If you're having trouble improving your credit score, don't worry. Improving your credit score isn't easy, but it's not impossible either. In this article we'll show you how to improve your credit score by following these simple steps:
1. Get a copy of your credit report
If you want to know what's on your credit report, the best thing to do is get a free copy of it. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus once every 12 months by visiting annualcreditreport.com or calling 877-322-8228 in the U.S.
For other countries, e.g. Germany, you can check SCHUFA, the only credit scoring company, which offers a free service once a year for providing a detailed report for you to check all entries.
If you find mistakes on your report, take action right away to correct them and make sure they don't negatively impact your score further in the future.
2. Sign up for automatic payments
Signing up for automatic payments, such as your mortgage, car loan, and credit cards, or subscriptions is a simple way to avoid a negative mark on your credit report. If you miss one payment and do not pay it after two warnings, this can stay on your report for up to seven years.
3. Reduce the amount of debt you owe
The first and most important thing you can do to improve your score is to pay off debt. It's not just the amount of debt that matters; it's also how much of your available credit you are using. Your credit utilization ratio is a measure of how much money is available compared with how much money you're spending. The lower this number is, the better.
A good rule of thumb for creating an effective credit utilization strategy is to keep your balance below 30% or less of each card's total limit (such as $170 for a $1,000 limit).
4. Pay your bills on time every month & don't skip loan or credit card payments
When your credit card balance is paid off every month, you get points.
If you don't pay off your balance each month, it's almost as if you're not paying anything at all. That's not good for your score because it makes it seem like you have more debt than what actually exists and shows that you're not serious about managing your finances.
5. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed
Another common mistake people make when trying to improve their credit score is applying for and opening new credit accounts just because they want the rewards.
Opening a new account means you've added another line of credit that lenders can access and use to assess your financial health. This, too, will only hurt your score.
Though, if you are super good at managing your credit cards, loans, and payments & you have already a more than average score, opening a new credit account can improve your score even more. Having a new credit and paying it in a short time will boost your score and help you to get more loans in the future.
Improving your credit score is no quick fix, and it's not an overnight process. It is something that can become easier over time as your finances improve and you are able to continuously manage them well.
Just try these steps and be patient!