Ways to Improve Your Credit Score
By Editorial Staff
There are ten simple tips that will surely lead to a better financial future for you and your family.
Improving and maintaining your credit score is probably simpler than you think.
10. Pay Your Bills on Time
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This is perhaps the most essential key to maintaining good credit. All of the major credit bureaus deduct points from your score based on reports of late or missed payments. Be sure to set up reminders using your phone or other devices and, if possible, set up an automatic payment so that the balance is simply deducted from your checking account each time a payment is due. Set up a personal budget that notes due dates to keep you on track.
9. Eliminate as Much Credit Card Debt as Possible
Every once in a while most of us come into an outsized payday, perhaps from an inheritance or a Christmas bonus. On these occasions it is imperative that you set aside some of this financial windfall to make a larger than usual payment on your debts. This will reduce your monthly payments and improve your credit score.
8. Keep Balances as Low as Possible
Avoid using your credit card for unnecessary purchases. A good rule of thumb is: if you can afford it, you don’t need to charge it. Keeping balances low will help maintain a good score and keep your debts easy to manage.
7. Look at Your Credit Report
These days it easier than ever to keep track of your credit score without having to make a hard inquiry, which tends to lower your score slightly. You will also be able to see if other people have used your information for credit related purposes without your knowledge. Most sites offer a breakdown of what is affect your score and how, allowing you to make informed decisions about how to best utilize your credit responsibly.
6. Do Your Rate Shopping All at Once
This will minimize the damage done by those hard inquiries discussed in tip number four. It will also give those with a reason to look at your credit report an idea of why your score may have been affected by these inquiries.
5. Apply for as Little New Credit as Possible
There are a few reasons to apply for as little credit as possible. One is that you avoid those dings from hard inquiries. Another is that debt is easier to manage when you have less accounts. If you are paying your bills on time then your credit provider will generally extend a greater line of credit to you anyway, if not then you are probably not in a good position to accrue more debt.
4. Debt Consolidation
Debt consolidation is a service provided by many financial institutions which allows the indebted person to consolidate their debts into a manageable monthly payment. This service is of course not free and generally you will end up paying more than you originally owed, but you will only owe one lender (the institution that buys your debt) and will be given a longer time to pay off the debt in manageable increments.
3. Apply for a Zero Interest Rate Credit Card
If you have a good enough credit it is a good idea to apply for a zero interest rate credit card. This will improve your credit score by ensuring that most of your monthly payments go toward paying off your debt.
2. Rethink Closing Old Accounts
Maintaining an account with a positive balance over a long period of time can have a positive effect on your credit score. Closing accounts won’t necessarily lower it, but it is better to be proactive and choose a bank you will want to deal with for a long time.
1. Set Up a Payment Plan
If you are struggling to pay your debt it is much better to contact your creditor than try to avoid it. Most major creditors will work with their customers to create a workable payment plan for debt elimination.
I hope that this guide to the Top Ten Ways to Improve Your Credit Score has proven helpful. It is easy to become scared, anxious or frustrated when faced with debt problems, but with a proactive approach these issues can often be prevented or resolved quite simply.
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by Catalogs.com Info Guru Lauren DeJesus-Glasgow
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