Your credit score is what tells a potential creditor whether or not you should be trusted with their loan or credit card. Sometimes due to no fault of our own or past mistakes, you can find yourself in need of credit improvement. If have been unable to secure that loan or credit card; follow the steps below to improve your credit score, thereby improving your purchasing power.
1. Obtain a Copy of Your Credit Reports
The first step is to request a copy of your credit report. This way you can determine what problems are causing a low score. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three main credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Transunion, and Experian) each year.
2. Check for Errors
It is important that you check your credit reports for accuracy. If there are any errors on your report, you should first address the creditor for resolution. If they are unable, or unwilling to fix the errors on your report, then file a dispute with the credit reporting agency.
3. Contact Collection Agencies You Have Delinquent Accounts With
If you have delinquent accounts, you must contact those companies as soon as possible. First, see if you can settle the debt. This can usually be done by offering the collection agency 50% of the amount owed. If this isn’t possible or you don’t have the resources, try setting up a payment agreement with them to start paying down your debt. These payments should be reflected on your credit report.
4. Build Your Credit Utilization
A large portion of your credit score is based on your credit utilization. Consider obtaining either revolving credit, such as credit cards, or an installment loan, such as auto, home, personal, or student loans. It is important, however, that you make on-time payments on these loans in order to boost your score.
5. Limit Credit Applications
While some credit applications are to be expected, too many can cause a negative impact on your credit score. Be sure to carefully look at each credit application before applying to be sure it is something you want and think you will be approved for.
These steps will start you on the path to improving your credit score. Depending on your current score, it may take some time to fix any damage done to your credit score, but it will slowly start to improve. This will help you get the lending you need, at an interest rate you can afford.