Information from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Building And Maintaining A Good Credit History

Maintaining a good credit file has many benefits, such as giving you access to lower interest credit cards or loans, helping you save money money on insurance, and helping landlords make sure you are the right tenant.

Here are steps you can take to improve your credit score.

Make 100% Of Your Payments On Time

Get in the habit of paying your bills on time. This is important for establishing and maintaining good credit.

Keep Your Credit Utilization Low

Paying your balance in full is always recommended, but if you do carry a balance try to not exceed 30% of your credit limit.

Pay Off Existing Debt

If you have existing debt, develop a plan to pay it off. Set up automatic payments if possible.

Apply for and Open New Credit Only When Necessary

Opening a new credit card can increase your overall credit limit, but the act of applying for credit creates a hard inquiry on your credit report. Too many hard inquiries can negatively impact your credit score, though this effect will fade over time.

Monitor Your Credit Report

Obtain your free annual credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com. Check for inaccuracies and report them right away.