Want to finance a new car, but unsure how to get a better credit score in order to get a good deal? The team at Auffenberg Ford Belleville is here to help! Consider our list of six ways to raise your credit score, and you'll be on the roads of Waterloo behind the wheel of a new Ford Escape or new Ford F-150 in no time!

1. Check Your Credit Reports

Your credit reports are the window to your credit score, and it's important to ensure they are as factual as possible. Our list of tips to increase your credit score begins by requesting credit reports from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You are entitled to one free copy a year, per the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to access your credit reports, and look through them to identify any potential mistakes.

2. Assess Your Debts

What is your current debt situation? List out the balances of your credit cards, student loans, and more so that you can understand exactly how much you owe. Your credit score is influenced by the following factors:

  • Your debt-to-credit ratio:This ratio represents how much available credit you have vs. how much you have charged. Your goal should be to keep this ratio below 30%. 
  • Number of cards with balances: The more credit cards you have with balances from month to month, the lower your credit score will be.

3. Create a Payment Plan

Now that you have a sense of how much debt you currently have, it's time to create a plan of attack. Develop a repayment plan that first tackles debts in collections, then eliminates small balances on cards, and finally works to pay down larger debts.

4. Open a Credit Card

It's possible that you have a low credit score simply because you have never taken out a loan or had a credit card of your own. If this is the case, opening a card in Mascoutah can help to establish credit, so long as you pay your bill each month. Don't qualify for a regular credit card? Go with a secured credit card instead, which comes with a small limit and may require an initial deposit to open. 

5. Build a Credit Age 

Want to know how to get a better credit score? Give it time. Your credit age plays a role in your overall credit score. One way to more quickly boost your credit history is to join a family member's credit account, so long as financial boundaries are established up front.

6. Minimize New Credit Applications

While opening a new credit card is one of the ideal ways to improve your credit score, especially if you currently don't have any cards, you will want to be mindful of how many new cards or loans you apply for. Hard inquiries on your credit can impact your score for up to a year.

Get More Advice with the Auffenberg Ford Belleville Finance Center

Columbia-area drivers who need additional advice on how to get a better credit score can reach out to the Auffenberg Ford Belleville Finance Center. Our credit experts can walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Keep in mind that we also have options for you to lease a car with bad credit.