Eight common ways to “protect” your credit score

Illustrative person sitting at a desk with a computer

Check your credit score regularly

Become familiar with your credit score by checking it regularly. Then, you’ll be able to identify and correct any inaccurate or incorrect information that may be listed.

Maintain a low debt to credit ratio

Use less than 30% of your total available credit. This keeps your “debt to credit ratio” lower.

Give your credit time to age

Having a longer average age of credit shows responsible credit behavior and is good for your credit score. To prevent a credit card issuer from closing an account due to inactivity, make small purchases and then pay the balance in full each month.

Use debt management if necessary

There are no quick fixes for improving or changing your credit score. If you’re struggling with debt, avoid services that claim they can fix your credit report or credit score for a fee. Instead, use reputable debt management services like your Credit Union.

Only apply for credit when you need it

Credit score models look at how many new accounts you’ve applied for, how quickly you applied for them and credit accounts too quickly may hurt your credit score.

Maintain a healthy credit mix

Having a healthy mix of credit accounts shows lenders you’re capable of managing different types of credit. Having too many different credit accounts, though, or not having a variety at all, could negatively impact your credit score.

Keep a positive public record

Do your best to avoid certain activity that will appear negatively for several years on your public record including foreclosures, bankruptcies, short sales or delinquencies on your credit accounts.

Pay your bills on time, every time

Missing payments, making late payments or having past-due accounts transferred to collection agencies all negatively affect your credit score.