7 Things You Can Do To Help Increase Your Credit Score!
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Hello to all my fabulous readers! It is a wonderful cold, brisk spring morning here in the Midwest. I figured that I would share my experiences of how I was able to repair my credit score and hopefully help others that are in my same shoes do the same!
Credit reports can affect the price you pay for many things in your life. Things like: Ability to get a loan, loan interest rates, credit cards, insurance rates, and even the ability to get a cell phone. Keeping your report up to date and clean (without incorrect information) will allow you to save money on all these items.
How I Went From A Credit Score Of 503 To 812 In 2 Years
I have been getting questions about how to build your credit score. This is not something that happens overnight! It will take time and the ability to stick to these basic steps that I followed to increase my score from 503 to 812!
Check your credit
First thing first is with all the online credit reporting companies that are out there, just go online and check your credit! I use credit sesame because they are a FREE site that allows me to search my credit, see what’s on my credit, notifies me if I have an inquiry or new account, and allows me to create a game plan on how to go about fixing any problems. Click Here or the link above to get your 100% free account at creditsesame.com.
Do you recognize all the accounts?
If you don’t recognize all the accounts or a loan account is paid off and not closed, you may want to file a dispute with the credit reporting companies. This can be done online now by filing through the credit reporting company’s website, telephone, or certified mail. It may be best to contact the credit bureau or company displaying the incorrect information to see how they recommend filing a dispute. Disputes usually take 30-45 days to be corrected if the account in question is proven to be a mistake.
Do you have credit card debt?
Credit card debt is the largest reason for credit score fluctuation. When credit card debt fluctuates between the percentages of utilization of your credit limit, your score will also fluctuate quite a bit! If you make a large purchase on a credit card it can make your score plummet due to your utilization of available credit. The good thing is this is only temporary because when you make a payment (hopefully the full amount) it drops the utilization back down and will raise your credit score back up.
Should I add accounts to my credit report?
You may want to add a credit card. Don’t think you can get a credit card? Try adding a merchant card (most big box stores have them) or a secured credit card. Store credit cards are a little easier to obtain than regular credit cards but don’t have the flexibility of where they can be used. Anything that shows your ability to pay and maintain accounts will improve your credit.
I used secured cards like Capital One Platinum secured card which worked wonders for low credit scores or insufficient credit age and cannot get an unsecured card. To acquire this card you will need to have a low, refundable deposit which is nice if money is tight. They also pay interest on the deposit as well!
Keep the bill current and secured cards will also help raise your credit score because they report to the agencies. Pay off anything you put on the card right away so you are not paying the ridiculous interest and keep that money in your pocket for a different expense or save it!
Is having closed accounts on your credit report bad?
Having closed accounts on your report isn’t terrible. It is recommended to make sure the accounts are closed satisfactorily and not unsatisfactorily. To get the maximum benefit from this portion of your credit score, it is recommended to have 11-20 open accounts. Lenders like to see that you have a variety of accounts in which you use responsibly.
Should I add accounts?
This question has two answers. Sure! If there are accounts you can add, add away but make sure you will use them! I would not recommend adding an account at Hobby Lobby if you only shop there once every six months. Some merchants do offer discounts off your first purchase or discounts off your bill by using their cards at their store.
Keep in mind, companies perform credit checks (which will hurt your credit) and these accounts can raise your debt to income limit also. Raising the debt to income number so your debt is closer to your income can be hazardous for any purchasing power. Just because you have the credit available, some banks may not approve your home or a car loan for this reason. They look at it like you have the money available and can spend that money which could leave them in an undesired position.
Pay your bills on time!
Paying your bills on time is another important part of your credit score. Not paying your bills on time can lead you to experience collection companies which will also not help your credit score. With online banking came online bill pay. Most online bill pay systems allow you to future date your payments. This means that if the bill is due in two weeks you can pay the bill today but have the check sent in a week and a half. This also saves you on postage! A lot of companies also offer this option on their websites but the payment is made directly to them verses going through the banking system. Set this up so you are never late on a bill again!
You’re on your way!
All of these factors that I’ve mentioned can greatly affect your credit score. Changing any of these factors will amount to changing your credit score in the future. Just stick with it, pay your bills on time, use the credit you have wisely, and you will be just fine!
Thank you for reading and I hope you can use these tools I’ve outlined to help increase your credit score to over 800 as well. Stay frugal my friends!