Your credit score can impact your ability to do almost anything, from buying a house to getting a job you’ve always wanted. With so many people struggling to make ends meet, it’s no wonder that there are many individuals concerned with the state of their credit score and with improving their numbers. While “fixing” your credit score isn’t easy and will almost always require significant time and effort, here are four ways to effectively improve your credit score:
#1 Check Your Credit Report
You may be surprised to learn just how many people don’t know their credit score and even worse, how many people have errors on their report that adversely affect their credit. There is only one way to rectify this problem: get a copy of your credit report. Make sure to go over your report in detail to ensure that there are no errors and, if there are, make sure to dispute them.
#2 Keep Your Credit Card Balance in Check
A big factor in determining your credit score is how much revolving debt you possess. In other words, what percentage of your available credit have you currently used? If that number is over 30 percent, odds are you’re hurting your credit. It’s always best to pay off your credit card expenditures every month, but keeping it below 30 percent is a must if you want to keep your credit score where it should be.
#3 Pay Your Bills On Time, Every Time
This may seem like a given, but it’s not always as simple as it sounds. Odds are, you have many different bills that get paid during the month: rent, mortgage, car payment, utilities, etc. Make sure that you’re paying all of these bills right on time. If it helps, construct a bill payment calendar so that you know when each of your bills are due. Most lenders and utility companies will even allow you to set up automatic payments so that you don’t need to worry about keeping track of each individual payment.
#4 Don’t Try to Eliminate “Old” Debt
Debt isn’t always bad, and that’s especially true if it’s paid off and you handled the payment of that debt in a responsible manner. Far too many individuals rush to remove all traces of their debt from their report, but showing lenders and others that you’re able to handle debt responsibly can be crucial to keeping your score up and impressing lenders in the future. The same holds true for getting rid of old credit cards that have been paid off. In fact, these old accounts can be very valuable at showing your “credit-worthiness”.
When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask a financial expert for help determining and understanding your credit score. It’s never too late to turn your credit around!
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