Which is the best for your credit score?

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Making timely payments for your credit cards and other household debts and bills is essential to keeping your credit report in good condition. The major credit bureaus take timely payments into account when calculating your credit score, including items like rent payments. For example, Experian uses an on-time rental payment system to include timely rental payments to establish your credit history.

As you manage your debt and money, you might wonder whether it’s worth paying off those credit balances in full or making partial payments that are within your budget. Here’s what you need to know about making payments to creditors when you want to improve your credit score.

Related: What is a good credit score for your financial goals?

How Payments Affect Your Credit Score

The most widely used credit scoring system is FICO. Your FICO score is calculated from several factors that appear on your credit report. According to Fair Isaac, the creators of FICO, late payments will lower your FICO score, but a good track record of timely payments will increase your score.

When trying to build or repair your credit, you should place a high priority on timely payments. Yet, this is not the only way to increase your credit rating. If you can afford it, prioritizing paying off your credit card debt in full could offer even more benefits.

Find out more: What is the highest credit score?

Best Ways To Boost Your Credit Score Fast

When your goal is to increase your credit score and impress a potential lender, the best thing you can do is focus on increasing your credit utilization rate – an indicator of how much credit you have. have used against your total available credit. A low usage rate can increase your credit because that ratio represents 30% of your credit score, said Matt Freeman, director of credit card products at the Navy Federal Credit Union.

“The fastest way to increase your credit score is to pay off all of your debts or as much as you can, ”Freeman said. “Indeed, the payment history represents 35% of your credit score [whereas] your credit utilization rate is 30%. “

Should you pay off a loan before a credit card? Not necessarily. You will want to pay off all the credit with the highest interest charges so that you can pay off the debt as quickly as possible. As your credit utilization ratio improves, you should see an improvement in your credit score.

It’s also important to remember that your credit mix – the number of installment loans and credit card accounts that show up on your credit report – makes up 10% of your credit score. Paying off all of your credit cards or installment loans quickly could increase your credit score because this behavior shows lenders that you can handle different types of credit. As long as you pay off these types of debt as quickly as possible, you might see your credit score go up.

When you aren’t maxing out your credit cards or showing new loan history on your credit report, you’ll seem less dependent on credit to get by. You’ll also want to take steps to avoid missed or late payments. These are all good signs in the eyes of a lender and can have a positive effect on your credit score.

Related: 10 things to do now if you have a credit score of 500

Full or partial payments: what matters most

When your goal is to reduce your overall debt, you need to determine what type of repayment schedule will help you reach your goal as quickly as possible. Would you be more motivated to pay off your debt when you have a fixed partial payment each month or are you disciplined enough to set aside funds for a full repayment in a matter of months? Only you can decide which method is right for you, Freeman pointed out. The end goal is the same: to pay as much as possible as quickly as possible.

While making timely payments is always a good idea, you don’t want to overlook the benefits of paying off larger chunks of debt – or all of your debt – to improve your credit score. Getting rid of debt quickly can help you clean up your credit report quickly, and this has the added benefit of eliminating the risk of missed or late payments altogether.

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Last updated: January 4, 2021

This article was originally published on GOBankingRates.com: Full or Partial Payment: Which Is Better For Your Credit Score?

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