If you are looking to improve your credit score quickly, now is the time to
get started. Here are some
great strategies you can utilize right away to give your score a little boost.
Create Some Balance: While paying down installment debt (car, school,
mortgage, etc.) will definitely boost your credit score, paying down or paying
off revolving debt, such as credit cards, can cause a quick jump in your credit
score. The trick is to get and keep your balances below 30% of your credit
limit on each card. For faster results, attack those cards with balances closer
to their respective credit limits first, as opposed to those cards with simply
the highest debt. Remember, if you pay off any credit cards completely, do not
close your accounts without discussing it with your mortgage professional
first. Cancelling those cards may inadvertently undo all of your hard work.
Know Your Limits: Make sure that your credit card issuers are reporting the
correct limits on your accounts to the three major credit bureaus. Without an
available limit, your account will appear to be maxed out at its highest
reported balance each month. This could cost you up to 80 points in certain
instances. Some creditors, such as American ExpressÂ® and certain cards issued
by Capital OneÂ®, actually have a policy of not reporting available credit.
However, most companies will report your credit limits if you ask them in writing.
Take Some Credit: If you have a credit card account in very good standing,
make sure that all three credit bureaus know about it. Just like your credit
limits, some creditors donâ€™t report your information to all three credit
companies - this is why credit scores often vary between bureaus. If this is
the case, give them a call to find out why. Correcting this oversight could
provide a significant boost to your score. Also, if youâ€™re in very good
standing, ask your creditor for a lower rate or higher credit limit. This will
increase the gap in the debt you owe versus the credit you have available.
Sometimes hinting about closing an account can suddenly bring out the generous
spirit of certain card issuers. Give it a try. The worst they can say is no.
Protect Your Interests: Your credit is calculated based solely on the
information available to your creditors. If you have a HELOC, make sure itâ€™s
listed as a mortgage or an installment account on your credit reports and not a
revolving debt. If you had a bankruptcy, be sure that all items associated with
the bankruptcy are being reported correctly, that is with a zero balance. This
action could increase your score by 50-100 points. Because simple mistakes like
these can wreak havoc on your credit score, itâ€™s important to monitor your
credit every four to six months.
Even the Score: If you find information on your credit report that you
believe is inaccurate or incomplete, then you have the right to dispute it free
of charge. For the fastest results, visit the appropriate credit bureauâ€™s
website and file a complaint online. If supporting documents are necessary, you
have to file your dispute by mail.