There are many different strategies available to use when it comes to repairing your credit score. Depending on your own personal situation, certain methods will work better than others. Some of these methods are so easy to follow and allow you to start slow. But when you step up and try to challenge yourself to be more aware of your money management skills, you build up the discipline necessary to reach your credit goals. Listed are some of the more popular, key solutions that can put you on the road to getting your score up to where you want it to be and have it stay there in the future.
Pay your bills on time
Even if you haven’t been the most reliable in the past, it is never too late to start. Making sure you pay your bills on time each month is huge when it comes to repairing your credit score. Payment history is a big factor when it comes to calculating your score. Also, when you make on time payments you don’t pay any extra interest so you only have to pay the base amount of what you spent instead of more money later down the line. It can take some time for your score to reflect your new habit of making on time payments, but establishing this good habit will bring you long lasting results.
Pay down outstanding balances
Paying off the higher interest accounts first help you to eliminate those accounts that are taking a big chunk of your money. Once you have paid off the account with the highest interest rate you will then have more money available to pay off the next highest interest account, creating a snowball effect. Each time you pay off an account you will be able to apply more money into paying off the next account. This does take some discipline because once you have an account paid off and you see that extra money, it will be tempting to spend it or use it in a way other than continuing to pay off your debt. You just have to remember that the more accounts you no longer have outstanding balances on, the higher your credit score will be.
Managing your accounts
It is true that opening a new credit account can increase your score, but only open a new one if you need it. The whole reason that it is helpful to open another credit account is so it can diversify your credit report. If you have a ton of similar accounts open, it won’t affect your score as much as you think. It is important to note that when you open a new account, it can create a hard inquiry, and having too many of those can also be harmful to your score. But don’t let this scare you into closing the accounts you already have open. Even if you have an account or two go unused, as long as it is not charging you annual fees, leaving it open can be beneficial. If you close an account you don’t use it can increase your credit utilization ratio. You don’t want your credit utilization to be too high or too low, as both with negatively impact your score. Also owing the same amount of money but having less accounts open can impact your score negatively. By having a good mix of accounts you are working to improve on and accounts that you are not using, meaning not accruing anymore debt, it shows you are better-rounded. So even if you only use your account a few times per year, as long as you are sure to pay it off on time, it will benefit you greatly.
Remove Negative Marks and Dispute Errors
Being sure that the information that is listed on your credit report is correct is highly important when it comes to getting an accurate score. Having incorrect information can really bring it down. If you see any discrepancies or incorrect information on your report, immediately dispute it and get taken care of as soon as you notice. If you are nervous about disputing the information yourself you can consider going to a credit management company. You pay them a monthly fee to take care of things like that when they show up on your report along with helping you to better manage your finances.
These credit repair steps can be as easy or as hard as you want them to be. It really is up to you have fast or slow you want to improve your score. The more effort you put in, the more results you will see.