Having a low credit score may make you feel hopeless about your financial future, but don’t give up now. There are ways you can start to improve your credit score now. While it may seem challenging to raise your score to the standards that lenders of mortgages and auto loans will require, it is definitely possible and simpler than you think.
Here are the seven ways you can improve your credit score and achieve your dreams of financial freedom.
- Pay attention to credit card balances
- Schedule a morning, afternoon or time on the weekend to compile a list of every credit card account you have that is active. Now note all unresolved balances of credit card debt. You will need this information for a variety of reasons, including pinpointing small balances and high interest cards. Ideally, you want your credit card balances to be paid off. If you cannot pay them in full, then you need to work to get them to 50% of the total credit granted to improve your credit score.
- Get rid of the array of lingering credit card balances
- Many times you may find you have numerous credit card balances of somewhat small amounts owed you have acquired through the years. Make a plan to free up or earn extra money. Use this money to pay off all those small balances one account at a time, you will improve your credit score with every paid off outstanding debt.
- Don’t have old accounts removed from your credit report
- Never make the financial mistake of having a good account history or old debt that is paid off removed from your credit report just because the account is closed. It does not make any sense to remove all the good stuff you have done through the years that makes you look good to lenders and creditors. Ideally, you want the good accounts and old debt to remain on your credit report for as long as possible.
- Do your rate shopping within a short time frame
- If you are going to be shopping for a car, house or student loan in the near future, then be prepared to do all of your applications within a short period of time. It used to be that every time someone applied for credit their score would dip to reflect such for the length of a year. However, now the multiple applications made for school, house and auto loans will be ignored by the credit score community if they are made within a specific period of time ranging 15 to 45 days, depending on the type of credit score used by the lenders.
- Pay bills on time, every time
- Pay off all judgements and liens
- You know that cable, cell phone or hydro bill that you did not pay off for whatever reason. Guess what? These company’s will file with credit bureaus that you have an outstanding balance and no traditional lender will lend until these items are paid. So don’t think you can get away without paying. They will not be removed off your credit score until they are paid.It goes without saying that the basics to improve your credit score is to pay your bills and on time. The consistent, routine practice of paying your debts by the date they are due speaks volumes in regards to your credit score. The benefits reaped from smart spending habits are long-term and automatically come with each on-time payment.
- Avoid the indirect threat of risk to your credit
- Don’t go waving red flags around to creditors and lenders that you are desperate for cash. Although securing a cash advance or temporary loan doesn’t affect your credit score, the acts of conducting the transactions themselves is advertising to lenders that you are at risk for not paying balances owed.
By practicing the tips above and managing your own credit report, you will see your credit score improve. Before you know it, you will be able to finally do the shopping you want for a house, car or other major purchase without the stamp of denial headed your way.