Whether you’re planning on selling your home, buying new, or staying put for a couple more years, building up your credit score AND keeping it maintained will play a huge part in the process.

To maintain your credit score, here are some helpful tips:

  • Maintain low balances on your credit cards and revolving lines of credit. Once they’re paid down, keep balances low by using them only for emergencies.
  • Set up automatic bill pay. This ensures that all bills will be paid on time.
  • Keep rate shopping within a 30-day window of time. If you’re thinking of taking out a loan, limit your rate search to a small timeframe so the inquiries will likely be treated as a single one. The more inquiries into your credit, the more likely they’ll count against your credit score.
  • Reconsider closing accounts. Even if you don’t use a line of credit anymore, it may not be in your best interest to close it. Closing too many at once may raise red flags. Instead, leave the balance at zero and try not to use it.
  • Be responsible. Credit takes time to build and usually longer to rebuild if damaged.

Lenders typically decide what they consider acceptable credit, but the breakdown often looks like this: