3 Ways to Take Advantage of Your New, Higher Credit Score

You may not have known it, but your credit score may have increased in the past couple of weeks. That’s thanks to a change that went into effect on July 1st and will now exclude civil debts and tax liens from your score. While CNBC reports that this adjustment is estimated to only affect around 7% of Americans, that still shakes out to about 12 million people. Moreover the credit scores involved in the change could have risen by as much as 20 points, amounting to a fairly significant boost.

Whether this latest tweak gave your score a bump or its just been headed in that direction organically, there may be ways that you can capitalize on your climbing credit. Here a few ideas of what to do now:

Refinance

If you purchased a home, new car, or took out another type of loan when you had lesser credit, you may want to consider refinancing with your improved credit to see if you can score a lower rate. In some cases doing so could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars depending on the size and length of the loan in question. That said you’ll want to pay attention to fees and other costs that could ultimately dissuade you from pursuing refinancing. 

Get a rewards credit card

Although there are many different credit cards out there, the ones that reward you most are typically reserved for people with great credit. Depending on where your score was before, an extra 20 points could make the difference between a “no” and a “yes” when it comes to applying for such cards. What’s great is that, once you are approved for a rewards card, you can actually put your credit to work for you and start saving money on your spending. Better yet, by paying off your balance on-time and in-full each month, you’ll not only avoid paying interest but also continue to raise your credit score higher.

Keep it going

To be sure, 20 points is a great boost — especially when you didn’t even have to do much for it. But, if you really want to enjoy the perks that come with having great credit, you’ll want to do more and keep your score soaring. There are many different ways of achieving this depending upon your individual situation. For example, maybe your best plan of attack is to tackle your credit card debt either directly or via consolidation. In other cases, perhaps you need to keep an eye on your monthly credit utilization and bring it under 30%. Following plans like these that can help lift your credit score even higher, giving you better borrowing opportunities in the process.


While a recent ruling on how civil debts and tax liens are accounted for on credit reports has led to score increases for a limited number of Americans, there are plenty of others who are bringing up their credit scores in other ways. As your credit improves, taking advantage of refinancing or obtaining a rewards credit card can save you a fair amount of money. Furthermore, by keeping up with good credit habits and continuing to build your score, you may be eligible for even more perks along the way. So what now? Why not head over to a free credit monitoring site and see what shape you score is in today.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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