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Your credit score can help you apply for new credit cards and loans, rent an apartment, buy a home and purchase a car; it can also apply to certain other financial situations. Having a good credit score could mean the difference between being approved for a credit car, car loan or rental application, and being denied. If your credit score is low and you would like to raise it, or if it’s already in good standing but you want to make sure it remains that way, follow these three tips.
Letting credit card, utility or other bills lapse in payment can cause a significant negative impact on your credit score. Try your best to always stay up to date with your payments so they do not become late or end up going into default. Set up automatic payments when you can so that you don’t forget to pay bills. If any of your payments are past due, try to pay them off and stay current going forward. After 18 months, most overdue payments are removed from your credit history. If you’re having a hard time paying, try contacting the company to see if you can arrange a payment schedule with them.
Most credit cards will set a minimum payment for you to pay off each month. If you’re able to, make more than the minimum payment on your card (twice the minimum is a great goal to shoot for). This can help ensure that you’re paying off more than just the interest on the card so you can pay your balance down more quickly. Over time it can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest and also help you reduce your overall credit card debt.
You are entitled to get one free copy of your credit report each year from every one of the three major credit bureaus. Check your credit report at least once a year to review it for errors. It’s possible that cards were opened in your name and could be adversely affecting your credit, or that one of the agencies has reported something inaccurately. It’s important to regularly check your report to prevent lower scores due to errors.
These three tips can help you make sure that you are nurturing your credit and keeping your finances in good standing!