Having a good credit score is one of the most important parts of overall personal financial health. Those that have a good credit score will have a better chance of obtaining affordable credit, which will save a lot of money over time.
While building a good credit history takes years, there are ten things that you can do to start fixing your credit right now. Below we have outlined the 10 easiest things you can do to spike your credit score within 30-45 days or less.
Pay Down Credit Cards
One of the best ways to improve your credit immediately is to pay down your credit card balance. Your overall credit utilization rate, which is defined as credit card balances divided by limit, is a huge factor in your overall score. By paying down this balance to below 25%, you could see an immediate improvement in your credit score. This will also reduce the amount of money you spend on interest each month.
Increase Credit Card Limits
Another way to improve your credit score is to have your credit card limits increased. Similar to paying down your credit card balances, having the limits increased will lead to an immediate improvement in your score by reducing your utilization rate. While this can improve your score, you will still have to pay the same high-interest charges that are accrued on the balances.
Pay Off Past Due Balances
Another way that you could achieve credit restoration is by paying off any past due balances that you have. If you have some accounts that are more than 30 days past due, it will hurt your score immediately and significantly. While having the past due payment on your record is bad, you will see a big improvement in your score.
Remove Inaccurate Information
If you are looking to improve your score, you should also focus on ensuring that your report is full of accurate information. When reviewing your report, if you see accounts that are listed incorrectly, it could be an indication of fraud. It is important to contact the creditor and the credit agencies immediately. Having past due reports removed can take up to 90 days, but will increase your score substantially in some cases.
Add Fraud Protection
Along with having fraudulent accounts removed, you should also prevent them from showing up to start with. One of the best ways to do this is to add fraud protection. Some of the best types of fraud protection will include getting a fraud monitoring service, credit monitoring, or even having credit freezes applied. While this cannot prevent all fraud, it will let you stay ahead of it.
Pay All Bills on Time
The most important component of your credit score is your history of paying bills on time. If you have been late on payments in the past, it will impact your score for up to 7 years. To ensure your score improves and stays high, it is important to pay all of your bills by the due date. Over time, this will lead to a big improvement in score.
Keep Unused Accounts
When people are looking to improve their score and for credit restoration, many people try to clean up their past history. In some cases, this may include trying to have past accounts removed. This process is a big mistake, which could impact your score. Since all accounts on record are used to calculate your score, keeping accounts with a positive record would be beneficial to your score.
Only Apply for Credit When Needed
When you are looking to build a long-term positive credit history, it is also important that you only apply for credit when you need it. People that apply for a lot of credit scores could impact their scores several ways. First, the number of inquiries you have will hurt your score. Second, if you are denied for an account, it could be detrimental.
Try & Avoid Bankruptcy
If you are looking to build your credit score, the most important thing that you should do is to avoid bankruptcy at all costs. While there are clear situations where bankruptcy is the best option, it would be best to figure out a different plan first. If you do declare bankruptcy, it will be very detrimental to your credit score for 10 years.
Knowing When to Seek Assistance
Finally, when you are looking to improve your credit history, you should always seek advice and assistance from professionals. There are a number of credit support services available that can help you find a path to financial freedom. This process could include debt consolidation, establishing a budget, and negotiating with creditors for some form of relief.