Five Ways To Improve Your Credit Score
Get your financial house in order by getting those numbers up
One of the best ways to improve your financial situation in 2013 is to improve your credit score. A better credit score will help you get the best interest rates on loans, which will save you money in the long run. It may also improve your chances of getting certain jobs, or even housing. So, what’s the best way to fix your credit score? It’s simple. Know what’s on your credit report and take steps to improve it.
Read Your Credit Report
You can’t fix your credit report if you don’t know what’s on it. Each year you’re entitled to one free credit report. Visit annualcreditreport.com or call (877) 322-8228 to request one. Once the report is in your hands, read it carefully. Is the information accurate and up to date?
Dispute Any Errors
As a consumer, you have rights. If there’s a mistake on your credit report, you can ask for it to be investigated. One error on your credit report can lower your score significantly. So, if you don’t owe the telephone company $400, dispute it. According to MSN Money, the older a collection account is and the smaller the amount, the more likely a collection agency is to drop the matter altogether.
Make Payment Arrangements
If you’re having financial difficulties right now, don’t just decide to ignore your bills or pay them late. Many companies are willing to make payment arrangements with you, especially if you’ve been a good customer before your financial troubles. Making payment arrangements can prevent a late payment history from turning up on your credit report.
Lower Your Balances If Your Can’t Pay Them Off
You’ve heard it’s best not to max out your credit cards, but repairing your credit requires that you to go the extra mile. You not only want to avoid maxing out your credit cards, you want to avoid using more than 30 percent of the funds you have available on them. If you can’t pay off your credit cards, lowering what you owe is the next best thing you can do to boost your credit scores.
Pay Charge-Off or Collection Accounts
Don’t assume the damage has already been done if one of your accounts is now in collections or has reached charge-off status. Paying off these old accounts can give your credit score a much-need boost and help you get credit from other lenders. According to About.com’s Credit website, “Your approach to paying collections is much like that for charge-offs, you can pay in full and even try to get a pay for delete in the process or you can settle the account for less than the balance due.”