Your credit score is a numerical representation of your credit history. It is the key piece of information that most creditors will use to assess credit worthiness. Raising your score is a great way to get lower rates on loans, get approved for a mortgage or lease, and get help with managing credit card debt. Here are some quick and effective ways to raise your credit score.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
Whether you need to repair your credit or begin building a good credit history, there are some simple steps that can improve your score. Many of these methods are also important to help avoid or eliminate debt.
Raise Your Score Now:
- Pay Down Existing Debt – The lower your balances on credit accounts, the higher your score will be. Priority one should be to make on-time payments to get current balances paid off.
- Get a Secured Credit Card – A secured card requires collateral up front, but they are a safe way to build credit fast.
- Become an Authorized User – Ask a parent or spouse to add you to a credit account. You don’t even have to use the card, but being on an account where payments are made on time will improve your score.
- Review Your Credit Report – Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get a copy of your current credit report. Look for any fraudulent accounts, past due balances, or other activity that could be hurting your score. Repay or dispute whatever you can to clear your report of negative entries.
Maintaining Your Credit Score
Moving forward, be sure to pay all bills on time and keep balances as low as possible. If you can pay off one balance completely, do it! Just be sure you’re making at least minimum payments to all open accounts on time.
Once accounts are paid down to zero, don’t close them. Keeping them open keeps your available credit high, which will help boost your score. Lastly, try not to allow any cards to become maxed out. This is a red flag to creditors and will hurt your score.
Having debt doesn’t mean having bad credit. As long as you’re making payments on time, you’re always improving your credit history and score.
If you’re trying to pay off debts but can’t seem to make any progress, contact American Consumer Credit Counseling for a free credit counseling session. Call 800-769-3571 to speak with a certified credit counselor.