Improving Your Credit Score

No Quick Fix

The most important thing to know about improving your credit score is that there is no quick fix.  Anyone who tells you that there is a quick fix for your credit score is lying and is trying to scam you out of money.  So if there is no quick fix, how can you fix your credit score?

The best advice that you can ever get for having a good credit score is to responsibly handle your credit over a long period of time.  For those who haven’t done that, there are a few things that you can do to begin to repair your credit score.

Check Your Score

First things first, you need to check your credit report.  You can request a free copy of your credit report.  This will allow you to check it for mistakes and seek to have them corrected.

Make Payments On Time

Next, make payments on time using payment reminders or automatic bill payments through your bank.  Making payments on time is a large factor in your credit score.  By getting into the habit of making payments on time, you will improve your credit score and put yourself on a path to demonstrating better financial habits.

Reduce Your Debt

Finally, reduce the amount of debt you owe.  While this is easier said than done, reducing your debt level is an important way to improve your credit score and your financial health.  There is a large component of your credit score.

To begin reducing your debt, stop using your credit cards.  Then, figure out the amount you are paying to all of your credit cards and develop a strategy for applying most of the payments to the card that is charging the highest interest rate.  By doing so, you will reduce the overall amount by which your balance is growing every month.

Can’t Change Your History

It is difficult to change the portion of your score that is derived from your payment history.  The only thing that you can do is to begin to make your payments on time.  This can allow you to build a recent history that will, over time, weigh in your favor compared to your failure to pay timely in the past.

The amounts owed portion of your score can change, but it requires you to make good financial choices. First, keep your balances low on any credit cards.  Owing a lot of money on credit cards can negatively impact your credit.  Rather than just moving debt from one card to another through a balance transfer, work diligently to pay it off.

Be careful about attempts to manipulate the scores by either opening or closing accounts.  While these strategies might work, there is an equal chance that doing so will actually lower your score.

The bottom line is that the best way to raise your credit score is to try to correct any errors and then to responsibly handle your credit and your financial life.