It’s time to improve your credit score. A higher score can help you grab a lower interest rate on loans and credit cards. T. Rowe Price, an investment management company with a Boca Raton, Fla., office, reported that consumers with high credit scores can save as much as $300 a month in a lower house payment on a $300,000 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. That’s because good credit risks are rewarded with a lower interest rate — in some cases more than 1.5 percent less. Here are five ways to improve your score, according to T. Rowe Price:
1. Get into a habit of paying down debt. And don’t think you have solved your debt problem by moving it around. Moving balances can actually hurt your score.
2. Make interest payments on time. Lenders like to see a history of responsible paying. You might want to consider automatic payments if you forget about those monthly bills.
3. Don’t open new accounts too rapidly if you have a short credit history. Too many new accounts can lower your score.
4. Don’t close unused accounts. The longer you’ve had a line of credit open, the better.
5. Regularly check your credit report and correct any errors. You can order a free annual report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com.