Improving Your Credit Score

Now that you know your score, you may know you need to improve it, particularly if your score rests at or below 580. Knowing your score can help you take the first step toward improving it.

Not taking steps to improve your credit score could make it harder for you to get a loan, get a credit card or even get a job in the future, so it’s in your best interest to improve your score. How do you do it? 

Monitor Your Credit Usage

How much credit are you using? In other words, let’s say you have a $10,000 credit card limit and you use $8,000 per month. Your credit utilization ratio should end up being your debt divided by your credit card limits. You want to try to maintain a utilization ratio of 30% or less. 

In this case, $8,000/$10,000 = 0.80, or 80% — a much higher credit utilization ratio than necessary. You want that to go down to 30% or less.

Too-high credit utilization ratios could put you in a situation of denied loans, high interest rates or make a larger down payment than if you had a good credit utilization ratio.

Whatever you do, avoid maxing out your cards altogether.

Make Payments on Time

Paying your bills on time and paying down balances on your credit cards can help you raise your credit score. Your credit card company will report your payment behavior to the credit bureaus every 30 days, so any payment you make every month on time will help you boost your credit score.

Get Out of Debt

Completely getting out of your revolving debt helps your credit scores increase because you bring down your credit utilization ratio. However, don’t close your credit card accounts because that could actually affect your credit. 

Know Your Scores

At this point, hopefully you understand that you need to:

  1. Check your credit score.
  2. Increase your credit score.

Bottom line: Knowing about your credit scores is definitely one of those “adulting” things and you shouldn’t stick your head in the hand when it comes to credit scores, particularly when you need to increase your credit score.

If you monitor your credit and do your due diligence to improve your credit score, you might be surprised at how fast your credit score increases.

    Ksenia Yudina, CFA, MBA

    Founder and CEO

    Ksenia is the Founder and CEO of U-Nest, the first mobile app that makes it easy for families to save for college. As an entrepreneur and finance professional, Ksenia has focused on alleviating the impact of student debt on families across the economic spectrum. Previously, Ksenia was a Vice President atCapital Group/American Funds, the largest 529 provider in the U.S. In this role, she played a leadership role in helping parents plan and manage their finances, with a focus on the future well-being of their children. Prior to Capital Group/American Funds, she was founder of a residential real estate company. Ksenia earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from CaliforniaState University Northridge, and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

    Mike Van Kempen

    Chief Operating Officer

    Mike joined U-Nest in September 2019 as COO. He was previously at Acorns, a financial wellness platform, where he spearheaded the analytics and growth initiatives. Mike successfully expandedAcorns’ paid acquisition strategy, adding over 4.5 million investment accounts. Mike began his career in strategy & analytics at Belly, a Chicago-based loyalty startup in 2012. At Belly, Mike led projects that fueled growth across all aspects of the business, growing the customer base from1,000 to over 11,000 merchants, and accumulating a membership of over 2 million customers.Mike holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago.

    Steve Buchanan

    Chief Technology Officer

    Steve has over 20 years of experience in delivering digital innovations in the financial sector. Steve previously orchestrated product architecture and innovation as a Solutions Architect/ Fintech consultant at Union Bank. Prior to Union Bank, he was Chief Architect and Director of Engineering at Calypso, a Silicon Valley startup, where he architected and built multiple financial solutions. He was also Head of Global Integrations at Globe One in Vietnam where he integrated its Peer-to-Peer lending products into core banking solutions. Steve also built the first ever electronic Equities &Equity Options trading systems for Scottish stock brokers Wood Mackenzie (acquired by CountyNatWest). He is a graduate of Edinburgh University.

    Peter Mansfield

    Chief Marketing Officer

    Peter has built an impressive track record in multiple financial industry segments including payments, credit/prepaid cards and lending. He has played an instrumental role at a succession of financial industry leaders, co-founding companies such as Brand3 (acquired by American Express) and PropertyBridge (acquired by Moneygram), and, as the early stage marketing lead at Marqeta (where he was team member number two), BillFloat and WallabyFinancial (acquired by Bankrate).He has helped fast-growth companies reach an aggregate market value of close to $8 billion. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Angila, UK.

    Sonya Kidman

    Client Relationship Manager

    Sonya Kidman is a Customer Success professional with a decade of experience in advocating for consumer through user research and genuine empathy. Sonya specializes in user behavior and regularly attends national and global training sessions in wellness and people analytics tools. Sonya is a true global citizen was born in Russia, grew up in Israel, lived and worked in Canada and NewZealand. That global expertise along with an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Tel AvivUniversity have helped to shape a bullet-prof Sonya's framework to develop a winning customer strategy.

    Frank Mastrangelo

    Board Member

    One part banker and one part technologist, Frank spent his early days with the Annenberg Foundation and PNC Bank. His career path led him to Jefferson Bank, where he led the build-out of its electronic banking platforms, and where he would forge a powerful alliance with The Bancorp co-founder Betsy Z. Cohen. As President and COO of The Bancorp from its inception in 1999 Frank played a critical role in helping the organization become an industry bellwether for branchless financial services and a global leader in payments. For this, he has become a widely respected fintech expert, and thought-leader. Frank was recognized in 2013 by Banking Innovation, a leading industry journal, as an “Innovator to Watch.” and as one of the innovators shaping the future of banking. Frank is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

    Disclosure

    College Savings Calculator is a hypothetical tool that demonstrates how monthly contributions, age-based asset rebalancing, and tax savings may impact the long-term value of your account, and do not take into account a portfolio’s underlying investment management fees. Calculations assume the private institution cost inflation is 2.8%, public out of state cost inflation is 3.9%, public in state cost inflation is 2.7%. Portfolio is assumed to have only stocks and bonds. Monthly equity returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the stock market (SPY). Monthly fixed income returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the bond market index (AGG). The current college expenses are provided by the collegeboard.org. Actual account performance may differ due to market fluctuations, changes in recurring investments, and asset allocation. The information provided here is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent actual or future performance of any investment option and is not intended to predict or project the investment performance of any security or index.