If you’ve recently applied for a loan, filled out a housing application or tried to get a new smartphone, but you were turned down even in spite of having solid employment, that’s a clear sign that you should check out your credit score. Being that so many lending institutions and creditors look to credit scores to see people’s work and payment history, it’s important that you make sure your score is as high as possible (over 700).
If your credit score is not as great as you would like it to be, the good news is that there are some things that you can do today that will help to get it back on track. If you’d like some tips on ways that you can fix your credit score, here are five of them:
Look over your credit reports from all three bureaus.
Before doing anything else, it’s important that you obtain a copy of your credit report from all three major credit reporting bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. The reason why you need to get all three is because sometimes they each have different information from different creditors on them. If you want to obtain free copies, you can do so by going to Annual Credit Report. Once you’re aware of all of the information that is on your credit reports, you can move to the next step.
Check for any inaccuracies.
Just because something is in print, that doesn’t automatically make it accurate. If you notice a judgment or charge off or even delinquent account that is not recognizable to you, it’s important that you contact the credit bureau that has listed the error so that you can file a formal dispute. For tips on how to formally file a dispute, visit Credit Karma and put «how to correct errors» in the search field.
Pay off your past due balances.
Here’s something that just might surprise you. According to many published reports, your payment history makes up for as much as 35 percent of your credit score. For this reason, it’s extremely important that you pay your bills on or by their due date and that you also take care of any past due balances on any accounts that you might have.
Keep delinquent accounts open.
If you happened to go to a website like Credit Sesame to read an article on ways to improve your credit, one of the things that it might have mentioned is that you should keep delinquent credit card accounts open. Although it’s understandable why you may want to close them out, remember that creditors don’t only report your balance but your credit limit, too. Therefore, it’s helpful to have your credit limit active. So, rather than closing the account, contact your creditors instead to set up a payment arrangement.
Don’t fill out a new credit card application (just yet).
As you’re in the process of fixing your credit, the last thing that you need is anything else that will lower it. That’s why you should wait before filling out a new credit card application. The more inquiries that are on your report(s), the more it will harm your credit. After you’ve completed the previous four things, then you’ll be ready to (possibly) apply for another card. For tips on how to find the best kind of credit card, visit Nerd Wallet and put «best credit cards» in the search field.