If you have poor credit and want to do something about it, it’s usually just a simple matter of following a specific step-by-step procedure that will ensure a relatively quick and hassle-free improvement in your credit score (also known as your FICO score). But it is important to have a plan in place and not just get your current credit report and start making phone calls to the companies that have reported derogatory entries on your report. Here’s a simple checklist for how to improve credit score:
Get and Review Your Credit Report.Everyone living in the United States is entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. These bureaus are Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. You can get free credit reports from them annually. Any additional reports come at an extra charge. There are several free credit report websites where you can get these reports from one centralized location.
Avoid companies that make promises of improving your credit score for a fee. There is nothing that these companies can do that you can’t do yourself as long as you have the proper knowledge. This knowledge is easily obtained by using a guidebook such as the “Credit Secrets Bible” guidebook mentioned above. The vast majority of companies that claim they will improve your credit score by a certain amount basically are preying on individuals who either don’t want to invest the time and effort to improve their score or think they have no choice because the system is overly complicated and they would never be able to understand it and navigate through it. Both of these are erroneous assumptions.
Reduce your outstanding debt. This doesn’t mean to move the debt to lower interest credit cards; it means to reduce, or payoff, existing revolving credit accounts.Reactivate an old card to enhance your card history. Credit history, or how long you have been using credit accounts, plays a role in the overall credit score. If you have an old, open account with no activity, chances are that the creditor is not reporting any information to the credit bureaus. The longer you have been using credit responsibly, the more worthy you will seem.
Use more than one type of credit account. A combination of installment loans (car payments) and revolving credit accounts show your ability to manage different types of credit.stop applying for loans. New credit inquiries (hard pulls) can have an impact on your credit score. A hard pull is when a potential creditor evaluates your credit report for a loan and, in some cases, a savings account. Hard pulls remain on your credit report and can lower your credit score five points for up to six months, according to lendingtree.com. Soft pulls do not affect your credit score; card solicitations and some mortgage loan pre-approvals are examples of soft inquiries. Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report
If you are looking to improve your credit one of the first things you need to do is get a copy of your personal credit report from all the major credit reporting agencies. You are entitled to a free copy of your report from any agency who gathers and reports such information. Once you have a copy of this credit report you can check to see if any of the accounts are reporting late payments erroneously. If you feel that there are any errors at all on your credit report you can dispute them with the credit bureau that reports it. Keep in mind that you will need proof of any differences so be prepared to show documented proof of payments made. this usually means a signed document or printed report of on time status with the account.
Obtain a copy of your latest credit reports: This is your first step to repair bad credit. Obtaining the latest credit reports will help you understand exactly where you stand and what needs to be repaired. If you live in America, you must know that there are mainly 3 credit rating agencies. It is a good idea if you can get hold of copies of credit reports from all the 3 agencies.
First, let’s briefly discuss what ‘credit score’ is; basically, it is a piece of numerical information that represents your creditworthiness and capability to pay credit. Keeping your current loans, cards, and their outstanding balances at the minimum is an indication of how well you handle your financial obligation. Your consistency in paying your debts will positively impact your score. High outstanding debt and delinquency in paying them, on the other hand, can be destructive. If you have an existing high outstanding debt and have been inconsistent with your payments, then you have a slimmer chance of getting an approval for another bank loan. How can a lender trust you if you still owe a lot from another financial institution, or several of them? Paying your bills on time is the best way to show financial stability and ability to pay. Delinquency in payments of bills or loans will negatively impact your score, even if the amount to be paid is small. Ignoring small bills is not the best way on how to improve credit score fast. We must remember that creditor reports contain the specific payment history of a borrower.
Dispute: This is the step when you dispute the inaccurate information your credit report has. Find out all the inaccurate items a particular report contains and contact the agency which has given it out. Inform them of the inaccuracies and demand that the items be removed from your report. It may take sometime for the credit agencies to contact you but they will no matter what. Make sure that such inaccurate items are removed from the next set of reports the credit agencies bring out. This is a very important step of correcting bad credit.
Set Payment Reminders – Many banking institutions will have a system that will allow you to create payment reminders that can be sent to you via phone, text or email to help remind you to make your payments when they are due. Take advantage of this and remember the personal discipline part of your new life as well. Make sure you make all payments on time and this often means you make them early. This will help you restructure your life to see great changes.