Our office recently posted a reminder to Georgians to remember their finances during their spring cleaning efforts this season. In this same regard, we wish to offer 4 steps that our friends and neighbors can take to improve their credit scores in the next couple of months. If you haven’t checked it out, also see “How to repair your credit after bankruptcy”
Please bear mind that the success of these tips is wholly dependent on each individual’s own circumstances such as the quality of their current credit score, employment history, etc. For a personalized discussion of other ways to improve your credit score, contact our office today. We look forward to speaking with you!
1. Pull your credit report and identify any possible errors or old issues.
There is a good reason why this tip comes first on this list. The best place to start when improving your credit is to ascertain the current state of your credit with Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. You can obtain a copy of your credit report free of charge from several different companies. When you get the report back, go over it very, very carefully. By doing so, you can identify any possible errors that may be adversely affecting your credit without your knowledge. For example, if you have a common name, there may be an outstanding debt listed on your report that is lowering your credit – but it isn’t even yours!
Or, maybe back in college you missed a credit card payment by accident – but now it has been more than 5 years since your mistake and the missed payment is still on your credit report. Try calling up the card company, especially if you still have an account in good standing, and politely request that they contact the credit agency to remove the missed payment. You may be surprised at how many companies are willing to do this for their clients.
2. Identify any loan balances that can be quickly paid off.
Many Georgians open a credit card with a low limit when they are just starting out in their careers or just beginning college. Since these cards often have limits as low as $1,000 or even $500, it is impossible to rack up a huge amount of debt on such a card. If you have been carrying a balance of $100 or $200 on a card, and you have just been paying off $5 or $10 a month, consider paying off the whole card next month.
3. Schedule automated payments for any bills that are eligible for this service.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to get a blight on your credit report is to have a missed payment. Even accidental missed payments that occur simply because you forgot to pay the bill can detrimentally affect your credit. Many companies and banks now allow their customers to schedule automatic bill payments. This is especially important for student loan servicers since, depending on your provider, missed payments can greatly damage your ability to pay back your loans in a timely manner.
4. Stagger your applications for new credit cards and loans.
One of the factors that can adversely impact your credit score is multiple credit applications, including credit cards, car loans, and mortgages. Some creditors may doubt a person’s ability to meet all of his/her debt obligations if the person is opening new accounts lefts and rights. Try to plan ahead as much as possible and stagger your applications for new accounts. For example, if you know you need a new car now, go ahead and apply for the loan – but wait 6 months to apply for a new credit card.
If you have more questions please feel free to contact our office at 404-913-1529 at any time – we look forward to speaking with you!