Low credit ratings often increase the interest rates on various financial products, such as home loans or credit cards. Borrowers with higher credit scores are able to save significant amounts on their loans when compared to individuals with lower credit scores.There are several ways that help people to improve their credit scores given by credit rating agencies like Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). The agencies do not treat all types of debts in the same way while calculating the credit score. The ratings are affected negatively if the outstanding balance on the card increases.
Here are five ways that help improve credit scores.
1. Lower the Credit Card Balance
The best way to improve credit rating is to lower the outstanding balance on the card. The rating agencies make a downward revision to the score if the credit utilization ratio exceeds a certain percentage. This ratio is the amount used by the cardholders as a percent of the overall credit limit. Reducing card balance may seem to be a difficult task but is achievable with the help of discipline. Users must adhere to stringent limits to reduce the balance and improve the credit score. If possible, individuals may ask the issuing company to increase the limit on their cards. This may also help improve the credit score provided the users do not increase their spending because of the higher limit.
2. Convert Card Debt to Personal Loan
With some diligent planning, card users may be able to improve their credit ratings even before paying off the debt. They are advised to consider converting the card debt to a personal loan. Higher outstanding balance on card reduces the credit score much more than personal loans. Loans with fixed installments are not considered by the agencies while calculating the credit ratings. Therefore, availing a personal loan instead of maintaining a high balance on the credit card is advisable. In addition, to improve credit score, such conversion is beneficial in reducing the cash outflows. The interest rates on personal loans are often lower than the card interest rates. It is important that the cardholders discontinue the use of their credit cards after such conversion to ensure the ratings are not affected.
3. Selective Accelerated Debt Payments
Repaying loans in a timely manner has several benefits. However, individuals who want to improve their credit scores must consider postponing such pre-payments. The money should instead be used to pay off the card outstanding because this kind of debt affects the scores more than loans.
4. Keep Regular Checks on Credit Report
Research shows that a significant percent of individuals have errors on their credit reports. It is possible that errors have severe results on the credit scores. This further impacts their borrowing capability and rate of interest that is levied on their loans. It is recommended that borrowers check their credit report prior to applying for any kind of loan. If any errors are found, they must immediately contact the rating agency and seek rectifications. This would help improve their credit score and enable them to borrow at a lower rate of interest.
5. Make Timely Repayments
Credit scores are significantly affected due to delayed payments. Lenders report delays to the agencies after 30 days from the payment due date. Such late payment reports are reflected in the credit score for many years, which impacts the individuals negatively. To avoid this, making timely payments is recommended.
Unfortunately, several people in India are not aware of the importance of good credit ratings. They fail to understand that even a slight improvement in their credit score may help them save huge amounts and get a lower interest rate on their borrowings.