A spring cleaning checklist for your credit score
It's that time of year again. Time to grab some paper towels, get some Windex, find a broom and start spring cleaning.
Or, you could set the vacuum and sponge off to the side and focus on cleaning up something far more important: your payment habits.
As we've covered before, nontraditional credit scores like PRBC's are increasingly popular with not just consumers, but also businesses. These credit ratings provide a much more accurate, comprehensive picture of a person's credit worthiness, as they take into account more elements of your financial history that FICO scores ignore. But while a nontraditional score is more expansive than FICO, it operates on the same basic principle: You need a strong score to qualify for loans and credit. And to get a good PRBC score, you need to develop excellent payment habits.
With that in mind, here's a checklist for your PRBC spring cleaning. If you can pay off any outstanding debt you have here and set up regular payments, you'll be on track for a shiny, untarnished credit score.
For most people, rent is the single biggest regular payment they make, so it's only natural that it plays a big part in your PRBC credit score. To get a good credit score, you need to ensure you're paying your rent on time and in full every month. If you're not, then you're PRBC score won't be as strong as it can or should be.
"Even if your landlord cuts you slack if your rent's late, break that habit."
So use the season to pay off any overdue money and set up regular rent payments. Even if your landlord tends to cut you some slack if you're a few days late, make it a point to break that habit and get your payments in on time. It's a good pattern to stick with generally, and it's especially important if you want to boost your credit score.
2. Utilities - Electricity, gas, water, cable, Internet
Here are some more payments to clean up and make regularly if you want a good credit score. It's easy to fall behind on any of these payments simply by virtue of the fact that there are so many. But you've got to make them eventually, so you should do everything you can to get the money in on time. Set aside a single day when you pay off all of these bills at once - that way, you won't forget one, and you won't need to worry about remembering them throughout the month. If possible, set up automatic bill payments for each of your utility payments all on the same day. If you can set up this schedule, you'll be rewarded with a better credit score - not to mention hot water for your morning shower.
It's even easier to let your insurance payments slide. After all, insurance is the sort of thing you know you need to have, but doesn't really affect you day to day. That being said, it's important to keep your insurance fully paid - not just for your well-being, but also for your PRBC score. Sign up for regular payments so you don't even need to think about it.
Yes, subscriptions can impact your PRBC score. If you're subscribed to Netflix, People, your local paper or anything else, keep your payments up to date. This little step can give you a further push toward a great credit score.