10 Shortcuts That May Improve Credit
Taking the Proper Credit Repair Measures
They say that slow and steady wins the race. However, there are some credit repair tactics that can yield benefits quickly. By following these tips, you may start to see your credit score improving.
1. Get Your Credit Report
Each of the three major credit bureaus allow you to get one free credit report per year. These checks won’t affect your credit score, and if you space them out, you’ll be able to check your report for free up to three different times throughout the year.
2. Correct Errors
Unsettled debt or incorrect personal information that remains on your credit report may contribute to a lower score. You should try to fix these mistakes as soon as possible by challenging them with the credit bureau. A credit repair company can also assist you in correcting errors on your credit report.
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Identify credit problems that you can address immediately. By figuring out your biggest issues, you’ll be able to devise a strategy that can help you fix your credit in the most efficient way possible.
4. Knock Out Those Small Issues
Even if paying down a small balance doesn’t affect your score right away, it will give you a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, paying a little at a time is still progress towards your end goal.
5. Open a Line of Credit
If you don’t have any credit cards, it may be beneficial for you to get one. Even if you have poor credit or no credit at all, there are still some credit cards that you may qualify for. These cards will still report, and it may only take a few months of timely payments to improve your creditworthiness.
6. Negotiate With Creditors
Instead of hiding from creditors, it may help to be proactive. Most companies are willing to work with you if you meet them halfway. Try to come to some sort of agreement that will allow you to repay the debt in exchange for the issuer marking it as “paid in full” or “current” on your credit report.
7. Take a Look at Your Credit Limits
Are your credit limits accurate, or do you have a higher limit than you think? You can ask your credit card company to raise your limit. Be careful though, because a higher limit doesn’t necessarily mean you should spend more. Keep your balances low enough to pay off each month. Having a low balance with a high limit can improve your credit utilization ratio.
Having a low balance with a high limit can improve your credit utilization ratio.
8. Manage Your Credit Usage
Your credit utilization ratio accounts for about 30 percent of your total credit score. This number represents your total available credit vs. your total used credit. If you can keep your credit usage to about 25% or less, your utilization ratio will be in great shape.
9. Add Your Name to an Account
If you can become an authorized user of a parent or spouse’s credit account, it may help improve your own credit score. This strategy works if you can partner with someone who has a higher score than yours.
10. Make Sure Your Accounts Are Current
If you have any back payments due, it should become your top priority to pay them off. Once you’re paid in full, you can ask the credit card companies to remove the late payment information from your report.
Believe it or not, it is possible to improve your credit. If some of these steps seem overwhelming to you, you can also hire a professional to help you repair your score. Professional services are available to dispute credit errors and offer helpful advice on how to build the best credit possible.
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