By:Patrick Mansfield |U.S. Gov Connect
Method #1: Get Errors Fixed
1) Get your free credit report from the Federal Free Annual Credit Report website.
2) Look for any errors associated with the report. This could be things like accounts reported as closed that are still open, misinformation regarding your on-time payments, or maybe even hard inquiries that you never made.
3) Dispute the information with whichever credit bureau reported it. If they feel your claim is valid, the wrong information will be removed from your report and can really boost your score.
Method #2: Work out Deals
Nobody is perfect, and we all make mistakes. This is especially true when it comes to credit. Maybe you missed a payment completely by accident and it dinged your score a few points, or maybe you struggled to pay at all due to unforeseen circumstances but you want to make things right.
Credit card companies are always trying to keep good, honest customers. If you have made a mistake that negatively impacted your score, try contacting the creditor to see if amends can be made so that the bad information can be removed entirely from your report.
If you are really struggling to pay at all at this point and your score is tanking, as a result, don't be afraid to ask the creditor for a revised payment plan that will help you get out of the debt. Make it obvious that you are willing to work with them if they are willing to work with you. Then, don't be afraid to ask for help with your credit score.
Method #3: Raise Your Credit Limits
One of the major components of your credit score is credit utilization. This is the measure of how much credit you are using (i.e. what is your balance each month) in comparison to what is available to you.
Naturally, we want this number to be as close to 0% as possible. Still, if you must carry a balance from month to month, it is better for that utility number to be on the lower end of the scale.
One of the ways to get your utility lower is to raise your credit limits so that you have more credit available to you. Most creditors will allow you to request a credit limit increase every 6-12 months without requiring a hard pull. If yours does, go ahead and give it a try. You may find that your credit score bumps up a few points because of it.
Most Things Will Take Time
Unfortunately, a credit score is not an easy thing to improve quickly for the most part. By acting on the three points above, you may find that your score improves 40 points or so over a three-month period, but the best way to improve your score over the long haul is to just make on-time, in-full payments.
Also, if you have never had credit before now is the time to consider starting out with a credit card. By using a card regularly and responsibly for your first year, you may find that your credit score shoots up more quickly than you expected.
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