Financially Sound: An Important Tip for Managing Your Credit Score
These days, it's so easy to check your credit score but not everyone is in tune with what they're reading or how to improve their credit. Having a score above 800 in excellent, and a score above 750 is great — but what do you need to know beyond that?
Aside from paying your bills on time each month, Ken Kamen, president of Mercadien Asset Management and the official investment advisor of New Jersey 101.5, suggests keeping an eye on your credit utilization.
That's how much of your available credit you're using: When you add up all your credit balances and all your credit limits, you want to keep the balances at or below 30 percent of your limit.
"It's important, if you want to use credit, to keep that in mind, that you don't want to max out what you have, " Kamen said. "That's why a lot of times they say, when you close a credit card, that could hurt your score."
The closer you get to your credit limits, the more creditors are going to think you're maxed out, which can depress your credit score.
These things can fluctuate monthly: For example, if you make some big purchases on credit, like a washing machine and couch, that might ding your credit score the next month. But, if you pay them off right away, your credit score will increase accordingly.
For more financial advice from Kamen, check out his book, "Reclaim Your Nest Egg: Take Control of Your Financial Future," and other Financially Sound interviews here on NJ1015.com.