How To Maintain Good Credit: 9 Strategies For Long-Term Financial Wellness

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How To Maintain Good Credit

You rockstars think scoring a gnarly credit rating is where the real rebellion ends? Think again! 

This radical guide is about to blow the lid off “how to keep that hard-earned financial street cred blazing strong” – unlocking a world of bucking the system with sweet loan terms, giving corporate interest rates the ultimate rebel yell, and living life with a capital-F for Financial Freedom!

PRO TIP! A good credit score can lead to lower interest rates and increased borrowing power on loans and credit cards. MoneyLion offers a free and convenient way to find offers from our trusted partners to help you improve your credit.

9 Ways to maintain good credit

There’s no shortage of steps to maintaining a good credit score. Here are nine things you can do to keep your credit in good standing as the months turn to years. 

1. Pay bills on time 

Paying all bills on time is paramount for maintaining good credit. Late payments can significantly damage your credit score and remain on your credit report for up to seven years, making you appear a high-risk borrower to lenders. Set up automatic payments or payment reminders to ensure you never miss a due date. 

Additionally, making timely payments demonstrates to creditors that you are a responsible and reliable borrower, which can help strengthen your overall credit profile.

2. Keep credit card balances low 

High credit card balances relative to your total credit limit can negatively impact your credit utilization ratio, a major factor in credit scoring models. Experts recommend keeping your overall utilization below 30% and your per-card utilization even lower to maintain a good credit score and avoid credit score penalties. 

For example, if you have a credit limit of $10,000, aim to keep your balances below $3,000 across all your credit cards. Paying down balances regularly and avoiding maxing out your cards can positively impact your credit utilization and, in turn, your credit score.

3. Limit new credit applications 

Each time you apply for new credit, whether a credit card, loan, or other financing, the lender will initiate a hard inquiry on your credit report. Too many of these hard inquiries in a short period can ding your credit score, which may signal increased risk. Space out applications for new credit as needed and avoid applying for multiple credit products within a short time frame. 

Also, consider the impact on your credit score before applying for new credit and only apply when necessary.

4. Mix types of credit

A mix of different types of credit accounts, such as credit cards, installment loans, and mortgages, can benefit your credit score by demonstrating responsible management of various credit products. 

However, don’t open unnecessary accounts solely for this purpose, as new credit inquiries can temporarily lower your score. Instead, focus on managing your existing accounts responsibly and diversifying your credit mix over time as your financial circumstances and needs change.

5. Use credit regularly and responsibly

Using your credit accounts regularly and making on-time payments shows lenders that you can handle credit responsibly. However, be mindful of your credit utilization and avoid maxing out cards or carrying high balances, as this can hurt your score. Aim to use a reasonable portion of your available credit each month and pay it off in full or at least make more than the minimum payment. 

Responsible credit usage over time can help build a strong credit history and improve your overall creditworthiness.

6. Become an authorized user 

If you have a family member or partner with a long, positive credit history, you can benefit by becoming an authorized user on one of their older credit card accounts. This can help build your credit history and age of accounts, provided the primary account holder has a strong payment record. 

However, be cautious when pursuing this option, as any negative activity on the account could also impact your credit score. Discuss the potential risks and benefits with the account holder before becoming an authorized user.

7. Maintain old accounts 

The length of your credit history is a significant factor in credit scoring models. Keeping older credit card accounts open and active, even if you don’t use them frequently, can help improve your credit age and overall score. 

Evaluate annual fees to ensure keeping an old account open is worthwhile. If the account has no annual fee or the benefits outweigh the cost, consider keeping it open and using it occasionally to maintain activity and prevent it from being closed due to inactivity.

8. Fix delinquencies quickly 

If you have any outstanding delinquencies, such as late payments or accounts in collections, resolving them as quickly as possible is crucial for credit repair. The longer these negative items linger on your credit report, the more they drag down your score. Work with creditors to bring accounts current or settle collections.

9. Check credit reports regularly 

Monitoring your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) is essential for maintaining good credit. Dispute any errors or inaccuracies you find, as these could unfairly impact your score. You’re entitled to free annual reports from each bureau. 

Also, consider signing up for a credit monitoring service that provides regular updates and alerts, allowing you to stay on top of any credit profile changes and promptly address any issues.

The Importance of Building and Maintaining Good Credit

In the pursuit of long-term financial wellness, maintaining a strong credit profile is an ongoing commitment. You fortify your creditworthiness by adopting responsible habits such as paying bills promptly, minimizing credit utilization, and judiciously applying for new credit. 

Furthermore, monitoring your credit reports, swiftly resolving discrepancies, and nurturing a diverse credit mix contribute to a robust financial foundation. Embrace these strategies as a lifelong practice, ensuring that your hard-earned credit score remains a powerful asset on your path to enduring financial success.


What is a good credit score range?

According to the FICO scoring model, a good credit score range is typically 700 or above. Scores in the 800s are considered excellent, while scores below 670 are generally considered poor or subprime credit.

How do you get good credit fast?

There’s no quick fix for building good credit; it takes time and responsible credit management. However, strategies like becoming an authorized user on someone else’s long-standing account, keeping low credit utilization, and promptly fixing any delinquencies or errors can help improve your score faster.

Should I use credit monitoring services? 

Credit monitoring services can be useful tools for proactively monitoring your credit reports and identity for potential fraud or inaccuracies. However, they often come with a monthly fee, so evaluate your needs and budget. You can also monitor your credit yourself by obtaining free annual reports.

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