How to increase your credit score - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

How to increase your credit score

(WTVM) -

Many people want to buy a new car, but they feel like they can't because of low credit scores.

Bad credit can put dreams on hold, such as purchasing a new house, but there are ways to take control.

Lerone Harper with Consumer Credit Counseling Service in Columbus said a high credit score boils down to using that plastic responsibly.

A person needs to determine his or her debt, prioritize and pay consistently.

Harper said, "The leap that you make when you start paying someone on time and decreasing that debt is a tremendous leap. We try not to get people too concerned about the score as much as the behavior, the score will change."

A FICO score is broken down into sections comprised of 35% going toward payment history, 30% is the amount you owe,15% goes toward length of credit history, 10% is the type of credit you use and 10% is for new credit

Harper said don't get too happy when you get new plastic in your hand.

He explained, "So when you open up a new credit card accounts, yeah we got approved, but that actually hurts us initially."

To get a score back up, you need to charge a little, pay it off, charge a little and pay it off.

Harper said after a year, you'll see a boost, compared to an account that you get approved for and instantly charge $500 and pay $45 a month.

Another tip, Harper commented the only way to have good credit is to stay current.

He said even if you finally become debt free use one card with a high limit, charge a small amount and pay it off to stay in the game.

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