A credit score is a simple yet powerful three-digit number. Don’t fret if your credit score currently needs a facelift because I can help you.
How? Your bank accounts can be one of many tools that play a supporting role in boosting your credit health. Regular banking activity like making deposits and putting money into savings doesn’t show up on your credit report or directly impact your credit score.
However, being strategic with your banking habits can help your credit soar. Here’s how:
Automate Bill Payments from Your Bank Account
Paying your bills on time makes up 35% of your credit score. This is the single most important factor in the credit score calculation, so you need to pay your bills on or before due dates.
Set up bill pay from your bank account to avoid having any small or large bills slip through the cracks. Most companies and service providers offer an online automatic bill pay option – but you might want to think twice before using this!
I always suggest setting up bill pay directly from your bank for security reasons. When you set up recurring payments through companies, you’re giving someone else access to your account numbers and permission to perform transactions.
On the other hand, when you set up recurring payments from your own bank account the bank will be sending money to your payee. You control where your money is going with this method which is how it should always be.
Take Care of Overdrafts ASAP
When overdrafts happen, do whatever you can to return your account to a positive balance right away. You may even want to consider signing up for overdraft protection.
Here’s why: Unpaid overdrafts are one aspect of your bank account that can appear on your credit report if the account is turned over to collections. An overdraft account balance in collections can negatively impact your score and also make it very difficult for you to qualify for another bank account. This is not a good situation to be in.
Maintain a Strong Relationship with Your Bank
Your bank balance may have no direct weight on credit scores, but your bank can be a gatekeeper to other products. Keeping your bank account in good standing can open doors to credit building tools like secured credit cards.
Credit scores aren’t the only thing that can get you a great interest rate. When you’re ready to make a big purchase like a house or car, your bank may be willing to extend a special offer to a loyal customer.
Keep Your Bank Account Poppin’
What exactly does keeping your bank account in good standing mean? Actively monitor your account and rectify any overdrafts immediately. Also, follow the rules such as maintaining (at least) the minimum balance and limiting bank transfers as required.
Are you interested in opening up a new bank account? Keep in mind, some banks will do a credit check and “hard pull” on your report before opening your account. Be sure to ask the bank beforehand if they perform a hard inquiry since that can appear on your credit report and ding you a couple of points temporarily.
Find more advice from Tiffany here. Happy banking!
Tiffany is the founder of The Budgetnista and an award-winning personal finance educator and expert who blogs for The Huffington Post and U.S. News and World Report. Tiffany is also the author of two #1 Amazon bestsellers, “The One Week Budget” and “Live Richer Challenge.”