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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  Want to improve your credit score? 5 key ways to give your score a leg-up

Want to improve your credit score? 5 key ways to give your score a leg-up

Improving your credit score is a time-taking process and may take a minimum of six to nine months. It is imperative that you pay your credit card bills and loan EMIs on time. A default in the payment can impact your credit score severely.

Although holding a credit card is not mandatory, but it’s advisable to keep one in order to improve the credit score.

Remember Priyasha Saluja of Shark Tank fame who tried to impress the judges/ sharks by pointing out her high credit score? Not only her claim evoked laughter and appreciation, one of the judges Aman Gupta attributed his final offer to her high score i.e., 838.

Nevertheless, not all of us can boast of a high credit score such as that of Priyasha. And in case you are on the other side of the spectrum, fret not! There are a slew of ways to give your CIBIL score an upward push.

A good credit score can open several doors, even if you don’t plan to knock on the Shark Tank India’s door.

So, it is recommended that you do not leave any stone unturned and do everything in the rule book so that the results start appearing as the time rolls on.

“Building and improving your credit score typically takes at least six-nine months," says Rakshit Agarwal, Co-founder, Rupicard.

The credit score is a clear indication of your creditworthiness. “A good credit score can give you access to various financial products, such as credit cards, personal loans, home loans, and vehicle financing, at more favourable interest rates," says Sajish Pillai, Managing Director, Head of Assets and Strategic Alliances, Consumer Banking Group, DBS Bank India.

Key ways to give an impetus to your credit score:

Pay bills and EMIs on time: It is imperative that you pay your credit card bills and loan EMIs well on time. A default in payment can impact your credit score severely.

“Making on-time payments is the most important factor in determining your credit score. Make sure to pay all your bills, including credit card bills, loan EMIs, utility bills, and any other recurring financial obligations, on time. Even a single late payment can hurt your credit score," adds Sajish.

Gap between two loans: You should not sound too aggressive in seeking one loan after another. It’s advisable to keep some gap between the two loans so that the lender’s agents don’t review your credit score too often. The more often they do, the poorer your score gets.

Review your credit report: From time to time, you can assess your credit score. There are numerous ways to improve your score in case the score is low.

Credit card: Although it is not mandatory to have a credit card in order to have a good credit score. But if you choose to keep one, it certainly impacts your score. One can apply for a secured credit card to be able to improve the credit score.

“A beneficial strategy for depositors who don’t have a strong credit history is through products like FD-backed credit cards. A secured credit card can be availed by anyone and everyone irrespective of their socio-economic background as these cards require a security deposit that typically determines your credit limit," says Rakshit.

Credit utilisation ratio: Credit utilisation ratio, or CUR, determines the percentage of credit available that you utilise. If the ratio is too high, the credit score gets impacted negatively. Make sure that your credit utilisation ratio stays low. For instance, when you have a credit card with a maximum limit of 5 lakh try not to exhaust the entire 5 lakh.

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