Whilst your twenties are a good time to start establishing a credit score, your thirties are a good time to build it. By this age, you should have a pretty good handle on how to manage your finances. You’re also probably getting to the age where you would like to put money down on a mortgage and perhaps open a serious savings account. So, we’re here to give you a checklist for your thrifty thirties!
Ways to build your credit score
Pay your bills on time (every time): The importance of this can’t be overstated. Your payment history makes up around 35% of your credit score. Pay on time and it’ll do wonders for your credit history.
Repay your credit debt: If you have excess credit debt (e.g. on an overdraft or a credit card) then your twenties would have been a good time to level them out or eliminate them altogether.
Get rid of your student loan: This one is slightly trickier but essentially the more of your student loan you have paid off, the better.
Balance your credit limit and work history: If you have paid off all your credit debts and you have had a steady income over several years, use your work history to increase your credit limits. If you don’t abuse your increased credit limits, your utilisation will go down – a great way to improve your credit score.
Things to avoid when building your credit score
Don’t close your old accounts: A reasonable amount of your credit score (around 15%) is based on the length of your credit history. Although it seems to make sense to tidy up old accounts, keeping them open can increase your credit score.
Don’t apply for too much credit: Whilst it’s good to have lines of credit open, it’s good to be selective with the ones you choose. Your credit score can be badly affected if you open too many or too few.
Don’t let your credit card payments slip: Credit cards can be useful for making purchases but if you allow too much balance to remain on your card, interest rates can really add up. Payback your card each month in full to avoid debt and late fees.
We’re sorry to say it, but your thirties are the time to become a real adult! That means being financially responsible and stable. We hope our checklists are an easy way to improve your credit score and get your financial life on track!