Everyone knows the simple fact that the higher your credit score is, the more you benefit in financial situations. This includes everything from your interest rate on a home or car loan, the amount of down payment required on a loan, if you are qualified to rent to, or even in extreme cases whether or not a company will hire you.
You can find many detailed plans and strategies to raise or improve your credit score, or even hire an agency to help you improve your credit. However, there are three very simple things you can also do to help achieve the same goal.
1) Get Organized
We are seemingly bombarded on a daily basis with opportunities to open new lines of credit via credit card offers, shopping magazines, department stores, television shopping channels and infomercials, and new auto loans. However, the more lines of credit you have the more you have to manage. This means managing due dates, minimum payments, balances, interest rates, and more. It can be difficult to keep up with the payments of so many different lines of credit. Try and keep your lines of credit to a manageable number and avoid putting yourself in a riskful situation. If you do decide to close out some lines of credit, choose the newest ones as the older lines of credit that are in good standing show creditors a solid history of on time payments.
Furthermore, the most important thing about knowing which lines of credit you have open, is keeping up on the balance; this is especially true with credit cards. If you are unable to pay your full credit card balance each month, a good practice is to keep it below 25% of your limit.
2) Settle Your Debts When You can
Obviously most people cannot simply pay off their entire home or auto loan. However, if you have any late charges against you or bills that have gone into collection, make it a priority to pay these outstanding balances. These kinds of charges, left unaccounted for over the years, can balloon into massive debt and wreck your credit score.
The quickest way to increase your credit score is to get payments current. For long term credit strength, settle any collections or past due payments if there are any.
3) Check Your Credit Report
This is the simplest, and perhaps the most important thing you can do to get your credit back in order. Knowing your credit score, and what debts you have against you are things you simply must have knowledge of if you wish yo improve your credit rating.
When you check your credit score, keep in mind that they might not be the easiest to read. You might find that you have two different scores, and this is because different bureaus use different models to determine your credit score. When you check your own credit, it is important to stick with the scoring models similar to the ones used to qualify for loans.