An excellent credit score of 800 or over is exceptional. It means you’ll pretty much be accepted for any finance loan and you’ll get the best offers and interest rates. However, building this kind of excellent credit score takes time, effort and diligence. Here are some good ways to get started.
Credit score breakdown
Here’s a rough breakdown of how much each aspect of your financial history affects your credit score.
- Payment History (35%) Never miss or be late on a payment
- Amount of Credit (30%) How much credit and how many loans you’ve got
- Credit History (15%) How long you’ve had credit
- Multiple Credit Sources and Utilisation (10%) The types of credit you’ve got and how much you use them
- New Lines of Credit (10%) Frequency of credit inquiries and openings
Never miss or be late on a payment
It’s simple: never, ever, ever miss or be late for a repayment. This is the fundamental rule of building a good credit score. If you can’t repay your credit loans in full and on time, a car finance lender will never be able to trust that you’ll stick to the terms of your car loan agreement.
How much credit and how many loans you’ve got
It’s important to have as many lines of credit open as you can manage to repay in full and on time. This proves to a lender that you are capable of managing your finances and spending sensibly. You can think of it as a track record of the way you look after your money: the more cases you have in your favour (i.e. the more lines of credit you have) the more reliable you appear.
How long you’ve had credit
Whilst opening new lines of credit is important, it’s also vital that you don’t close old ones. A large part of your credit score is determined by how long you’ve had your lines of credit open. So, even if you’ve paid off a line of credit (e.g. on a credit card) keep it open for a few years afterwards to strengthen your average credit length.
The types of credit you’ve got and how much you use them
It’s important to have multiple credit sources and optimise your utilisation on these sources. Utilisation is the measure of how much you use your cards, especially in reference to how close you are to ‘maxing out’ those cards. It is important to spread your costs over multiple cards as this proves to a lender that you are capable of managing your finances effectively.
Utilisation below 30%
Using multiple cards is important, however, it doesn’t mean anything if you’re using some too much and others not enough. It is vital that you keep your utilisation on each card at 30% or under, at all times. Consumers with FICO credit scores of 800 or more have an average utilisation of 11.5%.
You can calculate your utilisation rate on each card by taking the balance on the card and dividing it by the card’s spending limit.
Utilisation rate (%)
Frequency of credit inquiries and openings
Opening new lines of credit and inquiring into your credit options is important to building a strong credit score. When you first do this, your credit score will suffer. This is because somebody with more repayments to make presents more of a risk to a lender. However, your credit score will be stronger once you have made your first few repayments on time.
Building an exceptional credit score isn’t easy but it isn’t impossible. Follow these tips above and you’ll see your credit score improving in no time. If you’re worried about being accepted for car finance on your current credit score, don’t be. My Car Credit is open to discussing car finance options regardless of your credit score. Use our car finance calculator or contact us for more details.
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