Having a low credit score can be an extremely frustrating thing, especially if you are struggling financially and are in desperate need of some cash. Luckily, there are quite a few things that you can do to improve your credit score. Here are 8 of our most effective tips for improving your credit score:
1. Check For Errors
Before trying to fix your credit score, you'll first need to check if all of your information is correct. In the US, federal law entitles you to a free credit report from each of the 3 main reporting agencies. Make sure you get yours and check for incorrect addresses, misspellings, or any accounts that are not yours.
2. Quit Relying on Credit
Carrying multiple credit balances is one of the biggest reasons for having a low credit rating. Focus on paying off all of your credit cards and only using one of them from now on. You can save a lot of money by consolidating all your credit card balances into a 0% interest credit card.
3. Don't Get Any More Credit Cards
Aim to limit yourself to only using one to four credit cards. If you have more than four, try to get rid of ones you rarely use or ones that have an annual service change. Also be wary of stores or companies offering you a one-time cash bonus for opening a credit card with them. It will rarely be in your interest to do so.
4. Adapt Your Bills to Suit You
Make sure to adjust your bill's due date to a day that is convenient for you. If you get paid at the end of the month but receive bills on the 14th, then you will need to change accordingly. If this is not possible, consider making payments by credit card, but be sure to pay them off as soon as the payment goes through.
5. Pay Your Bills Automatically
If you only ever manually pay your bills, then there's a good chance that you were late with payment or forgot about a pending bill at some point or another. To fix this problem, simply set up automatic recurring payments, so that your bills will pay themselves, taking another problem off your mind.
6. Beware of Excessive Credit
It is important to make sure your credit utilization remains below 30%. This is because going over 30% will convey the message that you’re struggling financially. Your credit utilization can be calculated by dividing total outstanding debt by your total possible credit. For example, with $2,000 of outstanding debt on a $10,000 limit, your credit utilization would be 20%.
7. Make Yourself an Authorized User
You can begin building a positive credit history by making yourself an authorized user on somebody else's account. As an authorized user, you can buy things with your own credit card, but the actual owner will still be responsible for making all payments in a timely manner. This truly is a great way for you to accumulate creditworthiness over time.
8. Be Proud of Your Credit History
It is important to take care not to close credit cards that are positively affecting your credit rating. This is because they prove that you are able to keep paying back money for an extended period of time. Only close cards that have a short history or are charging you an annual service fee.