Improve Your Credit Score This Weekend
Your credit score isn’t everything, but it’s a very important factor in determining whether or not you’re approved for loans, credit cards, and more. Set aside some time this weekend and take some concrete steps to improve it. You may not need a high score right now, but in the future you’ll be glad to have it.
Curb Unnecessary Spending and Pay Off Your Debt
High balances that don’t get paid hurt your credit score, so if you’re spending too much rather than chipping away at your debt you’re going to run into problems. That much is obvious, but putting together a debt plan you can stick to is a lot harder. ReadyForZero is one webapp we like that helps you figure out a debt-elimination plan based on what you can reasonably afford. As far as curbing your spending goes, multiple savings accounts and a mandatory waiting period on purchases can make a big difference, as well as these great suggestions for those of you who abuse your plastic.
Boost Your Credit Score with Some Simple Changes
You can’t change your credit for the better if you don’t know anything about it, so before you do anything you should make sure you’re getting credit reports from all three major agencies (Experian, EquiFax, and Trans Union) at least once per year. Annual Credit Report is a reliable, completely free source to do just that, but webapp Quizzle can help you stay on top of your score and general problems for free as well. Once you’ve got that information, learn how you can use the information in your credit report to boost your score. The 20-percent rule is a good place to start. For the most part, staying on top of your report and resolving any issues (which we’ll discuss next) will keep your score as high as possible.
Dispute Credit Problems
I used to have fairly poor credit but have spent the last five years inching my way back up to a respectable number. Despite turning into a responsible human being, I’m still working hard at improving my score because of a few blemishes that weren’t my fault. While the process takes time, I’ve learned a lot about getting things removed from a credit report. When things get complicated, I’ve also learned that sometimes you need to hire a lawyer to simply write the credit bureaus and collections agencies a letter to get them to stop coming after you for money you don’t actually owe. Additionally, if you have small amounts in collections because of a mistake from a phone or cable company, contacting them via Twitter is almost always more effective than calling customer support—and faster, too. While negative marks on your credit report will eventually go away, it takes many, many years. Don’t wait. Dispute problems now so your report will be in good standing when you need it to be in the future.
Source: Adam Dachis editor at www.lifehacker.com