Improving your credit score takes time – there are no quick fixes. In fact, any method that promises a “quick fix” for your poor credit score will likely backfire. Ideally, the best way to improve a credit score is to manage credit responsibly. If you’ve failed to do that, there are ways to help repair your credit history and slowly but surely improve your credit score.
Check Your Credit Report
Once a year, you can request a free copy of your credit report. This is an important step to take because it allows you to review your report and check it for any errors that could be negatively impacting your score.
In particular, make a note of the open accounts listed on your report and make sure the totals owed for each are accurate. You’ll also want to make sure there are no late payments incorrectly reported on your account. If you do find errors, contact the credit bureau and work with them to dispute the erroneous reports.
Pay Bills On Time
This sounds like common sense, but it can be very easy to overlook a bill that’s due. To make it easier for you to pay your bills on time, set up payment reminders that will alert you via text or email when your bill is due.
You can also enroll in automatic payments if you habitually forget to pay your bills on time. That way, bill payments are automatically debited from your bank account. Even one missed payment – whether it’s a day late or a week – can drastically affect your credit score.
Reduce Your Debt
While this is easier said than done, one of the best ways you can begin improving your credit score is to reduce the amount of debt you owe. Avoid accruing new debt, and instead begin working with your lenders to arrange a payment schedule that works within your budget.
If you have debt on multiple credit cards, work on paying off the highest interest rate cards first, while maintaining your minimum payment on lower interest rate cards.
Consult a Credit Counseling Service
Every state has non-profit groups designed to offer credit guidance to consumers. If you find you’re having trouble paying bills on time or paying off debt, a credit counseling service may be able to help you find a payment solution that works for you. Often, these programs are available for little or no cost.
Improving your credit score takes time. While the task may seem daunting, improving your credit score and paying off existing debt will be worth it in the long run. By changing your old habits now and learning to be responsible with credit, your score will improve over time.