Poor credit can have a crucial impact on your financial health and put you at a higher risk of being declined for credit or loans and higher interest rates. If you have a poor credit score, it can be overwhelming to know where to start fixing it, but don’t give up yet.
There are five simple steps you can take to start boosting your score now.
1. Request copies of your credit reports
Without viewing your credit reports, you may not know what accounts are causing the strain on your credit score.
Viewing your reports will show you where the issue lies, so you can take the needed steps or work with Kaydem Credit Help to repair any significant negative items.
To access your reports, sign up for credit monitoring or get a free copy from each credit bureau annually from AnnualCreditReport.com.
As you improve your score, having a credit monitoring service can help you track your progress and ensure nothing new pops up in the process.
2. Get past due accounts current
Payment history makes up 35% of your credit score, so it is the major contributor to why your score is what it is.
Therefore, it is a sector of your credit reports that you can’t afford to ignore.
The further behind your payments are, the more impacted your scores will be, so work diligently to bring them all up to date.
If possible, pay off any outstanding balances in full rather than making small contributions. Paying it off will save you from interest charges or additional late fees. Also, once paid off, the lender can mark the account as “paid in full,” so it reports more favorably to your credit report.
Getting any past due accounts paid up to date should be a top priority to avoid any accounts being charged off or sent to a collection agency.
3. Reduce revolving account balances
Even if your accounts are not past due, your balances can significantly impact your credit scores.
The golden number to aim for when it comes to credit utilization is 30%, which means your credit card balance is no higher than 30% of the credit limit. For instance, if you have a $10,000 credit card, you should not owe more than $3,000.
Paying off your higher balance will boost your credit score because as you approach your credit limit, your score will decline.
When you pay down your balances, be sure to pay more than the minimum to pay your balance faster and appear more trustworthy in the eyes of the lender.
4. Add authorized user accounts
Adding yourself as an authorized user to someone’s credit card account is a sure way to give your credit score a boost.
However, for it to have its intended effect, the cardholder must have stellar payment history, and the older the account is, the better.
The cardholder doesn’t have to give you the physical card or allow you to use and make payments on the account for you to benefit from it. Simply adding the account to your report is enough to increase your score.
If the situation changes and the account begins to decrease your score because of the cardholder’s use, you can remove yourself from the account at any time, and it no longer influences your credit reports.
5. Credit boosting programs
Often they report utility bills, cellphone bills, or bank history.
Although having these items reported will not necessarily boost your lendability in the eyes of any lenders, it will boost your credit score, which will help if you already have a credit history of your own.
Some program options will benefit renters, such as RentTrack.
These programs report on-time rent payments to help increase your score but may only affect your VantageScore rather than your FICO credit scores.
When it comes to fixing your credit, no one solution will work for everyone and every situation.
The steps above often help people resolve minor items impacting their credit score when combined with professional credit repair to help settle the more problematic issues.
The sooner you can follow through with these steps, the sooner you will start to see positive changes and increases in your credit lendability.