5 Steps to Improving Your Credit Score
There are no quick fixes when it comes to your credit. However, if you're willing to take the time, you will eventually be able to raise it through careful budgeting and management. With these five steps, you may be able to considerably improve your credit score:
Check for Inaccuracies
First and foremost, you must ensure that your credit report does not contain any real discrepancies. Mistakes can happen, so if you do notice that something seems incorrect, contact the credit bureau directly.
Pay Your Bills on Time
Nearly 35% of your credit score is comprised of your payment history. It is essential to consistently pay any bills in a timely manner if you'd like to help improve your score. Though you may have had delinquencies in the past, those will begin to count less if you consistently pay on time.
Keep Your Card Balances Low
Canceling your credit cards may seem like the most beneficial thing you can do, but it's actually very important to maintain them and keep their balances low. Lenders generally want to see a large gap between your spending limit and the maximum amount on the card, so the most effective way you can improve your score is by reducing how much you owe. Those without credit cards tend to have lower credit scores than those who do.
Inquire About a "Goodwill Adjustment"
If you have proven yourself to be a good customer, ask your lender if they are able to erase a late payment from your report. It can't hurt to ask, especially if it's going to improve your record with the company.
Break out an Old Card
Usually a longer credit history indicates a better credit score. Every few months you should charge small amounts to the oldest cards you have. Immediately paying these off will not only keep the cards active, it will also strengthen your credit history.
Requesting Your Score:
In 2004, the Federal Trade passed a law that allows you to be able to receive a free annual credit report from http://www.annualcreditreport.com. This website allows you to receive credit reports from three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies.