Saturday, April 13, 2013 - Article by: Steven Ceceri - Creative Financing Options Group -
Here are 8 Tips to Help Improve Your Credit Score!
1. Review Your Credit File Often:
a) www.AnnualCreditReport.com offers free access to all 3 major credit bureaus annually
b) www.CreditKarma.com provided by TransUnion offers a free consumer score and monitoring for such things are credit card balances, inquiries, payment history, and offers suggestions on how to help improve scores.
c) www.CreditSesame.com provided by Experian and offers a free consumer credit score and some other helpful tools and tips.
d) www.equifax.com/equifax-credit-score/ is an Equifax site that offers a peak into your consumer score.
2. Dispute Inaccurate Items:
Using the credit reports from Annual Credit Report's website, you can dispute any inaccurate items online, by fax, by phone, or through the mail. The sooner you dispute the items, the closer you are to having an updated credit score.
Visit My FICO's Dispute Section of their website where they offer FREE access to dispute all 3 Major Credit Bureaus. You can create a Paid Account on My FICO's Website to monitor your credit and assess your credit file and gain access to other helpful credit information as well.
3. Don't Close Revolving Credit Accounts:
It is not a good idea to close that old credit card you've had for years now or the account where you don't like the bank anymore. Closing revolving credit can negatively impact your credit score, so just use that account sparingly and pay the bill once your purchase hits the account. This is especially true for those of you who are looking to build your credit files.
4. Keep Balances No More Than 20-30% Of The Limit:
If you have a $500.00 credit card limit, you should try to keep your balance no more than $100.00 to $150.00 at any given time. This will help keep your score on the rise. The lower the balance the better is the general rule. Continued use of the card and paying off the balance is the smart thing to do!
5. Eliminate The "Hard Credit Pulls":
When shopping for credit, be sure to do all your shopping for credit all at once. For instance, if you are shopping for a car and applying at various car dealers with a short period of time, the inquiries you are accumulating should not have a major impact on your credit as it is clearly evident you are shopping for the best deal.
On the other hand, if you are applying for a Macy's Card, Shell Gas Card, and other credit card offers that are not in close relation, they will each have an impact on your score. So, if you are looking for new credit, try to apply only to the ones you think you have the best chance of obtaining.
6. Improve Scores With As An Authorized User:
If you have a responsible person who is willing to let you ride on their credit coattails, then you can use their credit to help build yours. This is common for a parent to help their child to help establish a credit history.
Please be sure to use this cautiously as if the person you are receiving the credit from suddenly stops paying, that will have a major impact on your credit. So, it can work both ways, but be sure you monitor this often.
7. Pay Your Bills On Time:
It seems to be as simple as paying your bills on time, but sometimes it is harder than it should be. When you are looking to build your credit, you need to do all you can to make sure all of your bills are paid on time, particularly those that you were granted credit for, such as student loans, car loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc.
You also need to be sure that the utility bill that you haven't paid for months doesn't come back to haunt your credit. It is wise to make a payment arrangement with any creditor when you are unable to pay to keep a collection agency from hounding you down the line. Don't avoid the phone calls or letters as it makes the situation worse than it needs to be. Keep the creditors informed if you are having a tough time and figure out what options may be available to you.
8. Don't Go It Alone:
Everyone has an opinion on everything these days, including how credit works. If you are researching the internet for help, you will find a lot of information to read through, but in the end, it all comes down to the same information shared here.
Didn't find the answer you wanted? Ask one of your own.