There are a number of benefits that accompany having a great credit score, but for some folks building excellent credit seems like an uphill battle that they are constantly fighting. Having awesome credit gives you the opportunity to pay lower financing rates on your loans. Better rates typically mean that you keep more money in your pocket as opposed to giving it away to the lender. Not to mention the peace of mind and personal satisfaction that you have knowing you can get the things you need and want because of your awesome credit.

Here are a few ways you can add extra points to your credit score so you can enjoy the emotional, physical and financial benefits of having great credit.

1. Pay down your balances

Your Utilization ratio, the amount you owe impacts 30% of your credit score. It’s not just as simple as what you owe, but more importantly it’s how much you owe in comparison to how much available credit you have. For example, If you have a credit card with a $5,000 limit and you have a balance of $2,500, you have a utilization ratio of 50%.

It is suggested by that your utilization ratio should never exceed 30% of the credit limit according to MYFICO.com. If you charge more than the recommended 30% limit, pay it down as soon as you can.

Paying down your balances on any open active revolving accounts is a quick way to boost your credit score. If money is tight, make the sacrifice to carry your lunch, have a garage sale or do something out of your comfort zone so you have the necessary funds to pay down your credit cards. The sacrifice you make will pay off big time!

2. Request a credit limit increase

If you have a credit limit of $5,000 on a credit card and you owe $2500 but you can’t pay down the balance right away, request an increase in your limit to lower your credit utilization ratio. You can use this strategy on all of your credit cards to help you increase your available credit. Your credit score will increase due to having a lower credit utilization ratio, But don’t incur any new charges after your credit limit is increased, that would totally defeat the purpose.

3. Open a new credit account

Opening a new credit card can help to lower your overall credit utilization ratio. Your utilization ratio considers your total credit limit of all your credit cards combined and the balance of all the cards combined. If you have 2 credit cards with a total combined limit of $10,000 and you have a balance of $5,000 owed between both cards you are at a 50% utilization ratio. If you open a new credit card for $5,000, you will lower your utilization and your credit score will increase.

4. Get added as an authorized User

Getting added to someone else’s credit card as an authorized user is a quick and easy way to raise your credit score quickly. If you have a family member or friend that will add you to one of their credit cards, that would be a big win for your score.

When looking for someone to do this big gigantic favor for you, explain that you don’t want an actual card. Tell them that you only want to be added to their account in order to build your credit. Make sure that the card is issued in your name or it will not report to your credit.

Before you get added to the account, make sure the person you ask is responsible and pays their bills on time or your credit score will drop if they don’t pay on time. You also want to be sure that they are keeping a low balance on the card so that it doesn’t hurt your utilization ratio.

5. Clean up your credit report

According to the United States Public Interest Research Group, 79% of all credit reports contain errors. That means that you are more than likely to have inaccurate, outdated and unverifiable information on your credit profile.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects your rights and it clearly states that all accounts that are not accurate, isn’t reporting within the allowable time and can’t be verified, must ne updated or removed. This applies even to accounts that you defaulted on. But, getting these accounts removed are not as easy as 123.

Repairing your credit and getting harmful information removed can help to increase your credit score. It’s important that you check and monitor your credit often. Your credit is an important investment and you should treat it as such.

Most consumers are looking for ways to improve their credit and finances. Please share this information and leave a comment or suggestion with things that we can help you with.