Credit repair involves removing negative information from your credit report and boosting your credit score. You want your accounts to get back in good standing as soon as possible. Here are 9 ways to boost your credit score.
01 Have Open, Active Accounts in Good Standing | Ways To Boost Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a measure of how well you’ve handled credit accounts in the past. You won’t have a good credit score if you don’t have any accounts or if all the accounts you do have are closed or delinquent.
Adding good accounts to your credit report will boost your credit score. That may mean starting over with a secured credit card or another credit card for bad credit. It’s important to go for a credit card that reports to any of the three bureaus if you really want to boost your credit score.
02 Pay All Your Bills on Time | Ways To Boost Your Credit Score
The biggest thing influencing your credit score is your payment history. It accounts for about 35% of your credit score. The more timely payments you add to your credit history, the more your credit score will improve. Even one late payment may signal that you haven’t changed your bad credit habits, so be sure to pay on time every time.
It’s important that you also pay accounts not listed on your credit report since they can be added eventually if you fall behind.
03 Reduce Your Balances and Keep Them Low | Ways To Boost Your Credit Score
The amount of debt you have is another factor that impacts your credit score in a major way. Lower balances are better for your credit score, so if you have big balances, pay them down. Consumers with the best credit scores have balances that are less than 10% of their credit scores, so aim to get your balances to that point or lower.
04 Make Sure Your Credit Limits Are Reported Correctly | Ways To Boost Your Credit Score
The ratio of your credit card debt to the limit on those credit cards is also a factor that affects your credit score. If your credit limits aren’t reported accurately, it can look like you’ve maxed out your credit card. You can dispute inaccurate credit limits with the credit bureau or call your creditor to ask why your credit limit isn’t reported accurately.
Some people ask for credit limit increases as a way to improve their credit utilization – the ratio of your credit card balances to credit limits. But, be careful requesting your limit be increased. Some credit card issuers do a hard pull where an additional inquiry is placed on your credit report and factored into your credit score. Soft pulls are better, but may not be what the creditor needs to process your credit limit increase request.
05 Leave Old Accounts Open and Keep Them Active | Ways To Boost Your Credit Score
Credit age is important when it comes to your credit score. Your credit score considers both the age of your oldest account and the average age of all your accounts. Keeping old accounts active helps you have a mature credit age.
06 Don’t Let Your Accounts Wind Up in Collections | Ways To Boost Your Credit Score
Debt collection accounts are one of the most serious types of delinquencies you can have. Since any account – even the smallest one – has the potential to wind up on your credit report, it’s important that you pay all your debts or at least make payment arrangements with the biller. When your missed payments exceed 180 days, it might end up with debt collectors. This can drag down your credit score drastically so avoid it by paying on time.
07 Open New Accounts But Sparingly
When you open a new account, your average credit age is lowered. Not only that, but the additional inquiry on your credit report can also hurt your credit score.
Of course, you can’t completely avoid opening new accounts. That’s actually a necessary step if you’re rebuilding a damaged credit score. Open accounts as you need them and only charged what you can pay in full and on time.
08 Have Different Types of Accounts
Your credit score improves when you have experience with various types of credit accounts. That means having both credit cards and installment loans, especially a mortgage, on your credit history.
You shouldn’t necessarily take on new accounts, especially large loans you can’t afford, for the sole purpose of boosting your credit score. Instead, open accounts as you need them, but be wise about the types of accounts you open.
09 Get Rid of Negative Information
Removing negative information from your credit report can boost your credit score, but erasing things from your credit report isn’t easy. You can dispute negative entries that are inaccurate, wait for the credit reporting time limit to pass (usually seven years), or try to get the information furnisher to remove the entry from your credit report with a pay for delete or goodwill offer.