Boost Your Credit
Looking to boost your credit score? Here are some actions you can take to make an impact quickly!
1. Even the score. Any inaccuracies in your credit history can lead to an unfair score. Check your report at least once per year to confirm the accuracy of the information being reported. If you do find something that looks wrong, you can file a dispute with the major credit bureaus. Be sure to have your bank statements and receipts handy to show as proof as they may request it.
2. Know your limits. Make sure your report matches up with reality. Sometimes companies may be slow to update a recent increase to your credit limit or the amount you have paid off. Either omission could impact your score negatively. Also, make sure that your credit card issuers are reporting the correct limits on your accounts to the three major credit bureaus. A credit card company that fails to report your available limit can negatively impact your credit score.
3. Do not close out a card. As much as simplifying might feel good, a sudden drop to your credit-spending power does not look good to the credit bureaus. Try to keep your longest standing credit cards active, even if that means only swiping them once per month to buy gas.
4. Pay your bills on time. Obviously, no one wants or intends to be late on credit payments. Considering your on-time payments (or lack thereof) make up for 35% of your score, we cannot stress enough the importance of paying on time.
5. Create some balance. While paying down installment debt (car, school, mortgage, etc.) will definitely boost your credit score, paying down or paying off revolving debt, such as credit cards, can cause a quicker spike in your credit score. The trick is to get and keep your balances below 30% of your credit limit on each card. For faster results, attack those cards with balances closer to their respective credit limits first, as opposed to those cards with simply the highest debt.