7 things you can do today to improve your credit score
Credit scores don’t have to be this mysterious thing that keeps you from borrowing money for a new house or car! Today, with help from CreditNinja, we are going to show you 7 things you can do today to improve your credit score.
#1 – Know what your credit score is
The first step to improving your credit score is to understand the following things: what a credit score is, how the system works, and what your credit score is.
Getting your head around these points will help you to improve your score and will prevent you from doing any further damage to it.
There are many online credit score checkers. They will be run by independent companies not related to any bank. Most credit score checkers will also tell you exactly what you need to do to improve your credit score.
#2 – Consolidate your debts
While debts can be a great short term solution for getting out of a financial pickle – unless they are managed properly, they can ruin your credit score.
For each debt that you have outstanding, will have a monthly repayment and a monthly interest rate payment. Short term loans will have higher interest rates and the rates will be smaller on long term loans.
If you have multiple outstanding debts then you will probably be paying out a lot each month. If this sounds like you, you should consider consolidating your debts, so that you only have to make one payment each month.
#3 – Start paying off your debts
Even if you don’t need to consolidate your debts, then the next thing you need to do is to start paying off your debts.
Once you understand what your debts look like and how much you will have to pay back each month – you will want to start making sure those payments go out on time. Every late payment will be a black mark against your name. You can also get fined for making late payments.
You should also consider paying a little extra into at least one loan each month. This will help you to pay it off quicker. Paying off a loan will improve your credit score.
#4 – Make a budget
If you are trying to improve your credit score then you will need to find a way to pay off your debts. By making a budget you can get a better understanding of how you spend your money and if there is any extra money you can use to make these payments.
You will want to look at all of your income and outgoing payments next to each other. This will help you to see where you can save and what money you have left to spend on yourself.
#5 – Dispute any errors on your credit report
Many people do not know this is possible, but you can look at your credit report and argue against any errors you see on it. An error you aren’t aware of could be ruining your credit score.
It is not uncommon for debts that have been paid off to be marked on a credit report as unpaid or outstanding.
Going through your credit report with a fine-toothed comb to check for errors is a valuable use of your time. If there are errors, notify the reporting agency and dispute them. You need this report to be correct.
#6 – Set up direct debits for all your monthly bills
We mentioned earlier that late payments can damage your credit score. Most of us have missed at least one payment in our lives. It’s only natural. The bill comes in and we don’t have the time to pay it straight away so we set it down. Before we know it two weeks have passed and the payment is overdue.
We recommend setting up direct debits for all your monthly payments. That way you don’t have to worry about sending off any money. Some people even choose to reschedule their payments to payday. That way they pay their bills at the start of the month and they don’t have a chance to overspend.
#7 – Don’t apply for that new loan or credit card
Our final piece of advice is to not apply for any new loans, bank accounts, or credit cards until you have improved your credit score and paid off some of your debts.
Every time you apply for a loan or an account, the bank will check your credit score. If it is not high enough they will reject you. If they reject you, it will lower your credit score. Undoing all of the hard work you have done to raise it.
Unless you desperately need a loan, give your credit score time to recover.