The best thing for improving your credit is to manage it responsibly. If you haven’t paid attention to that, then you have to fix your credit history before you see credit score improvement.
Things to Do:
1.Check Your Credit Report. – Get a FREE Credit Score! Sign up Now!
If you haven’t already, ask for a free copy of your credit report and check it for errors. Your credit report has the information that is used to calculate your score and it may have some errors. Make sure that there are no late payments incorrectly listed for any of your accounts and that the money owed for each of your open accounts is right. If you find errors, dispute them with the credit bureau.
2.Look at What You Need to Fix
The errors that can lower your score are not a name that is misspelled. So here are some that can actually impact negatively your overall score:
- Your identity has been stolen and the person is abusing your credit.
- A collection account from years prior is still being reported, even though it’s past the statute of limitations in your state.
- A bill your ex was supposed to pay in your divorce has not being paid.
- Your credit data has been confused with someone else who has the same or a similar name.
If your credit report is correct, but you still have a bad credit score, here are the main credit scoring factors and how each one can have consequences on your score: payment history, amount of debt, age of accounts, types of account Mix and history of credit Applications.
3.Establish Payment Reminders – You can do this for free with Google Calendar or setup alerts on your phone
Paying your credit on time is a major contributing factor to your overall score. Some financial institution offer notifications that can send you via email or text message reminding you when a payment is due. Also, you can enroll in automatic payments through your credit card and loan providers to have payments debited from your bank account. This option only pays the minimum amount on your credit cards and does not help you with a sense of responsibility towards your money managment.
4.Reduce the Amount of Debt
This option is not that easy but it has to be done. Decreasing the money that you owe is going to be a far greater achievement than fixing your credit score. Reduce the use of your credit cards. Use your credit report to track all of your accounts and then check online or recent statements to establish how much you owe on each and what interest rate they are charging you.
Elaborate a plan that puts most of your available budget for debt payments towards the highest interest cards first, while keeping paying only the minimum on other accounts.
5.Pay your bills on time.
Delayed payments, even if only for few days, can have a negative impact on your score. If you have missed any payments, get up to date and stay there. The longer you wait after the date is due, the more your scores would increase. It could stay on your credit report for seven years.
6.Pay Your Debt Instead Of Moving It Around.
The best way to improve your credit scores is by paying your credit cards debt.
Don’t shut down unused credit cards as a short-term strategy to raise your scores.
Don’t open numerous credit cards that you don’t need, just to improve your available credit. This could lower your overall scores.
Don’t open accounts just to get a better credit mix.
Have credit cards – but handled them dutifully.
7.Make Sure to Open a Secured Credit Card
This refers to a type of credit card where you make a deposit into a checking account that “secures” the line of credit the bank or lender is giving you. You can open a checking account and put $200 in it and get a line of credit for $200). You can get a secured card with bad credit, and adding a new account with a positive payment record will help you in proving to creditors that you’re stable.
Overall, having credit cards and loans (and paying in time) will rebuild your credit scores. People without credit cards tend to be higher risk than somebody who has handled credit cards conscientiously.
Remember that closing an account doesn’t make it go away.
How to Fix Errors on the Credit Report
One in five American citizens has mistakes on their credit report and this could lead to disqualification for mortgages and loans, and end up in increased insurance premiums and higher interest rates. For some, those errors can even prevent them from getting a job. Fortunately, removing these mistakes is a great way of fixing the score, and is actually an easy and effective method.
There are companies that can help. Almost 79% of consumers who disputed credit report errors were successful in removing them, according to the FTC. One of those people was Amanda who worked with a credit repair service. Amanda discovered that she couldn’t get credit because she had a low credit score. What she found were inconsistencies and purchases she never made. She used a credit repair service, to help her improve and fix the problems on her report. Since she doesn’t have the time to dispute every error in her credit history, the company did this for her and the report was fixed.
A poor credit score can potentially cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime. It can also become a source of serious stress, making you feel like you just can’t leave the mistakes of the past behind and move on. Luckily, you’re not alone. Plenty of people struggle to improve their credit scores and there are numerous ways to build good credit — and reap the rewards that come with having a good credit score.
Worrying forever about being approved for loans, mortgages and credit cards is not something you wish to be doing. Following the tips above will not only save you money, but also instill in you the important skills necessary to keep a good credit score in your future. If you have bad credit, don’t give up on it. Instead, be accountable and keep yourself informed about your accounts and scores so you can effectively handle your own financial situation.