1. Start spending someone else’s cash.
Your credit score isn’t magic. It’s simply a way for money lenders to suss out whether you’re the kind of person who’ll pay them back or not.
The more likely you are to cough up the cash in time, the better your credit score. But because past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour, you need to apply for credit – think store accounts and credit cards - to start building your credit score.
Oh and to avoid paying interest, make sure you pay back whatever you’ve spent before the interest-free period whizzes by. No-brainer.
2. Never miss a payment. Like ever.
No one likes a late payment. Not you and definitely not your credit score. One of the most effective ways of creating and maintaining a good credit history is to make sure you pay on time. No exception. Pro tip: Make a repayment on the same day as your debit orders. Lenders love this sort of stuff.
3. Unlike friends, you can have too much credit.
Don’t apply for too many credit accounts the second you have access to it. Whenever you apply for a new line of credit, there’s a hard enquiry done on your credit report and this negatively affects your credit score. Don’t panic. It’s not permanent. Typically, your credit score is refreshed every month, so if you’ve gone credit crazy. Hit the brakes for a bit.
4. Get comfy checking your credit score.
No news isn’t always good news, besides, how can you learn if you don’t know? By regularly reviewing your credit report, you can see what you’re doing well and what, well, isn’t working.