We all know how important your credit score is; it influences future purchases and your ability to take out loans.  We also know life happens and not everyone starts off with or maintains a spectacular score.  What can you do if your credit score is looking a little rough and needs some buffing up?

Luckily, improving your credit is possible and with time, patience and special attention you can mend your credit score.

Before getting started

It is important to be aware of your current credit score. Did you know each year you are able to access a free copy of your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com? On this site, you can request your report from each of the three national credit reporting companies, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.  However, it is important to be careful about the number of inquiries that are made to your credit.  Pay attention to your credit score and make sure you check it at least each year, this way you can ensure there are no errors that could keep you from getting credit or to understand what negatives are bringing your score down.

Room for Improvement

Pay off debt
Easier said than done right? Start by paying off small balances you have on your cards and work your way from there.  Paying off your cards allows you to lessen the amount of debt compared to your credit ratio, which in turn will improve your credit ratio and credit score.  In addition to paying off outstanding debts, you can increase the amount of good debt you have. Good debts are charges that are handled and paid off responsibly. These types of debts can help you to increase your credit over time.

Charge Less
By charging less you can lower your statement balances, which can help you increase your credit score over time.

Don’t miss payments
This may be one of the most important tips. Your payment history contributes to your overall score.  Make sure all of your payments are made on time, and you do your best not to be late.  Get into the habit of paying your bill ahead of time from the get go; you don’t want to get into the routine of making late payments.  Technology has made it easy for you to automate your payments – a helpful tool to keep you on track!

Pay bills twice month
When you pay your bills once a month it looks like you are running up big balances and overusing all of your available credit. By paying twice a month it helps avoid looking like you are maxing out on your cards and reduces the credit balance bureaus see. Make sure you are paying at least your minimum payment within each month.

Don’t close any credit cards
Especially your oldest accounts. Closing accounts will cause your available credit to drop.  Keep your card active by charging small reoccurring charges to the account, like one of your monthly utilities.

Be careful about disputes
Be careful when disputing collections or issues with creditors and work to remove all disputes on your credit score.  This will help you to improve your credit score
When looking to improve your credit score, the most important thing to do is work hard and to be patient.  It will take time to improve your score but the results will be worth it in the long run.  There is no time to waste – get started on improving your credit score today! If you have any questions about your financing options, please feel free to contact a member of the Housing Buzz Team today!