Improving Your Credit Score
Do you know your credit score? Having a good one may not be as complicated as you think.
Your credit report is used to make a number of decisions about you. Businesses, banks, landlords, and even employers check credit reports. Since it affects so many parts of life, you should ensure that your report is accurate AND positive.
The report determines your credit score, which will be somewhere between 300 and 850. The higher, the better – and anything above 750 is considered very good.
If you haven’t had a credit report run recently, you can receive a free one at AnnualCreditreport.com or NerdWallet.com. then look for any errors and seek to fix them – quickly. If your credit score isn’t very good, take steps to improve it. It may take 30-60 days for your improvements to show up on your report, but are definitely worth your time and attention.
Late payments will negatively impact your score, so negotiate them if you have a legitimate excuse. Prove your case with previous good history and seek a goodwill adjustment or the removal of a debt.
And of course, pay your bills on time! Automating them may save your credit score. Be careful to not max out your credit limits. Aim for a balance of 30% of your limit – or less; and if you currently have a high balance, make payments twice a month.
Assuming you’re not in overwhelming debt, don’t close your cards. Consider a debt consolidation loan if you can get a better rate than your credit cards.
Last but not least, set goals and live on a budget! Remember, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.”
If you’re dealing with overwhelming credit card debt, there is help. Our partners at Christian Credit Counselors are ready and eager to help you. They can help you consolidate your payments and will get you started with a free debt analysis today. Find out more at crown.org/ccc