Six steps you can follow to get a higher credit score.
Do you even know what your credit score is? Interestingly, most people don’t.
However, if you are a consciousness person and want to lead a normal life as a consumer, knowing and maintaining a good credit score can be one of the most important things you do because in many ways your score dictates the life you live.
What is a good credit score?
There are several different credit-scoring models but on average, a “good” credit score ranges from 665 to 790. Anything above those high numbers would be “very good” or “excellent” and these credit rankings help companies decide whether to sell you things on credit.
A credit score is calculated by summarizing all of the information in your credit report, which is an updated record of your borrowing and payment history. There are three credit reporting bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – and each of them creates a credit report on you. Because each of these agencies using slightly different scoring formulas, a person could have different ratings in each.
Regardless of the scoring model, if you have at least a “good” score, you are probably paying your bills on time and will be treated better by lenders and rewarded with lower interest rates when borrowing.
Six Steps to raising your credit score
- Check your credit score: You should check your credit score at least once a year as this will give you an idea of your “creditworthiness.” You are entitled to a free report from each of the credit bureaus each year through AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Correct any errors: Carefully review each entry on the report to be sure there are no errors, especially if you don’t like your score. Any errors should be immediately disputed and you will need appropriate paperwork to prove errors and have them removed.
- Pay your bills on time: Your payment history is what most impacts your credit score so always pay your bills on time, and get current on any late payments. Even a small debt can show up on your credit report and bring down your score.
- Keep credit balances low: Make it a habit to keep your credit card balances as low as possible. Even when money is tight, try and pay your credit cards first, even if it’s just a small payment.
- Don’t close old credit card accounts: Some people assume that getting rid of credit cards that they don’t use anymore will help their credit standing. Not so! Unless you are being charged an annual fee, keep your available credit lines open as they help your credit utilization ratio.
- Manage your debt: Again, credit card balances are the second largest contributor to your credit scores so keep them as low as possible. As you pay off credit cards, try and use just one or two for everything that you purchase. The lower the debt, the higher your score!
Should you find yourself in financial trouble with escalating debt or with difficulty in correcting errors on your report, the debt consolidation managers and attorneys affiliated with Credit KODA are available to help you solve these problems with absolutely no out-of-pocket costs. Contact us today.