6 Steps To Improve Your Credit Score Fast
The one thing you’ll never learn in school is how to improve your credit score. It’s not until you have bad credit that you will be forced to find ways of improving your credit score. It’s hard to know what you should do to improve or even maintain your credit rating. Everyone knows that your credit rating can affect your ability to buy a car, a house or other really expensive items, so how do you go about improving your credit when it’s down in the dumps?
Check Your Credit Score
The first thing you should do is get an accurate depiction of your credit standing. The best way to attack the problem is to know exactly what you’re dealing with. You can acquire your credit report from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) once a year for free.
You can also sign up for multiple sites that will keep you updated on any major changes to your credit report. These sites are free to use and can provide you with useful information on what to look out for when applying for credit. Make sure you note the time each score is updated on these sites. Because of their free nature they won’t pull your updated credit scores instantly. Keep this in mind when making a credit related decision.
Set A Goal
Once you know your credit score, set a goal of where you want your credit to be a year into the future. Most plans to improve credit span the courses of many years and take an extreme level of dedication and discipline. Generally, credit is easy to destroy and near impossible to build back up, but with the right amount of motivation and commitment, it is possible.
The quickest timeframe to improve your credit is over the course of one year. While your credit score will increase in small increments with weeks and months of vigilance, you’ll only reap the benefits of your increased score after a substantial growth. As you move through your credit recovery strategy you should try to keep track of how your credit is affected by the things you do. It’ll give you better insight towards your goal, show you where you’re going right and help keep you motivated.
Calculate Your Debt
After you make your goal you should look at anything that you owe and make plans to pay it off as soon as you can. Some people have no problem managing debt without ever paying it off at all. But in order to achieve the quickest turnaround for your credit rating you need to aggressively attack and eliminate your debts.
Take time to talk to your creditors and find out what’s the fastest way to pay off your debt to them. Be aware that you might push yourself to the edge of your comfort level with the types of payments you’ll need to make. The main reason people fail when trying to increase their credit scores quickly is because they’re not willing to push themselves to do what’s necessary. Remember that you’ll see immediate improvements in your score and you’ll be erasing debts from your report.
Report Any Unusual Activity to Improve Your Credit Score
While you’re in the process of eliminating your debts and practicing good behavior towards your credit, make sure you report any strange happenings on your credit reports immediately. Many people have things on their credit reports that don’t belong there. Learning more about your credit report will help you identify what belongs and what doesn’t.
One thing that can lead to fluctuating credit is identity theft. If someone has been using your name or likeness to make extravagant purchases or to open a new credit card or two, then you should alert your credit bureaus and tell them to freeze your reports. Doing so will stop negative information from flowing towards your accounts while you resolve the situation.
Report Any Changes In Debts to Credit Bureaus
Also, make sure to report your own progress to major credit bureaus as well. Whenever you pay off a creditor or win a dispute about a fraudulent mark on your report you should let the bureaus know as soon as possible so they can make the necessary changes on your reports.
Credit bureaus are the only way creditors will get the information necessary to make a sound decision on your credit worthiness. It’s in your best interest to make sure your up-to-date information is available at all times. Even it naturally takes time to have certain things removed, there are times when negative items stay on a credit report even after they no longer exist. Be proactive and make sure your credit report reflects the right information.
Don’t Apply For Any New Credit Cards
Try to make sure you don’t fall for quick offers for pre-approved credit offers while you improve your credit. If you’re working towards your goal then wait until you complete that goal before you decide on opening any new lines of credit. Although it is true that having more lines of credit open will slightly increase your credit score it will also tempt you to use it, putting your hard work in jeopardy. Remember, it’s much easier to ruin your credit than it is to improve it. Once your credit begins to improve you’ll receive various credit offers from credit card companies and loan providers.
If you’re getting these then you can take it as a good sign that your credit is improving. It’s one of the few hard pieces of evidence you’ll see that’ll will give you an indicator to how creditors views of your credit worthiness begin to change. Rejoice, but don’t bite. Take pride in your work and try not to give in to temptation.
If you follow these steps you’ll be increasing your credit score in no time. Be aware that you’ll be doing this mostly on your own, without a counselor. Credit counseling is available if you feel the need for a personal credit coach, though it’ll rarely be cheap or for free. Getting your credit score to rise can be as quick as you want it to be. Just stay focused on your goal and you’ll be proud of your score in no time.