If buying a new car is in your future, you will quickly realize how important your credit score will be for the transaction. You’ll also want to have a solid idea of how much the car you want will cost. You can search the cost of pretty much any make and model you might be interested in at cars.com for budgeting purposes. If you haven’t checked out your credit score in a while, now’s the time to do so.
Credit scores usually range from 500 to 800 or more, and the higher on that scale you find your number, the better off you’ll be when it comes to getting great financing on your next car purchase. If you find yourself on the lower end of the range, you still might be able to secure financing, but you should start cleaning up your credit profile as soon as possible.
There are no fast ways to launch your credit score into the 700s which is typically considered a good place to be. But there are several things you can start doing that will inch your score higher and higher with each passing month. Probably the easiest thing you can do is pay your bills on time. Create a calendar or some other system for reminding yourself when bills and payments are due and try very hard to never miss them. Paying your bills on time has impact on your credit history over time and late payment hurt.
If you have credit cards, try not to use more than 20 mark of your credit limit. If you do, this shows up on your credit report as having high balances on revolving credit accounts which could signal financial trouble to potential lenders. The ratio of credit available to you and credit used has a high impact on your overall credit score so you should work really hard to pay down amounts owed until they are at least under the 20 percent mark.
The total amount of credit available to you also earns good marks on your credit score. But, resist the urge to open a bunch of new accounts at one time to try and increase that number before buying a car. Each time you attempt to open an account, a potential creditor will pull your credit report and this will result in a hard inquiry which counts against you. Potential lenders can also view multiple credit applications in a short time span as another red flag that you might be in a financial pinch.