5 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

Building a good credit score can help you reach big milestones on your journey through life. Renting nicer apartments, getting lower interest rates on college, car or home loans, and even landing that dream job you’ve always wanted — they’re all influenced by good credit. Nice!

Want to learn how to improve your credit score so you can confidently go after your dreams? Check out these no-nonsense suggestions for building a stronger credit record.

Check (and manage) your credit report. For starters, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228 to obtain a free credit report, and check it for accuracy. If you find errors, contact the credit reporting company in writing to identify what needs to be corrected. For details on disputing credit report errors, the Federal Trade Commission offers these suggestions.

Pay on time. It may seem like a no-brainer, but paying your bills on time is one of the most important ways to improve your credit score. Setting up automatic payments from your bank account can help you stay on schedule, but remember to keep enough money in the bank to avoid overdrawing.

Pay down debt. It’s no secret that paying down debt often is easier said than done. But reducing your credit card debt, along with paying off student loans or mortgages can help raise your credit score. Here’s some solid advice on steps you can take to lower your personal debt.

Keep below your credit card limits. The amount you owe compared to your credit limit typically has a big impact on your credit score. If your monthly credit card debt usually is close to your credit limit, it can negatively affect your score — even if you pay off your credit card bills right on time. So, try charging less each month to stay well below your credit limits. Your credit score will thank you!

Don’t apply for too much too fast. Applying for a number of new credit cards might seem tempting, especially if you’re trying to increase your available credit, but it could lower your credit score. And, if you’re new to the world of credit cards, avoid opening too many accounts too quickly. Play the long game by gradually establishing new accounts and paying them off regularly.

By empowering yourself with these tips, and by considering other budget-savvy ways to plan your future, you can propel yourself toward your dreams.


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