise your score in no time.

Know_Your_Credit_Score

Use your credit card

This might seem counterintuitive, but it’s not. You need to use your credit card to help raise your credit score. However, you need to use it correctly. This entails making small purchases each month and paying off the balance of your card in full at the end of the month.

When don’t carry balances into the next month but use your card regularly, you show the credit bureaus that you’re handle your money responsibly. And this raises your scorefollow.

Make all your payments on time

This is crucial. There is no way to raise your credit score if you aren’t making your monthly payments on or before the date they’re due. A payment made even one day late is going to have a negative impact on your credit score.

You should know that one late payment has a much bigger impact on your credit score than a hundred on time payments. It doesn’t seem fair, but that’s just the way the world of finance and credit scores works.

Pay down balances

If you already have credit cards that carry balances, do what you can to pay them off. You need to use your cards each month to show your creditors that you are responsible when you use them, but you mustn’t carry a balance.

The more of a balance you show on your cards, the worse it looks on your credit report. However, you can raise your score quickly if you pay off your balances each month. If you can’t do it all at once, don’t worry; pay off as much as you can as quickly as you can to remove those balances completely.

Keep a few older cards

It’s not a good idea to keep closing old accounts you never use. You want your credit report to show your oldest accounts as well as a clean history. It looks better on your report, and it helps improve your credit score dramatically.

Get the best mortgage rates

The best way to build your credit score is with payments you can afford. The more affordable your monthly payments, the more likely you are to pay them off on time. This means you will be able to keep your credit score rising.

This requires knowing the difference between an adjustable rate and a fixed ratefollow. It’s smart to research the two so you’ll know which will be more beneficial to your financial situation. A fixed rate will stay the same for the life of the loan, and an adjustable rate will change periodically, potentially raising or lowering your monthly payment.

Your credit score is possibly the most important number in your life. It’s more important than your age or your annual income. Although your income matters, your credit score is what ultimately makes the difference in most transactions.

It’s imperative that you make all your payments on time and in full. This will raise your credit score as quickly as possible.

Staying on top of your credit score has long lasting rewards, especially if you are considering purchasing or building your own home in the future.