Improving your credit score is something that most adults strive to do. Seeing as how this measurement affects virtually every element of your borrowing potential and in many cases, other factors such as employment potential, it makes sense that having good credit is a goal worth striving for at all costs.
With knowledge and determination at your disposal, this is a relatively simple task and takes just a bit of effort. The following article will give you greater insight into how you can take action to improve your credit score and in the process, save yourself money and frustration down the road.
Check Your Reports for Errors
It is estimated that millions of Americans currently have errors on their credit report. In some cases, debt that never belonged to the person in question somehow gets associated with them, and in others, debt that has been paid off is still reflected as unpaid on credit reports. It may be worth it to obtain credit reports from all three major bureaus and inspect them for any errors. You can appeal these entries and have a resolution in your favor if you can demonstrate that the debt in question does not belong to you. Even if everything is in order, having access to your current credit reports will help you better understand what creditors see when they inspect your creditworthiness.
Negotiate With Creditors
This may seem impossible, but there are actually formal channels that allow you to request favors from your credit card lenders. For instance, if you have made a late payment or two but generally make your payments on time, you can request a goodwill deletion that consists of the creditor removing these instances from your credit report. Likewise, having lower interest rates also impacts your credit score; you can attempt to negotiate a lower interest rate with your credit card company and if a solution cannot be reached, then consider moving your existing debt with them to a card or loan with a lower interest rate.
Don’t Close Out All Accounts
Conventional wisdom would tell us that credit card companies should trust you more if you have fewer credit lines open simultaneously, but closing out multiple accounts can actually have a negative impact on your credit score. Even if an account is unfavorable due to an interest rate hike or other account-related change, keeping this account and using it periodically will help create a better-rounded credit history for you. This in turn will make any future credit applications far more appealing to lenders.
Take It Slow
Especially important if you are just beginning the process of building a credit history, it is a good idea to only open one or two lines of credit within a period of a few months to a couple of years. If you begin applying for everything in sight, then this will significantly impact your credit score, limit your future potential and can lead to existing credit lines being downgraded or canceled. Understand that this process takes time and that you cannot rush your way to perfect credit – if you could, then the score would be pretty meaningless, don’t you think?