Bad credit score: a dreaded term many people fear. Those who do have a bad credit score may wonder: what can I do to improve my score? The most important aspect of improving your credit score is that it gradually takes time. There is no “quick fix” and if there are, it most likely will backfire and potentially lower your credit score in the long run.
These tips below will help you repair that low credit score.
Get Copies of your credit report.
- The Federal Reserve System reports that the only authorized online source for a free credit report is annualcreditreport.com. This shows your credit from all 3 credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion). You are allotted a free report every 12 months.
- Check for errors. Make sure late payments and balances are correct. MyFico suggests that if there are any errors tell the credit bureau in writing what information you believe is inaccurate. MyFico is a great resource for having a better understanding of fixing credit report errors.
Experian, one of the three credit bureaus provides these helpful tips to improve your score:
Pay off past due balances.
- The more behind you are on your payments, the more it affects your credit score. Come up with a payment plan to help pay off debts. Try to pay off the ones with a higher interest rate first.
Pay bills on time.
- This is probably one of the most important ways to improve you score. You can set up automatic payments from your account to help pay on time. Just make sure you have enough money to avoid overdraft fees.
MyFico.comhas Amounts Owed Tips, which according to their site contributes 30% of your score. This is what they had to say:
Keep balances low on credit cards.
- Higher balances can affect your score.
Do not close unused credit cards.
- MyFico advises to not try to do this as a short-term fix to boost up your score.
Do not open new credits cards that you do not need to help increase your credit.
- This could potentially backfire and actually lower your score.
-Lauren Dufour, VP of Unbanking