When it comes to improving your credit there is no “instant” fix to make it happen overnight. The best and fastest way to make sure that your credit stays great is to never let it go bad. Life happens to us all, and things happen. Here are the first 5 steps I direct my clients to do to improve their credit scores:
- Get a copy of your credit report and address errors
According to a recent poll, 1 in 5 consumers have an error on their report. You should visit annualcreditreport.com and download your report (every citizen gets a free copy once a year), and see that everything is accurate and up to date.
2. Write a letter, or have credit repair company handle the errors found
If errors or maybe a late payment is found, contacting the company that reported it should be your next step. It isn’t easy to get a creditor to remove a late payment, but there is a dispute process. Most lenders really only factor in the late payments within the last 12 months. Removing a negative account from your report can drastically improve your score once done.
3. Lower your credit card usage
30% of your credit score is your outstanding and current debt. Lowering that (under 30% of your limit on each card and overall) balance will definitely help your score within 30 days as well once the creditor next reports. Another option, is to request a balance increase from your creditor, which will lower how much is being used if increased.
4. Don’t apply for any credit
Seeking new credit in a short period of time, will drop your score. Keep this in mind as you request new credit and increases on current cards.
5. Settle late payments
NO MORE LATE PAYMENTS! Your payment history makes up 35% of your score. Focus on making on time payments and never let a late payment happen again. Setting up automatic payments is an easy way to avoid that from happening.
Credit is very vital to enjoying things in life. Take care of it and not be taken advantage of with high interest rates whenever boring money.