Toward a Better Credit Score
Credit scores — what advice can help you raise your scores?
Check your credit report. Request a free copy of your credit report and check it for errors. The report comprises the data used to calculate your credit score. Check to make sure there are no late payments listed in error for any of your accounts and that the amount owed for each of your open accounts is correct. If there are errors, dispute them with the credit bureau. Note that AnnualCreditReport.com is the only official site for requesting a report.
Set up payment reminders. Making credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributors to your credit score. Some banks offer payment reminders through their online banking portals, so that you receive an email or text message reminding you when a payment is due. You can enroll in automatic payments through your credit card and loan providers to have payments automatically debited from your bank account, but this will make the minimum payment only.
Reduce the amount of debt you owe. This is a satisfying achievement, but how can you do it? For starters, stop using your credit cards. With your credit report, make a list of all your accounts and then go online or check recent statements to see how much you owe on each and at what interest rate. Come up with a payment plan that puts most of your available budget for payments to the highest-interest cards first, while maintaining minimum payments on your other accounts.
Tips to fix a credit score and maintain good credit
Payment history is important and easy to manage. Just remember the following:
Fixing a credit score entails fixing errors in your credit history. Maintain consistent, good credit payments. You can raise your scores after a poor mark on your report, though it can take time. Building credit takes patience and discipline.
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